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Giving the young players 'game time' at Ibrox when we're 3-0 up


papaguy51

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For the second time in three years, Smith et al this week have been bumping their gums about youth development.

With that in mind, why haven't we seen a young player for more than twenty minutes in a week where we've played a meaningless CL game and been three nil up at home to to St Johnstone with forty minutes left?

Do you think the management actually believe what they say about the youth development, or is it basically just to get fans off their backs?

I was glad to see Fleck get on, that's always a relief, but was there any need for McCulloch to come on when we had Little and Wilson on the bench?

It's a huge bone of contention to me and I'd love to know why Smith doesn't take advantage of games when we're clearly home and dry.

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......Because on Tuesday we're playing away tae the mighty Dundee Utd at Tannadice and we'll be shoring up our midfield and playing long high raking balls to Lafferty all game because we're away from home. You have to give McCullouch and Lafferty game time before a BIG game like Tuesdays. You cant expect them to just turn it on, they're confidence players FFS and need as much game time as possible due to our rotation system.

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......Because on Tuesday we're playing away tae the mighty Dundee Utd at Tannadice and we'll be shoring up our midfield and playing long high raking balls to Lafferty all game because we're away from home. You have to give McCullouch and Lafferty game time before a BIG game like Tuesdays. You cant expect them to just turn it on, they're confidence players FFS and need as much game time as possible due to our rotation system.

Why would Lafferty and McCulloch be playing on Tuesday when we played so much better without them yesterday?

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I anticipate some sarcastic posts in this thread, however I will play devils advocate.

Kyle Lafferty might himself be considered by Watty to be a young player so bringing him on in his natural position of centre forward may actually in Walters mind be considered development of youth. He also has a bit of a confidence issue at the moment perhaps Walter felt game time against a poor side that we were dominating might help to boost his confidence.

Playing Devils advocate on McCulloch is much much more difficult. Some have pointed out that perhaps he wanted to rest Thomson and therefore McCulloch was the only real option on the Bench. Alternatively he might have felt he wanted to stifle the game at 3-0 and make sure we did not concede? I am clutching here!!

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The Lafferty thing is getting to me.

His performances certainly aren't meriting any game time whatsoever, so it smacks of Smith trying his best to justify the (what will eventually rise to) £4m price tag.

Just a quick stat; Lafferty attempted seven passes when he came on against Sevilla. Only one found it's target :anguish:

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......Because on Tuesday we're playing away tae the mighty Dundee Utd at Tannadice and we'll be shoring up our midfield and playing long high raking balls to Lafferty all game because we're away from home. You have to give McCullouch and Lafferty game time before a BIG game like Tuesdays. You cant expect them to just turn it on, they're confidence players FFS and need as much game time as possible due to our rotation system.

Why would Lafferty and McCulloch be playing on Tuesday when we played so much better without them yesterday?

You know, in all honesty, as I watched the game yesterday and thought about the line-up we played and the manner in which we played it actually crossed my mind that Walter hadn't picked the team???

Seriously we looked so fired up, we passed and moved, we played with urgency, from the very first whistle as well... which has been a rarity this year. We played players in their correct positions and Whittaker and McCulloch were dropped

It fleetingly crossed my mind that maybe Walter had done what he does in the cups and let Ally take the team for the day....

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I anticipate some sarcastic posts in this thread, however I will play devils advocate.

Kyle Lafferty might himself be considered by Watty to be a young player so bringing him on in his natural position of centre forward may actually in Walters mind be considered development of youth. He also has a bit of a confidence issue at the moment perhaps Walter felt game time against a poor side that we were dominating might help to boost his confidence.

Playing Devils advocate on McCulloch is much much more difficult. Some have pointed out that perhaps he wanted to rest Thomson and therefore McCulloch was the only real option on the Bench. Alternatively he might have felt he wanted to stifle the game at 3-0 and make sure we did not concede? I am clutching here!!

Solely on yesterdays game, I think these two points are probably exactly how Smith was thinking. What I would question is, why Ness wasn't on the bench? The manager has spoken of using him and there was the perfect opportunity. I'm guessing he wants to give fringe players game time to keep them happy, but ultimately, these guys don't deserve game time right now and invariably, over the past few years, haven't deserved game time because their level of performances haven't been good enough.

In the past few years, fleeting appearances for the likes of Lennon, Furman, Loy, Little and Shinnie have been few and far between. This would be invaluable game time in their development in what would see them familiarise themselves with this level of football and I'll never understand why Smith hasn't used them more when games are dead and buried. How else will we know if they can make it at this level without giving them some form of opportunity? Especially if they are excelling in the youth leagues.

It's one of the first things I'll do in Football Manager when a game is dead and buried. :lol:

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I just can't see what you'll learn from putting Lee McCulloch on the park for half an hour when we're three nil up.

Nothing we don't already know, for sure.

Yesterday we didn't have a natural central midfield option, other than McCulloch on the bench. Why we didn't have Ness on there is confusing, if we're short of CM options there should be a young CM in there incase there's two injuries!

Although, Smith could have went with Fleck in there and played him as a more advanced midfielder than Davis.

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I just can't see what you'll learn from putting Lee McCulloch on the park for half an hour when we're three nil up.

Walter: "Fuck me we started really well and we are playing with fluidity and balance, wtf is going on?"

Ally: "Well boss we have changed a few things since our last game, any one of them may be the reason, theres no real way to know for sure which one made the difference"

Walter: "Aye yer right, stick big Lee on and see if it changes"

10 Minutes Later

Walter "Guess that answers that then"

Lesson Learned????

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I just can't see what you'll learn from putting Lee McCulloch on the park for half an hour when we're three nil up.

Could it be that WS has these players in the shop window? I doubt that also. I also agree with a previous reply that Rangers yesterday were not the Rangers we've been watching this season for the majority. We created loads of chances, good running, good tackling, players playing in their natural positions, etc, etc. It did have the feeling of someone else dictating what was going on.

As for Tuesday we can only wait and see WTF will happen, though I wouldn't be surprised to see KL ans LM on from the start. Not saying it will happen but I wouldn't be surprised, thats all.

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Don't really buy the 'shop window' thing.

People know what McCulloch can and can't do, half an hour against St Johnstone won't make up anyone's mind about buying him or not.

Nah neither do I, just threw that in there. Was listening to WS yesterday and he stated that no players are up for transfer in January. SO THEN, why did he bung him on wi 30 mins to go? Could it be as simple as to something like he just likes the guy as a mate or whatever?

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Absolutely spot on. Wilson should have replaced Weir for a start, Fleck came on, but played at RM??? There was no need to play McCulloch, it didn't tell us anything we didn't already know. How are we going to find out if our youth players can make the step up, if we don't give them a chance, especially when we're 3 up, at home, and against a side that were not really troubling us.

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As soon as Lee McCulloch came on, the whole shape, balance, organisation of the team fell apart - there was absolutely no need for that sub, but the manager simply must get McCulloch on at some point :anguish:

We were coasting, St. Johnstone could have played for another 90 minutes, against 5 Rangers players, and they would still not have scored. One the bench we had; Wilson, Fleck and Little. We could have worked something out to give them all a decent run out - instead, we bring on McCulloch, and bring Fleck on for 15 minutes. David Weir could also have done with a rest, but no, he played the full 90, after doing the same against Sevilla, Falkirk, and he'll no doubt do the same in midweek, and then again at the weekend - yet the manager said himself that Weir would not be able to play three games in a week.

Also, people within the club have been talking about Jamie Ness, where was he yesterday?

Pefrect chance to give the younger ones a run out, and we failed to do so - yet again!

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smith knows we have a thin squad, so he must keep them at least near match fit as possible incase they need to start games incase of an injury crisis, therefore playing the likes of lafferty anfd (god forbid) mcculloch means they are better equipped if need to be thrown in again

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I like the way your argument ignores the fact Fleck got game time, Lafferty (who needs some confidence and is young) got game time - your argument may have made more sense if you had purely questioned why Lee got on (Like for like (in Walters opinion) to give Thomson a breather).

Oh and an aside (and nothing to do with this thread really) but well done to Broadfoot for lasting 90 min after being out so long!

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I like the way your argument ignores the fact Fleck got game time, Lafferty (who needs some confidence and is young) got game time - your argument may have made more sense if you had purely questioned why Lee got on (Like for like (in Walters opinion) to give Thomson a breather).

Oh and an aside (and nothing to do with this thread really) but well done to Broadfoot for lasting 90 min after being out so long!

Plenty other options, there was no need for McCulloch, and it showed when he came on. A useless waste of space, who offers more to the opposition than his own team.

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