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The Long Ball Hypothesis


McBoyd
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What is it with our team and the long ball up field? Especially against large opposition defenders? How can we noticed every game that our best football comes from keeping the ball on the floor, making decent, snappy, passes and opening up the opposition defence. Too many times last night (and a lot this season) have we succumbed to just punting the ball up the park, for an opposition defender to head it back down to their midfield, and have a go at our goal. Its a joke really, and surely the players and management realise it hardly ever works? We spent pretty much the whole of the final, and last night watching the ball fly over oud midfield, be headed by their defenders and posession given away. Not only are we taking out of the game, debatably the most important part of our winning team, the midfield, but we are pretty much rendering the strikers useless also, as against large lads in the opposition defence none of our strikers are really any use. Ill say it once, and ill say it again, our best football is with the ball on the floor for the most part, even on the floor as far as the midfield/wingers who can cross it to a box of players. Oh how I await the day we stop the dreaded long ball/punt up field :anguish:

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This was blatantly obvious last night, the second half showed this especially when we started to pass the ball about. It is worrying the football we are playing at the moment, just as well the scum are pish or we could be under a lot more pressure.

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I don't think there is enough composure, or passing ability!, back-to-middle to sustain a consistent short-game.

I'd take the long-ball and a League/Cup double over celtic's expansive football, and a 4-0 doin off St Mirren/10-16 points adrift, any day.

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Hopefully when Bougherra is back it will make a big difference as he likes to bring the ball from the defence and beat a few mn, which opens up a lot of the pitch. With both him and Davis out last night we were minus our 2 best ball carrying players, and there was far too many changes from middle to front. Playing long straight or diagonal balls when we had Fleck and Beasley up there was baffling, even the United full backs are over 6 foot.

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I don't think there is enough composure, or passing ability!, back-to-middle to sustain a consistent short-game.

I'd take the long-ball and a League/Cup double over celtic's expansive football, and a 4-0 doin off St Mirren/10-16 points adrift, any day.

Whilst I agree in princible, we shouldn't be looking at how bad they play and letting ourselves away with poor football. I of course would much rather our style of play too, but a loss like yesterday has been a long time coming. The past few months have been constant games of poor football, but we've been winning also.

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Dundee Utd and St Mirren were pressing high up the park and bogging us down as a result.

In that situation you have to look to punt the ball, hope your centre forward can hold it up and get outquickly but that wasn't happening because we were losing out on too many second balls which allowed them rather than us to play.

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Its not just about last night though, its been a large part of our game since our winning days of December. We've broken down many teams and won with some decent, on the floor passing, and for about 15 minutes yesterday we looked like doing it again near the end, till we lost the goal.

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I don't think there is enough composure, or passing ability!, back-to-middle to sustain a consistent short-game.

I'd take the long-ball and a League/Cup double over celtic's expansive football, and a 4-0 doin off St Mirren/10-16 points adrift, any day.

Whilst I agree in princible, we shouldn't be looking at how bad they play and letting ourselves away with poor football. I of course would much rather our style of play too, but a loss like yesterday has been a long time coming. The past few months have been constant games of poor football, but we've been winning also.

..and to me, that's the main thing during this turbulent period McB. The pretty football can come when we have stability and some money to spend.

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You have to earn the right to play football in every game you play. We didn't do that last night and we didn't do it on Sunday. The opposition closed us down and gave us no time or space, we have to match that before we can begin to pass it around. If their effort is greater than ours, and I felt it was last night and for much of Sunday too then the space and time required to play a passing game is removed and inevitably we resort to longer balls. I felt in both our last two games the opposition wanted to win more than us going by their effort, the fact we won one of them and only lost the other to a scrappy last minute goal says a lot about our resilience and ability to compete when not playing particularly well.

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The thing that always pisses me off most about the management is that they are always quick to say that good form and attractive football 'won't last forever', and we just have to accept that we'll grind out results in most games.

That's the wrong mentality to have, and one that clearly has an effect on the players. We've played good stuff for one month this year and the games were over by half time.

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We need Davis in there. Someone to get on the ball, dictate the play and tempo, have a bit of bite, drive and energy as well as having the ability to pick out a pass.

Davis is key in making this team tick!

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