Posted on Thursday, 26th January 2012 by lordofthewing
We’re On The Run
A winning streak is far better than a losing streak. This winning streak has gone on so long that we have started looking at other winning streaks and are muttering: “We’ll have that”.
We have won 12 games in a row. This out does our winning streak in 2006/07 when Gordon Strachan saw us win 11 in a row. That run saw us beat R*ngers 2-0 with goals through Thomas Gravesan and Kenny Misser (in hindsight that was a strange day), a memorable 14 minute hat-trick for Nakamura at Tannadice and was ended by Hibs with a 2-2 draw.
Lennon has equaled Strachans best of 12 wins in a row, which WGS achieved in 2008/09.This run started after a shocking 4-2 defeat against Them at CP when Pendro Mendes was voted the greatest player EVER and was ended – AGAIN- by Hibs via a John Rankin ‘Squiggler’.
Saint Martin Of O’Neill got 14 in 2001/02. This was impressive as it included two wins – home and away – against them, John Hartson scored his first goal for Celtic against Dundee United (then went on to score two more) and this was ended with the a bizarre 2-0 defeat at The Rhodders when The Sheep played British Bulldog from corners.
I’m also putting Lennon in here at 16 wins in a row. These were spread over two seasons but…..I’m forgoing that as these 16 wins showed Lennons mettle for the job.
The cherry on the tree though is Saint Martin Of O’Neills 2003/04 team winning 25 games in a row (they also went an incredible 32 games unbeaten and beat Barcelona that season also!).
So will we get that far? The next league game is against Hearts at Swinecastle. Unlucky 13 for Lennon?
£2m For Forster Now Seems Cheap
Are we seeing the birth of a goalkeeper that is going to rack up a couple of hundred games for the club? I mentioned ‘Packie’ earlier in the week who made 682 appearances and Forster who at 23 could easily spend 10 years at the club. He probably won’t, as is the want of the board.
Since he arrived the big lad from Hexham has had 33 shut outs compared to McSh*gger’s 30. If I was using the Daily Record Transfer Fee Valuation Calculator then surely we have a £7m goalie on our hands who IS available for £2m!
The loan move was meet with groans. Most wanted us to go for a young Pole who is warming the bench in Belgium. While I understood WHY the coaching staff were quite willing to take Double F back (he knew the club and the club knew him and his weaknesses) I was also quite open to the talk that he was only filling the gloves until Craig Gordon was signed on a bosman. Not now.
It’s an over-reaction to say we have a THE ONE between the sticks. The pleasing thing is the progress he has made this season. He has found his voice. There was times when he seemed mute last season and earlier on this season.
The difference is he is now making the eye catching saves that win points.
His penalty save from Eggart Jonnson in the dying minutes of Game 6 in this incredible run was the start. We then went on to face the mighty Udinese Calcio who were flirting with the top of Serie A at that point and still are. When we visited The Friuli only Arsenal and Milan had come away with the bottoms in tact.
We were also facing Antonio Di Natalie a 5 foot 5 pocket rocket who is Serie A’s resident ‘Capocannoniere’. Aye, Double F thwarted them all. His double saw from Di Natalie ensured a point and was as good as anything The Holy Goalie EVER did.
Dundee United at home. A save from a Jon Daly header had begun to seem routine. The Blaugrane Buddies offside Paul McGowan flicked a shot goal wards but found the big man unbelievably up to the task.
His confident performances have out us at ease with spending £2m on him. That’s the biggest recommendation we can give.
He has become my favourite Geordie since Spender.
The Attacking Trident
There was moans about Lennon’s starting line up but I will ALWAYS want game changers on the bench. Having Tony Stokes and a lean, fit looking Kristen Arran Commons to come on was a crumb of comfort when we were struggling in the second half. We have been drawing at half time in 6 of the last 11 games. Having aces on the bench is a winner.
Last season no one could handle the attacking trident of Hooper, Stokes and Commons. This season we have seen Forrest replace Commons with a healthy 8 goals from the wing and we have- sort off – seen the rebirth of Samaras.
The rebirth of Samaras has come about with him floating about on the wing and us firing what I call the ‘Sammyball’ to his head in certain games (most away games). This tactic has been tried and has failed every time he moves into the middle.
He now needs to compete with Forrest and Commons for a wide attacking berth. Two impressive cameos from Commons in recent weeks could see him reduced to the role of game changer.
This could set him back. He needs to be loved and his recent run of starts – sometimes you do wonder what he has done to deserve it though you understand when you see the shape of the team WHY he is picked – was the managers way of doing this.
What do we do now? I go back to the bench and I would rather have Commons coming off the bench than Samaras. Forrest and Hooper are undroppable. Stokes, Sammy and Commons are fighting for one spot.
My Illogical Dislike For A SPL Journeyman Figure
This week it’s Dougie Imrie (the face of Herpes). I have already had a go at his selective memory but after watching the game he really I need to have a go at him THE PLAYER.
He had a decent game. He’s comfortable on the ball, he can see a pass and he also seems to find himself in decent positions, which gives the impression of some sort of intelligence. For £35,000 he is a decent signing and a bargain. It’s a sad state of affairs when Dundee United, cup winners as recent as 2 years ago, can’t afford a player THAT would improve them but a club that is financially hamstrung as St Midden can .
Still, like all twisted faced narks he suffers from small man syndrome. His clip on Ledley in the first half then his assault on Scott Broon proved this. His tackle on Broon was especially in the bad taste of a poor loser as it happened when we were 2-0 up.
So, Dougie joins Robbie Neilson in my own personal Room 101.