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Football bites you in the bum if you are not ready

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I was a bit surprised so few first team players participated in the opening preseason friendly against Pinkafeld yesterday.  We are in Champions League qualification action in 12 days and there are only two friendlies between now and then: against Wiener SC in Saturday and St Gallen on Tuesday.  There is a lot of work to do in those two games.  Lincoln Red Imps impact on our collective memories is still fresh, I hope the same is true of Neil Lennon, who was freshly installed at Hibernian at the time.  Football bites you in the bum if you are not ready, as Neil’s fellow-Irishman, Brendan Rodgers will attest.

Our Champions League opponents, Sarajevo, were also in action yesterday, losing 2-0 to Slovacko, who finished seventh on the Czech top flight last season.  Results count for nothing in these games, which are all about fitness, but you would rather see an opponent struggle to score and keep clean sheets than to prosper.

There is a very good chance we will add at least Christopher Jullien to the squad before facing Sarajevo, I’m not convinced we will add any more in the coming days, not that we could expect a new arrival to go straight into action so soon.

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  1. I have no idea if Julienne is a great signing or not.

     

     

    The size of his fee does not indicate that he is a guaranteed starter anymore than the much smaller fee we paid for Ajer had him marked down as someone unlikely to make it.

     

     

    I am glad that we have another defensive body in; I suspect that the first Sarajevo tie may be too early for him and many of our returning international players but it is more cover for the rigours ahead. Everyone recognises that we still need more and whether those players cost £1 or £7m, they should be evaluated on how they do for us not how much we spent on them.

     

     

    Julienne’s reviews are mixed- a promising youngster developing nicely then suddenly he and his team mates have a terrible season and he looks bombscare-ish. I hope a season strolling through the SPFL will restore his swagger and confidence but he will need an immediate return of resilience for our European games.

     

     

    Two 6 foot 5 defenders does offer us greater aerial strength but, like Ajer, he is likely to be slower on the turn; it is a well known phenomenon in Basketball and Volleyball, after all, but, once they turn they have long strides and long levers to help them recover.

     

     

    Look for other managers testing them with small nippy players like Brophy.

     

     

    I hope we land a few more to add to our defensive strength in the coming weeks. I expect, that, as usual, some of our top targets will not confirm until they see what kind of CL showcase we can provide, if any.

     

     

    Win our first 3 rounds and a good European player might be tempted to come and, like Julienne, use us as a stepping stone to bigger fortunes, with a wee bit of glory thrown in along the way.

     

     

    That remains our place in the pecking order.

  2. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Ffs,when Sevco signed that fud Alves,the SMSM were creaming themselves, saying he went to the same salon as Ronaldo to get his nails done. ..

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