WHAT CAN MORTON DO NEXT SEASON?

Written by Dom

STRIP_2012_-_2013

I gather that this article will only get so much attention from the readers. After all, Morton aren’t the most important side in the world. However, last season they had their best effort in almost 20 years at having a push for the top league in Scotland. We ended up having nothing to show for it, but the fans were happy enough, and as well they should have been. The players put in a terrific effort and the manager put a decent side together. So I should be optimistic. Right?

Last season seen Morton put together their third almost all new side. The first two seen us not exactly struggling, but not pressing on any further either. So what was different last season? We managed to keep a hold of Bachirou and Tidser. Tidser had his best season with us, and was one of the best players of the season for any side. Peter MacDonald and Archie Campbell both went and scored a LOT of goals, and we had a good solid formation with the 4-5-1 turning into 4-3-3 when need be.

The problem last season was that Alan Moore didn’t seem to want to stick with that formation. It was clearly our best formation, but he kept putting two men up front. Martin Hardie being in the side allowed Tidser and Bachirou to do more going forward. Without him in the side, Tidser and Bachirou’s influence on the games weren’t as great, and often one of the two would be almost invisible. There was also the fact that Partick Thistle had a manager in Jackie McNamara who was vastly overrated, and if he was gone sooner, they could have run away with the league sooner.

This season, we have lost the spine of our side. Peter MacDonald has gone to Dundee, Michael Tidser is off to Rotherham, and Craig Reid is likely going to be gone as well, and with Willie Dyer off to Dundee as well, that particular loss could be a very hard one to overcome. Defending was already a suspect part of Morton’s game last season. Our refusal to keep an eye on movement in the box cost us several goals, and Dyer and Reid were two of the few high points of that aspect of our game.

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Is there positives going into next season? Of course there are. David O’Brien has been given time to get back to full fitness, and when he has that he is a very important player for us. Tidser’s departure will force the hand of Alan Moore with regards to how we set up, and the addition of McKee, we could actually have a better setup, even if we don’t have the level of player we had last season. There’s a lot of unknowns with our strikers, but we DO know that Archie Campbell went on a long scoring run last season, and could do the business again next season.

The defenders who have come over from the Eastern Bloc are impressing everyone who watches them, including our own manager, and we’ve managed to sign a couple of them as well. The team we’ve been building has actually added some promise to next season, especially now that there will be a potential four promotion spots, counting the playoff spots, to play for.

We’ve been a work in progress for a long time, but we’re heading into a time now where that progress needs to breed some sort of success. I’m not talking about cup wins and league wins, but a genuine challenge over the season against a strong side until the very end, then we have done a good job.

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