First, I want to say something…Beyond the victory, the possibility of finding the precious normalcy in our beloved club. If you look at the first picture, there are Tom Miller and Andrew Dickson with a sign that says “Buenos días, Hernán”. I have nothing to present, everyone knows them, they read and hear, but I take this opportunity to thank all the good will and respect they have given me since I met them. That photo, the product of a great stroke of imagination of my friends, is something that I will never forget and I will treasure forever. It is also interesting to see the conditions in which they work, a kind of behind the scenes because you are protagonist, we see and hear. Here is good public recognition to their work for both (and also to Lindsay in studio) on the last day of the “turbulent” season. Thank you.
By doing a quick run through what happened in the season (quiet friend to this topic I´ll dedicate a section in the future) cross many names in my head…A whirlwind of players went through the starting line, and indeed, I loved in that regard this season, paradoxically, Super-Ally and his staff was tested before each injury or suspension. And in these respect we have gained much. This will help for next season if keep the embargo imposed by the SFA to sign players. All players have had their chance. In Perth, the absence of Bocanegra and Goian, who obtained permission to return to their countries, caused a restructuring of the defense. Well, we had to wait until the last date of the SPL to return to see Bartley in central defense. The Englishman took his leave with dignity. Although I think he wanted to get a goal, at least tried in recent matches.
In the beginning, Saint Johnstone was presented as a tough team, inaccurate in the collective game, but cut our progress, and if necessary they rejected the ball anywhere. They got a little better but not much. The danger reference was Sandaza, which used the melee with Broadfoot, for some fault in favor. Broadfoot was a mistake that will mark the Spanish because he has less speed and when he loses the ball often make mistakes. St. Johnstone started attacking us on the right, some centers from this area seeking to penetrate our defense. Bartley & cia rejected attempts.
In the first half, our offensive play was erratic, sometimes argue that established by the locals. Aluko, one of our pillars in building offensive, often creating their own spaces to speed, sometimes in the middle, snubbing the rival. St. Johnstone had two strong clean lines and bright Nigerian game clashed with that scheme. Or was absorbed by the tight marking rival. At such times, we lacked the sides of the game. Wallace had progressed little and Whittaker more content.
In the first 20 minutes, we stopped attacking us. We err in press at the start of the game´s rival, cover their progress and take center stage. They, like I mentioned before, clogged our potential recipients and then the game was down to the defense to start again. Given the impossibilities, a long ball ended at the foot of the opponents. Given this scheme, JIG had to fight up the rebounds, alone. I think he has a foolproof personality. He held the ball, adjusted his body to retain and worried the central defenders.
Our offensive game began to take shape little by little, first head JIG almost scored after an error by the Saints and Alejandro Bedoya also went close but his shot inside the area was very high. He then JIG broke the mold. Lee set the ball rolling with an impressive opener. A great shot, stunning, sublime an act of spontaneity! 1-0. Since then, the locals were disturbed by the goal and lost all kind of initiative for the rest the half. There appeared to endorse Wallace for the left and carry out their attacks with ball dominated.
Let us make a halt here and talk for a while now Rhys McCabe. For me it is a player with a great future in midfield, that is unquestionable, he has a decent shot from middle and long distance and has fulfilled various roles in the second half of the season. I in recent matches what I followed and still not complete finished good performances in a complete game. His first time was not all good on the defensive, missed the mark by making some mistakes. When he intends to plat a touch shows great intelligence and subsidizing. He knows you highlight the field and make the relay, when a fellow goes, he takes his place. In the second half, Rhys (in line with the general improvement of the team) showed great character and improved marking.
The second goal ended completely the structure of the Saints, started in midfield and was nothing short of Edu who led and defined Aluko, whose shot left without options Mannus. If Sone stay in our home for a while would be great to see him with Naisy.
The third goal is the result of a process of pressure, complicating the clean output of the rival, stalking. It is the result of searching tirelessly. Do not give up, not conformist. If you see the play, Alejandro Bedoya runs from just over half in front of the midfield to pressure the central defender. He does not take away the ball but causes a forced rejection, there Whittaker surprising speed and take the ball. Bedoya gave the ball (more effective in building then in the definition), with a clear vision that pulls a low cross to score another goal 3-0. Another feature of this goal is also to press all possessed the ball when we attacked we all climbed in a group, like a wave. Magnificent. Alejandro ran around the entire match, led some of the counterattack and did a great job in midfield with Edu.
The fourth goal is to recover the ball by Edu in the midfield. I applaud him. The American sees yields to JIG designed to Wallace, as he often does the side look at the area, roll center, which is rejected by Saints defender. Although rejection bounces off a mate. There, Aluko, take the rejection that comes up short, puts Stop, fits, hit Play and the goal is there, simple and brilliant at the same time, a hat-trick. As Tom said in transmission, since joining Aluko made a massive contribution.
By the end, a reflection. Edu grows rapidly, becoming more disciplined in your game, respect the tactical schemes, their work is not as visible as other partners to the general public, but its performances is enormous. Run every ball, is always first when press and mark your opponents. And in particular, he has led several goals to regain the ball and give timely. I think we had to have a little more patience (I also do self-criticism).
Until next season, Regards Hernán