Season 2017-18

Season Diary

Aug 8th 2017... JJ was the manager back in 2008 when we last won our opening fixture (3-0 Hamilton, thanks Dillinger!), so we shouldn’t really be surprised that we came away with nothing this time around, even with another JJ in the mix. For me it’s a formation problem, Lee has a vision of what he wants but with Power’s fitness below par and Dicker still injured we have no real support for Frizzell in there to play at his best. We look infinitely better without the spare man in the middle and Erwin up front complementing Boyd. Lee McCulloch has made too many good signings to single them out, and we kept hold of our best players from last year, so I’m confident that despite the sluggish start we will improve when the team has time to gel properly. Well done to the “Trust In Killie” lads who played in the Legends match at the Open Day on Sunday past; Hooky’s Heroes beat Monty’s Marvels 4-2 and everyone seemed to enjoy the return of the popular fixture.

Aug 15th 2017... I think we can officially say we’ve not had the best start to the season, and we face the strongest team in the league again next week, not one I am looking forward to. The knives are out for the front line, the midfield, the defence, the management, hell even the pitch is getting it, such is the ire of the of our fans at recent results. Sadly, I would have to agree with them all…being this bad is a collective effort…and we’re a shamble at times. We need to find a formation and preferred starting line-up as consistency is key, but there are a few positions that Lee is struggling to fill and that is playing havoc with our game plan and rendering the good individuals we have ineffective as a unit. In short, it’ll get worse before it gets better, it’s not pretty but we have to try and persevere. I certainly don’t have all the answers; but I’d start with Erwin up front and Boyd used as an impact sub; Thomas and Jones on the wings with Wilson back as a defensive midfielder until Dicker is fit. Frizzell will do better with Wilson in there beside or behind him which would leave McKenzie spare to support the front man. Defence is a real nightmare but I think Taylor can hold his own in there with more support. Greer has been a steadying influence but Broadfoot has had a nightmare so far so and is suspended so we need to look elsewhere for someone to partner Greer, Higgins? O’Donnell needs to shape up or ship out, we can’t continue using players out of position to cover. I’m happy with Jamie Mac or Bell. We can’t keep changing the manager, being “inexperienced” never hindered Shiels, Williamson or indeed Waddell. The pitch is too narrow and too dry, but we’re stuck with it for now. Everyone’s an expert eh! Tell us your opinions on the Killie Kickback forums.

Aug 22nd 2017... Well if nothing else we are consistent, that’s another loss under the belt and our woeful home record continues. That said, it wasn’t as bad a defeat as many anticipated and other than the goals we lost at the end of either half, we looked pretty organised and going into the last few minutes could well have sneaked a draw. O’Donnell certainly shaped up and probably had his best game for us so far, and Wilson (the new Fowler?) just gets on with it no matter where he is asked to play. There is going to be a lot of expectation heaped on Dicker and Kiltie when they return, we should really try and start to put some points on the board before then, starting this Saturday against the Accies. Support is crucial, the low turnout against the shell suits was disappointing, let’s rally this week and get the season kicked off properly.

Aug 29th 2017... So close, but yet so far, I honestly don’t think we could buy a win at the moment! All those home games in a row did us no favours and won’t make things easier for us later in the season. One point out of a possible twelve in the league is dreadful form any way you look at it, but it is only one less point than we had last year so there is a long way to go yet. I think the team after Boomer was substituted is the strongest looking I have seen to date, and with Dicker in there for Smith and Kiltie in the mix I still have some semblance of hope going forward. I hate singling players out because we all make mistakes, but what was a player of Smith’s experience doing making that challenge? It cost us the three points, not good enough, I don’t think in our situation this international break will be a good thing, extra training required!

Sept 5th 2017... So, the transfer window has now officially slammed shut, although to be technical for us it is still slightly ajar because we are only in the market for freebies. The midfield maestro we were all hoping for never materialised and surprisingly there were no exits, even loans, despite us having a rather large squad. That is not to say that we did not strengthen the ‘team’ with Scott McClymont from STV joining the back-room staff as our new marketing and media guru. If anyone needs good marketing and media right now it is us! Scott has always been a good guy to deal with and I hope that he gets all the backing he needs to be successful in his new role. Belated congratulations as well to Allen Kyle on being appointed as our new Supporter Liaison Officer, his predecessor had a tough time of it but Allen is his own man and fortunately won’t have to contend with the same kind of nonsense.

Sept 12th 2017... To say the natives are getting restless would be an understatement, the old internet is ringing out for Lee McCulloch’s head as the bad results continue. This won’t be popular but I say that it is still too early to press the panic button. Maybe after the Dundee and Ross County games I’ll reconsider! One thing is certain though, there are a lot of so-called professionals who need a right good kick up the arse, and a lesson on what it means to play for the mighty Kilmarnock FC. The club as a whole lacks leadership…it’s time to bring in Davie Mackinnon or someone of that ilk to help us steady the ship. The current squad should have been at the Stars of ’97 lunch on Sunday and had the chance to speak to ex-players who would have run through brick walls for us. You can bet if Monty had been on the piano it would have been Paper Roses all the way.

Sept 19th 2017... Irony is a cruel mistress as we win what can probably deemed our best point of the season and yet still slipped to the bottom of the league. No one, including me at my most optimistic (doesn't happen often), honestly thought that we had any chance of taking points from the lamb lovers who are by far and away the second-best team in the league at the moment. Fortunately, the team didn't get that memo and battled hard to bring a point back to Ayrshire. This is the kind of grit and determination that we will have to show more often to keep up with the pick and get us back off the bottom of the table. Kudos of course to each and every Killie fan who made the trip north out of hope and faith rather than anything else, dropping a place was a bitter pill to swallow but form is only temporary and our class will eventually shine through.

Sept 26th 2017... This weekend saw another home game for Killie but sadly still no sign of our first league win. We got away to the worst possible start against Dundee and although we salvaged a point, it failed to put a smile on the faces of our beleaguered fans. The pressure is mounting on manager Lee McCulloch and if we fail to beat Ross County this week the board have a decision to make. The fixture scheduling sees us with five away games in a row after County and it really is difficult to see where the points are going to come from. It's never a healthy situation when a club has to continually change managers in a desperate attempt to find some long-term stability but that has been the "Killie way" in recent years. I genuinely hope McCulloch turns things around but the clock is ticking.

Oct 3rd 2017... It has been an eventful week in Kilmarnock with sad events dominating the news. The untimely passing of club photographer and all-round nice guy Sandy Ferguson was a huge blow to our community and my condolences go to his family and many friends, of whom I was honoured to be one; he will be a huge loss to everyone. Saturday’s match compounded the misery with a pedestrian performance and a deserved loss which prompted the departure of Lee McCulloch and Peter Leven by “mutual consent”. Both were decent blokes, but more amiable than effective, and their fate was ultimately decided by poor results. There can be no doubt that the appointment of a new boss and putting some sort of management structure in place will be crucial to our club and its top-level survival…we need leadership, fast. There have been a raft of applicants already but some of the names being mentioned are way off base, Billy Bowie has confirmed that we want someone with both experience and tactical knowledge and if we have to pay compensation then we will. One glimmer of light came from FC Kilmarnock Ladies who won their league and promotion with four matches to go, well done to everyone involved!

Oct 10th 2017... It is crunch time at Rugby Park with more potential managers getting interviewed than turn up on a Saturday these days. The board are quite right to be going through a formal vetting process because internal promotion only tends to work when the outgoing manager was successful and we've not had that for a wee while. The usual suspects have all thrown their hats in the ring and credit to board for being proactive and approaching some top names who they thought might be a good fit. The bookies are quoting all and sundry so we ran a poll on Killie Kickback and social media to see who the fans fancy among the front runners. Nearly 900 fans voted and poor old Gus only got one vote so I don’t see him being a popular appointment he's still in a job anyway. Next up was Jim McIntyre with 6.89% of the vote, Gary Holt on 8.36% and big Mixu trailed in second favourite with 13.67%. Currits seems more popular as an assistant boss, but we don't pick them, the new manager will; I don't think fans want to see Holt get the job just now as we are in such a precarious position. The most popular by a country mile was surprise contender Steve Clarke on 70.9%, I’m happy with the fact we’re even talking to someone of his calibre! Of course by the time you read this we may know already. One thing is for sure, whoever gets the nod we will have to back them 100%.

Oct 17th 2017... Ask and ye shall receive eh! Target identified, pursued and persuaded to sign on the dotted line for Ayrshire’s finest. Big Marvin is not the only bloke in Kilmarnock who was happy as Larry this weekend! What a coup this is for Killie, Steve Clarke must surely be the most qualified manager we’ve ever appointed, certainly in my lifetime. Kudos to Messrs Bowie and Kiltie for pulling this off, and still within our budget they said at the press conference on Monday. The highlight for me though was the sea of smiling faces in the pub in Glasgow on Saturday, and that was before we gave Thistle a football lesson and eased off the bottom of the table. There were no disappointments on the park but Jones and Frizzell were exceptional, what about that goal! Clearly the wee man is revelling in being sponsored by Hippo and myself this year. Yes, I am trying to be funny, but there is no emoji available.

Oct 24th 2017... No game this week due to Glasgow's newest team getting papped out the League Cup by Motherwell, but we do take a trip to the big house on Wednesday. There has already been some outrageous talk about Steve Clarke being the best Killie manager ever, on paper, and I would like to ask that we give the guy some breathing space and a chance to do his thing. It is a long time until the transfer window so Steve will have to work with the same players that McCulloch had at his disposal, and by their own admission they let him down badly. Lee’s a really nice guy and I’m sure he’ll do well in the future but I think the Killie job came to him too early, brought about by the sharp exit by his predecessor. The results of the next two matches are not hugely important and as long as we show improvement and a willingness to compete I will be happy. It's going to take some real determination and hard work to get any kind of result in Glasgow but I'm sure the new management team will have instilled some fire in the player's bellies.

Oct 31st 2017... There were no sub-standard performances in week 13 of the season, which was unlucky for some but certainly not Ayrshire's finest. We asked for grit and graft in Glasgow last week and that’s what the players delivered, in spades. The subway loyal were probably half way home on Wednesday when the referee started making up his own rules and gave the home side a penalty. No problem for the mighty; save the penalty, sweep up the park and score. Cue scenes in the away end, the likes of which we have not witnessed since DVT at Hampden. Next up was pure gold from Jordan Jones at shell suit city on the Saturday. He started the move, he finished the move...he’s apparently indestructible! In the last three matches, we have kept our shape, looked organised and exuded a confidence that saw us exit Glasgow undefeated. Fingers crossed the home form hoodoo is put to rest soon. There will still be a few bumps in the road ahead but if we stand with Steve Clarke I’m sure we will see real progress.

Nov 7th 2017... The Rugby Park hoodoo still haunts us as we threw everything including the kitchen sink at the Hibees and yet still lost 3-0. The fans appreciated the effort and got right behind the team which was in turn lauded by the players who promised revenge on the other Edinburgh team...and so it came to pass. We can now boast of a 100% win record at Murrayfield with Boomer doing once again what Boomer does (113 and counting) and the Mighty Atom Frizzell coming off the bench to hit a sublime winner for the team that just doesn’t give up any more. The change in attitude alone is fantastic to see and I can’t wait to see what else Clarke and Dyer have in their locker given time. It’s ironic we got more points from the Edinburgh two than Glasgow’s twisted sisters, but when that home hoodoo is finally busted, someone is getting a tanking! Massive congratulations again to FC Kilmarnock Ladies who lifter their league winners trophy on Sunday, Davie Howie really has things on that front going in the right direction as well.

Nov 14th 2017... They don’t like us much in Dundee, this we know from previous encounters with the Tayside constabulary and over officious stewards at both Tannadice Street dumps. In the name of the Good Lord Wullie would you please build a decent stadium between you, if the Milan teams can do it so can you. This Saturday at Dens they are putting us in a stand that was built when Moses was a boy and charging us £24 for the privilege, yet we offer far better views and facilities and charge them £4 less! Now it is all very well saying that we should charge them the same £24, but the league doesn’t allow us to do that without charging our own fans more as well. It would also make us as guilty as Dundee in pricing people out of the game, it’s the fans not the clubs who suffer, twenty quid is indeed plenty. The SPFL should really do something about pricing policy and bring in some sort of standardisation. How about each club sets its own walk up price and that’s what their fans get charged wherever they go? Finally, well done to Jordan Jones on his international debut, sadly he won’t be going to the World Cup but it was great to see him thanking Killie on his social media for giving him the opportunity to shine…like gold maybe?



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