Tag Archives: Scottish Football

Queens Park, SFL and a big Scottish Pyramid!

25 Oct

Queens Park surprised many around Scottish football last year, including their own fans, when they made the play-off’s for promotion. Ultimately, that ended in dismal defeat – 6-2 on aggregate at the hands of Arbroath. For a brief moment, the Glaswegian amateurs were close to the heights of the 2nd Division.

This season, like Arbroath who gatecrashed the dream last season, Queens Park find themselves knocked out the cup to Junior opposition. Bo’ness United, East Super League champions, were the victors over Scotland’s oldest club. A 2-1 victory was recorded on the day, a major blow for the fans, but one that may have a wider effect on the club.

A top heavy backroom structure, comparable to that of many SPL clubs, has been the target of criticism from some fans on the messgae boards.

Although, in my opinion, this is another example of how the gap in Scottish football is closing between the top Junior outfits and the SFL. Last season it was Irvine Meadow , knocking Arbroath out, and then going to Easter Road in the 4th round and giving a Hibs first 11 a good game. Before that Linlithgow Rose reaching the 4th round, losing to the eventual finalists; Queen of the South.

For years we’ve been calling for a more competitive SPL, restructuring and introducing more teams. Well, why not look at this at the bottom too. Instead of the SFL division Three being the basement division, where it is okay for teams to stagnate and remain SFL clubs without any real merit, look at the possibility of a pyramid structure with the Junior divisions. Creating a much more competitive brand of football at the bottom.

Terracing talk maybe, but is it so far off the mark? I’m far from a specialist of the SFL, so it’ll be interesting to hear the opinions of those who are.

Karma for Broono

20 Sep

Scott Brown is following in Neil Lennon’s footsteps. He’s making himself a very hard man to like.

And god knows, I’ve tried. I defended him to the hilt a few weeks ago when someone likened his ability to that of Lee McCulloch, which I thought was extremely unfair as in my opinion Brown is a much superior player.

But it’s always been at the back of my mind that he really is very easy to dislike. Ever since I first saw this video, I’ve had my doubts.

Not that anyone expected insightful, intelligent content but he didn’t do himself any favours there did he?

I’ve seen Scott Brown three times this year. Albeit, only once was he playing for a side that I was supporting. Even when he pulled on the dark blue of Scotland I couldn’t support him. And that shouldn’t be the case. Obviously that sounds like I’m biased, but that’s not the case. I’m perfectly able to appreciate and give credit where it’s due.

He’s got the attitude of a well established junior player, trapped in a Premier League player’s (and captain) body. Two of the three times I’ve seen him play he’s ended up injured. And both times it was entirely his fault. Against Lyon in the 2-2 draw at this years Emirates Cup, a friendly showcase of some of European football’s elite (see where this starts to go wrong?), Brown lashed out at a Lyon player, failing to achieve anything other than pulling up with an injury. And being substituted. The second time was yesterday, after being outfoxed by Kilmarnock’s left back a frustrated Brown lashed out. The Celtic captain threw a leg and tried to stamp his opponent. Once again, he failed to damage his opponent and ended up injuring himself. An injury which merited his withdrawal at the half-time interval.

This actually worked well for his team, who looked much more fluid and able without his influence on the midfield. They looked able to pass freely and play the ball to the front men, unlike in the first half.

And, if you believe paper talk, Rafa Benitez wants to part with £6m to bring him to Inter Milan. I hope Celtic bite his hand off if they’re offered anything like that.

When the immovable object met the…..immovable object?

20 Sep

Hands up who expected a 0-0 draw.

When we think about it, it’s not as astonishing as Rangers fans across Facebook and Twitter tonight would have you believe. Instead a Manchester United team with four out-and-out forward minded players and a Rangers team with three, failed to break each other down. Not as shocking as it may seem on the surface, class difference not withstanding.

Manchester United, who have been playing defensive football for many years in various guises, were matched at their game by Fergie’s old assistant. They, to borrow a phrase, were Waltered. Waltered; Past Participle of Walter; 1. To (unexpectedly) drop  points to a well organised, but negative performance. Also known as Wattied.

A good point in Europe for the Scottish Champions, and points dropped for Manchester United, simply because of the gulf in individual class this has to be considered the case. No doubts about that.

So far this year we have seen Celtic, Motherwell, Hibernian and Scotland all look disappointing on the biggest of stages this season, maybe we should treat Walter Smith with a bit more respect than many, me included, do. With his Rangers side permanently accused of negative football and defensive tactics, maybe we should open our eyes a bit wider and see that it’s the rest of Scottish football who are being negative, yet in the past 2-3 seasons have been the most consistent at home and abroad.

It would be fair though, to doubt the system that has become ingrained into Scottish football. The whole game is becoming more European in style, and on the whole this years horrific World Cup proved that. Even the inimitable Brazil have chosen to imitate, in their own fashion of course. Though here in Scotland we are still refusing to come around to this way of thinking, maybe in the same way we still think it acceptable to deep fry confectionery or drink Tennents lager. We know it’s not enjoyable but we persevere because we’ll be damned if anyone else gets to know that. It might not be pretty, but it’s effective.