(1) We’re going to Poland/Ukraine

Big Lee McCulloch has made himself available for selection for Scotland again!  That’s qualification sorted then.

(2) The SFA are incompetent

You’d think someone, somewhere, would have thought to check up on Andrew Driver’s actual eligibility before having a bloody press conference about it. 

The only person coming out of this with any credit is Craig Levein, who at least suggested that there was a possibility he might not meet the specifics of rule… but even then, he had put time and effort into convincing Driver (pictured) to play for Scotland (although now that Driver’s committed himself publicly to Scotland, the English will never pick him… nice one Craig!  Please do the same with Rooney).

The rule in question requires that the player be educated for at least five years in Scotland to qualify for the national team; it would be nice if our Hampden Park overlords had to finish five years at school anywhere before taking charge of our national sport.

(3) I love laughing at Aberdeen

I was in a furniture store the other day and they were selling a woolly white footrest that resembled a sheep, except one with two arses and no head.  “That would be popular in Aberdeen,” I thought to myself.  Unlike Mark McGhee, who was allegedly spat at by woolly-furniture-loving home fans after Aberdeen’s 1-0 home defeat to Division One Raith Rovers (even more ashamedly, the game was a cup replay after Aberdeen escaped Kirkcaldy with a 1-1 draw thanks to a last-minute equaliser).

The last manager in Scottish football that was allegedly gobbed at was Berti Vogts.  Mark McGhee, your days are numbered.

(4) Kris Boyd has unreconstructed attitudes to foreign footballers

As evidenced by these quotes on his admitted elbowing of Hibee Merouane Zemmama:
“It’s a man’s game and you get on with it.”
“If I moaned every time I got hit I’d never be out of the papers.”

And these on Zemmama’s silly claim that Kenny Miller dived for Rangers’ penalty:
“…Zemmama… nine times out of 10 goes down when he’s hardly been touched…”
“…when you look at other challenges on him on Sunday, he fell about like he’d been shot.”

(5) Celtic’s defence could have been picked by Paul Le Guen

I’ll give Mowbray the benefit of the doubt because most of his first-team defence were injured, but blowing two points by conceding two goals in the last quarter of an hour at Pittodrie is soft, and far from championship form.  Martin O’Neill’s team would never have done that; neither would Strachan’s, even if it did contain Gary Caldwell.

The first thing Walter Smith did after taking over from Le Guen was signing David Weir on a free transfer: a masterstroke, especially after Le Guen had just let Stephen Pressley go to Celtic.  Mowbray claims to have missed out on some defensive signings in January but they should have been his number one priority – or he should have kept McManus, or Caldwell, or both.

(6) An Argentinian living in New York has more sensible suggestions to improve Scottish football than most Scottish journalists

Suggestion number one: Have Rangers and Celtic enter the FA Cup.  Why not?  The Welsh are there and it’s been done before (Queen’s Park reached the semi-finals).

Suggestion number two: Actually that was his only suggestion, and it wasn’t a very good one, but it’s still more than I’ve heard from most Scottish journalists.

(7) Goal difference was introduced in season 1971/72…

…to replace goal average as a means of separating clubs level on points.  Admit it, you thought it was way before then, didn’t you?  And I can exclusively reveal it was done to stop Celtic winning Nine in a Row.  Didn’t work, but it did stop Hearts winning the league in 1986 so surely that counts for something?

(8) Highland League supporters think they have a summer

As of the time of writing, 28.4% of respondents to a HighlandLeague.net poll think that the Highland League season should run from March to November with a summer break.  This is the most popular selection, and also the only one of the five options presented to make no sense whatsoever.

27.7% want to stick with August to May; 17% go for the sensible “August to May with a winter break”; 11.9% go with “March to November” (which to me means summer football with your season climaxing when the weather is really, really shit).

However an enlightened 15.1% go for “Other”, which could mean anything from “Let’s not have a Highland League” to “Let’s all fly to Phuket any time of the year and play it there.”  I’m with the 15.1%, and I recommend February.


Photo Credit: Premier Football