On the face of it, the post of international manager has to be the easiest job in football. all you have to do is to pick the finest players of your generation, tell them to do what they are good at, indeed why you picked them, and send them out in front of a partisan support to proudly represent their nation in a true corinthian spirit.
Unless your name is Craig Levein. Then what you do is pick a handful of journeymen from non descript English sides and tell them to go out and not lose. Even when the opposition are plainly inept and there just for a day out. Afterwards, when the partisan and long suffering support have vocally expressed their distaste, you can point out that it is important not to lose, and reassure them that you know what you are doing, even though its perfectly clear to all watching that you haven’t got a clue.
I could spend the rest of this blurb moaning about Levein, but it would be difficult to say anything that hasn’t already been said in front of televisions, or in countless bars, or on buses and cars leaving Hampden on Saturday. Its best summed up by Leveins comment that there are several players in the Scotland set up who are ahead of Kris Commons in the pecking order. Sure, I might be biased, but Commons has the ability to score and create goals, something sadly lacking in the Scotland side which drew embarrassingly with Serbia on Saturday. Levein did throw Jordan Rhodes and James Forrest into the fray, but too late. Forrest did well once he’d stopped waving his arms about, but all in all it was another woeful display from Scotland.
International football has taken its toll on Celtic again, with Georgios Samaras making a brief appearance for Greece before damaging ligaments in his arm and now he faces a month or so on the sidelines. Samaras is an important asset in european football, as he provides an outlet when the team are under pressure, and without that avenue of respite, there is a tendency to hoof the ball out of the danger zone to allow the opposition a chance to retain possession and keep the pressure on. This is particularly outrageous as Samaras went to Greece with a back injury and shouldn’t have played at all.
Adam Matthews also picked up a knock playing for Wales, and there has to be a case for buying a pad of sick notes and filling them in ourselves every time these games come around.
- Ibrox Stadium, the scene of these crimes, should be demolished, and in its place a memorial erected to those who perished , or were displaced during the great hunger in Ireland during the nineteenth century. After all, judging by the little ditties heard from those who frequented the stadium when it was home to Rangers indicate that the holocaust was an event that occupied their minds.
The owners and management involved in this scandal should face trial for their misdeeds. If deemed guilty, they should be sent to prison. It could however, be the start of a new era of international relations, with say, Turkey or Iran, and an offer to exchange prisoners for the period of their incarceration should be considered.
The players and staff who benefitted from these underhand payments should, of course, be made to pay back that which they illegally pocketed. Then the country could builld some hospitals and schools, and perhaps help those less fortunate among society.
Any titles or trophies won in this dark period should be returned, and along with the medals won, should be melted down to provide a nice big cross to place at the centre of the memorial mentioned in (i) above.
Jimmy Bell, the Rangers bus driver and kitman, should be made to watch endless re-runs of videos entitled “Great Celtic wins over Rangers “