Monday September 10

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.

 Scotlands World Cup campaign, which died a death on Saturday, continues with another home game against Macedonia, and by Wednesday morning, Craig Levein should have been handed his jotters, with Gordon Strachan finally getting the remit to build from the bottom up. Otherwise anybody reading this will have to ask their grandparents what it was like to qualify for a major tournament.
 Thomas Rogne, the crystalline central defender has expressed surprise at the terms on offer in his new contract. his agent has been told he will have to take a wage cut, which seems an unusual way to try to keep your better players and encourage others to stay. Looks like he’ll be away in January. Its not about the terms on offer, more the sort of “take it or leave it” implication behind them.
 Dylan McGeouch, the winger who sustained a broken jaw in the Philadelphia friendly last month hopes to get a full weeks training in. He says he’ll give it a go and seee how he gets on. At least thats what we think he said, it was hard to make out.
 The papers yesterday saw Gordon Waddell of the Sunday Mail become the latest hack to have his laptop nicked. His article on Charles Green and his policy of telling Rangers fans what they what to believe could have been lifted from any Celtic message board, ( and probably was) and whoever stole his laptop should return it immediately, as he now has to pay for his own drinks at the lodge.
To balance things up at The Sunday Mail,  Hugh Keevins managed to have a rant about Celtic losing fans and the crazy high price of SPL tickets in comparison to value for money 3rd division SLF prices…this non article was written to allow Keevins to slag silly Celtic and Rangers fans constantly comparing themselves against each other..looks like even he doesnt listen to himself then!
 Tomorrow and Wednesday sees Lord Nimmo Smith finally get round to the investigation into EBTs at Rangers, dual contracts and basically cheating will be discussed, and if found guilty, the old Rangers, currently in the process of liquidation, could be stripped of titles. There are a hundred legal minefields here, such as the issue of compensation to Scottish clubs, and even European clubs who faced the old Gers when they illegally qualified for UEFA tournaments. If they are to be punished, then a suitable and final outcome for all is required, which should incude, but not exclusively, some or all of the following:
  1.   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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Jimmy Bell, the Rangers bus driver and kitman, should be made to watch endless re-runs of videos entitled “Great Celtic wins over Rangers “
 Then, after agreeing to these, those perpetrators of dark and dastardly deeds will be allowed to hold their heads up in society.
 Well, its worth thinking about anyway.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 years ago

Even before the John Kennedy tragedy I was of the opinion that represntative football should not take prioity over club requirements. Once again we have injuries to players which could have a negative effect on our European campaign. And yet, fans still moan about players not being picked for their National squad, eg Alan Thompson and more recently, Gary Hooper.Have they learned nothing? Until compensation is provided for injuries to players by the SFA and their counterparts, Clubs should refuse to release players.
Finally, I know I’ll be unpopular for stating this but I’ve always thought Tommy Burns, as Vogts’ assistant should have done more to protect John Kennedy: after only 3 games for Celtic’s first team it was far too soon for him to make his International debut against a team of thugs like Romania.

9 years ago

I am on late again lads. Ralph, you are very serious today but then so are the issues. I gave up on Scottish internationals in the 70s after having my belly-full of anti Celtic-players rallies at Hampden even when playing the supposed auld enemy, England, in the then home nations tournament. Could never bring myself to listen to the vitriol again. The team selections were also an absolute farce then too. Compare the amount of times players of the calibre of Jinky, Bobby Murdoch, Big Billy, Bertie etc. played to the appearances of hippos like Grieg, Jardine and other ‘brothers-in-lodge’. Currently, internationals are like crash-victim tests with Celtic players in the least safe cars. I think a note of caution is required regarding Lord Nimmo’s sittings. It is my understanding that they are to determine certain technicalities rather than make decisions or even recommendations. In fact a piece I read described his remit as being so indefinite that there are still mile long gaps in the hedgerows of guilt that could allow unchallenged escape, if you get my verbose drift. What I am saying is that there are underlying indications of another familiar cop-out.


You mad about ETims or just plain mad? Why not buy the t-shirt at