GLF 60: Ricky looks back over the season, the world cup, UEFA, FIFA and dreads the close season.
Ach well, nearly but not quite.Though unlike some, I don't see it as a major failure we haven't made the Top Six.Lot of mitigating factors this season, but the thing that concerns me is that we won't get the opportunity to have this squad together for a second successive season, which would see us progress.
Despite what was, I think, the best performance we have given at Greyskull in almost a decade, we lost again but even had we won it would have been somewhat academic.
Not for the want of trying though, some of the football we played there was superb and bar an inspired performance from a normally flaky goalkeeper with a dodgy Baywatch haircut, we'd have won.Not making the Top Six some will point to lost points in the last minute, which has happened a few times this season.On the flip side though, we have gained a good few points late on so it more or less has balanced itself out in that respect.I put it down to having a severe run of injuries and suspensions at all the wrong times, and when that began to clear up, around February, we embarked on a good, unbeaten run.Unfortunately for us, the sheepymehs also went on a bit of a run themselves and have just nicked us to the place we sought for so long.
They see it as a major achievement, laughable given they were better off last season.For our resources, and I know that it has been well documented, we've done well.Let's be honest, budget wise compared with those above us, we are about were we should be or thereabouts.With poorer management it could have been us where the Luvvies are.
For next season we are now looking at perhaps having to replace 50 % of our defence.Still time to keep these guys, but it looks like Hammy could be on his way with the Kaiser still not secured.I'd applaud them if they go, they have given us fantastic service, but I'd dearly love them to stay, we all would.Rumour has it Southampton are favourites for Hammell, though I can't imagine bench football for a team struggling to make it into the upper reaches of the Championship is a step up for him.If we could keep the squad together, adding to it with one or two others, add to that a run free of injuries, well, I'm certain we'd be Top Six or perhaps better.I've had the pleasure of seeing the Reserves a couple of times this season, and the Under 19's as well.Proof we have one of the best, if not the best, set ups of any club in the country.There are bags of talent coming through, but they'll need to be bolstered by the current main squad with additions.
50% of the defence, in saying that, Stretch ain't definite yet but he looks certain to sign on the dotted line.Talk of Skippy going is premature, though I fear he'll be off down South in twelve months time or so.Alan McCormack is one I wish we could secure; I know he is off back down South but if Preston don't make it through the play-offs that could be the trigger for him to stay.The season gone has had its disappointments, its high points, and pride in the fact we have supported our team whilst others would have deserted them easily.Look at the way we didn't leave when losing a late goal in the CIS Semi, then last week at Greyskull.Be proud of yourselves, remember why you follow Motherwell.Not to jump on the back of players who aren't having the best of times, not to chant the ridiculous crap other “fans ” are, because you are a true fan who loves his team.
Scotsport's fan phone-in thing is a piece of nonsense.In fact, the whole programme is just amateurish and poorly thought out.Time for a complete revamp folks, before you find yourselves broadcasting to yourselves, really.
Have to congratulate FIFA on their bottling of the Huns in Europe recently.They have decided it's a “local ” issue, which has been “ tolerated ” in Scotland for decades.It's NOT been tolerated, simply brushed aside by those in authority for reasons of their own convenience.UEFA have now appealed the decision, it's simply the case that it's bigotry, it's there in true Technicolor every time that stadium hosts a football match.The silence at Greyskull was deafening, and had it not been for the Motherwell support you would have thought the place was completely empty.It was as clear an indication that it's rife as you'll ever get.Normally, you get plenty of chanting and singing from their “fans ”, with maybe one song in, oh, 35 actually mentioning the name of the team they claim to support.And of the rest, maybe another one has something remotely resembling football within its lyrics.
It was laughable when the words of a football song were put up on the screens during the game and were completely ignored.If FIFA, UEFA or any other folk wanted confirmation, the silence was it.There were one or two really other sad sights, none more than the woman who insisted her four-year-old daughter waved a Red Hand of Ulster flag at the Motherwell support.Now, I know the flag is a legal flag and is in itself not illegal, but to have your kid wave it with the sole intent of winding up others is irresponsible.They were Scottish, they claim to be Rangers fans, but decided to drag unrelated issues into it.No wonder this country is tearing itself apart with this nonsense.Have to say though; their “ brothers ” across the City aren't any better.Scottish teams play in Scottish football but two of them don't seem to want any part of it, both should go where they belong.Rangers to play in Belfast, Celtic, well, enjoy Dublin.But in the meantime, punish them were it hurts.Close the stadiums.
Manager of the Year has unsurprisingly shown the writers of this country to have no imagination whatsoever.Strachan gets the title with the best squad in the country undeservedly winning one cup and taking the title after the opposition self-destructed.On the other hand, and I am no fan of Jovial Jim, I would have given the award to greetin-faced Jeffries for what he has done.Kilmarnock have gone from relegation favourites to perhaps just missing out on a European slot this season, that after having lost their key striker half-way though the season.The winner, though, has had vast more sums thrown his way and been able to call on a squad way superior in size and talent than the rest of the country.Wonder if they'd dared have given it to our Tel had justice been done and we'd made the CIS Final.
With the World Cup just a few short weeks away now, I've got an interest in how Tunisia and Australia will do.Skippy, I hope, gets a call up to the squad and gets to play as our first representative since T.C. 12 years ago.I've friends in Tunisia, so I'm keen to see them do well.The Tunisians are football daft, with a talented side though they do have a Hun in their midst who is over-rated to say the least.Long as Engurlund are on their way home early, sorry Tel, after giving us all a good laugh, it'll have been a good World Cup for me!
Enjoy your Summer.And bring on the Friendlies; I hate this time of the year.Footie on the telly just ain't the same……….though it'll do for now!
Believe – It's the ONLY way
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