GLF61:Geoff casts his eye far and wide from the seaside.
MOTHERWELLI heard a great quote recently, “a pessimist is an optimist with experience”.Never has a phrase been more apt for those of us who have followed Motherwell for years.All that youthful desire and urge, even worse if based on initial relative success, followed by the eventual resignation that, frankly, survival with occasional glory is our place in Scottish football.So it seems again this year.After a bad start we have picked up wins against Thistle and Falkirk but our problems remain obvious.Every summer we have the same issues due to our finances.We know which areas of the team need strengthening but we can't afford to do so, or we wait until the very last minute of the transfer window being open.Our squad will always be slim, we have to accept that, and if we can't move quickly in the transfer market then we will always take time to gel at the start of each season.Added to that we had a new manager in place so the early defeats brought the pessimists and knee-jerk reactionists to the fore.Yes, the football on display was appalling but let's give it time before we start calling for Mo's head on a plate.
BLACKPOOLThe arrival of Latvian millionaire Valery Belekon was supposed to herald a new era at Blackpool.He promised £5million pounds over four years and vowed that Blackpool would be in the Premiership in five years.Before the season began Pool were unable to offer club captain Peter Clarke enough reassurances that the revolution was coming and he left to join Stevie Hammell at Southend, even though Blackpool had vowed to match Southend's wage offer.Fans awaited cash being splashed but we have seen the usual evidence of only loanees and out of contract arrivals.This allied with a dismal start (was I bad in a previous life?) has even seen people question whether Belekon is involved with the Oystons as a sleeping partner in some kind of tax dodge. The other person involved in trying to buy into the club has been refused access to the club accounts and has claimed that Belekon's name has not been registered at Company house as a partner in Blackpool.All very suspicious.Meanwhile the rise of the Burberry clad hooligan element continues apace with problems last season and this against Nottingham Forest and much more visible policing at Bloomfield Road.This impacts on decent fans like myself that have great difficulty getting to the front of the queue for a half time pint.
KEITH LASLEYDespite Keith's requests to Blackpool after his loan spell he found himself unwanted at the club.This surprised me as, when not injured, he proved himself to be a real find with his willingness to look for the ball, his tackling and his passing which generally tended to find his man.All the qualities we have already seen with his return to Fir Park as he has busied himself doing the hard graft in midfield.We as a team have benefited from what he has learned in England and can only hope that Brian Kerr can learn from Keith and benefit too.
PROGRAMMEFor all those who are critical of Motherwell's programme can I just say two things.1)If you have suggestions as to how to improve it or ideas for articles then feel free to write to the editor.2)I give you Hibs programme in defence.Granted there were minimal adverts and it only cost £1 but it looked cheap and nasty.The editorial comment saying that they have responded to criticism and increased the number of pages also shocked me !It had 16 pages, how many did it have before then ?
JADE GOODYNot a name normally associated with football fanzines but I couldn't let the story about her romp with a ‘Scots Soccer Ace' just lie.Faced with that headline I would normally just ignore the rags that masquerade as newspapers but closer inspection revealed the ‘ soccer ace ' to be none other than Blackpool's Keigan Parker who had chosen to prostitute himself in the summer by kissing and telling of his brief flurry with Jade.I don't know if I was more horrified that he kissed and told or that the object (never a more apt word) of his affection was the said Ms Goody.Still, a t least he managed to find the target twice, although it's hardly a difficult one to miss.
RANGERSWith their loan signings of Lee Martin and Phil Bardsley can we now officially call them a nursery club for Manure?On a more serious note does this show us how far Scottish football has fallen behind the English game that one of our biggest teams can no longer bring through their own youngsters and has not resorted to the usual raid on fellow Scottish teams to bolster their ranks.
OLD FIRM AND CUP DRAWSReading back through old GLF's I came across ( careful ) I found an old article on the luck of the Old Firm in managing to avoid each other in Cup semi final draws.It's funny how times have changed especially nowadays when cup draws are more likely to be carried out in front of the cameras and not just announced by the SFA after being drawn behind closed doors.To reiterate the facts for those just joining us and update for those interested - Between 1960 and 1990 in the Scottish Cup the Old Firm drew each other twice in early rounds but in twelve potential semi-final meetings they avoided each other completely!From fourteen potential League Cup Old Firm semi-finals we got two!Compare that since then with the glare of the cameras around.A Cup Third Round draw, six Quarter-Final matches and six Semi-Final's from a potential eleven.In that time we have had only three Old Firm Cup finals.Surely a modern day miracle.
Come On Ye Well
Up The Pool
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