GLF61: GB's thoughts on everything from the World Cup to Derry City....
WORLD CUP TV– I am one of the many who still looks forward to the four yearly extravaganza that is the World Cup, but as I get older I am getting more and more tired of the treatment that the National Networks give to Scottish, Irish and Welsh viewers.
I am not an England fan.Rightly or wrongly I do not support our fellow British side, and would love to watch a World Cup that is given the TV coverage that football fans deserve.
ITV and BBC seemed to be content to throw England at us at every opportunity, even when they weren't playing!Now I know that when we used to qualify for tournaments we used to do the same for Scotland but the English never get to see it!
I would love BBC Scotland and the newly named STV to give us coverage that is aimed at a Scottish audience, rather than just take the easy option of taking the national feed that sometimes made me feel I was watching a foreign TV Channel.
Talking of which,I watched the 3rd/4th place off in an Irish bar in Lanzarote with the match coverage coming from RTE and it was great to hear a commentator concentrate on the game in hand without referring to any English reference points. In fact, there were little Irish reference points.
Hopefully we will be participating in Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010 and we will be spared the English jingoism, but if we aren't I hope our Scottish based channels can replace it!
DERRY CITY– I would like to pay thanks to this club for a couple of things after their recent visit to Fir Park.
Firstly I would like to thank them for putting the fairy tale of Gretna in its place and showing them up for what they are. I also liked their manager's comments about buying success which seemed to hit a raw nerve with the Gretna response in the papers.
I would also like to thank them for one of the finest exhibitions of fans support that I have ever seen. Their supporters filled the Cooper Stand more than 15 minutes before kick off and they never stopped singing until well after the final whistle, including when they were 0-1 down. This was more than can be said for the tiny Gretna support that turned up for their first ever European tie.
Well down to all in the Candy Stripes.
SPL FIXTURES – Why is there a problem with this every year!!How difficult can it be to take a number of criteria into consideration?Apart from the previously highlighted reversing of last season's fixtures,they constantly make it difficult for fans to get to games.Once again St. Mirren seem to be at home at the same time as Rangers,making it a mission over the Kingston Bridge to get to Love St.Ten of the eleven teams travelling to Love St need to cross the Kingston Bridge,Kilmarnock being the only exception apart from Rangers who can't be at home when they play at Love Street!
Why not put a condition in the “computer” that says when Rangers are at home St. Mirren are away,and save us all 30 minutes driving time, and all the planning of different routes to avoid the traffic.
NORTHERN IRELAND – I made the trip to N. Ireland for the Ballymena and Larne games and had a fantastic time.At the two games the fans of the other side couldn't be more generous with access to social clubs etc., making the games more enjoyable.It was a bit bizarre to see both games described in the local papers as “Glamour” friendlies and the game at Larne allegedly attracted a large crowd,which came as a surprise to me!!
Hopefully we will get the chance to get back over next year, although I am not sure if I will be able to convince my wife it will be the dream trip for our Silver Wedding Anniversary!!
REFEREES – not my usual rant about them as I have now accepted that they are all pretty poor and it is not worth getting excited about.But why do the SFA need to concentrate on gimmicks like “Specsavers” sponsorship and adding a number 23 to their kit somewhere.Can they not just concentrate on getting referees that can consistently interpret the laws of the game. This would lead to less frustration for fans, players and coaches.
It may even stop the coaches have a go at each other as well as the 4th official on the side line.
SUMMER ACTIVITY – In the past I have taken time to talk of how American football, yachting, Euro 96 and T in the Park have got me through the summer.Well this year it was cricket and two trips to the Grange in Edinburgh to see the Scottish Saltires in Cheltenham and Gloucester Cup action.
A bit sad I know, but I have an interest in cricket since I was at Primary school.I managed to see Lancashire and Leicestershire in action and thoroughly enjoyed the days. The atmosphere was extremely gentile with supporters of both sides sitting next to each other around the boundary. There was even the chance to have a beer or two as you watched, a Scottish sporting event treating it's customers as adults whatever next.
It should also be noted that this a Scotland side that will be participating in its World Cup next year!
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