GLF73:Geoff's view from the seaside.
MOTHERWELLIf we could have turned some draws into wins.If we hadn't lost to Hibs.If Maggie Thatcher was human.No use wishing on might have beens.We are what we are and that, currently, is a huge improvement on last season.We seem to have a good team ethic and we certainly have a knowledgeable manager at the helm.Scottish football is all talk currently about challenging the Old Firm.It would be great to see it but us diddy teams will consistently drop points to other diddy teams while the Old Firm, nine times out of ten, will go home with three points by fair means or foul.We could quite conceviably drop points to the team in twelfth place while Celtic and Rangers are very unlikely to do so.That applies to all diddies.So don't apply any challenge at the top theories to Motherwell.
It has been great to see such a reliance on youth in the team. When I first started watching Motherwell a young player breaking into the team would be someone in his early twenties.Nowadays we think nothing of a teenager coming in but I'm sure we are amazed at the quality they display and it gives us hope for the future and satisfaction at our youth system.In an ideal world we would develop these players over a few years and then who knows where we would end up but in the real world we are developing them to be cherry-picked by richer clubs than ourselves.That's the way of the world but if we keep that development process in place it should allow us the financial stability to maintain our status as a club.
RANGERSHow nice of them to destroy the good reputation of Scottish fans that Motherwell had achieved in Bucharest.A bit of pepper spraying and someone in the wrong seats (or a banner covering it) and that was all it took to want to rip out seats and bring the game to the brink of abandonment;hey, if the Record can exaggerate in their defence then I can do the same as a case for the prosecution.I don't recall Motherwell fans acting in a similar fashion in Nancy, where we were treated heavy-handedly, or indeed anywhere else.Yet I do recall a riot in Manchester when the telly wouldn't work.I was standing behind a Rangers fan in a shop and he knifed the owner when he was given the wrong change.I wasn't really and that didn't happen but you can see what I'm getting at.This is not the first incident involving Rangers and probably won't be the last.Their antics in Europe do not surprise anyone who has suffered their fans on the road in Scotland.Let's hope UEFA deal with it accordingly.Given Rangers' current financial predicament it would not surprise me to see an escalation of problems in Scotland as they seek to take out their frustrations on everyone else.Let's hope the SPL deal with it accordingly … oh, forget that.News just in, apparently it was those bad English fans with cockney accents wot did it.I would now like to unreservedly apologise to anyone at Rangers that I may have offended with implications earlier in this article.
ENGLISH LEAGUE I wrote about the Old Firm moving to England in the last OSB and expected it to have blown over by now, well it was an International week when 'news' broke for the umpteenth time.Imagine my astonishment a month later to find this issue still being milked and David Moyes even being quoted as backing it.Just look one paragraph above this one and you'll get some idea of the major stumbling block to the Gruesome Twosome moving home.The trouble that would follow them in England and the Firms that would charge over the border would see a return to the hooliganism of the late Eighties.Apparently they would be invited to join in a two-league system and probably in the bottom one initially.This is a desperate measure proposed by Bolton's chairmen in an attempt to milk some mone… sorry, increase interest in the game.So, let me get this straight.The Premiership is the bestest most exciting league in the world yet they want to invite two teams with all their pseudo Irish nonsense to join it.Two teams currently comprising of players who were barely good enough for Championship teams. Hmm.
BLACKPOOLAnd where would my local team sit in that set-up?Given their displays this season on the pitch they would be invited to join the party, heavens, they recently even sat in a play-off position.Taking the size of squad and financial disparity into consideration to have even reached that high in the table is a credit to the manager and players.Like ourselves however they lack the financial muscle or consistency to maintain a challenge.The Jimmy Armfield Stand gets closer to opening.The fact it is taking so long is a good sign that it is being built with a degree of thought and not just flung up in a close season gap.The other stands also took a while to build yet they are covered with rust already, ah that bracing Blackpool sea air.Like many clubs Blackpool held a minute's silence prior to the game around Remembrance Sunday, they also put their poppy embroidered shirts up for auction and added two more Scottish ones, individually signed by Charlie Adam and Stephen Crainey, with money going to Poppyscotland.
MEANWHILE OVER THE BORDERCeltic and their supporters again shouted their disgust at having to have a minutes silence for the war dead.I spoke to a Celtic loving work colleague about this and he was unaware that Falkirk wanted a silence before their game with Celtic.When I told him, his reaction was"What?A minute's silence for the paratroopers?Bugger that."That is what we have to deal with.Seemingly civilised people with enormous chips on their shoulders.They may go on about the 'Celtic way' being applause but it wasn't always so and the only reason it became so was because they habitually disrupted silences, regardless of the reason, with pro IRA sloganeering. Maggie Thatcher and Tony Blair have instilled a new suspicion about wars and the reasons for them but that doesn't give us the right to disrespect ordinary people who are doing their jobs, defending our country and getting injured or dying in the process.Some Celtic fans wear white poppies.Fine.I have a red, a white and even a purple poppy that I wear.But I can stand in silence in memory of those who gave their lives in order that I would have the right to stand in silence.If some Celtic fans can't even do that for a minute then there is something wrong with them. Anyone who watched on Sky would have thought it was a perfectly respected silence.Only the booing, and Peter Lawwell shaking his head during it, gave the game away.It seems there was singing during the silence, yet again it will be deflected as having come from fans outside the ground.Worryingly we'll have this same fiasco again next year. Annoyingly, why would Sky choose to mute the silence?Just who did that benefit?
SPYING FAMILIESWhat an absolutely spiffing idea.The SPL's mystery fans will visit all grounds and draw up detailed reports on ticket booking, club shops, refreshment kiosks, stewarding and the match itself.The club found to be most customer friendly will be pronounced the SPL Family Champions at the end of the season.Now there's a trophy to aim for.I'm glad the SPL are tackling the problems of Scottish football head on and not just sticking their heads in the sand.Religious problems?Falling crowds?Two clubs having a stranglehold on the game?No money? A poor TV deal and coverage?The quality of football on display?Mere trivialities compared to how hot your Bovril is and I applaud the SPL for its cutting edge actions.I can't wait for the report on this, maybe they could rehash the old think tank again and we could have a double header of complete and utter garbage.
Come On Ye Well
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