GLF73: Ricky is more than pleased with the season's start
Doubt anyone could have foreseen just how good a start to the season we'd have had given the events of the Summer,but we sit proudly in the top half of the table pushing not just for the Top Six, but the top three.It's a wide-open league this season, and we're right in there.
As things stand, we are unbeaten away from home.One win in six I know, but five draws including going to places like Parkhead, Tannadice and Pittodrie ain't to be sniffed at.At times, some of the play has been outstanding but, as with a young side, at others disjointed.But one thing you can't take away from the side is the enthusiasm and constant desire to do better.This has been installed by a manager who actually knows what he's doing and wants the team to play in a manner which is attractive to watch.One or two results apart, namely in the League Cup (now known as the Diddy Cup seeing as we're no longer in it) and Hibs at home, we've had a fantastic time of it.
Come January, as Gannon has already acknowledged, we will strengthen.A young squad, with the sprinkling of experience we have, won't cope with the rest of the season should we be hit with injuries.Suspensions shouldn't really be an issue; currently the discipline of the team is second to none in the SPL.Motherwell have played everyone once now, and in eleven games have had just 11 yellow cards, four of them on the opening day at St Johnstone.That's then 7 yellows in 10 games, tremendous stuff.And good discipline breeds other benefits; it enables you to have your strongest team available at all times (barring injuries).As for injuries, it's hit us a bit harder this year than recently as we've missed two outstanding players for big chunks already.
Shaun Hutchinson, who has been an absolute revelation in the heart of defence , and Paul Slane, a real handful up front and who will be like having bought a new player when he returns.I've been impressed greatly with the way we've rarely let ourselves curl up into a ball and accept defeat.At Paisley in the League Cup we had a terrible night, didn't play well, but no-one hid either, they still kept going right to the end.That attitude, and the other aspects of our game, I feel will definitely see us stay up there at the end of the season.Ever since we annihilated Flamurtari there's been something exciting about going to the game.And we will get better.
Annoyingly, though, you still get folk abusing the team and certain players before the game has barely got under way.At Hamilton recently, some fans were clearly heard to hurl abuse with the game barely ten minutes old!Surely anyone can see just how much the players benefit from good, strong vocal backing.They will keep trying, they'll run their guts off for you, give them the credit and support needed.Young players will be inconsistent at times, things won't come off.And I know that folk will think they don't need to be told to keep the head when things don't go right.All I'd say is think of yourself.What kind of "encouragement" do you think would help you if you made a mistake?
The revelation that Rangers are in deepest mire brought a smile to many peoples faces recently.Aye, sometimes it's not nice to smile at the misfortune of others, but given their historical ignorance of any problems of others, their greed and disrespect for the rest of Scottish football, then why should anyone feel anything other than "serves you right"?The EPL this very week told them what the rest of us already knew; they are not wanted or needed in England.It's bad enough that their bigotry and bile is paraded up here with mere lip service given to it by the authorities.Football in England does not need an additional aspect of anti-football.They are now being run by the Bank and whether they admit it or not, it's there for all to see.It has been really for a year and a half, hardly a signing made and money spent on an ageing, talentless squad.
Huge debts the like of which would sink most other clubs.Had the Banking crisis not happened then it's unlikely I feel they would be getting squeezed the way there are.Banks are now having to be accountable, and they really should be forcing Rangers to be accountable themselves.And, undeniably, it's making Scottish Football a much more even field to play on after so many years of the gap being so massive.Both Celtic and Rangers blame the rest of Scottish Football for their European demise. Though with Celtic it's clearly down to bad management given they have had money available.They take 80% of TV money between the two of them.The rest of us have to feed on virtually nothing, yet we compete far beyond what could be expected on paper.There is little in the way of sympathy, and you have to also laugh at the arrogance of the Rangers support.They published a noticed directed at Lloyds Bank, saying that Rangers fans would pull out of banking with them as if it was meant to make the Bank worry.Bit like you or I going into Asda on our own and saying we're shopping elsewhere, expecting the supermarket giant to crumble overnight.
Watching yet another embarrassing Scotland performance you wonder why on earth George Burley was ever appointed.A Wales side, average age 22, made a strong-looking Scotland team look extremely ordinary and if it had been double the 3-0 half-time scoreline, few could've complained.That, coupled with a dismal World Cup qualifying campaign, asks questions of all aspects of Scottish International football.And that clearly includes the hierarchy.
Gordon Smith has, in his time, seen fit to appoint the likes of Steven Pressley to a top coaching role - a man who couldn't even coach his own hair to look half-decent.Smith himself should go, a complete clear-out of him and his cronies, and let's give Scotland a freshness it needs to at the very least have a chance of making the next European Championships.Either that, or the only way Scotland will ever qualify for a major event in the future will be if they decide to do way with qualifying and just include us all.Even then we'd probably fail to take part, incorrectly filling out the application form and being disqualified…..
Busy, important Christmas and New Year coming up.Give Motherwell the support they deserve, and enjoy the rewards.
Forever 'Well,Ricky Mullen
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