GLF77: Graham wraps up his travels from 2010 in downbeat mode.
The Conclusion Of My Football Year
By the time we got to November and December I was beginning to get a bit fed up of the game, as I mentioned in the last edition of GLF. This meant I couldn’t be bothered making the journey up the A9 to Inverness instead deciding to head to Broadwood to see Clyde take on East Stirling.
This was the basement two in the division, and the first thing that frightened those around me was the size of some of the ‘Shire players. A couple of them made me look svelte!
I think I have mentioned before that watching Clyde in the 21st Century is a sad state of affairs as someone who can remember the side of the 70s and 80s we used to struggle to play against.
Things appear to be in a mess with Clyde, they are now talking about moving from Cumbernauld but with no plan where they are likely to move to! They already appear to have lost the Rutherglen support without gaining any real support in Cumbernauld.
Could this be the end of one of the great names of the Scottish football??
In the next eight weeks the weather took over and I only managed to take in six Motherwell games as football almost shut down. Although we did start November really well with an emphatic 4-0 win over St Johnstone and moved into 3rd and looked on hot form – but we all know now what happened next!
We travelled to one of our bogey grounds the following Saturday when we travelled to Easter Road to take on a beleaguered Hibs side who had struggled under new boss Colin Calderwood. Despite taking the lead we fell to one of our bogey players, if such a tag exists! Derek Riordan scored two and we handed Hibs three points. The following Saturday we were at Paisley for another awful game that we were lucky to take a point from.
People forget these two awful games were played out under the legendary management team of Brown and Knox, who had bailed out before we managed to play our next game in mid December against Hearts. Therefore it is safe to say the rot had set in before these two left and it was left to Gordon Young and Stuart McCall to halt it.
The Hearts game also had alarm bells ringing for me for the future of Scottish football with only 3324 turning up for the game. It highlighted what was wrong with our game – high prices, freezing cold night and live on Sky TV! No real incentive for fans to turn up there then…..
We finished the year by taking on the Old Firm in back to back fixtures and not surprisingly we lost both. By the time the two games were over we had a new manager in charge ahead of a new year with Stuart McCall coming in to replace the departed Brown and Knox.
The other worrying thing for me during the cold spell was that I went five Saturday without going to a game, and didn’t miss it one bit. Even Christmas shopping seemed a better alternative to Scottish football at the time – worrying times ahead I fear.
Well, after 71 games and 188 goals the year has come to an end but sadly rather than looking back on an exciting year it would appear watching this amount of football has “scunnered” me (to use a good old Scottish word).
I think the poor quality of games along with the myopic proposals for change from the SPL have got me even more depressed about the future of our game. If the quality was poor and I felt the changes being proposed were going to improve this I would have more hope for the future but sadly I do fear for our game and where it will be in five years time.
Saturday 6th Nov - Clyde 1 (Mills) East Stirling 2 (Dunn, Cawley) crowd 652. SFL 3.
Wednesday 10th Nov – Motherwell 4 (Blackman 3, Sutton) St Johnstone 0, crowd 4054
Saturday 13th Nov – Hibs 2 (Riordan 2) Motherwell 1 (Blackman pen), crowd 11178, SPL
Saturday 20th Nov – St. Mirren 1 (Wardlaw) Motherwell 1 (Blackman), crowd 4213, SPL
Tuesday 14th Dec – Motherwell 1 (Lasley) Hearts 2 (Reynolds og, Kyle pen), crowd 3324, SPL
Sunday 26th Dec - Motherwell 1 (Sutton) Rangers 4 (Miller 2, Saunders og, Weiss), crowd 9731, SPL
Wednesday 29th Dec – Celtic 1 (McCourt) Motherwell 0, crowd 40750, SPL
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