GLF 73: A view from the Press Box

GLF 73:Graham ranges far and wide about the old firm, Sky, newspapers, traffic, Inverness Clachanaccudin and more!

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A view from the Press Box

 

OLD FIRM - STAY OR GO - This has been a staple subject since this fanzine was started 20 years ago, I would guess if you looked back through our back catalogue it would come up every season.

 


Personally I wish they would conclude the subject once and for all and either resign from the SPL and go, or accept this is where they play and make the best of it.

 


I always find it funny when the Old Firm say they can no longer compete with the big boys in the English Premiership, therefore they should be allowed to join them!

 


Well follow the logic guys, we used to be able to compete with Second Division (as it was) clubs and take players from there.Now we are struggling to compete with what is the equivalent of the Fourth Division!Therefore I would like Motherwell to make a move to join the Championship to allow us to tap into the money available there……

 


What should really be happening;

 


1.
Let's stop playing each other four times a season, structure the Leagues to allow us to get us back to playing each other twice - should that be 16 or 18,I am past caring!


2.
Why don't the Old Firm stop complaining about the Under 21 rule which they believe sees them putting people in the squad who don't deserve it.Well why not follow our lead and develop Under 21s who deserve to be in your first team squad.Why bother with all the fuss about Murray Park or Lennoxtown if you don't want to do this…..


3.
Coach your current players, there is no doubt that Rangers have better players than the Romanian team that humped them 4-1.But it looks as though there is no effort to coach the Rangers players in how to pass to someone in the same team!If Jim Gannon can make this revolutionary step forward, why not the big two….


4.
Should we consider Summer football, like the successful League of Ireland - better pitches, warmer weather….all worth considering.


5.
Streamline the number of bodies running the game, do we need the SFA, SPL and SFL along with the Junior and Amateur FAs, could this not be one body?

 


What we don't need is another SFA/SPL think tank, the last one with Ernie Walker, including Motherwell's own favourite son Martin Rose, I am never sure what it actually produced or changed!

 

We have another one underway with Henry McLeish, anyone out there know what they are looking at?No me neither…..

 


None of the stuff I have suggested is particularly new or revolutionary, but it will take a leap of faith from those in power to start the ball rolling for a bright new future.

 

 


SKY TV
- watched a highlights programme after the St. Mirren 3-3 game on Sky Sports and they gave me on good laugh during it. They had Giles Coke setting up the 2nd and 3rd goals, not bad as he had been replaced at half time! The player in question was in fact Chris Humphrey.

 


Then the night of the League Cup tie they went on to say Saints beat us 3-0 for the second time in four days - obviously they didn't watch Coke set up at least two goals in their own highlights show.

 


In some ways I guess this shows their attitude to our football. They paid a small amount to secure the deal, and win the chance to show the four games they believe matters to every one - yes the Old Firm games.

 


They have mucked the kick off times about all over the place this season, no one knows when a game is being show on a Saturday or if there is a Sunday game.

 


I guess the only conclusion we can take from all this is that beggars can't be choosers.

 

 


NEWSPAPERS
- having the chance to watch games from press boxes up and down the country it has been interesting to listen to the guys who work for the major papers and the changes they have had to put up with.

 


You may wonder why that would interest people here, well if you read the papers at all you will soon find it will be hard to tell them apart.For example, those who work for the Herald Group have been given a "style guide" (not how to dress) for the writing across all three titles (Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times).

 


This means there is little scope for the guys (and girls) to change the stories and make them interesting.

 


This combined with the clubs almost controlling the media through their press conferences (try to find a different story in the Sunday Papers) the newspapers will soon be very bland indeed.

 

 


THE BORO
- at my English Club Chairman Steve Gibson finally decides to sack a manager (Gareth Southgate) and then what does he do, yes he appoints Gordon Strachan as the new manager!!

 

I have never been able to take to the Ginger one since he was a cocky wee red head playing for Dundee a long time ago.He became even more irritating when he was at Aberdeen, then some of his quips became equally irritating when he was a manager at Southampton, Coventry and Celtic.

 


BUT, he's now the manager of one of the two teams I support therefore I now have to stand by him and hope he can return the Boro to the Premiership (I was going to say where they belong - but I think they punch above their weight when they're in that Division - sound familiar to anyone!) and also back to the heights of being the best team in the North East of England.

 

 


THE OTHER TEAM IN INVERNESS
-this is a bit of a personal memory story but here goes…..I was saddened to hear that Inverness Clachancuddin have been forced into administration by the Highlands Council after they increased their rent for their Stadium.

 


Twenty four years ago some of you may remember we travelled north to take on Clach in a game for their Centenary. This was the summer of 1985, Tommy McLean was in charge at Motherwell, Tom Boyd, Gary McAllister and Ally Maxwell were in our side.

 


It was also the first game our eldest daughter, Anne, attended at the tender age of three months. Born in early May the game took place in July!

 


This will therefore stand out in our family and it was even more special when at the end of the day Well were awarded a trophy after wining the game on the day!!

 


Unfortunately for Clach they seem to have been forgotten with the merger of Thistle and Caley, and I hope they come through this and after 124 years in existence they can keep going.

 

 


TONY MOWBRAY
- I've already mentioned my liking for Middlesbrough above and I find it hard to be in same room as the current Celtic manager without being in awe of a Boro legend.

 


Big Tony was club captain in 1986 when the club went bust and along with Manager Bruce Rioch kept the place going until Steve Gibson could come along and pour some money into the club and get the gates of Ayresome Park opened once again.

 


Therefore big Tony holds a special place in my heart.But I was really uncomfortable when saw him squirm under pressure from our press after our 0-0 draw at Celtic Park and their 2-1 win at New Douglas Park. A small part of me always feels they should have more respect for a Boro Legend but sadly not everyone in Scotland thinks the same as me.

 

 


TRAFFIC ON THE ROAD TO GAMES (AND BACK)
- two away games back to back and two experiences of ridiculous weekend road works to handle.Coming home from Celtic Park I was held up on London Road for an age thanks to the road being reduced to one lane at the M74 road works.How many games did this last for - one!!It was removed before the Hamburg game the following Thursday - why not for the Well game as well?

 


The next week we are in Paisley, not only when Rangers are at home which always adds time on the journey, but lane closures on the Kingston Brige!Why combine the two at the same time and cause as much weekend disruption as possible.Once again there seems to be no thought of the football fan.

 

I believe Radio reports told people at 2pm if they were sitting at the Fort Shopping Centre they should give up and go home as they wouldn't have any chance of making the kick off at Ibrox (even more tough luck if you were heading for Paisley).

 


What do the planners of these road works, as well as the A80 fiasco, think of when they sit in meetings and decide when they will close roads. Do they look at the fixture list and think there is an opportunity to screw up as many people as they can.

 

Graham Barnstaple

 

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