A tale of a Scotsman living in SW london...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Just to compound my week, England will qualify by fluke of an Israel result against Russia. So a few thoughts on England if I may...

The campaign has been awful, though you could see it coming as England have underperformed with the best set of players they have had in years. The World Cup was poor, and as Sven has shown he's not a bad coach, where does the fault lie? Well, yes, the coaches need to take some blame, but not all of it and if there is a witch hunt for Mclaren then that's a huge shame. He was never the right man for the job (but with the Scolari situation in Portugal, he wasn't either!) but if England don't qualify for the championships don't sack the coach. It's a reaction to please the fans and the press. And just who would take over? You don't see world class managers running for the job so it'll be Sam Allardyce, who has no big European experience.

So the players - well Rooney hadn't scored for years, Owen was permanently injured, and David James and Paul Robinson are flying (not) but the spine of the team is one any manager would like. Rio, Terry, Lampard, Gerrard, Hargreaves (well, most managers would like him!) plus one of the worlds best (as well as most hated) left backs in Cashley Cole. Huge experience in Gary N at right back, and then up front there are world class players in Rooney and Owen. It's the right players, but they just don't gel and play like a team. And that comes back to the coach.

The Premiership has to be part of this - the top players play two games every week, no wonder they are knackered as they run at least 10km in each game. So ease up the games and players can perform better for the national team.

I hope England qualify, if only to keep the press amused next summer. They don't particularly deserve it, but that's life. I also don't think they would have got out of our group if they had been in it, but at least the dark days of 4th level seeds are gone for us now we are ranked 13 in the world (oh yes, England are only 11th) so we'll be the second pot for World Cup qualifiers. Combined with a squad who are predominantly under 25, things are looking rosy for the Scotland squad. If I was an English fan, I don't think I'd be looking forward quite so much...

Friday, November 16, 2007

The tension builds....

Can Scotland qualify for the Euro's by beating the world champions? It's classic Scotland though. This could all have been sorted out in the last round of games when we failed to beat Georgia on their patch, leaving us the hard one.

Scotland believes though. And with good reason - we've beaten France twice, and the Ukraine, and were unlucky to lose 2-0 in Italy. It's a big difference to the World Cup qualifiers when you couldn't give tickets away. In fact, I went with my Dad and brother to watch a rubbish game in what was Berti's last game in charge. Now, they could have sold Hampdem out twice.

Do I believe we'll win? Well I want to, and I think we'll be well up for it - but isn't it classic Scotland to get this far and fail? For once though, I do believe...

Now, where did I put that Runrig CD?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Nightmare. First Aberdeen get beat by Lokomotiv, and then we get robbed by the Gorgie lot. Not a good week to be an Aberdeen supporter.

To cheer myself up, here's a list of names from the 5-a-side leagues in Glasgow. We used to play in Aberdeen while I was at Uni under the name "Big Aye", which then became the "Mighty Big Aye" on winning the league for the 3rd time ;-). I think I'll work through some of these on my fantasy football team (doing well, after an inspired move saw me transfer Arteta for Cahill, who then scored a great overhead kick against Chelsea!)

Steaua Needarest
Dyslexia Untied
Red Star Bellend
Sporting Lesbian
Grass Smokers Zurich
Hajduk Spliff
LSD Eindhoven
Albion Hungovers
Real Sosobad
Shackthar Senseless
Hardly Athletic
St. Mirnoff
Real Ale Madrid
Fred West Ham
Unreal Madrid
Rapid Viagra
Bayern Bru
Athletico Madras
Deportivo Lack a Talent
Bayer Neverlusen
Borussia Nosobad
Sparka Fag
Graham Rix U16's
Big Bertha Berlin
Inter Masister
Substandard Liege
Torpedo Belgrano
Bayer Leverarchfile
FC Copenbadly
Sporting Abeergut
Dinamo Mince
Red Stripe Belgrade
Fake Madrid
Unathletic Madrid
Outer Milan