Thursday, March 27, 2008

Full Time Sour Lemon Slice

Whistle blown on the telly on a game that, in reality, finished a few hours ago.

Fair play to Scotland on a respectable result. The Croats were a class act despite the bad weather conditions and don't let the matter of them turning over the 'Trevors' home and away in the Euro qualifying campaign detract from the fact that they are an excellent team. (Even the Arsenals and Man Utds of this world have to dispense with the Derby Countys if they are to win the championship.)

Scotland acquitted themselves well - though I'm not sure why Gordon's getting the plaudits from the journos reporting on the game in various papers - and I liked the fact that there was a bit of a bite to the game. One minor gripe, though, and its less to do with the performance and more to do with tonight's team selection.

There were four Celtic players - Caldwell, McManus, Hartley and Brown - in Scotland's starting line up as opposed to one R*ngers player, Kris Boyd, who came on as a substitute in the 72nd minute. Of the Celtic players, only Brown got substituted and that was in the 66th minute. What's the big deal with that? Well, only that Celtic are playing R*ngers this Saturday at Ibrox in a must win game in the SPL . If they lose, that's bye bye to the title. Doesn't that seem a bit one-sided?

I don't buy into conspiracy theories, whether it be politics or footie, but it seems a bit off when Derby County and Sunderland provide more players on the night than R*ngers. It's not even as if they can use the old excuse of not having any Scottish players at Ibrox. Throw an Irn Bru bottle into their dressing room - please, do it now as a scientific experiment - and you're guaranteed two things: 1) Allan McGregor won't catch it; & 2) It'll hit someone with a Scottish accent and unsightly tattoos. I bet if Hutton was still at R*ngers, he wouldn't have been playing last night.

Has former Scotland manager Smith has played it cute? Or is Strachan just a straight guy with a patriotic streak? Who knows, but I do know that it's the first time I've thought well of McGeady for being a plastic paddy. Five Celtic players in the starting line up would have been taking the piss.

Sorely tempted to make my way through to Manhattan on Saturday morning to Jack Demseys bar so I can witness first hand via Setanta the misery of witnessing Celtic getting gubbed. At least I'll be able to shout and holler my disapproval of Barry Ferguson, Lee McCulloch, Christian Dailly and Allan McGregor for pulling out of Burley's squad.

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