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Scottish fitba!

Discussion in 'Scottish Football' started by SALTIRE, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. Leo

    Leo To be a rock and not to roll. Site Supporter

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    another run of the mill win against Hearts who actually played better after Bauben was sent off. Rangers went one up when MIller put in a great cross for Garner to finish off with a fine header. Hearts equalised in the 2nd half with a good breakaway but where oh where was the Rangers defence.....ONCE AGAIN! Rangers scored their 2nd to go back in front with a shot from Barrie McKay but Hearts had a few chances and couldn't convert. Got to say though Rangers had a good few opportunities in the first half especially with one glorious chance totally fucked up by Waghorn when one on one with the keeper. Bright spot ?......I had £50 on over 2.5 goals.....:bg:
     
  2. SALTIRE

    SALTIRE Slàinte mhath! Staff Member Moderator Site Supporter

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    Did you put some dough on >2.5 goals in the match last night Leo? :D
     
  3. Leo

    Leo To be a rock and not to roll. Site Supporter

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    Nah.....rarely bet through the week mate.
     
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  4. SALTIRE

    SALTIRE Slàinte mhath! Staff Member Moderator Site Supporter

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    Rooting for Falkirk the night. 'Mon The Bairns! !!!!
     
  5. SALTIRE

    SALTIRE Slàinte mhath! Staff Member Moderator Site Supporter

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    Bollocks.
     
  6. Super_horns

    Super_horns Well-Known Member Moderator

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    Reckon Dundee U will win the play offs?
     
  7. SALTIRE

    SALTIRE Slàinte mhath! Staff Member Moderator Site Supporter

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    Have a horrible feeling they will, yes.
     
  8. Leo

    Leo To be a rock and not to roll. Site Supporter

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    Good win for Hamilton yesterday. Their confidence must be high for the play off. I think they'll do it.
     
  9. SALTIRE

    SALTIRE Slàinte mhath! Staff Member Moderator Site Supporter

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    Oh I hope so, our neighbours were making a hell of a racket the other night when Utd got their goals. I want Hamilton to stick it right up 'em! :D
     
  10. Gulliball

    Gulliball Active Member

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    Aberdeen have rounded off the league season nicely, with 2 wins in Glasgow this week. Rangers on Wednesday ended a very long hoodoo there, and then the 6-0 win at Partick yesterday was excellent. I had a few quid on Partick as I thought Aberdeen would rest a few players, and they did, but Scott Wright came in and got a hat-trick in only his 2nd start.

    That result confirmed that it was another record points total for Aberdeen, and 76 points is the highest ever total for a non Old-Firm team. Just a crying shame Delia wasn't still in charge at Celtic, or it could have been a very interesting title race. When Celtic finish with 34 wins and 4 draws, a record points total, a record number of wins, record number of goals etc, there's really not much you can do about that. The Cup Final next weekend will likely follow the same course as the previous 5 defeats to Celtic so far this season, but I think it would be a shame if Aberdeen went trophyless. They're realistically about as good as a non Old-Firm side will get, but look set to finish 2nd to Celtic and lose to them in both Cup Finals.

    The McInnes/Rangers manager spat last week was quite funny to watch ("Rangers should be embarrassed" etc), but did also raise an excellent point. Aberdeen took the title race to April last year, but despite improving this year it was over before Christmas. That's what a much bigger team can do if run properly. For the money that Rangers have spent - Barton turning down Premiership football and £35k a week with Burnley is perhaps the worst example, but the other big money signings were also appalling - over-the-hill dross like Senderos, Kranjcar, Hill. You've got a squad earning hundreds of thousands of pounds a week and the closest battle was with St Johnstone for 4th place. Pay £1.7m for a striker and spend it on Joe Garner. It has been an embarassing season for Rangers, there's no doubt about that, and it's allowed Aberdeen to finish 2nd in the league and both cups.

    This summer is going to be a big test though. For the last 4 years Aberdeen have grown year on year, mainly as a result of having a settled manager and squad. McInnes has done a brilliant job, and it's been based around not losing any of his best players, so the squad has improved every summer, pretty much risk free. He hasn't had to do any rebuilding jobs or replace a key player, so has been able to focus on improving each summer. This summer they are going to lose Ryan Jack (seemingly to Rangers) and Niall McGinn, so they will need to be replaced just to break even. A few other squad players will leave as well, so this will be the biggest overhaul since McInnes arrived. Done well, it might be an opportunty, but it's a much more uncertain time than Aberdeen have had for a while.

    The real worry is that having flown under the radar for years, the key players will now be attracting attention. On top of Jack and McGinn moving for free this summer, Lewis, Logan and McLean only have 12 months to go, so may need to be sold to avoid losing them for nothing next summer. With Celtic unstoppable and Rangers having the budget to blow them out of the water if run even slightly compenently, it's a bad time to be facing an overhaul.

    Edinburgh wise, these clubs are also in an interesting position.

    Hearts were in the race for 3rd until Neilson left as manager. Since Cathro arrived, they have 19 points from 22 games, which would have them rock bottom of the league if the season started from this point. That's a staggering turn-around for a side that was fighting for Europe when he arrived. This summer is huge, as they surely have to start well or he'll be gone. Giving someone their first managerial job is always a gamble, but his record so far literally could not have been worse.

    Hibs now have the momentum in Edinburgh, and are back in the top flight after 3 years away. Really, they are in a better position, as the recent Championship win and last year's Scottish Cup win has injected enthusiasm into the supporters. They averaged over 15 000 fans in the 2nd tier with minimal away supporters, and are aiming for 13k season ticket holders. With potentially 2 home derbies, 4 home Old Firm games and the bigger other SPL away supports, they will see a big rise in that again. For a point of comparison, it was just over 10k in the last top flight season, and 9.2k in the 2nd tier before the cup win. They'll have a decent budget, and a proven manager in Neil Lennon, so should be coming right back into the mix for Europe. Personally I would back them for 4th above Hearts, and they'll have lots of interesting possible challenges over the next few years. They're run very well off the pitch and if they keep the feel-good factor around they can enjoy being back in the top flight, and look to get into top-half, local bragging rights with Hearts, and can challenge Aberdeen, as well as Rangers if they stay so badly run.

    Edinburgh City were the first side to be promoted into the SPFL via the pryamid 12 months ago, and after an awful start (no win in first 11 games) managed to turn it around and finish 7th. So they're now no longer the new boys and can build some roots in the Football League. Meadowbank Stadium is being demolished and rebuilt, so they are groundsharing for the next year, and it's not totally certain how big (or suitable for football) the new stadium will be. Recent plans had capacity for 500 seats (compared to nearly 5 000 now) and positioned on the home straight of the athletics track, so wouldn't even cover most home crowds now, nevermind any potential for growth, and would be an even worse stadium for football. Hopefully the move when it happens won't destroy the recent growth, as I think being the biggest part-time side in Edinburgh and offering league football is a pretty big market to attract players. At the moment they still have a lot of the side that got them promoted, made up of good local players. Then on top of that they have players that have played at a much higher level that are winding down their careers (Craig Beattie and Derek Riordan, who both played for Scotland, plus Marc Laird who had a good football league career in England). They've also had three promising youngsters on loan from Hibs for the last season, and if they can continue this arrangement with Hibs/start something with Hearts then that's another great source for players. Between all these sources, and in a City of over half a million people, as the premier part-time and lower league side, there's a lot of potential for Edinburgh City.

    Overall, an interesting summer ahead and next season should be a belter. From a groundhopping perspective Hibs and Aberdeen being in the same division will reduce the number of games I go to, as I prefer to watch one of these sides away rather than a totally neutral game, so I might end up going to more Edinburgh City games, and possibly some neutral ones if I can't find any better options and listening to Torquay on the radio continues to be depressing.
     
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  11. rudebwoyben

    rudebwoyben Site Supporter Site Supporter

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    Did anyone else watch the 2nd leg of the Alloa Athletic vs Brechin City play-off final for promotion to the Scottish Championship? Although the standard was no better than National League North/South, in terms of entertainment it was top notch stuff. Both sides eschewed any tactical nuance to simply go for it and there was nothing to separate the two sides. I'd imagine that it will be very tough for Brechin in the Championship next season but you can't help but root for a club whose ground has a hedge down one side.
     
  12. Leo

    Leo To be a rock and not to roll. Site Supporter

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    Watched the first half of it and really enjoyed it.....none of my pet hate, sideways backwards possession at all cost football. Highly entertaining.
     
  13. Gulliball

    Gulliball Active Member

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    I watched the first leg and remember thinking Brechin is a ground I definitely need to visit. By comparison I went to Alloa vs Hibs last season and it was nothing special. The plastic pitch in particular is really off-putting and makes it feel like a training match.

    The 2nd leg was a belter, even down to the penalties. Some of the dodgiest penalty saving techniques I've ever seen from the keepers. One in particular had always dived well before the ball was kicked.
     
  14. rudebwoyben

    rudebwoyben Site Supporter Site Supporter

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    Brechin looks like an utterly charming place!
    You're right that Alloa's ground doesn't look so interesting but the Ochil Hills provide a stunning backdrop to it.
     
  15. Gulliball

    Gulliball Active Member

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    I like grounds that are different to the standard fare, and Scotland is great for this. Dumbarton is right under a massive rock with only one side, Cowdenbeath has stock cars, Berwick has speedway, Raith have a stand for just a corner then nothing along the whole side of the pitch. Dundee have 4 completely different looking stands, including one that is bent. Partick Thistle smells of old fashioned wood. These are the grounds I love going to, and Brechin looked brilliant on the tele.

    Alloa though I just never got a feel for. It wasn't a great occasion as it's clearly not built for a big segregated away support so you had 2 portaloos for several hundred people. Was also stuck right in the corner, at ground level and with the sun right in my eyes, so could barely see anything. The plastic pitch made it feel like a school astroturf kick about and overall it was hard to get into it. I think that day was also the day I got stuck for an hour at Stirling station en route and so missed the first 15 mins or so. On another day, in the home end, a better view and time to take in the location I might possibly have enjoyed it more.
     
  16. Super_horns

    Super_horns Well-Known Member Moderator

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    0-0 after the 1st leg.

    Can DU win at Hamilton?
     
  17. Gulliball

    Gulliball Active Member

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    Dundee United player sent off for two dives. First clear dive and second there was contact but he still threw himself in the air unnaturally to win a penalty. Ref is getting stick but he's thrown himself to the floor twice and been booked twice. Hope the appeal fails, as there being contact for one of them does not excuse the fact that he was guilty of simulation twice.

    I wish more players would be booked every time they initiated or exagerrated contact, and I wish pundits would stop suggesting that contact means it's not a dive.

    Hamilton have been awful all season and I thought they would lose, but 0-0 and a home leg to come, I think it is 50-50.
     
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  18. Super_horns

    Super_horns Well-Known Member Moderator

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    Well if he dived and got booked for the first "effort" the bloke can hardly be surprised the officials went against him the second time.

    Reputations do count in football and that includes the players in the mind-sets of officials (rightly or wrongly..)
     
  19. rudebwoyben

    rudebwoyben Site Supporter Site Supporter

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    Rakish Bingham is going to single-handedly win it for Hamilton!
     
  20. Gulliball

    Gulliball Active Member

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    What annoyed me was that he was in the same situation twice and did the same thing both times - once the defender pulled his foot back and so he looked like an idiot, then the second time the defender went through with his clearance and made contact. He still threw himself to the floor to win a penalty, exactly as he had previously.

    The only talk after the game is that "there was contact", the referee has made a mistake and it's criminal that he's been sent off. There was nothing about how stupid he was to throw himself down again whilst on a yellow card, or that his actions were in no way natural.
     
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  21. Super_horns

    Super_horns Well-Known Member Moderator

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    Well that is the way the pros seen such things sadly unless its so clear cut even the manager of the offender cannot complain or done by some jonny foreigner..

    "Win at all costs/take an advantage"

    I see he can play in the 2nd leg anyway so now no doubt Hamilton will come out and complain!
     
  22. Super_horns

    Super_horns Well-Known Member Moderator

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    Hamilton 1 up with about 10 to go.
     
  23. Leo

    Leo To be a rock and not to roll. Site Supporter

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    and that was the full time score. Salty will be happy...the Arabs stay in the Championship.
     
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  24. rudebwoyben

    rudebwoyben Site Supporter Site Supporter

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    A deserved win for Hamilton although Bingham was generous enough not to outshine everyone else.
     
  25. SALTIRE

    SALTIRE Slàinte mhath! Staff Member Moderator Site Supporter

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    Oh absolutely mate. Was driving to Arbroath when they scored and I almost crashed the car in jubilation! :D

    Sty back doon whar ya belong ya filthy Arabs! :woo:
     
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  26. Gulliball

    Gulliball Active Member

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    As seemed likely, it's been a much busier summer for Aberdeen. Having got the highest non Old Firm points total in Scotland, Rangers signed Ryan Jack when his contract expired. Celtic have today signed Johnny Hayes as well for about £1.3m plus Ryan Christie on loan for the season. Start the sweepstake on the next former player to blame the lack of domestic competition when they go out of Europe.

    It looked like Derek McInnes was off to Sunderland, which would have been an absolute disaster. Hard to put into words how much of a blow that would have been, but he turned them down. It seems the Bristol City experience has really put him off managing clubs where expectation is greater than reality or with off field issues. With Neilson leaving Hearts for MK Dons and Stubbs leaving Hibs for Rotherham, it's a big boost for Scottish football to see someone not jump to England at the first offer of bigger money. I bet if Stubbs could go back 12 months he would have stayed too.

    Off the field, Aberdeen have a new director (previously on the board in 2001) who sold his company for 800 million recently and is going to invest a seven figure sum, likely on training facilites going by the positive comments from McInnes on this recently.

    So what looked a disaster is now looking much better. Hayes, McGinn, Jack and Taylor to replace from the first team, but the manager is staying, there's the new investment plus Hayes fee, proper training facilities on the way, Christie for 12 months is a short term fix and the rest of the summer will (hopefully) be positive news of new arrivals. Those 4 players leaving frees up a lot of the wage bill as they will be amongst the highest earners.
     
  27. rudebwoyben

    rudebwoyben Site Supporter Site Supporter

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    Anyone else amused at the Ibrox's lot very early exit from European competition at the hands of the fourth best team in Luxembourg?
     
  28. Leo

    Leo To be a rock and not to roll. Site Supporter

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    Yep...me....Now jog on until your next wee dig, there's a good boy.....:bg:
     
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  29. rudebwoyben

    rudebwoyben Site Supporter Site Supporter

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    On a more serious note, what went wrong?
    Additionally, it's worth noting that Luxembourgish teams are no longer the push-overs they were some years ago and are no longer subjected to merciless thrashings by other clubs nowadays.
     
  30. Leo

    Leo To be a rock and not to roll. Site Supporter

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    I didn't watch the game (or the home leg last week) as I refuse to pay extra for these games but in all honesty I wasn't surprised. I could say as a general throwaway thought that they really haven't been together for long but I'm not going to use that as an excuse. Going by what I've read and speaking to guys that watched the game they had a lot of possession but basically were clueless in the final third (same with the first leg)....kind of a la Warburton era & that is nowhere good enough....possession means heehaw unless there's a result at the end of it. Celtic apart, Scottish clubs are weak in Europe no matter how it's dressed up. I said last season that Rangers need a clear out of sorts and a right few new players in.....we now have brought in around 9 (I think) but obviously not of the standard for European competition. I'll wait and see how they perform domestically before I judge the new guys.
     

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