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About this blog

Looking for some insight and debate about Scottish football? Don't get your hopes up. If you want to hear from a cynical, whinging Caley Thistle fan, on the other hand, you're in luck...

Entries in this blog

 

2019/20 Premiership preview - Hearts

PREDICTED LEAGUE POSITION: FIFTH LAST SEASON: 6th, 51pts NOTABLE INS: Craig Halkett (Livingston), Steven Naismith (Norwich City, loan made permanent), Jamie Walker (Wigan Athletic), Conor Washington (Sheffield United) NOTABLE OUTS: Arnaud Djoum (Al-Raed), Ryan Edwards (Burton Albion), Marcus Godinho (FSV Zwickau), Conor Sammon (Falkirk), David Vanecek (Puskas Akademia), Daniel Baur (Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic, loan), Alex Petkov (Clyde, loan), Demi Mitchell (Manchester United, end of loan), Conor

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

 

2019/20 Premiership preview - Hamilton Accies

PREDICTED LEAGUE POSITION: TENTH LAST SEASON: 10th, 33pts NOTABLE INS: Blair Alston (St. Johnstone), Will Collar (Brighton & Hove Albion), Brian Easton (St. Johnstone), Markus Fjortoft (Southern United), Owain Fon Williams (Inverness Caledonian Thistle), Kyle Gourlay (Dundee), Johnny Hunt (Stevenage), Ciaran McKenna (Falkirk), David Moyo (St. Albans City), Korede Adedoyin (Everton, loan) NOTABLE OUTS: Ziggy Gordon (Central Coast Mariners), James Keatings (Inverness Caledonian Thistle), Gary

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

 

2019/20 Premiership preview - Celtic

PREDICTED LEAGUE POSITION: FIRST LAST SEASON: 1st, 87pts NOTABLE INS: Christopher Jullien (Toulouse, £6m), Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo (Rapid Vienna, £3m), Hatem Abd Elhamed (Hapoel Be'er Sheva, £1.6m), Lucas Connell (Bolton Wanderers, £250k) NOTABLE OUTS: Scott Allan (Hibernian), Dedryck Boyata (Hertha Berlin), Marvin Compper (Duisburg), P.J. Crossan (Dumbarton), Mikael Lustig (Gent), Filip Benkovic (Leicester City, end of loan), Oliver Burke (West Bromwich Albion, end of loan), Jeremy Toljan (Borus

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

 

2019/20 Premiership preview - Rangers

PREDICTED LEAGUE POSITION: SECOND LAST SEASON: 2nd, 78pts NOTABLE INS: Filip Helander (Bologna, £3.5m), George Edmundson (Oldham Athletic, £600k), Joe Aribo (Charlton Athletic, £300k), Steven Davis (Southampton, loan made permanent), Jake Hastie (Motherwell), Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock), Greg Stewart (Birmingham City), Sheyi Ojo (Liverpool, loan) NOTABLE OUTS: Daniel Candeias (Genclerbirligi, £250k), Ryan Hardie (Blackpool), Lee Hodson (Gillingham), Lee Wallace (Queens Park Rangers), Jak Alnwick

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

 

2019/20 Premiership preview - Livingston

PREDICTED LEAGUE POSITION: ELEVENTH LAST SEASON: 9th, 44pts NOTABLE INS: Marvin Bartley (Hibernian), Robbie Crawford (Ayr United), Nicky Devlin (Walsall), Cece Pepe (Rieti), Ibrahima Savane (Bezieres), Aymen Souda (Dunarea Calarasi), Matija Sarkic (Aston Villa, loan) NOTABLE OUTS: Liam Kelly (Queens Park Rangers, £50k), Shaun Byrne (Dundee), Nicky Cadden (Greenock Morton), Callum Crane (Edinburgh City), Declan Gallagher (Motherwell), Craig Halkett (Heart of Midlothian), Matthew Knox (Brechin Ci

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

 

2019/20 Premiership preview - Ross County

PREDICTED LEAGUE POSITION: NINTH LAST SEASON: Promoted as Championship winners NOTABLE INS: Josh Black (Queen's Park), Joe Chalmers (Inverness Caledonian Thistle), Lee Erwin (unattached), Ross Laidlaw (Hibernian), Jack Ruddy (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Blair Spittal (Partick Thistle), Nathan Baxter (Chelsea, loan), Simon Power (Norwich City, loan) NOTABLE OUTS: Jamie Lindsay (Rotherham United, £300k), Russell Dingwall (Elgin City), Scott Fox (Partick Thistle), Greg Morrison (Brora Rangers), Call

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

 

2019/20 Premiership preview - Hibernian

PREDICTED LEAGUE POSITION: Fourth LAST SEASON: 5th, 54pts NOTABLE INS: Christian Doidge (Forest Green Rovers, £250k), Scott Allan (Celtic), Steven Bradley (Queen's Park), Adam Jackson (Barnsley), Tom James (Yeovil Town), Joe Newell (Rotherham United), Josh Vela (Bolton Wanderers), Chris Maxwell (Preston North End, loan) NOTABLE OUTS: Lewis Allan (Raith Rovers), Marvin Bartley (Livingston), Ross Laidlaw (Ross County), Mark Milligan (Southend United), Thomas Agyepong (Manchester City, end of loan

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

 

2019/20 Premiership preview - Motherwell

PREDICTED LEAGUE POSITION: SIXTH LAST SEASON: Eighth, 51pts NOTABLE INS: Jake Carroll (Cambridge United), Declan Gallagher (Livingston), Jermaine Hylton (Solihull Moors), Christian Ilic (TSV Hartberg), Christopher Long (Blackpool), Christy Manzinga (RSC Chatelet-Fanciennes), Liam Polworth (Inverness Caledonian Thistle), Sherwin Seedorf (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Casper Sloth (Silkeborg), Devante Cole (Wigan Athletic, loan) NOTABLE OUTS: Chris Cadden (Columbus Crew), Shea Gordon (Partick Thistle

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

 

2019/20 Scottish Championship preview

It's fashionable to slag off the Scottish Championship because of its lack of quality, but in recent times the gap between the bottom of the Premiership and the best sides in the second tier hasn't been big. The problem is that during the season the clubs that are - or should be - at the top of the division have, either due to overconfidence or lack of confidence, developed a habit of playing down to the opposition. And that's what makes it so intriguing. This is the sixth consecutive season th

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

 

2019/20 Scottish League One Preview

In League One, we inevitably find a handful of full-time teams who really shouldn't be down here, and a bunch of battle-hardened part-time clubs who look forward to knocking them off their f****** perch. And often they succeed, as shown last year when Arbroath won the division. It was another part-time side, Forfar, who came second. But it would be a huge shock if a full time side *cough* Falkirk *cough* didn't win it this time. And the trouble with being part-time is that squads are often pre

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

 

2019/20 Scottish League Two preview

The addition of a relegation playoff has changed the dynamic of Scotland's fourth tier dramatically. No longer can a club coast along, safe in the knowledge that being the SPFL's bottom club is the worst that can happen. As the hapless Berwick Rangers found to their cost, there are well-funded, hungry teams looking to get out of the regional leagues. Stagnate at your peril. At the other end, last season was ultimately one for the 'haves' - those who could afford impressive part-time wages to

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

 

The summer transfer window - a question for every Championship club

Alloa Athletic: what will life after Goodwin be like? Jim Goodwin's successor will join the Wasps at an awkward time, in that the club have signed up a load of players that Goodwin wanted; in fact the squad now is about the same size as it was last season before it was augmented with savvy loan signings. The new Alloa boss will need to decide whether he can pull off the same trick with temporary transfers or convince the chairman to find the money for a few more new faces, as well as ponder what
 

The summer transfer window - a question for every Premiership club

Aberdeen: how hard will this window hit them? Graeme Shinnie has gone. Gary Mackay-Steven has gone. Max Lowe's loan spell has finished. And Celtic are sniffing around Scott McKenna again. It felt like the Dons took a small step backwards last season, and the same could happen this time around unless Derek McInnes has some decent signings up his sleeve - Craig Bryson counts as one, though on last year's showing James Wilson wouldn't. Celtic: do they have a plan? There may well have been a bit o

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

 

Scotland's strengths and weaknesses

Steve Clarke's first couple of games in charge will have given him an idea of what he has to work with. In some areas he is pretty well off, but in others he's either going to have to hope some players really improve or he's going to have to compensate for the deficiencies. Here's how his options look at each position, going from our strongest area to our weakest... LEFT-BACK Greg Taylor did himself proud in Brussels with a tenacious, committed performance. He's got a bright future ahead of hi

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

 

Talking points from the Cyprus game

We won This is the most important thing to take away. Realists would acknowledge that Steve Clarke has had barely any time at all to get the hang of this international management malarkey and has been denied the luxury of training camps and friendlies to get his ideas across before competitive action; therefore a lack of cohesion was inevitable. You don't find many realists in football crowds though, as the half-time jeers indicated. The Tartan Army's patience has long been exhausted and just b
 

Can McPake take Dundee back up?

At the end of April, as relegation - and the departure of Jim McIntyre - became increasingly certain, Dundee issued a statement on their website to reassure fans about the present and the future. Among the topics touched upon was the process used to appoint McIntyre. Following McIntyre's exit, Managing Director John Nelms confirmed that, essentially, the next manager would be recruited using similar criteria. That is presumably how the club came to the conclusion that John Robertson should be
 

Appointing Lennon permanently puts Ten In A Row at risk

A treble is a pretty impressive feat. A treble-treble is cause for a massive blowout. One wonders though whether Celtic's decision to announce their intention to keep Neil Lennon as manager, just minutes after the Scottish Cup Final finished, will have enhanced the celebrations or tempered them? Back in mid-February, when Brendan Rodgers suddenly legged it for Leicester, bringing Lennon in as 'a safe pair of hands' made sense. With the club eight points clear in the league with just eleven
From a cup final to a Banter Year: the fall of Falkirk

From a cup final to a Banter Year: the fall of Falkirk

Four years ago Falkirk were preparing for a Scottish Cup Final against Inverness Caledonian Thistle.   Three years ago they came mightily close to promotion to the Premiership, losing the playoff final to Kilmarnock despite a first leg lead.   Two years ago they came second in the Championship and got another pop at the playoffs.   Today, they are preparing for life in League One.   There have been no financial problems, no administrations, no unusual or unforese
 

The twelfth annual Narey's Toepoker Team Of The Year (part 2)

I like to think that the lack of outrage I've received over my choice of keeper and back four suggests that I've got it right...but it probably means that nobody gives a s***.  Oh well... Here, to try and wind folk up further, is the midfield and attack. CENTRAL MIDFIELD: CALLUM MCGREGOR (CELTIC), DAVID TURNBULL (MOTHERWELL) Honourable mentions: Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen), Peter Haring (Heart of Midlothian), Stevie Mallan (Hibernian), Alan Power (Kilmarnock) Even at left-back against Rangers
 

The twelfth annual Narey's Toepoker Team Of The Year (part 1)

What do you mean, you weren't around for the first 11 years I did this? Let's look back at the previous ones, not least because many of them make me cringe. PREVIOUS TEAMS OF THE YEAR 2007/08: Allan McGregor (Rangers), Alan Hutton (Rangers), Carlos Cuellar (Rangers), Lee Wilkie (Dundee United), Lee Naylor (Celtic), Barry Robson (Celtic), Stephen Hughes (Motherwell), Barry Ferguson (Rangers), Aiden McGeady (Celtic), Scott McDonald (Celtic), Steven Fletcher (Hibernian) 2008/09: Lukasz Zalusk

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

 

Worst Signings of the 2018/19 Premiership season (part 2)

If you haven't read part 1, you can find it here. Lots of folk who did read it complained...about crap players from their own club who weren't on the list. That was invariably because said players were in the top ten. Any one of the top five could, I think, have been number one. Argue amongst yourselves as to whether they are in the right order. 10. NICOLAI BROCK-MADSEN (ST. MIRREN) Yes, it's another Alan Stubbs signing. Would you believe this player was once signed by Birmingham City f

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

 

Worst Signings of the 2018/19 Premiership season (part 1)

Wow, so this is the seventh season we've done this. It does seem to give people a laugh - except for Dapo Kayode, who complained on Twitter when I ranked him 21st in 2016/17. It's also fun to see who has proved me wrong a year down the line - Mickel Miller of Hamilton clearly shouldn't have been on last year's list, though all the St Johnstone fans who thought I was grossly unfair on David McMillan have been quiet. The six previous 'winners' of this prestigious award: 2012/13 - Rory Boulding (

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

 

Should Celtic and Rangers stick or twist?

All in all, it's practically pre-season already for Celtic and Rangers. The former's victory over the latter last weekend all but guaranteed them the title. Rangers, now eleven points behind their rivals but eight ahead of the chasing pack, are almost nailed on for second spot. They have only one match left that really matters - a home clash with Celtic. In addition to that game Celtic have their remaining Scottish Cup tie(s) to focus on. Aside from those matches the two clubs can pretty much ph

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

 

Scottish football finances

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know I'm a bit geeky about the financial side of Scottish football. That's partly because it is a simple way of judging who is over- and under-achieving, as well as being a pretty good indicator of which clubs are well-run and which aren't. Moreover I increasingly worry that it is only a matter of time until another Scottish football club ends up in an administration event. Very few are self-sustaining. As I previously blogged it feels like most Champi

Scotty

Scotty

 

You can't take your eyes off the Scottish Championship

I know I keep banging on about it, but the Scottish Championship really is a compelling league. As we enter the final quarter of the season, all ten clubs have something to play for. Inconsistency has been the dominant theme as teams go from periods where everything goes in to ones when they seem to have smashed a mirror over a black cat whilst walking under a ladder, or vice versa. The table is so tight that some teams who were in the promotion playoff hunt a month ago are now looking over the

Scotty

Scotty

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