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A far-too-early attempt at predicting Scotland's Euros squad (take two)

We already tried this in January, but it seems reasonable to update it after the recent international break. Not that there are many changes - the number of 'certainties' has gone up from twelve to sixteen, mind - but the emergence of Che Adams was the big talking point. It will be interesting to see what strategy Clarke uses when putting together his twenty-three man squad. Many international coaches have in the past just picked two players for every position, but a more progressive plan wo

Worst Signings of the 2020/21 Premiership season (part 1)

It's always fun being a critic, and even more so when it comes to Scottish football. In previous years the criticism of these articles has generally been along the lines of "you didn't rank our s*** player high enough". Except for the season I included St. Johnstone's David McMillan...but who was proven right then, I ask you? So this is the ninth year we've ranked the duds signed by Scottish Premiership clubs. Rory Boulding, Stephane Bahoken, Jim Fenlon, Rodney Sneijder, Joey Barton, Eduardo

Caley Thistle are collapsing towards relegation

Legend has it that Harold MacMillan, Prime Minister in the late nineteen-fifties, was once asked what is most likely to blow a government off course and replied "events, dear boy, events!" As in politics, so in life. And so in football, at least in Inverness. Make no mistake: Caley Thistle, their players and those who run the club have significant responsibility for their current plight too, but it has taken a perfect storm of factors, many of which are out of anyone's control, to leave them

Premiership out of contract players: who will stay and who will go?

We have only a couple of months of the season left, and by my count there are - at the time of writing - 141 Premiership players whose contracts are up in the summer. With Covid having impacted finances there are going to be some big budgetary decisions at some clubs to come. And there are many well-known names - often club stalwarts - who may be at risk of the axe. Here's my take on who will stay and who will go...(as ever, I look forward to being proven completely and utterly wrong)  ABERD

Celtic need to make sure this crisis becomes an opportunity

Right, the Neil Lennon era is finally over. The lame duck of the last several months has quacked its last. It would seem a bit cruel for someone to recount how it came to this, to rub salt into the wound... So now the question is: where do Celtic go from here? They are a distant second to Rangers, eighteen points adrift. They have no manager, no Director of Football and the new Chief Executive does not start until the summer. They have several key players likely to leave at the end of

Aberdeen have gone stale under McInnes

Back in the olden days, when everything was in black and white - or maybe it just felt like that in Aberdeen at the start of the 2000s - I was a regular visitor at Pittodrie. One season under Ebbe Skovdahl the Dons finished fourth in the league; later on under Jimmy Calderwood they came fourth three times and third once. Other league finishes in the early years of the twenty-first century include eighth, eleventh, ninth, ninth, ninth, eighth. And of course there was Skovdahl's first campaign, wh

Scottish football is (still) at a Covid crossroads

It is ten months since Covid forced Scottish football into lockdown. After all this time we still have no fans at matches, all divisions from League One downwards have been stopped until at least the end of January and the Scottish Cup has been halted. How depressing. And that is of course because of the even more miserable fact that Covid is still out there. Vaccination will hopefully provide a light at the end of the tunnel. But for Scottish football clubs that light cannot be reached quic

A far-too-early attempt at predicting Scotland's Euros squad

It would be absolutely typical if having qualified for Euro 2020, with two games in Glasgow, Scotland weren't allowed to play in front of fans...or worse, that the tournament gets wiped out due to the ongoing pandemic. Still, here's hoping. There's still five months to go, but that hasn't stopped me taking a look at the candidates to make the final twenty-three man squad. I've broken it down by position and taken a look at who is already (injury permitting) certain to be in that twenty-t

At last, Scotland are glorious without the failure

To be honest, I was ready to just pack it in. When Luka Jovic's header flew into the net, it felt like one heartbreak, one Glorious Failure too many. I just could not do it anymore. As Jovic celebrated, my mind was already racing ahead. The heads would be gone. We'd get creamed in extra time. If somehow we didn't, we'd screw up the penalties. I just couldn't be having with the agony of supporting Scotland any more. My wife is Northern Irish - perhaps I could just bring up my boys to support th

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

At last, Scotland are glorious without the failure

To be honest, I was ready to just pack it in. When Luka Jovic's header flew into the net, it felt like one heartbreak, one Glorious Failure too many. I just could not do it anymore. As Jovic celebrated, my mind was already racing ahead. The heads would be gone. We'd get creamed in extra time. If somehow we didn't, we'd screw up the penalties. I just couldn't be having with the agony of supporting Scotland any more. My wife is Northern Irish - perhaps I could just bring up my boys to support th

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

Ten In A Row is in jeopardy - must Celtic switch manager to save it?

The last time Celtic lost three consecutive home matches, Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, Kylie Minogue was at number one with 'Tears On My Pillow' (no, I've never heard of it either) and Rangers were on their way to Two In A Row. Admittedly in the subsequent thirty years there won't have been many times when Celtic played back-to-back-to-back games at Celtic Park against teams of the quality of Rangers, Milan and, um, Sparta Prague, but still. How has it come to this? Yes, Ran

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

Ten In A Row is in jeopardy - must Celtic switch manager to save it?

The last time Celtic lost three consecutive home matches, Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, Kylie Minogue was at number one with 'Tears On My Pillow' (no, I've never heard of it either) and Rangers were on their way to Two In A Row. Admittedly in the subsequent thirty years there won't have been many times when Celtic played back-to-back-to-back games at Celtic Park against teams of the quality of Rangers, Milan and, um, Sparta Prague, but still. How has it come to this? Yes, Ran

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

2020/21 Scottish Championship preview

I did kinda already look at the Championship sides a month ago. What's changed? Not a lot. Hearts should stroll this. Even if their entire starting XI were ruled out with Covid the next eleven players up would still be stronger than everyone else. There has been a worrying hint of the same trait that dogged Robbie Neilson's Dundee United team last season - doing just enough to win and not a lot else, rather than blowing away opponents - but if that's the most negative thing I can come up

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

2020/21 Scottish Championship preview

I did kinda already look at the Championship sides a month ago. What's changed? Not a lot. Hearts should stroll this. Even if their entire starting XI were ruled out with Covid the next eleven players up would still be stronger than everyone else. There has been a worrying hint of the same trait that dogged Robbie Neilson's Dundee United team last season - doing just enough to win and not a lot else, rather than blowing away opponents - but if that's the most negative thing I can come up

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

2020/21 Scottish League One preview

To be blunt, League One should be a two horse race. That's not being harsh on the other eight clubs; there are plenty of dangerous teams and quality players elsewhere in this division. But Falkirk and Partick Thistle have so much more to throw at this league than any of the others. As Ray McKinnon discovered at the former last season, struggling to make the top two is not an option. David McCracken and Lee Miller have been the Bairns' co-management team since November 2019 and were unbea

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

2020/21 Scottish League One preview

To be blunt, League One should be a two horse race. That's not being harsh on the other eight clubs; there are plenty of dangerous teams and quality players elsewhere in this division. But Falkirk and Partick Thistle have so much more to throw at this league than any of the others. As Ray McKinnon discovered at the former last season, struggling to make the top two is not an option. David McCracken and Lee Miller have been the Bairns' co-management team since November 2019 and were unbea

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

2020/21 Scottish League Two preview

It's no secret that the Covid pandemic has hit football clubs hard. With fans unable to attend games, income is down and chairmen are having to be very frugal indeed. Except at Queen's Park. Having decided that they could no longer continue as amateurs, they have decided that, if they're going to have to pay players, then they're going to pay them. So the squad is filled with folk who were playing full-time last season, some of whom - Bob McHugh and Lee Kilday, for example - were regular

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

2020/21 Scottish League Two preview

It's no secret that the Covid pandemic has hit football clubs hard. With fans unable to attend games, income is down and chairmen are having to be very frugal indeed. Except at Queen's Park. Having decided that they could no longer continue as amateurs, they have decided that, if they're going to have to pay players, then they're going to pay them. So the squad is filled with folk who were playing full-time last season, some of whom - Bob McHugh and Lee Kilday, for example - were regular

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

The state of play in the Scottish Championship

The Scottish Premiership has been back in full flow for sometime, but we're now just a month from the Championship, League One and League Two restarting (though the League Cup begins a week and a half before that). These clubs last played a competitive game in early March, and a lot has happened since then.  Here's where the ten Championship clubs are currently at. With the transfer window still open till 5th October and loan restrictions eased there will be plenty of signings at each club in

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

The state of play in the Scottish Championship

The Scottish Premiership has been back in full flow for sometime, but we're now just a month from the Championship, League One and League Two restarting (though the League Cup begins a week and a half before that). These clubs last played a competitive game in early March, and a lot has happened since then.  Here's where the ten Championship clubs are currently at. With the transfer window still open till 5th October and loan restrictions eased there will be plenty of signings at each club in

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

A Premiership season preview (of sorts)

In years gone by, I've knocked off individual previews for each top flight club and published them in the days leading up to the new campaign. Obviously, this hasn't happened this time around. There are reasons for that. These include personal circumstances, a lack of a League Cup group stage to give pointers on how clubs are doing, the fact that the extended transfer window is likely to mean big changes between now and October, and definitely an element of 'I just can't be a***d'. However I

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

A Premiership season preview (of sorts)

In years gone by, I've knocked off individual previews for each top flight club and published them in the days leading up to the new campaign. Obviously, this hasn't happened this time around. There are reasons for that. These include personal circumstances, a lack of a League Cup group stage to give pointers on how clubs are doing, the fact that the extended transfer window is likely to mean big changes between now and October, and definitely an element of 'I just can't be a***d'. However I

hislopsoffsideagain

hislopsoffsideagain

The problem isn't Hearts, or Dundee United, or any other club. It's the system

It is not fair that Hearts, Partick Thistle and Stranraer were relegated from their respective divisions without having played out the full season, nor that as a consequence they face significant financial pressures going forward. They are quite right to legally challenge this decision. It is outrageous that there is any question of Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers being denied promotion. It is also outrageous that these clubs are having to fund legal teams of their own to defend th
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  • Our picks

    • Queen of the South 1-1 Inverness CT - Report
      Tight as a ducks erse: This crucial game ended in stalemate as did the entire Championship fixture list. In a tight first half both keepers had saves to make with Ridgers probably the busier. Queens opened the scoring on the hour when the defence allowed Fitzpatrick to run forty yards unchallenged to fire high past Ridgers. Toddy levelled minutes later from a Storey cross, heading down into the bottom corner for his tenth goal this season. No further scoring with Inverness finishing the game on top but unable to get the winner.
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    • Queen of the South -V- Inverness CT - Preview
      Can we be King of Queens? Down to the nitty gritty now and another crucial game ahead as we travel to Palmerston Park Dumfries for what is the start of the proverbial six-pointers with only four games left in the Championship. Queens on Saturday at 3:00pm, our sixth away game out of the last seven, then Dundee (H), Hearts (A), Ayr United (H). It's a difficult closing run to the season when you consider our immediate target, Dunfermline, close out the season against bottom teams Arbroath and Alloa. As the table stands, we are only three points ahead of Queens going in to this game and they still have a game in hand.
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    • Morton 1-4 Inverness CT - Report
      HOT TODDY SCORES A PEACH: This crucial week kicked off at Cappielow and despite the condition of the pitch Inverness managed to score twice in the first half. We benefitted from what looked like an infringement for a pass back seven minutes before the break. Scott Allardice lashed the ball high into the net after much confusion and two minutes later Nikolay Todorov turned in the box to lash the ball into the net after some defensive bloopers. Two up at the break but the next goal could be important and it was Muirhead that gave Morton some hope. However Todorov superbly volleyed home after chesting down the ball to restore our two goal cushion and Danny Mackay scored a tremendous fourth with a curling shot from the edge of the box. Back up to third for Inverness with Dundee also winning at Ayr.
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    • Morton -V- Inverness CT - Preview
      Big week starts tonight: The race for a play-off place is entering the final laps now with just five games left for the Caley Jags to try and overhaul one of the clubs above us in the table. Off to Greenock on Tuesday night for a 7:00pm start to face Morton who beat us in Inverness last time we met. In reality, the best we can hope for is overhauling one team before the end of the season and take our chances against the rest if we make the play-offs. Our next two games will shape our season and are crucial to our success this campaign. Away to Morton followed by a trip to face Queen of the South at Palmerston. Aye, there are no easy games left, it's then Dundee at home, Hearts away and our final game is a home tie with Ayr United.
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    • Ross County 1-3 Inverness CT - Scottish Cup - Report
      Unfortunately no fans were allowed in for the first Highland derby since April 2019 when County beat Inverness 2-1. This time round Inverness demolished County with a clinical display of finishing to come from behind and win the tie 3-1. It was a dour first half that sprung to life after thirty eight minutes when former Caley Jags favourite Billy Mckay scored with a close range header after a corner had been flicked on. It took Inverness less than a minute to respond when Nikolay Todorov lashed the ball home following a free kick. In truth the game needed the goals as it had been a war of attrition prior to these strikes. County upped the pace in the second half but it's easy to see where their problems lie, a lack of a cutting edge and poor defending would cost them. In the fifty-fourth minute Dan Mackay burst forward on the left, ducked inside two defenders before finishing with aplomb. The best County could offer was a header wide by Jordan White as Inverness continued to look like the team in the top division. The icing on the cake was complete when substitute Shane Sutherland turned in the box to drive home as County failed to clear their lines. Best chance for County was a late scramble in the box but we're getting used to them now and cleared the ball much to the chagrin of the wee team over the bridge.
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