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Everything posted by hislopsoffsideagain

  1. 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 would be to call up versatile players in order to free up squad positions for players - particularly a
  2. 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 Herrera, Umar Sadiq, Madis Vihmann...who will be this year's 'winner'? Well, you won't find out
  3. Contract expiry dates (I believe): End of 2020/21 season: Cammy Mackay, Ryan Fyffe, Kevin McHattie, Brad McKay, Harry Nicolson, David Carson, Aaron Doran, Lewis Hyde, Anthony McDonald, James Vincent, James Keatings (already signed a PCA with Raith), Miles Storey, Shane Sutherland, Nikolay Todorov End of 2021/22 season: Mark Ridgers, Daniel Devine, Wallace Duffy, Cameron Harper, Roddy MacGregor, Sean Welsh, Daniel Mackay End of 2022/23 season: Robbie Deas, Scott Allardice Here's the article confirming Welsh is with us for next season
  4. 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 where they are - in extreme danger of plummeting into League One. At first, it looked like lock
  5. Called it. This feels very much like what happened to Partick Thistle last season, and Falkirk the season before.
  6. 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) ABERDEEN Out of contract (9): Bruce Anderson, Michael Devlin, Tommie Hoban, Greig Leigh, Shay Logan, Nia
  7. I am feeling pretty worried. We have: - a thin squad that we can't reinforce -a defence that lacks confidence and rarely keeps a clean sheet - no reliable goalscorer - a pretty exhausting run of matches - managerial upheaval - no fans to rally the players This seems like the perfect recipe for a complete collapse, to be honest. If relegation can happen to Falkirk or Partick Thistle, it can happen to us. The game on Saturday is huge; lose that and we are in massive trouble.
  8. 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 the season, and so much deadwood in the squad that you could build an ark out of it (the mediocre
  9. Obviously I'm biased because I commentated for their audio stream last season but it is just bizarre. They even ran a successful test broadcast of the Dundee game to prove they could do it - with on screen graphics and in-game replays to boot! And yet the club still chooses to pay for Pixellot instead of using skilled, experienced volunteers...even though they're filming the game anyway. Then they use the CaleyJagsTV highlights too, which just emphasizes the difference in quality. It is a really, really strange decision by the club.
  10. 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, where they were spared relegation only because Falkirk's ground was at risk of falling down at any mom
  11. I'm worried. We were the only club in the Championship not to sign anyone in January. It's not like we have a bloated squad - we have just 15 players aged over 21 on our books. Having lost Kai Kennedy, we were a player down from the start of the month. And ever since the summer Robbo has talked of signing a striker. And yet, nothing. I don't agree that there are loads of free agents out there - certainly there aren't many whose previous club was Scottish. We are still able to loan players from the Premiership, but aside from Kennedy we do not have a good rec
  12. This is spot on. With Kennedy having left we are already down a wide player compared to where we were at the start of the window. Robbo has also previously said he wanted another striker, and I can understand why. If anything, the defence is the biggest problem. We continue to concede too many soft goals, especially from set pieces. The trouble is that a chunk of budget will be taken up by McHattie and Toshney who have spent the whole season injured. I appreciate finances will be tight just now, but the trouble is that in football you have to run just to stand still. In this win
  13. 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 quickly enough, and there is always the underlying fear that it will turn out that the end of said tunne
  14. 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-three and the other players trying to fight for their place in history. I actually did something
  15. A wee bit of positive news, I hope - Andy and his team (who do the highlights filming from the A9 side of the ground) invited me along on Saturday to act as the 'commentator' for a test run of their new software which allows them to live stream the game with those cameras with some graphics (not Sky Sports-esque, but still pretty decent looking) and also run instant replays of incidents as part of the live coverage. They even set up a monitor so I could actually see the stream and the replays during commentary. Everything seemed to work great and as far as I can tell there's no rea
  16. Well, that was a joy to watch. There was a little too much last-ditch defending for my liking at 1-0, but we were the better team in the first half and absolutely turned the screw in the second. According to the BBC, QOS didn't even have a shot on target. I particularly love the way the forwards are swapping positions and causing havoc with their movement. It was the same against Raith and is a sign of a very well-coached team, I think. It was also clear that we had a plan for how we we could hurt QOS, so more kudos to Robbo. Its unreal to think Kennedy and MacGregor ar
  17. How did you manage to get to watch a game live on the west cameras, and how do the rest of us get to do so as well?
  18. The cameras on the A9 side can definitely be used for streaming games - I know because I commentated on one that was being streamed live as a test run last season. Have the club got some sort of agreement in place with the providers of the Pixellot system that requires them to use the camera for every live broadcast? It's a shame because Andy and his team do an amazing job with the highlights and I expect would be able to put together a fantastic package for live coverage as well if given the opportunity.
  19. Our attacking play looks really terrific. Keatings, Storey and Sutherland look like they can swap positions at will, while Kennedy is clearly a player. Its certainly more pleasing on the eye than playing with a more static target man. Also looks like the midfield didn't miss a beat, even with Welsh not fit to start. McGregor clearly did a good job in a deeper role, while we need to sign up Allardice on a long-term deal pronto. There's still weaknesses that will be exploited by better teams, but there's some very promising signs here.
  20. The trick for working out who the opposing players are is to watch footage of/read up on previous games (so you know what likely position each player will be in), to check photos online beforehand and to watch the warmup and identify players with distinctive haircuts/boots.
  21. 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 them instead, and they might get the joy of qualifying for something occasionally? Heck, I've got a ma
  22. 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 them instead, and they might get the joy of qualifying for something occasionally? Heck, I've got a ma
  23. 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, Rangers have improved. We're yet to find out whether yet another post-New Year slump will derail their
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