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hislopsoffsideagain

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Everything posted by hislopsoffsideagain

  1. Are we ever going to have a battle for the league title again? A two horse race isn't much more exciting than a one horse race when you don't have a stake in either, but last season some thought Rangers might be able to push Celtic a bit. Not too many expected them p*** all over Celtic's ten-in-a-row dream. Steven Gerrard's side won the title by 25 points. Can Celtic turn that back around. The evidence of their opening European games was not encouraging. As for the other ten, we're very much back to a situation where the ceiling is third place. Hibs managed it last season, but Aberdeen ar
  2. For the first time since 2014, there isn't a club in this division that could be considered a Scottish football heavyweight - yes, I'd still refer to Dundee United as such, even if they are a bit flabby with bingo wings and move slower than a week in jail. There's also not a club like Dundee or Ross County who have significant financial backing from a benevolent millionaire. So in theory at least the Championship is up for grabs. However Kilmarnock - back at this level for the first time since 1993! - have not messed about and deserve to be described as favourites. Supporters or almost eve
  3. Given that League One is still mostly the domain of part-time clubs, any full-time teams should always be considered favourites. Partick Thistle lived up to that billing last season, eventually. Falkirk on the other hand collapsed like a house of cards in a hurricane; if missing out on promotion was a catastrophe, slumping to fifth place is, er, something worse than a catastrophe? For 2021/22, the Bairns, Airdrie - who have a bit of a hybrid model in their squad - and Queen's Park, who are in a heck of a hurry after throwing off the shackles of amateurism, are the full-timers. But there'
  4. In recent seasons Scottish League Two has been dominated by clubs that have been rather flush with cash for this level - Queen's Park last season, and Cove Rangers the year before. At the other end of the table, the addition in 2015 of a relegation playoff has forced smaller sides who have cruised along at this level for aeons to either ship up or ship out; league mainstays East Stirlingshire and Berwick Rangers have languished in the Lowland League after dropping out of the SPFL, while Brechin City - who finished bottom in the shortened 2019-20 season but were reprieved after the playoffs wer
  5. I think I wrote off Foran after six...but I think we all wish the club had too!
  6. I mentioned my concerns about the signing on Twitter, but a lot of St. Mirren fans have been quite insistent that this kid is a talent and they think he'll do well for us. Fingers crossed.
  7. Neither would have a realistic chance of getting a work permit.
  8. If Storey is away, we've lost eight first team players since the end of the season - Brad McKay and Kevin McHattie in defence, Scott Allan and James Vincent in midfield and Nikolay Todorov, Daniel Mackay and James Keatings in attack (I don't think Arron Lyall contributed enough to be called a first team player) I'd argue that we need to replace all eight. I think it would be ambitious to rely on Nicolson, Fyffe and Hyde to have the same impact that Harper, MacGregor and Daniel Mackay had last season. We've brought back Walsh, so that leaves another seven holes to fill.
  9. We waited twenty-three years for this, and what did we get? An endless barrage of mediocre nausea-related puns regarding the name of the Czech goalscorer. What we didn't get was the epic, all-action, never-say-die, no-one-lives-forever performance from the home side that we were looking for and, frankly, expecting. Heck, no-one even got booked. Don't forget that Scotland were the home side here. Opportunities to play at a major tournament are like hen's teeth for us; to do it on our own turf is a chance that had to be grasped with both hands, not least against our only group opponent t
  10. That is pretty grim. From what I can tell, ICT are one of only four clubs in the whole SPFL who haven't confirmed player releases yet - the others are Celtic (whose player contracts run till the end of June), Annan (who have announced releases in dribs and drabs) and newly promoted Kelty Hearts. It is just downright weird that the club haven't said anything yet...and even weirder if they haven't bothered to tell the players either...
  11. Gardyne is 35 but you wouldn't have known it from watching him last season. Whilst I imagine he doesn't have the same pace he had ten years ago he clearly keeps himself in excellent shape. He's also an extremely intelligent player and uses his experience to compensate for slowing down a bit. There's always an element of risk with signing players of his age but a guy who started 21 Premiership games last season is not to be sneezed at.
  12. I was a huge fan of Walsh during his first spell with us. His ability to get half a yard on the full-back and whip in a dangerous cross with either foot is not to be sniffed at, and he offered a decent goal threat himself too. His spell at Ayr was wrecked by injuries - as was his second season with us - so the key here is keeping him fit. The thought of having two of Walsh, McDonald and Doran (if he signs a new contract) playing wide for us is pretty exciting.
  13. Think it's safe to say that both Gardyne and Vigurs are well past their best and are only going to decline further. Draper seems just too injury prone now. Mckay is an interesting one but I'm cautious about signing a striker who will be 33 in October and whose game is primarily based on pace and movement. I could see us showing an interest in Callum Morris, who has done well at this level before. Jermaine Hylton would be an excellent signing as a wide player but I don't expect he would be interested.
  14. The keeper and back four can be found here. Here's the midfield and attack. This season I've gone for a 4-2-3-1. CENTRAL MIDFIELD: STEVEN DAVIS (RANGERS), ALI MCCANN (ST. JOHNSTONE) Honourable mentions: Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen), Hakeem Odoffin (Hamilton Academical), Joe Newell (Hibernian), Allan Campbell (Motherwell) When Davis returned to Ibrox in 2019 he looked woefully unfit and I don't think I was the only one who thought his legs were gone; now 36, he looks as sprightly as ever and was a deserving winner of the Football Writer's Player Of The Year award. Remarkably the Ulsterman w
  15. Okay, since it's only two days till Steve Clarke announces his Euro 2021 squad, maybe it isn't too early for me to speculate anymore? So here's who I think - not necessarily who the boss thinks - will be the twenty-six players who will wear the Scotland shirt at a major tournament for the first time since France '98. It'll be interesting to see who benefits from the decision to increase the squad size from twenty-three, given that the three fortunate so-and-so's are virtually certain not to play. Do you just pick the next three men up? Reward the loyalty of longstanding squad members? Brin
  16. Aye, it's that time again. Fourteen years we've been doing this, and frankly I'm worried the universe will end if I shirk my duties. No surprise that there's a lot of representation from the blue cheek of the Glasgow arse this year. For posterity, here's the previous thirteen editions: 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: L
  17. An updated list after today's news of new contracts and yesterday's news of Daniel Mackay's impending exit. Contract expiry dates: End of 2020/21 season: Cammy Mackay, Kevin McHattie, Brad McKay, Aaron Doran, 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, Ryan Fyffe, Cameron Harper, Harry Nicolson, Lewis Hyde, Anthony McDonald, Roddy MacGregor, Sean Welsh End of 2022/23 season: Robbie Deas, Scott Allardice End of 2023/24 season: Da
  18. The club have had the ability to broadcast the game live with the cameras they use for highlights and with replays too since December (presumably with no added expense). However whoever it is that makes the decisions has decided that the Pixellot system, which the club is paying for, is the better option. Presumably they know best.
  19. The initial countdown from 25 to 11 can be found here. This is the ninth time we've done this. The eight previous 'winners': 2012/13: Rory Boulding (Kilmarnock) 2013/14: Stephane Bahoken (St. Mirren) 2014/15: Jim Fenlon (Ross County) 2015/16: Rodney Sneijder (Dundee United) 2016/17: Joey Barton (Rangers) 2017/18: Eduardo Herrera (Rangers) 2018/19: Umar Sadiq (Rangers) 2019/20: Madis Vihmann (St. Johnstone) You'll note that we've never previously named a Celtic player at the top of this list. It won't surprise anyone that this is about to change... 10. MICHAEL O'CONNOR (ROS
  20. As a massive stats geek, this is tremendous news. Thanks, guys!
  21. What we know: - Raith Rovers' Iain Davidson got sent off against us on 16 March for a foul on Todorov. - There was a bit of a melee afterward in which Davidson grabbed Sean Welsh by the throat. The referee showed a second red card for that. - On 24 March Davidson was served a notice of complaint by the SFA for Excessive Misconduct. The hearing is on 15 April. It was reported in the press that this was related to "discriminatory comments made towards an Inverness player". - Today Nikolay Todorov was served a notice of complaint by the SFA for Excessive Misconduct. The hearin
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
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