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hislopsoffsideagain

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Everything posted by hislopsoffsideagain

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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?
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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 with then you can tell they must be good. Craig Gordon at the back, Stephen Kingsley, Craig Halkett
  19. 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 with then you can tell they must be good. Craig Gordon at the back, Stephen Kingsley, Craig Halkett
  20. 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 unbeaten in the league between then and lockdown. That record surely won't last, but given they've been a
  21. 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 unbeaten in the league between then and lockdown. That record surely won't last, but given they've been a
  22. 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 regulars in the Championship. Most remarkably they've signed Simon Murray, the former Dundee United and Hib
  23. 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 regulars in the Championship. Most remarkably they've signed Simon Murray, the former Dundee United and Hib
  24. 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 the coming weeks. Each Championship club's current squad list can be found here. For more details on
  25. 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 the coming weeks. For more details on transfer moves so far check out the SPFL transfers page. A
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