Monday, June 6, 2011

A Crucial Week

THIS is a massive week for Scottish football, even though it is one in which narry a ball will be kicked at senior level. For we have the annual meeting of the Scottish Football Association, a meeting at which, as has been well flagged-up in advance of the start of hostilities, far-reaching changes in how the SFA is organised and run might be voted through.
The use of might is crucial in this, because frankly, some turkeys are being asked to vote for Christmas, and I don't see that happening, unless a lot of arms are twisted. Turkeys voting for Christmas, perhaps not - more like pigs being asked to keep their snouts out of the feeding trough.
From what I have read of the proposed changes, which is very little, since my friends in the national media have been unable to find a pro or anti-Old Firm spin in the proposals, so haven't been too-forensic in their examination, there is nothing to cause me to man the barricades. Although I do find the fact that the Highland League clubs will come under the auspices of the proposed Professional Game, while the junior clubs, which are - certainly in the case of the really big "Superleague" clubs such as Arthurlie, Pollok, Auchinleck Talbot, Linlithgow Rose, Bo'ness, Tayport and such likes - run as, if not more-professionally and are every bit as well-funded as the Highland League clubs, are to come under the auspices of the Community Game, a bit hard to justify.
Of course the SFA has had too-many committees, too-many time-servers, too-many numpties in the corridors of power; change is necessary, it is over-due, but, I can see a lot of watering-down to proposals, a good deal of compromise to protect positions and in the end, not a lot will change.
That said, we can hope; we have to wait and see, but, I for one, am not too-confident of a brave new dawn breaking over Hampden this week.
BUT, if we've got problems, what about our dear southern neighbours. Isolated, abused for daring to attempt to postpone Herr Blatter's coronation last week - they are, as ever, short of friends world-wide. Clever move by the SFA to support England's postpone the election call, but to somehow manage to let them take all the flak - or is simply that, to the rest of the football world Scotland is an irrelevance and perhaps some think of us as being under England's control any way.
Then, they get hammered by the media for "only" drawing with Switzerland at Wembley. They might still be topping their European Championship qualifying group, but the fact that England hasn't won every game at least 6-0, to their press, smacks of failure.
I don't know what planet most of the English football media are on, or have been on for the past 40 years, but it clearly isn't Earth.
Years of failure have given we Tartan Army foot soldiers an admirable to look at Kipling's twin imposters, triumph and disaster and treat them both the same. The English clearly are no longer teacvhing Kipling in schools, or maybe the modern Englishman is too fick to notice. We (Scotland) are shite - and we know we are. England too is shite, but their fans and media have yet to cotton-on to this fact of life.
DUNCAN Ferguson, coach. Nope, cannot get my head round that one either. The idea of Duncan Disorderly planning the downfall of an opposing team is an alien concept, unless, of course, he calls-out their hard man for a Square Go in the centre circle pre-kick-off - a sort of 21st century use of the old King's Champion fight. In which case, back big Dunc's side for a clean sweep which would make Celtic's 1967 trophy haul seem modest.
Actually, the big man wants to have the qualification so he can properly run his coaching school in Majorca. Given his grounding with wee Jim McLean at Tannadice, big Dunc should succeed and I wish him well. Wouldn't like to be the journalist to ask the wrong question post-match, however, should be go into club management - it could be painful.
MOVING to Texas just might be the making of Derek Riordan. He's 28 now, and a father, it is time he grew up and, away from his home turf in Edinburgh, I feel he will finally grow-up. Otherwise, I expect him to swell the ranks of might have been contenders clogging-up our junior game within a couple of years.
He's got talent, across the Atlantic, let's hope it is given full rein.

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