By Jim Thornton:
Heroes and Villains
Poor old John Terry’s reputation is right in the grubber, isn’t it? Even Jimmy Savile’s been getting a better press. Fellow former England captain David Beckham, he of the squeaky-clean reputation and equally squeaky voice, is being touted for a knighthood. Terry, I suspect, can cancel the taxi for Buck House; although, a la Charles Green, perhaps he could buy Sir Jimmy’s title from his executors.
Compared with the Chelsea skipper, our home-grown players are mere pantomime villains. Duncan Ferguson did end up in the pokey for head-butting Raith’s John McStay, but having seen the latter subsequently ‘star’ for the Bully Wee, Big D would have walked if I had been on the jury.
St Johnstone famously sacked George O’Boyle and Kevin Thomas for sniffing cocaine in the toilet of a Perth pub. It could have been worse, of course. Well, if the white stuff wasn’t an illegal substance, what were two guys doing together in a cubicle with some talcum powder?
Chic Charnley, currently assistant to Jim Duffy at Clyde, is a reformed character I’m pleased to say. Indeed, I’m sure it won’t be too long before he has a stab at management in his own right.
Wee Bertie thought James McFadden, was a ‘cheeky boy’. The worst the former Fir Park favourite got up to was getting pissed and missing the plane back from a Scotland game. Jim Baxter used to get smashed on the way to a Scottish match.
And, if further proof were needed that our current crop of players are namby-pambies compared with their predecessors, Joe Jordan wouldn’t have sent his manager a text if he’d taken the petted lip. He would just have decked him.
Up for the Cup
Big congratulations to the European Ryder Cup team for the second-best comeback of the weekend. (Clyde fought back three times to salvage a draw against Nairn County, if you hadn’t noticed.)
Olly’s side reminded me of a typical Old Firm line-up in the Champions League. Some Englishmen, a couple of Irishmen, topped up with a few foreigners – and a solitary Scot.
And I blame Rangers for my poor performances on the course this season. In the past, my mates would routinely let me have gimmes even though I played like a motor boat – putt, putt, putt. Now they insist I hole out everything – on the grounds of sporting integrity.
Their Brains Are Aw in Their Heids
According to the papers, the official attendance at Civil Service Strollers’ Scottish Cup tie against Turriff on Saturday was 150. I hear, however, that there were in fact only 50 people at the game but that the home side made everyone go through the turnstiles three times just to keep the paperwork right.
And as well as the Pen Pushers getting tippexed-out of the draw for the third round, I see Wick Academy and Stirling University failed to get pass marks as well. So that leaves only Hamilton Academical to fly the old school flag.
Aiden, Aiden What’s the Score?
Well done to Celtic for coming from behind to beat Spartak Moscow and end the Parkhead side’s away-day hoodoo in the Champions League. Don’t you just wish Hooper and Samaras were Scottish? Although, would they get the nod from Craig Levein now that Steven Fletcher’s picked up his dummy?
I hope Roy Hodgson wasn’t watching Fraser Forster’s attempt at palming out the shot which led to Spartak’s second goal; I’ve seen John Inman with a firmer wrist. The big man’s not a bad goalie, but calls for him to be capped by England are a bit premature, are they not? Maybe he’ll grow into it, but at the moment he’s not even the best keeper in the SPL – that’s the under-rated Cammy Bell, for my money. In fact, I don’t think he would even be the best in the SFL - Neil Alexander’s a shoo-in for that, surely?
When You’re Smiling
Talking of England goalkeepers, I couldn’t take my eyes off QPR’s Robert Green during his side’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of his former club West Ham on Monday night.
Poor Greeny had hardly joined up at Loftus Road before he was summarily jocked-off to make way for even newer signing Julio Cesar from Brazil. Green then had to spend the game against the Hammers sitting in the technical area right behind his manager Mark Hughes, knowing that the Sky cameras would pick up his every expression. Even Victor Meldrew would’ve been hard pushed to keep a smile off his coupon as Cesar conceded two early, soft goals, but Green sat there stony-faced throughout. You’d have thought he was at a Michael McIntyre gig.
All That Glisters
Gordon Waddell wrote in his Sunday Mail column at the weekend to express his disappointment at one of our ‘Olympic heroes’ asking for £2,000 to appear at the paper’s Great Scots Award night. Couldn’t agree more, Gordon. But why not name and shame the culprit? Gold, silver, or bronze medal? Brass neck, more like.