BENCHMAN: FA Cup has lost lustre

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The Benchman reckons the FA Cup is losing the special place it has in the game.

THE CUP RUNNETH OVER TIME

Arsenal and Hull played out a goalless draw and got the “replay nobody wanted.” Hull boss Steve Bruce promised that he would send his keeper up front if it was still level with five minutes to go. He didn’t. Standby for Hull Reserves v Arsenal Reserves. The FA Cup has lost something.

CAREER PERILS

The expressions on the faces of the Falkirk players said it all. They knew the injury to Conor McGrandles was a bad one. Older Bairns fans will have seen similar reactions before, notably after injuries to Jim Shirra, George Gibson and more recently Andy Lawrie. Everyone hopes the lad will recover from a double leg break and resume his promising career. All the very best Conor.

DROOKIT

Was that not an advert for Summer Football? Maybe Wet, Wet, Wet could sponsor Morton. They did wonders for Clydebank.

TANGERINE NIGHTMARE

What did you make of Stephen Thompson’s outburst last week? It was frank, direct and few Arabs would have disagreed with his comments. But surely a Chairman must carry some responsibility for the decisions made? When Jackie McNamara was sacked, they were one point adrift. By the time of the Chairman’s comments, they were 13 adrift and looking hopeless. The dressing room would have been a great place following the “down tools” comment by senior player John Rankin. The players were called on to “redeem their professional reputations.” Dundee United 2 Hearts 1.

SCOTLAND’S FINEST REFEREE?

Willie Collum is going to Euro 2016 as Scotland’s “best” referee. Over the years, he has been fast-tracked, lauded, endorsed and promoted by various refereeing gurus. Many supporters have failed to see how his meteoric rise has been justified. There now is a breed of whistlers who seem to think that they are key players in the game, and strut a stage to give a performance. They have little rapport with professional players and most have never played the game to any great level. Respect and mutual understanding are in short supply. Look at the great Scottish referees of the past- Tiny Wharton, Peter Craigmyle, Jack Mowat and more recently Willie Young. And look at the current crop. Case closed.

ANSWERS

Last week’s mystery player was Jock Wallace in his goalkeeping days. Hugh Maxwell was signed by Falkirk from Bradford Park Avenue.

TEASER

Which English club played Falkirk in a pre-season Friendly at Broadwood in July 2003?

EXCITING LEAGUES NO. 234

The self-congratulations were amazing. What a league the Scottish Premiership is. They are all trying to get into the top six and avoid the scramble for the dreaded play-off place. Excuse me. If a club finishes in the top six, surely they can (to coin a phrase) “down tools.”? We don’t need league reconstruction. All is well in the best of all possible SPFL worlds.

BENCHMARKS (Morton)

Match rating: 7

Team rating: 7

Opposition: 6

Referee: Craig Thomson 6

Best Bairn: John Baird