The Benchman: England’s blame game and Shire’s surprise acquistion

Can you name these three players? Tweet your answer @FalkirkHeraldSp
Can you name these three players? Tweet your answer @FalkirkHeraldSp

The Benchman welcomes back Houstie and wonders when Shire fans will begin buying up local hotels.

THE INQUESTS BEGIN: As might have been expected, the feeding frenzy began as soon as the referee blew his whistle for the end of the Italy v Costa Rica game. England were out before the malaria tablets had been finished off. The Private Eye cover picture was prophetic. The captain of the plane is leaning out of the window asking: “Shall I keep the engines running?” It was Roy Hodgson’s fault. It was the players’ faults. It was the Premier League’s fault. It was the F.A.’s fault. It was the media’s fault. It was the weather. It was too long a season. Maybe a bit of all of them. England looked really good for 20 minutes against Italy and the style of play was exciting. But they didn’t score.

BADGE OF HONOUR: There are lots of unhappy bunnies (or should that be tigers) down on Humberside. The club owner who was hell-bent on changing the club name to Hull Tigers has now decided to change the club’s badge. Out goes the name of the club and the date of founding, 1904. The new badge just has a tiger’s head. Apparently the Tigers name appears on club stationery and official documents. Watch this Space. Remember the ‘Est.1876’ which disappeared from the badge when Falkirk “re-branded”?

PRE-SEASON STARTS: Spare a thought for the Aberdeen players who were in action in Dublin last Saturday. With Europa League qualifiers coming up soon, there surely must be a case for copying the Irish and moving to a summer season game? Look what it did for rugby league and shinty.

GINGER THEM UP: Welcome back Houstie. You always said you’d be back some day. There were some great Houstie moments when he was at Brockville. As a player he had a great support and he knows the club well. We might never have had him back again after a nightmare trip across the Forth Bridge in the Shire team bus all those years ago. But that’s a story for another day.

SHIRE: Talking of our friends The Shirey Pirey. Shurely shum mishtake, as Sir Sean Connery might have said in an early Bond film. Shire were building up a multi-million pound empire and grabbing all the headlines in the Financial Times. I imagined Tad zooming around the town in a new Porsche Carerra with the registration ‘SH1RE ‘and buying up every hotel in the area. I decided to Google the story only to find that I had the wrong Shire. The company press release stated: “Shire’s acquisition of ViroPharma - a high growth, rare disease biopharmaceutical company, is an excellent strategic fit that will significantly enhance our rare disease portfolio.” Says it all really.

LAST WEEK’S ANSWERS: The team that started out as a Shinty team was Nottingham Forest and the player in the half-Nelson was current SPFA chief Fraser Wishart.

TEASER: From which club did Falkirk sign Kenny Dawson for a second time?