BENCHMAN: There’s Sam-thing wrong with the game

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Our columnist was scratching his head at Crystal Palace’s latest managerial appointment.

SAM, SAM, MEDIOCRE SAM ?

In the words of the late Terry Wogan- is it me? What super-human qualities does this guy possess? Lucky to evade a charge of bringing the game into disrepute and being sacked for gross professional misconduct, Allardyce emerges with a pay-off and lands another job within weeks. The pinnacle of his managerial career seems to have been building a “not bad” Bolton side who were hard to beat. He has never been relegated. Now that’s what I call achievement. And - to make matters worse- his first game as Palace manager is an item on the BBC national news!

RORY LOY

Rory is keen to go out on loan from Dundee and follows a long line of former Bairns who moved on, only to find that the grass wasn’t really always greener on the other side. Anthony Stokes, Lyle Taylor, Kallum Higginbotham and Farid El Alagui- there is a clear pattern emerging. In hindsight, maybe their best moments were really in a navy blue jersey and at a club where they were really loved. Rory was an interested spectator at East End Park, and surely we could make an attempt to get him back?

KNIVES OUT

Ian Cathro was a surprise appointment for Hearts, but there is a real feeling that his days are already numbered. Peter Cormack resigned after 10 days at Cowdenbeath, and it could be that the unfortunate Cathro could be one of the shortest- lived tenants of the Tynecastle hot-seat. How long do you give a manager to establish himself? Is the recruitment process thorough and professionally-led? It might be that the best candidate is often missed and that more needs to be done on the fit between the job required and the ability and potential of the candidates. At Falkirk, we all knew that the John Lambie appointment was wrong from the off, and what a price we paid for that moment of folly.

NUMBERS GAME

What great planning.Aberdeen to Motherwell – 300 miles round trip, Glasgow to Dingwall - 360 miles round trip, and Perth to Kilmarnock - 170 miles round trip. Oh, let’s make it evening kick-offs and on a Friday night. Why not let the TV boys show one of them live. The weather is usually pretty good at this time of year in Scotland. They got their answers. Fir Park 3,428: Victoria Park 2,935 and Rugby Park 3,056.

ANSWERS

Last week’s picture was of a Falkirk v Dunfermline match and the Bairns players were Buck McCarry, Jim McIntosh and Les Thomson. Tiger McLaughlan played for Seattle Sounders.

TEASER

From which club did Falkirk sign ex Scotland keeper Thomson Allan?

IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER

Summer football anyone? What fantastic supporters Falkirk have? One day they might get the success they deserve. Finishing third or fourth in the second tier should never be the “height” of our ambition.

BENCHMARKS

Match rating: 6

Team rating: 6

Opposition: 5

Referee: Anderson 5

Best Bairn: The 2,042 travelling Falkirk fans