The Benchman wonders what is going on with the lack of big name signings, and an influx of foreign clubs to Scottish competitions.
The Anglo-Scottish Cup, the Drybrough Cup, the Texaco Cup- all attempts to enliven an otherwise mundane fixture list. We enjoyed our skirmishes with Coventry City and it is good to see your team play “abroad”. The Challenge Cup organisers have been criticised for bringing in Northern Irish and Welsh teams, but just watch how many fans Falkirk will take if they reach the stages when they play a “foreign” team away from home. Remember Ceske Budejovice?
Just how low Scotland’s football standing is can be seen by the excitement and interest generated by the many big name signings who are NOT coming to play in our leagues. Butcher, Woods, Wilkins, Francis, Gascoigne and Roberts were once attracted to Scotland and some still played for England. This summer so far, we have seen thousands of words about a 33 year old with a chequered career and a 38 year old from QPR.
What a cracking opener that is. The focus will all be on Neil Lennon and his Hibs side who are clear favourites to win the league. This division will have some cracking fixtures and the return of our friends from Fife will be eagerly awaited. The dark horses could be St.Mirren and Alex Rae will have his side well prepared. Benchman will put his traditional ten bob on The Bairns to top the pile, and two successes from forty attempts won’t have the bookies quaking in their shoes.
BOO HOO, MAMMY
What a petulant so-and-so Cristiano Ronaldo is. His post-match “small mentality” comments about Iceland were disgraceful. For a team made up from the staff at 860 shops they are doing really well.
Wan you name the player pictured above?
The picture was a Dundee United side in their pre-tangerine days and older readers would have recognised Neil Mochan and Gibby Ormond among others. Richard Cadette was signed from Brentford. Hard to believe that Richard is now 51!
Which country did Falkirk visit after they finished their tour of Malta in the early 1950s?
BBC Scotland reported that under manager John Hughes, Inverness C.T. used 25 players last season- and only five of them were Scots. No wonder so many are cynical about the current academy structures.
HUMOUR OR WHAT?
The programme from a Clyde game against Hong Kong Rangers was on show at a recent Memories session. Willie Henderson, Jim Forrest and Alex Willoughby were all in the visiting side. One of the guys said with a straight face.” I recognise their centre forward. It’s Bang Wan In.”
THE ICEWOMEN COMETH
Benchman had an interesting conversation with former Falkirk coach Pauline Hamill about that 4-0 hammering by Iceland at The Falkirk Stadium. With 141 Scotland caps to her credit, her opinions are worth listening to. Iceland with a population of 380,000 have better diets, better life-styles, better indoor all-weather facilities and better coaches. They are bigger, stronger, fitter and faster. Not surprisingly,the SWFA have sent coaches to Iceland to study their methods.