The Benchman: Failings of modern fitba’ - over-coaching, no atmosphere and out of town stadia

Who is this, and who is he playing for?
Who is this, and who is he playing for?

A lack of songs, cheers or atmosphere at Saturday’s Hamilton match led The Benchman to lament what is missing from the modern game.

NOW AND THEN: Maybe it’s a sign of age, but several Falkirk fans couldn’t help but contrast the difference in atmosphere between Brockville and the Falkirk Stadium. Imagine Brockville hosting a game between a Falkirk side in third place and the club immediately above them? The pubs around the ground would have been filled and the noise level at kick-off would be deafening. By contrast, you could have heard a pin drop for long periods on Saturday. Is it distance from the pitch, the all-seater “experience”, the stadium location, the over-familiarity of opposition?

THE BEST AND WORST: Again on Saturday we had the best and worst of the modern game. The best- fit, fast players, excellent playing surface,light footballs and good quality footwear.But- conformity, rigidity, fear of losing, tactical over-analysis and coaching sterility. In the modern game, players like Tommy Murray, Jimmy Gilmour, Kevin McAllister, Simon Stainrod and Russell Latapy would have talent, flair and style coached out of them by textbook coaches with their notebooks, bibs and cones, charts and diagrams.

NORTH AND SOUTH DIVIDE: Welcome back to Lyle Taylor and Farid El Alagui. What does it tell you about the relative standards between our game and that down South when players can be such big fish in a small pond? Hope you do well lads and we might see you at the club one day.

IAN REDFORD: Football was shocked to hear of the death of Ian Redford. He was once a signing target for Falkirk and will be fondly remembered at all his clubs. He was highly rated by those who played with him and his autobiography “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” is well worth a read- especially now in these tragic circumstances.

NORTH AMERICA CALLING: It was a real surprise to hear that Jermain Defoe had signed for Toronto FC in the MLS. He joins a cohort of stars in the MLS, most of who might have been glad of a last big pay day. It seems little has changed since the days when Phil Woosnam attracted a host of stars to play over there.

ANSWERS: Last week’s mystery player was Billy Little, pictured in an Aberdeen strip. The club who transferred Vic McKinney was Glenavon.

TEASER: Which Falkirk player moved to Inverness Caledonian and played against Falkirk in a Scottish Cup tie?


IFS BUTS AND MAYBES: Good to see manager Gary Holt giving the Cowdenbeath game top priority in his notes. There’s no good counting possible points against Dundee, Queen of the South and imagining what that would do to Falkirk’s league position.