The Benchman draws up his footballing wishlist for 2014 and wonders what other clubs might have asked Santa for this Christmas.
I’M SPARTACUS, NO - I’M SPARTACUS: What a farce at Cappielow. Kenny Shiels was in the directors’ box - fully five yards behind the dug-out which was occupied by previous stand-in boss David Hopkin. The new Morton boss might have had a sign round his neck saying “See me. I’m here, now. Listen to me shouting.” Only when Rory Loy scored the decisive second goal did the excitable manager shut up. Talk about grandstanding?
CHRISTMAS WISH LIST: You can bet that every tabloid will be producing its own version of Football Christmas Wish Lists for the various players, managers and pundits involved in the game. What would be on the Benchman’s list? Neil Lennon: A route map of English motorways. Someone will be calling soon. Ally McCoist: SAS Survival Guide. He might need it. John Hughes: Big Book of Football Clichés. Terry Butcher: Patience. Jackie McNamara: Copies of the famous Jim McLean contracts for young players. Morton Directors: Ear plugs. Steven Pressley: A home ground. Shire fans: Vertigo pills. Camelon Juniors fans: Brasso for pending silverware. Falkirk fans: Luis Suarez on loan. St Johnstone: cardboard cut-out fans to fill that empty ground of theirs.
LAST WEEK’S ANSWERS: Last week’s picture showed Jimmy Delaney scoring for Scotland in the last minute against England at Hampden Park. Frank Swift is the keeper. The Doc was John ‘Doc’ Fitzsimmons who was signed from Clyde in 1942.
WHAT A TAN-UP: We have had our moments with difficult chairmen, whether they were butchers or fork lift truck owners, but they pale into insignificance when compared to the goings-on at Cardiff. Imagine a guy coming in to Falkirk, changing the colours and trying to sack a successful manager? Vincent Tan looks like a villain from a Bond movie - but surely it will all end in tears?
TEASER: Which future Bairn was once signed by Stoke City for a fee of £200,000?
THE GREATEST?: The two biggest stories in the country on Saturday were the passing of David Coleman and the early retirement of Graeme Swann the England cricketer. By Sunday morning the two stories dominated the headlines and airwaves. David Coleman was a really good broadcaster, but to have him put forward as the ‘Greatest Sports Broadcaster ever’? There are stronger contenders and I could look at Bill McLaren, Peter O’Sullivan, Harry Carpenter, Dan Maskell and Peter West. It might be an age thing but the commentators on the radio in the ‘50s and ‘60s were brilliant. They could paint pictures in your mind.
2013 - THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT WAS: The year is coming to its end. The results have been favourable over the last couple of weeks and there is a definite chance of 2014 being a year to remember. My only worry is that the print on my betting slip is fading and the bookie might not pay up.
MYSTERY PIC: Can you name the player pictured above? Tweet your answer @FalkirkHeraldSp