BENCHMAN: The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree

Which Scotland players can you identify here?
Which Scotland players can you identify here?

Managerial appointments and refereeing decisions are regular points of debate, and that’s the case for The Benchman this week.


The selection process for managers continues to baffle many people. Marco Silva? Who was he and what knowledge of the English game did he have? You don’t need three sheets of A4 to produce the answers, yet the owners of Hull City believe he can work miracles and keep a very average side in the top flight. Bob Bradley, Ian Cathro and now Paul Clement and Marco Silva. Maybe they were good coaches, but that isn’t the same as managing a side. Remember Malcolm Allison and Joe Mercer or Peter Taylor and Brian Clough?


Talking of which - is it really 10 years since Rangers sacked Paul le Guen? We might remember him at The Falkirk Stadium looking lost and bewildered and totally incapable of inspiring a Rangers side as the Gers support expressed their views in no uncertain terms.


Quote of the day. Falkirk are winning 4-1 and are clearly well on top. Raith have run out of ideas and the game is done and dusted. “Come on Falkirk, let’s put this lot to the sword!” shouts one perceptive Bairns fan.


Cannot believe the kind of money being thrown at “big name players” by these Chinese teams. It’s like the South African exodus of the 70s for players past their prime. Oscar £50m, Hulk £47m, and guys like Gervinho and Demba Ba commanding big fees. Five out of the top seven transfer fees were for Brazilians. There are no big money British players - yet. We could always recommend defenders like Big Dun Kee or strikers like Bang Wan Ing.


Does the English Cup matter anymore? Bournemouth make 11 changes and many people are paying top dollar to watch games between Reserve sides. Can’t imagine the sponsors are too pleased.



Hugh Dallas was never far from controversy, but even he didn’t put on a display to rival that seen at Starks Park by his wee boy Andrew. Each howler was worse than the one before it and his “highlight” was missing his linesman’s offside signal and proceeding to penalise Falkirk for trying to get the ball back. Every week, you think the standard has bottomed out, but then along comes another shocker.


Last week’s mystery player was Ernie Winchester of Aberdeen and Hearts. The seven players who played for Falkirk and were winners of the SPFA First Division Player of the Year were Owen Coyle (Airdrie), John Rankin (Ross County), Colin McMenamin (Gretna) and John Baird (Raith Rovers), as well as three Falkirk players - Russell Latapy, Farid el Alagui and Lyle Taylor.


Lyle Taylor was on Match of the Day last Saturday night. Who was he playing for in an FA Cup match?


Match rating: 7

Team rating: 7

Opposition: 6

Referee: Dallas 3

Best Bairn: Craig Sibbald