Benchman: ‘The Ghost’ would have raised the national side’s spirits

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The Benchman wonders what might have been, had Scotland had John White to face the World Champions earlier this month.

GERMANY CALLING: Were Scotland and Germany trying to outdo each other in terms of scoring bizarre goals? What a strange game that was and you yearned for the days of John White. John came on to make his Scotland début as a Falkirk Bairn and took all of 55 seconds to score his first goal. Who against? West Germany.

ONE FAMOUS WELSHMAN: All the focus is on Gareth Bale and he is a genuine talent. It reminds me of the time back in 1958 when Wales had another famous player- John Charles. In my books, he was a genuine world-class player, equally at home wearing No.9 and No. 5. He was kicked off the park in Sweden and without him, Wales went down to Brazil. All Wales will be hoping that Bale gets better protection in France than John did in Sweden.

ROONEY’S RECORD: OK-he made it and he became England’s top scorer of all time. Is it fair to compare goals, or indeed caps, across the years? The record of Jimmy Greaves is outstanding, scoring 44 goals in 57 games for England. Rooney has scored 50 goals from 107 games, and these include games against some teams that England wouldn’t have faced all those years ago- like San Marino and Liechtenstein. 

FOR CLUB AND COUNTRY: The Howgate management and their partners are to be congratulated on bringing off the “For Club and Country” exhibition. To get these Scotland exhibits from the impressive Hampden Museum collection is a real coup for them.

COLLECTING CLUB: How do you judge football as an occupation? Compare our longest serving players, guys who played over 300 times for their team, with the likes of Mickael Antoine-Curier who is looking for his 20th club. What price loyalty and service?

ANSWERS: Last week’s picture featured Duncan Ferguson, then at Dundee United, and Davie Weir. Both later played for Everton and Rangers. Falkirk’s first sponsors were David Morton.

PANDA-RING TO THE KIDS: After several incarnations, have we finally found a Paisley Panda who is actually Bairns-friendly? The previous wearers of the costume have annoyed Falkirk fans, and even been sacked for their inappropriate behaviour. Before kick-off the reformed bear was seen mixing amicably with younger fans. Much better.

NO WAY JOSE: Let’s see just what Señor Mourinho is like in adversity, now that his multi-millionaires are a mere eleven points behind leaders Manchester City after only five games played. Pre-season burn-out I hear you ask?

TEASER: To which club did Falkirk transfer Sam McGivern?

COMEBACK KINGS: What about that fightback against St.Mirren. As soon as we drew level, I just knew we could go and get a winner. The Saints management knew it too and you could see the increasing sense of foreboding on the players’ faces. Well done to the team, who looked to be on Mission Impossible at the interval.

Match rating: 10
Team rating: 8
Opposition: 7
Referee: Beaton 6
Best Bairn: Lee Miller