The Benchman: Remember the old Jan and Dean Song?

Mystery Picture:  Who is this leading Arsenal out?
Mystery Picture: Who is this leading Arsenal out?

This week The Benchman has much to lament after a woeful international weekend for Scotland and a crumbling in the Cup for Falkirk.

A CUP’S A CUP FOR A’ THAT?: Over the years, we have played in some cups and tournaments that won’t last long in the memory. The Dewar Shield, the Anglo-Scottish Cup, the Texaco Cup, the Drybrough Cup to name but a few. The Challenge Cup had a little bit of respectability before all the sponsorship nonsense kicked in and we ended up with the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafers Challenge Cup. What next? I am reminded of an old Jan and Dean song- “The Anaheim, Azusa and Cucamonga Sewing Circle, Book Review and Timing Association.” Do you think they could sponsor the next incarnation of the cup?

WAFER-THIN MIDFIELD: What a huge disappointment that was. The manager gave some fringe players a chance to stake a claim for a first team place- and they did little to convince him. There was a lack of urgency, a lack of fight and a lack of leadership. The midfield was absent without leave, and there was a crying need for a midfield ball-winner like Davie Nicholls. Gary Miller and Robbie Mutch apart, the team let the travelling support down. Those who stayed away didn’t miss much.

THE HAMPDEN WHISPER: What a sorry sight to see last Friday night at Hampden Park. A “crowd” of 32, 432 watching the national side take on decent opposition and losing yet again. The Hampden attendances are indicative of a country falling out of love with its national side. I remember a packed Hampden only a few years ago and it was bouncing. We sang Loch Lomond, 500 Miles and the Tartan Army was in full voice. Now it’s like a wake and ticket sales are plummeting. Where did it all go wrong?

MEANWHILE…: Falkirk High station saw more people heading to Edinburgh than Glasgow on Friday night. Scotland “Reserves” were playing minnows Georgia for the second time in a week, and yet the attendance at Murrayfield was 53,406. The crowds for the last four games at the national Rugby stadium have been 67,500, 67,150, 67,500 and 67,350. Lessons there?

ONE SINGER, ONE SONG?: For an operatic company, they more than held their own. Well done to Falkirk Bohemians for going so close against Airdrie last Saturday. They did more than their football counter-parts and at least managed to score two goals. Some bookies had the Bohemians at a tenor to one to win.

PEDIGREE FOR A CAP?: How desperate are we to find players for Steve Clarke’s national side? No disrespect to the player himself, but when we are relying on Oli McBurnie who has been on loan to Chester, Newport County, Bristol Rovers and Barnsley- we are in a sorry state. The guy is a trier and does his best – but a goal-scorer he isn’t.

ANSWERS: Last week’s team was Stenhousemuir and you might have been able to spot a young Alex Smith in the outside right position.