The Benchman considers the latest football Twitter spat and marvels at an era when every player wanted to play for their country, no matter what the circumstances.
JEUX SANS FRONTIERES?: The Twitter spat between Messrs. Pietersen and Wilshere is an interesting one. Adnan Januzaj could qualify for England if he lives in England for five years. How do you define nationality? The old jokes about Jackie Charlton’s Ireland side come to mind. Are you Irish? No.Was your mother Irish? No. Was your grannie Irish? No. Have you ever been to Dublin? No. Have you ever had a pint of Guinness? Yes, once.
WORDS YOU NEVER THOUGHT YOU’D HEAR: There was one last week at the end of the Queen of the South game. “East Stirling win again to remain top of the table.” Well done to The Shire for a remarkable turnaround.
FANS OPINIONS: A harsh fact of life is that to most fans all that really matters is the team on the park and what happens between 3p.m. and 5p.m. on a Saturday. You can improve the seating, the public address system (please Alloa), the pies, car park and toilets. Did you really care about any of the above when you were going down Hope Street to watch Simon Stainrod and Co? To paraphrase Kevin Costner- build the team and they will come.
INTERNATIONAL HONOURS: It was really sad to hear that players didn’t want to play for their countries. It was also not surprising, given that the clubs seem to have the whip hand. Changed days. I remember Lawrie Reilly saying he would have played for Scotland even with a broken leg. When asked what would have happened if he had two broken legs, he mischievously replied “I might have needed a fitness test on the Saturday morning.” TEASER: Which Israeli team did Falkirk play at Brockville?
ANSWERS: Falkirk signed Alan Cousin from Hibs and the mystery striker was Rangers and Northern Ireland centre-forward Billy Simpson.
‘ARRY’S UN’APPY: Talk about sour grapes? Harry Redknapp’s comments on the FA recruitment panel were not entirely unexpected. It reminded me of the Brian Clough situation when he should have been appointed England manager, but the FA took cold feet. Neither Clough nor Redknapp were exactly “establishment figures” and would not have taken kindly to the formality of the governing body. Was ‘Arry ever considered? I doubt it.
FRYING PAN TO FIRE: You have to feel sorry for Jim Jefferies. He must have thought that Lady Luck had deserted him after his experiences at Bradford City and Hearts. He worked wonders at Brockville amidst chaos and misrule behind the scenes. These pale into insignificance when compared to the shenanigans at Dunfermline. ‘Ground Row May Kill Pars’ isn’t the kind of headline you want to see as you have your breakfast.