By Greg Barrie
Greg and Iain Barrie discuss the respective weekend wins for Hibs and Hearts, and look ahead to Sunday’s massive Edinburgh derby in Monday’s episode of ‘Father, Son Football’.
All the weekends SPFL action including Celtic vs Dundee United, Hearts vs St Johnstone and Motherwell vs Hibs. With 16 goals, last minute equalizers and a sending off there was as usual no shortage of action.
By Gary Henderson, Andrew Ross and Josiah Whitworth.
One of the most decorated managers in the English Premiership, Arsene Wenger has been at the Arsenal helm for over 16 years. However after an eight year barren-spell, is the Frenchman’s time in North London up? Host Josiah Whitworth is joined by guests Andrew Ross and chief football analyst Gary Henderson to discuss Wenger’s managerial future.
“Stoppage Time” is an informal take on some of the key stories in UK football. Jonny and Joe will discuss their thoughts on Celtic and the grogginess of their European hangover, Harry Redknapp’s decision to take on yet another club in the nether regions of the league and discussing whether it’s Benitez or Chelsea we should dislike more.
Scotland comes so wonderfully close so often, in so many ways… but we always trip our own feet, or just fail to take hold of opportunities.
These are the top 4 times Scotland promised so much, and failed to deliver….
4. Andy Murray – For years Scotland had only entertained tennis as a pass time, Wimbledon was sort of close and those with the money might like to enjoy some champagne and strawberries down there. But other than that Scotland was disinterested. Even so far as to be the subject of a Monty Python flying circus sketch, where an alien invasion could only be thwarted with a Scotsman winning Wimbledon. Suddenly we had our own rising tennis star, a man who might bring the Wimbledon title back to Britain for the first time since Fred Perry. However year after year Murray succumbs to the Scottish mentality and all the ability in the world (which we’re told he has in abundance when he plays well) goes out the window and he bombs out.
3. Scotland v Argentina, 2011 Rugby World Cup – This one was a simple case of fulfilling our roll as the great bottle merchants. A win would have meant progress to the next round, a close game to the finish. Amorosino fumbles and knocks it into touch, Parks takes a kick that high school rugby players across the nation would swear they could make… and shanks it left. Scotland fail to progress past the group stages for the first time in any world cup.
2. Colin Montgomerie, 1995, PGA Championship, Riviera Country Club – Monty would birdie his last three holes to tie Steve Elkington and take it to a sudden death play off, but while in a far better position on the green Monty would miss his putt while Elkington sinks a 35 foot putt.
1. Football World Cup 1978 (and to an extent ’74) – Scotland has the best of the worst track records in regards to football World Cups, but in ’78 it was something special. Ally MacLeod had the nation believing they would come back with a medal. “We’re on the road with Ally’s army” was being sung across the nation. But in our opening two games we were sat with one point, and had to beat the Netherlands by three goals to proceed. That day Scotland would score three goals, one of which by Archie Gemmill would be considered one of the best goals of the tournament. However on that same day the Dutch would score two, dashing Scotland’s dreams of progression and putting us out on goal difference for the second world cup in a row.
Liverpool’s managing director, Colin Ayre, believes that it is important for English sides to be allowed to secure independent TV deals abroad so that they are not left behind by the top European clubs.
“The other European clubs just don’t follow that model. They will create much greater revenue to go and buy the best players”, he claims.
However several other clubs, including Manchester united and Chelsea, have distanced themselves from Liverpool’s proposal to break from the Premier League’s current model of collecting Television deals.
Manchester united’s chief Executive David Gill said: “The collective selling of the television rights has clearly been a success and it has made things more competitive [in the league].” A Chelsea spokesman also said, “We are supportive of the Premier League on this and want to continue with the way they sell [TV rights] collectively.”
It is understood that Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur will continue to back the current model that last season awarded each club £17.9m.
While Liverpool had expected other clubs to back their stance, Ayre argues it would bring about a fairer distribution of funds than is currently the case. “Is it right that the international rights are shared equally between all the clubs? he asks. Isn’t it really about who people want to watch on that channel? We know it is us and others.”
Overseas revenues could outstrip the domestic deal, currently worth £2.1bn over three years, for the first time when the Premier League launches its tender process next year.
Scotland were chasing Shadows from the first whistle in Alicante last night, as their hopes of qualifying for a major tournament were dashed for the seventh straight time in the qualifiers.
Despite what some would say was an encouraging performance against the reigning World and European champions, there was an heir of familiarity about Scotland’s agonising exit from what was a favourable group.
Scotland’s hopes of qualifying with an audacious away win in Stadio Jose Rico Perez were dashed after just six minutes of the first half when man City’s David Silva netted after a brilliant all-round move by the home side.
Scotland’s hopes of being able to depend on results elsewhere to work in their favour also lay in tatters early on, as The Czech Republic went ahead, also after 6 minutes, in Lithuania, eventually winning 4-1 to qualify for the play-offs.
Despite early hopes, Spain’s star-studded attack eventually overwhelmed the visitors 3-1, with a second half spot-kick by David goodwillie providing little consolation for the Tartan Army.
Speaking afterwards, Scotland boss Craig Levein had only praise to bestow on his players, who created a surprising number of chances against the accomplished Spain defence.
“I was pleased by a number of things from my team, particularly how they attempted to play football and create opportunities which we did, particularly in the second half.
“We have to accept this is as hard as it gets. This is us, away from home, against the World and European champions. It doesn’t get any harder”.
Despite the loss, Levein is now looking ahead optimistically to the qualifying campaign for the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
“I have confidence in these players and I’m trying to increase the size of the pool. I’m very much looking forward to the World Cup campaign.
Ross Winton, Sports Reporter
Being a modern athlete cannot be said to have a long shelf life. You need only look to the world of football to figure that out. Case in point: Frank Lampard. Just last week many journalists and fans alike were becoming quick to criticise the Chelsea and England midfielder.
This came after Stamford Bridge boss Andre Villas Boas made him an unused substitute in their recent 4-1 Premier League win over Swansea. This led to discussions on football forums and amongst leading football critics as to whether Lampard’s career was petering out.
At age 33? Ludicrous. Lampard has since brushed off these hyper-critics, responding by notching-up 4 goals in his last two appearances, including a stunning hat-trick in Sunday’s 5-1 demolition on Bolton Wanderers.
But, should Lampard’s career end abrubptly tomorrow, he would still be laughing all the way to the bank. Statistics revealed just yesterday suggested Lampard was worth a staggering £26miliion, making him the world’s 7thrichest footballer.
The same cannot be said however, for young Accrington Stanley defender Tom Bender. The 18 year old, who is currently on-loan at Stanley from Colchester United, suffered an injury in their midweek Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie with Tranmere Rovers, sparking initial fears that he may have broken his neck. The match was subsequently abandoned and the teenager was rushed to hospital. Thankfully, it has materialised that the young player has ‘only’ suffered severe concussion and will be able to continue playing football in the future.
Just for arguments sake though, let’s imagine that Tom Bender’s career had come to an abrupt end on Tuesday night. At 18 years of age and (with no disrespect to his employers) not exactly a top end salary to fall back on, the Welsh Under-21 starlet would have been looking at a life altering career change. The football world’s thoughts were with the young man during the week, and I guess he didn’t expect to be trending on twitter so early in his career!
Bender could have attempted to go down the route of former Glasgow Rangers youngster Craig McShea, who you may remember attempted to sue Hibernian FC for £1million in damages. This came after a challenge from one of their players broke his leg and effectively ended his career. Needless to say, McShea is still waiting for his big pay day!
The moral of the story then, the footballing industry is a risk and reward business. Guys like Lampard at the top end could break a leg tomorrow and it would have little impact on their future financial life. As for Tom Bender, who knows, maybe he will still be the future of football, but he came ‘oh so close’ to joining the rest of us mere mortals working in the ‘real’ world. And Craig McShea – good luck in court … if you get that far, that is!
P.S. Have you heard of Michail Osinov? Didn’t think as much. Well, here he is scoring the fastest goal ever recorded, in just 2.7 seconds. 35 year old Osinov, who plays for FC MITOS Novocherskaas in Russia, later joked that he expects an English Premier League side to sign him now.
Ross Winton, Sports Editor
Hibs new boy Leigh Griffiths is battling for fitness ahead of tonight’s SPL clash with St. Johnstone.
On-loan Wolves striker Griffiths hobbled off in Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Dundee Utd, but Hibs gaffer Colin Calderwood is hopeful his frontman can be fit to face The Saints.
Calderwood insisted: “A good bit of treatment and a bit of ice” would heal the “whack” Griffiths recieved at the hands of United defender Paul Dixon.
Should Griffiths prove unable to play this evening, the Easter Road boss has options with inform striker Gary O’Connor and Ghana international Junior Agogo, both of whom notched in Saturday’s fixture.
Agogo, who joined The Hibees in the summer transfer window said: “Garry and I have been scoring a lot of goals in training so, hopefully, we can bang in a few more in the games where it counts.
“We work off each other, we work hard in training so we can do it on match days. Things are coming together, I’m feeling good and hopefully over the next month or so I can get a few more goals.”
Hibs currently lie a lonely 10th in the SPL table, but a win this evening could see them leapfrog Dunfermline into 9th place, on goal difference at least.
St. Johnstone are sitting 5th in the league, and the Perth outfit will be in high spirits after a convincing 2-0 victory against Hearts at McDairmid Park on Sunday.
In other SPL news, Rangers last night recorded a 2-0 victory over Kilmarnock at Ibrox. Striker Nikica Jelavic and Scottish youngster Greg Wylde were on target for Ally McCoist’s men.
Christian McBride, Sports Correspondent
It might be ‘the best league in the world’ but last night’s European outing for the English Premiership sure was a lesson in humility. The Mancunian contingent of the EPL suffered at the hands of both European veterans and relative unknowns.
City suffered at the hands of a ruthless Bayern Munich side that demonstrated the hostility of the European top flight. A decent showing from Joe Hart between the sticks wasn’t enough to cope with the swift attacking play of Munich, who always seemed to have the right man in the right place, and twice that man was Gomez. The two goals just before the half were enough for Munich as City rarely seemed on the verge of scoring. With only 7 shots on goal to Munich’s 19, City’s strike force seemed lack luster, and this led to what the night will most likely be remembered for; Tevez’s refusal to play. As City looked to bring on some sort of fire power to threaten the Munich goal Tevez seemed to refuse to warm up. Mancini was furious after the match and stated “If we want to improve as a team Carlos can’t play with us. With me, he is finished.” A troubling end to a bad night in Germany for the Blues.
But at home things were no better for United, the Devils were rocked by a shock performance from relative European unknowns FC Basel. The Swiss side showed fantastic determination in the face of going 2-0 down after Welbeck scored a duo in the 16th and 17th minutes. But that brief flurry was out of character for the United display on the night, as the failed to turn up for much of the match and had to weather a Basel performance that saw them create chances regularly and this payed dividends with 2 goals in as many minutes of their own in the second half and as poor communication at the back led to a foul on Basel’s tenacious trouble making striker Streller in the box and Basel went ahead on penalties. The only player to earn his supper for United was the young man between the sticks, De Gea, who had to fend of one ambitious Basel attack after another. Young managed to claw back a last minute reprieve for United who faced only their third European defeat at Old Trafford in 54 games., and that was a generous final score.
Tonight Chelsea and Arsenal will take to the European stage to try and reclaim a little pride for the Premiership against Valencia and Olympiakos respectively. Games they will be hoping to win if they want to progress confidently to the next round.