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.
The Snowsports Centre at Hillend has added a new slope of 200 metre to their facilites. We talked with Stephen Fraser, responsible of the communication area of the Midlothian Government.
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.
Roller derby is a sport that not everyone will be acquainted with due to its underground nature but Hollywood film ‘Whip It’ brought it into the forefront and it has been on the rise in the UK for a number of years.
It’s an all-girls sport on roller skates, where teams race around a track to pass each other scoring points as they do and not to mention the occasional knock-out action.
Edinburgh’s local team the Auld Reekie Roller Girls (ARRG) have done their bit in building the sport’s reputation, helping out local charities with bake sales at the bouts (matches) and now pull in a crowd of over 700 people when they play at Meadowbank.
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.
Scotland’s East Coast will play host to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship that starts today.
The tournament takes place over three different courses – St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie – with the final round being played over the Old Course at St. Andrews.
The Dunhill Links is a unique format in that professional golfers team together with celebrity amateurs and guests for the first three rounds of the competition. The field is then slashed for the final round, with only the Top-60 and tied professionals and the Top-20 professional and amateur teams progressing.
And it is this special format that has prompted World No.6 Martin Kaymer to dub it ‘probably the best European tournament of the year’.
The German Ryder Cup star said ahead of today’s tournament: “It is the home of golf, it is where I feel the most comfortable. We play on three wonderful courses so it’s probably the best week of the year on the European Tour.
“Carnoustie is definitely the toughest. You can score well at Kingsbarns and St. Andrews if the weather is okay but at Carnoustie if you shoot level-par, that’s still a good score.”
Amongst this years sports stars competing are Johann Cruyff, who will be paired with fellow Dutchman Maarten Lafaber, Sir Bobby Charlton, playing with Welshman Rhys Davis and Sir Ian Botham, who will tee off Carnoustie with colourful American John Daly.
Also set to feature this year are big names from the world of film: Michael Douglas, Hugh Grant and Andy Garcia.
And in other news…
Scotland face a momentous task this Saturday when they set out to upset England and hand them their first defeat of the Rugby World Cup. After succumbing to nerves in the dying seconds of their match against Argentina, Scotland must now win by 8 points or more in order to progress and potentially kick England out entirely. England’s Delon Armitage says the team are ready to withstand the challenge of a dangerous Scottish side that needs to win big, whilst Scotland’s Nick De Luca stirred up a little friendly controversy saying that it would be an ‘added bonus’ for Scotland to kick England out of the competition due to the historic rivalry. Dan Parks will be looking to replicate his form from last years win over World Champions South Africa and leave behind the stigma of his missed drop goal.
In the other match in Group B Georgia beat Romania, Romania’s fourth loss in four matches, this morning 25-9. So if Georgia can ride that win and put in a display against Argentina it’s possible for Scotland to qualify with a losing bonus point, a back door entry to the next round perhaps, but one the Scottish side would be glad for if it means they aren’t on a plane home next week.
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.