That was the week that was

Last updated : 16 February 2003 By Grandmaster Suck
Fourteen Days in the Life

Hello hello folks.  Well it 's been a bit of a topsy-turvy fortnight in the
life of the Teddies.  Oh, the results have went our way although it was a
fight and then some down at East End Park last weekend.  It's true I suppose
that results are all that matter, especially as the season builds up to a
scenario were it is still all to play for domestically but I for one think
it would be nice to see some sparkle and pzzaz back in our play.

There are no excuses acceptable for the performance against Dolly.  How many
times do we as fans need to shout it out, that we know the cheats from the
north are going to give their all and then some against the teddies.
(Dolly's performance v Thistle at home the following week sums up the extent
of their cheating and unprofessionalism)  But it is up to our players to
rouse themselves from the apathy and slumber and fight fire with fire.

Of course, life would have been made a whole lot easier if Michael Mols had
taken to the field with his shooting boots on.  I know this gentle scolding
of the man with the magic smile might seem on the surface unwarranted given
that he actually scored the two goals that harnessed all three points on the
day.  But, I don't think as we move in to a crucial phase in the season that
we can keep on functioning with two strikers (Mols and Shota) who miss easy,
one-on-one-with-the-goalkeeper chances.  And that's what MM did on twelve
minutes v Dolly. 

It was a strange game all in and even Bazza looked quite out of sorts.  It's
almost as if the return of Arteta unsettled the midfield.  Strange I know,
but the instant gel of both players that was a joy to behold throughout the
autumn seems to have been temporarily rinsed.  It will come back, but
patience is not our strong suit at this moment in time and we need it back

There are of course some things that never change when the northern shites
come to the cheap, green place.  And as sure as night follows day, Dolly was
giving the Ibrox Disaster big licks.  Whilst the victims of the Disaster(s)
will always be in my thoughts, you cannot help but be inured to the
invective when Dolly comes to the big city.  In actual fact, maybe I've got
the wrong end of the stick altogether.  Maybe it's best in circumstances
like the other week to let the reptiles back into the game, let them get all
het up and allow themselves the belief that they can actually win.  And then
go right back up the park after they have equalised and sneak off with the
points.  I'm more than happy for them to leave Ibrox hating us even more!

One last point on the game.  If the behaviour of Dolly can be anticipated
months in advance, then even Stevie Wonder would cast aspersions at the
notion of allowing Willie Young to referee a Rangers game.  Quite simply,
Willie Young brings the game here in Scotland into disrepute.  He's
overweight and can't keep up with the play, yet this buffoon is allowed to
participate at the highest level of Scottish football.

Two incidents, one on either half, sum up Young to perfection.  The refusal
to award Rangers a penalty in the first half when Arteta was clearly brought
down was bad enough, although in Young's defence you have to say he was only
40 yards off the pace.  But his lack of awareness when a punch up threatened
in the Rangers penalty area at the death epitomises WY to a T!

Whilst nerves were jangling and handbags were being brandished in the
Rangers penalty box, Young was oblivious to it all because, fat galoot that
he is, he had waddled back to the halfway line with his back to the play.
By the time he's sussed that summat was up, he was encroaching into the
Aberdeen half and had as much idea as to what was happening, as those of us
in the Copland rear! I'll say it again, we do ourselves no favours NOT
bringing inadequates like Young to task.

All in all there seems to have been larger dollops of hypocrisy than usual
flying about the game here in Scotland these last few weeks.  Instance #1 -
Did Martin (toe muncher) O'Neill really say the other week that injuries to
four players could have a devastating effect on his team's prospects for the
rest of the season? It seems a rather strange (but not surprising) comment
coming from a man who told us just two years ago that his opponents despite
having 21 players wounded throughout the season, had 'no excuses' for that
term's level of performance.  Dear oh dear, there really are no levels the
yahoos won't stoop to justify inadequacy.  And just think, MON was moaning
before his one-trick tactic received a broken jaw.

Lessons in hypocrisy #2 - I'll get straight to the point.  Rangers have met
Hearts in three cup finals in the last seven years.  The Scottish and League
cup finals of 1996 and again in the Scottish Cup final two years later.  On
all three occasions Hearts' fans chiefs as well as directors of the club
have DEMANDED an equal share of the ticket allocation.

Which begs the question, why didn't they insist on the 50/50 split for the
League Cup semi final tie against Rangers?  It seems to me the Hearts,
Hivees and Dollys of this world want the best of both worlds.  They know
they can't sell out their allocations for these 'unimportant' and mundane
midweek matches, but demand a brief for the finals, even though that
allocation is well above their average home gate.  And just think, they
refer to us as glory hunters too?

Hypocritic oafs #3 - Who'd be Fernando Ricksen, eh?  Now due to work
commitments I didn't attend the semi final against the Jambos, which
apparently puts me roughly in the same boat as Michael Mols.  But here's the
conundrum.  Reading the match reports from Rangers fans it would appear the
men from the east had only one thought in mind throughout the ninety minutes
and that was to kick us off the park.

I also read that Fernando Ricksen was involved in an incident whereby
Stephen Pressley made a meal of a tackle that Ricksen put in and tried to
get the Ranger sent off.  So imagine my surprise when reading the Scottish
hacks' reports of the game.  And to a man the press has not only hinted at,
but came out shouting that Ricksen was a lucky man to stay on the pitch.
Not to put too fine a point on it, the press would have us believe that the
referee bottled it and Pressley deserves praise for not making a fuss about
the tackle.  Ah, decisions decisions who to believe here, my fellow Rangers
fans or our cowardly press?

I mean, these same journalists have watched on this season as Ricksen has
been singled out for some pretty choice treatment as one after the other,
opponents have taken turns to hack him to the ground.  These so-called
impartial judges have peered out from the press box as opponents have taken
time out to provoke and goad him into doing something rash.  There has been
scant word of censure, yet at the first opportunity they are lining up to
put the boot into Ricksen.  Says it all really.

Of course Ricksen is a victim of his own folly and stupidity, and a lack of
ready sympathy towards him is the fallout from the daft behaviour that
marked his first two seasons in the game here in Scotland.  But when you
look at how the barbarity of the animal Balde is neatly overlooked time
after time, then it proves once again that Scottish footballing journalism
is as impoverished as the football itself.

Hypocrisy personified #4 - Well, when it comes to double standards and
lying, there are very few of the swine with typewriters who can plumb the
depths that Stuart Cosgrove can.  Cosgrove along with fellow yahoo, Tam
Cowan, are the Laurel and Hardy of Scottish footballing journalism.  The
main difference being, that Cowan doesn't appear to take himself as
seriously as the liar Cosgrove and also possesses the ability to actually
make people laugh.

Nevertheless, Cosgrove was at it again last week when he decided to have a
pop at Barry Ferguson.  According to the bespectacled fibber, Ferguson isn't
good enough to be labelled world class because (wait for it wait for it) he
only wants to play for Rangers.  He can only be taken seriously as a
footballer if he leaves Ibrox.  As I said earlier, there really is no
accounting for what goes on in the warped, twisted mind of a yahoo.  The
fact is Cosgrove prides himself on being a Scot, a patriot if you like who
wants his country to shine on the footballing stage.  But you do have to ask
yourself, what kind of patriotic Scot would want his country's star talent
to up sticks as soon as possible and further dilute the real skill and
prowess available to the national game?

Of course we all know what Cosgrove's game is.  Just like the time when he
told the quite preposterous lie about Rangers fans ransacking Barcelona
Cathedral, his scribble last week about Barry Ferguson was done purely and
simply with a hatred of Rangers first and foremost in his heart.  It is how
the Septic-minded operates.

Hypocrisy #5 - Well, where is hypocrisy and Scottish football you are always
going to get the press and the yahoos.  It was ever thus, and last week
proved to be no exception.  In season 1996/97, Rangers attracted a pretty
meagre 19,000 gate to the munky-hoose for a League Cup semi final against
Dunfermline.  (I'm sure it was Dunfermline) If memory serves me correctly,
it was also a pissin, sodden wet night and the game was on TV.  (Cable as
opposed to cooncil telly) But hey, that didn't stop the press going into
overdrive the following day.  Rangers fans who couldn't be bothered
attending were a disgrace.  Who the hell were they to pick and choose their
games etc.  Didn't deserve to get a ticket for the final.  You all know the

But what did those same journalists have to say about the paltry 18,000 odd
gate at the yahoos' semi final last week? After all this was pretty much a
carbon copy of the circumstances that prevailed in that Rangers' semi-final
seven years previously.  You know, adverse weather conditions, match on TV,
punters saving their dosh for a European game etc.  Do I really need to go
on? If there is no shaming a yahoo, then that comment equally applies to
their apologists in the media.

And so to East End Park.  Again it was another quite unacceptable
performance and I don't think I've ever seen a team that aspires to the top
level give the ball away as cheaply as we do.  Once again our strikers
missed two easy chances and I'm afraid it's just not good enough.  Averladze
should have done so much better in his one-on-one with the goalkeeper early
doors.  It's putting away chances in situations like this when you are under
the cosh that separates the good teams from the also rans.

As for the even easier chance Mols missed to put the game beyond
Dunfermline's reach in the last ten minutes? Well, I'm afraid that should be
the final nail in the coffin for Mols' Ibrox career.  It's just not
acceptable and if we don't get ruthless now then it could cost us dear for
the rest of the season.  I truly am sad how it has all panned out for the
man with the magic smile but there is no sentiment in football and he really
is now surplus to requirements at Ibrox.  And even Mols' biggest fan can't
argue that the manager hasn't given him a fair crack of the whip.

There was something inevitable about Cannigia wrapping up the proceedings
with his smashing header at the death, after all that's his fifth goal at
East End Park this season in three appearances.  I had my doubts about
acquiring the Argie at this stage in his career, but I don't think you can
argue with his level of fitness or his enthusiasm for the game.  Even at
this time in his life, when he qualifies for the footballing equivalent of a
bus pass, I'd have him higher in the pecking order at Ibrox than either Mols
or Averladze.  As long as he doesn't play silly buggers over money, I'd
settle for another year's extension to his contract.

Now back to that word hypocrisy and Incident #6.  Now you have all read for
yourselves the wailing and moaning of the bloated, soon-to-be-out-of-a-job
Bobby Williamson this season.  Two games in particular this term against
Rangers, when he has had the temerity to hit out at the referee when his
team have tried to kick Rangers off the park, stand as a testimony to his
lack of integrity or common sense.

His reaction however to the shenanigans involving his goalkeeper deep into
injury time at Fir Park last Saturday sum up his sense of fair play and
morals far better than I ever could.  For those of you who missed it what
happened was, the Hivees goalkeeper Nick Colgan ran fully thirty yards out
to the touchline to get the ball off a Motherwell player and manhandled him
to the ground. 

It was a sure-fire red card, but astonishingly the referee saw fit to award
only a caution to the deranged Fester Rd goalkeeper.  But here's the best
bit.  When asked for his thoughts on the incident after the match Blobby
said he wasn't there to talk about such incidents and that it was his job
only to talk about the football.  You just couldn't make it up, could you?
The bottom line is a large wad of the Fester Rd crowd hates this
bloated-faced buffoon because he once played for the teddies.  And if this
season does go down the tubes as expected, then the hate filled among the
Hivees support will assuredly get their way and Blobby will soon be out of a
job.  I can't in all honesty say I'm too worried about this state of

Have to say a wee story about an Austrian footballer between the wars caught
my eye the other day.  Matthias Sindelar was his name or 'The Paper Man', as
he was affectionately known.  By all accounts his displays for FK Austria
Wien and the national side lit up his country in the 1930s and were indeed a
sight to behold.  There can be no getting away from the fact that he was
Austria's national sporting hero at that time.  He is remembered as
Austria's Pele.  Slight of frame, Sindelar is credited with creating the
tactical game called the 'Vienna School of Football'

Matthias Sindelar was his own man and did not exactly endear himself to the
Nazis.  I don't know what caused them the most angst.  The fact that he had
no time for their ways and rejected their politics or that he had a number
of Jewish friends.  Whatever, it was not the way to win friends and
influence people back then.

He is still remembered to this day for his performance against the Germans
in a special game to mark the Nazi annexation of Austria in March 1938.
Sindelar insisted that the Austrians play in their own colours of red and
white for the match.  There were also rumours that the Germans had ordered
the Austrians not to score and Sindelar made a mockery of this by going
through on goal time after time and deliberately missing.  Until late on in
the second half when he netted with a long-range effort.  The crowd went
wild as the furious Germans could only look on in disgust.

Sindelar was invited to play for the Œgreater German¹ side but he refused
and retired from the game soon after.  Tragedy struck when he died in
mysterious circumstances not long into his retirement.  The authorities
claimed it was poisonous fumes from a faulty stove as he lay sleeping.  Even
now conspiracy theorists claim foul play.  But whatever, Austria at the time
was in mourning and thousands came to attend his funeral.  Oh, and for the
record, Maley wasn't at that one either!

There's something rotten in state of Henmark!

And I don't mean Larsson's broken jaw! Of course in ordinary circumstances a
mundane injury to a footballer here in Scotland would raise scarcely merit a
mention.  But the saturation coverage given to Larsson's broken jaw last
weekend sums the paucity and poverty of Scottish footballing journalism to

I'm not really interested in dwelling on the player's pain and I take no joy
from it, but I do think we should mention in passing the steady stream of
poison that has seeped out of CP since the injury.  'We can only hope it was
an accident'.  Sound familiar?  It certainly should do because Larsson was
implying something altogether more sinister when he said he thought the
challenge from the Livi defender was 'reckless'.

Not that I think Larsson would be looking in on this website, but just in
case I'll spell out reckless behaviour on the football field.  Reckless
behaviour is when you boot an opponent roughly 5 seconds after the ball has
gone, like Lambert on Lovenkrands last April at the munky-hoose.

Reckless behaviour is when you leave your elbows and fists in like Hartson
in last season's Scottish cup final and the last OF game at Ibrox.  Reckless
behaviour is when you use your physique to go charging right through an
opponent like Bobo the thug.  It is even when you leave your boot in late
and you smash an opponent's face like, well like Larsson himself on Gus
McPherson a couple of years ago.  What can you say about this mhob that
hasn't already been said.  From Maley onwards they have been a disgrace to
the concept of sport.  There's always got to be some sinister reason for
defeat or injury. 

Next up we have those charmers in the septic support whose mentality could
be summed up thus; 'Thae huns ur laffin at us.  Ah think it's time we dusted
doon the old Ibrox Disaster songs.' Ladies n gentlemen, I give you the
'Bhoys against Bigotry' in all their splendour.  These people equate 66
deaths with a broken jaw.  I could call them fascists.  And bhoy oh bhoy,
this lot could give the Nazis a run for their money when it comes to hatred.

Then we have the management of Livi Celtic FC.  I'll say no more than this.
Watch out for the behaviour of Keane and Co the next time one of their
players is accused of deliberate thuggish behaviour, and contrast with their
silence this week? An enquiry into the incestuous relationship between these
two clubs is long overdue methinks.  Only you count on it that it won't be
at the behest of our impartial press.

Keeping with this mhob, was I the only one who took delight in Phil Differ's
vow of silence in this week's Evening Times? My oh my what a difference a
couple of weeks make, eh? I mean, there he was after Amoruso's head injury
having a joke and a giggle.  Yet this week, surprise surprise, he's got
writer's cramp when it comes to cracking the funnies about head wounds.
Hell, he even tried to work in a wee blast at Rangers fans and what we think
of Livi and their usual attempts against the yahoos.  Hey Phil, I feel your
pain, and should your team's season actually go tits up, I look forward to
even more invective every Wednesday.

Scotland were playing the other night and only two things concern me, the
fact that the Rangers players involved came through unscathed and the state
of the Hampden turf.  How much did the authorities spend on this white
elephant again?