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Showing posts from 2021

Pundits and Predictions | @AlexHTheMax

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Alex Horsburgh ( @AlexHTheMax )  takes a look at a hat trick of pundits past and present who might have annoyed or delighted you (depending on where you were in the UK). Do you think some of the current Euro 2020 pundits of tv should be subbed for the next big tournament (tell us in comments) and what's your views/memories of the three featured in our piece here? One is an unsung football pioneer, one is a Scot who incurred the dragon's wrath and one is a current Three Lions cheerleader. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Toe Poke Jimmy Hill spent much of his wartime service in Scotland near Rosyth Dockyard in Fife, and was as innovative as any Scot in a football sense. With fair wages for players (he helped to abolish the £20-a-week minimum wage), the concept of three points for a league win, all seater stadiums and shirt advertising being some of the things he championed in the 1960s and 1970s before they became t

History Repeat For Scots | @AlexHTheMax

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Scotland are out of the Euros as a familiar combination of hope, brief flashes of skill, bad luck and a typical gutsy underdog performance in one of the group games proves to be not enough to carry them through once again in a major tournament. It might have not been everyone's cup of tea or Irn Bru, but the 0-0 draw between England and Scotland at the Euros was maybe best recognised by football history types for a result that hasn't happened very often between the sides in a long history of hostilities since 1872. Alex Horsburgh ( @AlexHTheMax ) explains... ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Scotland's draw with England in the Euros was the first ever scoreless draw between the sides at Wembley, and only the fourth 0-0 between the sides (with the others being in 1872, 1987 and in 1970!) Following the very first match between the sides in 1872 at the West of Scotland cricket ground in

A Scotland Lob Story | @AlexHTheMAX

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David Marshall's scramble back and fail v Czech Republic at the Euros sadly isn't the first goalkeeping howler from a lob the Tartan Army have had to endure down the years. The myth of the dodgy Scottish goalie was sadly resurrected at Hampden on Monday, June 14th as a familiar self destruct sequence played out in Glasgow. Here are five Scottish lob stories compiled by Alex Horsburgh ( @AlexHTheMax ). 1. Nine Past Haffey Celtic goalie Frank Haffey picked a Jimmy Greaves lob out of the net in 1961 at Wembley as England ran out 9-3 winners in the Home Internationals. The Three Lions raced to a 3-0 lead, before Scotland fought back to 3-2 and then 4-3 to keep the hosts on their toes, before a runaway final period of the game saw England score five times and have what would have been a 10th goal ruled out for an infringement. 2. Calamity Kennedy Stewart Kennedy of Rangers froze in the white hot atmosphere of an Auld Enemy clash in London in 1975 as he conceded five times in the w

Scotland: We'll always have Brussels | @AlexHTheMAX

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Before the political velvet divorce of Czechs and Slovaks in the 1990s the old Czechoslovakia were a formidable international football team. Scotland had many interesting encounters with them from their first match against them in 1937 until the late '70s and three World Cup qualifying campaigns for 1962, 1974 and 1978 inclusion produced six memorable matches, and indeed a seventh fixture, which was a one off game that would go the way of the old Czechoslovakia. Alex Horsburgh ( @AlexHTheMAX ), with the help of a Man United great interviewed in 2018, plots another glorious failure for the Scots against a team that would only be denied by the best of Brazil in the World Cup final of 1962. _________________________________________________________________________ Scotland meet the Czech Republic in their first Euro 2020 (2021) tie on June 14th at Hampden. Scotland famously denied the former Czechoslovakia a World Cup place in 1978 as the then European Champions of 1976 failed to overc

Brechin City: The New Third Lanark? | @AlexHTheMAX

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Scottish football may be close to seeing the end of one of their best known league clubs since the demise of Third Lanark in 1967.  A dodgy financial deal would see Thirds disappear almost overnight from the Scottish game 54 years ago, never to return to their former league status, but the formation of a pyramid system in Scotland is now seeing a former Scottish Championship club digging their heels in as they refuse to take their place in the Highland League following a play off final that saw Fife non-leaguers Kelty Hearts replace them in League 2. Alex Horsburgh ( @AlexHTheMAX ) has been looking at the possible end of an East of Scotland side from the county of Angus, formed in 1906, who have been a permanent fixture on pools coupons for as long as we can remember. Following their relegation from Scottish League 2 there is word coming out of Brechin City FC that they won't continue as a club and won't play in the Highland league with nearest away matches 50 miles north of th

Fife Makes It Five | @AlexHTheMAX

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There's now a second Hearts in Scottish League football and it isn't the reserve team from Tynecastle Stadium in Edinburgh! Alex Horsburgh ( @AlexHTheMAX ) introduces us to the brand new "Team 42" in the SPFL following a historic final day of the season in Scottish League Two. Modern Scottish League history was made on Sunday May 23rd 2021 when Kelty Hearts replaced Brechin City in the SPFL after a 3-1 aggregate win in the Scottish Pyramid Play off final. Kelty now move into League Two while Brechin are expected to be installed in the Highland League, as they are North of the River Tay, which is the dividing point for the Highland and Lowland Leagues. These two divisions have been the pinnacle of the Scottish Pyramid since its inception in 2014 with the champions of each league playing off for the right to play the club at the bottom of SPFL League Two for the right to become a new Scottish League club. This season Lowland League winners Kelty beat Highland Champs Bro

The Forgotten Brilliance of the Doncaster Belles

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Doncaster Rovers men’s team have spent the majority of their existence in the third and fourth tiers of English football and currently their women’s side Doncaster Rovers Belles play in the FA Women’s National League Division One Midlands. In the modern game, it can be argued that there is not enough recognition that Doncaster Belles were one of women’s football's most successful sides with 21 major honours between 1976 and 1994. During this successful run they also finished runners-up in the National Division seven times, in the FA Women’s Premier League and Charity Shield twice and the Premier League Cup on three occasions. This included winning the league and FA Cup double in 1991-92 without losing a match before claiming the double again in 1993-94. Their dominance was underlined by reaching eleven FA Cup finals in 12 years between 1983 and 1994, lifting the trophy on six occasions. Notable players for the Belles included Karen Walker and Gill Coultard who were inducted into th

Scotland - Beware the Wee Yin | @AlexHTheMAX

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Scotland have made a predictably difficult start to their latest bid to appear in the finals of a major tournament and after two draws, against Austria and Israel respectively, it is a must win match v Faroe Islands in World Cup Qualifying on Wednesday night at Hampden. Alex Horsburgh  Scotland and their difficulties with so called "minnows" is a tale of woe covering more than forty years. Radio presenter  @AlexHTheMAX revisits six occasions when Scotland flattered to deceive against nations who, on paper at least, seemed to have no chance against the men in dark blue.  1. Peru 3-1 Scotland / Iran 1-1 Scotland (1978) A dead heat at the top of our nightmare top five and arguably the matches that began Scotland's uncomfortable relationship with the underdog.  The hype that surrounded Scotland before the 1978 Argentina World Cup cannot be overstated. It was the ultimate football fairytale but sadly it was written before a ball was even kicked in South America.  After seeing

How to save football: A draft & a salary cap? | @GJ_Thomas

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The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has thrust the future of many football clubs across the world into doubt. In the UK it was reported that "football needs to take radical steps to avoid financial meltdown"[1] after the pandemic. The seemingly limitless pockets of some of the biggest football clubs had begun to dry up, whilst for smaller clubs, their very existence was under threat. Along with continuing rumours of potential European breakaway 'Super Leagues', some believe radical suggestions are needed to 'fix' or 'improve' football. We take a look to see if football can learn anything from across the pond. One of the biggest criticisms levelled at football from the outside world is the money that is involved in the game. Mega salaries, huge transfer fees, swelling TV deals and billionaire owners can, at times, make the sport seem unappealing and 'broken' to many. The birth of the Premier League saw football in England change financially beyon