PUB WISDOM

Tiger Who?

Archive for Football (Soccer)

No Keeping Up with this Keeper

Score one -- or ten -- for the keeper.

Score one -- or ten -- for the keeper.

Missed this gem in the fall, but just found it doing some digging in light of recent events involving current Rangers and former Scotland keeper Allan “The Playa” McGregor. This article spotlight’s one of McGregor’s love interests — one of at least 10 women with whom young Allan was romantically entangled during the previous year —  promoting a tell-all sexploitation interview. Wonder if that’s aired yet, and how it went over…

Nice to see opinions softening about the Loch Lomond Liquor Lockdown in general. What a mess.

Shocking Development: Scottish Footballers Get Drunk

Fancy a dram, Georgie?

Fancy a dram, Georgie?

In what passes as news only in a Eugene Ionesco book, it’s been uncovered that Scotland skipper Barry Ferguson and keeper Allan McGregor — both Rangers regulars — posted up in the hotel bar into the wee hours after returning to the team’s Loch Lomand hotel following Scotland’s three-nil loss to Holland on the weekend.

What would actually be shocking is if the Scottish side wasn’t drowning its sorrows after that devastating blow. It’s shocking the entire team wasn’t in there. Apparently, George “Short Timer” Burley caught Ferguson and McGregor in the bar area well after curfew and blew a fuse. A heated argument ensued. The fallout resulted in the pair riding the pine during Scotland’s 2-1 win over Iceland.

It’s water under the bridge at this point, allegedly, and what appeared to be official perturbance over Burley’s handling of it was quickly smoothed but one can’t help wonder how much longer Burley will have the helm. It’s been a tumultuous tenure for Burley, with unfortunate injuries woes, defecting players and more, which makes it hard to make sense of whether he’s getting a fair shake or not. In the end, it’s all about the result, and on that note it has been an underwhelming picture.

Time will tell but I think they’ll can his ass as soon as this World Cup campaign is over if not much, much sooner.

Tritons Not Good Sharers

Hells yeah.

Hells yeah.

What can they say, they don’t like to share. And who can blame them?

The San Clemente High girls’ soccer team brought the CIF-Southern Section hardware back to Thalassa Stadium for the third year in a row. But instead of having to share the title, as the Tritons did last year, it’s theirs alone with a decisive 2-0 win over Los Alamitos over the weekend. Shelby Chambers-Garcia and Frannie Coxe provided the goals.

Last night, San Clemente blanked Chatsworth 2-0 in the SoCal Regionals to set up a rematch with Los Al, which took down Torrey Pines. In the one-sided home game against Chatsworth, Lauren Fryer put the Tritons ahead just two minutes into the match, and Alexis Mahoney backed it with second goal later in the half.

Despite the scoring spree, the clean sheets on the other side are even more impressive.  The defense has been downright stifling.

Misery may love company, but dynasties don’t usually share the spotlight with anyone. Keep rollin’.

Locked and loaded for Los Al.

Locked and re-loaded for Los Al.

Talk of Rangers Demise A Wee Bit Premature

It wasn’t long ago that Caley Thistle had lost eight straight matches and was destined to relagation. More recently, the Highlanders have lost only one in their last seven. Their latest coup, a one-nil victory over Rangers at Ibrox on Wednesday is a potentially mortal blow to Rangers’ title hopes that also sees Inverness off the bottom of the table, pushing Falkirk into the relegation spot. Whatever new gaffer and former Ranger Terry Butcher is doing — it’s working, mate.

Crying now, laughing later.

Crying now, laughing later.

And none are happier than the Hoops, once again alone at the top of the table after Rangers’ stumble put  them three points clear. After getting their asses handed to them more often than not

over the past several weeks, the Bhoys were no doubt stressed to see Rangers pull even on points and ahead on goal differential recently.

Pub Wisdom urges patience in these exciting times, lest anyone gets too hasty in writing off the Light Blues. A quick check of the remaining fixtures before the split reveals stern tests for Celtic against Dundee United, Hamilton, Hearts and Aberdeen along with only one walk-over against Falkirk. Rangers’ road over that stretch is decidedly friendlier with the hardest test against Hearts, with Hibs, ‘Well, and bottom-feeders Falkirk rounding out the fixtures. Much football to be played, ya?

Pub Wisdom wagers there are a few plot twists yet to unfurl this season. Only time will tell if the sloppy play against Butcher’s born-again Highlanders will prove to be the point at which this season’s valiant campaign crashed on the rocks.

Ready Rangers Storm Parkhead

Bring on the Bhoys.

Bring on the Bhoys.

Old Firm No. 3 kicks off on Sunday at Parkhead, site of Rangers’ victorious four-goal effort at the beginning of the season. Celtic returned the favor at Ibrox over the holidays, one-nil.

Every Old Firm match is huge. But as we eye the tail end of the title race, with Rangers trailing a flagging Celtic side by two points, this is a huge as it gets.

I’m partisan, no doubt, but I do feel Rangers have more momentum at the moment, more cohesion. Once leading by seven poiuts, Celtic’s left the door open for Rangers by stumbling its way through December and January. Celtic feels the pressure, no doubt, and Kris Boyd and Co. need to capitalize.

I feel a 1-1 draw in the cards for some reason, but I’m predicting a narrow Rangers away victory,  just to keep it sporting. If I’m right, Rangers will take over the top of the table by a single point.

Novo’s out, which is bad news since he seems to rise up in Old Firm ties. On the other hand, Kenny Miller’s fit. Can he recreate his double from his last effort at Parkhead? Who will step up? Let’s hope it’s not Scott MacDonald, Aiden McGeady or any of the other dangerous hoops hitmen.

Come on you Rangers.

Pub Wisdom Predicts: Celtic 1 – 2 Rangers

My Hero: Jimmy Calderwood

M'man Jimmy C

M'man Jimmy C

A quick hats off to my new hero, Aberdeen gaffer and legendary football man Jimmy Calderwood.

A hearty and heartfelt thanks to him and the Dons for humiliating Celtic at Pittodrie last weekend with an emphatic 4-2 decision that forced Aberdeen to take the lead three different times. That’s some gutty performance. I just watched the rebroadcast on Setanta last night and it was a thing of beauty. Rangers now trail Celtic by just two points.

Inserting Duff was genius, resulting in one goal and a spot-on delivery for an assist on another goal, and Zander Diamond’s second-half double proved too much for the Hoops to handle. Despite all the noise recently about Boruc’s propensity toward howlers of late, I can’t help thinking they missed him up North this trip.

Now, before we all get too cozy, Jimbo, please know that a repeat performance against Rangers, who travel to Pittodrie tomorrow, would reflect poorly on our new-found chumminess so let’s just agree now you’ll get pipped by a late goal by Pedro Mendes or Kenny Miller after Kris Boyd snags another double in the first half. Right? That will see Rangers to the top of the table, thank you very much.

Pub Wisdom Predicts: Aberdeen 2 – 3 Rangers

Bye-Bye Boydy?

byebyeboydyFuggin’ell. I don’t know if I will ever get used to seeing my favorite Rangers head south. I really should, though. Since it seems to happen every time one of them starts shining. Pub Wisdom recalls Hutton and Cuellar  as recent heartbreakers.

It’s at the other side of the pitch this time, with that “enigmatic” striker Kris Boyd apparently in the market for a new flat in Birmingham after he got pissed off enough this season to work hard enough to convince Sir Walter he deserved a regular gig up front — which has resulted in a gaggle of goals.

Enigma? Not really. He’s a pure scorer — nothing mysterious about it. He just flat-out finds the back of the net.  And now, unless we Rangers supporters are incredibly lucky, he’ll be finding the back of the net for the Blues instead of the Light Blues.

Darcheville? Gone. Cousin? Gone. Now it’s bye-bye, Boydy. Our only hope is that Kenny catches fire and gets some help from the rest. Despite what the table says, Celtic is vulnerable this season. Rangers need Boydy’s departure like they need a hole in the head.

Fuggin’ell.

Scotland Bounces Back Thanks to Broadfoot’s “Limited Ability”

For a man on deadline, Roddy Forsyth spins quite the yarn — as usual — about Iceland 1-2 Scotland. The win released loads of pressure on the Scottish side and its boss George Burley, for whom the honeymoon is decidedly over. He’s had interesting personnel issues to deal with, but the team appears to be exhibiting some of the characteristics he’s striving for. Namely, more open, attacking football.

Rangers’ Kirk Broadfoot is laughing the loudest following the victory. After Burley classified the recent call-up as a player with “limited ability,” Broadfoot played solidly on defense (something Rangers observers will not be surprised to learn) but also neatly headed in a crisp cross from day-job archrival Barry Robson from Celtic — oh, the drama — to put the Scots up initially and send the Tartan Army into hysteria. This on the tails of the season’s first Old Firm match, in which Broadfoot featured prominently in Rangers’ drubbing of Celtic at Parkhead.

Scotland was up 2-0 for a fair stretch of this match and controlled most of it — and rightly so. It’s been blessed with a merciful group draw — all the more welcome after their tough grouping with Italy and France among others for Euro 08. Scotland better make the most of it while the makin’s good. It would be excruciating to sit through another, er,  Scot-free World Cup.

 The Scottish side must enter matches against the likes of Iceland the way France or Italy comes into Hampden Park, or any other pitch anywhere, really — with confidence, patience, and ruthless execution, pressing the competition from the start. They may lose, but they’re there to win. They believe they can win. They expect to win.

Now, enough said. Bring on the Norwegians. Damn… Next match isn’t until next month.

Carlos Cuts Out

Damn.

Double Damn. Carlos Cuellar, who positively locked down the Rangers defense last season, has done what was likely inevitable — get noticed by the Premiership. Following Alan Hutton’s lead, another key member of RFC’s defense has moved on up to the Premier League with the announcement that Cuellar came to terms to play for Aston Villa this season.

After last season’s successful run, one has to ask why Cuellar was so anxious to get outta Glasgow. It could be the early exit from the Champions League or his assessment of the Light Blues prospects this year. Pessimists might put more stock in these notions than I do. Me? I think it simply comes down to the fact that he couldn’t resist the temptation to play on the world’s biggest stage.

Damn. Carlos, you will be missed. You quickly became a favorite and enstilled supreme confidence back there. Part of me wishes you well. The other part hopes you get lost in the shuffle and forgetten amidst the mediocrity in the middle of the Premier League pack, and that you’ll secretly — or not so secretly — regret your decision.

Upstart Accies Make Early Statement

Freshly promoted Hamilton Academical have made an early statement in their SPL debut, shaming a well-coached and favored Dundee United side with a 3-1 come-from-behind drubbing. Oh, to be a fly on the wall in the DUFC clubhouse after that match for Craig Levein’s tongue-lashing. His stock rose sharply last season as he cooly, calmly fielded a side that was competitive week in, week out. This is certainly not the way he wanted to start this season’s campaign.

It was that sort of week, however, as the big Glasgow clubs also looked a wee bit sleepy, sluggish, and rusty in their openers.

You’ve got to hand it to the Accies, however. Down 0-1 after an own-goal they could have, lips quivering, thrown in the towel. Instead, they rattled off three goals to move to the top of the table. Refreshing to see them there, and they should savor it because it won’t last long as the season unfurls and begins to make some sense of the standings.

You can’t deny that early signs indicate that this Hamilton Academical side feels nothing like Gretna, though.