Thursday, 31 March 2011

Mixu Paatelainen Leaves Killie.

Mixu Paatelainen has left Kilmarnock with immediate effect to take over as manager of Finland, the Scottish Premier League club have confirmed.

In the past week he also held talks with Scunthorpe but decided to accept the offer of his native Finland instead.

Kenny Shiels, will take control of team affairs until a new manager is found.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Takeover Imminent?


Well today we are again hearing from various different media sources that Lloyds banking group have given the heads up for a takeover to be completed.

This now means it is up to Sir David Murray and Craig Whyte to finalise the deal which is apparently already agreed in principle and its just a case of making an offer on the stock exchange and all is done.

Great for Rangers if it happens,Lloyds apparently wanted to again cut the wage bill and now with some financial security their best players wont be sold everytime they hit some form.

I shall keep you updated as I expect we will hear more throughout today.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Neymar Racism Row Resloved.

So the allegations that Brazilian goalscorer Neymar made after the Brazil v Scotland friendly on Sunday have now been cooled after a German tourist confirmed he threw the banana onto the pitch.

An Arsenal statement said, "After consultation with the Metropolitan Police, Arsenal Football Club can confirm that a German teenage tourist has admitted throwing a banana on to the pitch during the Brazil v Scotland international friendly at Emirates Stadium on Sunday."

The Metropolitan Police have also said they are satisfied that it was not intended to appear as a racist remark and have decided to take no further action.

So that leaves the Scotland fans in the clear and I guess they will be looking for an apology after being accused of such actions.

Rangers On The Brink Of Takeover?

News has been coming out in the past few days that Rangers could be on the verge of a takeover.I probably should have posted this earlier but last nights sudden movements caused me to stop what I was writing incase of a development.

So basically the latest story is that the Lloyds banking group,who currently run Rangers FC and other companies involved in Murray International Holdings are holding out for an exit fee in the region of £1m and the debt they are owed thought to be at £20 million but  not confirmed as Rangers have yet to release their six month figures which need to be done by Friday at the latest I believe.

Various stories suggest that Craig Whyte, potential bidder and Sir David Murray,current owner have an agreement in place and it is just a matter of Lloyds agreeing to the deal then things can be made official through the stock exchange.

However Lloyds have denied they are holding out for any sort of exit fee and insist they are happy to get the money they are owed and hand over the club to Mr Whyte.

 No more information has come to light but I will keep you updated when it does.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Neymar Racially Abused?

Neymar tucks away his penalty.

Brazil international Neymar has confirmed he was racially abused after the Brazil v Scotland game at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday but has said he wont make an official complaint.

The teenage sensation scored twice in the international friendly at Emirates Stadium but it was later said that a banana was thrown at him.

No such images of the incident have been released and the SFA have stepped in and defended the traveling Scots.

Unless an image comes to light I doubt we will ever hear the true story which is a shame because its put a dent in the reputation of traveling Scottish fans.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

The Brazilian Quality Shines Once Again.

A large contingent of Scots headed to London to watch their country  playing Brazil in a glamour friendly at the Emirates Stadium in London but they weren't to see their team win today as a double from youngster Neymar took the pressure off coach Mano Menezes.

There was a menace about Brazil every time they crossed the halfway line although the Scots usually helped them along with the loss of possession and failure to have a go at attacking in the first half.

Elano attempted to carve chances with a back-post cross that was headed high over the top by Chelsea's Ramires.He then played a neat ball through for Jadson but his shot was saved and then spilled by Mcgregor but was eventually taken to safety.

Minutes later, Leandro Damiao's header from Elano's corner clipped the top of the crossbar on its way out.

Scotland's resistance was eventually broken in the 42nd minute when Andre Santos' cutback found Neymar in space and the teenager skilfully cushioned the ball before placing a shot into the far corner of the net.

Neymar caught the top of the bar with a shot on the run after Adam had given the ball away before the busy Ramires stole from James McArthur and tried to set up Neymar for an open goal.

McGregor had come off his line and cleared as the Tartan Army were again as careless with the ball as they had been in the first half.

The introduction of Bannan and then Kris Commons for McArthur and Whittaker gave Scotland fresh attacking impetus.

Adam had a shot which ended up flying over the bar and then moments later gave away a penalty by fouling Neymar.

The sought after striker stepped up and camly sent the keeper the wrong way to get his second of the match.

 Substitute Lucas nearly got his reward after a blistering run and one-two with Neymar but the teenager's eventual shot deflected into the arms of McGregor.

So Scotland weren't to be victorious and the Brazilians and in particular Neymar earn plenty of plaudits

Scotland: McGregor, Hutton, Caldwell, Berra (Danny Wilson 73), Crainey, Adam (Snodgrass 78), Brown, Morrison (Cowie 90), McArthur (Bannan 56), Whittaker (Commons 64), Miller (Mackail-Smith 87).
Subs Not Used: Gordon, Hanley, Maguire, Davidson, Mark Wilson, Bell.

Brazil: Julio Cesar, Dani Alves, Lucio, Thiago Silva, Andre Santos, Lucas (Sandro 86), Elano (Elias 82), Ramires, Jadson (Lucas Rodriguez 72), Neymar (Renato Augusto 89), Leandro Damiao (Oliveira 78).
Subs Not Used: Victor, Maicon, Luisao, David Luiz, Henrique, Jefferson.

Lennon Loses Control Again.

Neil Lennon was sent from the dugout during his side's charity match against Athletic Bilbao in Spain on Saturday evening.

Lennon clashed with the referee after 35 minutes of the match at San Mames, which was staged to raise funds for local youth teams in Bilbao and ended in a goalless draw.

The Hoops boss is currently serving a lengthy touchline ban in domestic competition.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Well Scotland aren't in European qualifying action this weekend but Spain won last night to maintain maximum points and near enough secured qualification.

Here is how the group looks.
                                   P  W  D  L  F   A  GD  PTS
1 Spain                        4  4   0   0  12  4    8       12
2 Czech Republic       4  2   0   2   4   3    1         6
3 Scotland                   4  1   1   2   4   5  -1         4
4 Lithuania                   3  1   1   1   2   3  -1         4
5 Liechtenstein            3  0   0   3   1   8  -7         0

Friday, 25 March 2011

SFA Tie Up Extra Income With Uefa Over TV Deal.

The Scottish Football Association will be seeing a boost in funds after a new four-year broadcasting deal with Uefa was agreed.

European football's governing body will control the broadcast rights for games involving its 53 member countries from 2014 and sell the rights centrally.

The SFA's current broadcast deal is with IMG, which sells on rights for home games and the Scottish Cup.

The new "mandate" will generate additional income for the SFA for the Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018 campaigns.

A figure of £50m has been reported in some newspapers as the amount the SFA could earn from the agreement, an increase of about £4m on the existing deal with IMG.

I wonder how they will spend this extra money to improve our game....

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Scotland Squad To Play Brazil.

Well the squad was announced last week and I have just realised I haven't posted it yet so here it is:

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers: Gordon (Sunderland), McGregor (Rangers), Bell (Kilmarnock)

Defenders: Berra (Wolverhampton Wanderers), G Caldwell (Wigan), Crainey (Blackpool), Hanley (Blackburn Rovers), Hutton (Tottenham Hotspur), Whittaker (Rangers), D Wilson (Liverpool), M Wilson (Celtic)

Midfielders: Adam (Blackpool), Bannan (Aston Villa), Brown (Celtic), Commons (Celtic), Cowie (Watford), Davidson (St Johnstone), McArthur (Wigan Athletic), Morrison (West Brom)

Forwards: Maguire (Aberdeen), Miller (Bursaspor), Snodgrass (Leeds United)

They play Brazil on Sunday at the Emirates Stadium in London.I shall bring you a report afterwards.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Celtic And Rangers Go To Battle For The League Cup.

Hampden,the venue for the National team.

It was the fifth of seven Old Firm games this season and arguably the most important yet with the chance to win the first piece of silverware of the campaign.

Rangers haven't won in the last three they have played against Celtic and were desperate to get a win and showed their intentions when they played a more attacking formation with youngster Greg Wylde keeping his place and Steven Naismith starting after injury.

Referee Craig Thomson's first big decision came on the quarter-hour mark as he waved away Celtic's protests for a penalty when Wilson burst into the Rangers box and went to ground as Davis and Sasa Papac closed the Celtic full-back down.

Celtic almost went in front when Kris Commons' teasing cross found Brown diving in but the skipper's header flew past the post.

The deadlock was broken on 24minutes by Rangers when Davis pounced upon Charlie Mulgrew's defensive header, drove at the Celtic defence and guided a low left-foot shot into the net via the post in the 24th minute.

That lead lasted just six minutes as full back,Emilio Izaguirre's deflected cross was knocked on by Samaras and Ledley got to the ball and knocked past Neil Alexander.

Rangers thought they had been awarded a penalty when Jelavic went to ground following Rogne's tackle and referee Thomson initially appeared to point to the spot. However, after advice from one of his assistants he changed his mind and booked the Rangers striker for diving.

So the sides went in level at half time and Walter Smith's words clearly had an impact on his side as they started the half in attacking fashion,Whittaker forcing Forster into a save with a fierce drive.

Papac was inches away from scoring an own goal after his attempted clearance from Commons' centre rolled across the face of goal.
Maurice Edu tried to force his way past Wilson and the Rangers players claimed  that the Celtic defender had used his arm to block the ball's path but referee Thomson again refused to award a penalty.

Celtic began to make substitutions as an injured Scott Brown made way for Ki and later Rogne was replaced by Loovens and he nearly created a goal from a corner as he knocked the ball down for Ledley but Alexander got to the ball to keep the game level.

Vladimir Weiss came on for the final seconds of normal time and, after the match moved into extra-time.

The Slovakian was fouled on the edge of the box and Jelavic's effort from the free-kick was deflected off the wall but Forster reacted superbly to claw the ball over.

Jelavic finally got his reward for all his hard work as he brushed off the challenge of Mulgrew to latch on to Weiss's quickly taken free-kick and sliding a shot past Forster, the ball rebounding off the right-hand post but spinning back over the line and he could have finished the game when he went on the attack again.1 on 1 with Mulgrew as he was forced to bring down the striker,Last man Mulgrew should have seen a red card but instead the referee decided to give yellow obviously judging it wasn't a goal scoring opportunity.

El-Hadji Diouf replaced Jelavic for the closing stages and set up Weiss for a shot that required a last-ditch save by Forster.

Celtic were reduced to 10 men when Izaguirre was shown a straight red card for barging Weiss over as he tried to take advantage of Foster not being in his goal just minutes before the final whistle.

 The game ended and Rangers ran out winners after extra time to pick up the first piece of silverware of the season.

Weekend Results.

 Sorry for the late post.Been ill for the past few days and only just woke up.
Dundee Utd 1-0 Inverness CT

Hamilton 0-0 St Johnstone

Hearts 3-2 St Mirren

Kilmarnock 3-1 Motherwell
 League Cup Final
Celtic 1-2 Rangers

Saturday, 19 March 2011

The Weekend Ahead.

Just eight teams in action in the SPL this weekend as there is also the League cup final to look forward to.

Dundee Utd v Inverness CT
Hamilton v St Johnstone
Hearts v St Mirren
Kilmarnock v Motherwell

League cup final:

Celtic v Rangers - Sunday

Friday, 18 March 2011

Samaras Signs New Celtic Deal.

Celtic striker Georgios Samaras has signed a new three-year deal to keep him at the club until 2014.

The 26-year-old Greek had been free to speak to other clubs as his contract was due to run out in the summer.
Samaras's new commitment to the Glasgow club comes the day after team-mate mark Wilson penned a new one-year extension.

"I never wanted to leave. I don't care about other clubs, and I gave the manager my word I wouldn't sign a pre-contract." said Samaras.
"I was focused on how to get a deal with Celtic."

"I want to stay at this club and I am really happy about the deal. "

"I have been four years at the club and the support I have from the people inside and outside the club is magnificent."

Rangers Out Of Europe Losing 0-1 To PSV.

Lens Scores.

After the goalless draw in Eindhoven just last week Rangers knew they had to keep a clean sheet or score more goals than PSV to go through to the next round.

Rangers again adopted their 5-4-1 formation and handed a European start to youngster Greg Wylde.

Everything went uphill for Rangers after just 12 minutes when Richard Foster was caught napping and a ball was put into the middle for Jermain Lens to tap in and put his side in the driving seat.

Things didnt get better for the hosts as PSV went to create most of the chances but Rangers best chances of the first half came when Wyle got down the wing and delivered an enticing ball which Lafferty couldnt connect and Whittaker was judged to have fouled the defender in his attempts to get the ball.

Steven Naismith was brought on for skipper David Weir, Rangers began the second half in determined style.

Wylde again was involved in another Rangers chance as he burst down the wing and aimed for Lafferty but the cross was intercepted by Marcelo.

Edu who was again not at the top of his game could have put Rangers level but Hutchinson who was stood on his goal line kept the ball out with his hand and no penalty was given.

The ball was quickly played up the park and as PSV countered they should have scored but Marcus Berg missed from around three yards.

Lafferty was stretchered off midway through the half, with Diouf coming on.

PSV should have killed the game when Toivonen's curling effort was matched by Neil Alexander and then he was beaten by a Dzsudzsak freekick which was excellently drilled low only to hit the post and go to safety.

David healy was brought on but was unable to find the net and Kyle Bartley was injured and it appears to be serious and he could miss future games.

So it was a dissapointing night for Rangers and Walter Smith who has managed his last game for Rangers in Europe as he will be leaving at the end of the season.

Elsewhere fellow British participants Liverpool and Man City also went out of the competition losing to Braga and Dynamo Kyiv respectfully.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Celtic Into Semi-Final.

A double from Joe Ledley earned Celtic a place in the Scottish Cup semi-finals at the expense of Inverness.

Loovens who was recalled for his first outing since October to cover for injured centre-half Daniel Majstorovic should have scored after two minutes when he connected with a Kris Commons corner. However, he stooped low and sent an awkward header over the crossbar from five yards.

Celtic again put Inverness keeper Ryan Esson under pressure when he had to keep out an effort from highly rated,Izaguirre and then Kris Commons as the hosts failed to create much.

Caley did however look certain to take the lead when Shane Sutherland played a ball to Foran at the back post but he managed to put it over the bar from 3 yards.

It was Inverness who took the lead when an unfair challenge on Richie Foran by Charlie Mulgrew results in a Penalty.Adam Rooney steps up and makes it 1-0 to the Highlanders.

Just as it looked like Inverness would be going in with the halftime lead when Izaguirre puts in a cross which finds its way to Ledley and he powers it in from around 7 yards.

Sutherland thought he had regained the lead for Inverness in the 56th minute when he ran on to a headed knock-down from Foran and shot from 16 yards, only to see Forster tip the ball away brilliantly.

The final goal came on 68 minutes, with Ledley sauntering into the danger zone to head in a free kick from Ki and he was denied a hat-trick when Esson pushed away his fierce drive in the closing stages.

Aberdeen Through To Play Celtic.

Aberdeen won their Scottish Cup replay against St Mirren to set up a semi-final meeting with Celtic.

Chris Maguire was credited with the Dons' fourth-minute opener, the goal resulting from a six-yard box scramble.

Scott Vernon converted Sone Aluko's cross to double Aberdeen's advantage right on half-time.

Nikola Vujadinovic's own goal three minutes from the end gave St Mirren hope but the home side managed to see out their victory.

Celtic won their rearranged quarter-final tie at Inverness, meaning a repeat of the Co-operative Insurance Cup semi-final, which saw Aberdeen lose 4-1 to the Glasgow side.

Tonights Cup Replays

Following the weekends Scottish cup draws and postponement 2 games will be played tonight and these are:

Aberdeen V St Mirren

Inverness V Celtic

Both 19:45 UK time kick-offs and I will bring you full time reports later.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Next Round Of The Scottish Cup Drawn

The Scottish cup,currently held by Dundee United.

Still every tie from the quarter finals need to be decided but as planned the semi final draw went ahead and is below

Scottish Cup semi-final draw:
Dundee United or Motherwell v Brechin or St Johnstone
St Mirren or Aberdeen v Inverness CT or Celtic

Aberdeen Snatch Late Goal to Get Replay.

Rory McArdle's stoppage-time equaliser for Aberdeen stunned St Mirren, who looked like they were destined for the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup.

In a quiet first half  both sides had to adapt to the surface made tricky by the wet surface and falls of snow but the game was never in any doubt of being postponed like the Inverness V Celtic tie which was deemed unplayable after a heavy night of snow in the north.

Aberdeen boss Craig Brown was forced into a substitution after 13th minute when David McNamee was replaced with McArdle as the full-back's injury woes continued following a hamstring problem picked up after a late challenge from Hugh Murray.

Both sides attempted to create chances in the first half but nothing came and they went in at halftime level and the game in real need of someone to step up and lead their team on.

It was Aberdeen who went on to have the first real chance of the game when Magennis shot took a deflection off the inside of McGregor's heel and being pushed away by goalkeeper Paul Gallacher.

Aberdeen took encouragement from that Rob Milsom was next to try his luck from distance, but his 22-yard drive curled wide of the far post

St Mirren were poised to replace midfielder Jim Goodwin with Higdon after 60 minutes, but a cut to John Potter's eye meant it was the defender lead to him being swapped instead.

St Mirren brought the game to life with the best move of the game only to be thwarted by goalkeeper Jamie Langfield.McLean played a one-two with Higdon before firing a low drive with the outside of his foot that was parried by Langfield, who reacted quickly to save Higdon's attempt on the rebound.

Higdon was causing the Dons problems and sent a curling 18-yard drive flying just wide then rose to send a header off the underside of the crossbar that Langfield was fortunate to gather at his feet before the striker could get the rebound.

The breakthrough finally came on 77 minutes when Dargo's cross to the back post was volleyed into the six-yard box by Higdon and the unmarked McGowan side-footed home from close range.

The Buddies could have doubled their lead when McLean had a low drive saved by Langfield and Nick Blackman just failed to level the game as he couldn't connect with a downward Zander Diamond header down the other end.Higdon and Dargo both wasted chances for St Mirren which would prove costly 3 minutes into injury time.

A Paul Hartley free-kick was flicked on by the head of Andrew Considine and McArdle added the finish from five yards.

What's with all these draws,Does no one want to win the cup?:O

Dundee Utd and Motherwell To Replay.

Goodwille about to score in spectacular fashion as the keeper looks stunned.

Dundee United twice came from behind to keep their Scottish Cup defence alive as David Goodwillie's overhead kick and another late intervention from Jon Daly cancelled out John Sutton's double.

It took Sutton just one minute to set the tie alive when he headed home in the first minute.

Swanson saw a free-kick comfortably held by Darren Randolph as United pushed to get an equaliser but Motherwell were finding room on the break with Francis Jeffers setting up Jamie Murphy for a weak long-range shot before curling wide.

Motherwell again had Randolph to thank as Goodwillie shot after the striker had shown good trickery inside the box to get away from the visitors defence.Again the keeper made a more routine stop as Swanson and Conway carved out a good chance for Buaben, whose shot lacked power.

They were then a let-off when Goodwillie went down under a risky penalty box challenge from Saunders, although the striker's exaggerated fall might have swayed referee, Murray from awarding a spot-kick.

Goodwillie soon levelled in spectacular fashion in the 40th minute. Conway's right-wing cross went behind the forward but he produced a superb overhead kick to beat Shaun Hutchinson to the ball eight yards out.

The teams went in level at halftime and after a slow start to the second half and 'Well had a good chance to retake the lead but Pernis was equal to Lasley's low strike after Jeffers done well well to lay the ball off to him outside the box.

Daly came on for Conway as United prepared to take a 63rd-minute corner and immediately headed the delivery from Barry Douglas but couldn't force the visitors keeper into a save.

Sutton's second goal of the game came when they put pressure down the left hand side and after
 defender Dixon nearly put a low cross into his own goal and more incisive build-up play from the visitors down the left brought the goal as a neat one-two from Hammell and Jeffers led to a cross which Sutton converted from close range.

United again drew level when Swanson got to the byline and put an enticing ball over the face of goal,which was too high for Goodwillie but substitute Daly knocked in from eight yards.

It was Motherwell who came closest to winning the game when Saunders came close from 30 yards and Hately's cross was missed by Jeffers but found its way to Chris Humphrey who volleyed wide from a tight angle.

Another all round good cup tie which will have to be replayed..Talk about a fixture pile up!

Brechin Earn Cup Replay With St Johnstone.

Two goal hero McAllister celebrates.

Brechin City claimed a Scottish Cup replay against St Johnstone after an enthralling match at Glebe Park.

The minnows from the second division managed to get their pitch in a playable condition after snow interrupted other games over the country and they took the game to St Johnstone from the off and they should have found the net in the sixth minute when McAllister found Kevin Byers unmarked and, his low shot beat keeper Enckelman but the ball clipped the base of the post on its way out. 

St Johnstone looked unable to cope with the pace and enthusiasm and were finally rewarded for their efforts just four minutes before halftime when Neil Janczyk played a one-two with McKenna and went to ground as Murray Davidson slid across to make the tackle.

Janczyk stepped up to net from 12 yards, but the referee ordered a re-take for encroachment.

It was McAllister who took the responsibility for the re-take and the striker stroked home to give Brechin a deserved first half lead.

Millar replaced Adams as the Scottish Premier League outfit looked for a bit of inspiration to get them back in the tie.

Brechin looked the more determined side at the start of the second period and a well-worked break ended with Jamie Redman's shot was saved well by Enckelman.

St Johnstone went on the counter attack and a poor clearance from an earlier cross dropped right to substitute Millar who's shot made its way into the back of the net.

Brechin had another penalty claim turned down but the momentum had switched to The Saints as Danny Invincibile curled  narrowly wide. Peter MacDonald also volleyed over from six yards.

Their persistence did pay off however when keeper,Nelson made a superb save to tip MacDonald's header over, but the goalkeeper could do little to stop Saints taking the lead from the corner.

Danny Grainger's near-post delivery was headed powerfully by Invincibile, Nelson getting a hand to the ball as it flew into the net.

Nelson saved the tie for Brechin as he came  to the rescue from a MacDonald shot.

Just 12 minutes from time Brechin were rewarded as McAllister turned his defender and chased a lofted pass which he put past the keeper as it hit the post on the way in to get his second goal of the game.

McAllister missed his chance to get a dream hattrick as he fired over from the right angle of the box before  Stephen Reynolds, missed a gilt-edged chance inside the Brechin six-yard box.

Great cup tie which ended 2-2 and will be replayed on the 22nd March at McDiarmid Park

Lets hope its so exciting next time around!

Rangers Leave It Late To Beat Kilmarnock.

Tim Clancy's own goal gave Rangers a late victory over Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premier League to put them 2 points behind leaders Celtic with a game in hand.

The game started slowly as the hosts seemed to be suffering a European hangover after only returning home on Friday and had left back Sasa Papac back after his injury.Allan McGregor also returned in goals after being rested on Thursday.Kilmarnock missing their playmaker, Alexei Eremenko through suspension also seemed to lack creativity and urgency.

Rangers could have scored when an Diouf's corner was met by the head of Kyle Bartley and went over the bar as Maurice Edu failed to knock it on.

On the 38th minute a mix-up in the Kilmarnock team lead to Steven Whittaker picking up the ball and Diouf was free and fired home to score his first goal since arriving in Glasgow.

Rangers came out in the second half and appeared to be happy to sit out the 1-0 lead until Richard Foster brought down Tim Clancy in the box and the referee awarded a penalty.It was Jamie Hammil who stepped up and put the penalty in to bring the game level.

The Gers went in search of a winner and could have had a penalty of their own when Jelavic went down under pressure.Richard Foster and Bartley also wasted chances to gain the lead.

Walter Smith looked to his bench for inspiration and brought on Kyle Lafferty and Weiss for Diouf and Foster.

Rangers took advantage of Kilmarnock being temporarily at 10 men as Sissoko sustained an injury and left the field, but Kilmarnock had to wait until a break in play to send on a replacement.

It was substitute Weiss who created the goal as he swung in a dangerous cross and it was Clancy who knocked it past keeper, Jaakkola just three minutes from time.

Kilmarnock went on to try find and equaliser and were denied a penalty when Lafferty collided with Clancy in the area.

They were unable to find the goal they required and the game finished 2-1 as Rangers stay on course to go go back on top of the league if they win their game in hand.

Rangers: McGregor; Foster, Bougherra, Weir, Bartley, Papac; Diouf, Davis, Edu, Whittaker; Jelavic.
Subs: Alexander; Fleck, Lafferty, Healy, Weiss, Wylde, Hutton.

Kilmarnock: Jaakkola, Clancy, Hay, Fowler, Sissoko, Bryson, Hamill, Silva, Kelly, Gros, Pascali.
Subs: Letheren, Miguel, Berntsson, Agard, Laurant, McKenzie, Aubameyang

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Another Weekend Of Football.

 Well its a mixed card this weekend with the return of the Scottish Cup and one rearranged league game.

I shall keep you up to date with everything throughout the weekend.

Scottish Cup 

Brechin V St Johnstone
St Mirren V Aberdeen 


Dundee Utd V Motherwell
Inverness CT V Celtic

Scottish Premier League-

Rangers v Kilmarnock 15:00 
It has however been snowing a bit in Scotland during the night so some games may end up postponed. 

Friday, 11 March 2011

Rangers Keep Tie Alive With 0-0 Result In Eindhoven

Neil Alexander saves to keep out another PSV attempt.

So it was a return to the European campaign for the gers and they about their business in the usual 5-4-1 way which has served them well but also came with some heavy criticism over the season.

Walter Smith had introduced Alexander, celebrating his 33rd birthday, to get the goalkeeper some first team action ahead of the League Cup final later this month in which he will also feature.

His inclusion was one of three changes made by the Rangers boss with Kyle Lafferty recovering sufficiently from tonsillitis to feature, along with teenage midfielder Kyle Hutton.

It was a difficult first 45 minutes for the visitors with the early stages seeing El Hadji Diouf isolated up front and the Rangers rear guard the busiest area of the pitch.

PSV controlled the game but  didn't create a real opening until a moment of class from Ola Toivonen opened the door after 16 minutes.

He cushioned a pass on the edge of the Gers area in to the path of Marcus Berg, but the striker was beaten to the ball by an alert Alexander.

As the hosts continuted to put pressure on the Rangers defence Dzsudzsak's free kick from the Dutch side's left flank took a touch off Lens and looked to have presented Marcelo with the perfect opportunity but he headed over from just a few yards out with Berg just behind him also unmarked and waiting for the easiest of finishes.

Rangers created very little in the first half but went in at halftime without conceding which was what Smith had set his side out to do.

Richard Foster nearly gave Rangers the goal they needed five minutes after the break as he burst across the field and down the left wing beforing crossing in a ball for Diouf and Rangers gained a corner.

As Rangers put on the pressure PSV set out to quickly counter and again it was Toivonen controlling play, slotting a ball behind David Weir that set Berg free once again, but the big striker pulled his shot wide of Alexander's upright.

 The home fans cried out for a penalty when Manolev broke in to the box only to be denied by Bartley's strength.

Whittaker again did well to get down the left as he had been all game and his cross was almost perfect for Diouf with the Senegalese forward lurking Wilfred Bouma did well to head behind from a corner.
It was from the corner that Rangers had their best chance of the evening,Diouf delivering and Bartley meeting the ball with his head only to see Andreas Isaksson claw it round his post for another corner.

A series of substitutions began with Weiss replacing Diouf for the visitors and Berg being withdrawn in favour of Danny Koevermans.

 PSV continued to press but after a few failed attempts it was Marcelo but again his header was poor and Rangers were off the hook giving them a great result to take back to Ibrox.

 The return leg will be played at Ibrox on Thursday 17th February and will be broadcast on ESPN.

Rangers: Alexander; Foster, Bougherra, Weir, Bartley, Whittaker; Davis, Edu, Hutton, Lafferty; Diouf.
Subs: McGregor, Fleck, Healy, Weiss, Wylde, Cole, Hemmings.

PSV: Isaksson; Bouma, Marcelo, Manolev, Pieters; Hutchinson, Engelaar; Toivonen;  Lens, Berg, Dzsudzsak.
Subs: Ramos, Rodriguez, Vukovic, Koevermans, Wuytens, Bakkal, Zeefuik.

Old Firm Agree Six-Point Plan.

Following the Scottish Government summit held in the wake of a troubled Glasgow derby, the clubs involved have put together a plan of action to assist in preventing trouble.

Celtic and Rangers have jointly produced a plan to help reduce trouble surrounding Glasgow derby games. The clubs were present at a summit in Edinburgh where they outlined the steps that they were taking following the recent controversial match at Celtic Park in the Scottish Cup.

At the summit, where chief executives from both clubs met with First Minister Alex Salmond, representatives from the police and from the Scottish football authorities, agreement was reached on a way forward and explained by those who attended the meeting.

The discussion points at the summit went beyond what happens on the pitch to take in social and criminal problems surrounding the fixture. Both clubs affirmed their commitment to help deal with those problems as well as taking steps to maintain standards of behaviour for their employees.

The two clubs recommended:
  • The creation of a stand-alone pan-Scotland police football intelligence unit as part of the ongoing review of police forces in Scotland.
  • Greater enforcement of existing legislation to deal with sectarianism and drink related offences.
  • The establishment of a task force comprising senior police officers, government representatives and club security personnel to deliver more consistency in policing of football matches across Scotland.
  • A detailed academic study into the extent of the linkage of football to violent crime committed domestically and in the community.
  • Celtic and Rangers will commit to playing an enhanced role in a partnership approach to encourage responsible drinking.
  • A re-enforced code of conduct for players and officials.

Various researches have claimed that violence increases when the Old Firm play and they found these stats:

It said there was a 172% rise in violent offences when a match is played on a Saturday, compared to an average Saturday where there is no fixture.

This falls to a 65% rise in violent crimes committed when the Old Firm have a weekday game.

A statement from the force added: "Looking at domestic violence, the Saturday effect is a 138.8% rise in offences. For Sunday it is a 96.6% rise, and for weekday evenings the rise is 56.8%."

Obviously as an outsider I cannot vouch for these stats legit these stats are but I don't think anyone can deny there will be a reasonable increase.

Well Its Friday.

So today is Friday and my blog has been updated since Tuesday,I have been away for a few days and Im now ill but I shall be updating my blog with a few articles over the next few hours.

That is all for now,Have a good weekend everyone.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Updated League Table.

So with some teams only having a few games left to fight for a top 6 position each game becomes more important.Stay tuned to see what happens over the next few weeks because we will have a few more twists and turns as time goes on.Meanwhile hamilton look to be struggling but can they put some wins together.?
Pos     Team                             Pld





5Dundee United26


7Inverness Caledonian Thistle29


9St Johnstone28


11St Mirren

12Hamilton Academical28


For all of those that don't know,The split consists of the top and bottom 6 teams being divided and playing each of the section they are in so 1-6 plays each other and 7-12 play each other once

Dundee United Move Into Top Six With Win Over Aberdeen.

Dundee United moved into the top six by deservedly ending Aberdeen's unbeaten run in an exciting Tannadice encounter.

Barry Douglas headed United's opener from a 29th-minute Craig Conway corner while the Dons were down to 10 men with Zander Diamond off injured.

Goalkeeper Jamie Langfield allowed a Conway drive to slip out of his grasp and into the net four minutes later.

Josh Magennis got one back for Aberdeen from close range six minutes after halftime but were unable to go on and get another as Danny Swanson put the game beyond doubt on the 60minute mark.

Both teams went on to create more chances but but the game ended 3-1 to the hosts as David Goodwillie threatened the Dons goal but Langfield was equal to his attempts all night.

Dundee United: Pernis, Dillon,Douglas, Watson , Gomis, Van der Meulen, Conway, S Robertson, Swanson, Buaben, Goodwillie.

Substitutes: Banks, D Robertson, Kovacevic, Shala, Russell, Smith, Armstrong.

Aberdeen: Langfield, McNamee, Diamond, Considine, Hartley, Vernon, Aluko, Young, Smith, Jack.

Substitutes: Howard, Pawlett, Vujadinovic, Paton, Magennis, Blackman, McArdle.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Jamie Ness Signs Contract Extension.

Walter Smith has expressed his delight after confirming that young midfield star Jamie Ness has signed a two-year extension to his contract.

The 20-year-old, currently fighting back from a groin strain, penned a new deal last December until 2013 but has now extended that until the summer of 2015.

Jamie,A product from Rangers,Murray Park came into the side in December and has shown he has what it takes to become a great player and got his first goal for the club in the Scottish Cup tie at Ibrox against Celtic.

He has what it takes and hopefully its not long before hes doing that for the national team.!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Weekend Results.

Just a quick update,Haven't got time to write reports for each game but they will be posted tomorrow sometimes so heres a quick round up of all results so far.

Sunday March 6

St Mirren 0-1 Rangers

Saturday March 5

Celtic 2-0 Hamilton

Hearts 0-2 Kilmarnock

Inverness CT 3-0 Motherwell

St Johnstone 1-1 Hibernian

Dundee Utd v Aberdeen is Monday night and I will bring you an update of that also.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Weekends Fixtures.

Just a quick heads up of all the games in Scotlands top division this week.I shall report on matches later.!

Saturday 6 March
Celtic v Hamilton 15:00
Hearts v Kilmarnock 15:00
Inverness CT v Motherwell 15:00
St Johnstone v Hibernian 15:00 

Sunday, 6 March 
St Mirren v Rangers, 12:45

Monday, 7 March 
Dundee Utd v Aberdeen, 20:00

Friday, 4 March 2011

John Fleming Appointed New Head Of Referee Development.

The Scottish Football Association have appointed John Fleming as their new head of referee development. The former Category One official has held the post on a temporary basis since November, when Hugh Dallas resigned from the role.

Fleming has been involved with refereeing in Scotland for 30 years, achieving Category One status in 1994 and fulfilling appointments as a FIFA assistant referee from 1994 to 1997.

Latterly he held the position of referee development officer at the SFA, before stepping up to replace Dallas just over three months ago.

In a statement on the SFA's website, Fleming spoke of his desire to help improve the standard of refereeing in Scotland. “I am immensely proud and grateful to have been given this opportunity,” he said.

“There are a number of exciting initiatives on the horizon both for the Scottish FA and the Referee Development Department and it is my intention to help facilitate positive changes to benefit the referee fraternity and the game in general.”

Stewart Regan, the SFA's chief executive, commented: “John brings a wealth of experience in refereeing and in the development and education sides of the game. He also has a wide of experience of working in business.

“His role will be pivotal to the new Scottish FA strategic plan and his impact since taking the role in an acting capacity since November has been substantial.

“I have received a number of positive comments from the refereeing fraternity and also from his colleagues within the Scottish FA and I am convinced he will be an asset to the organisation.”

Good luck to John Fleming.!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Investigation Into Old Firm Disorders.

Bougherra given his marching orders after a second yellow.

A top-level summit is to be held in Scotland next week to discuss serious disorder surrounding Old Firm games.

First Minister Alex Salmond confirmed the move after an ill-tempered Scottish Cup replay at Celtic Park on Wednesday was described as "shameful".

Three Rangers players were sent off during the tie, which also saw several touch-line and tunnel confrontations and 34 arrests inside the stadium.

The Scottish Football Association (SFA) is to investigate events at the match.

In the run up to the game, the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) - the police officers union - called for a ban on Old Firm games in Glasgow, saying they led to too much violence. 

Strathclyde Police - the country's largest force - also warned it would crack down on drink-fuelled violence linked to the fixture after trouble flared in the wake of the previous match.

Old Firm Review.

Whittaker,first of 3 to go for Rangers.

Celtic keep treble dream alive.

Celtic remain on course for the domestic treble after Mark Wilson's goal saw off Rangers in an ill-tempered Scottish Cup fifth-round replay at Parkhead which saw the visitors end up with nine men - and have another dismissed after the final whistle.

It was an even game with little chances and didnt spark into life until the 35th minute when Rangers defender Steven Whittaker was sent off by referee Calum Murray after picking up his second booking for a foul on Emilio Izaguirre.

The teams went in half time and various players and staff were caught in a argument going up the tunnel but nothing came of it.

Rangers substituted one of many players booked, John Fleck and replaced him with fellow youngster Kyle Hutton who went into the middle of the park.

It was celtic who took the lead early in the second half when Mark Wilson had a shot cleared off the line by Sasa Papac who stayed down with a head injury-Should the game have been stopped as rules state that head injuries must be dealt with immediately but play continued and Wilson knocked the ball in with the rebound .

Papac unable to continue was replaced by Greg Wylde at left back.

The Gers could have got level when a freekick was swung in and a mix-up in the Celtic side nearly lead to the ball going over the line but keeper, Zaluska managed to keep it out.

Samaras could have put celtic ahead but his shot hit the post and Rangers cleared.

The game never ended without incident when Bougherra was also shown a second yellow for sliding in on Gary Hooper,Replays show Bougherra got the ball but by then it was too late.

El Hadji Diouf, Never far from controversy was also shown a second yellow for approaching the referee after full time.

Ally McCoist and Neil Lennon also got involved at full time when Lennon appeared to whisper something in Ally's ear at full time but the pair now say all is sorted.

So it was an intense night at Celtic Park which lead to police forces again calling for a ban on fans being allowed into the games.

 Team Line Ups :
Lukasz Zaluska   
Mark Wilson   
Daniel Majstorovic   
Charlie Mulgrew   
Emilio Izaguirre   
Scott Brown   
Sung-Yeung Ki   
Beram Kayal   
Kris Commons   
Gary Hooper   
Georgios Samaras   
Substitutes :
Don Cervi   
Efrain Juarez   
Anthony Stokes   
James Forrest   
Thomas Rogne   
   Allan McGregor
   Richard Foster
   David Weir
   Madjid Bougherra

Sasa Papac
   Kyle Bartley
   Steven Whittaker
   Maurice Edu
   Steven Davis

John Fleck
   El-Hadji Diouf
   Neil Alexander
   David Healy
   Salim Kerkar

Gregg Wylde

Kyle Hutton

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Simon Mensing Completes Suspension.

Hamilton midfielder Simon Mensing claims he is "completely innocent" after serving a four-week suspension for failing a random drug test.

The 28-year-old tested positive for the stimulant methylhexaneamine last month and subsequently missed five matches after a period of ineligibility was imposed on him and returned to action in the 1-1 draw with Dundee United on Saturday.

The player maintains he was unaware he had ingested the substance while using a dietary supplement - an explanation which he says has now been accepted by UK Anti-Doping.

Mensing said: "This whole saga has been a nightmare for me and my family and can only be described as a fiasco.
"I should make it clear that I would never have taken any banned substance in a million years - and made every effort to check in advance that the dietary supplement I did take was clean.
"I am glad it has been recognised by the anti-doping authority that I did not know that the supplement was contaminated by something that I now know is called methylhexaneamine.
"They also accepted that I had made no effort to improve or enhance my performance as I did not know I had ingested the substance."

Rather unfair ban in my opinion, If he set out to improve his performance with the banned substances then the ban would have been justified but he's back now and hopefully this teaches a lesson to all other professionals to double check the labels even on supplements.