But some of the Scotland under-21 side might have got a bit of surprise to see his portrait hanging in the tunnel at Nimjmegen’s Stadion de Goffert on Monday, along with the club’s other former managers.
And it wasn’t just the mighty Netherlands who were humbled by Billy Stark’s side. Rangers were beaten by a single goal in a friendly against the under-21 side last week, but to add insult to injury, it was their own player who netted the winner. Gregg Wlyde was lining up for the national side against a selection of his colleauges for the match at Murray Park.
United trounce City - online at least
What is the decisive factor that makes one side victorious over another and gives them bragging rights? In Manchester, you might think City are entitled to a bit of boasting after gubbing their rivals United 6-1 at Old Trafford last month. But as far as social media goes, Roberto Mancini and co still have a long way to go. According to data analysts FameCount, United have an incredible 20,286,674 Facebook fans, compared to City’s fairly miserable 1,245,005. I wonder what fans will be more bothered about come the end of the season.
The press in France were none to happy when they discovered that the ref for the French national side’s friendly clash with Belgium was born in Brussels. Although Cesar Muniz Fernandez, a top La Liga official who has been on the Fifa list for four years, is a Spanish national, he was born in Anderlecht. One paper, L’Equipe, described the decision as a ‘peculiarity.’
Andrew Smith’s Stramash
In these troubled, managerless days at Hibs, we thought we would recall troubled, manager-in-post days of yore in Leith. The ‘yore’ is the late 1970s-early 1980s tenure of the bold Bertie Auld. And it was to be found at Easter Road during his era. Just so long as you kept your eyes on the dug-out and didn’t allow them to catch sight of the sterile sufferance of a football team Bertie sent out. He was, indeed, the Colin Calderwood of his day.
• SO at the club’s AGM this week, Hibs owner Tom Farmer mounted a stirring defence of chairman Rod Petrie. Farmer said he wished he had “a team of Petries”. Hmm, so would Farmer like a Hibs team full of moustachioed middle-aged accountants with an aversion to speaking in public? If Farmer really is looking for 11 Rod Petries then he should head to Cyprus, where every second taxi driver looks the spit of him. Unless this is where the real Petrie has been hiding out this past week...
• When it comes to claptrap over commitment on the fooball field, there is little to touch a player or manager saying they “give 110 per cent”. So they give more than is physically possible. Just say a player stated tomorrow that in his next game he was going to jump 25ft feet to win every aerial duel, accelerate nought to 60mph in four seconds at any break/attack and hit the ball with the velocity of a Tomahawk missile. You’d tell him he was being a muppet and to sew it up. So, the same rule should apply for the 110 per cent. The 200 per cent, meanwhile, should be forced to watch East Stirlingshire. No, in fact they should be forced to play for East Stirlingshire.
• I FEEL as if I let down my country and my captain this week, that I was somehow responsible for every misplaced pass hit by Darren Fletcher against Cyprus on Friday night (and, in truth, there were a few). The media training session in the presence of the Scotland coaching team that was organised by the lovely people at Scotland sponsors Vauxhall – that’s Scotland sponsors Vauxhall, in case I forgot to mention and got a fair old coverage in the press for those lovely people at Vauxhall, I was only able to take part because Darren kindly lent me a brand new pair of boots sent to him by his lovely suppliers Adidas. I fear that, in the hour and a bit I wore them, these boots became conditioned to mis-hits and scuffed shots.
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