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The unpaid effort and commitment put into kids' football is admirable, but lose the Jose Mourinho attitude. Photograph: PA Images

Aidan Smith: Why are some youth coaches still behaving like complete and utter bampots?

Help us big man, we said, a phalanx of Scottish pressmen thrusting tiny arms under Romelu Lukaku’s bumfluffed chin. Straining with our microphones we didn’t think much of his beard but we were in awe of his football and that of his countrymen. In the bowels of Hampden, in the mixed zone, Lukaku loomed over us like Belgium had just loomed over our brave boys in dark blue, trouncing them by four to nil.

Opinion
Scotland's Darren Jackson and Rivaldo during the opening game of the 1998 World Cup. Picture: Laurent Rebours/AP

Alan Pattullo: When Jacko had Neymar (snr) in the back of his cab

Neymar senior was in town last week speaking at a conference in Edinburgh. The star turn – well, one of them since Fabio Capello was also on the bill (as was, ahem, Neil Doncaster) delivered a fascinating talk at the city’s Signet Library on the complexities of looking after his famous son’s interests.

Football
Ian Smith , in white, dives over thee line to score a try against South Africa on his debut for Scotland in 1969. Picture: Colorsport/Shutterstock

Allan Massie: Celebrating an age when it was a crime to congratulate a try-scorer

W ell, assuming all have come unscathed through last night’s return match with Georgia, it is passport-checking time for the happy 31, coaches, analysts and so on. Suddenly 22 September and the match against Ireland look very close. Meanwhile it is agreeable to step back in time and to remember, and reflect on, the days when rugby was a recreation for players and not a job or career.

Rugby Union 1
The substitution of Scott Allan was booed by Hibs fans.  Photograph: Alan Harvey/SNS

Aidan Smith: Are Hibs fans precious? Oh probably

It’s only words, the Bee Gees sang, and words are all I have. The ditty was a hit in 1968 when talk wasn’t so cheap, there was still something called the dignity of print, and football fans didn’t stay up until 3am in their underpants hammering away on social media with orange fingers, 
a consequence of consuming too many jumbo bags of cheesy snacks, just like that slob Al McWhiggin in Toy Story 2.

Opinion
Finn Russell makes a break against Georgia. Picture: Levan Verdzeuli/Getty Images

Sparkling Finn Russell steals the show for Scotland

Now just two short of equalling the Scottish record for a Test half-back pairing, scrum-half Greig Laidlaw and, in particular, a dazzling display from stand-off Finn Russell, drove Scotland to this confidence-boosting dismantling of Georgia in Tbilisi last night.

Opinion
Scotland's Stuart Hogg, left, and Finn Russell after the 17-14 win over France. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS/SRU

Allan Massie: Gregor Townsend’s Scotland selection should maintain the winning habit

Anyone turning up or tuning in a few minutes late last Saturday and finding Scotland already 0-7 down might have been excused for muttering , “Same old Scotland, sleepy start – why do we take ten minutes to wake up?” Yet it wasn’t like that. We had actually started briskly and were looking lively, even dangerous, when Damien Penaud intercepted Peter Horne’s pass and ran half the length of the field to score. If Penaud had mistimed his move, the try might have been scored at the other end of the field.

Opinion
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