Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Special

One of the benefits of feeling like crap is being able to spend an afternoon submerged in Scottish football. A small benefit to be sure, but paupers in a credit crunch can't be too choosy.

So our afternoon kicks off at Love Street where Artur Boruc, apparently no stranger to love, showed himself to be quite street as well, avoiding a red card when many a ref would have stubbed him out like a discarded cigarette.

St Mirren held their own but, as Scott Booth mentioned more than once in yet another turgid Setanta co-commentary, you need to take your chances against Celtic. Boom, boom. 2 nil and Celtic are cruising. We've seen it all before.

With about half an hour to go last Saturday Jimmy Calderwood was staring at three points on the road, Mixu was staring into the abyss. Two goals later and Hibs have a point that feels like a win, Aberdeen a point that feels like the death of a reasonably close friend.

Jimmy's woes continued at Ibrox as Ranger closed the gap to four points again. If depression lingers then Hibs proved what a difference a last minute Steven Fletcher sclaff can make by running out 4-1 winners at Motherwell.

Hibs fans of a certain vintage may remember the heady Alex Miller days when Brian Hamilton powered the midfield. The engima of Hamilton, it was said, was his ability to play well away from home before freezing at Easter Road. No enigma, the guy was terrified because of the stick he took in Leith. With apathy and antipathy rolling down from the stands at the moment might the whole Hibs team be suffering from the Hamilton syndrome? Time will tell.

Across Edinburgh Hearts continued their strange season. Third in the league with a win over Falkirk. Will that please the Jambo faithful? Or are they suffering from withdrawal symptoms? A message to the Gorgie Boys: a team that isn't imploding might make for a duller life but sometimes simple is good.

Dundee United continued their Jekyll and Hyde season with a draw at home to Hamilton. Accies finding a bit of form again but I had really expected Levein to have led United to a comfortable third place by now.

Inverness continued to haul their themselves away from the relegation battle with a fine win over Kilmarnock, Mehdi Tauoil getting into a spot of bother and no doubt ensuring the redoubtable Mrs Jefferies will be welcoming home something quite removed from a bundle of fun this evening.

So we are...well, where are we? Hamilton close the gap on St Mirren who really, really need to start scoring goals. Celtic and Rangers are as they started, Hearts get a sliver of breathing space over United.

And Hibs move into the top six but remain only a couple of wins off a bottom of the table scrap. This league produces few winners and few losers but yet again there's confirmation that this year's big question is not who's best of the rest but who's the runt of a dismal litter.