Friday, October 30, 2009

Life Is A Roller Coaster

Monday morning and you find yourself reflecting on a Lehman Brothers style financial armageddon at Ibrox and the Tynecastle faithful turning on their own captain.

But by the end of the week Rangers are looking odds on for the first silverware of the season and Csabo Lazlo is touting himself as the successor to Sir Alex Ferguson.

The season so far has been a bit mental. If you're struggling to comprehend it then spare a thought for Tony Mowbray. Two wins from nine competitive matches at home. That's a bad record for anybody but it's quite incredibly poor for an Old Firm manager. More worrying still for those of a Celtic persuasion were the wide open spaces at Celtic Park on Wednesday. They'll have sent suitably seasonable spooky shivers through the boardroom as much as Samaras' succession of missed chances.

Lest we overstate the mire that Mogga seems to have jumped into it is worth remembering that Celtic moved top of the table after beating Hamilton last Sunday. Eddie May would kill for a crisis like Tony's.

The sum result of all this kerfuffle is that predicting the outcome of games is as much of a mug's game as being a manager. But, as the proprietors of Imperial Tobacco would attest, the Scottish Football Blog ain't no quitter.

Celtic v Kilmarnock

Celtic are woeful at home. Kilmarnock are woeful away from home. Ergo a woeful game. Probably not as simple as that. I thought a couple of Celtic players looked a bit shell shocked on Wednesday night, as if they are not quite sure how to react to the situation they find themselves in. Others looked to be woefully short of form. The result is a team that is failing to perform. We tend to know what we'll get from Kilmarnock. Organised and defensive away from home and hoping to cash in on whatever problems Kevin Kyle can cause up front. I've got to go for the home win though. Surely.

Hibs v Aberdeen

Games between these two at Easter Road are often quite enjoyable affairs. Both enjoyed a free week after bad results earlier in the League Cup. Hibs have the plaudits still ringing in their ears from a creditable performance at Ibrox. Aberdeen will still be stung after capitulating in the New Firm derby last Saturday. I'm tipping Hibs to be too strong for a Dons side that's still struggling to find consistency.

Motherwell v Hearts

A tale of two midweeks. Hearts put Celtic to the sword on Wednesday. 24 hours earlier Motherwell are humbled in Paisley. Those results aside Motherwell have shown the better form so far this season and the win against Celtic was Hearts' first on the road in nine months. Home win.

St Johnstone v Falkirk

Derek McInnes should probably just tell his team that every game is a cup tie after the Saints continued their excellent knock-out form on Tuesday. Falkirk are keeping clean sheets but not scoring, a recipe for boredom and a major obstacle as they try to get off the bottom of the league. Could be close this, but I'm backing the home team for three points.

St Mirren v Hamilton

Hamilton were abject at times against Celtic last week but pulled themselves together to finish strongly. St Mirren are a mystery to me as their goal madness continues. Nine goals scored in three games. Amazing. I'll back them to keep up the good run here.

Dundee United v Rangers (Sunday, Sky)

Enough has been written about Rangers this week. Suffice to say they can get reasonable domestic results in the bleakest of circumstances. But I'm going to back a home win here. United will be keen to make amends for their cup loss on Tuesday and I can seem them doing a number on Rangers.

17 out of 48 to date. A poor record for sure. But I'm trying to bring an attractive, attacking philosophy to the Scottish prediction game. A lot of the teams I've inherited are just not up to scratch. I've already told them that they need to shape up or ship out. As long as I keep creating chances I know I'm doing something right. The correct results will come...[rises from seat and leaves press conference abruptly].

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