Saturday, November 05, 2011

SPL: Since Alex Ferguson Said Goodbye

Four games in the SPL today.

But I'm distracted by Sir Alex Ferguson's upcoming 25th anniversary as manager of Manchester United. A phenomena. From Govan.

The SPL didn't even exist 25 years ago. We must have had football though, whatever they try and tell us.

Must have had it because I'm sure Alex Ferguson left a top flight Scottish club to take over a top flight English club 25 years ago.

But how could he have? Because football didn't exist in England 25 years ago either.

It's all very confusing.

Anyway, to celebrate here's today's match previews abbreviated to a Fergie-friendly 25 words.

Hibs v Dunfermline

Puzzlingly enigmatic riddlers clash with the plummeting new kids on the block. Hibs look to turn a corner, Dunfermline to find a parachute. Home win.

Kilmarnock v Inverness

Bruised but victorious at Tynecastle, Kilmarnock host table propping Highlanders. Can they pass Butcher’s boys to destruction? Intense Shiels stares down angry Terry. Home win.

Rangers v Dundee United

Table topping despite titillating with slow moving financial tease, Rangers try denying Celtic the oxygen of hope. Can redeemed Houston inspire tangerine heroics? Home win.

St Mirren v Hearts

Unpaid, overpaid, out of here? Visitors seek Paisley sanctuary as hosts hold tight to Lennon’s football karma. Goal gluttony afficianados should gawp elsewhere. (Tight) Draw.

How much is one Sir Alex Ferguson worth? Part One


Stability, wisdom has it, is the key to football success. Exhibit A is Sir Alex Ferguson himself.

Armed only with a bargain from Leeds and an Australian media tycoon with deep pockets he invented soccer as we know it. Or something.

Not every club is so lucky.

Here's a look at a quarter of a century on the merry managerial carousel endured by the eight clubs involved in SPL action today.

Hibs

Then: John Blackley
Now: Colin Calderwood

In between: Alex Miller, Jocky Scott (sustained run as caretaker), Jim Duffy, Alex McLeish, Franck Sauzee, Bobby Williamson, Tony Mowbray, John Collins, Mixu Patalainen, John Hughes

Total: 12

Dunfermline

Then: Jim Leishman
Now: Kenny McIntyre

In between: Iain Munro, Jocky Scott, Bert Paton, Dick Campbell, Jimmy Calderwood, David Hay, Jim Leishman, Stephen Kenny

Total: 9

Kilmarnock

Then: Eddie Morrison
Now: Kenny Shiels

In between: Jim Fleeting, Tommy Burns, Alex Totten, Bobby Williamson, Jim Jefferies, Jimmy Calderwood, Mixu Paatelainen

Total: 9

Inverness

Then: not a Scottish League side
Now: Terry Butcher

In between (since joining SFL in 1994): Sergei Baltacha, Steve Paterson, John Robertson, Craig Brewster, Charlie Christie, Craig Brewster

Total: 7

Rangers

Then: Graeme Souness
Now: Ally McCoist

In between: Walter Smith, Dick Advocaat, Alex McLeish, Paul Le Guen, Walter Smith

Total: 7

Dundee United

Then: Jim McLean
Now: Peter Houston

In between: Ivan Golac, Billy Kirkwood, Tommy McLean, Paul Sturrock, Alex Smith, Paul Hegarty, Ian McCall, Gordon Chisholm, Craig Levein

Total: 11

St Mirren

Then: Alex Miller
Now: Danny Lennon

In between: Alex Smith, Tony Fitzpatrick, David Hay, Jimmy Bone, Tony Fitzpatrick, Tom Hendrie, John Coughlin, Gus MacPherson

Total: 10

Hearts

Then: Alex Macdonald
Now: Paulo Sergio

In between: Sandy Jardine (co-manager), Joe Jordan, Sandy Clark, Tommy McLean, Jim Jefferies, Craig Levein, John Robertson, George Burley, Graham Rix, Valdas Ivanauskas, Anatoly Korobocha, Stephen Frail, Csaba Lazlo, Jim Jefferies (includes caretakers who were in charge for a month or more)

Total: 16

Conclusion based on the eight SPL games being played today:

One Sir Alex Ferguson equals 81 Scottish club managers.

Science says so.

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