Monday, November 07, 2011

St Johnstone v Aberdeen and 126 Alex Fergusons

Monday night football.

When I was a slip of lad approaching drinking age Monday night football used to be a thing of wonder.

(Drinking age, kids, used to be more of a general guide than a rule. Don't live as I lived. It's bad for you.)

We'd gather around what we then thought were big screens and be stunned as Newcastle and Liverpool served up seven goal thrillers and Sky's hype levels left our skies and bothered Martian moons.

Now we get St Johnstone v Aberdeen.

Not to knock the Saints and the Dons. But it's a fair sign that Monday night on the TV ain't what it once was. And it's SPL fans that are suffering.

An intriguing match though. Aberdeen, without kicking a ball, find themselves joint bottom of the league.

St Johnstone welcome a new era in the shape of manager Steve Lomas and chairman Steve Brown.

Both have shadows to escape. For Lomas it is the plaudit winning reigns of first Owen Coyle and then, seamlessly, Derek McInnes. Steve Brown has to prove that he's both his own man and capable of running as steady a ship as his father.

A leap into the unknown? Perhaps.

But a reasonable legacy to inherit. Widely regarded as a well-run club, a reputation for embracing ambitious young managers. And fourth in the league.

Lucky Lomas.

And unlucky Craig Brown?

Possibly. But probably not. Dunfermline and Inverness winning at the weekend weren't part of Aberdeen's grand plan.

Wins against Dunfermline - never a bad thing to be beating the teams around you in the league - and Dundee United pointed to a revival before the cruel mistress of the fixture list threw up an Old Firm double header.

Tonight offers Aberdeen the chance to get back on track. Which I expect they will sort of manage with a draw.

How much is one Sir Alex Ferguson worth? Part Three

The 10 SPL clubs in action over the weekend threw up 105 managers in the time that Sir Alex Ferguson has reigned supreme at Old Trafford.

It's fitting that we end this experiment of adopting Alex Ferguson as an international unit of measurement with tonight's game.

Aberdeen are the club he left in 1986. Did he leave them bereft? It's been a long, twisting and often tortuous road since he took his leave.

Now they seek succour in the only SPL manager older than Ferguson.

And St Johnstone welcome the newest member of the SPL managerial pack.

The new reality dictates that if Steve Lomas is a tenth as successful as Ferguson he won't stay at St Johnstone for more than a season or two.

25 years on and we inhabit a different world.

St Johnstone

Then: Ian Gibson
Now: Steve Lomas

In between: Alex Totten, John McClelland, Paul Sturrock, Sandy Clark, Billy Stark, John Connolly, Owen Coyle, Derek McInnes

Total: 10


Then: situation vacant
Now: Craig Brown

In between: Ian Porterfield, Jocky Scott, Alex Smith, Willie Miller, Roy Aitken, Alex Miller, Ebbe Skovdahl, Steve Paterson, Jimmy Calderwood, Mark McGhee

Total: 11

Despite a determined effort by Hibs to screw up my calculations I can now reveal that:

One Sir Alex Ferguson equals 126 Scottish club managers.

Abacus breaking stuff.

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