Saturday, January 14, 2012

SPL: Timing is everything

Did your Cup overfloweth last week?

Not so much. Or if it did is was with lukewarm, overly milky tea rather than with an expensive Asti Spumante.

Back to the slog of the SPL today though. What joys await...

St Johnstone v Rangers


Poor timing.

That was Ally McCoist's verdict on his bid for St Johnstone's Francisco Sandaza on the eve of today's game.

Maybe the sense of timing developed while serving an apprenticeship with renowned Ibrox jokers and Fred McCaulay has deserted him.

Or maybe he'd mislaid his fixture list.

Or maybe such a bid is worse timing for the targetted club than it is for the targeter so he's not really that bothered but he's too nice a chap to say that in public.

Certainly Steve Lomas seems less than impressed with the way Rangers have handled the whole "Fran's our man" situation.

So one has to think that the latest bid would be about as welcome as one of those legendary "taking a crap off a stepladder" pranks in the Govan of old. (Alleged pranks, obviously.)

The last time these two met Lomas announced himself with a point at Ibrox, a point that eased Perth palpitations over the departure of Derek McInnes and served notice that Rangers stately voyage to the title had sprung a leak.

And Lomas got himself into bother for suggesting an official was a bit of a Fred Goodwin.

That was a fascinating draw. Will today be as Fran-scintating?

See what I've done there. Quality.

Anyhow, a wee trip to Perth is a day out Rangers might not relish.

I reckon they'll win it. Could be Fran-tic though.

Aberdeen v Kilmarnock


The unbreakable bond between father and son. Apparently Dean Shiels has taken something of a cash hit to stick with dad Kenny at Kilmarnock.

At least he can make appropriate budgetary concessions by letting Mrs S cook his tea.

Aberdeen have lost Ricky Foster but kept Scott Vernon and Andrew Considine.

They might also be welcoming back their own (prodigal) son in the shape of Russell Anderson.

It'll be like the heartwarming conclusion to an adaptation of a Catherine Cookson family saga starring Robson Green at Pittodrie.

With little confidence I'll say home win.

Celtic v Dundee Utd


Neil Lennon's bored of the transfer window. I know the feeling.

United's bank manager won't be though, West Brom's cash is enough to deprive the SPL of watching a developing young talent and to ease United's debt as Scott Allan heads for England.

Peter Houston has been looking lower down the league's for talent. Cutting the cloth accordingly. But also encouragingly. Big fan of unearthing gems from the SFL me.

Anyway. Today's game. Perfunctory Celtic win. Probably.

Dunfermline v Hibernian


The relegation crunch match between two of the worst teams you'll see in the SPL. Enjoy it. I'm getting the hell out of here.

Hard week for Pat Fenlon: identifying a target here, releasing a misfiring player there, consoling Sean O'Hanlon over his inexplicable absence from Fifa's team of the year.

A good bit of business from Dunfermline getting goalkeeper Iain Turner in from Preston.

This is a big game. Who wants to win it more? It will be tight, it will be ugly.

Draw.

Hearts v St Mirren


Hearts await an exodus but wages will be paid. That seems to be the latest.

Turmoil hasn't stopped them winning games like this the last few weeks.

St Mirren tried to get John Sutton in on loan from Hearts this week. That bid failed.

So will their bid to win today. Home win.

Motherwell v Inverness


Terry Butcher returns to his old gaff to clash with the current gaffer, his old mate Stuart McCall.

The interconnecting relationships of Scottish football are a heartwarmingly complex tapestry. Or boring.

Back-to-back defeats for Motherwell. They need to put a halt to that if they are to once again bewitch us with the consistency that left us all so befuddled betwixt August and December.

Big chance to do that today. Home win or I'll be bemused.

The Scottish Football Blog blogathon took place in November in aid of Alzheimer Scotland and the Homeless World Cup. You can sponsor the blogathon for these two great causes until 17th January.