Friday, December 07, 2012

Trusty Shiels of truth

Quite the week.

A home draw with Arbroath and Champions League progression.

An Edinburgh derby delivering delight - for some - even in its prodigious incompetence as a game of football.

A Highland derby delivering the game of a Scottish Cup weekend.

Boycotts and bickering.

A young talent announcing his intention to fly the nest all too soon.

Scottish football. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Lighter moments too. Many of them provided by Kenny Shiels.

Kenny was mouthing off on all sorts this week. Much like any other week.

Artificial pitches: "the ball bounces funny." Poverty: "putting bread on the table is the most important thing."

Player wages, staff wages, First Division wages, SPL wages. Wage structures. Ticket prices.

All covered in the 'Kenny Shiels does league reconstruction' rant. I still don’t really know what his vision for the SPL actually is, but he always sounds convinced by what he's saying.

Or Kenny speaking truth unto refereeing power: "truth and controversy are from the same family."

That might not be an etymological exactitude. But if "truth" and "controversy" are cousins then "bollocks" is surely their rambling uncle.

Later in the week Shiels announced he would put Manuel Pascali in the Kilmarnock squad this weekend despite the player's two game suspension. Having been sent off early in the game against St Johnstone he actually missed 90 minutes of that game, plus the game that followed.

Two match suspension duly served, reckoned the bold Kenny.

But he didn't really think that. He was only joking.

That's the kind of guy he is. A joker, a japing jester.

One of Scottish football's favourite things, a "character."

In a game where skins are thin, where offence lies in wait ready to unleash an ambush on any dissenting opinion, Shiels carries on regardless.

The media lap it up, even his "jokes" get column inches. The fans might be calling him a bawbag but at least they are talking about him.

If the SFA try to muzzle him he just uses it as an excuse to moan some more.

A lot of what he says is twaddle. Some of it has a certain value. Much of it is nonsensical.

It's all reported. It wins him TV and radio appearances and gives him something to write about in his newspaper column.

So who's daft?

Kilmarnock it is not one of Scottish football's highest profile jobs. Largely unknown and arriving late to our game, Shiels has enjoyed some success and used an unlikely platform to build a media profile that keeps delivering more exposure.

Does he care that he's often talking rubbish? Probably not.

After after all, "putting bread on the table is the most important thing."

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