Saturday, September 01, 2012

SPL: Celtic v Hibs

After they both enjoyed SPL wins last Saturday the week rather diverged for Celtic and Hibs.

Celtic progressed to the Champions League group stage, that promised land where the streets are paved with gold and the couches upholstered with £50 notes.

24 hours earlier Hibs were dumped out of the League Cup by Queen of the South in a display that seems to have flitted between pathetic and miserable.

Pat Fenlon said he was "disgusted" with the performance and well he might have been. He should also have been mildly nauseated by his own decision to rejig the team with a series of changes that made Hibs weakest in the very areas where Queen of the South were strongest.

After taking seven points from three games - Fenlon's best SPL sequence - it was an unfortunate return to the amateurism that has pockmarked Hibs' recent travails.

The result wasn't the end of the world. But it was hugely unfortunate.

Fenlon remains very much on trial with a lot of supporters. If he wants to win them over he can't afford to take a couple of steps back just when he seems to be moving forward.

Can't afford to lose too many players out of his starting eleven either.

He looked in the cupboard on Tuesday night and - as most of us would have guessed - the cupboard was bare.

No such worries for Neil Lennon who has taken Celtic back to the group stages of the Champions League, returning the glamour of Barcelona to Celtic Park along with all that thunder.

The SPL is warmed by the reflected glory of Celtic's qualification even as it increases the inequality between the haves and the have nots.

For now Hibs need to try and cope with the inequality on the pitch.

60 points separated the two teams last year and a goalless draw in Glasgow couldn't hide how woefully Hibs fared against the teams at the top end of the table.

In 18 league clashes with top six teams Hibs managed just six points, that draw at Celtic joined by draws with Motherwell and Dundee United and a home win against St Johnstone.

Fenlon himself was only in charge for the 1-1 draw with Motherwell.

It's a record that has to be improved. The last three games have indicated progress - a step in the right direction but not a destination.

Certainly Fenlon will feel that he could have done without facing a buoyant Celtic in Glasgow today.

Odds of 12/1 on a away win suggest there's a mountain to climb.

Trying for a repeat of last year's 0-0 would be a risky strategy although with Ben Williams in goal and James McPake at the heart of defence Hibs look capable of being more organised this season.

Fenlon's favoured midfield four - not enhanced by any deadline day deals - might lack creativity but look reasonably well configured to help out a rearguard action while Leigh Griffiths and Eoin Doyle would attempt to take the pressure off with constant movement up front.

That could be the theory anyway. So 14/1 on a no scoring draw might tempt me.

If I had any faith that Hibs will be able to keep a clean sheet.

I don't.

Which would lead me to the conclusion that Celtic will probably prevail.

Ladbrokes Game On!
A 3-1 Celtic win at 10/1 looks enticing.

The head can't rule when Hibs are involved though.

2-1 Hibs with Griffiths getting the first goal. 125/1.

If dreams can come true you might as well make a few quid off the back of them.

All odds from Ladbrokes

Monday, August 27, 2012

Contact Lenses For Football Players

There are many times during a person’s life when it is absolutely necessary to have convenient and perfect vision. This is precisely why corrective vision such as glasses and contact lenses are so popular, and why the majority of people get eye tests at some point and at least consider glasses or contacts.

For athletes, these concerns are amplified for a number of different reasons. For example, when you play football, it is absolutely crucial that you are able to focus clearly and easily without worrying about fuzzy or uncertain vision.

Specifically, it is important for footballers to wear comfortable contact lenses when they play the game. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Comfort – Glasses, or even prescription athletic goggles, are always options, and can indeed be comfortable for many people. However, Acuvue contacts come in enough styles and with enough different capabilities that most players ought to be able to find a pair of lenses that work just fine. Generally, contacts are preferable to glasses or goggles from a comfort standpoint, as they allow you to keep your focus completely on the game, rather than on the fit of the glasses or goggles to your face.
  • Safety – When a football player wears a pair of glasses, or even a pair of prescription goggles designed for sports, there is always some risk of injury. The fact is, lenses have hard edges, and sports involve a great deal of contact. The idea of breaking a pair of lenses while playing football is not only unappealing and distracting, but also potentially dangerous for your eyes, your face, and other players. While these dangers are generally remote, contact lenses carry none of these same risks, and are instead completely safe. This is another major reason that contacts tend to be preferable for active footballers.
  • Clarity – Again, both glasses and contact lenses can correct vision completely, and allow players to see the field, the ball, and other players with absolute clarity. However, glasses and sports goggles are quite susceptible to a variety of different problems that can impair vision. For example, they can be smudged, dirtied, and clouded, and all of these problems will stop a player from being able to see clearly. While contact lenses can become displaced, this problem is less frequent, and the problem is generally very small in comparison to potential obstructions with glasses or goggles. Active football players need to be able to play the game without worrying about potential hindrances or accidents, and this is yet another reason that contacts provide more clarity and freedom when playing football.
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