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View from the cemetery - November 2016 - 4

Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Friday, 18 November 2016

You can have too much of a good thing they say, so presumably this applies in spades to your humble correspondent’s drivel. Blame the fixture secretary is my only defence. Quite a rush of games, four home matches in eleven days is tough on everybody. Pitch to keep right, clubhouse to keep stocked, programme to be written, and changing rooms to be cleaned; mucky so and so’s some of these footballers, and not just the away sides, I understand there are major rumbles of discontent from those who wield the mops. Lads, clean up your mess!

Enough of domestic concerns, let's get back to International football. In my last piece I offered the opinion that Scotland were somewhat poor, marginally worse than England in fact; but on reflection what is surprising is that they are so poor while every other of our smaller countries, Wales, and the Ireland’s North and South, are enjoying something of a purple patch. Wales seem to think they are the new Brazil in fact, which they ain't. I know the Scottish leagues are no great shakes, but their status is certainly greater than the domestic leagues in Wales and Ireland. I heard a Scots gentleman on the telly the other night suggesting that in fact they will come good in years to come, as at least young Scots are getting games at home nowadays, as few clubs outside of Celtic and Rangers can afford even cheap foreigners now. I hope he is right, there is at least some logic in his theory. Years ago of course the English leagues were full of Scots, most of them annoying little workie-tickets running around in midfield aiming firmly at the groins of the opposition. Now hardly any. I miss them, even if our foreign fancy dan ball players certainly don’t. Whatever happened? And of those there are about there is certainly not a Gareth Bale or even a James McClean, God help them. It's a mystery anyway.

Finally an interesting development from the League Managers Association. Concerned that managers get sacked too soon, and that many former players nowadays prefer to head straight to the TV studios when they retire, they plan to start a new Institute to provide masterclasses for young and aspiring managers. Sir Alex is a prime mover in the idea, so of course it has been nicknamed Fergie University. Presumably all the classrooms will be fitted with hairdryers. Ho, ho. still it's an interesting idea. The fact is that all the evidence suggests that all you have to do to be successful in football over the long term is to resist the temptation to sack your manager in the short term. Everybody knows it, but nobody can do it. Especially not Ellis Short-Term.