Footballer machines, ‘greatest league’ guff


I assume none of us knew Stuart Armstrong has been playing with a hernia problem? Stuart’s form has been below that of last season, but whereas others carrying an injury would raise the white flag, he’s made himself available to the manager.

Much was, therefore, said and written about him which was grossly unfair. As we know, footballers are not machines, even brilliant ones.

I know I’m not alone in being irritated by “the greatest league in the world” guff we so often have to endure, in particular from the (England and Wales) Premier League main broadcaster, Sky Sports. It was brought to my attention this morning that European Champions, Real Madrid, are three points closer to relegation than the top of the table.

Juventus are the only non-La Liga team to reach a Champions League final in the last four seasons, having done so twice. Even in current form, Real are one of the most dangerous teams in the history of the game, but the technical brilliance of La Liga is such that any vulnerabilities are exposed.

If only we were part of that guff to the south, but the game there is as relevant to football as pantomime is to the theatre (Oh yes it is). The game’s brilliance resides in Spain.


A Celtic State of Mind presents its 30th instalment of insightful discussion around the culture of Celtic Football Club, the city of Glasgow, and fans of the reigning treble-winning Scottish champions.

Kevin Graham is joined by Scotty Alcroft to interview Scottish pro-independence politician, Tommy Sheridan, at The Penalty Spot in Glasgow.

The interview took place as part of A Celtic State of Mind’s first live event – Five-a-sides at The Penalty Spot – and, as such, there is some background noise (including mobile interference – apologies) from the audience.

The other voice you may hear throughout this episode is that of former Celtic striker, Frank McGarvey, who is a friend of Tommy’s, and who was also interviewed separately that day for a future show.

You are sure to enjoy Tommy’s eclectic input, as he discusses everything from Catalan independence to Coolio, with a constant undercurrent of that thing called Celtic.


Order Jim Craig’s new Lisbon Lion Diary – Right Back to 67 from and you will receive a signed copy from the man himself plus a FREE copy of That Season in Paradise – Ten Months of Celtic Heaven signed by fellow Lisbon Lion Bertie Auld! Simply order Jim Craig – Right Back to 67 and the second book will be sent automatically. Stocks are running very low so hurry!

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    Auguri !



    Sto bene – Grazie ..



    Venice Cafe on Ayr Rd ? – Yes — with a teenage lovely from Drongan .. If our trysts weren’t there -they were in The Pavilion

  2. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Mickeys in Blantyre was best ice cream/ Italian cafe when growing up



    Brother used to go there instead of mass and ask me which priest helped out with communion, cost him a snowball and ice cream




  3. S o T



    My parents owned the Venice Cafe from 1962 ’til 1990 when they retired and returned to Italy.



    I was extremely miffed when they decided to get rid of the jukebox sometime in the late 60s!







  4. What’s the weather like in Glasgow,,I’m coming into the Blane Valley for a wee dram but have to walk from Queens Street to the BV, do you think it’s fit to walk from Queens St to the Pub?.

  5. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    Wet in town but everyone on alert as Schools in Nirth and South Lanarkshire posing at lunchtime



    People from Stirling being sent home from work also

  6. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    ALmada St Starry?



    Used to go to KFC after the baths and walk home as spent bus fare on finger licking chips



    Oh errr Mrs

  7. What is the Stars on

    Ah the joys of a healthy scottish diet



    Ice Cream and Chips



    Come on then …who will be the first to mention the DEEP FRIED MARS BARS !!!!

  8. Caffs .



    My fave hang out was The Blythswood in Maryhill but also did Kings On Elmbank St and Equi on Sauchiehall Street .. The University Cafe on Byres Rd was fine too but if I went there that Glasgow Team Ya Bass guff tended to rear it’s ugly head. The necessities of life often saw me going to a place in Old Kilpatrick to see a very paranoid man about a dog ( he lived in Bearsden ! ) -place called Lazerinnis–if it wasn’t there -his chosen venue was The Silver Slipper -next to Sergeant Peppers at the Botanic Gardens

  9. Old Tim



    How you doin? i know it would be good to go into town for a wee dram,but no the day ma friend,i would stay put if i were you,its forecast to get colder later on and if so those trains go aff as quick you can say- Yes,I too know they are a new club,If it freezes itll get bad.


    Will give ye a call in bout an hour.


    take it easy


    aff oot noo









    I’m coming in for around 2.15 pm as I have too get some information regarding the PAC code mobile number from 3 regarding my mobile number so as I can give the code to BT,and hold on to my old mobile number.



    Lite snow fall here. hope it doesn’t put the trains in jeopardy,ie running late.





    “Venice Cafe on Ayr Rd ? – Yes — with a teenage lovely from Drongan …”



    She MUST have been an interlouper-or the token Tim!!!




    I may be out in an hour,I’ve made up my mind to have a few in the BV, meet up with Richie and Bryan, have a few, and get home around seven,alternatively if I can’t get home I’ll stay the night in my second home, the Millenium Hotel.

  13. BMCUW



    She was lovely — but — tried ever so hard to convince me that I should love the Incredible String Band as much as she did — so much so she used to gift me LPs and 45s . I still have the vinyl -I lost contact with her in 68.





    My contact details haven’t changed,mate. I’ll mail you from





    and confirm them.



    I hope you’re enjoying the lovely weather up there. Just off the phone to my parents. They’re in The Canaries,and counting their blessings! Avoided the worst of it down here,though Wednesday night was a bit hairy.



    Very strong gales,and I start the night wi a 250-miles round trip. So I pulled into a lay-by for a pee. Couldnae open the bliddy door!



    Happy memories of the Ayrshire cafe scene this morning,such innocent times…





    You’re obviously a man of principles,old bean. If a lass insisted that I like something,I’d weigh the pros and cons,and like whatever she wanted. Cos that’s a two-way street…

  16. Before the real football restarts may I make a few observations on the international appearances of the Lisbon Lions? It is agreed they should have earned more as individuals and as a unit.Most of these caps were gained from 1964 to 1969 inclusive.This was considered to be a great era for the quality of Scottish players;MacKay,Bremner,Baxter,Henderson,Gilzean,Law.So competition for players was tremendous.SFA incompetence was another factor!


    Unfortunately,John and Willie did not earn any caps and Charlie only played once for Eire.


    Despite being a prolific scorer at every club, Joe only received two caps at Celtic.


    Willie earned three at Hearts and four at Celtic.Twenty caps between them would have been a truer reflection.


    I believe Stevie’s five caps a fair return.


    Wee Bobby and Big Yogi seemed to be competing against each other as they only played twice together in a combined tally of 21. A total of 33 caps would be closer to the mark.


    Five caps for Ronnie was very unexpected.


    So, to date, the Lions have earned 37 caps for Scotland whereas IMHO it should be closer to 63.


    Be back later with the others. HH.

  17. I saw someone bad mouthing Peter Grant earlier, all I can say is that I thought he was a very good player, no Paul McStay, but he allowed Paul to do his stuff. Maybe I have a selective memory, but I really liked The Pointer.

  18. BMCUW –



    Principles ?.



    Remember a woman with a Joni Mitchell fixation — not my thing . She too did that -here’s a gift of something you don’t like –I ” retaliated” by giving her my spare — Hank Mobley _Hank Mobley ( Blue Note 1568 ) Our relationship didn’t last — I hope she kept it / I hope she looked after — last time I saw it up for auction it went for $ 11,100.





    There’s a smashing wee piece about Bobby Evans in CQN magazine,as remembered by Bertie Auld. Three cap Bertie,I believe!



    48 caps for Scotland,and IIRC,in the days when the huns were steamrollering everyone and being accordingly internationally recognised. I wonder if he ever missed a game he was expecting to play in,or maybe even five games.



    It would have made him Scotland’s highest capped player prior to Denis Law,and the first to 50 caps. Instead that accolade went to George Young.



    The above post is brought to you by





    though I reckon he’ll do it a hunner times better!!!

  20. Alasdair MacLean on




    Thanks very much for the advice / info to my questions early this morning on the last article.



    Much appreciated.