This week’s main story has obviously been the horrifying and incredibly sad scenes in Paris over weekend. However, this being a column that tries to find the levity in the beautiful game, please understand if I pay my respects at the start of the column and then move on from there. My thoughts are with everyone touched by what happened; may we never see the like of it again.
Rangers are, of course, still generating headlines. This time it’s emerged that some of the players they released at the end of last season are to take the club to a tribunal in a wrangle over holiday pay. That despite the fact that most of the squad opted to take their holiday over the first ¾ of last season.
Mark Warburton has also been drawn into a war of words with Alan Stubbs, accusing him of “picking numbers out of the sky” after the Hibs boss said Rangers have a budget 4 times greater than his own. Coincidentally, that was also the way that Warburton’s predecessor in the permanent role selected his team line-ups last season.
Andy Halliday also challenged the Hibs players to match Rangers players’ “bottle” and “character”. Perhaps because he thought it was a psych-out or perhaps just because he wrongly assumed he’d be getting image rights fees for having his face blu-tacked up in the home dressing room at Easter Road.
A man who knows both the home and away dressing rooms there well also signed an extension to his Rangers contract. Kenny Miller will now remain at Ibrox for another 18 months – both as a player and as a cautionary tale to the U20s team over the dangers of sunbeds.
Across the city, Ronny Deila’s situation is apparently being monitored by Norwegian side Stabaek. Though it’s debatable whether Ronny will be able to cope with any more shouts of that name, having spent so much of this season forlornly screaming it at an out of position Emilio Izaguirre.
There’s been a lot of talk about the development of young players in Scotland so it’s a positive to hear that Jason Cummings is being watched by so many clubs. And from their point of view, watching him is certainly preferable to listening to the young man who “opened up a can of beans” with one of his shots.
St Mirren Park is set to be renamed as part of Paisley’s bid to be named as one of the 2021 cities of culture. It seems a stick-on for it until you realise that it’s not the kind of culture that a biologist glumly stares at in a petri dish. Whether going to the Paisley 2021 Stadium will strike any more fear into opponents than going to what’s currently referred to as the Methadome remains to be seen.
Interesting times at Arsenal just now as Mathieu Flamini revealed that 7 years ago he set up a bio-medical company, which produces an acid that can replace oil. The perfect moment then for it to come out that Lionel Messi may favour a move to the Gunners. Why the perfect time? Because if Flamini decides to retire to pursue a Nobel prize, the Emirates men will be in need of a new defensive midfielder. And in Wenger terms, Messi probably counts as a defensive midfielder.
At international level, Jesse Lingard earned a £50k bonus by being called up to the full England squad. Now the next ambition he has to cross off will be getting a car parking space at Old Trafford.
It’s emerged that Craig Brown is advising Wales ahead of next year’s European Championships. Unfortunately, what he’s advised them to do is appoint Archie Knox.
The Republic of Ireland qualified for Euro 2016. Or as we’re calling it in Scotland, Operation: Extended Summer Holiday in Place with No Electricity. The knowledge that Jonathan Walters will be at the Euros and Miralem Pjanic won’t may just be the worst thing to happen to hipsters since I used this column to plant the false fear that beard oil contains gluten and dairy.
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