Anyone who believes that Scottish football has no buzz about it had their face well and truly slapped by last night’s Scottish Cup 5th Round draw, which offered up some very tasty fixtures.
Hearts 5 v Hibs 1 (as Hearts supporters seem to be calling the tie) should be an absolute cracker.
East Kilbride or Lothian Thistle v Celtic is the kind of fairytale fixture for which Cup competitions were surely created. It offers up a golden opportunity for some of the game’s lesser lights to shine on the big stage, and I fully expect Efe Ambrose to seize his chance…
Were the equivalent of these ties to be drawn in the FA Cup, the English media would be positively salivating about them. Especially over the crucial questions of
- which reserve team players the Premier League sides might field; and
- whether the distraction of the Cup might impede anyone’s “push for fourth place”.
Seriously folks, we in Scotland don’t know how lucky we are to have a national Cup competition which still means something to all the clubs and ethereal entities in it!
To be fair to the Scottish sports media, they HAVE enthused about the draw and almost seem to be looking forward to the games as much as I am.
But the biggest tie of the round is clearly
Sevco Drawn At Home FC v Former Sevco Players Registered At Kilmarnock FC.
The sheer unadulterated Sevconery of this tie has already prompted David Tanner of Sky Sports to agree to mud-wrestle the entire BBC Sportscene production staff for the right to broadcast it. I am hoping to see this particularly undignified combat on TV and am prepared to pay for the privilege!
The other notable thing about last night’s draw was the presence of former Rangers star (and yes he was a star, by Rangers’ standards… 😉) Brian Laudrup.
As you can imagine, the presence of a hero from the ‘golden’ days of the financially-doped Rangers got parts of the media all a-quiver. And (almost inevitably) Mr Laudrup ended up supplying a number of helpful continuity-pretending, liquidation-denying comparisons between the late Rangers Football Club and Sevco.
The Clumpany’s heart was warmed to see Laudrup explaining what a tough job “Coisty” had had as Rangers and Sevco manager, and then suggesting that his legacy and status as a ‘club legend’ remained intact. Bless!
But this was only the beginning. As the Record reported:
“BRIAN LAUDRUP earned his place in Rangers history as part of the club’s legendary nine-in-a-row side. But the Dane reckons Scottish Cup success this season would be just as big for the current side.
Laudrup helped conduct the fifth-round draw at Hampden last night that saw his old side land a home tie against Kilmarnock.
Rangers haven’t won a major domestic honour since the 2011 league title with financial chaos seeing the club demoted to Scottish football’s bottom tier.”
“But the 46-year-old reckons players and fans will appreciate the next major trophy much more after spending recent years in the lower leagues. And he would love it to be this season’s Scottish Cup which would also see the club return to the European scene.
He said: ‘The players at Rangers right now will be desperate to win a trophy again. If it could be the Scottish Cup that would be for these guys as big as nine in a row was for our team.'”
“Most supporters would love Rangers back up because it means a lot to how the Scottish Premiership is.”
What utter nonsense! Still, I am sure it will make everyone in Sevconia feel a bit better about the world. And that’s all that matters, right?
Naturally, Laudrup also found time in his busy schedule of gushing needlessly to say nice things about the Warbolution. For example, the Evening Shark-Jump quotes him as saying:
“I am just thrilled for the club and for all the people involved that the fans are coming back now. We have got a good manager a new type of football, it is an attractive style on the ground.”
It is just a shame that – as the Daily Mail reported – Laudrup doesn’t actually seem to have seen them play recently:
“Obviously, it’s difficult for me as well living in Denmark as I haven’t seen Rangers play for a while but I try to read as much as I can.”
Mind you, he may still have seen Sevco play more often than Dave King has…
Once again, you have to wonder what helpful purpose this kind of guff actually serves. It certainly isn’t offering the average Sevconian a realistic assessment of the actual state and position of their ‘club’ [A point which could also be made about recent pieces quoting the Warbmeister as saying his side would be ready for Europe should they win the Scottish Cup this season.]
But as we all know, if there is a positive perspective to be found regarding Sevco, parts of the MSM will find it!
Indeed, it wouldn’t surprised me to open the papers tomorrow and see reports of Mr Laudrup claiming that not having functioning Wi-Fi at Ibrox is just as fantastic as not having Wi-Fi at all during the 9-in-a-row years.
Or perhaps saying that the spectacle of legal action to ring-fence money was just as exciting now as it was prior to 2012.
Actually, on that latter point, I may have to agree with him. 😉