Media, Scottish Football, Sevco

A High-Flutin’ Match Report

Good Evening.

As a tribute to the fearsome bravery of the Scottish sports MSM, this blog will not mention any flute bands. Because ‘beyond parody’ developments such as an Ibrox ‘club’ posing for pictures with a flute band at Windsor Park have absolutely no relevance to – or resonance with – Scottish football and society. No Siree!

However, The Clumpany still enjoyed this short piece from the Herald about Sevco’s game against Linfield last Saturday.

Rangers ready to pitch Philippe Senderos into Old-Firm clash after impressive tune-up against Linfield

Once you stop laughing at the absolutely desperate efforts to keep on mentioning the ‘Old Firm’ as if that will get Rangers off the corporate mortuary slab, you can’t help but have a chuckle at the rest of the headline. Since when did ‘tune-up’ become a term of football punditry? ‘Getting useful game-time’, ‘improving match fitness’ and even ‘slotting into the system/ side with ease’ are much more typical in these sorts of situations. 

Has ‘tune-up’ become a phrase because no one wants to admit that Sevco have signed a Model T Ford rather than a Ferrari? 

I remember the days when Sevco had a bus which was undoubtedly the greatest in the world. Right up until it went up in flames in an apparently ‘sectarian’ (sic) attack. But now they only have ‘Speedy’ Senderos and we are being given the unconvincing impression that he is the sort of purring machine which just needs a tune-up to hit peak performance. A quick tune-up, and he could play a part in what some in the MSM tell us is the only meaningful fixture in Scottish football. 

Aye, right.

The thrust of the piece – that despite the empty nature of the Linfield fixture (which Sevco won 7-0) – Speedy and the whole Sevco team had a useful run-out seems a bit forced…

On the one hand it was useful and Senderos looks a possibility for first team football in the next league fixture, and on the other:

“…you would be hard-pushed to glean five worthwhile nuggets of information from the exercise that will help their manager Mark Warburton ahead of next weekend’s Old Firm derby.”

“Philippe Senderos made his bow in a Rangers jersey, and he was untroubled in the hour he played. It is difficult to gauge if the test posed by David Healy’s side was sufficient preparation for the big defender to face Leigh Griffiths et al next weekend, but it would have been encouraging for his manager nonetheless.”

Ooh! A whole hour in a meaningless match where he had almost nothing to do!

“Warburton has no fears about pitching the giant Swiss defender into the heat of next week’s battle, believing him to be the type of big-game player who will relish the occasion.

‘He was comfortable’, Warburton said after the match, making quite the understatement. ‘He has dealt with training effortlessly and has a good physicality. It was great for him to get an hour under his belt. He looked very assured and he’s an option for us next weekend, absolutely. We had to look at Philippe, he hadn’t played since early June but he dealt with that effortlessly. He has great technical ability, and is very comfortable on the ball. He needed match practice and strolled through the hour.

You could say he wasn’t over-tested'”

You don’t say, Warbo!!!

“‘…but he did everything he had to do with aplomb and with another good week of training he will absolutely be in contention for Celtic. I would have no qualms about putting him in whatsoever. You don’t play at the level he has and with the clubs he has, without that level of expertise. We have him, Rob (Kiernan), Danny (Wilson) and Clint (Hill) and we’ll choose two from four.'”

Really? Sixty minutes of football since June and he might play on Saturday? That would be quite a call for Warbo to make, and I suspect Celtic fans would LOVE to see Senderos and Hill start for Sevco.

It also tells its own story about the cut-price nature of Sevco’s warchest-tastic Summer rebuilding that Senderos has a sniff of playing against Celtic. But who are we to judge or mock…?

[*Cough cough cough*]

Finally, we should offer special credit to the Herald’s website for carrying the following quotes about the Linfield game from Kenny Miller without crashing as a result of their immense comedy value…

“For me, I think Josh [Windass – the former Accrington starlet] stood out with his movement and his forward running. He is a young lad coming from a lower league in England, so he has a lot to learn, but you can see the attributes he has got already. He is a real goal threat from the middle of the park and could have had two or three himself today.

He is Lampard-esque with those late runs into the box and getting on the end of crosses, so the attributes are there for all to see.”

‘Lampard-esque’? Is that 67 year-0ld Frank Senior? Or is Kenny Miller at the wind-up?

I suppose it is just possible that Sevco have secured the services of a highly-talented English footballer for very little money on account of every other club overlooking him. But on balance I think that is about as likely as there still being an ‘Old Firm’…