On the train home tonight after a hectic day at work, I was catching up on the day's news. I read with interest that Charles Green has been cleared of bringing the game into disrepute following his comments about the SPL Commission looking into alleged dual contracts. Well, rather than being cleared, the case was "not proven".
But no matter. Finally some common sense has prevailed and I wish to be the first to declare that I observe the green (!) shoots of recovery in terms of the repuation of our proud club amongst the power brokers of the game. Green's statement on the club website goes further to say that he will take up Campbell Ogilve's invitation to discuss ongoing matters and hopes to put the past behind us.
This is a much more productive state of affairs. The seige mentality created by Green was getting to a point where, if it was to go on much longer, would entrench positions to the point of no return. In the long term this was not sustainable so I am glad to see some positive and conciliatory tones being adopted. The next two or three weeks should be interesting with regards to off the pitch matters.
On the pitch matters also appear to be heading in the right direction. That's not to say that we do not have issues. Injuries for one, with our limited squad numbers, are a significant concern. But with the win against Motherwell, and another potential SPL scalp in the Cup against Inverness, we have much to look forward to. Our young players are showing they have talent, spirit and attitude. This bodes well for the future if they can continue to progress. We could even reach a situation where they have over 100 1st team games under their belts before they reach the tender age of 20. There is nothing more exciting as a football fan than seeing our home grown players get a chance to flourish and take it.
The nickname of this weekend's opponents is The Binos. Lee Trevino is the only rhyme that I could think of to try and come up with some witty title for this post. So I did a search on the legendary golfer to see if I could hang this post on a quote. Google came up trumps:
"I'm not out there just to be dancing around. I expect to win every time I tee up. "
In a nutshell I think this encapsulates the attitude we expect of our team. There has to be substance behind our game and the bottom line is we expect you to win. We are prepared to give players some leeway but we have seen already this season after a couple of away draws, a hefty amount of criticism will be levelled at the players and coaches if we don't win every game against opponents who do not have anything like the financial or playing resources we have at our disposal.
Having lost something like 30 players from last season and retaining only a couple of first team picks, it was inevitable that we would take time to find our feet and start putting in the performances that will please the fans. We don't want to see the players dancing about, we expect them to win.
To the game itself: my hope is that the green (!) shoots of recovery and the positive noises from the club's heirarchy will also rub off on the players leading to a comfortable victory. Key will be making a postive and high-tempo start to the game.
Playing-wise, Black and Shiels are back in the squad and will no doubt be in the manager's plans to start the game. In the main though, I'd expect a familiar looking starting XI along the similar lines to this:
If you would like to talk about the game, tactics and possible starting XI, please join in the discussion on the Gersnet Forum