Let's hope good times lie ahead...for Saints and Scots
Feb 6 2013
by Chick Young, Paisley Daily Express
Beware the Ides of March, they say.
Stuff that philosophy ... it could be a belter of a month!
For a start, you may have heard that this Parish has a wee cup final to look forward to on the 17th and, just five days later, it will be the latest instalment of the admittedly Mission Improbable campaign to salvage our World Cup dreams.
There is a full dress rehearsal tonight up there in the granite of the east, where the North Sea batters the shores.
Gordon Strachan, he of the legendary ‘leg-over’ at the 1986 World Cup – calm down, it was merely an advertising hoarding in Mexico – takes charge of the national team for the first time.
His assistant Mark McGhee, despite apparently being of sound mind, still thinks we can make it to Brazil.
Sadly, that transatlantic ship has already sailed.
We have more chance of walking on the moon than we have of taking part in the 2014 World Cup finals and McGhee needs a reality check.
Still, let’s not taint the party.
A new dawn, engineered by an old Don.
I wish the manager well, while others – mainly young reporters tasked with the prospect of interviewing him – are quivering with fear.
May his opposing coaches grow to feel the same emotions.
Gordon has always been gentle with me, although such complacency may be out of order.
I sent him a text, wishing him all the best, and he replied by thanking me – but added: “I look forward to locking horns with you again.”
Estonia have been invited to turn up. Let’s hope they do this time.
They weren’t much of a side around the time of ‘the game that never was’ but they should have been made hide-and-seek champions of the world.
I trust there will be no hiding place for them in the Aberdeen chill tonight and that, mere friendly or not, we will be off to a flier.
Strachan is a good choice but I continue to insist that he was not the only option.
I do have reason to believe that Walter Smith could have been wooed into the position, although he did nurse concerns that many battalions of the Tartan Army held a grudge that surrounded his previous walking out on the job to re-join Rangers.
Anyway, none of that matters, condemned as it is to the bin of might-have-beens.
So off we go on another great adventure, buoyed as we must be by that most precious of Scottish traits ... blind optimism.
Scotland won’t make it to Brazil. You won’t spot too many kilts on the Copacabana next summer but, then again, I suppose regular followers of this column will point out that I gave St Mirren not an earthly of beating Celtic and reaching the aforementioned League Cup Final.
Fair point ... but it also underlines that we have used up our allocation of miracles for these parts.
Don’t let me be the party pooper. Altogether now … ”happy days are here again etc.”