A Huge Weekend for…Strachan, Trapattoni, Portugal, Rio and Your Partner
Your significant other
After the all-encompassing whirlwind of domestic football comes the dreary lull of the international break. There have been tumble weeds spotted rolling across Premier League and Championship pitches and the tabloids have resorted to making up transfer stories in a vain attempt to generate interest.
So take your chance. Watch the game on Friday, then turn off your television, get off your sofa and change your pants. There will be someone special who will thank you for it and, after all, it’ll be your last chance to see them for two months.
A new man in the Scotland hotseat, but nothing gets any easier for whoever takes this particular poisoned chalice.
A league in disarray, with one of the two best sides relegated to the bottom tier.
Only four players based at clubs in Scotland.
Only one player (Steven Naismith) operating within the top half of the Premier League. Without qualification for a tournament in fifteen years.
Sat bottom of their qualifying group.
Good luck Gordon, you might well need it.
How sour things can go in twelve months. Whilst a year ago Ireland were preparing to take on the cream of Europe in an effort to do the unthinkable and qualify from a Group of Death, now things are much changed. The Euros were a shambles, and now Ireland sit third in their group, needing to avoid defeat in Sweden if they are to have a real chance of qualification again.
Furthermore, Giovanni Trapattoni is beginning to move into the territory where departure becomes inevitable, and this week showed further examples of why he is becoming increasingly unpopular. After reportedly dropping striker Kevin Doyle by text message Trap proceeded to select Leeds clogged Paul Green in midfield over Wigan’s James McCarthy.
The Italian is getting a reputation for monotony, something that rarely works when juxtaposed with underperformance.
A lunchtime kick off for Portugal, who travel to Ramat Gan for one of their most important qualifiers in some time.
We are all becoming used to A Selecao struggling in qualifying campaigns, but sooner or later they will fail in their ‘it’ll turn out fine’ approach. After just four games they sit five points behind group leaders Russia, and after a defeat in Moscow and woeful draw at home to Northern Ireland, Portugal simply must not lose on a tricky trip against the team currently level on points with them.
Watch how you have that seat in first class Rio. Not sure we could take the media shitstorm if you jarred your back.