Scottish Fitba 2020-21: What's the Point?

The Allented Mr Ripley

holden
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 2, 2003
12,010
South Shore, MA
Celtic have won nine League titles in a row, and the Treble for the past two years. But they just crashed out of CL qualifying with a loss to Ferencvaros, missing out on the CL Group stage for the third year in a row. Both Celtic and Rangers are active in the Europa League as of now. On the bright side, it looks like ESPN+ will pick up broadcasting rights for the SPL, meaning some games will be easier to watch in the States.

Ayr United finished 4th in the 2019-20 Championship.

On the NT side, Scotland is still alive in the Euro 2020 playoff bracket, they'll play Israel in Glasgow on October 8, and if they win, they'll play the winner of Norway/Serbia on the road on November 12.

Yay, I guess?
 
Last edited:

CodPiece XL

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 4, 2007
1,724
Scottsdale, AZ.
Thanks for starting a new thread. I was going to dig the old thread up from the dirt and post about the ESPN+ deal early last week. However, it was just a rumor on Worldsoccer Talk , then the Sun started carrying it on Thursday. Still a rumor. So I fired off an email to Derek Rae ( who would know about these things). A cryptic no comment response. So, it sounds like ESPN+ has the deal for 5 years for the SPL. They cover the Scottish national team ( no laughing) . And the Scottish Cup. It looks like I'm locked in for 5 years for ESPN +. Yet another subscription. However, if you want to follow the Europa league you need CBS.

I'll comment about the football side of things later, but if you play without a striker, you reap sow. Inexcusable losing 2:1 to Frencvaros. And then Lennon starts the same 11 againts Motherwell.

Rangers looking good, no goals conceded. Celtic wayyyyy back on points....it looks grim. Plus almost every Celtic player wants away. Terrible times... I may have to reconsider my ESPN + subscription. What's the point?
 

Tuff Ghost

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
289
On the NT side, Scotland is still alive in the Euro 2020 playoff bracket, they'll play Israel in Glasgow on October 8, and if they win, they'll play the winner of Norway/Serbia on the road on November 12.

As an Arsenal supporter, I've been curious to see what Scotland does with Tierney and Robertson, two of the national team's best players who happen to both play left-back. The Athletic had an article about the solution possibly being a 3-4-3 (not unlike what Arteta has been doing with Arsenal lately), featuring Tierney as the left-sided center-back and Robertson as the left wing-back.

One solution that might give Scotland the best from both left-backs without convoluting the set-up too aggressively would be selecting them both in a 3-4-3 formation, with Tierney as the left-sided centre-back, and Robertson at left wing-back.
First, Tierney.

The 23-year-old’s limited ability in the air would be exposed as one of two centre-backs in a back four, and he’s far too one-footed to be switched over to right-back. That could work if desiring to play defensively in a low block, but Tierney’s instinct would always to play infield onto his stronger left foot, which would isolate the right winger and undermine any attempted overloads on that flank.

As he demonstrated in last season’s Premier League run-in, Tierney is capable as both the left-sided centre-back and wing-back in a formation with three centre-backs. He is perhaps more suited to wing-back, but he’s a better option at centre-back in a three than Robertson is. Tierney was defensively sound in this role while his liberal interpretation of defensive positioning was enabled by David Luiz in the middle — a more old-fashioned stopper role that could be performed for the national team by Aberdeen’s Scott McKenna or Declan Gallagher of Motherwell.
Robertson, for all his superlative ability and excellent reading of the game (and despite being the same height as Tierney at 5ft 10in), doesn’t quite have the same physicality as his Arsenal counterpart. Wing-back would be the most appropriate role for him if a back three is adopted.

However, a 3-5-2 or 3-5-1-1 wouldn’t necessarily bring the best out of him. He is at his best when he is combining with a second left-sided player, someone to exchange quick one-twos with on the flank before Robertson can accelerate beyond his marker. This role is mostly fulfilled by Sadio Mane at Liverpool, who is right-footed and often drifts inside, opening up space for Robertson to drive to the byline.
 

CodPiece XL

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 4, 2007
1,724
Scottsdale, AZ.
What's the point? You don't have to be a season ticket holder at the Nou Camp to watch scintillating football ( well, not so much this season) . Instead, you could be sunning yourself at palatial Rugby Park ( if there wasn't a pandemic) watching free flowing, counter attacking football with a finish that Messi would have been proud of (just ignore the clown shoes defending on the third goal). 4th goal last Saturday. 4.37 mark if you want to cut to the chase.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfl07mrmn-I
 
Half of the people in my church, it seems, are Hearts supporters - including my minister, who a) talked in his sermon last week about how much he organized his daily and weekly schedule around football matches, b) still wears maroon-coloured ministerial shirts in the pulpit, but c) told me last weekend that he is choosing not to follow Scottish football this season. (Partly down to Hearts being relegated, partly down to the hamfisted way in which that decision was made and communicated, and partly down to Scottish football more generally.) So "what's the point?" does very much hit close to home with me here.
 

CodPiece XL

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 4, 2007
1,724
Scottsdale, AZ.
Half of the people in my church, it seems, are Hearts supporters - including my minister, who a) talked in his sermon last week about how much he organized his daily and weekly schedule around football matches, b) still wears maroon-coloured ministerial shirts in the pulpit, but c) told me last weekend that he is choosing not to follow Scottish football this season. (Partly down to Hearts being relegated, partly down to the hamfisted way in which that decision was made and communicated, and partly down to Scottish football more generally.) So "what's the point?" does very much hit close to home with me here.
Given your minister is a man of the cloth, he probably believes in miracles because that was the only thing that was going to save Hearts from relegation last season. They were absolute garbage from the way the club was run to the product on the field. Making Levein both Director of Football and manager was a head scratcher ( and the fact that he lasted as long as he did). Both Edinburgh clubs have the support and financial means to stave off relegation from the likes of St Mirren and Ross County. When I was in Edinburgh in December, the hotel manager was a die hard Hearts fan. He "gifted" us a couple of tickets to go and see the Hibs and Rangers game. He said "I'd rather you watch Hibs than Hearts , Hearts are dire this season". He seemed very down about the state of affairs. As an aside, Rangers won 3:0 , their first goal was a gift from a flubbed clearance from their keeper that was blocked and was duly planted in the back of the net. There were some meaty challenges, a red card, and Gerrard had to be held back from attacking someone on the Hibs bench. But the absolute highlight was watching a fight between two Hibernian elves ( fancy dress) taking on a bunch of Rangers supporters. Festive spirit indeed.

On another note, I'm so glad to see Sportscene back on Saturday nights, just like the old days. Except no Archie McPherson. But it brings back memories of my youth and I tune in to BBC Scotland every Saturday to watch the highlights. The time difference makes it a little odd, but I'm glad to have it back on Saturdays.
 
Given your minister is a man of the cloth, he probably believes in miracles because that was the only thing that was going to save Hearts from relegation last season.
For the record, he agrees with you - he told me last week that they almost certainly were going to be relegated and deserved to be, but you can understand that and still be rather upset by the way it wound up happening.
 

fletcherpost

sosh's feckin' poet laureate
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
9,874
America
Half of the people in my church, it seems, are Hearts supporters - including my minister, who a) talked in his sermon last week about how much he organized his daily and weekly schedule around football matches, b) still wears maroon-coloured ministerial shirts in the pulpit, but c) told me last weekend that he is choosing not to follow Scottish football this season. (Partly down to Hearts being relegated, partly down to the hamfisted way in which that decision was made and communicated, and partly down to Scottish football more generally.) So "what's the point?" does very much hit close to home with me here.
I cannot imagine being in a postion where my faith was the key part of my job, and then having to watch Hearts every week. I'd love to know what your minister thinks of Craig Levein.

It's always a sad day when one has to turn one's back on Scottich football for a season or more. We've all been there. My current fee for watching Scottish International matches is 50 quid or goods of equal value.
 

CodPiece XL

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 4, 2007
1,724
Scottsdale, AZ.
So the ESPN+ deal fell through, at least for this season. Signed up for Celtic TV....first time user. No idea about the quality. Signed up for " up to HD" , monthly ( in case it's crap) . Charged $28.66. I guess it will be used for the first time tomorrow morning.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,323
So the ESPN+ deal fell through, at least for this season. Signed up for Celtic TV....first time user. No idea about the quality. Signed up for " up to HD" , monthly ( in case it's crap) . Charged $28.66. I guess it will be used for the first time tomorrow morning.
I think you spoke too soon?


Scottish Premiership coverage on ESPN+ will kick off Saturday, October 17, with Celtic F.C. hosting rivals Rangers F.C. at 7:30 a.m. ET, live from Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland.
 

CodPiece XL

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 4, 2007
1,724
Scottsdale, AZ.
I think you spoke too soon?

Holy shit. Thanks for that. I checked the ESPN+ schedule yesterday and no sign of it. I read an update yesterday that said the deal fell through. What is really odd, about a month ago someone from ESPN+ called me on a Sunday evening to let me know the deal was done. The following day someone else from ESPN called to say it had not been confirmed. I guess I can do a side by side comparison of Celtic TV versus ESPN+. Although I'm pretty sure ESPN+ will blow Celtic TV out of water as far as HD.
 

swiftaw

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2009
2,207
I see Celtic vs Rangers on ESPN+ tomorrow morning, should be great. Unfortunately its at the same time as the Merseyside Derby.
 

CodPiece XL

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 4, 2007
1,724
Scottsdale, AZ.

CodPiece XL

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 4, 2007
1,724
Scottsdale, AZ.
I signed up for ESPN+ about 10 days ago to watch the Scotland games, I went with the monthly plan rather than yearly because I thought the SPL deal was dead. Now I regret not doing entire year to save a few bucks. If ESPN+ had been more transparent or had the ink dry on the contract I would have signed up in September, Chase was offering 10X points on streaming services at the time.

That sounds like a good deal if you have kids to keep entertained.