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Everything posted by JOHNNY

  1. Fine and well thanks. Looking forward to what will be an interesting season over here. All starting with the home game against Dynamo Moscow on Thursday. Big changes are being made at clubs across the SPL due to lower budgets. This should probably have happened years ago, but is only happening now due to 'The' ;) Rangers factor. Dundee United have lost another 5 or 6 of last season's starting 11, as was the case the year before. Squad sizes are being cut, as are salaries, in a bid to reduce debts. Motherwell are in the same boat, and are not as strong a side as they were last year. I think they will be happy enough with their performance tonight against a team with far greater quality. This was Motherwell's biggest European tie, and they chose to have a go rather than sit back and try to steal something in Athens. In truth, with a very mediocre defence, they would have been destroyed if they invited PAO to attack all evening. Spot the small band of PAO fans who braved our typically miserable summer weather.
  2. Are you watching Irlandos? Not a great performance from PAO, but job done. Motherwell had a lot of the play, but were mostly restricted to efforts from distance.
  3. Congratulations!! I had a feeling that tonight we would see a change in attitude, work rate and fortune (Willie Hill will not be looking forward to my visit tomorrow Irlandos ;) ).
  4. Good luck tonight! I have a feeling a victory is possible with a lot of effort from the team .... and a bit of luck.
  5. Yes, it was Irlandos - but can't recall what was written on it. The game turned into a very flat occassion indeed. I could go on about United's nervousness and midfield formation, but I think AEK controlled the match and had the ability to up their game had they needed to. In the end, they didn't need to....... United will be up against it in OAKA next week, but the 700 or so fans booked up to travel will make the most of the experience and am sure they'll be warmly welcomed.
  6. United fans are very excited about this game as European games were an annual event in the 80s and 90s, and those evening matches form a huge part of the club history. These days, they don't come along too often, so the fans will be making the most of the occassion. Not too any tickets remain this morning, so hopefully the game will have a capacity crowd. I don't think United fans are over confident, but realise that they could have faced a tougher opponent. They think that they may be playing AEK at the best possible time as there are problems between the fans and Bajevic. The first leg should be tight, and a lot will depend how the United defence perform - the central defence is in urgent need of strengthening since Webster returned to Rangers. The United midfield and attack are as strong as any side in Scotland and very capable of causing problems. There could be a few goals...... Roll on this evening!!!
  7. Not sure if this footage made TV in Greece or elsewhere, but this is Samaras entering the Motherwell stadium for his first game for Celtic on Wednesday night. The game was cancelled 10 minutes later, but he will remember this moment. Let's just say he is a bit taller than the average Scot! :LOL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kCcEmbseiI
  8. Motherwell's 35 year old captain Phil O'donnell died after collapsing towards the end of today's match against Dundee United. He fell to the ground as his number was held up to be substituted with only 10 minutes remaining and didn't regain consciousness. He also played for Celtic, Sheffield Wednesday and made one appearance for Scotland. I was at the match which finished 5-3 for Motherwell, but in tragic circumstances like these the result is meaningless and puts our game in perspective. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/t...ell/7164150.stm
  9. A poor performance tonight, but only have to beat Italy at home on November 17 to qualify! :o Too many players had an off night, and we do not have a strong enough squad to cope with a couple of injuries and suspensions. If we are going to do it, it will be by the hard way, but at least we won't have the dilemma of having to play for a draw. ATTACK is the only way!!
  10. You make it sound simple! :tup: Let's see what happens tomorrow.
  11. Not been on for a while, but what a time it's been for us Scots while I've been posted missing. Saturday's 3-1 win at home to Ukraine has ensured that the party atmosphere continues here for another week at least! Six straight victories is the best run the national team have had since the 1950's (so I'm told!), and are looking to make it seven against Georgia in Tblisi on Wednesday. 4 points are needed from the last 2 matches, the last game being at home to Italy - so it will still be a huge task to qualify. Considering where we were in recent years, to be above both France and Italy with two matches remaining is a huge step forward - even if we ultimately fall at the final hurdles.
  12. Thanks a lot! Just back from an excellent 3 day trip. I don't think I've ever seen so many Greek restaurants in a city outside Greece. I must have seen at least 30, and I didn't cover a lot of ground (though did take a walk along Herbertstrasse ;)). Anyone have any idea how many Greeks live there?
  13. Dundee United manager Craig Brewster was fired on Sunday following Saturday's 5-1 defeat at Falkirk. A poor record which saw only 2 league victories in 28 matches as player manager was too much for chaiman Eddie Thompson. Former Hearts and Leicester City manager Craig Levein was unveiled as manager on Monday. Brewster is reported to be considering a move back to Ionikos, while still being in the frame for the vacant managers post at Dunfermline.
  14. I forgot to mention the number 35 has been banned until further notice!! Thanks for the wishes lads. I am off to Hamburg in the morning, so will no doubt manage to sample a few beers while there. I believe those Germans are not too bad at that sort of thing! :blink:
  15. It wasn't to be 4 wins from 4 matches. There could be no complaints about the result of a match, where Ukraine were by far the better side and completely dominated throughout. The game followed a very similar pattern to the France game, where Scotland battled to keep the ball out for the entire first half with very little pressure applied to the Ukraine defence. The second half saw Scotland have mere possession, but still had a lot of luck where Shevchenko struck the post and headed wide from directly infront of goal. The inevitable goal came after an hour after Scotland failed to clear the ball twice and Kucher scored from about 10 metres. Scotland had a couple of chances at 1-0, Miller hitting the bar from a cross/shot and heading wide unchalleged from 8 metres. Pressley was sent off for a supposed last man challenge on Shevchenko, leaving the Scots an impossible task. Shevchenko was again judged to be fouled in the last minute winning a penalty, which he easily converted. A comfortable victory for Ukraine, so no complaints despite a couple of harsh decisions. Even a draw would have been a case of daylight robbery in Kiev. But 9 points from 12 is still a lot better than expected.
  16. If offered a 1-1 draw at the moment, I'd take it. A very difficult tie, but if we play as we have been recently a draw is very realistic.
  17. For the first time in many years the fans are behind the team and the coach. The appointment of Bertie Vogts was a disaster, and saw the team selection and spirit sink into confusion. Without having any world class star names (or egos let's say), Walter Smith has identified his strongest and most compatible squad of players and introduced a system of play that they are all capable of carrying out effectively. Nothing too adventurous, but when has playing to your strengths been a crime. Sound familiar? On Wednesday Scotland take on Ukraine in Kiev, a side you will know well from the World Cup qualifiers. While Scotland can't afford to get carried away, it makes a real change to have any level of optimism goin into such a tie. 9 points from 3 games would have been unthinkable even 6 months ago, so anything else must still be seen as a bonus ................ for now!!
  18. I thought the shirt in the photo was for the media only, but saw highlights from the weekend matches and that is the one he wore. He is apparantly very proud of his name, and insists that the full version always be used. Let's see how long that lasts with Scottish commentators. Their 10 versions of Lymberopoulos over the tie with Hearts were hilarious.
  19. Real Madrid's Danish midfielder Thomas Gravesen is in Glasgow following today's talks with Celtic officials. He had a medical this evening, and looks set to join for a fee of
  20. Surely the longest name on a shirt seen in the UK. Any Greek challengers to this - without using small letters? From BBC: "Netherlands striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink has completed his switch from PSV Eindhoven to Celtic. The Scottish champions have forked out a
  21. The game filmed took place in April 2005, and was the idea of a film maker and an artist. I'm not sure how much involvement Zidane had in the film, but it was certainly released at Cannes before the World Cup took place. It's due to be shown at a cinema in London for 8 days in October, but doubt that it will get a worldwide release. One for the football purists only I reckon. It certainly wasn't an effort to come clean - the red mist descended close to the end of the game and he was shown the red card!! :box:
  22. http://mftm.blogspot.com/2006/05/zidane-2006-trailer.html'>Zidane (2006): Trailer
  23. Has anyone seen the movie on Zinedine Zidane, ZIDANE:A 21st CENTURY PORTRAIT? It was released at the Cannes Film Festival, and was shown at the Edinburgh Festival this week. Fascinating film, which covers the performance of ONE man over 90 minutes of a game between Real Madrid and Villareal. 17 cameras were used, so there are a wide range of views and the viewer gets a real insight into the game from a players perspective. Amazingly, he stands still for about 80-90% of the game, never shouts at teamates - only using "hey" when he wants the ball, and virtually never loses posession of the ball. But for that 10-20% of the game he's on the move he is the most effective player I've ever seen. The speed he passes opponents while in full control of the ball is incredible! Here's a link to some clips and photos from the movie. The excellent soundtrack is by Scottish band Mogwai. http://www.uipfrance.com/sites/zidane/ba.html
  24. Results of the 4th round of matches played over 19th & 20th August: Dundee United 0-0 Dunfermline Falkirk 1-2 Kilmarnock Hibernian 3-1 Motherwell Rangers 2-0 Hearts St Mirren 1-1 Aberdeen Inverness CT 1-1 Celtic Updated League Table Pos Team PL W D L F A Pts 1 Rangers 4 2 2 0 7 4 8 2 Celtic 4 2 1 1 8 4 7 3 St Mirren 4 2 1 1 5 4 7 4 Falkirk 4 2 1 1 4 3 7 5 Hearts 4 2 1 1 4 4 7 6 Kilmarnock 4 2 1 1 5 6 7 7 Aberdeen 4 1 3 0 5 3 6 8 Hibernian 4 1 2 1 5 4 5 9 Dundee United 4 0 3 1 3 4 3 10 Inverness CT 4 0 3 1 3 4 3 11 Dunfermline 4 0 2 2 2 4 2 12 Motherwell 4 0 0 4 2 9 0 This week it's the turn of Hearts manager Ivanauskas to feel the pressure, as his side went down 2-0 at Ibrox to Rangers who jumped to the top of the table despite their relatively poor start. Celtic could only manage a 1-1 draw against Inverness, who equalised in the 80th minute. Motherwell stay in bottom position after losing their 4th game in a row away to Hibs and remain pointless. So far it's been refreshing to see both the Old Firm drop points at the start of the season, and hopefully the lesser clubs can continue to keep the presure on for as long as possible. There's nothing worse than a league campaign almost settled by Christmas! Here's hoping anyway.
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