Both the U.S. and Scotland played in friendly matches earlier this week and both countries lost- the U.S. to Ireland and Scotland to England. Believe it or not, the U.S. loss bother me more than the Scotland loss. It bothered me not because the U.S. fielded a “B” team- that’s just the reality of international friendlies sometimes- but because this “B” team couldn’t beat an Irish side that was, at best, their “C” team. Couldn’t beat?! More like couldn’t even compete with! Ireland had Shay Given in goal, a great goalkeeper in his time, but one who’d retired from international duty two years ago! Look, I’ve been fully behind Jurgen Klinsmann since the beginning and maybe he has a long-term plan that I’m just not seeing, but losing 4-1 to Ireland under any circumstances is unacceptable. I’ll be slowly sipping the USMNT Kool-Aid from this point forward.
Recent signing Paul Quinn has gone public with his desire to stay at Ross County beyond the January transfer window. If the former Motherwell captain thinks that hitching his wagon to Ross County’s future is a good idea he must think that there’s a good chance of the Staggies staying in the Scottish Premiership beyond this season- let’s hope so!
Highland League side Fort William F.C., sometimes held up as the worst club football team in the world, are not only NOT in last place (they are in third-to-last place), but they have at least a match in hand over the two clubs (Rothes F.C. and Strathspey Thistle F.C.)! There are also four clubs in the league with worse goal differentials than Fort Williams -32, which is saying something given that the club has racked up a few “-100” seasons in the past. There’s still a long way to go in the season, but this is shocking stuff!
At the other end of the table are defending champions Ross County Juniors Brora Rangers F.C., who may be only a point ahead of Wick Academy F.C., but who have two games in hand over them. The club that features former County players Ross Tokely, Grant Munro, Joe Malin, Stuart Kettlewell and others have a goal differential of +71 after only 17 matches, having scored 78 (4.59/game) and given up only 7 (.41/game).
Among the applicants that Neil Lennon beat out to become manager of Bolton Wanderers F.C. was Thomas Fielding, a nine year old season ticket holder. So just remember, Neil Lennon beat a little kid.
Speaking of managers, former Scotland international Malky Mackay is the new manager at Wigan Athletic F.C., despite sending sexist, racist, and homophobic texts to a colleague while he was the manager at Cardiff City F.C.. The immediate result being that Wigan has lost Premier Range (makers of kitchen appliances) as on of its shirt sponsors. It makes me sad when non-NFL teams act like NFL teams. Football is supposed to be my refuge from, well, football. That being said, I can’t claim I’m surprised, Wigan owner Dave Whelan, who presumably approved Mackay’s hiring, is in hot water of his own this week after telling a national newspaper that, “Jewish people chase money more than everybody else.” Seriously.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to leave you with that bummer of a news item. Let’s close with this: French midfielder Guy Moussi recently signed with Birmingham City F.C. after six seasons with Nottingham Forest F.C.. Moussi has announced that he will donate his entire salary between now and January 18 (the end of the short-term deal he signed with City) to four charities. There, that’s better.