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Day: July 26, 2006

A Few Thoughts Before I Go To Bed

With all this getting needlessly over-excited about the forthcoming Scottish league season (and I don’t really know where that came from), I feel rather as if I’ve neglected this week’s news highlights, and it’s been rather a peculiar week, news-wise. First up, Liverpool have acquired Birmingham’s enfant terrible, Jermaine Pennant, for £6m. Having already snapped up Craig Bellamy from Newcastle, Rafael Benitez appears to be on a one-man mission to field the worst disciplined team in the history of English football. Look out for transfer gossip regarding Robbie Savage, Kieron Dyer and Roy Keane over the next week or so. With Harald Schumacher to join them as goalkeeping coach. Equally odd is the story about Jermaine Defoe reportedly issuing a plea to Michael Carrick to stay at Spurs rather than joining Manchester United. Unlike Damien Duff going from Chelsea to Newcastle at what should be the peak of his career, even the most ardent of Spurs fans would have to agree that, by and large, going to Manchester United, for all the moral issues surrounding it, can never be considered a bad career move. It’s worth considering that Defoe has also been linked with a move to Old Trafford. Maybe he just really hates Michael Carrick. Just a thought. Elsewhere, Pascal Chimbonda, whose particularly classy move of handing in his transfer request on the last day of last season...

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Say Hi-Hi To Your Mom

I thought I’d continue with my Caledonian theme, what with the Scottish League starting this weekend and everything. The plight of East Stirlingshire to follow tomorrow (or maybe later tonight), but tonight I’d thought I’d focus on Glasgow’s long-forgotten “third” club (and I say this in full knowledge of the existence of Partick Thistle): Third Lanark. Third Lanark were formed before either Celtic or Rangers. 1872, to be precise. As you may have gathered from the name, they were initially connected to the military, but the link soon ended, and the Hi-His (so nicknamed because their ground was an altitude which meant that it overlooked the rest of Glasgow) became one of the powerhouses of early Scottish football. They won the Scottish League in 1904 and the Scottish Cup twice. As Celtic and Rangers cemented their stranglehold on the Scottish League, though, Lanark struggled. They yo-yoed between the two divisions of the Scottish League in the 1920s and 1930s, but settled again in Division One in the mid-1950s, and reached the final of the Scottish League Cup as recently as 1959. During their last great period, a number of (relatively) well-known players played for them. Bobby Craig, who would go on to star for Newcastle and Celtic, was one. Ally McLeod (best known for his magnificently deluded management of Scotland at the 1978 World Cup) both started and finished...

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