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Everything posted by Paco

  1. I’ve always said that if we can’t get an outright ban on switching home fixtures in the cup, clubs should be forced to nominate their home ground ahead of the draw. Darvel would undoubtedly play every single club in the draw at their home midden, on a tattie field, with the exception of the city clubs. It isn’t fair to expect Livi to play on a dreadful surface in a tight ground, but others can get a nice cushy game at Rugby Park.
  2. Obviously it never actually works out like this, but at this stage the most likely opponents in each round as group winners would be: Ecuador France Portugal Brazil From 2nd it would be: Netherlands Argentina Brazil France A no-brainer to take Option A. If France slip up in the Round of 16 it could be a 2018 style route to the semi, with a very good but certainly not elite European opponent waiting.
  3. Tournament winners very rarely sweep everyone aside throughout. Italy drew with the USA in the groups in 2006, Spain lost their opener to Switzerland in 2010, Germany drew with Ghana in the groups in 2014, France opened with a 0-0 with Denmark in 2018. Obviously England drew 0-0 and were outplayed at home to some diddy team at Euro 2020 and ended up a penalty kick away from winning it. In terms of progression last night doesn’t really mean much. Avoid defeat against a hopeless Wales team and they’re through. But hopefully some panic sets in. I still think England have a very good team and with a kind draw could make the final. They might beat say France in a one-off but I think winning two or three in a row against genuine top-level teams is beyond them. Last night doesn’t change much.
  4. Banks O Dee just last season too. I’m a little concerned about our inability to turn matches around, lower league teams often get an early goal in cup matches. But overall I’m really looking forward to something a bit different.
  5. The thing is it isn’t even really true. If England beat the USA later as you’d expect it leaves: England 6 Wales 2 USA 1 Iran 1 I think all four teams in the group would be happy enough with that. Not the perfect scenario, obviously, but Wales have England in a dead rubber and USA/Iran need to beat the other and assume Wales don’t beat England. It isn’t a bad outcome for either side, and certainly isn’t worth risking chucking the goalie into the box late on as the commentators and pundits seem to be suggesting. All of this of course doesn’t matter because they’re obviously going to get a dodgy late penalty or free-kick that Bale will score.
  6. Just a reminder that we’ve been drawn against this lot in the Euro qualifiers.
  7. I really like the look of this Spain team. Might be let down by not really having a top striker though.
  8. I think Germany will have a higher “xG” than England did in scoring six the other day. But if you don’t take your chances that sort of thing can always happen.
  9. Matterface an embarrassment and possibly VARs first embarrassment of the tournament too. Why on earth did it take so long? Even Havertz knew he was off.
  10. It might just be because I missed the France game last night and the last three games I’ve seen have been 0-0, but despite not flying out the traps here I’ve been quite impressed by Germany. There’s a spark in attack that I’ve not see anyone else except England have. Having said that, a gift of a penalty.
  11. Ian Blackford and Nicola Sturgeon have also called for a General Election twice in the last four months, if you needed much more evidence they don’t mean the ‘election is indyref’ stuff.
  12. I’ve always seen the GE stuff as Sturgeon’s exit plan to be honest. If they don’t hit 50% she resigns in a similar manner to Salmond having “lost”, if they do hit 50% then after a few weeks or months of moaning she resigns in protest because there’s no legal route through. Sturgeon and the current frontbench SNP aren’t willing to go the Catalonia route. Which for me is the correct call, but I don’t see Westminster just suddenly buckling to a 50.4% SNP vote in the next election. Today has changed little in my eyes. The only possible avenue remains the SNP getting lucky holding the balance of power for a UK Government. A dreadful state of affairs but reality.
  13. You can’t blame the Supreme Court for that, it’s clearly the right call. They judge solely on the law and the law is pretty clear that the constitution is a reserved matter. In a moral sense however it clearly isn’t right. What now?
  14. John Hartson complaining a penalty claim he described as ‘ridiculous’ isn’t getting the ref to run over and look at a monitor. Cornelius very lucky there doesn’t seem to be a clear angle of his miss because that’s an all-timer. A yard out.
  15. Here’s the still. VAR used the right back to compare to, and Martinez’s arm was given offside. Yes, his arm. Is the left back not deeper?
  16. The first two games have been dead by half time, with huge disparities in ability. Can’t wait for more of this in 2026.
  17. There’s also absolutely no way the current tax bands stay where they are until 2028. Low-hanging fruit either for the Tories pre-election or for the incoming government. It’ll be a pretty small hit to most (and not even relevant in Scotland).
  18. Something that Jeremy Hunt didn’t say yesterday is that Bulb going bust has now cost the UK taxpayer £6.5billion. That isn’t a typo - six and a half billion pounds. For context that runs HMRC and the Treasury for an entire year, or would give every single public sector worker in the UK a payrise of nearly £2,000. A reminder that Bulb hasn’t been ‘saved’. It is going bust, the taxpayer sees absolutely no reward for this at a later date as per RBS or Lloyds Bank. And Bulb had only 1.2 million customers. It costs every household in the UK £230, or an insane £5,416 per Bulb customer. There has been absolutely no regulatory change from Ofgen. If another supplier goes bust tomorrow, exactly the same process will be followed. The man in charge when Bulb went under? Mr Kwasi Kwarteng.
  19. The Times has basically published the full thing already. Energy price cap moving to £3k on average with the grants scrapped, so an average annual increase of £900 in April. This is what drives essentially all of the UK’s inflation, and we’re still doing very little to sort it. For context the average bill on the price cap in March 2022 was £1,277, and most people weren’t even on the price cap. £1,800 in a year. Income tax rates all frozen for five years, so big chunks of those pay rises will be going straight back to HMRC. Council tax can be raised 5% rather than 3% as currently, which councils will almost definitely do as their budgets are getting cut. That looks like about it for the ‘man in the street’. Lovely stuff.
  20. I’d be pretty surprised if we don’t just play Jon McLaughin if Gordon gets injured/suspended, regardless of whether he’s playing at Rangers or not. If you’re going to play a shit keeper, it may as well be an experienced one.
  21. To be fair I’d be surprised if Dublin gets two spots from 10. Would leave 5 for England (Wembley, Tottenham, Old Trafford, St James, Everton?) assuming one each for Scotland/Wales/NI. I don’t like the idea of England giving token games elsewhere. They should just go it alone or choose one of us to make it a joint bid between two. A handful of group games and a last 16 match isn’t particularly exciting either. Presumably we’re just going along with it for the financial boost.
  22. Inflation now averaging at 11.1%, driven mainly by fuel and energy. We’ll see what happens tomorrow but the chat is the Treasury plan to put up the energy price cap by at least £500, remove the £400 grant, and ditch the 5p cut to fuel duty. Problem solved.
  23. We’ve went behind eight times this season in all competitions, and lost eight games. Only managed to score once while behind, in the 2-1 loss at Firhill. We won’t end up challenging for the play-offs if we can’t change that.
  24. First time we’ve been expected to win a game this season. There was a bit of pressure on the Cove home match which we dealt with well, but I don’t think it was expectation. The fear is real.
  25. Targett has started three EPL games this season, and none since September. He’d be a great option to have to battle it out with Taylor for third choice LB, but I’m not sure why he’s taking up so much of the debate. He’s certainly never going to be capped by England so I suppose it’s upto him if he wants to fight for a spot in the Scotland squad. I’d expect the usual sort of squad, maybe with Elliot Anderson and Tommy Conway as the wildcards. I don’t see anyone else out there banging the door down. Possibly Shankland but we know he’ll never be good enough.
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