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Frankie S

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About Frankie S

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    Queen of the South

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  1. Can’t disagree with the OP. The standard on display for the last few seasons in the Championship has been truly lamentable. The fact that we’re still in it is testament to that. Queens’ strategy now seems to be to cobble together a skeleton squad of bargain basement jobbers on short term deals at the start of each season, barely being able to fill a bench during the Betfred Cup, in the blind hope that progression to the next stage will allow us to strengthen for the league campaign. But, to the surprise of exactly no-one, the fact that we have a first XI of bargain basement jobbers and a (not quite full) bench of callow kids, who the manager won’t play anyway as they’re not up to it, invariably ensures we don’t qualify from the group stages, meaning the manager has no option but to fill the remaining squad places with the dregs that no-one else wants and hope for the best in the league, keeping fingers crossed for a money-spinning Scottish Cup run (that won’t materialise because the team and bench are full of jobbers) to allow us to strengthen in January. So, in Jan we get in a mixed bag of loanees to save us from relegation: maybe one half decent prospect, and a few nonentities and never-will-bes, and we just about hold on to our Championship status by the skin of our teeth. And the following season we do it all again. I sometimes wonder what level of the English pyramid Queens could realistically compete in with this modus operandi. Then I stop wondering because it would more than likely be a league with the word ‘North’ appended to it.
  2. I’ll have some of what you’re on. As much as he’s improved this season, no-one is paying a seven figure fee for Dykes. Unless you’re including the two zeroes after the full stop.
  3. Just back from Tynecastle. Gilmour apart, not much to be optimistic about the future there. Johnston did ok and Middleton looked a threat when he came on, but Gilmour looked the only one remotely capable of stepping up to the full side anytime soon. First time I saw Gilmour play for the Under 21s, a couple of years ago, I thought, ‘Bloody hell, he’s tiny.’ Tonight I thought exactly the same. Doesn’t look like he’s going to grow or fill out much, but he definitely has ability. He had some lovely touches at times, and always finds space, and his passing is crisp and accurate. It wasn’t the best I’ve seen him, but he still looked several leagues above most of his compatriots, who were average at best. I was never remotely impressed by Barry McGuire when he played at Queens on loan, and one particularly comical moment, when he totally misjudged his leap to head a high ball (under absolutely no pressure) and ended up inadvertently heading it backwards, was probably only the third most inept moment of the game: Campbell’s attempt at a volley from the edge of the box when he ended up barely touching the ball, and taking out an opponent to pick up a yellow card, and Harvie’s needless handball in the box at the end were even worse. I think it’s fair to say this isn’t going to be a golden generation.
  4. The Irishman 9/10 Very long and very downbeat, albeit with humorous moments, but beautifully directed by Scorsese. It has none of the glitz or glamour of Goodfellas or Casino, opting instead for a more philosophical approach, meditating on mortality, loss, guilt, decline and death. So many wonderful scenes and full of razor sharp dialogue. De Niro, Pacino and particularly Pesci are all fantastic, with Stephen Graham brilliant as Tony Pro, and I’d like to have seen more of Sebastian Maniscalco as ‘Crazy Joe’ Gallo, as he was really good in a small role. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t completely sold on the de-aging effects, and that’s the only reason I haven’t given it a 10. Otherwise I loved it, but it definitely had an ‘end of an era’ feel to it. Sad to see such great actors and such a brilliant director starting to wind down, but they’re all in majestic form here. I think it will come to be regarded as one of the very best films of Scorsese’s career. Poignant, sad, haunting and absolutely brilliant.
  5. I don’t think many doubt that Scotland have a number of players more suited to the T20 format than Ireland, but they continually punch above their weight when it really matters, irrespective of the format, and we continually punch below ours. An abject display so far in this tournament by a talented Scotland side, albeit, even if we’d played to form, our batting is considerably stronger than our bowling.
  6. I assume when you refer to us wanting ‘to have a look at’... ‘Portsmouth guy in 30s today’, you are referring to Craig MacGillivray, who plays for Portsmouth, but is 26, and didn’t play tonight, rather than Jon McLaughlin, who plays for Sunderland, is 32, and did? Rants are more effective when they have a semblance of factual accuracy.
  7. If someone had told me at any point during their time together at Queens that of the Dobbie and Dykes partnership, the one most likely to be seriously touted for a call up for Scotland would be Dykes, I’d have thought they’d lost their minds. It’s fair to say, Dykes split the Queens support - between those who thought he was absolutely hopeless and those who thought he was limited but effective. I’d have put myself in the former camp much of the time, and firmly in the latter camp towards the end of his time at the club. In his early days at Queens, it was obvious he had some qualities - strong, pacy, athletic, physical, but he resembled an athlete who had never played football before (I’ve read that he played a number of sports when young, including rugby league) and was learning from scratch. He rarely looked like much of a footballer in his early games for Queens, but he did cause Hibs problems at Easter Road in a Betfred Cup last 16 match in Aug 2016. I remember thinking ‘once he learns how to play football he’ll be a real handful’. A few Hibs-supporting pals were asking who he was as he clearly had potential. He rarely lived up to expectations after that, mainly because he couldn’t hit a barn door with a shovel. His finishing probably looked worse by comparison with Dobbie’s sublime technique. Where Dobbie often stroked the ball low into the corner with supreme confidence, Dykes tended to blast it straight at the keeper, or wildly over the bar or past the post. He looked almost incapable of scoring a one on one with the keeper for instance. Nonetheless his strength often discomfited opposition defenders, and Dobbie prospered as a consequence. To be fair, he improved hugely in his last season at Palmerston. He certainly converted a lot of doubters, including myself, and it didn’t surprise me when he got a move to a higher division. He has all the assets to do well at a higher level, discounting his erratic finishing. It seems he’s pushed on again this season, and is continuing to improve, and most surprisingly has added goals to his game. Dobbie’s tuition is starting to pay off it seems. It wouldn’t really surprise me if Australia had a look at him, though it would be a remarkable transition from his unconvincing early days at Queens to get to that level, but having seen Fraser Hornby play 3 or 4 times for the Under 21s, and impressed me on each occasion, I know which of them my money would be on for the step up to the Scotland team. Dykes wants to play for Australia anyway, by all accounts. Good luck to him though. He clearly works hard on his game, has improved season on season, and his career is firmly on an upward trajectory.
  8. You’re clearly trolling, as in the Internet age there is absolutely no reason to be that ill-informed. He’s a regular for Scotland Under 21s and has been for some time, since his debut in the Toulon Tournament in May 2018 where he won the ‘Revelation of the Tournament’ award, as a cursory Wiki search will disclose. I saw him for the Under 21s against England 12 months ago at Tynecastle, and he was one of the few Scottish players to look remotely in the same class as the opposition, as otherwise it was men against boys. Slight of frame and small of stature, he looked tiny compared to the English guys, but his quality on the ball was obvious. He won Premier League 2 (Under 23s + 4 over age players) Player of the Month for August, and has already had minutes in the EPL this season. Chelsea and Lampard clearly rate him, so wouldn’t bet against him getting more game time this season. If he does that, then he’ll be in the full Scotland squad sooner rather than later.
  9. Several weeks ago, not long after he’d taken office, I scribbled down a few thoughts on Boris Johnson. I didn’t post them at the time, as they were likely to succumb to instant obsolescence: even the most negative assessment of current political events invariably looks like incurable optimism a few days later. After watching his belligerent performance in Parliament last night (and that of his Attorney General earlier), I’m lost for words, so I’ll post what I wrote then.... “Watching Boris Johnson in action as PM is an utterly depressing experience. A hollow man promoted several orders of magnitude beyond the level of his own competence. Fuelled by a potent mix of entitlement, ambition, hubris and privilege, he resembles a joke candidate auditioning for a role patently unsuited to his meagre talents. If this was a reality TV show, we’d assume he was a fame-hungry stooge, drunk on self-delusion, set up by the producers for a fall. Us Brits are addicted to schadenfreude: half the fun of rooting for the plucky underdog lies in the expectation of the inevitable crash and burn. But this isn’t the X Factor. This smirking fool, high on hubris and devoid of all talent, is actually our PM. The scary bit isn’t that this charlatan has been selected to appeal to our basest instincts; it’s that some people (the confederacy of dunces that comprise the Conservative membership) have actually voted for him, and the expectation is that many more will do so in a general election. Unfitness for office isn’t a drawback here, it’s a selling point. But as we stand on the edge of a precipice, BoJo doesn’t strike me as a talentless X Factor wannabe so much as something much more sinister. He is the personification of The Man Without Qualities. An amoral opportunist, he thrives in chaos. His lack of moral compass allows him to bend whichever way the wind is blowing. His racism isn’t for real - it’s an affectation designed to appeal to the xenophobes, a strategy considered a vote-winner by Cummings and the Vote Leave cabal that have taken the government hostage. Compared to Johnson, Trump looks like a conviction politician, a man with an investment in his own prejudices. Trump takes his venality seriously. Johnson wears it lightly, smirking as he spins his web of deceit. Populism as a postmodern conceit, perpetrated by Old Etonians purporting to be men of the people pitted against ‘the elite.’ The culling of the moderates within the Conservative Party, the dismantling of parliamentary democracy, the trashing of the Union, the wanton vandalism of the economy - all playing out as a prank, a wheeze, a joke. Who knows where it could go next? Unfettered by anything so cumbersome as principles, driven by greed, right-wing opportunists forging a faux alliance with the disaffected, united by a desire to watch Britain burn.” Any lingering doubts that Boris (referring to him as ‘BoJo’ seems unsuitable now - it’s the epithet of a clown, but no-one’s laughing any more) is just some hapless schmuck have evaporated. He’s a disgrace. He’s deranged, and he’s dangerous.
  10. Hilarious that you thought Cooper was 2 points worse than McGregor and Forrest, both of whom did absolutely nothing last night, and 3 points worse than O’Donnell, who is so far out of his depth in international football we might as well alert the RNLI. Cooper wasn’t great, but no-one was. There’s always a scapegoat though. With some Scotland fans, it’s usually one of the guys born in England, or all of them. If the answer is to play more Scottish Premiership players, then I’d hate to know what the question is. Always amused to see our midfield hyped up before every match, as if it’s an area of strength. McGregor is a distinctly average player who looks half decent because he’s playing for a team head and shoulders above the opposition every week in a desperately poor league. Forrest has been more or less invisible for Scotland for his entire career, that flash in the pan in a couple of Nations League matches apart. McGinn, McLean, McTominay all have their limitations. Armstrong can barely get a game for Southampton. Our greatest weaknesses are that we lack a decent spine: (goalkeeper - at least after this half decent batch retire; centre backs, striker), and we have nothing in the right back department, but let’s not kid ourselves, the midfield isn’t up to much either.
  11. The only initiative with regard to the plastic pitch that I’d be likely to applaud is when they tear that abomination of a surface up and switch back to grass.
  12. Third time I’ve seen us this season, but the prognosis already looks grim. Alloa are stuffy and workmanlike, but possess no quality whatsoever, yet we struggled to create anything of note all afternoon. Where to start with that midfield? No creativity, no guile, no skill, no pace. Nothing. Murray has potential, and that’s about the only positive I can think of. Paton, Kidd, Pybus (ok he’s a willing trier, but that’s about it), McCarthy, Lyon. Not so much a midfield roll call as a free transfer list waiting to happen. Why did we sign these guys? They’re clearly not of the quality required for the Championship. I can’t believe the manager thinks we have sufficient quality in there, and his interviews have suggested he knows it. So why haven’t we strengthened that department? Is it just down to budget? Seems like (Dobbie aside) we’re only ever in the market for players no-one else wants. After today, I’m more or less resigned to the fact that we’ll have to strengthen considerably in January just to have a decent chance of avoiding relegation, and the summer window isn’t even shut yet. We played ok at Ayr last week, just didn't have any luck, but that was truly dismal and depressing today.
  13. This from Tom Peck in The Independent sums it up: “I suppose the screenwriters of The Crown have had a good day, for when they finally get round to penning the landmark Brexit series, there will be Her Majesty, perched on a tartan chesterfield, fending off nervous enquiries from private secretaries about what her third born did or did not know about the untimely death of his convicted paedophile friend when in waltzes Jacob Rees-Mogg, opera coat flapping in the highland breeze, to let her know that, with regret, there’s going to have to be a civil war and could she just sign here.” The suspension of parliamentary democracy, as the monarch signed off on this naked power grab by the reviled far right cabal masquerading as our government, represented by a pompous Latin-spouting Old Etonian in fancy dress, in the service of the smirking Old Etonian buffoon who is current squatting at No.10 and his unaccountable puppet-master Cummings, for whom ‘in-contempt-of-Parliament’ is both a fact and a raison d’etre, to facilitate a hard Brexit that almost no-one in Scotland wants. Yes, this happened at Balmoral. Royalty, the Conservative Party, Rees-****ing Mogg. Absurd anachronisms all, that have no place in modern Scotland. Time to end this charade.
  14. If it looks like bullshit and smells like bullshit, then it’s probably bullshit. This was sure to drive the fundamentalist branch of the Tartan Army zealots into a frenzy. Almost as insufferable as the rubbish that’s been served up at Hampden over the last decade or so, is some of the company you have to keep to witness it.
  15. An unelected cabal of right wing fanatics take over the government, then signals its intention to suspend parliamentary democracy to force through a hugely divisive advisory referendum result, predicated upon lies, dirty money, social media manipulation and greed. You really couldn’t make it up. Dystopian fiction now reads like dewy-eyed optimism; satire is rendered redundant as even the most acerbic and cynical wits can’t keep pace with the ever-metastasising evil of populism: a toxic miasma of ever-shifting lies, deceit and untruths driven by unseen operators. It seems insufficient to merely proclaim that Britain is dead. The zombie carcass, in league with other dark forces throughout the globe, is still capable of inflicting great damage, and not only upon itself.
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