Monday 22 March 2010


St. Mirren 0 Rangers 1. Were we robbed? No. Did we get stuffed? No. Did we play well? Yes. Did decisions go against us? Certainly not. The fact remains that, despite dominating the CIS League Cup Final against Rangers for long periods, including the whole of the first half when it was eleven versus eleven, we only forced one (albeit excellent) save that I can recall and clipped the top of the bar with a long range effort. As the second half began and Rangers were handicapped with first one then a second sending-off, St. Mirren ran out of steam and ideas while Rangers were galvinised into (rearguard) action. Miller's headed goal on the counter-attack was a sucker punch but not entirely unexpected to a long-suffering Buddies fan like me. We haven't scored in our last four games, won once (the semi-final) in our last 14 and only scoerd five goals in that time.

For me, the result of the final embodied everything that is historically wrong with Scottish football. A provincial team like St. Mirren, which is now in the black following the sale of Love St, even when they played well, even when they had numerical advantage, just did not have the quality to defeat an institution like Rangers. Rangers, and Celtic, both heavily in debt in their quest to perpetuate the dominance of the Old Firm in Scottish domestic football, have always been able to attract the best of a fairly poor selection of homegrown and foreign players prepared to ply their trade in the footballing backwater of Scotland. It really does make it boring for the rest of us.

Sour grapes? Maybe. Disappointed? Yes. But just how special is Ranger's 26th League Cup win? I was explaining to Finn as we went over his Personal Learning Plan yesterday that goals (in the sense of something you are trying to achieve) had to be something that weren't readily achievable; that you had to work hard to get there so that you felt really good when you managed it. Setting a goal of eating two pieces of fruit every day would be too easy, especially for Finn. So I suggested his new goal (after managing to swim underwater without goggles) should be to climb one of the Pentland Hills. The Rangers players who secured the win yesterday obviously worked hard to do so, but for a club where success is expected, for the club to win yet another League Cup can't mean that much to them.

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