Seriously though, it is a bold move dropping Miller, as he has been playing some great football for Rangers this season, but I think it’s a good move playing Jamie Mackie tonight. The problem with playing Miller up on his own is that he just isn’t a finisher, and with him being your only striker, getting goals will be a problem. Scotland have only scored three goals in four games under Levein, and with Sweden being the hardest of the four games, it’s a pretty unacceptable stat.


It’s a must win game tonight for Scotland, really, so we need to score tonight. We need a striker that will take his one and only chance, unlike Miller who usually needs a few before scoring (More so for Scotland). Mackie is playing a good QPR team, but he’s the Championship top scorer for a reason, and will be absolutely buzzing come kick off. We need goals and he’s a goalscorer, so Levein has made the right, ballsy decision I believe.

The way that this has been reported in the media has been both pathetic and yet totally unsurprising, with some of the rags showing some of their true colours. I’m not one to criticise the media very often, as it is their job to report on the daily happenings, but regarding the Miller situation, you would have been forgiven in thinking that someone like Kenny Dalglish or Dennis Law had been dropped for this game, when in fact it’s just Kenny Miller. The same Kenny Miller that scored his first goal in two years for Scotland against Lichtenstein last month…

A recurring trend this season has been dangerous challenges, and a few leg breaks have already unfortunately happened. Given that the Nigel De Jong challenge on Hatem Ben Arfa was accidental, it’s becoming more and more common now for players to go in harder, regardless of winning the ball or not. You look at the Karl Henry challenge last week and he nearly decapitated Jordi Gomez, and he was seriously lucky to be able to walk after it.

So, is football becoming too violent? Can players go out with their safety still intact and know that they aren’t risking their careers?

I’ve always been one for clamping down on the playacting side of football, when big guys, who stand at six feet tall, roll about the floor because their opponent brushed their back. It’s horrible to watch, and is indeed an ugly part to football. But, when you see what happens to players like Bobby Zamora, Hatem Ben Arfa, and, dare I say it, Nikica Jelavi?, can you blame players for watching themselves and taking precaution by possibly making the most of challenges?

It’s a tough call, but in the game today, I think you have to be. The trend started at the World Cup final, and it’s not stopped since then. From the top of my head in the SPL alone, I can remember incidents with Kyle Lafferty getting sent off, Antony Stokes lucky not to be sent off at Kilmarnock (Potential leg breaking challenge) and of course, that challenge on Jelavic by Ian Black last week.

As tempting as it is to gloat about Rangers’ big signing being injured for a few months, I think the way that football is going at the moment, it’s only a matter of time before a player that we support gets badly injured, when really there is no need for such heavy tackling. I’m all for getting stuck in, but players today are taking way too far…

Finally, a quick word on Gordon Strachan, you know, the best Celtic manager since Jock Stein? Aye, him…

It’s good to see Gordon is being his usual self down Teeside; annoying the fans, being downright cheeky to the media and driving Boro nearer to relegation than promotion.  It’s amazing to think how lucky we were to have him, eh?

He’s finally being found out as the average manager that he is, and showing that just how much luck he needed to succeed up here, and without it, he’s literally a horrible manager to have. This is not just opinion, it is fact.

Since taking over Boro, Strachan inherited a good team who were lying 2nd in the Championship, and looking good for promotion. Since then, he’s taken charge in 44 games and won only 13 – less than a third of his matches. Now, they are lying in 18th position, having only won 11 points in 10 games, and have only scored two goals in five away games this season and not winning any of them, drawing only one. Sound familiar?

The town’s local paper, the Evening Gazette, polled about his tenure, where he is nearly a year on from taking the job. The fans opinion? More than 78% of supporters who responded stated that he should not remain as manager. Add to that a massive 92.8% classed his overall performance as poor, while 91.3% gave a similar verdict on the entertainment value at the Riverside Stadium under his tenure.

But hey, as long as the neutrals are enjoying the games, right Gordon?