Well, it’s back and it’s as bonkers as ever.
Scottish football. In all its glory.
Of course, not all the leagues are back, just the SPL (Scottish Premier League) with the lower leagues set to get underway in October. On the 17th of the month by which time the SPL will have played ten match days. The lower leagues will play a shortened league of just 27 games.
Hearts will begin their Championship season at home against Dundee. Yes, that’s right, for about the third time since lock down, Hearts were relegated. Or rather, no one else agreed with them and they still find themselves in trouble with the SFA regarding their own conduct in bringing about a court case to try and reverse their relegation. Not just theirs, Partick Thistle’s as well and also that of Stranraer – although they didn’t take part in the legal action.
Match day one for the SPL saw it kick off with a lunch time game at Pittodrie with Aberdeen v Rangers. The match commentators made large of Andy Considine who has been with the club since he was a child and has played over 500 games for the Dons. Oh how they lauded him, how much Aberdeen had relied on him over the years, how he was a constant in the team and all that – then he got sent off. Four months off and now a ban coming up. Thanks Andy.
The coronavirus has changed many things about our world at the moment and certainly a lot with our football, there is one constant, Hibs. One thing that will never change is that we (Hibs) hate a 2-0 lead. We were playing Kilmarnock. Five minutes into the new season and we took a sensational lead from Martin Boyle. Skip along to minute 34 and the same man put us 2-0 up. Now, surely it wouldn’t be the same. No, it was, ten minutes later and Chris Burke got one back for the visitors. Thankfully, they didn’t get another but then neither did we.
Still, three points on the board is what you’re asking for and we got that. A brief spell at the top of the league as well, which is always nice. Short-lived it would be.
For on Sunday, Parkhead, or Celtic Park or whatever they’re calling it these days, played host to Celtic v Hamilton.
We’re pretty much used to dull games in Scottish football and this match did not disappoint. I sometimes wonder at the point of Hamilton Athletic. I saw it suggested, tongue-in-cheek, that they’re only there to make up the numbers. Sometimes if feel like that could just be the truth.
Celtic beat them 5-1. To be fair to Hamilton, they did get one back after going 2-0 down but it’s likely just been an accident. Or twenty-five deflections. Now Celtic sit at the top of the league on goal difference, already pulling away on that.
It’s match day one though, and really, other teams have got to push Celtic and make them properly fight for the title this season. Give them a bloody game!
We’ve gone for the five substitutes in Scotland as well, voted in just a week or so ago. This really doesn’t sit right with me. It didn’t sit right with me in the EPL during the last few weeks of the league there either. Yes, you can only substitute three times but five players, come on. Half your team. I’d really rather they had stuck with the three but allowed an injury substitute should someone pick up and injury which means they can no longer continue in the match and you can only get that fourth sub if you’ve made your other three as normal. Meaning, if someone is injured but you still have a regular sub left then that sub must be used and you can only make the injury one should someone else become incapable to continue with the game.
Watching the Celtic v Hamilton game and listening to the crowd noise, it occurred to me that the SPL may have a problem with it comes to the Old Firm games. Will they pipe in all the sectarian singing?