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FEEDBACK FRIDAY: SCOTLAND THE RAVE? HOLD ON, FOLKS, CELTIC’S WING AND A SLAYER, TOP DEC, GOOD GRIFF

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A WARM welcome once again to FEEDBACK FRIDAY, our new column that welcomes the fans’ views, frank or frivolous, candid or controversial, blunt or brutal, as you let off steam with your observations, comments and opinions.

The weekend starts here, so let’s see what has been interesting, intriguing or even irking Scotzine readers.

Strap yourself in, please, we’re in for a bumpy ride.

Getting the ball rolling is James Hendry who says: “What’s all the fuss about Scotland winning three games on the trot? Look, I’m as patriotic as any member of the Tartan Army, although I admit I do not wear a battered bunnet with a six-foot feather sticking out of it, a 20-year-old washed-out Scotland top, a kilt the wrong way round and Timberland boots.

HEADS I WIN…Steven Naismith rises to nod in Scotland’s second against Kazakhstan.

“Yes, it was marvellous to see John McGinn claim six goals and for our nation to score 11 in those outings, but let’s get real, please.

“Exactly who did we overwhelm? San Marino, Cyprus and Kazakhstan – and two of those three games were at Hampden.

“We took six off San Marino who are rated in 209th place in FIFA rankings. Put it another way, they are officially the worst team in the world.

“We struggled in Nicosia to beat Cyprus 2-1. Where are they rated? A heady 93rd. And don’t forget they scored a perfectly good goal, as Scotzine sportingly pointed out.

“Somehow Kazakhstan, who, if you recall, hammered us 3-0 in our disastrous start to the group campaign in March, led 1-0 at the interval in Glasgow. We levelled with a free-kick which was clearly deflected past the keeper, but awarded to McGinn. Did he foul the goalie at Steven Naismith’s header for the second goal?

“And then the Aston Villa player hit the third in the 90th minute. I wasn’t overly-convinced, so let’s hold off the backslapping, folks. Marks out of ten? I’d give us four.”

Ed answers: I get the impression you might be a bit of a killjoy, James.

Jamie Simpson has a poser: “Are Celtic really going to offer Daniel Arzani an extension on his loan when it expires at the end of the season?

“I recall Brendan Rodgers saying Celtic had ‘millions of wingers’ at some point last season before he scarpered over Hadrian’s Wall. Good luck to the young Aussie, but he is the property of Manchester City and it’s about time they took the responsibility of honing his skills.

“If Celtic do keep him for another year, where does that leave the likes of his fellow-wingers Lewis Morgan and Marian Shved? Would Neil Lennon give a first-team game to a loanee ahead of players already on the books?

“Morgan and Shved are struggling for game time and may have to take temporary deals elsewhere for some much-needed first-team football. And Celtic would still have Arzani. Makes no sense, does it?”

Ed answers: Actually, Jamie, when you put it like that, you may have something.

Back on the international front, Eddie Hunter insists: “Declan Gallagher will be a Scotland centre-half for years to come, mark my words. What is Scott McKenna said to be worth? Something like £5million? That being the case, you can add a couple of million quid to that if you want to buy Declan.

“He fitted in very quickly on his debut against Cyprus and I thought he strolled through the match against Kazakhstan. He looked every inch an international player.

“To me, he was superior to the Aberdeen lad.”

Ed answers: Declan did well in the games, that’s for sure, but there’s a bit to go yet. However, he looks an excellent acquisition by Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson.

“So, if you score two goals against Stenhousemuir reserves you now get a chance of gaining a place in Neil Lennon’s Celtic squad?” asks Willie Rattray. “Where did I put my football boots?”

Ed answers: I take it you’re referring to Leigh Griffiths, Willie. I read the story as an update on the player’s bid for match fitness. Celtic will need his penalty-box skills to take the weight off Odsonne Edouard in the weeks leading down to the winter break.

“I read an article during the week with Kenny Miller praising Celtic’s achievements and the good work done by Neil Lennon,” points out Sandra McNamee. “Do you think he is trying to work his ticket back to the Hoops?”

Ed answers: Well, Kenny did have three spells at Rangers…

Joe Dillon was a happy man during the week. He says: “My heart soared when I read a quote from Neil Lennon saying managing Celtic was not all about ‘money and medals’. It was about pride and passion. Are you listening, Brendan?”

Ed answers: Brendan Rodgers may have other things on his mind these days, Joe.

And, finally, we end with a round of applause for a big-hearted fan. Agnes Hughes says: “Three cheers for Colin Weir for completing his takeover of Partick Thistle and promising to give it back to the fans next year. What a wonderful gesture by the man.

“I really liked his sentiments when he said: ‘They talk about Thistle being their club – and now it really will be’. He is a real Jags man, no doubt about.”

Ed answers: I have to admit if I had scooped £161million on the Euromillions, I might be tempted to spend more time bobbing around on an ocean-going liner in the Med far removed from the winter chills of Maryhill.

* Well, folks, time has beaten us for another week. Thank you once again for your shrewd observations. Please ktc and ktc – keep them coming and keep them clean – and we’ll use the best of them in FEEDBACK FRIDAY. As ever, enjoyable spending time in your company. Thanks for your support and have a wonderful weekend wherever the action may take you. See you the same place next week!
Contact us at: scotzine1@gmail.com
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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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