James Lafferty partner

Sep 8, 2020 ; AceShowbiz - 'One Tree Hill' star James Lafferty is engaged to Australian actress Alexandra Park.. On Sunday (06Sep20), the actor, 35, announced that he had proposed to his partner ... On 25-7-1985 James Lafferty (nickname: Baby James, Jamie, J, J-Man, Jimmy) was born in Hemet, California, USA. He made his 5 million dollar fortune with One Tree Hill, Sam, Oculus, Wild Life: A New Generation of Wild, Crisis. The actor is dating , his starsign is Leo and he is now 35 years of age. One Tree Hill actor James Lafferty has proposed to The Royals actress Alexandra Park, and in his words, the answer was, 'yeah.' James, 35, casually revealed the news on his Instagram on Monday ... James Lafferty Girlfriend 2020: Single( Not Dating) From last few years, he had a strong affiliation with Bethany Joy Lenz. But confusion is that they are the just good friend or dating now. Hopefully, an official statement will come in upcoming days. Who is James Lafferty Married to? James Lafferty Wife: Yet not tied wed knot; With Ex Pic: Sophia Bush came into the lives of teenage girls’ everywhere through the role of Brooke Davis on the CW hit “One Tree Hill“. Sophia was destined to be in front of the camera as she was born to a set of photographer parents. Throughout high school, she played volleyball but was required to take part in the theatre arts program, per the school’s requirements. عرض ملف James Michael Lafferty الشخصي على LinkedIn، أكبر شبكة للمحترفين في العالم. لدى James Michael9 وظيفة مدرجة على الملف الشخصي عرض الملف الشخصي الكامل على LinkedIn وتعرف على زملاء James Michael والوظائف في الشركات المماثلة. One Tree Hill Star James Lafferty Is Engaged To Australian Actress Alexandra Park. On Sunday, the actor, 35, announced that he had proposed to his partner, writing alongside a sweet selfie of the couple: “She said yeah.” In the snap, The Royals star, 31, is seen cosying up to her fiance while showing off her […] James Lafferty and Alexandra Park engaged. Menu. John Boyega Has Received An Apology From Jo MaloneJohn Boyega has received an apology from Jo Malone. Riverdale's Charles Melton Is In Total Puppy Love With His Adopted Husky. TikTok Will Partner With Oracle In US, Not MicrosoftTikTok will partner with Oracle in US, not Microsoft. Relationships. James Lafferty has been in relationships with Eve Hewson (2010 - 2015), Shantel VanSanten (2009 - 2010), Sophia Bush (2008 - 2009) and Rachael Wilson (2005 - 2006).. About. James Lafferty is a 35 year old American Actor. Born James Martin Lafferty on 25th July, 1985 in Hemet, CA, he is famous for Nathan on One Tree Hill. James Lafferty/ Instagram . James Lafferty and Alexandra Park are getting married! On Sunday, the One Tree Hill alum, 35, announced that he had proposed to the Australian actress. 'She said yeah 🙌🏼☺️,' Lafferty shared on Instagram, alongside a sweet selfie of the couple.

Which part of the UK produces the best footballers? (Experiment) (Part 4)

2020.05.31 20:25 jcollywobble Which part of the UK produces the best footballers? (Experiment) (Part 4)

Here we are again, with my penultimate post relating to this experiment. I will reveal the final five teams below and will also introduce a prediction game in which you can to predict how the season will pan out once I simulate on FM. If you’re new to this and how it will work, have a look at the previous three posts below.
Part 1 – Explains how the experiment will work and reveals the first five teams.
Part 2 – Reveal of Teams 5-10 and maps of the split of the regions.
Part 3 – Reveal of Teams 10-15.
As someone quite rightly pointed out in the previous post, Chris Wilder should have been made manager of the South Yorkshire & Humber team rather than Neil Warnock (I originally wrongly had Wilder down as the manager of the North & West Yorkshire team), so that’s been changed for the experiment going forward.
Moving on to the teams, featuring the remainder of the English Counties and the Scottish and Northern Irish contingent, we have some interesting names including a certain Borussia Dortmund striker, the most successful British football manager of all time and a handful of Champions League winners.
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Team 16 – North & West Yorks’ -North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire – Population: 3,434,422 Media Prediction: 10th - Title Odds: 40-1
Manager – Steve McClaren (York, Unemployed)

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Likely Starting XI
The region of Yorkshire would have finished 12th in the 2012 Olympics medal table if considered an independent country, the impressive production of line of sportsmen also includes some decent footballers as shown by the quality included within the South Yorkshire team. The North & West Yorkshire team doesn’t quite have the same level of ability however does boast some exciting names.
Steve McClaren, nicknamed ‘the wally with the brolly’ as part of his unsuccessful spell as England manager failing to qualify for Euro 2008, will manage the North & West Yorks’ side. McClaren has managed in Germany, Holland and England since then and guided FC Twente to their first ever Eredivisie title in 2009. Since then, he has rather unsuccessful spells at the likes of Newcastle, QPR and Wolfsburg.
The standout name within this team is the Norwegian wonderkid Erling Braut Haaland, who surprisingly was born in Leeds when his Dad Alfe-Inge was playing for Leeds in the late nineties. Haaland has been an absolute revelation in the past year and has scored for fun, even since joining Dortmund he has in averaging almost a goal a game. Haaland will be part of an exciting young attacking trio alongside Mason Greenwood and Oli McBurnie which will certainly be full of raw talent and ability with an enormous amount of potential.
Amongst the rest of the team, James Milner is the most experienced player by a long way, Milner seems to get better with age and will probably put in a decent shift in any position with McClaren chooses to deploy him. Fabian Delph and Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips will form a tireless midfield duo and are both arguably premier league standard players who will make a big impact in the team. Bournemouth’s Lewis Cook who has been once capped for England will also throw his name in the hat to be a part of McClaren’s starting midfield.
In defence, Norwich’s Ben Godfrey looks to be the standout player (apart from Milner) and will probably partner either Andre Wisdom or Connor Goldson at the back depending what system McClaren adopts. The number one shirt will go to Cardiff’s Alex Smithies, who has featured 21 times for Cardiff in the championship in the year so far and will offer a reliable choice in net, although probably won’t do anything spectacular.
Haalands goals alongside Miners experience could prove vital to McClaren’s men having a good season as there doesn’t appear to be a great deal of quality to warrant a better finish than the currently predicted 10th place
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Team 17 – North-East & Borders - County Durham, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, East Midlothian, Edinburgh City, Midlothian, Scottish Borders - Population: 3,127,298 Media Prediction: 11th - Title Odds: 45-1
Manager – Gordon Strachan (Edinburgh, Unemployed)

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Likely Starting XI
The North-East of England is a football mad region which has produced amazing players in the past, including the likes of Chris Waddle, Gazza, Peter Beardsley, Michael Carrick and of course the legendary Alan Shearer. In terms of the Scottish contingent of the squad, Edinburgh is less known for producing football players compared to the other big Scottish city Glasgow, however the manager, Edinburgh-born Gordon Strachan will be representing the Scots.
Out of the 25 players, only 3 Scottish born players make the squad, all of whom will probably be fringe players. The squad unfortunately doesn’t match the level of ability of its predecessors from the region. Sunderland academy products Jordan Pickford and Jordan Henderson, who lifted the champions league trophy last year, are the two stand out players from this region. Pickford has been England’s first choice goalkeeper for the past few years and is one of the better keepers in this league.
Alongside Henderson in the midfield will be one of the Longstaff brothers who have both came through the Newcastle academy. Sean had his breakthrough season last season whilst brother Matty has emerged within the current season. Both brothers are a similar type of player with younger brother, Matty has a bit more energy and probably offers a more balanced option alongside Henderson.
Another Borussia Dortmund youngster who was born in the UK, Giovanni Reyna, features in the attacking midfield. Gio was born in Sunderland of all places, when his Dad Claudio was playing in the North-East. Reyna is predicted to start in the number ten role behind either Leigh Griffiths or 9 time England capped and £35m man (at one point) Andy Carroll. Carroll has largely had a career of injuries and under-performances since his big money move to Liverpool but will always be a handful for defenders.
In defence, the squad features some decent premier league players, including the likes of Ben Gibson, Chris Basham, Dan Burn and Welsh international Paul Dummett. Unfortunately, the strength in defence is largely in the central positions with the full back positions looking a lot weaker by comparison.
Overall a decent team that should be in and around the mid table positions come the end of the season. Pickford and the defence should hope to keep the clean sheets to take the pressure off the attacking part of the team.
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Team 18 – N.I & SW Scotland - Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire- Population: 3,082,203 Media Prediction: 13th - Title Odds: 150-1
Manager – Brendan Rodgers (Carnlough, Leicester City)

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Likely Starting XI
The team featuring Northern Ireland and my place of birth, I’ll be backing Rodgers’ men for when I come to simulate the season. I’ve also included Isle of Man (who technically aren’t in the UK, but I’ve thrown them in for the inclusion of a particular player. As mentioned, Brendan Rodgers will take charge of this team which could’ve had either Martin or Michael O’Neill at the helm and he will be hoping to take this team higher than their predicted finish of 13th. The squad has a wealth of international experience featuring 743 international caps between them from players representing Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.
The squad’s composition is made up of 14 Northern Irishmen, 10 Scots and the one player born in the Isle of Man, Kieran Tierney who plays his international football for Scotland. Tierney is probably the key player in the squad and there may have a been a bit of bias about his inclusion to boost the chances of this team. Nonetheless he is part of a decent defence which includes 3 time premier league winner and 80-time Northern Ireland capped Jonny Evans. Amongst the rest of defence, there is Watford’s Craig Cathcart, Brighton’s Shane Duffy and Grant Hanley.
The midfield and attack are underwhelming and features only one player currently playing in the premier league. However, James Forrest offers a threat from the right wing and will be hoping to use his pace and trickery to full effect. On the other flank will probably be James McClean who no doubt would turn his nose up at representing this region if called upon in reality.
Leading the line will be either of the ageing duo of Steven Naismith or Kyle Lafferty who would offer a more direct option for Rodgers’ men. Finally, in goal, Craig Gordon should provide a decent option and has played in the premier league in the past.
Despite my allegainces to this team, I’m not too hopeful considering the squad above, but fingers crossed Brendan can work his magic and a top ten finish would be a success!
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Team 19 – Northern Scotland - Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Dundee City, East Dunbartonshire, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow City, Highlands, North Lanarkshire, Orkney Islands, Perth and Kinross, Shetland Islands, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian - Population: 3,405,207 Media Prediction: 7th - Title Odds: 25-1
Manager – Alex Ferguson (Glasgow, Man United (Technical Director))

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Likely Starting XI
Yes, that’s right, the most successful football manager of all time is coming out of retirement to participate in this experiment. I had some doubts over the inclusion of Fergie as he’s not technically still in management, nonetheless I thought I’d throw him in as he is still classed as being able to manage on FM and it could add another mini-experiment in the context of this to see how Fergie would do coming back to management with this type of squad at 78 years of age.
The remaining counties of Scotland represent this team and, like the previous squad, has plenty of international of experience. Champions League winner and probably the best left back in the league, Andy Robertson, is the key player in this team and adds some quality to the defence which doesn’t appear to be anything special outside Robertson with the remaining defenders largely being at mid table SPL clubs.
The midfield of this team is certainly the strength, FM predicts Celtic duo Callum McGregor and Scott Brown to sit in a pivot in front of the defence. Both players provide a balanced midfield and have experience playing in Celtic’s dominant spell in Scottish football. James McCarthy will also make a decent option if the managers decides to play with a three in midfield. In front of those two, will be an attacking trio of premier league players Ryan Fraser, Robert Snodgrass and Stefan Armstrong. Fraser, in particular, will be a threat with his direct running and ability to beat his man on the wing.
The striker position, however, appears to be lacking quality. FM is predicting Dundee United man, Lawrence Shankland, to start upfront although Ferguson also has the option of Ross McCormack who has previously been prolific in the championship for both Leeds and Fulham.
It will be interesting to see what effect the manager has on this team, theoretically the team should overperform with an excellent manager and that’s perhaps why they are predicted to finish 7th.
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Team 20 – Western England - Cheshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire - Population: 3,237,053 Media Prediction: 15th - Title Odds: 250-1
Manager – Adrian Heath (Newcastle-under-Lyme, Minnesota United)

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Likely Starting XI
And, the final team in the experiment as you may have noticed is a strange combination of counties. This region was put together as the result of my mistake of having to construct a region made up of the qualifying population after incorrectly dividing the UK into 19 teams and having to pull a group of counties together from the other regions I’d already selected.
Managing this team will be former Everton and Burnley footballer Adrian Heath. Heath has managed in the USA since 2008 after brief spells at Burnley and Sheffield United in the late nineties. An unfamiliar name to most in terms of management, it remains to be seen what impact he will have.
Onto the players. At first glance the teams appear to be made up of a group of washed up premier league players with a sprinkle of young talent. Typifying this is the goalkeeping position, Joe Hart and Tom Heaton, will compete for the number one jersey alongside young Bournemouth keeper Aaron Ramsdale. It seems like most of the other regions would be begging for any one of these three considering the lack of ability in this position at most of the other teams.
In defence, the trend continues with the likes of Stoke duo James Chester and Ryan Shawcross who are alongside Jack Robinson and Curtis Nelson in the centre back position. The squad has a decent amount of ability in the midfield, which includes Jesse Lingard who more well known for his off the field social media antics than his ability on the pitch. Bournemouth’s David Brooks will probably play behind the striker whilst another of Leicester’s title winners, Marc Albrighton, will play on the left.
An ageing Steven Fletcher will probably play upfront with competition from Millwall’s Tom Bradshaw and Preston’s Louis Moult who don’t appear to be having great seasons to date.
15th is probably about right for this squad although the relative inexperience of Adrian Heath could have an impact on how the season goes.
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I hope you’ve all enjoyed the reveal of the teams in the last four posts and my write-ups which have taken a fair bit of time. In the next post, I’ll be showing the results of the experiment which will be simulated in Football Manager 2020 and also the results of the prediction game. I thought it would be fun to predict what will happen in the simulation, so if you want to participate add a comment with your predictions for the following (I’ve added my guesses in too). The previous posts are linked at the top of this page if you want a refresher on who’s playing for who. The awards will be decided by FM as a result of the individual players performance over the course of the season and I will also be adding a cup competition which will probably be knockout-based to run alongside the league.
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Predictions
Top four (1 pt for Top four, 2 pt for correct position)
1.
2.
3.
4.
Bottom three (1 pt for bottom three, 2pt for correct position)
18.
19.
20.
Cup Winner -
Player Awards:
Top goalscorer -
Most Assists
Most Clean sheets
Player of the Year
Manager of the Year
Young player of the Year -
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2020.05.05 22:37 NerdyOutdoors 5 Key Moves in Exeter's Rise to the Top of the Prem (Exeter City Part 30)

5 Key Moves in Exeter's Rise to the Top of the Prem (Exeter City Part 30)
As Exeter launch another season in the Premier League, we offer a history lesson of 5 key strategic decisions the Exeter board have made that helped them rise to the top.
Click here for our other Exeter Coverage
In ascending order of importance, here are the moves we rank as most important for growing Exeter.
#5: The 2019 transfer of Antonio Marin and the switch to a 4-3-3
The Croatian has been a stalwart on the left of Andrea Daudelin's attack
These seem like two decisions but they are intertwined. Seeking a wing partner for Randell Williams, Exeter struck gold with their transfer deal securing Marin from Dinamo Zagreb for 1.4 million. Marin's tireless work, physical presence, and abilities to cross or to cut inside from the wing on his devastating right foot helped Exeter rampage through the league 2 and league 1 seasons. He carried the weight for two seasons after his transfer, leading in assists and serving 2nd or 3rd on the team in goals in his first three seasons with the team. As others have grown around him, his statistical production has slowed somewhat, but he consistently earns man-of-the-match plaudits. The shift to the 4-3-3 opened up space in the middle of the park, pulling defenders back to space sooner and inaugurating a counterattack style that often flowed through Marin.
#4: the 2023-24 Transfer Windows
Exeter went in with a strategy and a war chest, fresh from earning promotion to the Prem and flush with cash from several high-profile youth sales. But it was no wild spending spree; instead, Exeter targeted a rebuild on the right side. With Marin and Left-back Jack Sparkes consistently good on the other side, Exeter found themselves suddenly in need of help on the right after Randell Williams took a transfer to Genk. A brilliant swoop for Alexis Saelemaekers saw the young Belgian come in for an eye-watering fee. Right behind him came Lutsharel Geertruida, who proved a stout addition to a defense that had struggled to stop shots. The addition of Geertruida and Saelemaekers were instrumental in Exeter's 7th-place finish and the Carabao Cup victory that earned them Europa league football.
#3: Chris Mepham arrives on a Free
Mepham added physicality and defensive acumen in the back
Exeter have always worked the frees to the best of their ability, seeking to add first-team talent on reasonable wages. Here, the lure of Europa league football proved a strong inducement for Mepham to sign after his Bournemouth contract wound down. He hardly to move down the coast for his commute. Mepham saw Exeter's goals-allowed go from 11th in the league to 3rd in the league, a move which would pave the way for their consecutive high finishes, including their race to the semifinals in the Europa league. Mepham proved a testament to the importance of a quality centre-back in a challenging league.
#2: The Scottish plan: James Scott and Allan Campbell
The Scottish striker Scott came over from Motherwell at the same time Marin arrived, and has done nothing but score; while Campbell, also from Motherwell, replaced an aging central midfield. His high defensive workrate has seen him lead the team in tackles and interceptions, and he has been the man most responsible for corralling some of the world's most potent strikers.

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The two Scots have found the south of England to their liking
Scott as won golden boot honors twice, once in League 2 and once in the Prem, and earned player of the tournament honors in the Europa League and in the Carabao Cup. Campbell, as the team's deep-lying playmaker, has less gaudy stats, but he was 6th in goals in the Prem last season, and has never ranked lower than 5th in the league assists table throughout his time at Exeter.
#1: Trusting the System
Exeter have long promised their own youth a chance at first team football, either with Exeter, or capitalizing on their reputation and exposure to move to other clubs; and it has paid dividends both literally and figuratively. The meteoric rise of youth prospects like Anthony MacDonald (sold to West Brom), Christopher Okara (Sold to Bournmouth), Jack Morrison (to Celta) helped earn them moves away from St James Park, but many of Exeter's youth found starting positions where ever they went. Some stayed at Exeter: Henry Morgan (starting for Exeter); Cian Lafferty (starting right winger for Exeter), and longtime stars Archie Collins and Jack Sparkes all graduated from the academy to starting roles.
This coming season, watch for Craig McCarthy, Jose Cruz (currently on loan at Levante) and Ronan Connolly to all break through, along with longtime super-sub Gabriel Lawal.
The lessons for other teams are there to see, but Exeter have proven luckier than most-- it doesn't require anyone looking far to see strikers who flop, centre-mids who lack the physical tools, or young talents who fizzle out. But over and over, Exeter have trusted their manager, scouts, and coaches to build a winning side. With Archie Collins talking about "unfinished business" in the Champions League, Exeter look to test their acumen again.
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2020.04.19 05:41 Chtorrr Here are 300 free short science fiction stories you can download from Project Gutenberg

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2020.03.29 18:50 InfinityOnGauntlet Why I think the Adult Seasons Average Out Better Than the High School Years.

TLDR at the bottom. This is going to be a long post.
First, here's my Tiered Ranking of the seasons of the show,
Tier One: 3, 6, 4 Tier Two: 5, 9 Tier Three: 7, 2, 1 Tier Four: 8
So on a lot of posts, I see people that either never watched the final seasons due to Lucas and Peyton leaving or because they just feel that the later seasons are not good. I think that the High School Years are tied to what people think of when they think of One Tree Hill because the music paired with the angst of growing up, the characters before they grow up and are just trying to figure it out allows for some great stories. If you refer to my ranking of the seasons, my top 2 are the seasons in the High School years. I think seasons 1-4 captured a cultural moment of storytelling that will always resonate like the first season of The O.C.
That said, I thnk that overall Seasons 5-9 are stronger than season 1-4. While season 1 is a cute season and holds this feeling of an indie film stretched out over the course of those first 20+ episodes, the follow-up season is bogged down by pretty much the entire first half of the season's storylines. The embezzling plot wasn't that effective, Keith and Jules was the first time we saw Dan become malicious to the point of cartoon villain status, the Taggaros were a plague to everything. The show bounces back for the next two seasons, and so it's like, is this so bad? No, the high school seasons were solid in average.
However, the adult seasons really capture a unique setting. They essentially made a sequel to the show while keeping the same name.
SEASON 5. When we see them again in Season 5 and four years have passed, we don't know anything. The excitement of that season and how they got there is thrilling. It's like how did this wide eyed group become these people? There's real sadness/depression/success/confusion that appears in that season. Watching the light leave them and fight through it that season was something that I adored. The new characters in that season were all interesting to me. I loved Q as much as I hated him. I loved how he pushed Nathan. Controversial opinion but out of every one of Lucas's love interests, I think that he should've ended up with Lindsey. Their love story was cute, sexy, mature, and built on hard work. I think that Lindsey was a complete character without Lucas and I think that she pushed him to be better. Had Peyton not gotten lonely and returned to Tree Hill for him, he would've lived a great life with Lindsey. Even Peyton had to figure out who she was going to become and what that meant for her. She pursued her passions and failed and then had to recoup. Her story wasn't about abuse, it wasn't just Lucas, it was about herself and I think she was stronger for it, even though she was bitter toward Lindsey this season. I liked Clothes Over Bros Brooke Davis and who she was to Jamie and how she tried to help a failed Rachel after letting her abusive mother (VICTORIA DAVIS ANYONE??) take control of everything. Brooke had never been so interesting than in the adult years with the exception of her being completely badass in season 3. Haley and Nathan were on the rocks and there were legitimate reasons on both sides for who they became. Everything was just reset in such a strong manner and they delivered on a shocking and human season.
SEASON 6. I could write a novel on this season. I maintain the fact that the first 3 episode run of this season is the strongest 3 episode run on the show. The death of Q, the abuse of Brooke Davis, the funeral, the introduction of Sam. Everything was brutal but real feeling and I was astounded by it. With the exception of Dan losing his heart to a stoner's dog, I think it's the same tier of magic as Seasons 3 and 4. Established relationships experiencing the familial drama of conception/abortion. The desire to dream still when things look the bleakest. To watch all of the characters succeed, fail, come back and succeed again was so inspiring. The Julian introduction was the intro to my favorite character on the show. It's no wonder he became a series regular. He's the strongest character they introduced in the adult years. His motivations, his wit, when he went after Sam and threw away the coffee cup, all key moments that felt like One Tree Hill. He was the perfect match for Brooke and he gave us the classic 98 degrees burn. I remember saying that if the show were to end here, I wouldn't be mad at it, because how could they do better? Just epic. Plus, Dan's confrontation with Whitey and wanting to kill himself just to find out that his son made it to the NBA was ironic and well delivered.
SEASON 9. So the most important thing about this season is that it hinges on whether or not you're willing to believe in the kidnapping storyline. While the premise is wild, even for One Tree Hill standards, the fact that they used James Lafferty's limited episode count to motivate them to do it was enough for me to buy into it. Their commitment to how this would affect each of the characters differently was incredible. They began with that intense flash-forward sequence and then we had to go on the ride that the show would lead us on to watch the resolution. I remember watching this week to week and geeking out every time we got to a flash-forward scene. This season boasts Bethany Joy's best acting as Haley. Her distress, her darkness, her doubt, her hope, her relief when they meet again is truly incredible. The fact that she gave Dan another chance, partnering with him as they fought to retrieve one of two people connecting them was amazing, especially in reference to how he originally didn't approve of her way back when and tried to ruin their marriage. She is stellar throughout the season. Dan is at peak level of badass: a disgraced father, a sinful man, fighting for the son that he doesn't even believe loves him, but hopes that he could. The Dan, Chris Keller, Julian rescue mission was incredible. I remember seeing the commercials for this conflict and was so hyped for it. Danny Boy is one of the strongest aspects to the show and KEITH SHOWED UP TO WELCOME DAN AFTER HE DIED! They were able to redeem Dan Scott and I couldn't believe it. I cried throughout the entire thing. The Clay and Sara and Logan revelation was beautiful. It was tragic. The drama of the reveal and how the loss of his wife caused Clay to essentially have a true mental breakdown was so heartbreaking. I loved the way that Logan played a role in Clay's comic book love and the proposal to Quinn with the Green Lantern ring was amazing. While Brooke's Xavier part 2 storyline wasn't that fantastic, I still did enjoy seeing Brooke figure out her place in all of this and being a mother instead of a series finale mom was good. I loved the concert at TRIC where the cast sings along with Gavin Degraw and we hear I Don't Wanna Be. It was purely for the fans and I cry every time. On top of all of that, the use of the title song in the very last episode as the very last song was so fitting. The finale coda where they do their voiceover was similar to the one in season 6, but I get it because the season 6 one was so fitting.
SEASON 7. Now season 7 gets a lot of crap because Lucas and Peyton had just left the series and the show was seeking to fill that void with Clay, Quinn and a bunch of other characters. Quinn's character was very droll when she came onto the show and receives a lot of criticism for unclear character motivations/divorce reasons. I think that Season 7 handles the concept of friends leaving and your dreams not being what you thought they were very well. The potential loss of his career after having played for a short period of time causes Nathan and Haley combined stress that caused so much friction. We got to see who Brooke Davis would be without Peyton there and how Julian would be now that they were official. There was still insecurity so the fairy tale aspect of their Season 6 ending had real repercussions. Julian successfully making a movie was fun and I enjoyed the Sundance ending. The real meat of the season, however, is the James girls and the loss of their mother. Cancer and depression and the loss of a parent are such real, adult things, and I think the hopelessness and the aimlessness and the tragedy was handled deftly. You really were able to feel the pain that Haley experienced as she was dealing with these things that she had no control over. It wasn't a psycho, it wasn't an accident caused by an unstable teenager, it was just life. That's a story that I could get behind.
SEASON 8: Now Season 8 is my least favorite season of the show, but there are a few things that I do enjoy about this season. Quickly, the Storm episode had real drama, intensity, and some great effort by the cast and crew. The letters to Lucas was very cute and helped them still feel like how friends would be. I liked Brooke's wedding and Jamie being Julian's best man. The idea of Julian not knowing how to be friends with the guys was pretty funny as well.
THE POINT/TLDR:
So now that you know the things that I love about those seasons, I just want to say that the maturity and reality of the later seasons is what appeals to me most about the show. While music and angst and love triangles would be the bread and butter of the show and within it's DNA, I think that the struggles, failures, successes, and reality of adulthood was captured very well while also taking the characters that we know and love on journeys that pushed them. Jumping past the college years prevented awkward questions of how to keep these talented people in one town and made the return an event within adulthood itself. Leaving the halls of Tree Hill High gave us great characters, great drama, and a thematic constant in going after your dreams even when it's hard. The later seasons are special and I wish more people gave them a chance because having been 10 years old when I watched the first episode on Sept 23, 2003 and never missing an episode until the show ended nearly 10 years later at 20, and now being 27 and reflecting on the show, I relate to the adult years and seeing how they persevered through difficult times is just something that I think we could all benefit from.
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2019.02.25 19:15 venkys-out Fitba Roundup: SPFL Gameweek 27

Another busy week where I hope not to have much writing to do is ruined by the endlessly entertaining Scottish Professional Football League. Have a look at what went down this weekend.

Scottish Premiership

Fixtures

SPOTLIGHT

Sun 24/02/19 Celtic 4 - 1 Motherwell
It’s been almost two years since he recalled a tale of being stopped in the Clyde Tunnel by a Rangers fan who wanted to thank him for being a "breath of fresh air” in Scottish Football, and Brendan Rodgers had yet another amusing anecdote to share with us - this time about how he had to hide from the Orange Walk a week after he moved to Glasgow! Oh Brendan, you certainly get up to some hijinks!
As is par for the course in Scottish Football, Rodgers’ post-match press-conference mood was considerably less jovial, and his anger centred around one particular incident.
With Celtic 2-0 up early in the second half thanks to goals from Scott Sinclair and Odsonne Édouard, Ryan Christie pulled up with what looked like a hamstring injury. Celtic kick the ball out to make the sub, and the ball was thrown back down the pitch to the Celtic defence - you know, as is done every single time in these situations. Now, Motherwell may not have the best reputation for fair play, but this is unprecedented: 18 year old debutant James Scott decides he’s going to play on and run after it, he forces Scott Bain into a save, and the onrushing Gboly Ariyibi fires it home before Jack Hendry has even been allowed to enter the pitch, ending Celtic’s record of not conceding in 2019. The most shithouse, unsportsmanlike goal you’re likely to see this season.
Everyone became absolutely incensed. Boyata, Tait and Rodriguez all get booked; Tierney starts screaming at Scott; Brendan Rodgers says in his post-match interview that Motherwell should have let Celtic score. Madness. Even Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson felt compelled to say it was wrong. It led to a pretty bad tempered game, with Celtic fans’ cheers as Carl McHugh was taken to hospital with a neck injury perhaps exemplifying that.
In the closing minutes of the game Édouard scored an absolutely fantastic free-kick to put the game finally beyond Motherwell’s reach, and Oli Burke scored his 4th Celtic goal since joining on loan. Everyone with any connection to Celtic Football Club would have been absolutely apoplectic had Motherwell found a second before then.
Here’s your highlights.

Friday’s Match

Dundee 2 - 4 Hibernian
Firstly, I’m intrigued by Hibs’ formation, as Sportscene seemed to show it as a 4-1-3-2, which by all accounts would be quite innovative for Scottish football - I’m assuming it was similar to a wide diamond? Would genuinely appreciate some insight here.
Regardless, their two strikers were in form today as Flo Kamberi did well to hold of Dundee’s Kasunga for the first goal of a very entertaining match. Paul McGowan levelled after some superb work by Scott Wright - who could easily have been sent-off later after kneeing Mark Milligan in the head - before Mark McNulty just managed to take his first touch across the line to restore Hibs’ advantage. He had a second before Stevie Mallan’s brilliantly hit shot evaded Dieng in the Dundee goal.
Kenny Miller had two goals disallowed for offside, the second coming from a nice one-two with Wright, and the first after a nice delivery from a free-kick. As has seemed to be a surprising theme with this weekend’s fixtures across Europe, before Dundee could take that free-kick the Dens Park sprinklers went on.
All of the above drama had the effect of totally throwing Hibs’ social media guy, who is clearly [working overtime to restore the club’s street credit]((https://twitter.com/HibernianFC/status/1098291811792105472) after Hibs became the third Scottish Premiership team to announce an Official Vaping Partner.
Elsewhere on social media, Dundee’s own legend Rab Douglas was up at midnight drumming up interest in some signed auction items, notably some marigolds, a hardhat, a pack of dairylea slices and a bottle of Bucky, amongst other… uh… things.
Anyway, Hibs are back in the top 6. Jolly good work, Heckingbottom!
Highlights.

Saturday’s Matches

Hearts 1 - 1 St Mirren
I’ll be making no apologies for making the entire roundup of this game about Clévid Dikamona
The Hearts centre-back opened the scoring in the second half, but not before being on the wrong end of a horrendous challenge from St Mirren’s Greg Tansey for which the latter should have seen red. Dikamona seemed to agree with that sentiment, tweeting a video of the tackle with the caption “fortunately I’m still standing”, then, in an unprecedented display of ’I’m telling on you’, tagging the official Scottish Professional Football League twitter in the replies. This prompted Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn, formerly of St Mirren and Hibs (and brother to St Mirren players Paul and Stephen), to reply with the one word everyone was thinking - “Grass”. Some accused McGinn of hypocrisy, Dikamona himself replied “you're probably the kind of player who does this, knowing you're protected by a referee after”. It should be said John McGinn is currently serving a two-game suspension after picking up 10 cards. Dikamona has since deleted his tweets, which I guess means McGinn wins?
10 minutes after Dikamona opened the scoring, Hearts’ #9 Sean Clare also found the net, but at the wrong end, with an impressive header off the back of his head to beat Bobby Zlamal. The Hearts goalie then did well to keep Dikamona out, in what would have been a very funny own goal to concede given the circumstances.
St Mirren are now 4 points off Hamilton, with a better goal difference. If they can turn one or two of these draws into wins, they have a real chance of staying up, which would be very impressive considering how diabolical they’ve been at points.
Highlights (including some decent goalkeeping.)
Livingston 1 - 0 Kilmarnock
There has been a lot to talk about regarding Kilmarnock this week, but most of it is pertinent to their Scottish Cup replay with Rangers, so I’ll discuss it further down this post.
All I’ll say for now is that before the game against Rangers Steve Clarke had been joking about in his press conferences and after that game Killie supporters started showing up wearing Steve Clarke masks in solidarity with their manager.
A third El Plastico of the season between these two teams, and the first Livingston win, with former Partick Thistle hero Chris Erskine grabbing his first goal for Livi, and in doing so giving them their first win of the year. Killie were very unlucky not to score, hitting the crossbar 3 times, but they have now gone 4 games without a goal, and their form makes for grim reading, with no wins in their last 7.
Highlights.
St Johnstone 0 - 2 Aberdeen
Earlier in the week Aberdeen managed to tie promising 19-year-old Lewis Ferguson to a new contract until 2024, announced with some extremely subliminal advertising, but it was his out-of-contract-in-the-summer midfield partner Graeme Shinnie who stole the headlines in this match.
After a match against St Mirren that had every Aberdeen fan growling something along the lines of “Shinnie’s heed’s no here anymore”, “give the armband to Ferguson” or “shite”, the Aberdeen captain played as if he had a point to prove.
Indeed Shinniesta was on the scoresheet not once but twice, scoring in each half as Aberdeen equalled a club-record 7 away wins in a row, and extended Saints’ winless run to the same number. His first goal was a smart bit of footwork and a tidy weak-foot finish from the edge of the box, and his second was an absolute pinger. Having assisted the first, Dominic Ball won the uh, ball, with a smart tackle inside his own half, before passing to Shinnie, who ran half the pitch before driving in the second from outside the box.
Saints drop to 7th, Aberdeen stay 3rd.
Highlights.

Sunday’s other match

Hamilton Accies 0 - 5 Rangers
If this match wasn’t completely over 25 minutes in, it certainly was by the end of the first half.
Ryan Jack opened the scoring 16 minutes in, and the ball must not have been back in play for 30 seconds before Jermaine Defoe made it 2-0. Scott Arfield then hammered in the pick of the bunch as Rangers effectively put to bed the murmurs that they were overly reliant on (the suspended) Alfredo Morelos for goals.
James Tavernier made it 0-4 before half-time, before a quiet second half that saw Hamilton as the next team to claim for a penalty. The Rangers fans who demanded a retrospective ban for Alan Power after he almost took Ryan Jack’s head off two weeks ago must be equally determined to see Joe Worrall brought before the compliance officer for his challenge on George Oakley. Of course this comes in the same week that Rangers legend Nacho Novo was spouting conspiracy theories about “a mafia within the SFA, in terms of they are ran by Celtic”, so I’m sure we can expect swift and brutal punishment.
Rangers added a fifth very late on through Kyle Lafferty in a game where they were beyond dominant. Hamilton manager Brian Rice had set up his team in attacking 4-3-3 formation, which is probably why they got absolutely scudded in the first half. A bit more of a pragmatic approach for this game could have seen a different result, although even that seems unlikely. I reckon it’s unfair to say that this game serves as proof that Hamilton ought to be relegated , though they really do .
Highlights.
Hibs being back into the top 6 is the only excitement this week as far as the table goes!

Table

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts Form
1 Celtic 27 20 3 4 64 15 +49 63 WWWWW
2 Rangers 27 16 7 4 60 20 +40 55 WDWWW
3 Aberdeen 27 15 5 7 45 31 +14 50 WDLWD
4 Kilmarnock 27 13 7 7 37 27 +10 46 LLDLD
5 Hearts 27 13 5 9 33 32 +1 44 DLDWW
6 Hibernian 27 10 8 9 40 30 +2 38 WWLLW
7 St. Johnstone 27 11 5 11 27 34 -7 38 LDLLL
8 Motherwell 27 11 3 13 30 39 -9 36 LWWWW
9 Livingston 27 9 7 11 28 28 0 34 WLDLL
10 Dundee 27 4 6 17 24 56 -32 18 LWDDL
11 Hamilton Academical 27 5 3 19 17 58 -41 18 LLWDL
12 St. Mirren 27 3 5 19 20 55 -35 14 DDLLL
Championship Round
Relegation Round
CUP RESULTS

Scottish Cup - 5th Round Replay

Tue 19/02/19 Inverness CT P 2- 2 Ross County Highlights with commentary
Wed 20/02/19 Rangers 5- 0 Kilmarnock Highlights
The Highland Derby had been the pick of the 5th round ties, with County battling to equalise twice against an Inverness side 12 points behind them in the Championship. Down the road across the Kessock Bridge it was again the home side having to answer to the away team, with Ross Stewart putting County ahead halfway through the first half. It took ICT until the second half to go level, with Jordan White’s header arriving around the same time as the Ross County equaliser 8 days prior. County, just as Inverness had done, regained the lead 10 minutes later thanks to Michael Gardyne’s very well-taken goal, but Inverness forced extra-time and penalties thanks to an 81st minute goal, again from White.
The shootout saw Ross County captain Marcus Fraser try some mind-games with ICT’s Coll Donaldson, only for the latter to send the goalkeeper the wrong way before Declan McManus missed County’s next kick, enough to give Inverness the win.
The 0-0 draw at Rugby Park that forced the replay between Rangers and Kilmarnock generated plenty of media attention, mostly due to that Alan Power challenge - for which he received no retrospective action - and the refereeing was similarly called into question in this match. With only a minute played, Eamonn Brophy went down under the challenge of Joe Worrall, but what looked like a clear penalty was waved away by referee - prompting Brophy to tweet a video of the incident with the caption “Apperantly [sic] fall over my own feet here…?” and Worrall, no joke, to Like said tweet.
With an appeal against a 3 game ban pending, Alfredo Morelos scored his first of the evening 5 minutes later, before more refereeing controversy — Glen Kamara went down clutching his face in the Rangers penalty area following a Daniel Bachmann elbow, resulting in a red for the Killie keeper. On closer inspection that looks the correct decision, so naturally the SFA rescinded the red before Killie’s game at the weekend. After that it was routine for Rangers, with Morelos scoring 4 goals, his hattrick coming just a minute after an Andy Halliday had made it 3-0.
Steve Clarke has since held the media’s attention following a fairly astonishing press conference, where he branded the refereeing in this game - and every week - a joke, before launching a genuine and sincere rant against the rampant sectarianism that is ubiquitous in Scottish Football. Clarke is the second manager to give a heartfelt response to sectarian abuse this season, after (now former) Hibs coach Neil Lennon. In their weekend match against Hamilton, Rangers fans revealed a banner reading “GET WELL SOON STEVE CLARKE”, which has since been condemned by Steven Gerrard.
Rangers will play Aberdeen at Pittodrie and ICT will travel to Tannadice to face Dundee United in the quarter-finals.
BEST OF THE REST

Scottish Championship

Sat 23/02/19 Partick Thistle 2 - 4 Ross County
After looking as if the appointment of Gary Caldwell had opened the door to consecutive relegations for Partick Thistle, the Firhill side have been revitalised in recent weeks, going 7 games unbeaten.
The visit of a Ross County side determined to put a gap between themselves and second-place Ayr United would prove a challenge for any Championship side, but Thistle looked up for it, and found themselves going into half time 2-0 up. Two goals in three minutes from Aiden Fitzpatrick and Christie Elliott afforded the Jags a fighting chance to go 2 points clear of Alloa and 3 of Falkirk at the bottom of the table.
As you may be able to tell from the scoreline, that was not to be. In fact it only took County’s Ross Stewart a minute to open the second-half scoring, before Jamie Lindsay equalised. Stewart added a third in the 74th minute, and 5 minutes later won a penalty that Billy McKay converted to make it 2-4. Rough one for Thistle like.
Highlights.
BONUS: Check out Stephen Wilson of Junior side Auchinleck’s Beckham-esque goal v Pollok, and here’s East Fife giving Dumbarton directions to their stadium for before their 3-4 clash, the highlights of which you can watch here.
That’s all for this week!
Check out /ScottishFootball for good patter and discussion of the SPFL
Last week’s matches were rounded up here
● data from soccerway.com
● thanks mods for 2soccer2bot even though it’s broken
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2019.01.28 20:56 venkys-out Fitba Roundup: SPFL Gameweek 22/23

Great to be back!
The top flight of Scottish Football is back after an agonising winter break that saw the frequenters of ScottishFootball lose their collective minds. The apocalypse is defined by the Oxford dictionary’s Google search preview as “an event involving destruction or da”, the latter of which proving to be the case as the sub was taken over by the likes of yer da on the commentary, yer da’s decor, and the inaugural Da’s Got Talent, sponsored by ButteryMoleHole, who really ought to be held accountable.
Unfortunately, like all good things, the dapocalypse had to come to an end, and the 4th round of the Scottish Cup signalled a return to action for all Premiership sides - except Rangers, whose Friday-night match against League 2 Cowdenbeath was postponed at the last minute on account of a patch of the pitch by the corner flag being frozen, despite the best efforts of the grounds team, who attempted to defrost the area with the engine of a Honda CRV. Rangers, instead, kicked off their first game of the new year at Ibrox in a friendly against HJK Helsinki, fulfilling an agreement that formed part of the Alfredo Morelos negotiations. The convenience of this matter was too much for some Celtic fans, whose conspiracy theories marked an appropriate end to a da-fuelled winter break.
If all of the above is an entirely foreign cultural entity to you, but nevertheless something you wish to be a part of, you might find it helpful to be reminded of how the first half of the season unfolded in the most entertaining league in the world™.

Scottish Premiership

Last weekend saw last year’s Scottish Cup finalists Motherwell exit the competition at the hands of Championship side Ross County, as Aberdeen and Dundee were forced into a replay also against lower league opposition. The latter are now facing yet another hurdle in what has been a very trying season. Dundee’s campaign started in quite comic fashion, with a loss to St Mirren in Paisley that featured midfielder Paul McGowan playing with an electronic tag on and what is still the worst goalkeeping howler of the season from Jack Hamilton.. 7 matches (and 6 defeats) later Neil McCann was replaced by Jim McIntyre, amongst suspicion that Kenny Miller had been signed from Livingston with one eye on the job. McCann bravely claimed that the referee in their match against Kilmarnock was what had cost him his job, instead of it being his team’s absolutely rotten form. McIntyre announced his arrival with a 4-0 loss to Livingston and a 0-3 defeat to Hearts that featured an effective summary of their season in the form of a Calvin Miller penalty, but performances improved (on account of it not being possible for them to get worse). The Dee ended 2018 bottom of the table, so their manager has begun a massive overhaul of the squad, with the likes of Calvin Miller, Adil Nabi and Andy Boyle leaving the club at the start of the window; and the incoming transfers of random Swedish man Andreas Hadenius and James Horsfield on loan, who was buzzing to sign for Dun Dee. New signing Andrew Davies has broken his foot before stepping on to the pitch, just 4 days after signing.
Equally as shite as Dundee, St Mirren have only managed to take 12 points from the 21 games prior to this week. Losing Jack Ross, the manager who propelled them into the Premiership, and Lewis Morgan (the attacker who propelled them into the Premiership) looked like it might be fatal, as replacement manager Alan Stubbs couldn’t avoid losses from week 2 until his sacking. Replaced by Coleraine hero Oran Kearney, they “bounced back” with a 0-0 draw at home against Celtic, inspired by an actual magician, then went on a 7-game losing streak, ended by a draw at Dundee before winning at home to Hearts. Unfortunately, Kearney’s ambition to win the league may have to be put on the back burner for the time being. When his first win did come against Hearts in week 14 it was partly thanks to a goal from the centre circle from Adam Hammill, a feat repeated mere weeks later, before Hammill was released. On top of getting Václav Hladky out of a Cypriot concentration camp, the Buddies have brought in Anders Dreyer on loan from Brighton, as well as Charlie Reid from the Proclaimers Blackburn’s Brad Lyons, who made the brave decision to pose for his signing photos whilst still wearing his glasses. Thanks to ScottMcoot for my favourite ScottishFootball headline of the year so far, “St Mirren sign a speccy tube”. Poor Brad got sent off for diving in his first match, although it was rescinded. Good luck to him.
I feel for fans of Hamilton, as going into every season as “the shite that won’t flush” hardly calls for optimism, and Accies have, unfortunately, remained startlingly true to form, perpetually sitting one place above the relegation zone. Despite winning the Lanarkshire derby in week 2, Martin Canning’s side have spent the majority of the season one place beneath their local rivals, Motherwell. Writing this roundup has made me realise there is somewhat of a dearth of patter regarding Hamilton this season, although they do subscribe to the less is more ideology. It’s been an uninspiring first half of the season for Accies, and I do feel sorry for the people who genuinely love their club and have to see shit like this every week. They have, however, strengthened this January; with the return of Tony Andreu and the addition of this man, who caused me to pause for 5 seconds to work out which one of the two people photographed was the new signing and which was Martin Canning.
Above Hamilton, Motherwell have had one of the least interesting campaigns of any of the Premiership sides, spending much of the pre-winter-break season consolidating 9th place. They were, however, the centre of my personal favourite instance of all this season’s petty drama, as before their match against Rangers, captain Peter Hartley reminisced about Ryan Bowman breaking Fabio Cardoso’s nose, adding that it was “fun to watch the way he was weeping”. The vitriol that ensued was incredible, and the whole incident was rather nicely tied up by Hartley scoring a last-minute equaliser in the 3-3 draw that followed. They did go on to lose 7-1 at Ibrox mind. Some more interesting happenings emerged off the Fir Park pitch, with Will Smith vindicating the choice of one young fan to support the Well, and possibly inspiring Charles Dunne also to start a rap career. Furthermore, and I have no idea how they’re paying his wage, Motherwell have signed Ross McCormack on loan from Villa this January. Could be a brilliant signing if he gets/keeps his fitness up.
Now we jump several points up the table, as finding themselves rather surprisingly in 8th place at the time I write this, Hibs have sorely felt the loss of midfield trio Scott Allan, Dylan McGeouch and John McGinn. Like most teams, Hibs have struggled to find any real consistency this season, best illustrated by their 6-0 shagging of Hamilton being followed by 7 matches without a win. Vox populi Neil Lennon may have solved some of the midfield problems by adding Ryan Gauld (remember him?) to the squad, and resigning Scott Allan on a pre-contract. They have also secured the loan signing of do do do Stéphane Oméonga, and will hope to make a push for the top 6 places come the end of the campaign.
The real surprise packages of this season have undoubtedly been the permanent residents of the Tony Macaroni ArenaLivingston. Like St Mirren, Livi lost the manager that brought them to the Premiership, with many assuming that David Hopkin (the manager behind two successive promotions) leaving for the now struggling Bradford City would be fatal to their Premiership status. This feeling was only reinforced when it was announced that Kenny Miller would take over as player-manager *shudders*. He was only to last two games after allegedly refusing to drop himself from the starting 11. Gary Holt took over, and under his guidance Livi immediately looked a different team, turning the Spaghettihad into a fortress - they’ve lost only to St Johnstone and Aberdeen at home since. The highlight of this Livi season has to be their 5-0 dismantling of Hearts mid-December. Adding Partick Thistle hero Chris Erskine to their squad should help them creatively, and by extending the loan of Rangers’ Ryan Hardie they should have enough firepower to match their impressive defence, possibly sneaking a top 6 place. Possibly.
St Johnstone share with Livingston impressive defensive organisation. They responded to 0-6 battering from Celtic by going 6 games in a row without conceding, and at the time of writing this introduction they are on 4 consecutive clean sheets. Yes, I know, well-organised teams don’t concede 6, but this was at a time of the season when Celtic started playing as if they were possessed, so we’ll excuse Saints’ indiscretion. St Johnstone have quietly had a very good start to the season, and I mean it when I say “quietly”. They’ve (mostly) proven problematic for the sides at the top of the table, and have disposed of the sides beneath them well, but over the last 21 weeks I can only think of one instance of St Johnstone ‘chat’, and that was when one of their fans just decided to tell the world he only washes his coffee cup once a week. A very wholesome family atmosphere at McDiarmid Park it seems, and it’s been made all the more wholesome by Michael O’Halloran returning for his 3rd spell with the club. Top 6 definitely the target for the rest of the season.
Now, if you had told any Hearts fans at the beginning of the season that - despite losing Uche Ikpeazu and Kyle Lafferty to injury and Rangers respectively - they’d be sitting pretty in 5th as the winter break rolled in, most would probably be quite content. This, however, does not tell the story of their season. A 1-4 win over Hamilton put them top of the league after match day 1, and a Craig Levein grassterclass saw them emerge 1-0 victors at home to Celtic. They went on to win their first 5 games of the season, before progress was halted by a draw at the Tony Macaroni, and a loss of any semblance of defensive organisation against Rangers the next week. Their season completely unravelled after Stevies Naismith and MacLean missed several games on account of an injury sustained in the league cup semi-final and bawsgate. Hearts, almost immediately, went from being 6 points clear at the top of the table to going 6 games without a goal. One might assume that such a collapse - which saw the Jambos give away 8 goals to Celtic without reply in just under a week - could potentially humble certain figures within the club, for example: Craig Levein. Of course, you would be incorrect, as the specciest bam of the SPFL era has continued to antagonise anyone who dares to speak his name. Results have not improved, with Hearts “getting their backsides felt, which was very sore indeed” in that 5-0 defeat to Livi, but that hasn’t stopped Levein from continuing in his usual manner, labelling Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes “a dick” just a few weeks ago, and taking on Sportscene furniture and former Hearts player Michael Stewart. More on that one to follow.
In contrast to Hearts’ season, Aberdeen started terribly, but seem to have found their footing. According to one Sky Sports pundit, we even won the League Cup final, which is a nice surprise since I was certain we lost Gary Mackay-Steven for weeks to a head injury as Celtic beat us 1-0. Anyway, Aberdeen’s turnaround in fortunes is largely to do with the emergence of Sam Cosgrove as a competent striker, which is, by no exaggeration, the most surprising turn of events of the season. As of the 10th December, Cosgrove had scored twice for Aberdeen in 29 games, both times in a 4-1 win over St Mirren. By Boxing Day he had 7 goals in his last 5 games, putting him only behind Alfredo Morelos on the goalscoring charts, whilst winning Aberdeen some crucial points in the process. What he has lacked is consistent service, so Aberdeen entered the winter break looking for a player who could create some space and lift the goalscoring burden off Cosgrove’s shoulders. Losing Kenny McLean to Norwich for free, and the end of Ryan Christie’s loan spell has left the Dons lacking in creativity, so you wouldn’t normally expect a team in that situation to try to re-sign a player who had 3 goals and 2 assists in 30 games whilst on loan last season. The thing is, said player had been loaned to Kilmarnock for the current season, and had 8 goals and 6 assists in just 16 games. You can imagine Kilmarnock fans’ disappointment upon hearing that Birmingham City would be recalling Greg Stewart, presumably to punt him on to another club before his contract ends in the summer, only to see him loaned back to Aberdeen a few days later. Steve Clarke has said there’s “a strange smell” around this move, which be believes to be “bullshit.” With this signing, and the crucial extension of Max Lowe’s loan from Derby County, Aberdeen should have a little more about them going into the second half of the season. Although they have just drawn 1-1 to bottom-of-League-One Stenhousemuir at home, so what do I know?
Beyond the expectations of anyone this season, and sitting cosy above last season’s second-place Aberdeen, Kilmarnock have emerged as unlikely title contenders, catalysed by a dangerous front 3 of Eamonn Brophy, Greg Stewart and Jordan Jones, and guided by the management of Steve Clarke. Taking 6 points off Aberdeen and Celtic in their first encounters, and taking more points than any other team in 2018, Killie found themselves top in week 16. January 2019 sees The Best There Is, The Best There Was, and The Best There Ever Will Be celebrate their 150th anniversary, and what better way to mark the occasion than to have your star winger declare himself a lifelong Rangers fan, announce his departure on a free, and sign off the tweet with #WATP? Have to feel for Killie fans there, Greg Stewart was still a Kilmarnock player when that went down, and whilst they are yet to replace him, they should still have more than enough to finish around those European places.
Steven Gerrard’s Rangers have shown us absolutely everything on the pitch, except for any real consistency. They started their season with a 1-1 draw at Aberdeen that saw some fans arrested for kicking over a child’s sandcastle, and that level of unpredictability has seen them absolutely humped by Celtic in the first Old Firm of the season, before dishing out exactly the opposite result in the second match between the two. Despite Gerrard alleging a refereeing conspiracy against Rangers, the following weeks would see Alan McGregor escape punishment for two off-the-ball incidents and Alfredo Morelos ludicrously avoid a sending-off against [YOUR TEAM HERE]. At least Scott Arfield got his just desserts when he went in completely ridiculously on Bobby Zlamal in the most hilariously unnecessary tackle I have ever seen. Despite pumping Motherwell 7-1, the highlight of the Rangers season so far is (obviously) their dominant Old Firm victory just before the New Year. That game sent Celtic fans into meltdown, preparing video essays about the refereeing and replying to Colombian news outlets in Spanish, and the aim for this season is to cause an even bigger meltdown by stopping Celtic’s run of 7 consecutive titles. Gerrard has added Steven Davies and Jermain Defoe to his squad to aid that cause, as well as signing Jones and Dundee’s Glen Kamara on pre-contracts.
So, the question remains, will Celtic run away with it again and become treble-treble winners? A stuttering start to the season has cast some doubt, and an emphatic loss to their Old Firm rivals for the first time in the league since 2012 shows that this team does still have their vulnerabilities. August saw early exit from the Champions’ League at the final qualifying round, not helped by star centre-back Dedryck Boyata faking an injury as he tried to force a move (he scored in the game that banner was flown). Moussa Dembélé aka Big Mouss aka the King of Glasgow aka Dembelition did manage to force his move to Lyon, and as rumours of unrest in the Celtic camp floated it looked as if we could be in for a total Celtic collapse. Early losses to Hearts and Kilmarnock saw Celtic endure their worst start to a league campaign in 20 years, but they would then go on a run that would see 20 league goals scored over 4 games, despite being subordinated to a diktat during this time. Naturally, this run was ended at the Tony Macaroni, but it had shepherded an awesome return to form for Brendan Rodgers’ team. The lack of dependable depth for Odsonne Edouard looked as if it may become an issue - with Leigh Griffiths given a leave of absence to deal with his mental health issues, Edouard became the only ‘senior’ striker in their team for a while - but the winter additions of Oliver Burke and Timothy Weah will partner nicely with the amazing form of Ryan “won’t cut it at Celtic” Christie, and Celtic should have enough to push on to an eighth consecutive title.
Okay, now that we’re all caught up, let’s look at the results from the last two gameweeks.

Fixtures

KEY MATCH

Wed 26/12/18 Kilmarnock 2 - 1 Rangers
Of course after the Jordan Jones saga it would only be right that Kilmarnock’s first game back after the break would be Rangers. Steve Clarke had to tell fans before the match “boo Jordan Jones and you’re booing me too”, whatever that means. It was always going to be a game filled with drama.
Jermain Defoe put Rangers into the lead with the worst goal of the season so far, meaning it only took 12 minutes for him to open his account in our diddy wee league, although he was largely anonymous after that.
Killie’s equaliser came 10 minutes later in the form of a total gift from on-loan Nottingham Forrest defender Joe Worrall, who dithered in defence, allowing Eamonn Brophy to snatch the ball from him and finish well for his 9th league goal of the season. Alfredo Morelos had the ball in the net at the other end, but funnily enough his superman-dive handball finish was disallowed.
Killie took the lead halfway through the second half, of course through Jordan Jones. His 25-yard strike was flapped at by McGregor, and as the ball went in Jones ran over to Steve Clarke and gave him a nice big hug. That was enough for Killie to take the 3 points, and enough for some Rangers fans not to be able to face work the next day.
Highlights.

Wednesday’s other matches

Hearts 1 - 2 Dundee
Five minutes after defender Genseric Kusunga found himself unusually far forward and opened the scoring for Dundee, Hearts manager Craig Levein felt compelled to substitute off new signing David Vanacek, citing that he was “rubbish”. Levein went on to complain about the striker’s fitness levels, despite having worked with him for the past two weeks and naming him in the starting lineup.
Now, if you click on the word “rubbish” above you’ll see a video of Sportscene pundits Stephen Thompson and Michael ‘£1 a week and you were still my worst signing’ Stewart criticising this decision.
Levein has since responded saying, and I shall post this unabridged: “My good friend Mr Stewart, not intelligent enough or brave enough to try management. Why would I take any advice from him? It's like me taking advice on politics from somebody like, I don't know, Michael Stewart. So we'll just ignore what he says”. Stewart has since responded with a tweet about psychological projection.
The whole thing is very petty and enjoyable, Levein’s demanding an apology, you have to love it.
Anyway, despite a heavy deflection leading to a first-half Olly Lee equaliser, Dundee managed to grab a vital win thanks to a slip by Conor Shaughnessy, meaning Andrew Nelson could be played in to score.
All the highlights here.
Celtic 4 - 0 St. Mirren
A return to the slightly diseased Parkhead for Celtic and three very brave horses afforded the opportunity to see Timothy Weah and Oliver Burke in action for the first time. Neither disappointed as the latter grabbed a brace either side of a Scott Sinclair penalty, and the former adding the final goal 4 minutes from time.
With this result Dundee overtake St. Mirren as the Buddies fall into last place.
Highlights.
Hamilton 0 - 3 Aberdeen
This result is believed to have ushered in the new deeply sexual era of Aberdeen, with Derek McInnes remarking after the game that he’d “like to see Cosgrove open his legs up a bit more” and the local papers running with the headline Dons slam it into the Ham.
A brilliant Joe Lewis save kept things from being very different in the first half, before a scrappy Cosgrove opener and a scrappy Lewis Ferguson corner goal sandwiched the best finish of the day, with Sam Cosgrove taking advantage of Ziggy Gordon not really being that arsed about defending, and finishing well.
A solid 7/10 performance all round for Aberdeen, 9 goals in 8 games for Cosgrove.
Highlights.
Motherwell 1 - 0 Hibernian
The reports coming out after this one are that Neil Lennon has totally lost the head with his players, the board, and everyone at Hibs. It looks very much as if he’s burned some bridges, he’s been suspended from his duties as first team manager for the time being.
Despite Hibs being dominant in possession, Motherwell had the better of the chances in this game, with youngster David Turnbull the only man managing to convert. His goal on the stroke of half time went unanswered, as Motherwell close in on Hibs, and extend the gap at the bottom of the table between themselves and Hamilton.
Highlights.
St. Johnstone 1 - 0 Livingston
The battle of the surprisingly good defences yielded a predictably tight affair at McDiarmid Park. Other words that have been used to describe this match are: “bad.”
The one goal came 12 minutes from time thanks to Murray Davidson, as Saints claim their 11th clean sheet in 14 games. None too shabby.
Highlights.

Saturday’s Matches

Hearts 2 - 0 St Johnstone
Saints did not, however, make that 12 in 15.
Much to the disappointment of Michael Stewart Hearts dominated this match.
They hit the woodwork twice as goals from Marcus “best surname in football” Godinho and Calumn “what’s with the N?” Morrison scored the only goals St. Johnstone have conceded away since September.
Highlights.
Aberdeen 0 - 0 Kilmarnock
So, the Greg Stewart Shield didn’t quite live up to the hype, but the Aberdeen fans who braved the rain were at least able to see Kris Boyd sent off for leaving a sore one on Graeme Shinnie.
There’s really not that much else to discuss. Stevie May had a shot on goal at least? Also, this is the best possible result for the Old Firm.
Highlights.
Celtic 3 - 0 Hamilton
Someone get Ryan Fulton a tinny.
The Hamilton goalie was the busiest man on the park and did very welt keep the game at 0-0, until a long-range shot from Callum McGregor went right through him. He was then rescued by his defenders as he found himself a mile away from his goal early in the second half, before he dropped the ball directly at the feet of Ryan Christie for Celtic’s second.
He couldn’t do anything about Scott Sinclair’s third, and so concluded a game where he was both Man of the Match and the worst player on the pitch.
See it all here.
Dundee 0 - 1 Motherwell
I’m not sure there’s a Motherwell fan out there who wouldn’t let David Turnbull pump their significant other.
His penalty on the hour mark was the difference in a game both teams could have won, but Dundee would be more upset about losing.
Highlights.

Sunday’s Matches

St Mirren 1 - 3 Hibernian
The stress of replacing Neil Lennon for this match was enough for Eddie May to rule out ever returning to full time management, as his Hibs team went 1-0 down at half-time to a Simeon Jackson goal, following a nice bit of work, ironically, from that boy who looks like the Proclaimers.
Hibs massively turned it around in the second half, with Oli Shaw netting the first, Darren McGregor tapping in from close-range, and Stevie Mallan finishing a good performance against his former club with a goal late on.
Highlights.
0 - 3 Rangers
Oh, hang on, forgot that Livi were also playing.
Livingston 0 - 3 Rangers
That being said, they probably wish they hadn’t been, in particular Liam Kelly.
The Livi goalkeeper has been brilliant this season, so it’s only natural that he should totally flub Ryan Jack’s effort half an hour in to give Rangers the lead.
There was no stopping Ryan Kent’s goal early in the second half, however, and 25 minutes later, after missing an open goal, the man with more goals and assists than anyone bar Messi and Mbappé sealed the deal.
Rangers become only the third side to win at the Tony Macaroni Arena, and they go second for their troubles.
Highlights.
So, Celtic have the chance to give themselves some breathing room at the top of the table with their midweek game against St Johnstone.

Table

# Team P W D L F A GD Pts Form
1 Celtic 22 15 3 4 53 14 +39 48 WWLWW
2 Rangers 23 13 6 4 47 18 +29 45 WLWDW
3 Kilmarnock 23 13 6 4 34 21 +13 45 DWWWD
4 Aberdeen 23 13 4 6 37 24 +13 43 DWWLW
5 Hearts 23 12 3 8 29 28 +1 39 WLWWL
6 St. Johnstone 22 11 4 7 26 26 +0 37 LWWWL
7 (#icon-up) Hibernian 23 8 8 7 33 24 +9 32 WLLDD
8 (#icon-down) Livingston 23 8 6 9 26 23 +3 30 LLLWD
9 Motherwell 23 8 3 12 22 33 -11 27 WWWLL
10 Hamilton Academical 23 4 2 17 14 49 -35 14 LLLLD
11 (#icon-up) Dundee 23 3 4 16 17 48 -31 13 LWLDL
12 (#icon-down) St. Mirren 23 3 3 17 15 46 -30 12 LLLWL
Championship Round Relegation Round

BEST OF THE REST

Whilst the Premiership paused for breath, the Scottish Championship and Leagues 1 and 2 rumbled on. During this time Alloa scored one of the worst goals of the season, and in doing so gave us one of the best pictures of the season; Nicky Clark returned to Dunfermline Athletic as a Dundee United player and ruined one fan’s weekend, before showing the ultimate respect to his former club on twitter; Zak Rudden announced he would remain on loan at Falkirk til the end of the season; and Berwick Rangers managed to keep their sense of humour as they were humped 1-7 by Queen’s Park.
I’ll give a more comprehensive roundup of the lower league action when I have more characters to play with, and Scottish Cup results will get rounded up after the replays, but have to mention junior side Auchinleck Talbot knocking Ayr United out. What a result that is - they visit Hearts at Tynecastle for the next round.
Well, that’s all. Just as a final note: cheers to everyone who voted for these in the soccer end of year awards. Very kind of you, and I was delighted to be win some gold (twice!) off the unseen masonic mod team. *
*
May have been from the Old Firm post-match Thread and not the soccer mods.
Check out /ScottishFootball for good patter and discussion of the SPFL
Last week’s matches were rounded up here: https://www.reddit.com/soccecomments/abm87o/fitba_roundup_spfl_gameweek_21/?
● data from soccerway.com
● any progress on soccerbot?
submitted by venkys-out to soccer [link] [comments]


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