30th - Latest on the weather front is that although a pitch
inspection is planned for Scumdee, the Saints game is said to be "in
Nick Dasovic(right) is set to return to the side. The Canadian said "The manager told me before the Rangers match that he wanted to freshen things up and if I look at myself in the mirror I know I've not played well in the last month. Whether its down to fatigue I dont know, but maybe being involved all summer and then going straight into the season here is catching up with me. I have to say that I am looking forward to the break so I can regenerate the body and get a bit of sun and be ready for the last three months of the season. With Paul Kane being injured Ill be back in the team this weekend, though, and looking to do well. Relegation isnt really a worry, sixth is our aim at the moment and these games are massive ones"
7.00pm - An entertaining 2-2 draw with Hearts still left many of us disappointed with an almost total lack of attacking football on show from Saints in the 2nd half after an good comeback in the first to go 2-1 up with goals from Le Mo and Paddy Connolly. Even better for Saints fans was the appearance off the subs bench of Nathan Lowndes looking as fit as ever. Post match the manager was disappointed with St. Sandy saying "I'm disappointed we didn't win it. We lost a bad goal at the start but made some good chances to take the lead but then failed to kill them off". The only other SPL match to go ahead saw HIVBees get a 95th minute penalty to beat the Arabs 1-0.
December 29th -
Sean Evers has returned South after
Saints decided to cut his loan period short. With
Michael O'Neill signing a short-term
deal it was unlikely that another midfielder would be brought on board.
Meanwhile, Stewart Duff isn't too chuffed with the SFA being pessimistic about the weekend fixtures. He said the pitch is in "perfect condition" and the car park has been gritted already (something of a problem in recent years) and the game should go ahead.
5.30pm - Just to prove you shouldn't believe everything in the papers it now turns out that Sean Evers is still at the club and a certain manager is rather pissed off at the rumours. Elsewhere TFOE v Well, Sheep v St Midden and Killie v TFOD have all fallen foul of the weather - means there's only 3 SPL games currently going ahead this weekend.
December 28th - Saints are set
to lose two first team players through injury for the Hearts game at the
weekend with Paul Kane suffering from
an ankle knock and Stuart McCluskey a
groin injury. Whether or not the game will go ahead remains to be seen
with snow all over Scotland just now and the weather forecast not looking
The TFOE match in Jan has been moved again to Wed Jan 31st with a 8pm kick-off. It's a piece of history for Scottish football with the game to be the first of 4 SPL matches to feature in Sky's pay-per-view package. Cost is £7.95 for all 4 games with SPL exec Roger Mitchell saying the fans will be "offered a lot more choice in the games to see". The real question though is what the effect will be on the crowds at the games. For all the delights of TV it's still not as good as being there in person is it?
26th - Right, the season of goodwill is over and it's back to
league business with the trip to the Evil Empire today.
St. Sandy will be happy with a repeat
performance, if not scoreline from the weekend. "If we create as
many chances as that I would be delighted. I am not criticising anybody
because the way we played and the chances created were exceptional. I
can't believe it happened that way. I thought we were the better team for
the whole game."
Paul Kane(right) believes we can get something if the crowd turn on the home side "It is never an easy game, but we can take heart from our latest performance. For the first 20 minutes we played as well as we have for a while, but we came up against a quality keeper. If we can create the same chances against Rangers I am sure that one of them would be a goal. We did well against Rangers when they came here but it is a different ball game when you go to Ibrox. They will have 50,000 fans there and that can sway decisions. We went there for the first game of the season and played OK. If we can take something positive out of the performance and fightback against Motherwell, we will give it our best shot."
Latest on the police incident from the Well match is that referee David Somers has also been interviewed and a report is going to the Procurator Fiscal.
7.30pm - A gutless performance at Castle Greyskull saw Saints back to their old ways with a 3-0 defeat sending us to 9th in the league. Post-match St. Sandy praised TFOD's closing down of our players saying "...we were not allowed to create any chances". Paul Kane went off at half-time with an ankle knock which is apparently set to keep him out "for a while".
Results elsewhere saw HIVBees and Jambos draw 1-1, TFOE win 4-0 at Tannadice, Pars get a 3-2 home win over the sheep, Well lose 3-0 at home to Scumdee and Killie win 3-1 at Love St. Not a good night to be a Saints fan.
December 24th - Apart from the
depressing reading of the match stats from yesterday (I mean 14
corners !!!) the only real piece of news is that it's Motherwell's Stephen
Hammel who has been reported to police for racist language after his
clash with Le Mo towards the end of the
St. Sandy is isn't expecting too much from the trip to the Evil Empire on Tuesday saying "The Rangers game does not bother me in the slightest. Anything you get at Rangers and Celtic is a bonus. We will go there and I'm pretty certain that we will do all right. We have been there that many times in the past, it certainly doesn't hold any fears for us. If we lose the game, it is expected, and if we get something, it is a bonus. That is no hassle for us."
Elsewhere ex-Saintee Miguel Simao is back from Japan and apparently interesting 1st Division side Livingston although God knows where they're getting the money to pay his wages from.
Finally Merry Xmas from the Temple !!!!!
December 23rd - Saints' home
match with Killie in Feb has been moved to Sunday February
11th at 6.05pm - yup the boys from
back in town !!!!!
For the immediate future though, St. Sandy is looking to head into the break with a decent points haul. "Of our next four games, three of them are against teams in our area of the league, challenging to finish in the top half of the table. So they're all very important. Motherwell are one of those teams and if we're to make it then this is the type of game weve got to look to win."
7.00pm - Saints took the season of goodwill a bit too far although from being 3-0 down at half-time they recovered to only lose 3-2 to Motherwell with goals from Kiegan Parker and Le Mo. Post match St. Sandy said "I honestly can't believe that we have not got at least a point or all three points. It was a fantastic game and, at half-time, we were 3-0 down and I just cannot believe what happened. I thought we were the better team through the whole game but Motherwell were dangerous attacking. I would rather have won 1-0 and played rubbish though." . As expected David Somers was a shite ref although there is more controversy with police apparently investigating an on-field incident believed to be a remark made by an unnamed player. A police statement said "As a result of an on-pitch incident at McDiarmid Park during the St Johnstone-Motherwell match, a complaint was made to the police. Police inquiries have been made and a report will be made to the Procurator Fiscal." .
Elsewhere in the SPL a 3-1 win for the Jambos over the Arabs, a 1-0 win for TFOD over HIVBees, a 2-0 win by TFOE at Love St, a 1-0 win for the Pars over Killie and a 2-2 draw between Scumdee and the Sheep mean we've slipped to 7th in the table.
22nd - Good news first with Darren
Dods(right) signing a new 3 1/2 year deal to keep him at the club
until the summer of 2004. St. Sandy said
"Darren deserves his deal for he is a whole-hearted type of
player who always gives it everything he has got. Since coming to Perth,
he has been a good servant to the club and I am sure he will continue in
the same vein in the future. From a manager's perspective, the fact he has
agreed to commit himself to St Johnstone is good news because you want as
much continuity of team selection as possible. We recently re-signed
Keigan Parker, who is a very exciting young talent, for a similar length
of time and will continue to look at renewing other players' deals in the
weeks and months ahead. This is an important part of the game nowadays and
one which this club take very seriously." Darren
Dods himself said, "Clubs will be chopping their squads to
reduce losses. A lot of players will be worried about their futures but
now I have security for the next few years. I could have waited and cashed
in on Bosman but I didn't want to take that gamble. We've got a few
players out of contract this summer but hopefully we can hold on to most
of them. The future looks bright for the club and I'm happy to play a part
in it. I feel I've improved year by year as a player here. There have been
massive changes at Hibs but signing for Saints was definitely a good move
for me and at no stage have I had any regrets."
Looking ahead to the match both Michael O'Neill and Craig Russell are available - their red cards don't count for the senior games. The former has been trialist recently but it looks like he'll be signing a short-term deal in time for the weekend. St. Sandy is out for revenge tomorrow after the 4-0 drubbing earlier in the season. "The players let both themselves and our supporters down that afternoon. This is the opportunity to make amends. After losing a little ground last week with our loss to Hibs, it is also important we pick up the three points to continue our push for a place in the top six when the league splits in March." Teamwise one certainty is that Le Mo will return to the starting line-up.
December 20th - It looks like
Kiegan could be in line for a call-up
to the Scotland U-21 squad at last. Coach Alex Smith said "If
Keigan carries on the way he has been going he will have come into my
thoughts. We seem to almost be spoiled for choice at the moment when it
comes to strikers, which is good news for Scotland but not so great for
the guys trying to get into the team. Opportunities do present themselves
though, so it is important for the likes of Keigan to keep working hard at
their games and trying to improve where they can."
Last night's U-21 match was controversial to say the least. A 1-0 win to Aberdeen with Nathan back playing also saw Craig Russell and Michael O'Neill sent off the in the first half - O'Neillfor an alleged deliberate handball and "Jack" for dissent. Even worse in the second-half goalie Kevin Cuthbert also went down the tunnel for a last man challenge on one of the lambs.
19th - Latest on the Gary Bollan
saga is that the player is now interesting both Hearts and Killie. However
Saints are still keen to keep him with Geoff
Brown saying that "..his agent had accepted our offer of a
new contract but it was the player himself who rejected it"
something the player denies. It does make you wonder if we'd be better off
accepting a bid now rather than hold onto a player who has no intention of
staying beyond the summer. St. Sandy
himself has denied any bid for the player saying "Its
disappointing to have players involved in speculation but its
inevitable nowadays. We are working hard to keep Gary here because he is a
very good player. A club like ours has to look and plan for the future,
and budget accordingly. We are at the stage when we will be looking at the
position of all our players who go out of contract next summer. Most clubs
are in a similar situation."... which sounds like a wait-and-see
philosophy from the club until at least the league split.
One player keen to stay is Michael O'Neill(right). The midfielder hopes to play a full 90 minutes for the U-21s tonight against Aberdeen but said "Nick Summersgill has got me back to fitness. Now Im hoping to rebuild my career in Perth. Im the perfect example of how Bosman can work against a player. But I'm grateful to Saints for giving me another chance. The agreement we've reached suits both parties, although any player would prefer the security of a contract. I want to repay the club for their support and between now and the winter break I hope to get a chance. As a trialist I have total freedom and could walk out and sign for someone else. On the other hand, the club doesn't have to pay me if I dont play. But I'm not using St Johnstone just to get fit and move on. I want to prove to the management and the directors Im worth a long-term deal here.". Nathan Lowndes is also set to play.
18th - Not much in the papers - some token praise for us from the
weekend. The Sun is running the same story about
Gary Bollan(right) being a target for
the Gorgie Gits saying that Levein has had one bid rejected by Saints
already. Bollan is still confident of
Saints still being in the top half by the winter break. "That's
our first defeat in six games and after a slow start we've begun, over the
past few weeks, to find some consistency. The teams immediately below us
are that bit closer now but they still have to catch us. We've got the
points in the bag. They've got to pull us back and looking at the matches
we have left before the winter shutdown I think we'll continue to pick up
our share ahead of the break."
Meanwhile the SFA are to write to St. Sandy to query remarks "attributed to him in a newspaper report". This probably related to the home match against Celtic.
Finally we've got the joy of the refs announced for the festive season. The men "in charge" will be David Somers for the Motherwell game (so expect some crap there), Mike McCurry for Ibrox on Boxing Day (you can see what'll happen already), John Fleming for the visit of Hearts and Willie Young for the Pars match on Jan 2nd.
December 17th - Amidst the
plethora of Media Falsehoods today there is
some news. Reports in the Sunday Mail today say that
Gary Bollan is set to sign a
pre-contract agreement on January 1st with Hearts with a move to the Gits
lined up for next summer under Bosman.
Meanwhile tonight's SPL match saw TFOD blow it again and only manage a 1-1 draw with the Arabs at Tannadice.
December 16th - Despite a decent first-half performance Saints still managed to lose 2-0 at Easter Rd. Elsewhere the SPL results saw TFOE 6 Sheep 0, Pars 2 St Midden 0, Killie 2 Scumdee 3 and Well 2 Hearts 0.
15th - Returning from suspension, Blaster
is set to go straight into the Saints side in place of the suspended
Le Mo. Nathan
and Michael O'Neill could return to the
bench but according to St. Sandy "neither
are ready for a full 90 minutes". The manager said, "It
won't be an easy game by any means but we will go there with confidence.
The team have been getting the results and the guys all have a lot of
faith in one another's ability to get the job done. Kiegan Parker has,
rightly, been getting a lot of praise for the goals he has been getting
but there have been plenty of other good performances too. The winter
break is coming up soon and we want to head into it with as strong a
finish as possible."
Jim Weir(right) is looking for revenge tomorrow as well. "I still feel guilty at leaving the lads short-handed. I was sent off for denying Mixu Paatelainen a goalscoring opportunity. It was a surprise to me because I knew I wasn't the last defender. And I was in the tunnel when I heard the roar from Hibs fans which greeted their opening goal from the free-kick I'd conceded. It was a real low point for me. So this game is a chance to exact some revenge."
Tickets go on sale today for the Boxing Day trip to the Evil Empire - season ticket holders first with the rest getting them from Tuesday onwards.
December 13th - Well the silly
season has started with TFOE the latest to be linked in a
speculative tabloid report with a 7-figure bid for
Geoff Brown said "He is
contracted to St Johnstone until 2004. We want him to stay and score more
goals but accept that eventually he will have to move - but not at 18
years of age. Any player who scores goals will attract attention and, as
each game passes by, you can see Keigan improving. He still has more to
learn, but he'll be learning here."
Meanwhile the latest incoming rumour is that Aberdeen's Andy Dow has been targeted for a Bosman move to Saints next summer to replace Blaster who has still not signed a new contract.
December 12th - Stuart Dougal will be the ref for the Easter Rd game this weekend. Oh joy.
December 11th - After scoring on Saturday, Pope's next target is a run in the team. "I think it was nearly a year ago that I got my last goal and now it's about playing well and staying in the team. I'm certainly not going to put my head up in the clouds after just one goal. It has been a case of ups and downs and being in and out of the team this season. Playing in the team every week is the most important thing for me. If I can get a steady run in the team-which I've not had and I'm partly to blame for that - then I feel that I can get a few more goals as well. "
9th - Goals from John Paul
McBride(right) and Kiegan Parker
in each half saw Saints get a comfortable
2-0 win over St. Mirren a result which cements our top 6 position.
After the game St. Sandy said he was
"delighted to get the three points. We started poorly but were in
control after that. I thought McBride took his goal well - he has the
ability but he needs to give that little bit more."
Elsewhere there were 3-0 wins for Hibs at home to the Pars and Hearts away to Killie. Highlights of the Saints game are on Sportscene tonight (Christ that's 3 weeks in a row!!!!)
8th - After another couple of quiet Saints days (although we all
got a laugh at TFOD getting knocked out), it's SPL time again with
St. Sandy(right) not expecting a
walkover against the 2nd bottom team. "I was in Paisley the other
night and it was certainly a good game for the neutrals, with St Mirren
clawing back a point after going down to ten me. If we want all three
points on Saturday then we will have to earn them, we certainly won't get
them without working really hard."
The squad remains unchanged from last week with the exception of 2 welcome additions in the form of Michael O'Neill and Nathan Lowndes. St. Sandy believes the team can continue their unbeaten run saying "The lads showed last week that they won't stop fighting and I think we'll soon see the best from the team"
December 5th - The SFA have
announced that Eric Martindale will
referee Saturday's visit of the Paisley Junkies. We've not had him yet
this season so let's hope we get some fairness for a change.
Meanwhile Le Mo has picked up a 1-match suspension after Saturday's booking - he'll now sit out the trip to Easter Rd. Asst manager Billy Kirkwood said "Momo had done well for us since he made the move to Scotland in the summer. He has been a very good signing. He picked up another booking at Dens and now he is facing a one-match suspension. He has come from a different culture as far as football is concerned and hell have to learn the Scottish way. "
Speaking of the travelling fans at Dens he also said "We were delighted with the backing of the big travelling support. Support like that every week would be very welcome. They were right behind the team from start to finish and the players were glad they got their reward. You could see there was a real feeling of togetherness at the end of the game and the fans played their part in the result."
4th - Not too much in the way of real news.
Alan Main is currently suffering from an
index finger broken in 3 places. The injury occured in training last
Thursday but was hushed up so he could play at Dens. He plans to keep on
playing until the mid-season break when an op is scheduled.
On the leaving front plenty of unsubstantiated rumours on the go. Craig Russell(right) is apparently heading for Notts County for £75,000 - the original rumour started from the English side but as yet there is nothing in it at all.
Slightly more realistic but just as crap is the Retardgoing on about Walter Smith watching Kiegan Parker at Dens with a view to buying him to replace Jeffers at Everton. Apart from the fact that the manager himself denied being on a scouting trip in the Sunday papers there is no truth in this whatsoever.
Finally the Hearts Youth Cup tie at McD will be played on Tuesday Dec 12th at 7pm
2nd - A last-minute own goal saw Saints get a well-deserved point
in a 1-1 draw at Dens, with the match
the main game on BBC Sportscene tonight. Both
Le Mo(right) and
Nick Dasovic were claiming the goal but
St. Sandy said after the match "We
made more than enough chances to earn the goal. We're now unbeaten in 4
games and that's a good run in this league". And credit too for
the large Saints travelling support - hopefully the half-time singalong
has ensured that the Scumdee CD is ruined.
Elsewhere the SPL results saw a 2-1 win for Killie at Pittodrie and a 3-1 win for TFOE over the Pars. The Arabs and St Midden game was postponed.
1st - St. Sandy isn't sure what
to expect tomorrow but knows it'll be a tough game. "Dundee have
invested heavily this season and it has made them one of the most
interesting teams in the division. They have some top quality players and
collectively they are capable of producing some excellent passing football
of the type everyone likes to watch. That said, their results have not
been consistent, which is something you might expect in a situation where
you have a lot of foreign players settling into a different environment.
To beat St Mirren 5-0 and then go and lose 3-1 to Hearts is unusual form,
and for that reason I reckon the outcome of this weekends game will
be especially hard to predict. We have done well in our last couple of
game ourselves, plus it is also fair to say that we have been
concentrating well away from home and displaying good discipline in
defence. If Dundee play as well as they can we are certainly going to need
those qualities at Dens, though I am not going to be making any special
plans to combat any of their flair players"
Team news wise there's little new - Ross Forsyth has been added to the squad whilst Gary Bollan starts his 2-match suspension leaving room for some tactical changes on the left.
St. Sandy is also set to join the Internet revolution at last. On Monday Dec 4th at 4.30pm the manager will join in a chat forum on the Official Saints Site .
Meanwhile, the latest news on Graeme Jones(right) is that he'll be out until after the break. "The club haven't messed about. When it became clear my injured knee had not responded to electric shock therapy, they sent me to the best in the business. I've been out for eight weeks already and now I'm facing a three-month lay-off. That's really frustrating but at least we've got to the root of a problem that had been a bit of a mystery. The bonus is that the surgeon tidied up the cartilage while he was at it. I've got to be patient and not push myself too soon. It will be after the January break before I can step up training and think about a return to the first team. The important thing is there's light at the end of the tunnel. I've had a frustrating time because this injury has kept me out even longer than a torn cruciate."
Finally, Craig Levein has been announced as the latest scapegoat for the Jambos financial troubles.
Top Of News
November 30th - Bad news for reserve keeper Stephen Robertson today with confirmation that the player's knee injury will keep him out until the start of next season. Meanwhile, Darren Dods is relishing in his current role at wing-back. The defender said "The manager asked me to move to try out the new formation. I'm enjoying getting forward more but with my contract up at the end of the season I'm just happy to be playing anywhere".
November 29th - Saturday's match
against Scumdee will see Saints play to a worldwide audience as sports
network ESPN are set to carry the game to America, Australia and
most of the world. So we can all watch Hugh
Dallas f*ck up.
Tonights SPL scores saw Well beat the Buddies 2-0, Pars beat the Jambos 1-0 and no doubt it was an exciting 0-0 draw between HIVBees and TFOE (bound to have been exciting since it involved one of the Wegie bigots).
Little else in the papers apart from the usual Retard slagging of the game. As an aside to that it appears that both Kiegan Parker and Stuart McCluskey were made available to the press at Rugby Park but that the Killie staff never called them through - not that we'll get an apology from the media for their reporting of it all. And they wonder why Saints and St. Sandy don't like them much? For the latest rubbish being spouted in the media check out the Falsehoods page.
November 28th- An
entertaining 0-0 draw sees Saints stay
6th in the league. After the game St. Sandy
said "It was a decent game and very open from both teams. We were
expected to win but we don't have a divine right to win any game".
Elsewhere the Arabs are back to normal with a 1-0 home defeat to Killie.
Ref for the Dundee game has been confirmed as Hugh Dallas - let's hope the games not on the telly then.
27th- Team news for tomorrow's visit of Aberdeen sees
Cap'n Jim and
Le Mo(right) both set to play despite
picking up minor knocks at the weeknd. Not so good news for
Cartman though with his back problem set
to keep him out once more.
Today's Courier hopefully lays to rest any reports that Hearts want St. Sandy for the managers job at Tynecastle. He was apparently "sounded out" but "Sandy has made it clear to the Hearts directors he is happy to remain at McDiarmid Park".
Finally, let's hear it for the Retard who are having a whinge about the post-match press conference on Saturday (alongside the usual "tiny away support" crap). Apparently Saints breached SPL guidelines by not providing a manager and player to speak to the media after the game with only St. Sandy attending. In addition they didn't talk too much about Kiegan. Strange then how both the Sun and Metro managed an interview post-match with Paul Kane then isn't it? Still I suppose a night of pre-OF bigotry Buckfast-quenching in Wegieland is more important than waiting for the press conference.
November 26th- Good news on the
managerial front with chief executive Stewart
Duff apparently stating that St. Sandy
will "categorically not becoming the next Hearts manager".
Today's SPL saw Darkness beat Evil 5-1 in the bigot match. And the ref for Tuesday night has been confirmed as Dougie McDonald.
25th-Jim Weir is looking for
consistency from the team now. "Our win against Dundee United has
got us back on the rails after two defeats and it has kept us in touch
with the top six. Kilmarnock have probably been the better side against us
twice this season but there's always only one goal in it either way when
we play and hopefully it will be in our favour.". One player
looking to make the side to day is Paul
Hartley(right). He said "The manager has changed his system
and after playing me as a wing-back in recent reserve games I get the
impression he's trying to tell me something. I've done quite well and
scored a few goals. It's a different role for me because I'm used to
bombing forward as much as possible. Now, I'm having to think more about
defensive duties. But I know I can adapt and I'm confident in my own
ability. I'm desperate to start a game again. It's been disappointing to
sit on the bench in recent weeks. It was a bit like that at Easter Road
and I left because I wanted to be playing on a Saturday. But I haven't
been hammering on the manager's door. Instead, I'm prepared to be patient.
I've just had to work hard in training and make sure I'll be ready if and
when my chance comes along."
Meanwhile there's no mention of St. Sandy in connection with the Tynecastle job in the papers today.
7.00pm -A Kiegan Parker double saw Saints win 2-0 at Rugby Park. The first came from the spot as John Rowbotham made a decent decision for a change whilst the 2nd was sheer class. And you can see the highlights on BBC1 tonight. Post-match St. Sandy (who is still being mentioned in connection with Tynecastle despite denials in some papers) said "I thought we fully deserved the points. I told the lads at half-time to show a bit more conviction and belief and the 2nd half goals proved that.". The result puts Saints up to 6th. Elsewhere in the SPL the Sheep and Well drew 3-3, whilst it was 1-1 at Love St between St Midden and HIVBees. Jambos beat Scumdee 3-1 and the shock of the day was an arab 3-2 win over the Pars.
24th- Team news for tomorrow is that Cartman
will miss out with his back injury. Paul
Kane is aiming for a top 6 place now relegation looks unlikely. "It's
time to stop looking over the shoulder. We should be using the games
coming up to stake a real claim for the top six. We have to take points
off teams in our area of the league, getting wins that really count for
places. Killie have done well to get into third spot and they've done it
by steering clear of the draws which hurt them last season. Their form has
On the trialist front Michael O'Neill has signed up until Jan 2nd when a proper contract might be offered. Tommi Kautonen and the mystery French midfielder have returned home but Sandy Clarksaid "They both did very well and we know where we stand with them so there could be business done in the future."
The main news though is that Sandy Clark is rumoured to have been interviewed by the Jambos for the vacant managerial position. Whilst nothing has been confirmed yet it appears the Saints boss is on the short list along with Eric Black and Stuart Baxter. Pieman has said that a decision might not be known by tomorrow which confirms that the candidates include managers at other clubs. It would be nice to see a statement from Saints or the manager regarding this - as it stands there could be a lot of bad feeling towards the management team if he's seen to be jumping ship to return to Tynecastle. I'd hope that if he was considering leaving he'd have the decency to resign before even being interviewed. It calls into question the loyalty of the manager to the club and his players and more importantly the role of the chairman in this. Remember what happened the last time we lost a manager - it took a lot of hard work to win the fans back.
7.15pm Finally some official comment in the E-Tele with managing director Stewart Duff saying "Weve had no approach from Hearts and, as far as were concerned, Sandy Clark is manager of St Johnstone FC. But its really up to Hearts to comment on such matters.". Meanwhile BBC Scotland have reported that Eric Black has pulled out making Sandy Clark more likely to move. The reaction of the team tomorrow might say a lot.
23rd- Little happening on the park with the only news being that
St. Sandy plans to use
Marc McCulloch in place of Bollan
during his suspension.
Meanwhile Geoff Brown(right) has warned of possible cuts in the squad size over the summer to reduce costs. He commented, "With the French system, a club has 19 full-time players with as many Under-21s as they want on top of that and I believe this to be adequate for a club such as mine. But to get a change to implement this into the SPL rules needs 11 supporters, and there's no way we'd get that. Rangers and Celtic would be likely to disagree as their European commitments require them to have larger squads of experienced players. Due to the high wages being paid out, clubs such as St Johnstone just can't afford to carry large staffs. A lot of clubs are trading at a deficit, and that must be put right."
November 22nd- Saints look set to offer Tommi Kautonen a contract - with Gary Bollan due to start a suspension soon St. Sandy believes we need cover in defence. "Gary Bollan can play for the next two games, Kilmarnock away on Saturday and Aberdeen at home next Tuesday, then is suspended for three matches, so we'll have a wee look at what we can do about Tommi. He did well again last night. We also have a French midfield man on trial and will have to decide within the next few days what's going to happen with him."
21st- Saints U-21s drew 1-1 with their Arab counterparts last night
with the Saints goal coming from Sean Evers.
Whilst Tommi Kautonen got another
run out the good news was the return to action of
Michael O'Neill and theThe
Ginger Bomber(right) for 45 minutes each. The latter said "This
game has come earlier than expected. I'm a bit ahead of schedule. It's
definitely a landmark for me, a real bonus. I've only been kicking a ball
for a few weeks now and last week was the first time I'd joined in
training with the first team squad. The lads have been taking it easy with
me but I put myself in positions knowing I would take a knock. The surgeon
says everything has healed nicely and the screws in my back won't pose a
problem for playing football, where there's always a bit of rough and
tumble. I'm not expecting miracles in the way of a rapid return to the top
team after being out for so long. But it would be great if I could get
myself on the fringes before the winter shutdown."
Elsewhere on the injury front, Graeme Jones' knee injury will be checked over by a specialist at the end of the week and we'll know then whether or not an operation is required.
Finally the ref has been announced for Rugby Park - it's our old friend John Rowbotham so expect a sending-off.
November 18th - A
Kiegan Parker goal towards the end of
the game got Saints a well-deserved 3 points in a
1-0 win over the Arabs. Elsewhere in
the SPL TFOE gubbed the Jambos 6-1, Scumdee won 5-0 at home to St. Midden,
the Pars and TFOD fought out a goalless draw, HIVBees lost 2-0 at home to
the Sheep and Well lost 2-1 at home to Killie.
Post-match, "We knew it was going to be a hard game because United were struggling at the bottom and they showed great spirit but it was a brilliant result for us and thanks to Parker we got there in the end. It was a late goal but the game last 90 minutes. We pushed Sylla forward, we brought Paddy Connolly on and we had Parker up front."When you have these type of players on the park you are always going to get a chance. In fact, after we scored, we had a few chances to score more."
17th -Jim Weir(right)has been
passed fit for tomorrow after making a quick recovery from his exploratory
knee op.Alan Kernaghan, though is a "big
doubt" according to St. Sandy
thanks to his back injury. "That pretty much sums up our season
so far really - as soon as one of our key players returns to fitness we
lose another. It would be frustrating were it not for the fact we are so
used to it." Nick Dasovic may
also miss out - the midfielder only got back from international duty in
the early hours of Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, Craig Russell is pressing for a regular starting place. "I missed a few weeks with a knee problem but I'm fine now. It was a great boost getting off the mark last week. It's just a pity the goal didn't count for much because we were 4-0 down. It was a shock being involved against Celtic. I hadn't expected a place on the bench. But it was a great experience and with another U21 game under my belt this week my fitness has improved. I've had my injury problems here but I know I'm fortunate when I look at guys like George O'Boyle and Nathan Lowndes. I'm prepared to be patient for my chance because Paddy Connolly and Keigan Parker have been doing well. I know we have to score more goals, especially in front of our own fans, but we have to work as a team to give the strikers more to work with. We're well aware United's record is dreadful away from home and it's not much better at Tannadice. But they have some decent players and they've been strengthening the squad. We have to be tough and resilient this weekend and it would be great to get the first goal. That would bring United out and the fans might see us at our best.No one here wants to see United improve on their away record at McDiarmid Park. "
Strange mention in theP.A. Sport today - ex-Saintee Miguel Simao is set to leave Hiroshima next month and is looking to return to a club in Scotland. Not sure why it's mentioned under Saints news though.
Remember that issue 4 of the Saints fanzine from Blue Heaven goes on sale tomorrow at the ground.
Finally the home match against Aberdeen has been brought forward to Tuesday Nov 28th with a 7.45pm kick-off.
November 16th - The good news first of all is that The Ginger Bomber is back in training although his build-up to a possible Xmas return will be a cautious one. Elsewhere the trialist quota is down to two with the club making no further moves towards signing Mark Watson.
15th - Gary Bollan(right) and
MoMo have made up after Sunday's fracas
with the ex-Arab saying "Things like that happen on the park from
time to time and you just put it behind you. I think it was a
misunderstanding because MoMo doesn't speak much English. It was one wee
misunderstanding and everything is hunky-dory now. It's also a sign that
we're fighting for each other - and I would say it's a good sign".
Time will tell there no doubt.
Elsewhere and St. Sandy won't be rushed into any decisions about this week's trialists. "We are looking carefully at two trialists. We have them all week so we'll be keeping a close eye on them, however they're certainly doing okay at the moment." Finally latest on Cartman is that he's "still struggling". to make the Arabs match
14th - Cartman could be missing on
Saturday - he's suffering from a persistent back injury picked up in a car
accident a few weeks ago and his back seized up on Sunday.
St. Sandy isn't too bothered though with
both Stuart McCluskey and
Jim Weir available. The manager also took
time out to praise Craig Russell who's
goal marked his return from injury. He said, "A fit Craig is a
boost to us because he will get goals and it is up to him to keep his
fitness and place in the team."
Last night's U-21 match against Sellik saw a 2-0 defeat for Saints who fielded a Finnish trialist in defence - believed to be Vaasa star Tommi Kautonen(right).. Also playing were Tommy Løvenkrands, JR and Stephen Frail Also on trial this week is an unnamed French midfielder (who is currently under contract to his club so unable to play in the U21 match). whilst Mark Watson is off to Mexico on international duty with Nick Dasovic.
Saints youths have been drawn at home against either Hearts or Airdrie in the 4th round of the Youth Cup.
November 13th - Ref for the
Arabs game on Saturday will be Garry
Mitchell - one we've not had yet this season.
Elsewhere there's not much in the papers as expected although there's a fair bit of criticism of MoMo's attitude yesterday post-punchup with Gary Bollan. Personally I reckon both players were to blame but there is a share of responsibility which should be aimed at Alan Main- as captain he should have dealt with the problem instead of leaving it to Larsson, Cartman and the ref.
12th - Alan Main is looking for a
win today. The Saints keeper said "I'm sure the priority for
Celtic this season would have been to win the league and they're doing
well on that front. They beat us last month and although we felt it was an
injustice they are organised and give everything. We must match that to
have a chance. We have have had so many important players out injured such
as Alan Kernaghan, Darren Dods and Jim Weir. But no matter who plays
against Celts we can't afford silly mistakes. We'll have a go and who
knows what might happen. Hopefully,we can win a place in the top six. I
don't think too many of us would complain if we achieved that target."
7.00pm - Despite an improved performance over last week, Saints were still gubbed 4-1 by Sellik with sub Craig Russell scoring the consolation goal. Not a bad performance overall with some poor defending at the goals and a nightmare in midfield costing us the game. Post-match St. Sandy(right) said "We've played worse and won games but we gave the ball away too often and that cost us the game". Speaking of the flare-up between Gary Bollan and MoMo the manager said "I think arguments are healthy. Every good team has them". Hmm well.
Elsewhere tonight the Sheep lost 2-1 at home to TFOD with the usual accusations of referee bias doing the rounds.
November 11th - Saturday's SPL scores have seen us slip to 8th thanks to the wins for Well and the Gorgie Gits. Full scores were : Arabs 0 Scumdee 2, St Midden 1 Gorgie Gits 2, HIVBees 1 Killie 1 and Pars 1 Well 2.
10th -Congratulations to the Sun for ensuring that the
build up to a match against one of the OF keeps the media tradition going
of stirring up a crisis in the opposition. Today it's a piece of total
speculation that St. Sandy is heading to
Tynie to replace Mumblin' Jim. I don't suppose it's too much to ask for
Saints to come out and deny this?
Elsewhere the trialist has been named as 30-yr old Canadian Mark Watson.
Also today, Saints have announced some of the testimonial acitivities for Il Biscotti (right). A dinner at the Station Hotel on Feb 3rd, a sponsored golf match and a testimonial in the NewYear will go towards raising funds for the player - and paying towards the £15,000 needed for his nine-day stay in hospital whilst he undergoes hip resurfacing surgery. "St Johnstone could have washed their hands of me but the club have been very supportive since I was forced to quit and I'm grateful for their help." said the player, just turned 31, "The supporters have also been good to me. The surgeon won't get me playing football again. That part of my life is over and I've come to accept it. But my hip has deteriorated quite rapidly and he says this will improve my quality of life. I haven't rushed into this but I've decided it's for the best."
Looking ahead to Sunday and Nick Dasovic is out to make it up to the fans. "The Dunfermline result and performance was a big let down after displays in the previous three games, including the game against Celtic at Perth. It ruined my week and it must have been hard for our supporters as well. We had a talk about it on Monday and maybe we didn't work hard enough as a team. But Sandy Clark is a positive guy and we're still in the top six, which is what really matters. We've done well in the last four years but maybe there are still people out there who don't think we deserve our success. They're gunning for us and we have to maintain the standards we've set for ourselves. Year after year we have to prove them wrong. Our players' pride was hurt last weekend and now we have a tough task on our hands, probably the toughest of the season. But the gaffer is never scared going to Glasgow to face the Old Firm and he'll have us up for it. We put in a good show against Rangers at Ibrox and something similar will be needed on Sunday."
Finally on the injury front, Stephen Robertson will need another op on his knee after seeing a specialist this week.
8th -Alan Main(right) has been
given his usual call-up to the Scotland squad for the Australia match -
not that he'll get a game though.
Meanwhile Craig Russell has been added to the squad for Sunday. He's suffered no adverse reaction to his run out on Monday night. Also from Monday, the trialist defender has been revealed to be an unnamed Canadian. St. Sandy said "He's been with us for the last couple of days and he'll be staying on until the end of the week so we can see more of what he can do."
Finally commiserations to the Gorgie Gits who saw Mumblin' Jim leave tonight.
7th - Craig Russell(right)
started his comeback from his knee injury by playing and scoring in last
night's 2-0 U-21 win over Dunfermline.
Not so good news for some others on the injury front with Stuart Malcolm set to be out of action for "months" due to a hernia problem which requires surgery. Also being operated on is Jim Weir who will have a minor knee op with the aim of "tidying up some niggling problems". The club took advantage of the player's suspension to get this sorted out and he's expected to be back in the side for the visit of the Arabs on November 18th.
Meanwhile Michael O'Neill, whose short-term deal expires at the end of next week will be given the change to earn himself a deal. "The manager will be speaking to Michael, but hopefully we can come to an agreement which ensures that once he has regained his fitness we will have a further period in which we can assess him." said Stewart Duff
Finally congraulations to the U-18s who did what the first team couldn't and scored at home on Sunday with a 3-0 win over Huntly in the SFA Youth Cup.
November 6th - Not much in the
papers today with the attention on the Pars. However I am majorly pissed
off with the shite written by Ewing Grahame in the Retard.
One of his quotes on the first half refers to concerns
Alan Kernaghan as a "big blouse"
because he wore gloves. Never mind the fact that a basic piece of research
would have revealed that the player suffers from diabetes and wearing
gloves (which he does most games) helps his circulation. Still probably be
a bit much to expect an apology eh?
Elsewhere the ref for Sunday has been announced as Kevin Toner.
November 4th - A poor gutless
Saints performance saw us lose 2-0 to the
Pars with the players that took a lot of credit for the last
fortnight today failing abysmally to show any form whatsoever. Booed off
the park again and all the good work of the last week seems to have been
"We just didn't play today and it disappointed me that we didn't really compete until they scored," said St. Sandy after the game. "It's all the more frustrating that we only had to make one change today with Jim Weir absent but I thought Stuart McCluskey was our best player. It's the nature of the SPL at the moment that this lead shows you every team is capable of beating each other and we simply can't afford to lose any more game like today."
For the masochists out there, the game is on BBC Sportscene tonight. And if you're really sad tickets are on sale for the trip to Parkhead next Sunday priced £19.
3rd- No real team news yet for tomorrow so we don't know whether or
not to expect 3-5-2 or 4-4-2. There were the usual quoted from
St. Sandy, saying "Our recent
performances and results have been very good, and that now puts pressure
on us and people expect us just to turn up and win. But Dunfermline will
be determined to do well after their CIS Insurance Cup defeat at St Mirren
in midweek. We are on a high, and it is a home game, so we are hoping to
win. But Dunfermline have had a good start on their return to the Premier
League and they have proved they are very hard to win against. There are
no easy games any more in the league, but if we show the same commitment
and play the way we have been playing I expect us to rise to the challenge
and pick up the points."
Saints players will be warming up in "Save the PRI" T-Shirts though as the club gets behind the town for once.
Elsewhere the good news is that Kiegan Parker(rigjt) has signed a new extension to keep him at Saints until 2004. The player has been inundated with offers from agents but decided to take Paul Kane's advice instead when signing the deal. Geoff Brown said, "Keigan, at 18, is still a very young lad with a lot to learn about professional football but if he carries on progressing the way he has been doing then I think all he will be able to achieve all his ambitions. As everyone knows this club have managed to produce a lot of really good players over the years, Keigan is at least as promising as any I have seen here. You could tell with the likes of Callum that he was going to go on to big things and watching Parker you get exactly the same feeling. In fact there is more excitement about him than there was with any of the rest. This is because he is a guy who does exactly what everyone wants to see on a football pitch - stick the ball in the back of the net. People still remember how Ally McCoist's career began with this club and if Keigan carries on making the right progress over the years, if he carries on doing his job by sticking the goals away, then I am sure he will become a big name player too. His performances against Celtic and Rangers only underlined to us what a talent he is and when the time comes for him to go higher in the game, as I believe it will some day, we will not stand in his way. Physically, he is still quite slight but then so was Michael Owen when he broke through and that didn't stop him scoring goals against some of the biggest clubs in the country."
The player himself said, "I'm delighted to get this contract for it is a great boost to my confidence and it means I can carry on learning my trade secure in the knowledge that my future has been taken care of. I am happy to do that here and leave any thoughts of me one day moving to a bigger club to others."
Top Of News
31st - Latest team news is that Stuart
Malcolm is out of the Pars game with a groin strain.
Stuart McCluskey(right) could come
into the side in place of the suspended Cap'n
Jim if the manager decides to stick to the 3-5-2 formation.
Elsewhere, Michael O'Neill is due to
start training next week.
The U-21s drew 2-2 with Hearts last night with JR scoring both goals.
On the much-debated crowds front everyone that attends the Dunfermline game will receive a gamecard. Turn up at the next 4 home matches and get your gamecard stamped and then you can enter a draw for a new Vauxhall Corsa. The idea to boost the crowds is costing the club £10,000 but Geoff Brown says "It's also a way of rewarding our regular attenders and our season ticket holders (they can also enter the draw) and obviously we're hoping that it will help to add to our support. It's quite an innovative promotion and the fact that the team is doing well just now will also help bring our support up. We've tried all sorts of things to boost our crowds, including cutting prices, but the beauty of this scheme is that our season ticket holders benefit as well."
October 30th - Little in the
papers with the crisis at the Jambos dominating most of the match reports.
Cap'n Jim has been waxing lyrical on the
Parker Pen saying that Saints "won't
be able to hold on to him. We're a selling club and will get a lot of
money for Kiegan. He's one of the best young players I've seen. He has
plenty of pace and skill and any weaknesses he does have are being worked
on by the manager".
The referee for the Dunfermline game will be Kenny Clark
28th - Gary Bollan says that
Saints need to be in the top half of the league at the winter break. "The
most important aim of our season is getting into that top six to ensure we
make the mid-season cut. So we've got to stay there or thereabouts up
until the winter break and obviously the further up the table we can get,
the better. A win against Hearts would get us into the top six just now so
obviously thats what we're looking to do. Coming off the heavy defeat at
Motherwell it was important that we put a couple of good performances
together. We did that against Celtic and Rangers and getting the three
points on Sunday was vital. We're now looking to build on the Rangers
result but obviously Hearts will be looking to bounce back from their bad
derby result at Hibs. It's got the makings of a good match.".
Still no word about the injuries but if they get the all-clear expect an
unchanged line-up and the 3-5-2 formation again.
7.00pm - We wanted consistency and by God we got it today. A great 3-0 win was enough to put Saints up to 5th and keep the smiles on our faces. A penalty from Kiegan Parker and a couple of crackers from Paddy the Punisher (right) were enough to see of the whingers from Gorgie. Post-match, Billy "K" praised the lads saying "The team fought well and I think we've turned the corner after a poor start to the season. The defence is looking solid and even the keeper is playing his part. ".
Highlights of the game are on BBC Sportscene tonight.
27th - Saints have injury doubts over 2 mystery players who will
face late fitness tests ahead of tomorrow's trip to Gorgie Gitland. The
good news though that both Stephen Frail
and Stuart McCluskey are available for
selection after coming through Monday night's U-21 game without any
Also on the injury front, Marc McCulloch resumed training this week and Craig Russell will be back on Monday. Not so good news for Graeme Jones - a visit to a London specialist has confirmed the striker will be out for another 4-5 weeks.
October 25th -
Cap'n Jim is looking forward to finally
breaking a jinx at the weekend and playing in a winning side against his
previous employers the Gorgie Gits. "After all these years I
haven't been in a winning Saints team against Hearts and I'd love to see
that change on Saturday".
Not much other news as the tabloids continue to milk the TFOD crisis headlines.
24th - Good news first of all for Cap'n
Jim who is eligible to play in this weekend's SPL match. His
suspension will then kick in ruling him out of the home game against the
Pars and the trip to TFOE-land on Nov 12th.
Meanwhile the U-21s drew 1-1 with Rangers last night with Stephen Frail, Stuart McCluskey and Emmanuel Panther all managing 90 minutes. Saints goal came from JR.
Speaking of the injuries, St. Sandy said, "They're getting there. The problem they've now got is that they've lost their match fitness after being out for so long. It would certainly help to get them back to fitness soon and have them available. Hopefully we're on the right road now to getting a few players back. We've only really had one bad game this season, against Motherwell, and the reaction the players gave to that and the commitment they put in against both Rangers and Celtic was excellent. With a bit of luck we could actually have got more than just three points from the two games because we didn't get the breaks against Celtic that we maybe did against Rangers. It just goes to show how thin the line is between winning and losing in the Premier League."
Sean Evers(right) is feeling optimistic about his form as well. "There should be more to come as my match fitness builds. The great thing is that I've settled in here right away and that's down to the lads in the dressing room, Sandy Clark and Billy Kirkwood. That's helped me enormously.". St. Sandy said, "Sean has added a bit of freshness and he has the running power which suits the system we've been using. I did worry about his fitness because he hadn't played much football recently but he's got energy to burn. First team football has also given him a lift.".
23rd - The gloating continues big style today with Saintees
everywhere indulging in a bit of major slagging of TFOD scum.
St. Sandy said "I'm delighted
with my players. Against Celtic we were a bit more like ourselves and
today we continued with that and deserved to win the match. They deserve a
lot of credit because they came back from the blow of Rangers' equaliser,
weathered the storm really well and went on to win." It was
revealed in the papers today that McCann's fury post-match was apparently
aimed at Craporuso instead of any Saints player. Just makes you smile all
On the injury front Stephen Frail is set to play in the U-21s tonight. Not so good news for Graeme Jones though with the striker set to see a London specialist about his knee injury.
Jim Weir(right) is suspended for Saturday's trip to Tynecastle. G Clyde has been appointed referee of the clash.
22nd - The morning before an OF game wouldn't be completed without
some anti-Saints story in the papers. Today it's
Gary Bollan(right) who says he's leaving
at the end of his current contract in the summer if he doesn't get an
improved offer (God where have we heard all this before?). "If we
reached a point where things worked out, I'd be happy enough to stay, but
I'll be 28 when my contract's up so it's a big time for me. I've got to
make sure things are right, because I'm at a stage where I'm looking for a
bit of stability".
6.30pm - A wonderful 2-1 gubbing of TFOD this afternoon saw Saints move up to 7th with a penalty from Kiegan Parker and a 2nd half MoMo Missile enough to see off the bigots and their excuses. Post-match a rather overjoyed St. Sandy praised the lads for "showing plenty of character and fight". Goalscorer Kiegan Parker said "Hopefully this will kick-start our season and we can get back to the form of a couple of years ago". Tonight's other game saw next weeks opponents Hearts shafted 6-2 by Hibs.
Finally a warning for anyone planning a trip to Tynecastle next weekend - I got my tickets today and it looks like the away fans are being punted into the old stand. Dont'cha just love 21st century football stadiums ?
October 21st - Latest from the treatment room is that MoMo's hamstring is getting better and the player is able to jog without any reaction. If he's passed fit expect a 3-5-2 formation otherwise Saints will go to the traditional 4-4-2.
20th - Nothing but injury news it seems.
St. Sandy has revealed that
MoMo has a hamstring strain and is "rated
only 50-50 to make the game on Sunday, but we'll give him every chance to
prove his fitness". Ross Forsyth
will come into the squad as cover although it looks like the 3-5-2
formation from last Tuesday will be used again.
It's worse news for long-term injury victim George O'Boyle though. A hernia problem has put his comeback on hold until the start of 2001. He's recovered from his cruciate injury which has kept him out of the team for two years but now needs a hernia op. St. Sandy said "This is a real nightmare for George and everyone at the club feels for him. I know how much work he has put into his rehab from the cruciate op but the setback is a real sickener. The surgeon says he'll be out for another two months."
Elsewhere Saints had a mystery French-Algerian midfielder playing in a closed-doors game yesterday.
Off the park the club have tickets available for next weeks visit to Tynecastle with £1 off the marked price if you buy them on Sunday - at least it's less money for the Pieman. Also the club have announced that the SFA Youth Cup tie against Huntly will be played on Sunday November 5th at McD with a 2pm kick-off.
October 19th - Cartman has been praisingStuart Malcolm's debut performance and reckons the player will bounce back from his undeserved red card. "Stuart was very upset but you can't afford to retaliate. Considering what went on beforehand, when Petrov lifted his hands to Bollan, he came off worst which is the most annoying thing. It was a big night for Stuart and he handled himself very well until that incident and showed that he has a bright future at the club."
October 18th- St. Sandy looks set to have to appear before the mandarins of Park Gardens next week after his "official" criticism of the referee last night at the post-match press conference. "This is a matter which will be dealt with by the General Purposes Committee," said an SFA spokesman. "Press comments are reviewed by that committee and, if the committee view that some comments are potentially in breach of the SFA's articles, the matter will be taken further."
17th- Don't expect too much in the way of changes to the line-up
for tonight's visit of The Forces of Evil. At the last count
St. Sandy only had 17 first-team
players to pick from - one up on the weekend count thanks to the return
from suspension of Jim Weir. New boy
Sean Evers looks set to make a home
debut as well. Hopefully we'll go for at least a 4-4-2 attacking
formation, but don't count on it.
A 2-0 defeat but at least the spirit and fight was back in the side as yet again we lose out to some farcical refereeing in an OF match. With substitute Stuart Malcolm(right) sent off towards the end for being the one spotted in a handbags-at-dawn tangle with Mjallby the Cheat, 8 (count 'em) bookings and a dodgy penalty for TFOE it was no wonder St. Sandy was rather miffed in his post-match comments. "Our commitment was great and I thought the ordering off was unfair. Stuart just lost out to the more experienced Mjallby who made sure he got his kick in first. Petrov had a similar tangle with Bollan in the first half but was only booked. It's disappointing but these are the sort of incidents that turn games".
Kernaghan has admitted that we need to improve for tomorrow night.
"We've certainly got a lot of work to do. I think this is
probably the first sticky patch we've had in all the time I've been
here-31/2 seasons. We lost 3-0 to Hibs in our last match, so we've been
gubbed two games in a row and that doesn't bode well if you're a defender.
We need to get it right sooner rather than later. All areas of the team
need work and we just have to get it done. We certainly don't have to pick
ourselves up for Celtic and Rangers but it's a really big challenge."
Meanwhile St. Sandy hasn't been holding back either "It was a terrible result. To lose four goals in the way we did was horrific. In the couple of years I've been at Perth the base we've built from has been quite good-a solid defensive unit that's been hard to beat. Today, everything we work on went against us. I'm actually quite glad we've got a game on Tuesday night (against Celtic) so we can sort things out."
October 15th - Well apart from the bout of depression one mystery has been cleared up from yesterday. Apparently, Graeme Jones is out for 4 weeks with a ligament injury. It doesn't get any better does it.
14th - Sean Evers has already
said he wants to extend his deal and make his stay at McD permanent. "Im
an attacking midfielder who likes to get beyond the front two and score
some goals. My best in a season is ten and the way I play, if I get 30 or
35 games a season Id expect to score 10 goals. I've been a little
bit frozen out at Reading to be honest. It was Tommy Burns who signed me,
and since he left, the new manager has brought in his own personnel. I
think Sandy spoke to Tommy because he was looking for an attacking
midfield player and Tommy mentioned my name. I havent played first
team football for about eight weeks but if I get the chance tomorrow Ill
be raring to go. Whether I last the 90 minutes or not is another matter,
but I'm going to give it my best shot and hopefully I can earn myself a
permanent contract here. I've only been here since Monday and I feel at
home already. In the space of less than a week here I like it so much that
Id definitely be prepared to stay. Obviously Sandy hasn't seen
enough of me yet to make a decision so hopefully I can prove myself. At
the moment my careers on hold and I think Ive a good chance of
kick-starting it here."
6.30pmA4-0 gubbing by Motherwell and Saints are now a club looking more and more lost. A total lack of tactics, leadership and professionalism both on and off the park means that we're going into a double-header against the OF this week with St. Sandy's job now well and truly on the line. If anyone wants to draw a comparison with today's game it was reminiscient of McLelland's last game in charge against Partick. And we know what happened after that. The manager said that the result "horrified and disappointed me. All four goals we lost were due to basic defensive errors and it won't do."
Meanwhile a club in as bad straits as us, Dundee Utd tonight saw chairman and chief exec Jim McLean resign after allegedly assaulting BBC Reporter John Barnes. Christ even that's a resignation offence now.
13th - Saints won't be taking their interest in the Scandanavian
defender who played in a trial match this week any further. Meanwhile
though, Sean Evers has signed for
Saints in a 3-month loan deal and is in the squad for tomorrow's match
with Motherwell. Jim Weir is suspended for
the trip to Fir Park. There are no injuries from the players on
international duty and St. Sandy wants
to get points on the board before the OF visit Perth twice next week. "It
was disappointing the way the Hibs game worked out and Motherwell were in
a similar situation against Hearts when they had a man sent off and had to
play most of the game with 10 men. We are certainly capable of taking
something from this game but, as with any SPL match, we'll have to work
hard and produce some decent football to do it."
As for Stephen Frail(right), St. Sandy said "Steve is back training with us now and we are hoping that he might make the under- 21 match a week on Monday."
October 12th- Latest moves see
St. Sandy hopeful of signing
Sean Evers on loan until the end of the
season. The 23-yr old played in a bounce game on Tuesday and the manager
said "He has come here highly recommended and hopefully something
can be sorted out".. The club are hopeful of having the player in
place prior to Saturday's trip to Fir Park.
No word on the other trialist who has been revealed to be a Scandanavian defender.
More good news on the injury front as well with Stephen Frail set to resume full training soon.
Finally, MoMo has returned from playing 90 minutes in Guineas 1-0 win over Senegal in the African Nations Cup. With the temperature on the pitch pushing 40 degrees, the player said, "I'm glad to be back to this nice, fresh, Scottish weather because it was really hot over there. None of our team were really used to the heat because we all play our football in Europe, mostly in France. It was pleasing to get the win because the match against Senegal was much like a Scotland v England match for us. The crowd are always noisy and it was a proud moment for me because this was the first time my father came to see me play; before he has only ever seen me play on TV."
October 11th- St. Sandy has spoken out about the return of Paddy Thingy from his loan period. "We're more than happy to have Paddy back because there's no question he's a quality player. He did very well at Ayr and scored a very good goal against Raith. I think the move benefited both clubs. But St Johnstone paid a lot of money for him and I feel he's still got a big part to play here in the future. He'll be in the squad for Saturday's game at Motherwell." .
10th- Newspaper reports say that Saints have taken Reading
midfielder Sean Evers(right) on loan /
trial. The player cost £500,000 in his move from Luton to Reading but
is out of favour at the English club. He's a 23-yr old attacking
midfielder signed by Tommy Burns in March 99. According to the official
Reading site (http://www.readingfc.co.uk)
he describes him strengths and weaknesses as "The best parts of
my game are joining in with the front players, creating things from
midfield and hopefully joining in the attacks to score some goals. And my
weaknesses are definitely defending and heading!"
St. Sandy has arranged a bounce game for today featuring 2 trialists, one of whom a Continental and the other is believed to be Sean Evers.
Meanwhile, Paddy Connolly has been included in the squad for Saturday's trip to Fir Park.
October 9th- Little news to
report - Kiegan Parker scored a penalty
in the Scotland Youth team's 2-2 draw with Yugoslavia at the weekend.
Paddy Connolly's loan period is up at Ayr and after the player scored what was apparently one of the goals of the season at the weekend the West Coast club are keen to sign him although Saints injury problems up front and the rumoured £250,000 fee may stop any move in the near future.
6th- Kevin Thomas' (right) knee
injury means that the player is set to face another cruciate operation and
is out for the rest of the season. "It's a real sickener but I'm
trying to be positive. This has really hacked me off but I'm not a
negative person by nature. There's not much point in wallowing in
self-pity. That would just depress me even more. I'm aware people will say
this is a career threatening injury but having come back from a similar
operation five years ago I'm confident I'll do the same again. I know
what's in store and now my job is to concentrate on getting fit again.
It's all happened pretty quickly and maybe it hasn't sunk in yet. But I
had a good luck call from Allan Preston, who had to give up the game
earlier this year, and that put things in perspective. I'm only 25 and
it's not going to end here. I was a quick healer last time and back
playing first team football within eight months. It might take a wee bit
longer because I'm older. But I will be back."
"I had a cartilage operation in February and when I started getting niggling pain from the knee I thought that might need tidied up. But a scan revealed the true extent of the damage. There was no cruciate ligament there! The surgeon reckons I'd built up so much muscle around the knee during my previous rehab that I'd been able to play on without it and not experience too much pain. It seems I had been getting away with it for months. But recently it had been getting a bit sore after training and I thought the cartilage might need cleaned up. We had it checked out and it transpired that I needed the full works."
Meanwhile St. Sandy has denied moves for Burton O'Brien and it's believed he was watching a Middlesboro player instead.
Today's P.A. also carries some of the "Ask the Chairman" answers from Saints fans. Surprisingly there's little in the way of new replies from Geoff Brown
5th- St. Sandy is heading south
at the weekend to scout out players in the Nationwide League. Whilst he
won't even admit to the positions needing strengthening the manager said
"I'll be taking advantage of the week off by having a look at a
few people. We'll be seeing if we can find someone a bit different and a
bit better than what we've got to bolster our pool." ......If
he's looking for a midfielder that won't be difficult..
Meanwhile the Sun reports that both St. Sandy and Billy Kirkwood have watched ex-St. Mirren midfielder Burton O'Brien(right) in action for Blackburn reserves where the player is currently out of favour following his big-money move last season. Reports seem to hint that the club are trying to get the player up for a trial.
October 4th- The trialist from
Monday night has been revealed to be a Frenchman (until we know better
he's Monsieur X). He's gone
back to France due to the lack of forthcoming matches that the club can
look at him further in but St. Sandy is
willing to talk to his agent to see if he can come back at a later date.
Meanwhile it's more fixture moves with the Parkhead match set for Sat Nov 11th put back to the Sunday thanks to the OF's involvement in Europe (yeah I know it's a strange concept for November).
3rd- Ross ForsythSome good news
and Jim Weir will only be suspended for
one game. The 5 disciplinary points he picked up for his red card on
Satuday mean he's still 3 points short of an extended suspension.
Injury-wise he's ok as well playing in last night's U-21match with Hibs
alongside Paul Hartley and
John Paul McBride.
Also in the side was an unnamed trialist. The right back from the continent is over for a trial period and St. Sandy will decide today as to whether or not this is extended. The final score was 0-0 although as usual Saints were down to 10 men following Ross Forsyth's sending off for a 2nd bookable offence.
2nd- Nick Dasovichas admitted
that Saints were outclassed on Saturday (understatement of the year there
then). "We've got to regroup in the two-week break we've got now,
work on a few things on the training ground and learn from how well Hibs
passed the ball against us. Obviously, it was always going to be very
difficult for us after losing a man that early and a goal at the same
time. They would have been very hard to play against if we had a full
team. But they used their extra man very well, and even if wed had
the extra man I don't know if we could have utilised the ball as well as
they did. We just couldnt get near the ball for most of the match
and there always seemed to be three or four Hibs players around you. When
we were playing with 11 men they actually had an extra man on us in
midfield, and then when they had two extra men it really did feel like a
lost cause. By the end I was legless, absolutely knackered. We were
running around like chickens with their heads cut off" - couldn't
have put it better myself.
October 1st- Well after last
night's totally unbiased media coverage of the game it's good to see the
papers have followed up with their usual quota of Media
Falsehoods. Today's SPL scores have seen Saints drop to 8th thanks
to Aberdeen's 1-1 draw with Sellik and the Jambos 3-0 home win over
Motherwell. Meanwhile TFOE beat the Arabs 3-0.
In a vague attempt at generating some good news about Saints this weekend, stories have been circulating from Rangers fans that made the trip to Monaco a couple of weeks ago. Apparently, along with their tickets they were issued leaflets on the city. The leaflets said the police were allowing Rangers fans> into the city during the day of the game due to the good behaviour of Saints supporters last year. Now I know it'll be a bit much for the negative media angles on Saints just now to be altered by someone publishing this but it's nice to see some people still appreciate Saints supporters.
Top Of News
30th- First up and it's congratulations to
Alan Main who has been recalled to the
Scotland squad at last. "It is fantastic news-a real boost. I had
been forcing myself not to think about it, just to concentrate on doing as
well as I could for St Johnstone, as it is one of these situations which
was entirely out of my control. There appeared to have been a move to
select three keepers rather than four and there didn't seem to be any sign
that they would change that. The other lads are all very talented
individuals and I didn't think there was any way that one of them would
lose their place. Clearly, though, they have decided to go back to four to
accommodate me, which is something I really appreciate. I am as proud of
my country as the next man and it is fantastic to be a part of the
national football team. Whilst I knew that the reason I was losing out was
because I had been out injured for so long, it did not stop me missing the
6.30pm - Well the next 2 weeks until the Motherwell game see Saints facing a major uphill battle as a 3-0 defeat saw some of the worst performances of the season and to cap it all off Weir(right) was stretchered off (and red-carded) in the first half although he's not badly hurt. On the plus side Ross Forsyth made his debut as a 2nd half sub and at least shows that in the depths of the U-21s there are some players at McD who can show some fight. Masochists can watch the highlights on BBC1 tonight.
Post-match, St. Sandy said "Hibernian started well. The sending off certainly had a massive effect on the game." Apart from that it was the usual cliches.
29th- Kiegan Parker has been
called up to the Scotland U-18 squad for 2 games against Sweden and
Darren Dods has been given the all-clear to play against Hibs. Despite this St. Sandy has added U-21 left-sided central defender Ross Forsyth(right) to the squad after the 17-yr olds impressive performance on Monday night. "Ross is still a very young lad with a lot to learn about the game but he is getting this call up on merit. He did very well against St Mirren but that did not surprise me for he has been consistently good all season. Everyone knows that we have a great youth system at this club and Russell is another product of that."
Paul Hartley, who faces his old team tomorrow has been joining in the praise of the other teenage star Kiegan. "Keigan is doing a great job. He's a superb talent and he's going to be a really good player if he keeps his feet on the ground and continues to learn his trade. If he listens to guys like the gaffer he can go right to the top. Obviously we want to keep Keigan for as long as possible but finishers are in great demand. Hopefully he can find the nett again this weekend against my old club." Looking forward to tomorrow's match he said, "This is my first game against Hibs since the move and it's one I'd love to win. They've got off to a great start and they're up there with the Old Firm on merit. The fact they're a former club gives it an extra edge for me. It's one I'm looking forward to. We're looking to get that first home win under our belt. We've had a decent start to the season and people forget we've only lost once and that was at Ibrox on opening day. It was good to get another three points against St Mirren. That was an important win. Hibs have built up a lead on us but they certainly aren't out of sight and we can peg them back further this weekend."
St. Sandy seems set to play the same 11 as last week but the pressure is on the players in the current team with both Tommy Løvenkrands and John Paul McBride scoring for the U-21s."They are putting pressure on the guys who started last week. Hibs have had a magnificent start to the season and they deserve to be up there. But I know that we have the quality to beat them if we play to anything like our potential."
John O'Neil is set to return to Perth tomorrow as well and he admitted "I don't know what sort of reception I'll get from Saints fans. After my first year at McDiarmid I always had a good relationship with the supporters and I won a few player of the year awards. I'm looking forward to the return. I think they appreciated what I did for the club in my years in Perth so I'm hoping there's not too much abuse coming my way! St Johnstone was a closer knit club, where everyone knew each other. I was surprised when I first came here and discovered that first team regulars didn't know the names of all the kids. That's the way is is at Perth. "
Mention PA Stuff re Fans Forum.
28th- Cult hero of the season so far, MoMo
Sylla has been called up to the Guinea national squad for their
African Nations Cup clash with Senegal. Oor MoMo said "It's an
important match otherwise I wouldn't make such a trip. I only have four
caps because I've put clubs before country in the past. Hopefully I'll add
to my collection next week".
St. Sandy said "MoMo deserves this recognition. He's got off to a great start in Scottish football".
Marc McCulloch is out of Saturday's
squad after picking up a knee knock. St.
Sandy praised the young team who beat St. Midden 3-2 saying, "Because
of injuries we had a lot of boys playing and I'm really pleased with how
they got on against a team with a fair bit of experience."
Also out for 4 weeks with a blood clot on the knee is Brendan Crozier
Off the park, Saints are rumoured to be on the verge of selling the Dunkeld Rd Supporters club to a garage and purchasing Jeanfield Swifts' ground in the Crieff Rd. This would then be turned into training facitliies and a supporters club. With a full size grass pitch and changing facilities already there this looks like an ideal move for the club.
Finally Saturday's ref has been confirmed - it's Hugh Dallas for the first time this season.
26th- Cartman has joined in the
push for Alan Main(right) to get into the
Scotland squad. He said, "Alan is very competent in all areas and
I don't see any better than him. Sullivan and Gould have made it known
they are number ones but Alan would certainly give Gould a run for his
money." As for the Love St. win he merely echoed the feelings of
most of us when he said "We were left hanging on at the end. As
we've done in other games, we stopped playing for some reason. We began to
overcomplicate things and they battled back. We've played better and drawn
Darren Dods is still slightly doubtful for the Hibs game. Although he was on the bench on Saturday St. Sandy said that he still wasn't 100% fit after injuring his knee in training last week. He missed out on last night's U-21 win as well with the club hoping that the bit of rest will improve his chances for this weekend.
No place in the Scotland U-21 squad for Kiegan Parker - his time will come though. And he's happy with his current place in the team saying "When you look at the players the manager has brought through, like Gary Naysmith and Paul Ritchie at Hearts, it's obvious he knows what he's doing. I'm happy to trust his judgement."
September 25th- Saints U-21s won 3-2 at home to their Paisely counterparts tonight. Goals from Tommy Løvenkrands, Pope and David Noble.
September 24th- Well it looks
like Nosey is in the limelight at last
with the first set of comparisons with ex-Saintss Ally McCoist starting
to surface. St. Sandy praised him saying
"He took the goal well, but he's more than just a scorer. He also
closes down opponents to help us defend from the front. But he's still
learning and we'll bring him along gradually." . The Saints boss
was also full of praise for Alan Main who
made a couple of good saves to help clinch the points. "That's
when Alan Main showed his class. For me, he's the best goalkeeper in
Scotland. Some of his saves were top drawer."
Tonight's SPL match saw Hearts lose 2-0 at home to Killie.
23rd- JR(right) is looking to
get amongst the goals today. The player has a good record against the
Junkies and said "I've played against them quite a few times.
Theyre quite a young team who, like us, havent had many
victories but hopefully we can go out and show them what we can do. I've
scored nearly every time I've played at Love Street and, touch wood,
hopefully I can do so again but the main thing is we get a victory and get
back into the top six because thats what we're aiming for. We've
been playing quite well and just getting too many draws but at the same
time weve only lost once-against Rangers at Ibrox-so we can go into
this one quite confidently.".
Nick Dasovic echoed that saying, "We all know how important it is to get wins and three points. We don't want to end up going the same way as Dunfermline two seasons ago. We need to be more positive and try to score some more goals and hopefully we can start against St Mirren. Our last three games have been draws but in the five seasons I've been here we've never scored a lot of goals. Two years ago we got into Europe and that has to be the aim for us again this term. There is an extra UEFA Cup slot so that is a big incentive. Our first aim, however, is to make the top six before the league splits in half. It's imperative we stay in the top half because once you slip just below then it becomes a real dogfight."
7.00pm- Kiegan Parker(right) scored the only goal after 10 minutes as Saints won 1-0 at St. Mirren although the second-half performance by the midfield and defence was pretty dire with the home side missing a sitter at the end. Elsewhere in the SPL TFOE won 1-0 at home to Scumdee the Arabs lost 5-3 (!) at home to the Sheep, Well lost 1-0 to TFOD and the Pars and HIVBees shared the points in a 1-1 draw.
22nd- Darren Dods has picked up a
knee knock in training so it could be a Weir
and Cartman partnership tomorrow at Love
St. St. Sandy watched the junkies at
Tynecastle on Wednesday night and reckons Jose "Diving Git"
Quitongo is their main threat since he offers "something a
little bit different" (like a belly flop perchance?). The manager
realises that the pressure is starting to build though. "It's
shaping up as an important match for us. We have to start winning instead
of drawing games"
Meanwhile Craig Russell(right) is looking for a decent run in the team. "I'm disappointed not to have been getting a start but you look at the stand and there's a few guys sitting there each week who'd love to be in your position. You have to accept it's a squad game nowadays. The lads have done well, losing only to Rangers, so I don't have much to complain about. I'm sure my time will come. I started against Killie but didn't do myself any favours. I was coming back from an injury when the gaffer asked if I was up for it. I'd hardly trained but enthusiasm got the better of me. In hindsight, maybe playing that day was a mistake. I know I've still to make a real impact at Perth but if I can get a run of three or four games in the side I know the fans will see the real Craig Russell. I've done the right thing by moving to Saints. I had another 12 months on my contract at City but I was going to be down the pecking order. I had a chat with Joe Royle, told him I'd been impressed with the St Johnstone set-up and I was delighted when the manager invited me back here to prove my fitness and sign a contract."
Good news on the injury front with Georgio's physiotherapy continuing. The player has even managed to take part in the occasional training session with the first team so hopefully he'll be back soon.
Finally, Saints U-21s play the young junkies on Monday night at McD - kick-off 7.30.
Kiegan Parker has shown that he hasn't
lost the goalscoring touch - he scored the solitary strike for the
Scotland U-18s in their 2-1 defeat by their N. Ireland counterparts.
Tonight's SPL results saw a 3-0 win for Dundee over the Arabs and Hearts beat St. Mirren 2-0.
19th- Last night's SPL score saw TFOE beat the Pars 2-1.
St. Sandy(right) appears pretty unworried though since Saints are in the top half and nobody outside of the OF and Hibs are winning lots of games. "It would be better if we could turn the one point into three but if you look at the league you see how tight it is. We're sitting sixth at the moment which, if we're still there at the split, we would have to be very happy with. You just have to look at Kilmarnock. The last two games they have sneaked 1-0 wins without playing particularly well and that has lifted them up the league from seventh to fourth-it just takes a couple of games to see a dramatic improvement. We have only lost once - at Ibrox - and the tightness the rest of the time has been incredible. The teams know each other really well and that can lead to them cancelling each other out."
One good thing from the weekend match is that for a change there are no new injuries to concern the manager.
Elsewhere, Saints U-21s suffered their first defeat of the season as Scumdee won 4-0 at Dens last night.
Finally ex-Saintee Gerry McMahon has signed a long-term contract with Irish side Glenavon.
September 18th- Ref for next Saturday's trip to Love St is the wonderful Alan Freeland - the worst ref of last season. And with Jose Quitongo in the opposition ranks it fills you with so much confidence doesn't it?
September 17th- With another
post-mortem Sunday there is still no response from the club on the
Official Saints Site forums
as to what action is going to be taken to boost the crowds at McD.
Yesterday's game was watched by less than 6000 fans and with 2300 of these
coming from Scumdee it's plain that something is drastically required. In
addition there are more and more rumours starting to circulate of
dissension in the dressing-room, previously one of Saints strong points,
and whilst St. Sandy has been relatively
free of blame so far and we have only lost one league game, the patience
of a lot of fans is starting to wear thin. Personally I can't see how
replacing him will help the club but the fact that sections of the support
are now openly debating the possibility should be a major cause for
concern in the club.
In more mundane matters today's SPL match saw TFOD get a 1-0 win over the Gorgie Gits.
September 16th- Saints managed a
0-0 draw in the derby with Scumdee but
yet again a lack of finishing means dropped points with
Kiegan Parker missing a sitter towards
the end. Yet again the crowd was less than brilliant and Saints MUST
start to take some action to rectify this.
St. Sandy said he was "pleased with the performance. I thought we deserved to take more from the game". So more of the usual there then.
Elsewhere Hibs won 2-0 at home to Motherwell, Killie beat Aberdeen 1-0 and the Arabs and Buddies fought a no-score draw.
15th- Some good news to start off with and
Darren Dods(right) has said that he wants
to remain at McD beyond the end of his current contract. The deal's up at
the end of the season and the 25-yr old can leave under Bosman but
strangely for a Saints player doesn't want to. "I want to stay
with this club and am determined to do everything I can to win myself the
offer of a new contract It's a great place for football for there is a
real close-knit atmosphere about the place, a feeling of everyone being in
it together. I am as happy here as I have been at any point in my career
and see no reason why I should want to go and sign for anybody else. It
wont be easy, I know, for there is an awful lot of competition for
places in the centre of defence herewhat with guys like Jim Weir,
Alan Kernaghan and Stuart McCluskey all looking for a regular game. All
you can do is try to impress whenever you get the chance and, thanks to
Jims bad luck, mine is going to come this weekend. The thought of
coming up against Fabian Caballero and co is a prospect that really
appeals to me as I have been impressed by what I have seen of Dundee on
the television and I always enjoy facing quality players."
Chief executive Stewart Duff is being an accountant as usual. "Darren is someone we want to keep at McDiarmid Park for he is a talented player who has done well for the club in his time here. "Ideally we will get his contract extended, though in these situations it often comes down to whether you can agree terms with the player and his agent. There is only so much to go around. You have to prioritise."
And let's hear it for injured striker Nathan Lowndes. The Ginger Bomber underwent spinals surgery in May but that hasn't stopped him rescuing drowning nightclubbers from the Tay as he walked home from practicing his own dancing skills. He's on the mend but still can't bend to tie his bootlaces on his own so it'll be nearer Xmas before we see him back.
St. Sandy meanwhile is looking forward to an entertaining derby match tomorrow. "It should be a good game for the supporters for both sides like to play good attacking footballand, of course, from our point of view it is one we have to be looking to win. "Too many times this season we have taken the lead against opposition teams, only to let them back into the game. It is all very well to say we are unbeaten but when it is three points for a win you are better to win one then lose the next than get two draws on the bounce".
Alan Main wants a clean sheet though."Its been a mixed bag of results so far and while weve only lost one league game against Rangers at Ibrox its been frustrating failing to convert draws into the victories which we feel we deserved. But we know draws can kill teams so it would be nice to start off a winning run against Dundee. We know how much that would mean to our fans. Hopefully theyll be up for the derby, make a lot of noise and get right behind us.
" People have to remember we have new players who need time to settle in and a combinataion of injuries, suspensions and tactics has meant changes in the team. The manager wants us to go out and entertain but we have to do this over the full 90 minutes. Obviously putting the emphasis on attack can leave you more vulnerable at the back and while Im relatively pleased with my form coming back from injury its frustrating not to have secured a shut-out yet. Our defence will change again for Saturday because Jim Weir is suspended. But Darren Dods is an experienced player offering different strengths and theres no reason why we shouldnt be capable of shutting-up shop, as well as getting forward. Its hard luck on Jim because anyone getting their chance wants to impress and hold onto the jersey. Every team needs that competitive edge.
"I thought we were on course for that first shut-out at Aberdeen before we lost a stupid goal. Its down to concentration throughout the team. Weve let too many points slip away already. Ive held my hands up to mistakes at times this season but a clean sheet would be great for my confidence and the defenders in front of me. Theres no better time for it than a derby with Dundee. Obviously theyve undergone a dramatic change over the summer and while I know keeper Rab Douglas well from the Scotland squad Ill be facing quite a few of their players for the first time this weekend.
Teamwise, apart from the defensive line-up Tommy Løvenkrands looks set to return to the first team. No word on what the ice-cream boyz from coagieland have planned but a 3-4-3 formation is rumoured.
September 14th- Little news today but the SPL have confirmed that the Dundee game will go ahead as normal.
September 13th- Due to the
nationwide fuel problems, the SPL are due to meet tomorrow to decide
whether or not Saturday's fixtures will be allowed to go ahead, although
currently with most things expected to be back to normal by the weekend,
the game is more likely than not to take place.
Meanwhile, Geoff Brown has said that Saints have no plans to enter the transfer market until the implications of the Bosman II ruling are known and whether or not fees will continue to exist. The chairman wants to see the club go for loan deals until the situation clarifies but the worst scenario is "If the changes go through, it could mean reverting to part-time football."
Remember that the official site forum is still taking opinions about how to improve attendances. However I personally would like to see some form of acknowledgement on the site from club personnell that the suggestions are being taken on board. It's been a week now and there has still been no response from Stewart Duff or Paul Fraser to the countless posts. If this exercise is to have any point, then the club must ensure that the feedback is a two-way process. Fair enough suggestions may be impractical / too costly / non-starters for one reason or another but the fans that are willing to take the time to think up these ideas at least deserve a response.
September 12th- The good news
first is that Jim Weir will only be banned
for one game. The player has been commenting on his dismissal at Pittodrie
and his tangle with Winters saying, "Robbie got away from me and
, if I remember correctly, I lost my balance as he cut across me. There
was contact and I definitely got hold of him at some point. But I felt
Robbie still had the opportunity of going in on goal yet he chose to fall
on the deck. I hit the deck before Robbie and that says it all. I'm not
saying Robbie dived but he could have stayed on his feet. To get a man
sent off is very disappointing. Sadly, I feel this kind of thing is
becoming more and more prevalent in the game. I don't hold any grudges and
have accepted the referee's decision but I would just like to see a bit of
honesty from players. I feel I'm an honest enough pro and would never try
to get anybody booked or sent off"..
Meanwhile Michael O'Neill's Saints career looks over with the player having undergone groin surgery. He's unlikely to make an appearance before the end of his 3-month deal.
Last night's U-21 game was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
11th- Jim Weir(right) will be
suspended for 3 games following his straight red card on Saturday.
Kano has joined the media pundits in
calling for TV evidence to be used as Saints anger over the decision
continues. "I'd like to see TV evidence used in cases like this.
That way if the ref has made the right decision then we can admit he was
correct. But if the TV was to prove the opposite then that makes a
difference. Once the game is over and done with you can't do anything
about it and that's fine. But if there's been a mistake, you're robbed of
a player the next week. Teams with a small squad, like us, suffer. I
didn't feel Jim was the last man because Alan Kernaghan could've got
across and got in a block. "
St. Sandy was critical of the ref saying, "The most disappointing thing for me about the ordering off was that the referee didn't even consult his assistant. We're without Jim for three games now and Nick Dasovic and Paul Kane were booked for making one foul each. We had four players booked when Aberdeen players were getting away with similar things. I'm not blaming Aberdeen at all but it highlights the inconsistency we saw during the game. It's frustrating for everyone."
The referee for the Dundee game has been confirmed as John Underhill.
September 10th- Not too much to report today. Saints have begun contract talks with Gary Bollan who's current deal expires at the end of the season. Meanwhile, Martin Lauchlan is currently rumoured to be leaving the club with loan deals mentioned, due to his inability to establish himself in the first team.
9th- 10-man Saints were unlucky to end up only sharing the points
in a 1-1 draw at Pittodrie. Captain
Jim Weir was sent off early in the 2nd
half for a professional foul - about the only decision the ref got all
day. Still that man MoMo (right) scored
a cracker of an opening goal before Winters pulled one back for the Sheep
near the end after some poor defending.
St. Sandy was unhappy with the ref though saying, "I can't say too much about it but to me it wasn't a clear goalscoring opportunity. I was disappointed that the referee didn't consult his assistant and I think Alan Kernaghan was in a position to stop Winters and was between him and the goal. I don't think Jim Weir had a foul against him the whole game and I'm disappointed for him. There was a little bit of consistency on show today and it was frustrating for both the managers and the players. We were disappointed not to win the game. After the first half performance we would have setlled for a point. It was frustrating the way we didn't pass the ball and I actually thought we played better with ten men."
Elsewhere in the SPL TFOE beat Hibs 3-0, Scumdee got a 1-1 draw with TFOD, Well won 1-0 at St. Mirren and Killie beat the Arabs by the same score whilst the Jambos won 2-0 at home to the Pars.
Meanwhile the Sun today carried some more wonderful publicity for Saints with a 2-page interview with ex-keeper Allan Ferguson have a real moan at his treatment by the club. St. Sandy has refused to comment on the article.
Finally Saints have appointed 2 new directors. Jim Donnachie, a partner in Clark Thomson Insurance Brokers and the club doctor Alastair McCracken.
8th- Well it had to happen and chairman
Geoff Brown(right) is in the papers
today talking about the crowd problem. Plugging the official website's
attempts to get fan suggestions on board he looked back on Euro 2000 and
said, "That was one of the most exciting tournaments in the
history of the game with a lot of goals and people are looking to see a
lot more scoring in the Premier League. The league has started promisingly
this season and hopefully our fans will respond in time."
Meanwhile Kano has said that Saints need a win this weekend to put the Killie defeat to rest. "Of course we're all disappointed to be out of the cup. It was a tight game and just one goal made the difference. We had a couple of chances and never put them away. But we've got to put that behind us now and raise our game for the league. That's much more important. Over the season it's where you rank in the league that you're judged on. We've finished third and fifth in the past two years and we want to be up there again. One of the ways to achieve this is to build up a good away record. And that means taking three points tomorrow and giving us a wee lift again."
Assistant manager Billy Kirkwood has identified the problems in recent performances but remains optimistic. "One of our problems is that we're proving a bit inconsistent in our games. We play exceptionally well for the main part but we have to sustain it for 90 minutes. We've got a wealth of new talent but it takes time for these lads to settle in. Signings like Sylla, Hartley, Lovenkrands and Russell are all proven players but it takes time for the squad to gel and get their best results. We picked up a few bumps and bruises on Tuesday so we'll be assessing fitness at training. " St. Sandy has been scouting in England although the club won't say what position or players he's interested in. An attacking midfielder for the "hole" would be a good start.
Finally the TFOD game in October has been moved to Sunday 22nd to accomodate those wonderful TV people at the BBC. The game has a 2.35pm kick-off.
7th- First of all, with the disappointing crowds of recent weeks
Saints fans have a chance to let the club hear your ideas to boost the
attendances. The Official Saints
Site has started a specific Discussion Forum about
attendances. Please try and contribute your thoughts - it's probably the
only way we can let the club know where they're going wrong.
On the park and St. Sandy is considering "reshaping his strikeforce" according to the Courier with the poor goals-to-shots return rate of recent weeks causing concern. Kiegan Parker, Craig Russell and Kevin Thomas are all in line for a possible recall to first team action with the Messiah apparently doing wonders in the U-21 games.
On the injury front, Michael O'Neill has definitely been ruled out of the trip to Pittodrie, whilst Nick Dasovic(right) is rated "doubtful" with what is described as "a stiff neck" (those 747s are damned uncomfortable). Paul Hartley has broken a bone in his hand but the manager says that "it shouldn't prevent him playing". The good news though is that both Cartman and Kano have shown no side-effects of their return to the fray.
Sandy blamed the lack of ability in front of goal for last night's
defeat saying, "I don't think we deserved to lose but at the end
of the day you have got to put the ball in the back of the net to win."
Latest on the injuries is that Nick Dasovic missed out last night due to a neck injury (damned uncomfortable 747s obviously) but should make the weekend trip. As will Tommy Løvenkrands who managed a warmdown. Not so good though is the news on Paul Hartley who has a suspected broken hand bone and Michael O'Neill who looks set to miss out on Pittodrie as well.
Paul Hartley believes he's due a cup
run now but nows it won't be easy tonight. "This time last year I
was a Hibs player and Killie beat us 3-2 at Rugby Park so hopefully I can
put one over them this time and avenge that result. Actually, apart from
getting to the Scottish Cup semi with Hibs last year I've not had the best
of luck in the cups, so maybe I'm due a cup run now. I'm sure it could go
that way but we want to finish it off during the 90 minutes and keep us in
good shape for Saturday's game at Aberdeen. Getting into the next round,
though, however it happens, is the main thing. The boys have told me that
our last 1-1 draw with them was typical of matches between the two teams,
always very close. I am sure it will be the same this time and hopefully
we'll edge it. It is very important for a club like ours to do well in the
cups because it brings in extra money. Obviously there is no European
place attached to the League Cup anymore but it is still a very big thing
for us. If you do well in the cup games early on in the season it breeds
confidence for the league as well."
Meanwhile,St. Sandy is looking for an upturn in cup form from Saints despite the injury problems. "Michael O'Neill is struggling. His groin strain is getting better but he's definitely a doubt. Alan Kernaghan and Paul Kane, though, have both trained for the last few days. Nick Dasovic arrives back from his Canada game today and we will see how he is. We're well aware that this game is a one-off and has to come to a conclusion on the night, so from that point of view this one will be different from our league games against Killie. But our approach will be the same and I'm sure the game will be as close as it usually is. We didn't do well in the cups last season after doing really well the year before so everybody here would like a good cup run."
11.30pm - A poor second-half performance with too many players under-performing as Saints lost 1-0 to Killie with both MoMo and Tommy Løvenkrands picking up injuries as well. Not a good night to be a Saints fan.
4th- Very little in the way of team news ahead of tomorrows CIS
cup-tie. Latest on the injury front is that both
Alan Kernaghan and
Paul Kane(right) are in with a good
chance of making the game, whilst groin-strain victim
Michael O'Neill has also been receiving
Nick Dasovic played the full 90 minutes for Canada yesterday against Trinidad and Tobago but saw his side lose 4-0. No word on any injuries to him though which is a blessing.
Referee-wise, tomorrow we'll have Stuart Dougal in charge, whilst for Saturday's trip to Pittodrie, Tom Brown will be the man to hate.
September 1st- Some good news on the injury front with long-term victims Stephen Frail and George O'Boyle both managing to play in a bounce game this week. Meanwhile, Kevin Thomas is fine after a suspected concussion picked up in Monday night's U-21 game.
Top Of News
31st - Saints are rumoured to have employed former Sellik PR man
On the park, Kane is almost fit and expected to start full training soon. On the downside though, new signing Michael O'Neill is the latest groin strain victim and has been unable to train this week. "Michael would certainly be a bigger worry for me if Paul didn't make it by next midweek. Hopefully Paul will be back in training in the next couple of days but the problem will be that he'll have missed around two weeks training." said St. Sandy.
29th - Saints U-21's won 3-2 at Rugby Park last night. Best
news though was that Cartman came through
90 minutes unscathed. Scorers were Kiegan
Parker with a double and one from Craig
Meanwhile goal hero from Saturday, Tommy Løvenkrands(right), has admitted that his 40-yarder was a fluke. "I decided to shoot because the surface was very slippy and if the keeper dropped the ball one of our strikers could come in and score. But the goalkeeper was going the wrong way and his view was blocked. So was mine because it was only when the other players started to celebrate that I realised the shot had gone in! It was a pleasant surprise. In Denmark I scored a few goals each season, but they were from much closer. It was nice to get my first goal for Saints so soon. I want to score more but the fans shouldnt expect many more like that."
August 28th - As expected the
media angle on Saturday's game is concentrating on
Jim Weir's comments on the home support.
Speaking to The Courier he said "Obviously it's a big
disappointment. We've finished fifth, third and fifth again in the last
three seasons and qualified for Europe so we've done everything to get the
supporters out and we're disappointed that we didn't get a bigger crowd.
Maybe the weather had something to with it today but I don't know the
reason behind it. Our away support is terrific but I would certainly like
our home support to get behind us a wee bit more and be more patient. They
tend to be quick to get on people's backs. I think that's happening
throughout the league though, we're not the only ones suffering in that
regard. The quicker we can stamp it out the better."
Paddy Connolly's loan deal is for one month although a certain McD manager's comments post-match indicate that he's not too bothered if it's extended.
August 27th -
Jim Weir has become the first Saints
player to speak out publicly about the lack of crowds at McD. With the
Killie match only attracting 3800 spectators and
St. Sandy maintaining a diplomatic
silence when asked about it, the Saints skipper said "Recently
we've finished fifth, third and fifth but still can't attract a decent
home support. Away from home the crowds are great but at Perth they don't
seem to get behind us.".
Meanwhile Sunday's SPL matches saw TFOE win the Battle of the Bigots by 6-2, Scumdee 1 Hearts 1 and Motherwell 1Aberdeen 1
26th- Well apart from an absolute clasicMedia
Falsehood Howler from the Retard where a certain pair of
Danish brothers are confused, Tommy Løvenkrands
is saying that the best is yet to come from him. "I have not
played my best match yet. I have struggled with an injury and am now
looking to stay in the side but my very best form will come in time. I
also want to score goals, ideally my target would be in every match but I
would be happy just to score more goals and I'm confident that will come
St. Sandy reckons the improved form is due to the new players settling in saying "Paul Hartley was suspended for the first couple of games but since then he has fitted in really well. Michael O'Neill has also made a difference. Games between St Johnstone and Kilmarnock are always tight. Hopefully we can build on what we have done over the past two games."
Meanwhile Nick Dasovic(right), who was called back into the Canadian national side this week for their match with Trinidad and Tobago, has an explanation for the poor second halves this week. "The longer we stay in the top six, the harder it will be to fall out. The season would be such an anti-climax if we didnt make the top six and once weve solidified that then well be looking at the UEFA Cup. We were maybe a bit pessimistic a few months ago when we were going to lose a few players like John O'Neil but now weve come through that with new players and were looking better than we did before. The likes of Paul Hartley and Tommy Lovenkrands have given us real speed and are linking up really well with Graeme Jones who has been absolutely superb so far. Weve got a lot of options now and with the young players coming through - as well as Kiegan Parker there are others like Brendan Crozier and Chris Conway - its probably the best squad in my time here."
Finally Paddy Connolly has gone to Ayr on loan.
6.30pm - A couple of cracking goals in the first half were the only good things for the fans as Saints drew 1-1 with Killie thanks to a 40-yarder from Tommy Løvenkrands. But we rode our luck in the 2nd half and the woodwork saved us a couple of times. Post-match St. Sandy said "It was a fairly even game. They had more possession in the second half and we're disappointed with that aspect of the game". Suffice to say things will need to improve for the cup-tie.
Highlights of the game are on BBC1tonight. Elsewhere the Pars beat the Arabs 1-0 and Hibs beat the Paisley Junkies 2-0. And Paddy Connolly scored after72 seconds. For Ayr.
Finally admission prices to the CIS Cup tie have been set at £10 and £5.
25th- The good news for the Killie game is that
Cap'n Jim will return. Whilst we have no
new injury worries, St. Sandy is looking
to for 3 points tomorrow. "It will be tight, like any Premier
League game. It's always very close between the two sides, and I don't see
this being any different. This will be a good one to win to bring us into
the top half of the league."
Darren Dods, meanwhile already has his eyes on Europe next year. "Our aim is to get into the top 6 and then push for a place in Europe. We have a stronger squad this season with the likes of Paul Hartley and Tommy Lovenkrands coming in, and they will help us create cances. MoMo is a great find and we have Nick back from injury." Just to depress you further it was a year ago today we found out we'd drawn Monaco in the cup. Doesn't time fly?
August 24th- The draw for the
3rd round of the league cup was made today and Saints are at home
to Killie on Tuesday Sept 5th at 7.45pm, meaning we play
the same team at the same venue twice in a row. The other ties are Dundee
United vAirdrie, St Mirren vDundee, Celtic vRaith, Dunfermline
vMotherwell, Livingston vHearts, Rangers vAberdeen and Falkirk vHibs
Meanwhile the Official Saints Site are holding an on-line auction of the last away shirt worn by Allan "Biscuits" Preston as part of his testimonial. Full details on the site.
Finally Paddy Connollyis apparently off to Ayr on loan with a view to a permanent move.
St. Sandy has been defending
JR Hartley who was involved in the
incident which saw Beath defender Craig McMillan break his shin. The
tackle was perfectly fair. Our lads felt the boy hesistated and Paul got
the ball 100%. But you feel for him and we wish him a speedy recovery. Jim
coming off shouldn't have made any difference to us but it did. We lost
our momentum and looked vulnerable at the back. But credit to Cowdenbeath
for the way they played." . He also revealed that
Jim Weir had picked up a thigh strain -
hence the substitution.
Trialist Laurent Grimaud has left McD - the club won't be pursuing their interest.
22nd- Cap'n Jim is up against his
mentor in ex-Jambo Craig Levein tonight. "I remember being a wee
bit in awe of Craig because he was a terrific player, a Scotland
internationalist with a big reputa¬tion, while I was a young guy who
had never played for one of the top clubs before. He was one of the first
to make me welcome, though, and get me settled in at the club, which I
really appreciated. It soon became clear that he was every bit as
professional as he was talented and I looked up to him for the way he
handled himself both on and off the pitch. You pick up things as you go
along and I think that working alongside Craig certainly helped make me
the footballer I have become.". Meanwhile the latest youngster to
appear in the first team Marc McCulloch
is hoping to get another slot in the first team tonight, something which
will be helped by Saints being unlikely to risk injury victims
"I was about to come on for the last few minutes after John Paul
McBride was sent off only to find I'd left my shirt back in the dressing
room. I'd taken it off at half-time because I was hot. By the time I got
it the match was over. It was really embarrassing."
Saints U-21s last night beat the Arabs 1-0 with a last-minute goal from Stuart Malcolm. Trialist Laurent Grimaud played and had an ok performance. News on the other trialist Nicolas Ouedec isn't too encouraging with the players last wage bill at Montpellier a nice £10,000 pw
11.30pm- First half goals from MoM Paul Hartley, Nick Dasovic and Gary Bollan(right) saw Saints march on to a convincing 3-1 win over Cowdenbeath although it has to be said that the second-half performance, like Tannadice, left a lot to be desired. Add in the 4 bookings picked up and it's plain to see there's a lot of work still to be done.
21st- Michael O'Neill has been
speaking of his new 3-month deal at Saints. "The length of
contract I've signed suits both parties in that I have everything to play
for and St Johnstone won't be stuck with me if things aren't working out.
But I would hope that we can get to the stage where agreement is reached
on something longer term because theres a lot or promise about this
Saints team, who play a lot of good football. I definitely see my future
lying in Scotland. I had the chance to join St Johnstone before, and also
United and Dundee, when I was at Highfield Road but I turned down the
opportunity to return north because I didn't think that was the right
thing to do at that time. However, I kept my house in Edinburgh after
leaving Hibs so when I found myself on freedom of contract at Wigan the
decision to come back here was not a difficult one. My aim is to win a
Premier League contract with Saints. But if they don't want me then at
least other clubs will have had the chance to see what I can do."
Latest team news for tomorrow night is that despite picking up ankle knocks against the Arabs, both Tommy Løvenkrands(right) and Mohamed Sylla are expected to play along with Pope who is free of suspension.
August 20th- More trialist new with an unnamed Frenchman at the club (all that's known is that he's called "Nicky" with the club even refusing to let the player sign autographs. However gossip on the mailing list and at Blue Heaven has him as Nicolas Ouedec who the smelly Arabs are apparently also after.
19th- Michael O'Neill has signed
a 3-month deal. Speaking to the Courier he said, "I had the
opportunity to go to Motherwell or Hearts but St Johnstone were the ones
who came up with the first solid offer. If I do well at Saints they will
have the first option to talk to me about extending the three-month
contract but even if my future lies elsewhere, then at least I will have
put myself in the shop window. I had actually spoken to Billy Davies and
Jim Jefferies but my aim is to get back playing as soon as possible and
Saints were keen to help me do that. ".
Still no word on the 2 mystery players suffering from a virus. Meanwhile for our germ-riddled opponents, it looks like Greedy Griffin will miss out and have to settle for an U-21 run out on Monday (nice to see his career on the up !!) and an unnamed African striker will play up front.
6.30pm - 45 minutes of sheer class saw Saints take the lead through goals from Graeme Jones and a classy finish from Kiegan Parker(right) before we settled back in the second half and allowed the Arabs to fight back. Still the result wasn't in any doubt and the 2-1 win sees us move to 6th in the league. St. Sandy said "The first half was excellent and nobody could have complained if we'd gone in 4 or 5 up. Overall I thought we thoroughly deserved the 3 points".
18th- Saints have published their accounts for last year and show a
£216,766 loss. Geoff Brown
said "With 16 of our players' contracts expiring at the end of
last season it was very quickly apparent that, because of the monetary
demands made upon the club by certain players, it was obvious that we
could not and would not meet the sums which they were looking for. I have
run St Johnstone FC in a proper and prudent manner since I took over in
1986 and I shall not place the clubs future in jeopardy by extending
players' contracts at sums which the club simply cannot afford. Whilst it
is always disappointing to announce a six figure loss, I am reasonably
satisfied with the manner in which the club traded during this financial
year. Despite this, the club managed to generate a positive cash flow
during the year of more than £300,000. Over the past three years the
club has finished fifth, third and fifth in the SPL and I am proud to have
attained such positions for a club with less financial resources than any
of our competitors. I shall endeavour to ensure that the club goes forward
in a prudent manner and we shall at¬tempt to give our supporters a
season to enjoy."
On the park as the injury problems have been worsened with two unnamed players suffering from a virus. However St. Sandy is hopeful of strengthening the squad, with "something possibly sorted out in time for Saturday.". Any new signing won't have the name Stephen Boyack though with moves for the ex-Hun ruled out by Saints. Monsieur X is still in the frame though with the Courier now confirming he's 24.
6.00pm Update- Well in a busy day Saints have signed ex-Hibs and Arabs winger Michael O'Neill(top right) on a "short-term contract". The 31-yr old was most recently with Wigan before being freed in the summer and goes into the squad for the trip to Coagieland.
Latest on the trialist is that he's been named as Laurent Grimaud and whilst unlikely to play tomorrow, he will play in the U-21 game against the Arabs on Monday night at McD (kick off 7.30pm).
Back to tomorrow though, and Paul Hartley(right) has been speaking about his hopes for his first competitive start of the season. "It's been a long three weeks and it's been very frustrating watching from the stand. But with John Paul McBride suspended and Paul Kane injured I might get a chance against United. Hopefully I can start my Saints career with a win. I picked up silly bookings last year so I'll have to avoid those this season. The manager has had a word with me about it. A yellow card picked up against Dundee in the second last match proved costly. I knew I was around the points limit but it was a surprise when I learned of the suspension. I've missed out on our first three games and that was really disappointing after probably my best pre-season preparations. There was nothing I could do about it so Ive had to be patient. Now I could get my chance because of others misfortune. Thats the way football is. I've been working hard in training and in bounce games to prepare myself for this opportunity, if it comes along. Fitness shouldn't be a problem. Hopefully myself and MoMo can build an understanding quickly on the right flank and get balls into the box for Graeme Jones. He's been impressive in the opening games and my priority is to give him early crosses to feed on. I saw the damage he could do last season when he hammered in a long ranger for Saints against Hibs. He's a quality target man and it's up to me to come up with the supply."
August 16th- Saints have another
mystery trialist at McD this week and will play in a closed-doors game
today. It's apparently a French midfielder although there's not
confirmation yet as to his name or details. We have been linked with
Eric Tarborda of Clydebank in recent
weeks though, but he's rumoured to have signed a 1-month contract with the
Bankies so it's time to open a new file on
Monsieur X (at least until we get
Meanwhile Alan Kernaghan is still "battling to be fit" for the trip to Tonsolice.
15th-The injury problems are mounting.
Paul Kane(right) is suffering from a
groin strain picked up at East End Park and will be out for a month,
leaving a midfield problem for the team's visit to Tannalice on Saturday.
The Saints player is doing his bit for his mate Allan "Biscuits" Preston though, with his Edinburgh pub organising a sportsmans dinner in a capital hotel featuring former Hearts striker John Robertson, radio duo Tam Cowan and Stuart Cosgrove and well-known after dinner speaker George McNeil. A testimonial committee in Perth will arrange several events in the Fair City, with fans at the Strathmore bar already doing their bit. The highlight though will be the testimonial match later in the season with Saints hopeful of getting some quality opposition. St. Sandy said , "Allan's injury was a big loss to St.Johnstone and a big loss to football. He was ruled out of my team plans for 18 months before he eventually had to throw in the towel and he proved a hard man to replace on the left side of our team. I'm sure our fans will support whatever events are arranged for the testimonial because he was very popular in the dressing room and in the stands."
Finally, ticket prices for the Cowdenbeath match next Tuesday have been cut to £10 and £5. Only the East and West Stands will be open for the game.
14th-The SFA in an act of uncharacteristic common sense
have given permission for Saints to hold a testimonial for
Allan "Biscuits" Preston(right)
who had to retire from the game last year through injury. A major
cult hero in his time at McD, he's now coaching with Macclesfield Town. As
yet there's no word on a date or opposition for the game.
August 13th-St. Sandy is still angry over the referee yesterday, flirting with SFA disciplinary hearings by saying, "Anyone who's seen that game will see that quite a few incidents went against us. It looks as though the referee is very limited in his experience and I am sure that all the managers in the Premier League would prefer to have the experienced lads. To be fair, I don't suppose you're going to get experience if you don't get games" ....just as long as it's not Saints games then I'm not bothered.
12th-Graeme Jones reckons his
goal drought is at an end after scoring against Hearts last week. "The
Rangers game was my 10th without a goal, when you include last season, so
it was great to get off the mark against Hearts on Sunday. I must admit
that it was becoming a worry because it was the longest I've ever gone
without a goal. But I've got to be honest and say that I dont think
we created many chances last season, and I do't think Alan Shearer
would have scored many goals in our side. We were more of a team who would
nick the odd goal and then defend for our lives. Obviously, it was quite
success¬ful because we finished fifth. But this year the gaffer's
looked to play more attacking football. We got three goals in our first
two games-one at Ibrox and two against the third best team in Scotland-so
we have to be happy with that.
"From a personal point of view, it's been much better for me. I had three good chances on Sunday and, when you get that, you expect to score one. I've managed to score a decent amount of goals throughout my career, and it's been all about the service I've got. When you consider we've still got Paul Hartley to come back, who was our best player in pre-season, then hopefully I'll get even more service."
6.00pm - A 1-1 draw at East End Park saw both goals come from penalties although St. Sandy post-match was "furious" at the Dunfermline penalty after Crawford dived. "The referee was 15yds away and didn't give it, whilst his linesman was 60 yards away and overrules him. It doesn't take much common sense to see who has the better view". To make matters worse, Pope(right) was red-carded in the last minute for a second bookable offence.
11th-St. Sandy is looking for
points not praise tomorrow against Dunfermline. "I'm sure our
match will be very tight because like us, Dunfermline are looking for
their first win of the season. We've received some praise for our last two
matches but it's now time to start getting more points."
Meanwhile midfielder Nick Dasovic(right) has been left out of the Canadian World Cup squad for their crucial clash with Mexico which could end their qualifying hopes. "That would be really disappointing because I've always wanted to play in the World Cup finals. At 31, time isn't on my side."
Saints new cult hero Mohamed Sylla has been sponsored by the Perth Provost no less. Momo is enjoying his time in Perth saying, "Everyone at the club has been very welcoming and it's been the same in the city when I'm shopping at the supermarket. My fiancée arrives on Sunday and Im sure she will like living here. Footballers around the world make themselves understood on the pitch and I have been made to feel welcome in the dressing room. On the field, we are working well together and thats a good sign. There's no real difference between the football here and in France. I've been enormously pleased with the reaction of our supporters. All the players here want to please our supporters. My priority must be to defend but if the opportunity is there I like to support our attackers. I enjoy the freedom to get forward".
August 10th- Bad news first of
all for Alan Kernaghan with the defender
rated a "major doubt" for the weekends trip to East End
Park. He's not trained all week as the effects of the rib injury continue
to cause problems, although Darren Dods
(who, along with the rest of the squad who didn't play against the Gorgie
Gits helped record a 6-0 win over Jeanfield Swifts on Tuesday
night), is ready to step in.
Elsewhere and Gerry McMahon has apparently agreed to take a short-term contract with Irish side Glenavon.
Finally, the draw for the 2nd round of the League Cup was made today and Saints are at home to 3rd Division Cowdenbeath on Tuesday August 22nd at 7.45pm. Speaking of the draw, St. Sandy said "I can't ask for more- a home tie in the first round of the Cup is what every Manager wants. Cowdenbeath may well be in the third division but that means nothing for the Cup as everyone knows. I know their Manager Craig Levein from our days together at Hearts and I know they'll be well organised on the night. At the end of the day I'm pleased with the draw.". The full draw is St Johnstone v Cowdenbeath, Clyde v Kilmarnock, Dundee v Montrose, Ross County v St Mirren, Raith Rovers v Arbroath, Queen's Park v Motherwell, Inverness Caley vAirdrie, Alloa Ath v Dundee United, Falkirk v Queen of the South, Stenhousemuir v Hibernian, Dunfermline v East Stirlingshire and Dumbarton v Livingston
August 9th- Not too much to report. Latest on George O'Boyle is that he's about a month away from returning to training. Not so good is the news that the Ginger Bomber now seems set to be out until at least Xmas.
8th- Confirmation today that subject to a medical,
Kieran McAnespie(right) has signed for
Fulham on a 3-year contract for £80,000 which isn't too bad a
fee considering the effect of Bosman. No doubt a Scotland call-up now
Meanwhile, St. Sandy has been praising Kiegan Parker's performance saying "The lad has a great future ahead of him in the game but he has to continue to listen and learn"....the latter comment probably more relevant given today's departee's lack of improvement in recent years.
On the injury front, Alan Kernaghan will be fit for Saturday despite being substituted on Sunday night. The player had had a painkilling injection for his rib injury before the game and as it began to wear off he was taken off as a precaution.
August 7th- Not much to report
with the Scottish media more than willing to overlook the fact that the
Gorgie Gits admitted to handballing the first goal last night. We
could almost get paranoid.
Elsewhere, Saints have been linked with a move for Clydebank trialist, French midfielder Eric Tarborda with the Retard saying that we'll be watching him in action along with the Sheep and Well against Alloa in the CIS Cup tomorrow night. Pinch of salt time methinks.
Finally in a desperate attempt to ensure that TFOE can field a side against Saints the SPL fixture for August 16th has been rescheduled to Tuesday 17th October. Not that any of us had made specific plans to get away from work early that day or anything.
6th- Well a perfect start to Sunday with the news that
Judas has jumped a boat to Canada and
quit as manager of the Arabs. No doubt this will do wonders for ex-Saintee
Danny Griffin's career.
10.00pm - After taking the lead thanks to goals from Kiegan Parker and Graeme Jones(right), Saints had to settle for a 2-2 draw v Hearts after conceding 2 goals in the last 8 minutes (the first of which had "handball" written all over it). St. Sandy was apparently fuming post-match and said "We're disappointed not to take all 3 points and we should have won the match". The result moves us up to 8th.
Tommy Løvenkrands has been
talking about his performance last week and his hopes for tomorrow's
match. "Playing at Ibrox was a dream come true for me and what
made it even better was that we did well, even though we left as the
losing team. The boys were a bit angry afterwards because of what happened
at Rangers' first goal when Nick wasn't allowed back on to the pitch, but
we are over that now and there has been a positive mood in training all
week. It was not the best match I have played. I think I can do better
than that and hopefully I can prove it in front of our fans on Sunday."
The winger, who's bought a flat in Perth doesn't expect too many goals though. "When the opportunity arises I will give it a go but it is hard when you are playing out wide and I will concentrate mainly on getting over good crosses.".
Saints have apparently agreed a fee with Fulham for Kieran McAnespie but no word on the actual value.
Today's SPL games saw Killie lose 4-2 at home to TFOD, TFOE scrape a 1-0 win over Well, HIVBees gub the Arabs 3-0, Scumdee beat the Pars by the same scoreline and Aberdeen get a 2-1 win over St. Mirren. And congratulations to Roddy Grant who got the winner for Brechin today.
4th- More comings and going today with St.
Sandy having made what is called a "serious enquiry"
for Scumdee defender 24-yr old Stephen
Boyack(right). However it looks like the rumoured asking price of
£250,000 will be too much. "We've made a genuine
approach to Dundee but I was surprised by the price quoted for a player
who has only got 10 months left on his contract."
On the other side, and Fulham have been told to up their offer for Kieran McAnespie. A deal is expected to go through in the next few days with both clubs wanting to avoid a tribunal.
Looking ahead to Sunday's match Saints are expected to start with the same 11 although St. Sandy was more than pleased with the performance against East Fife on Tuesday night. "There is real competition for places and players showed the right attitude at New Bayview, putting Saturday's starters under pressure. Thats the way it should be. Alan Kernaghan is a slight concern because he's missed a couple of days training with a rib knock. But we have an extra day because it's a Sunday game and he should be fine. Otherwise there was a clean bill of health from Ibrox". Christ 2 weeks into the season and no major injuries!! Keeper Alan Main is also looking forward to the match. "The team performance in Glasgow was very good and despite the result we can be positive about it. We set a standard that has to be matched each week. Our first home game last season was against Hearts and we went down 4-1 in one of our worst performances of the whole season. We're expecting a hard game on Sunday but its one we want to win. Our system is more attack-orientated this season and it would be good to start off as we mean to continue".
Also making an appearance on Sunday is the new match programme which has been totally revamped for the coming season and is still £1.50.
Tickets for the Sellik match on Aug 16th go on sale to voucher holders and season ticket holders on Monday. As for the end of last season there will be no public sale and admission to the Ormond Stand is for spectators with children only.
Finally excellent news for Roddy Grant who has signed a new deal with Brechin City.
August 3rd- Want-away midfielder Kieran McAnespie could be signing for Fulham permanently with Saints revealing that the London club have "expressed an interest" in signing the player. Available under Bosman, Saints will be entitled to a fee if he's signed with the rumour being that they want him as a left-back.
August 2nd- Saints won 4-0 against East Fife in last night's friendly match with goals from Craig Russell(2), Brendan Crozier and Marc McCulloch.
1st- First up another Saints site has set up on the Web. Click on
the link to go to
The re-signed Alan Kernaghan(right) has been speaking about his performance at Ibrox. "I tired towards the end and that was to be expected. I've played seven pre-season games, which is more than I've ever had in such a short space of time, but Ibrox was a different matter entirely. It was for real from the first blast of the whistle. It's always helter-skelter there. It was a disappointing second half because we had been looking very good up to half time. Scoring the goal was great but I'd have been happy just to get through 90 minutes against anyone after being out for so long. We didn't get the breaks with that first goal from Dodds but we can build on this display and there's definitely more to come from us.".
Talking about the choice of defenders, St. Sandy said "It's all about competition for places and having a strong squad. They'll all be needed over the course of the season and tonight's friendly at East Fife will be used to give players a run and make sure they're ready for Sunday if required."
Top Of News
July 31st- The controversy over
the TFOD goals continues with St. Sandy
still plainly angry. "Their first goal was certainly
controversial as we tried to get Nick Dasovic back onto the field after
receiving treatment and we just couldn't attract the ref's attention. It's
a hard one for the ref because it's a new rule but all we are looking for
is consistency over the season. In the first half, Rangers had a player
return quicker to the field than Nick managed to and the delay might have
cost us a point as it created space in the middle for them."
Elsewhere and the new cult hero Mohamed "Backheel" Sylla was apparently "shattered" according to the manager after his 90 minutes at Castle Greyskull. Never mind, it'll be a quiet time on Sunday night.
July 30th- Not much to report today with the Media Falsehoods coming in thick and fast from the first day of the season. This afternoon's Embra derby saw the Jambos and HIVBees draw 0-0 and Sellik won 2-1 at Tannadice this evening.
29th- Well the first piece of decent news with
Alan Kernaghan(right) putting pen to paper
yesterday on a 12-month contract which removes the need for the
word "Trialist" to appear in the teamsheet this afternoon. If
you're not going to make the game, live commentary on the Net is being
provided by http://www.bbc.co.uk/sportsound
for all the SPL games.
And in honour of the media's wonderful OF-connections, the Temple is now proud to announce the start of the Tommy Totaliser where we can keep track of all the mentions of Tommy Løvenkrands in the same sentence as his wee brother (in case we are allowed to forget).
7.30pm - Well Saints stuck to tradition losing 2-1 at the Death Star although the team performance was one of the best at the Evil Empire in years with the boys taking an early lead thanks to a wonder-strike from Cartman before losing 2 goals to Jug-Eared Billy in the 2nd half. After the game St. Sandy said "I'm delighted with the effort the boys put in and we're bitterly disappointed that we were unable to come away with any points". He was less than happy about the new rule which led to TFOD getting their first goal as Nick Dasovic wasn't allowed on the park after receiving treatment. The manager said, "It's a new rule so maybe we've got to give the referee the benefit of the doubt. All we ask for is a bit of consistency. A Rangers player left the field in the first-half (Giovanni Van Bronckhorst) and was allowed straight back on. We hit a free kick 60 yards forward after Nick was fouled by Andrei Kanchelskis and at that point he should have been waved back on. I don't want to complain too much about it though because it's new for the referee as it is for us. We'll win more than we'll lose this season if we play like we did today."
Elsewhere in the SPL Well lost 2-0 to Scumdee, St Mirren went down 1-0 to Killie and the Pars and Sheep had a goalless draw.
Finally congratulations to the Sun and Retard for providing plenty of Media Falsehoods in today's preview of the new season.
28th- With just 24 hours to go until the kick-off of another 10
months of OF-dominated headlines, St.
Sandy(right) has been speaking of his hopes for the coming season
and the new league set-up. "I feel that last year in particular
it was a poor standard of football for everyone, especially the supporters
who had to suffer it. This change might work, it might not work, but it's
certainly worth trying simply because it's something different. If it
brings a bit more excitement and encourages teams to have a go a bit
earlier on in the season to get further up the league then it will have
worked. I don't think the split comes into our thinking at the moment. It
will become relevant when it gets nearer the time and then obviously
everyone will be trying to get into the top six. In the early part of the
season our approach will be a very simple one-every game we go into well
try and get a result in it. That approach wont change. If we're
looking further ahead then the aim has to be to get into the top half. But
everybody in the league is capable of getting into it and that will make
things very competitive. In the last three years weve been fifth,
third and fifth and it won't be any harder this season than it was last
season or the year before that, or the year before that."
As for the squad, the manager feels it's almost complete although there may be one more signing in the next few weeks.As well as the players available to me from day one we've still got four first team players to come back during the season -George O'Boyle, Stephen Frail, Nathan Lowndes and Stephen Robertson, and Paul Hartley is suspended, so Im very happy with the squad we've got.
Whether its stronger than last year's only time will tell and results will show that. But Im certainly more than happy with our pre-season and the way things are shaping up. If we stay free from a lot of suspensions and have a good season with regards to injuries then well not be far away. Last season we had Kieran McAnespie and Gerry McMahon who were capable of playing wide left and wide right. Weve replaced them with two different types of players in Tommy and Paul and hopefully theyll be more successful for us."
Meanwhile, Jim Weir isn't guaranteed a starting place tomorrow and has been talking about the uncertainties in the defence. "It wouldn't be fair on the others if I was regarded as an automatic choice simply because I'm the captain. If the boot was on the other foot I wouldn't like to think an armband guaranteed selection. It's about performance and an effective partnership. You have to be in on merit. There are going to be some very disappointed players when the manager makes his team known for the game against Rangers. Everyone wants to be involved in the first match of the season. It's what we've been working towards for weeks. At the back, it's a matter of simple arithmetic. There are three of us, four if you include Stuart McCluskey, vying for just two centre-back places. So whatever the manager decides, players left out will have to overcome their natural disappointment and work hard to stake their claim. It's a tough decision for the manager but it goes with the territory. He wants what he believes is his strongest team on the park and there is a lot of competition for places. Some players won't be happy with his verdict but that's football".
For the actual game tomorrow, Alan Kernaghan might be listed as a trialist if he hasn't signed a new deal in time. New boys Tommy Løvenkrands and Mohamed Sylla will definitely play whilst JR's right-wing slot a choice betweenCraig Russell and Kiegan Parker. Hat-trick Hero Goalden Graeme will be up front if the manager goes for a 4-5-1 formation and Jesus will be making his first start since February.
If you fancy a flutter at the bookies, Saints are 14/1 to win at Ibroxand 350/1 for the title.
Whilst the SPL starts in earnest, Saints are still playing some warm-up games against SFL teams. On Tuesday a Saints side will play East Fife at New Bayview, kick-off 7pm. Then on Saturday a Saints side play Oakley Juniors at Oakley for Douglas Russell's testimonial. Finally on August 8 Saints visit Jeanfield Swifts. Kick-off for that one is at 7pm.
Finally Saints have announced the appointment of local chartered surveyor Bob Reid to the McD board.
July 26th- Saints beat Whitehill
Welfare 4-3 last night and had a 3-1 win over Ross County as
the pre-season winds down. The good news is that the injuries are all
clearing up and apart from the suspended Paul
Hartley and injured Stephen Frail,
St. Sandy will have a full side to pick
Meanwhile talks with Cartman are "continuing".
25th-Cartman has been offered a
12-month contract and has said he'll let the club have his
decision in the next 24 hours. Elsewhere, a certain
Kieran McAnespie is back from his "trial"
in Norway with no deal. He's now on a week's trial with Fulham and
if a deal goes through Saints will get a transfer fee.
Saints won their closed-doors game against Preston yesterday by a convincing 3-0 with Graeme Jones(right) bagging a hat-trick . The first came from a Gary Bollan cross, the second from the penalty spot after John Paul McBride was fouled and the 3rd from a tap-in from a Craig Russell free-kick. The bad news is that both Jim Weir and Alan Kernaghan picked up knocks so are doubtful for the weekend.
Finally Saints keeper Alan Main is someone willing to talk Saints up in the media for a change as the new season approached. "I'm optimistic every season I play and I am looking forward to this even more because of my problems last year. I know the lads here are ready to go. Yes, it was disappointing to lose some of the players during the summer because they were good players. But the manager has brought in some great players, who can give us a huge boost going into next season, and I think we can surprise a few teams - I'm sure of it. We've got a hard start to the season but we've got a lot of good new players as well, so I am looking forward to it. I think they are good enough to do well here. Mohamed looks a good player, and we've got Tommy Lovenkrands as well. Paul Hartley's also fitted in really well, so I'm optimistic and confident we'll do well again."
24th- Well the good news on the injury front is that
Alan Main(right) has declared himself fit
to play in the SPL opener at the weekend. Speaking of his performance at
the weekend he said, "That's my first full 90 minutes in and I
feel great. I didn't have much to do, but dealing with what came my way
didn't give me any pain at all. "It was the same story after the wee
while I had against Clyde and I think I am probably ready for the real
thing now. Rangers away might not be the fixture you'd expect a keeper
would choose for his competitive comeback but I like to be busy in a game.
In fact, that is the only thing that disappointed me about this
afternoon's match. I thought Carlisle might come out and have a go at us
which never really happened. To be fair to the rest of the lads it's
probably because we didn't let them. We have a closed-doors game scheduled
for Monday, maybe I'll get a bit more work in that."
Also expected to get a run out today against Preston is Tommy Løvenkrands (who was actually in the squad at the weekend despite the meanderings of the e-Retard. The bad news is that a groin strain which kept Jim Weir out now makes him doubtful for the Rangers match.
St. Sandy is happy with things though saying " The pre-season has gone well so far, now it is just a case of trying to complete our build-up the right way."
One player who'll miss out on the start of the season though is new signing Paul Hartley who, thanks to his fun at the HIVBees is suspended for 3 games.
Finally it looks like ex-Saintee Marc Millar will be ok for the coming season with a trial this week with Raith expected to lead to a permanent deal.
July 23rd- St. Sandy was happy enough with the performance yesterday saying "It was a good workout and I'm pleased with the result given the way we'd chopped and changed the side".
July 22nd- A lovely sunny afternoon was spoilt by the boredom of watching Saints scrape a last-minute goal in the 1-0 win at Carlisle with a Carlisle defender getting the badly-needed winner. No new injuries and no Sylla as our new cult hero is in the middle of relocating his family from France.
21st- For anyone heading down to Carlisle tomorrow here are
the directions for the ground, courtesy of the
Carlisle United Online Website.
By Car (From North & South) Exit M6 motorway at Junction
43 (s/p Carlisle A69), and follow the A69 towards Carlisle City Centre.
Brunton Park is on the right hand side after 1 mile with the floodlights
and new East Stand clearly visible Leave the M6 motorway at junction 43.
Turn off onto the A69 into the city. Follow traffic down Warwick Road and
after about a mile you come to Brunton Park stadium. Continue past the
ground for approx. 200 yards and turn right onto Victoria Place and turn
first right onto St Aidans Road. The road turns sharp right near the
Stonyholme golf club and you enter the car park soon after. Admission to
the car park costs £1. Alternatively, turn left at the traffic lights
in front of Brunton Park onto Greystone Road and park on side streets or
in parking areas nearby.However, come early to avoid congestion! .
Meanwhile the latest injury victim at McD is Stephen Frail(right) who has a damaged knee and will be out for up to a month.
On the contract front, the club expect Cartman to sign a new deal by the end of the weekend.
As for the latest Hallowed Hero, the post-signing interviews have cleared up the confusion over "Our" Sylla / Mighty Mo's nationality. The player is actually from the Ivory Coast but his caps for Guinea are due to that country being his parents' nationality. So that's sorted then. Sylla has said how much he knew of Saints from a certain 3-3 draw last season and has been speaking of his international ambitions. The new signing said "I have been playing for Guinea but my top priority has to be to St Johnstone. It was the same in France. The club has to come first. If the opportunity comes along to play more international football I would take it, but only if it's okay with the manager. If I'm needed, I'll stay in Scotland. I already knew a lot about St. Johnstone from having watched their game against Monaco early last season. It was the 3-3 draw in Perth and it was obvious St Johnstone had quality players. But I already knew of the club because we see quite a lot of Scottish football in France. There is a good group of players here and it's important to feel part of the team. My English is not good at the moment but it will not take long to improve. Everyone at the club, from players to directors, have made me feel welcome. It was nice to get such a good response from the fans during the Norwich game, but I had already made up my mind to sign if Saints wanted me."
Finally there's a new fan-based SPL review site up at http://thespl.cjb.net/.
July 20th- Well according to the
Courier, "Our" Sylla hasn't
actually put pen to paper on a new deal but that is thought to be a
formality this morning with everything else agreed. Meanwhile,
Cartman will begin talks over a new deal
today which will hopefully mean a new contract by the weekend.
On the departing side there's a rumour going round that scout Don Mackay will be leaving to take up the not so enviable position as Airdrie manager following El Archibaldo's takeover of the ailing club.
6.00pm- Both moves are confirmed with Mohamed Sylla signing a 3-year deal this morning. St. Sandy was apparently impressed with the way the player settled in and had no hesitation in offering him a deal. "Mohamed has been with us for over a week and has fitted in very well with our players. He impressed me very much on Saturday and I am obviously delighted that we have reached an agreement so soon." Sylla said: "I am very happy to be here and from the moment I arrived I was made to feel very welcome by the manager, players and directors at the club. Even before the first game against Norwich City, I decided that I wanted to sign for St Johnstone. The level of football is very high and the team is full of good players. I am very happy to be here." .....Christ someone that wants to play for us?
Finally and it seems that Roddy Grant isn't wanted by Carlisle and won't be facing us at the weekend. So now we don't have to be nice to them any more !!!
July 19th- Better news on the
injury front with both Cartman and
Tommy Løvenkrands set to make
the Clyde game tonight (7.30 kick-off at Broadwood). Also in line to
possibly appear is Alan Main, although
it's more likely that Kevin Cuthbert
will keep the jersey.
Also on the way back is Graeme Jones who played 45 minutes of yesterdays closed-doors match against Ross County and is set to play again tonight.
10.30pm - A more back to normal Saints side drew 2-2 with Clyde in a dour game. On the plus side, Graeme Jones and Alan Main made a return to action. But the BIG news is that for once Saints have acted quickly and "Our" Sylla signed a permanent deal this afternoon after passing a medical this morning. And he had a good game tonight as well.
18th- Saints are set to play another closed doors game today with a
final one set up in England for next Monday. In between they play Clyde
tomorrow night at Broadwood and Carlisle on Saturday afternoon.
The injury situation is improving. Jim Weir(right) has recovered from a back injury which ruled him out against Norwich and will be available for the weekend. In addition Cartman and Tommy Løvenkrands will miss out today thanks to ankle knocks picked up against Norwich although neither is serious. The good news is that Saints are hopeful Alan Main will be back in action at the weekend.
On the transfer front, St. Sandy has started talks withMohammed Sylla's agent. The manager said, "Things won't be sorted out overnight, especially with him coming from another country, but hopefully we can reach an agreement." . The Retard are giving more information out about the player saying he's from French Guyanan and has 6 A-international caps. Who cares any more as long as we bloody sign him.
6.00pm - More news on "Our" Sylla with the PA revealing that the player already has his own fan club as he was mobbed by a large number of the fans at Sunday's open day. Speaking of which, Stewart Duff has said that with the success of the event there are now plans to make it an annual occurence. The only black mark was the non-appearance of the SPL trophy thanks to TFOD wanting to keep it in Wegieland for a while longer (probably still trying to get it back from the pawn shop).
Also off the park the club have announced that Gus Stewart and Dave Sidey will resign as directors of the club. Paying tribute to both, Geoff Brown said that the roles of a director had changed and the since they came on board the club has gone from a £100,000 to a £4m per year turnover. The chairman also hinted that there will be new board members in the near future - whether or not this means money coming in remains to be seen.
Finally congratulations to the P.A. for providing us with the best falsehood of the season so far, with their reference to "Peter Lovenkrands" playing for Saints on Saturday !!!!!!
17th- Cartman has been speaking
about the new "sexy football" at Saints. "I think were
going in the right direction here and that good times are ahead. There
have been a lot of changes and the manager has stressed on us that he
wants to play a more attractive game which is why were playing with
two wingers. Hes obviously been very impressed by what he saw in the
European Championships and is trying to take a bit of that on board and
put it into our game. Wed agreed to wait until Id got through
these games before we started talking so thats what well do
now and hopefully we can get something sorted out. Im happy here but
if its not right for me, its not right for me." .
Latest on Mohammed X is that he's staying with Saints for another week but the club will be speaking to his agent as soon as possible.
6.45pm - Well the trialist has been outed as Mohammed Sylla (right) according to an "exclusive" in the Sun. St. Sandy wants a further look at him saying "one fine day doesn't make a summer", although the signs are hopeful a deal can be worked out with the major obstacle being the players lack of English. And with a name like that the tabloid writers are no doubt slavering over the possible headlines.
16th- Some good news for Saints fans with
St. Sandy set to sit down this week to
talk about a new deal with Cartman(right).
The boss said, "Alan and I have an agreement and we will be
looking at the situation this week. He looked as if he was back to normal
today and played well - as did the rest of the players.".
And there's even better news with St. Sandy set to take notice of the fans and open talks with Mohammed X re a possible signing. "The trialist is available under Bosman so I will speak to his agent in the next few days to see if something can be sorted out". We still don't know the players name but club sources have revealed he's played for Le Havre and Le Mans - internet searches have thrown up a few possibles and hopefully we can identify him in the next couple of days.
Speaking about the game the manager was enthusiastic. "It was a good work-out for us and I was happy with our performance. We scored two good goals and it could have been even more if we had taken some of our chances. It's all about getting match-fitness at this stage of the season and we are getting nearer to that all the time. It was also good to see Nick Dasovic back because he gives us a good balance in midfield. Our wingers Paul and Tommy gave the strikers good service.". And Norwich boss Bryan Hamilton paid compliment to Saints new approach saying, "They could have won by more. They have some good players and play nice attacking football"
And it's congratulations to the Sunday Mail for ruining Kevin Cuthbert's debut by naming him "Kenneth".
15th- A good start to the friendlies for Saints with a comfrotable
2-1 win over Norwich and some
attractive football played to boot. Goals came from
Tommy Løvenkrands(right) and
Nick Dasovic but the main talking point
has to be the performance of trialist Mohammed
X who looked excellent on the ball at right-back and more than looks
a good signing prospect. So the message to St.
Sandy is SIGN HIM NOW !!!!
Off the park the new home strips are in the shops and the players page has been updated with the squad numbers for the new season. And finally tickets for the opening SPL match against Rangers are now on sale from the club priced £17
14th- Some good news first with Nick
Dasovic finally getting his work permit for next season. On the
minus side though, Alan Main(right) is
still suffering from his groin injury and a lack of fitness and is already
rated doubtful for the Ibrox match in a fortnight, although he is
Meanwhile new striker Craig Russell has been paying tribute to St. Sandy saying "I've got a lot to thank Sandy Clark for because he has shown a lot of faith in me. Unfortunately things didn't work out at Man City but that's football and you just have to move on. I came up on a three-month loan deal and got off to a good start by scoring in my first game against Motherwell at Fir Park. But I also tore my hamstring in that game which meant I had to go back down south. I was obviously disappointed but the manager made it clear he still wanted me at the club. He has watched me in training and I think he was just making sure I was 100 per cent fit before I signed a deal. Now I feel great and can't wait for the new season to start against Rangers at Ibrox. The manager is going to play with two wingers and that will suit me perfectly. Hopefully I can score a few goals with service from the wide areas."
OK, then I suppose I'll get the rant out of the way first. As expected this afternoon Danny Griffin gave up on soap and all other forms of hygiene for the next 3-years as he signed for Judas' Hilltoon Whores for £600,000. Given his service to the club I'd normally have wished him all the well but the fact that he's signed a 3-yr contract and has already been told by Judas that he "was signed for his versatility" means that there's little difference in how he's being treated there than by Saints. And to that you can add his comments on signing from the Evening Tele which are little more than a stab in the back for Saints fans - "I know the manager and the assistant manager, and I have worked with them very well in the past. I see this as a chance to further my career with them and Dundee United. This is a move to a bigger club and, although St Johnstone finished higher than United last season, I am hopeful that will be different this time." All in all, it's a nice incentive for us to prove him wrong.
Team news for tomorrow sees 17-yr old youngster Kevin Cuthbert(right) set to be handed his debut in goal against Norwich with fellow guardians of the goal Alan Main and Stephen Robertson still short of fitness.
St. Sandy said "Alan and Stephen are getting there, but neither has done enough work to really be considered so we will go with Kevin. He is very young yet and we should remember that. But he wouldn't be at the club if we did not rate him and I am sure he'll enjoy the experience". Elsewhere in the side the new signings of Tommy Løvenkrands, Paul Hartley and Craig Russell will definitely play alongside Alan Kernaghan (with the latter looking more and more likely to get a new contract) and the French Guyanan trialist defender ( Mohammed X) who received international clearance yesterday. Graeme Jones will miss out since he's only just restarted light training.
Speaking of the game St. Sandy said "My intention is to use Saturday's game as a fitness exercise and to that end I won't be using a lot of substitutes, preferring instead to give as many players as possible the full 90 minutes."
Sunday's Open day at McDiarmid has the added incentive of the club giving away 1000 tickets for the Sky match against Hearts on August 6th.
Finally, ex-Saintee Roddy Grant has started a weeks trial with Carlisle Utd with the promise of a longer-term deal if he impresses against Aberdeen in a friendly on Tuesday. Here's hoping he gets something so we can see him in action (albeit against us) next Saturday. The Saints Travel club are running a bus to the Carlisle v Saints match. The coach leaves the Dunkeld Road Supporters Club at 8:30am and leaves Carlisle at 6:30pm. It'll be £7 per head.
13th- The Courier says that Danny
Griffin will sign for the Arabs "by the weekend" -
whether or not that means he's spoken to them yet remains to be seen.
St. Sandy meanwhile is looking for clearance to play Mohammed X as a trialist in Saturday's friendly against Norwich after the defender impressed in a closed-doors game on Tuesday night. The Saints manager wants "to have another look at him" before deciding on a permanent move. And it could be that the player is not French-Ghanian but from French Guyana instead. Oh the delights of the trialist.....
Nick Dasovic(right) is still waiting to hear the results of his appeal re his work permit.
6.00pm - Dundee Evening Tele reports that Danny Griffin has seen the Arabs medical staff and will be paraded as one of the scum tomorrow. It's also been revealed that Mohammed X played at right-back in Tuesday's closed-doors match against Stirling Albion which ended in a 4-1 defeat!!! for Saints.
July 11th- More twists in the
Danny Griffin saga with the player
claiming to be in the dark about any move to Arabland. Speaking to the
e-Retard he said ": "All I know about moving to
Dundee United is what I've read in the newspapers. I haven't spoken to
anyone from United about a move and I have not made a decision about my
future." . Oh good so here we go again......
On the plus side Craig Russell will sign a 3-yr deal today subject to a medical with personal terms being agreed last night. Already the papers have him talking about TFOD - "When the fixture list came out I was swamped by requests for tickets for the Ibrox game from friends and family who knew I was ready to move to Saints. That will be my first match for months and I can't wait to get going. Other players think the close season is too short but I'm desperate to get playing again, to make up for lost time".
Meanwhile the e-Retard says that St. Sandy will eye up a "mystery French-Ghanaian trialist" tonight in a closed-doors game.
6.00pm - Craig Russell has finally signed. The French-Ghananian mystery man is a 23-yr old defender (hereby known as Mohammed X), who has played in the French 1st and 2nd Divisions and is available under Bosman.
10th- The Courier says that the Arabs have agreed personal
terms with Danny Griffin and only the
medical has to be passed for the deal to go through. The Retard
meanwhile says an English club is interested in signing the player but the
paper is under the impression that Saints wouldn't receive a fee if he
went South - which is wrong since he's still under 24.
Craig Russell's signing talks are continuing with the finances on a 3-year deal for the player still being worked out.
Elsewhere and forgotten man George O'Boyle (right in case you've forgotten what he looks like) is ready for a comeback from injury. "Two cruciate operations on the same knee are rare but sports science has advanced at an incredible rate. While I haven't set a comeback date I'm jogging now. Hopefully I'll be training with the squad again by September. I've been sidelined for so long that fans have been asking me if I've packed in football and that just makes me even more determined to get back playing again."
Finally the latest name on the list of signing targets appears to be "die-hard Jambo" Gary Locke. The defender who played under St. Sandy as part of the Hearts youth team is according to Radio Forth about to be the subject of a bid by Saints.
9th- Surprisingly enough no transfer news in the papers today.
However, St. Sandy(right) has been in
the Sunday Mail pre-season supplement explaining his hopes for the
season. A spying trip to Euro 2000 has him vowing to "turn Saints
into a silky side hell bent on playing total football. Hopefully everyone
can learn from Euro 2000 because it will be good for the Scottish game.
I've taken some ideas of style and methods from the tournament but it
needs everyone to change their thinking if we're to have a thrilling
league. The approach is different with patient simple passes and
accomplished flowing football but that requires supporters to be patient
"It all comes down to the standard of player on show and guys like Figo are top dollar. While we can't hope to compare at that level, I believe every team should be trying to attack. Scottish football is going through a transitory phase but we have to remember we're in the entertainment industry.".
So we can expect the first Saints v Motherwell game to be on a par with Portugal v France then?
July 8th- Well it looks like
Danny Griffin has all but gone to Judasland.
Today's Express says that only the medical has to be passed and
the player will sign next week. The medical is at the insistence of the
Coagies who want to check that his knee injury isn't more serious. The
money from the sale has all been promised to St.
Sandy to fund new signings and it looks like some will be required
to secure Craig Russell's terms whilst
another defender could now become a priority.
The manager said, "I would like to get one more player in and it would either be a centre-half or right-back or someone capable of playing both positions. In the knowledge that Danny might well leave this summer we had done our homework, and with one or two possibilities in mind I would think we could get something done fairly quickly."
7th- First things first then and after many sleepless nights
totting up the votes and crying tears of laughter at some of the
nominations / reasoning, the 1999-2000 TOSSA AWARDS
are now out for you to reminisce over the last season. Thanks a lot to
all who took the trouble to vote.
Meanwhile it's back to depression time with today's e-Courier hinting that Danny Griffin will move to Judasland soon. The fee of £600,000 has been agreed and the player is described as "close" to reaching agreement on personal terms with only a medical to be passed. Nothing like depressing the supporters when a hint of optimism about the new season is beginning to come through.
Wednesday saw St. Sandy and Stewart Duff in Edinburgh at the Dept of Employment to appeal over the removal of Nick Dasovic's work permit. The manager said "We should hear the outcome in the next day or so but we are very hopeful"
Craig Russell(right) should be a Saints player by the start of the week though with the club set to talk to his agent over the weekend and only the "fine tuning" to be done on the deal. St. Sandydescribes the player as the "missing link". The manager said, "With more crosses in the box thanks to Tommy and Paul we need someone to get on the end of them and put the ball into the net and Craig has proved that he's capable of that. Craig likes the set-up at Perth and it's just a case of fine-tuning the deal with his agent. All being well he'll be on the books by Monday." This still leaves room for more signings but according to the PA it depends on "Mr. Griffin"(looks like the local paper is losing patience with him as well).
Pre-season training is going well according to the manager. "We're looking good at the moment," he said, "with Graeme Jones being the only one to miss training yesterday and hopefully he'll be back midweek.".
6.00pm - Saints have announced details fo a FUN DAY to be held on Sunday July 16th from 12.00 - 2.30 at McD. The first team will be there and you can try your hand at beating the goalie, take part in a short training session, have your face painted in Saints' colours, line up for a team photo with your favourite players and fill your autograph book at the same time! Stuart Cosgrove will compere the proceedings. Stewart Duffsaid "It should be a real fun day for everyone involved. Everyone at the park will be in attendance, mixing with the fans and joining in the fun. The bar and souvenir shop will also be open and the Bank of Scotland SPL trophy will be on display in the Muirton Suite. We're looking for a good turnout of supporters to come along and enjoy themselves!" Well it's a great idea but surely it might have been better to hold it on the Saturday when there was a game to see as well? Still kudos to the club for trying some PR work.
The unnamed signing target that was facing the scan is Hamilton defender Ross McLaren who trained with the club over the summer. The bad news is that the scan has revealed a damaged disc in his back which will keep the player out until October. So the move goes on hold in the meantime although McLaren is still hopeful that he'll "get back playing and then complete the move".
Finally the new home tops are rumoured to be in the shops come July 17th.
Alan Main has resumed light training and
is set to be fit for the start of the season.
Meanwhile the rumour in the press is that the Legend has signed up with Carlisle Utd for pre-season training. Guess that game just got a bit more interesting then...
6.00pm - Well it looks like Craig Russell could be a Saints player within the next 48 hours. Stewart Duff has said that the player has undergone a full week's pre-season training and "if he's ok at the end of it we'll see about talking a deal". Just as well with the news today that Nathan Lowndes' back injury is likely to see him missing until November!!
5th- Nothing much happening at the club with the only media talk
being about Danny Griffin. With no
further progress regarding a decision from the player chief executive
Stewart Duff has said that it's becoming
a "headache", since with only 11 days to do till Delia
comes to town, the club still don't know if they need to go out and buy a
Elsewhere the new Wide Boys are looking forward to the new season.Paul Hartley(right) praised the McD pitch saying "The manager has said he wants to play myself wide on the right and Tommy wide on the left. It's a very big pitch and that will suit both myself and Tommy who has a lot of pace. Easter Road was very narrow and it didn't really suit my game." . Meanwhile his partner on the left Tommy Løvenkrands(far right) said "I've enjoyed pre-season training so far and I can't wait for the season to start. It would be nice to face my brother on the first day of the campaign." - that last bit being the e-Retard determined to get the TFOD link into the story.
There's been no sign of Kieran McAnespie so it's safe to assume he's decided to bugger off to the big time in Norway.
Finally there's no sign of the official squad list yet but from the pic on the right it seems that Paul Hartley is no 17 and Tommy Løvenkrands no 7 - both former shirts of cult heroes which hopefully is a good omen.
4th- Saints are still looking to add to the squad according to the
Courier. The unnamed player however has a fitness concern and is
being sent for a scan first.
It's been revealed that Paul Hartley has signed a 3-yr contract with the player saying "I'm delighted that Sandy's given me this chance and I'll work hard to repay his faith in me. I believe I've still to peak as a player and I can learn a lot at St Johnstone under him. The SPL is where most young Scottish players want a chance to prove themselves. I'm fairly settled in Scotland and hopefully Saints will give me a few years in among the action."
St. Sandy is still looking to add more new blood to the squad before the season opens. "We've got Manchester City striker Craig Russell on line and it would be nice to add at least another one over the next couple of weeks," he said. Meanwhile the manager says that Alan Kernaghan is "looking good" in training. Danny Griffin is still deciding his future but the manager made it clear he doesn' t want to lose both defenders "I certainly don't want to lose both of them. I want more entertaining football for the fans next season. Hopefully that entertainment will start at Ibrox - a result would be the perfect springboard for our 2000/2001 campaign." - Which means that SEXY FOOTBALL IS BACK !!!
Prices for the Norwich game have been priced at £5 for adults and free for kids. Season ticket holders also get in for nowt (which will be about the only time for a non-SPL match) with only the East and West Stands open. With season ticket sales rumoured to be the lowest ever for McDiarmid let's hope that we get the Barbour Brigade back through the door.
3rd- Today's Courier says that Saints have agreed a £200,000
fee for Paul Hartley with only
personal terms to be sorted out. Chairman Geoff
Brown said "While every St Johnstone supporter would agree
that weve lacked goals I am sure they would also agree that a lack
of ammunition for the front players has largely been to blame for that.
The manager is seeking to address the situation and having signed Tommy
Lovenkrands to play on the left he would now like Hartley to give us width
on the right." .
Given the size of the fee it means that Saints must be expecting some sort of fee for Danny Griffin to pay for it all. Dundee United have confirmed their interest and a fee of around £600,000 is being discussed although the player hasn't ruled out re-signing for Saints.
6.30pm -St. Sandy has signed Paul Hartley from Hibs for £200,000. No word on the contract but the manager said "Paul has been a player whom I have admired since our days together at Hamilton Accies and with the departure of John O'Neil, I was actively seeking a wide right player. Paul fits the bill perfectly and with the signing of Tommy Lovenkrands from AB Copenhagen, this gives me two pacy wingers on either side of the pitch. This should provide our strikers with a good service and hopefully result in good entertainment for the fans." The player himself seems keen about Saints (unlike say 18 months ago) "When I heard of St Johnstone's interest, I was very keen to come to McDiarmid Park as I had worked under Sandy Clark at Hamilton. The type of football which the manager wishes to play will suit me perfectly and I am looking forward to the season ahead with St Johnstone."
Elsewhere on the transfer front, St. Sandy said that stories linking Saints with Pat McGibbon were "rubbish".
More depressing is the news that the club has agreed a fee with Dundee United for Danny Griffin but Notts Forest and Celta Vigo are also interested in the player.
For the first team squad Graeme Jones has picked up a calf strain already, whilst Gary Bollan and Nick Dasovic started pre-season training after completing their coaching course at Largs.
2nd- Just when you think it can't get any worse we get the news
from the Sunday Mail that Danny
Griffin has been "locked in talks with Dundee United"
and a move is expected to go through in the next couple of days. If we let
him go to Tannadice then its a very bad piece of business. If
Danny wants to sign a 2-yr deal instead of 3 then let him do so - it's a
lot more tolerable than losing him for nothing abroad or to let him catch
all those nasty diseases in Coagieland.
1st- Rumours in last night's papers that Saints are on the verge of
a signing - it was hoped to have the unnamed player (don't even know his
position) on board yesterday afternoon but it's now likely to take place
over the weekend. Whether or not this confirms all the leaving stories
we've had the last couple of days remains to be seen.
5.00pm Well it looks like the unidentified player is Hibs winger Paul Hartley. The player, who turned Saints down when he moved from Raith to Hibs is available for a "nominal" fee according to the Retard and Sun today and with the player having played under St. Sandy at Hamilton he's not an unknown quantity.
Top Of News
30th- It just gets better and better in the wonderful world of
Saints transfers. Todays Daily Record has both
Danny Griffin and
Cartman set to move on. The former is
unhappy at the deal on offer saying I'd be happy to sign a two-year
deal but not three years. It's been two-year deals up until now so why
change? At this rate I'll be due a testimonial at 25." . Clubs in
Spain, Portugal, Denmark and France are apparently interested.
Meanwhile Alan Kernaghan is having a dig at the club's delay in offering him a new deal (ironic given his comments a few weeks ago), saying "I've been happy with Saints but if something definite comes up elsewhere I might have to move on." with a possible move to the Hilltoon Whores being mooted. Nice to see such loyalty being displayed.
Saints have also been linked in today's Sun with a move for Wigan's N. Ireland international defender Pat McGibbon(right), although both Swindon and Bournemouth are also interested. The 6ft 2" 26-yr old is available under Bosman.
29th- Brilliant just brilliant. Come back to the UK all rested,
refreshed and tanned for the new season and the good mood lasts all of 5
bloody minutes. At least that's how long it takes to get depressed about
the state of affairs regarding the squad. As expected
John O'Neil(right) has decided to "join
a bigger club in Hibs" - ie take more dosh and try to
convince himself it's a decent career move.. I'd like to wish Del all
the best but these sort of statements stick in the throat after his
comments that it was only financial terms that was preventing him signing
a new deal with Saints.
Meanwhile and more worrying is the news that the best chance outside of a Scandanavian Trialist for cult herodom in Chief O'Halloran(right) has also decided to up sticks and head off to the bigger challenge of Swindon. Again I wish the player all the best especially since he was one of those rare players that made up for a lack of ability with a willingness to play for the jersey. Mind you it's debatable that it's a better career move for him that continuing to establish himself in the Saints first eleven. One thing that might have escaped comment though is the possible influence of the McDiarmid Moaners on the players willingness to stay in Perth. On the good side perhaps these arseholes will realise that constant barracking of players can only do the club harm.
Elsewhere on the big bus called "Departures", it's little surprise that Gerry McMahon isn't having his contract renewed. Another victim of the moaners, the Irishman has suffered during his spell with Saints from both injury and an apparent lack of confidence, although he undoubtedly has talent. Best of luck Gerry.
Kieran McAnespie is set to join Lillestromon a week's trial in July with the player making it more than plain that he wants a permanent move away from Perth. Quotes like "it's nice to be wanted" in the media after rejecting a more than fair offer from Saints won't endear him to the support if the Scandanavian experiment falls through.
One player not quite out the door yet is Danny Griffin(right) who is still deciding on a new contract. The player is currently on crutches having undergone some minor surgery to repair a niggling injury. Hopefully that will discourage other clubs and Danny can be kept on. A decision on this is expected in the next 24 hours.
On the plus side Stephen Robertson has signed a new 1-yr contract. Good to see that the player is willing to stay at the club despite the likelihood that he'll be reserve keeper for next season. Meanwhile Saints are set to take another look at Man City striker Craig Russell. The 26-yr old Englishmans loan spell lasted all of 45 minutes last season before being cut short by injury. However St. Sandy wants the player to join Saints for pre-season training and if all works out a more permanent move can be arranged, especially with Man. City apparently willing to let the player move on a free transfer.
There are some ex-Saintees in the press as well. Roddy Grant is likely to sign up for Partick Fissel next year where he enjoys as much cult status as in Perth. And good news for the other cult hero Allan Preston. After being forced to give up the playing side due to injury ex-Saints Peter Davenport currently managing Macclesfield Town has offered Biscuits a place on the coaching staff at the club.
Finally on the player front proof that money isn't everything from Japan and Miguel Simao who despite making a fortune in the J-League is in the papers saying how "It's a lot more difficult to make friends off the park and thats something I miss from my time with St. Johnstone".
Elsewhere and the new season is only a few weeks away. The complete (well as complete as can be) Fixture List is now available allowing everyone to drum up optimism and support for Saints chances in overcoming the jinx of not winning on the first day of the season since 345BC. Yup we play TFOD in the opening game again at Ibrox.
June 16th- Media reports seem to
suggest that John O'Neil will become a
HIVBees player in a couple of weeks. The Retard says that the
player will be holding talks with Alex McLeish soon. He said "It
seems Hibs are keen, so hopefully we'll get things sorted out within the
next few weeks." which kind of puts the death knell on any
lingering hopes he'll stay in Perth.
Saints have also released keeper Garry Gow who is now surplus to requirements.
The new home strips should be in the shops within the next couple of weeks - Casanova 69 is on order already !!!
Finally, this will be the last update until the 28th or so - I'm off to doss on a beach in the Caribbean in preparation for next season !! Send any news / gossip / fixture / squad details to firstname.lastname@example.org
15th- Hopes of Cartman getting a
new deal are on the increase with Geoff
Brown(right) saying "We will be more than delighted to talk
to Alan about a new contract to keep him at the club. He has had a bad
time with injury and the only reason he is still here is that Sandy Clark
rates him so highly. A fit Alan Kernaghan is a big plus and I look forward
to seeing him in action for St Johnstone next season." . The
player's contract isn't up until the 30th and with pre-season training
starting on the 28th, it's likely that talks will be on hold until then.
The club chairman went on to say that Saints will be more medically-cautious with future signings though. He went on, "We have not, in the past, been as particular as we might have been in looking at the medical records of players we are interested in and assessing the risk of injuries they have had recurring. But from now on we will be looking at that very carefully because we cannot afford to be paying wages to people who are sitting in the stand owing to old injuries flaring up again. It would be fair to say that in seeking to bring people to the club we will not be looking favourably upon anyone who could be described as being injury prone. And were the manager to tell us he wanted someone, who had something special to offer us but whose signing would require us to take a chance then we would make sure that the players contract was weighted in such a way that he would be earning the maximum amount agreed only if he were playing."
June 14th- Still very little happening, although Cartman has passed his latest scan on his injury and has the go ahead to start pre-season training at the end of the month. Nowt else going on though.
June 11th- Well there's nothing happening in the papers, but the first Media Falsehood of the new season has been reported.
June 9th- Well the good news
today is that due to Swindons cash problems, they may not be able
to afford Chief (thats if the FA allow
the club to make any transfer moves).
Danny Griffin has been voted PA Player of the Year. The player isn't ruling out extending his stay at Saints with the stumbling block not believed to be money but more how the manager sees him fitting into the side with Danny preferring a central defence role. Worse news though is that Nick Dasovic has lost his work permit due to being out injured for 6 months. The player reckons he'll win it on appeal but it's nice to see some publicity for the case.
Elsewhere and Tommy Løvenkrands last night saw his wee brother sign for TFOD - amazing how the Wegie media are so interested in the wonders of Danish players all of a sudden.
Off the park and Saints only need to get a building warrant to complete the installation of the undersoil heating at McD. Meanwhile the club are trying to sell off the Andy Rhodes (ie big fat balloon) which protected the pitch last year.
And finally, season tickets are being sent out now - mines arrived today. And it's only 5 weeks tomorrow till the first friendlies !!!!!
7th- Latest on the transfers is that Stewart
Duff described the speculation over Gordon
Connelly as "rubbish". However the club are
interested in a move for Ross McLaren,
who is available this summer under Bosman although a fee would be due to
Elsewhere and it seems that John O'Neil will sign for Hibs on July 1st in a 3-yr £400,000 deal - well beyond what Saints can afford. Meanwhile the Embra mob have freed Barry Lavety so expect the usual speculation to start in a couple of weeks.
Congratulations to the Daily Record who are now officially referring to the Mighty Tommy Løvenkrands as "brother of Rangers target Peter" as TFOD attempt a £1.2m bid for Tommy's wee brother hailed as "the new Brian Laudrup". Which probably just means we got the one that can stay upright then.
June 6th- Well just for a change
Saints are in the news with 2 stories linking us to prospective signings.
The Sun links us (along with Dundee Utd) with 18-yr old Hamilton
defender Ross McLaren, whilst the
Retard has us tied in with ex-Airdrie and current Southend
defenderGordon Connelly, although
with Stoke also chasing the player he seems likely to stay in
Elsewhere the Danny saga goes on. Commenting on the players's reported disenchantment at the weekend, Stewart Duff said "I cannot understand how it can be suggested that Sandy might have been involved in contractual talks with Danny as that sort of thing is not handled by the manager at St Johnstone. The position with regard to the player is that last October he was made an offer-a very good one indeed-which reflected his status within the club. That offer remains on the table, and within the past 10 days I spoke with his agent David Fordham. But at this stage Danny wants to retain all the options open to him, which might of course include moving abroad." Currently the club want Danny to sign for 3 years but the player is only willing to stay for two. Personally I'd settle for 2 years - once we're regulars in Europe he'll sign up for longer.
An ex-Saintee in the news is Callum Davidson who has been linked with a move to West Ham.
June 5th- Little news to report. Chief has delayed his decision for a fortnight until he comes back from his holiday.
3rd- Latest on the contract situation has
Danny Griffin(right) speaking to the
Daily Record about his future. He's
rejected the 3-yr deal and isn't happy about the way the club have dealt
with things. "It's hard to take because I've been here for
six-and-a-half years now and feel I've been a good servant. I played in
the first team for five-and-a-half of those years at a young age, which is
quite good going. I have told the club the reasons I won't accept their
offer and it's up to them to come back to me. I spoke to Sandy Clark last
Tuesday and he told me he wants me to stay and said he would speak again
to the chairman. But nothing more has happened and it's looking likely
that I'll just have to weigh up my options elsewhere." He's
blaming Saints for the current situation with so many players likely to
leave "I think the club have left it a bit late in trying to get
players who are out of contract to stay. They were obviously waiting to
see how things went last season. But you never know, a lot can still
Meanwhile Swindon have confirmed a £100,000 bid for Keith O'Halloran. The player is down south this weekend looking over their set-up and will make his decision on Monday.
Personally I hope that Saints can pull out the stops to get both players to stay - they were amongst our best performers last season and come across as more than willing to stay if the terms are right - and not necessarily financially.
2nd- Right where to begin on the contract situation. How's about a
quick rundown on the players who are leaving/staying and the stories
behind the media rumours.
Allan Ferguson - has been told he won't get a new deal. The 3 months on half wages is to offer him some sort of "financial comfort" as he recovers from injury with Saints also picking up the tab for his medical bills. So it's a farewell to probably the unluckiest player at McD in recent years. Stewart Duff said "We were not obliged to offer Allan anything as he is out of contract but we like to think that we at St Johnstone have a reputation for looking after our players, hence our offering him what we have. There was nothing untoward in the specialist's report that we got but with Robertson having indicated his willingness to sign for a year once he gets back from holiday we already have three keepers on our staff for next season."
Stephen Robertson - As mentioned above he's set to sign a new 12 month deal on his return from holiday.
Alan Kernaghan(top right) - Is being kept on just now with contract negotiations on hold. If he comes through pre-season OK then he will be offered a new deal.
Danny Griffin - There's a 3-yr deal on the table but nothing is expected to happen until the player has assessed his options.
Marc Millar(bottom right) - He's reached the end of his short-term deal and isn't being offered a new one, although he has had some offers from other clubs. It has to be said he leaves with the best wishes of all Saints fans especially after shafting Scumdee so gloriously on his debut !!!
Kieran McAnespie - No word on where he's going but he's definitely not staying with Saints. Perhap[s a move is for the best since he's not really managed to improve on the potential he showed a few years ago.
John O'Neil - Another who's definitely leaving with the HIVBees the latest name in the frame. It's been revealed that Saints offered him a 100% increase on his current deal but it still doesn't match the so-called bigger clubs.
Keith O'Halloran - A decision is due today from the player who heads off on holiday tomorrow. The player says he likes the club and the area but he has a "substantial" offer on the table from Swindon and Stewart Duff rates his chances of staying at 50-50.
Gerry McMahon - No word yet as to whether he's getting a new deal.
Paddy Connolly - Ditto.
On the plus side, the Andy McLaren stuff is dead in the water with Killie set to offer him a deal.
With all the planning for the new season, it means that the Media Falsehoods, Referee Votes and Prospects pages for 1999-2000 are now closed. Their equivalents for season 2000-01 can be found here, here and here
1st- Little to report. Saints captain Jim
"There's only one " Weir(right) has spoken to the papers
about Saints chances and says that "There is no reason why we
can't continue our form next year and finish in the top 5 again."
So that's the kiss of death then.
Elsewhere the usual transfer rumours abound. Saints have been linked with a move for ex-Arab and junkie Andy McLaren. The player is out of rehab but Saints have apparently limited themselves to "initial inquiries" only.
Keith O'Halloran is officially out of contract today and is set to decide whether or not to sign a new deal before he goes on holiday at the end of the week. The player has seemed keen to stay but has had offers from clubs in England.
6.30pm - Saints have extended Allan Ferguson contract by 3 months on half wages as he attempts to recover from his knee injury. Chief executive Stewart Duff said "We are under no obligation to do this but we try and look after our players" - you can just smell the sincerity can't you?
Meanwhile the Andy McLaren story looks like crap with the player set to move to Arabland on a short-term deal.
And finally, there's another pre-season friendly set up v. Clyde for Wednesday, July 19th at 7.30pm at Broadwood
Top Of News
31st- The official website for the
Supporters AFC team run by Kev Heller is now up and running.
Meanwhile it's reported that Saints will make a decision in the next 48 hours on whether or not to offer Dolph(right) a new contract. Stewart Duff said "Our doctor now has the latest report on Allans injury from the specialist and well decide what we are going to do in the course of the next two days." Also on the possible departure front, Keyring is said to be linked with Lillestrom, Molde, Stoke City and Bournemouth, whilst the Moaning Ginger Git McLeish has admitted HIVBees interest in John O'Neil.
And ex-SainteeRoddy Grant could be set to make a return to Partick Fissel which obviously sets them up nicely for a cup tie to knock Saints out next season.
Meanwhile Tommy Løvenkrands is still singing the praises of the club It is a lovely place and the people are so friendly. Rangers and Celtic are big names back home and the prospect of playing against them was a big draw for me." . He's back off to Denmark today but will return for pre-season training next month.
30th- HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMMY !!!!! - Yup
Tommy Løvenkrands turns 26
5.00pm.....and he's celebrated by finally joining Saints. Yup no Rottweilers called Ted, Mothers who like Dundee cake or stolen mobile phones got in the way of St. Sandy getting his man. Tommy Løvenkrands (pictured right with girlfriend Marie and baby son Christian) signed in a six-figure deal (quoted as £100,000 in the Sun) on a 3-year contract. The player says he's relishing the move to Scotland but just because he's a winger and Danish he doesn't want to be known as the new Laudrup (which probably means he can at least stand on two feet). He said in today's Retard, "Brian was successful with Rangers but he is a very special player. He is a legend. I'm also a winger who likes to score goals and create them but the fans shouldn't expect another Laudrup." - at least they've not got Tommy down as a "die-hard Rangers fan".
Tommy flew in yesterday with his family and after undergoing a medical went on a tour of the town with his girlfriend and baby son. "There's no doubt in my mind that I want to come to Scotland and play for St Johnstone. I enjoyed my week here in November and everyone I met made me feel welcome. Marie didn't want to leave her family before when she was expecting the baby but now Christian is nearly five months old and the time is right to move abroad. I'm celebrating my 26th birthday in Scotland and signing for St Johnstone would be an excellent present!"
Elsewhere want-away midfielder Keyring played 80 minutes for the Scotland U-21s last night in their 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland.
29th- Latest transfer rumours on Teamtalk have Saints
linked with ex-Morton and Leeds star and current Oxford striker
Derek Lilley. The player has failed to
settle in England and had a loan spell at Hearts last season. We were also
linked with him last year and no doubt his wages would be a stumbling
block to any proposed deal although it's believed a fee of around £60,000
will be enough to buy him.
May 27th- Not too much to
report. One-time Saints target (according to media stories),
Barry Sellars has signed for Clyde so
that's one player that won't be joining us.
Congratulations to Graeme Jones whose goal against Motherwell was named on the BBC as the SPL Goal of the Season.
26th- Tommy Løvenkrands
has been speaking of his transfer to Perth. The winger has scored 4 goals
in 40 games this season for AB and said: "I am looking forward to
going to Scotland and playing for St Johnstone. It will be exciting to
play against Rangers and Celtic in front of enormous crowds. "St
Johnstone were excellent to me when I came across and played in November.
Against Coventry they tried to play good football and didn't resort to
just kicking the ball up the park. Their style is perfect for me and it is
the ideal move." . He played in last night's 2-0 win for AB and
is due to fly over after his last game on Monday with his wife for a tour
of the city and his medical.
Meanwhile St. Sandy has hit out at Keyring(right) who has made it clear he's leaving Saints in the summer. "I expect to lose some and keep others who are out of contract but Kieran has made it clear he is moving. At his age the most important thing should be developing his long-term career and he can do that best at McDiarmid Park."
Congratulations to Kiegan Parker who picked up the May awards for SPL Young Player of the Month.
Finally, defender Daryn Smith who has been on loan to Stranraer has been given a free transfer.
25th- Nathan Lowndes is
expected to be out until the end of October. The striker has had back
surgery in England and will be out for 5 months. Meanwhile the
Temple has received some reports of a press conference at McD today to
reveal a new signing with the rumour mill saying that the amount
involved is major for Saints.
5.00pm Some good news at last !!!!!! The official press conference was held this morning and Saints have announced the signing of cult trialist Tommy Løvenkrands. The 25-yr old AB Copenhagen player will travel to Perth next week and assuming the medical is ok will sign a 3-year contract. The deal also involves what is described as a "substantial six-figure" fee. St. Sandy said "As everybody will know, I have been looking for a wide left player for some time and I am delighted that we have reached an agreement with Tommy and his Club. Negotiations have been going on for some time but were put on hold as Tommy's wife gave birth to their first child in January. Tommy guested for St Johnstone in Roddy Grant's Testimonial last November and made a great impression on our supporters. I am certain that he will settle in very quickly and prove to be a great asset to the Club." Tommy Løve will play for his Danish club tonight against Brondby and on Sunday against Lyngby in ABs final two games. AB are currently fourth in the Danish top league a and are chasing a UEFA Cup place. Somehow we might all be checking for Danish football reports to check the new superstar doesn't pick up an injury.
What this means for the future of Keyring remains to be seen.
May 24th- Not too much in the
papers today, however the Official
Saints Site has given details of the youngsters to be taken onto the
Saints groundstaff this season. So step up Emmanuel
Panther (cult-hero), Davie Dods
(son of a certain ex-Arab and Hun), Martin
Maher, Frazer Briggs,
Mark Ferry, Peter
Lynch, David Noble. All will be
eligible to play for the Saints U-18 side next season.
At the same time it's farewell to youngsters Alex Keddie and Stephen Stewart who are not being kept on.
23rd- End of season and time for the transfer and contract rumours
to start. Chairman Geoff Brown has
come right out and said that when it comes to negotiations this year he
"won't let his heart rule his head. St Johnstone has to earn
every penny and maybe we've squandered too much of it recently. There's no
way I'm giving out contracts willy-nilly, not with our injury record over
the last two seasons. We have to be very prudent with contracts. Countless
players have been known to take a club's wages while they're injured and
walk away when they're fit and out of contract. This club paid Philip
Scott while he was laid-up and off he went to England, Allan Ferguson
joined us after being out for months at Hamilton and George O'Boyle did
the same from Dunfermline. Bosman is a double edged sword and we can't
afford to be caught out.". Referring to last year's decision to
grant the Legend a testimonial despite
the player being injured for a while, the chairman revealed that Saints
have spent £500,000 on wages for players who have been
injured in recent years - although given the usual queue for the treatment
table at McD this isn't too much of a surprise.
The news won't do much good for Dolph and Alan Kernaghan both of whom have been told to produce medical evidence from specialists next week before the club will even consider contract negotiations. Elsewhere on the transfer front, Danny Griffin is reported to have been the subject of a £200,000 bid from the HIVBees which the club rejected (probably cos it was at least one zero short). According to today's PA though the current injury to the N. Ireland defender means there is still a chance he will sign a new deal in Perth.
The same paper says that both Gerry McMahon ( above right) and Marc Millar are set to stay with the former getting a new deal offered to him (for what we don't know given his form over the season) and the latter likely to extend his current short-term deal, which given his form the last couple of games is more than deserved.
More upsetting though is the departure list. With John O'Neil already set to leave, the latest rumour is that cult hero nominee for the season (according to the early TOSSA Votes) Keith O'Halloran(right) is in demand by Swindon. Personally I can't see St. Sandy wanting to lose a regular first team player like Chief, especially since the player has said in the past he'll be more than happy to stay with Saints. Also in the exit queue is Kieran McAnespie who seems set to head for a possible move to Norway ruling out any fee for Saints.
Finally, Saints are launching a new lager at the Royal Bar this week !!!!! That explains the training Georgio has been putting in then.....
May 22nd- Not too much to
report. Allan Ferguson is set to see a
specialist next week on his knee injury and Saints will decide based on
that report whether to offer the 31-yr old keeper a new contract or not.
Meanwhile Del, who gets married at the
weekend will decide after his honeymoon, where his future lies although
the midfielder hasn't yet ruled out the possibility of staying with
Finally, it's that time of year again and time to vote in the TOSSA 2000 AWARDS. You can enter your votes using the online Entry Form Here, or if you want to fill it in at leisure simply download this Text File of Categories and e-mail your vote to mailto:email@example.com. Voting will be open until the end of June (when I get back from my holidays) with the results announced soon after.
21st- Saints finished the 1999-2000 SPL season with a
3-2 defeat and a lacklustre
performance at Rugby Park. Goals from Marc
Millar(right) and Kiegan Parker
restored respectability to the score as Saints were 3-0 down with 15
minutes left. After the match St. Sandy
said"If we'd taken anything from that game it would have been an
injustice. We got what we deserved". All wasn't gloomy though as
SPL results elsewhere saw defeats for the HIVBees in the Edinburgh derby
and Scumdee lose at home to Aberdeen which meant we finished the season in
May 20th- Not too much team news
for tomorrow. Brendan Crozier and
Chris Conway are in the squad along
with Nick Dasovic. The latter might
come in for Paul Kane who picked up a
foot knock last week and is doubtful.
Meanwhile there's a second pre-season friendly with Saints heading to Carlisle on Saturday July 22nd.
Kieran McAnespie has been called up for
the Scotland U-21 squad for a 3-team tournament at the end of the month.
There's also some semi-decent news on the contract front with
Stephen Robertson ready to put pen to
paper on another 12-month deal. The youngster said "I had another
chat with the gaffer this week and I'd love to stay if the financial side
of things can be settled. The last contract I signed was for 12 months and
the same again might suit myself and the club. It would be good to get it
sorted out and that could happen before Sunday's game or early next week."
Meanwhile there's little team news for the weekend. Jim Weiris suspended thanks to a yellow card against Hearts. Nick Dasovic may make a return to first-team action though.
May 18th- Not too much to report
the last few days. Danny Griffin looks
more than likely to have played his last game for the club with a knee
injury ruling him out of Sunday's game. Elsewhere on the contract front
St. Sandy doesn't expect anyone to sign
new deals until their new one expires. "It's understandable that
players want to keep their options open"
Elsewhere Saints are going ahead with a six-figure investment in undersoil heating. Geoff Brown said "With TV putting so much money in we can't afford to risk postponing games due to the weather" - what this will do to the best playing surface in Scotland remains to be seen.
Finally start updating the diaries - Saturday July 15th sees Saints play host to Norwich City in the first pre-season friendly for next year.
16th- Well let's hear it for the Sun who have the "exclusive"
interview with the Saints fan that swore at Moravprick. With the OF bigots
on the Retard hotline calling for him to be banned for life it
appears that he only swore at the Sellik player after Moravprick gave him
the Vs. And he did not complain to the police which shoots another
half dozen tabloid conspiracy theories out of the water.
Elsewhere, tthe Legend (getting his money right)has been talking about the send-off he got on Saturday at half-time. "It was incredibly emotional. To be honest, I was taken aback by the response of the supporters. They were absolutely amazing. The family had been made very welcome by everyone at the club but I just had to get away immediately after the presentation. I was choked. It was an incredible reception to get and it rounded off a fantastic year."
15th- Cult hero (well mine anyway) and almost ever-present this
season Keith O'Halloran is reported to
have been offered a new 2-yr deal which he is considering.
Meanwhile, as expectd there is plenty of TFOE-sympathetic coverage in the papers of Saturday's game. Saints chairman Geoff Brown is in the Sun saying that "Players get paid a lot and if they are professional enough to ignore abuse for 90 minutes every other week they should be able to ignore a 90-second outburst. I've got no sympathy for him. We will be taking no action against the Saints fan." Of course the media are showing their usual accuracy with about 3 different versions of what was said from "b**t**d" to "f*ck off" (how do you pronounce * anyway?). The Retard also says that it was a Saints fan who complained to the police about Moraprick swearing back whilst other reports say that the police were taking action off their own back. The Sun meantime calls for a police investigation as to why the dugout area at Perth is such a "flashpoint for trouble". Strange how it only happens when the OF are in town? I didn't notice too many calls for action when Wiggy Advocaat is stirring things up.
Back on the park and the news isn't too great for the other cult hero Nathan Lowndes (right in case you've forgotten what he looks like). Apparently his back injury is worse than expected and he is now doubtful for the start of NEXT season and could miss up to 2 months of the start. Bollocks says me.
Finally, apologies for lack of updates to the WAP version of the site. The only link now up is http://wappy.to/sjfc.
14th- Danny Griffin(right) is
heading to Charlton according to today's News of the World
with Saints getting around £500,000 by way of compensation.
Not much else to report with the usual Sellik in Crisis headlines dominating the pages.
9.00pm Tonight's SPL results saw a 1-0 win for Scumdee over the HIVBees and a 5-1 win for the Sheep against Killie.
May 13th- A
goalless draw against The Forces Of Evil
at Perth doesn't seem too bad until you realise we were playing against
9 men following the red cards for Lubo the Swearer and
Johnson the Thug. Still it was good to see Tayside police doing
their work for a change and credit to the club - the atmosphere amongst
the home fans in the main stand was excellent and enjoyable for a change.
Post-match Dalglish blamed everyone but Sellik with the ludicrous statement that the Sellik fans were the best in the world - that would explain their massive numbers today then? St. Sandy thought Saints "would have settled for a draw before the game but we didn't make enough clear-cut chances to punish them when we had the advantage of the extra men". Remember that highlights of the game are on STV tomorrow.
Elsewhere in the SPL TFOD beat the Jambos and the Arabs lost 2-1 at home to Motherwell.
Finally the era ended today with Roddy Grant receiving his final cheers from the Saints fans at half-time when he was presented with a testimonial cheque for £51,400.
12th- St. Sandy is set to give
some youngsters a chance against Sellik tomorrow. 17-yr old
Brendan Crozier(right) in midfield (a
"die-hard Sellik fan" according to the Retard,
and 16-yr old defender Chris Conway(far
right) (who is interrupting his Higher revision). The manager said
"Both have put in a high standard of performance in the U-21s
over the season and deserve a chance in the first team"
How many are there to see them though still remains to be seen. Less than 7000 tickets have been sold for tomorrow's clash the lowest ever at McD for an OF game. How much this is due to TFOE being shite this season and how much due to the fallout from the Rangers game remains to be seen. One thing you can be sure of though is that no matter what the score, the papers over the weekend are almost guaranteed to have a major dig at Saints supporters.
The main event tomorrow takes place at half-time and let's hope that there's a big crowd of Saints fans there to say farewell to Roddy Grant who will be on the pitch to accept his testimonial cheque.
One other ex-Saintee in the news is Leigh Jenkinson whose annual bout of homesickness for Ingerlund means he's left the Arabs to go back South. Well either that or he was too crap for Luggy's Losers although that does seem rather far-fetched.
May 11th- Well the website has finally entered the new century with a WAP version which you can link to by clicking on the banner or else using your mobile / WAP device to go to http://www.wapdrive.net/sjfc or http://wappy.to/sjfc. It's still pretty experimental (and not very reliable) and there's not much room to play with but I'll be able to update it from my work so expect to see the latest news there before a fuller version appears on this site.
Jim Weir is set to miss the last game of
the season. His yellow card against the Jambos means he's suspended for
the trip to Rugby Park a week on Sunday.
The U-21s completed their season with a 1-1 draw on Monday night against Motherwell. Nick Dasovic played for the 90 minutes and Steven McAllister scored the goal.
9th-Nick Dasovic has been added
to the Canadian squad for friendlies before the end of the month in an
attempt to boost the players fitness before next season. "I've
already had my close season and after talking it through with the boss,
Sandy Clark, we've decided the international call-up could work in St
Johnstone's favour. Even if I don't play in any of the games at least I'll
be advancing my fitness and I'll be ready to go in July" he said.
"It's been a frustrating season for me and, in many ways, the
team. We've had so many injuries yet we're still on course for a fifth
place finish, while teams which are regarded as being bigger than Saints
have really struggled. Just look at the position Aberdeen find themselves
in. I've been watching a lot of football recently and if we hadn't had so
many disruptions caused by injury we could have been pushing hard for
another UEFA place. But in the circumstances, a fifth place finish would
be great for the club. The lads have been doing really well recently so
inless there's more injuries or suspensions I don't think I'll play in
either of the two games we have left. But I'm ahead of the schedule
originally laid down by the surgeon so things are progressing nicely. It
was good to get 90 minutes in the U21s, even though I thought I'd stopped
breathing after 70! I just stood on the one spot and watched the game go
by me! The important thing is that I'm making progress and at long last
I'm playing again. It's good to be back, even if I'm looking towards next
season. For once I'm keen to play on through the summer, so the Canadian
call-up is welcome news. I wasn't too sure how the coach would view
things, especially after the Gold Cup win a few months ago."
On the transfer front it looks like Del will be leaving in the summer, whilst Kieran McAnespie (right) might be joining him. St. Sandy said "It looks as if John will be leaving us over the summer. There will be other clubs interested in him and with the type of money they have to offer it's extremely difficult for us to compete." he said. Talks have been held with Keyring and agent Raymond Sparkes. St. Sandy wants to hang on to the improving midfielder but the last set of talks didn't resolve anything. The Paul Fenwick rumour has been denied by the club.
May 8th- Nothing to really
report today except that our deodorantic-challenged rivals from the poor
end of the Tay, as in Scumdee have announced that they won't be
renewing the contracts of Jocky "Who did we sign last week?"
Scott and Jimmy "Ugly Fat One" Bone. Rumour has it
that the Super Mario Brothers or some other such mob of Italian
Plumbers are coming to take over.
Weekend reports linked Saints with Canadian central defender Paul Fenwick ex of the Pars, St. Mirren and Morton.
May 7th- Little to report today-
Liverpool had a scout at Tynecastle watching
Kiegan Parker. Off the park it looks
like Saints might have scored an own goal with the Season
Ticket Policy for next season with several long-term holders already
set to give up paying so much in advance when the number of games isn't
known and the segregation policy (or lack of it) for the OF games still
Tonight's SPL yawnfest saw TFOD beat Killie 2-0.
6th- A report in today's Sun links Saints with a move for
Arbroath striker Barry Sellars
(right). The 24-yr old midfielder / right-winger is an ex-TFOD youth
10.15pm - A totally boring 0-0 draw at Gorgie Gitlandwas only slightly enlivened by the sending off of McBoggin. Still elsewhere in the SPL the TFOE beat the Sheep 5-1, Scumdee won 3-0 against the Arabs and Motherwell got a 2-0 win over the HIVBees which puts us 5th in the league.
Finally, if anyone's interested the new Season Ticket Prices for 2000-2001 were announced today.
5th- Well it's that time of year again as Saints launch their new
strips with John Paul McBride posing in
the new white away top and Darren "Striker"
Dods showing off the new home version. The strips will be out by the
end of June.
The question as to what name to put on the back remains though with the press conference yesterday apparently concentrating on the comings and goings which are likely to take place over the summer although as usual there are conflicting reports. The Retard has everyone set to leave, whilst the Sun says Saints are hopeful of hanging on to Del and Danny Griffin. Geoff Brown said "Both players have been made very lucrative offers to stay but we won't break the bank to keep them". Charlton and Southampton are said to be interested in Danny. The paper also mentions that clubs are eyeing up Kiegan Parker and Alan Main and that Saints "will have to work to keep them" - given that both players are still under contract for another 2 years it's unlikely we need to do much work.
St. Sandy isn't too bothered about the contract situation. "I expect most of the players to re-sign but if they don't there are a lot of players who will be looking for a new club in the summer anyway". Two players with whom Saints have not yet started talks yet are injured duo Alan Kernaghan and Allan Ferguson. Geoff Brown will want proof of fitness first, and he pointed out, "Within the two months they're under contract we'll find out from our medical people how well they're progressing."
. The injury crisis has ruled some players out of the final games. Nathan won't play again this season. St. Sandy said "Nathan's still with the specialist, getting various tests to his back and if anything's needing done he'll get it done right away." Craig Russell has returned home although the club haven't ruled out a possible move next season."We'll have a look again when the season starts or during pre-season. Obviously there will be a lot of other options in the summer so we'll just have to wait and see." said the manager.
The good news is that Nick Dasovic might play before the end of the season. The Canadian has managed one U-21 game so far but is "an option" for the last games according to the manager.
For tomorrow's trip to Gorgie there are no fresh injury worries so expect the same squad to take the field. The Gorgie Gits need a win to secure 3rd spot but have Colin Cameron facing a late fitness test.
4th- John O'Neil was apparently
watched by Stockport County on Tuesday night and along with Notts
Forest and Bolton could be set to bid for the player who is
available under Bosman in the summer. All Del
would say though was All he would say on the subject though it was "I
will consider all my options, as they say, but I certainly would not be
unhappy to end up staying at McDiarmid Park.".
As for the rest of the season Del reckons we can still finish 5th, with our chances being helped by this weekends meeting between Motherwell and Hibs, the two teams immediately above Saints. "We're on a good run at the moment and will go to Tynecastle looking for all three points. The top three may be beyond us now but we are nevertheless determined to finish as high up the table as possible. If we can turn on a show for the fans along the way then so much the better."
Elsewhere ex-Saint and cult hero Roddy Grant has been freed by Ayr Utd.
3rd- Despite missing out on the scoresheet last night,
Kiegan Parker is still attracting the
media attention with Leeds Utd being represented amongst the
scouts at last night's match.
Elsewhere there's little happening. One time rumoured Saints target Stuart Elliot of Glentoran is being touted for a £40,000 move to the Jambos.
Off the park Saints have extended their sponsorship deal with Hydro-Electric for another season and their kit sponsorship with Xara for another 3 years. It also means 2 new strips (home and away) for next year.
Tonight's SPL match saw TFOD gub the HIVBees 5-2.
2nd-Little in the way of team news. Saints have no new injury
worries but Kiegan Parker might be
rested tonight. Jim Weir denies that the
game tonight is meaningless. He said, "The aim now is to finish
as high up the table as possible and show that we belong there as of
right. We are playing for our pride and for the supporters and there is
also the matter of win bonuses to consider. We feel we should be further
up the table but the problem has been consistency of results and
performances has let us down and sometimes when it looked as if we had
done enough to win a game, it would slip away."
Nick Dasovic(right) played for the U-21s in the 1-0 defeat at Kilmarnock last night. Nathan Lowndes is due to see a back specialist today. The Sun has linked Saints with a move for East Stirling full-back Brown Ferguson who has been training at McD one day a week.
Off the park the club have reiterated in today's PA that no Sellik fans will be allowed into the Main Stand for the last home match of the season. This means that there will be no general sale of Main Stand tickets unless you are a Season ticket holder or are in possession of a ticket stub from the Rangers game. Mind you the PA still got a dig in at those home fans who sold their tickets on to Rangers fans. As for what will happen to any Sellik fans found in the Main Stand we'll have to wait and see but don't get your hopes up of the stewards or police taking any action.
11.00pm - Another sexy performance and goals from Darren "Striker" Dods and Kano saw Saints easily beat Aberdeen 2-1. Elsewhere a 1-0 win for TFOE at Tannadice means that we've moved up to 6th spot in the League.
May 1st- Not too much in the
papers although there is plenty of praise for Saints performance at
Tannadice. Darren Dods is full of
confidence though - "I'm sure the win will set us up for the rest
of the season. We badly want to finish in the top half after a
disappointing year and we want to win the rest of the games for the fans."
Remember there is still plenty of time to sign up for the Online Petition.
Top Of News
29th- Well just for a change there was something happening on the
park today. Sexy football returned as despite the suggestion of the
scoreline, Saints more than deserved their 1-0
win over the Arabs thanks to a Darren
Dods(right) header in the second-half. Plenty of praise too for
sponsor's man of the match Kiegan Parker
who proved more than worthy of his current starting place in the Saints
side. All the action is on BBC Sportscene tonight. After the game
St. Sandy paid tribute to him and fellow
striker Corporal Jones."We have
to be careful not to put too much pressure on young Keigan. People like
yourselves have to be aware that he is very very young and there is no
guarantee that he'll play next week. But today I was delighted for him and
we have one or two other youngsters who are not far behind him. I think
you can play your kids at any time in the SPL but they have to be mentally
and physically ready to cope. Although young Keigan is only 17 he is very
mature and very strong. I think Alex Ferguson talked about youngsters
playing too many games too early so we have to be careful about that. But
the boy will get some good press and he deserves it. Graeme has taken time
to settle with his young family, but he showed what a good professional he
Elsewhere in the SPL the Gorgie Gits beat Killie, Well and TFOE shared the points and HIVBees beat the Sheep 1-0.
Post match there was more publicity on Off the Ball for the Saints petition which hopefully will help add some more signatures.
28th- More off the field stuff today on Saints. Today's
Sun reports that TFOD fans caused £1000
worth of damage in terms of broken seats last Sunday. 118 seats
were damaged and chief executive Stewart Duff has contacted the
bigots to demand reparation. TFOD's security chief said "118
seats were damaged and we advised Stewart Duff to refer the cost to us for
payment. There is no animosity between the clubs and it's always a
terrific fixture at Perth".
Even better is the report by Gary Ralston which goes on to mention the anger amongst the home fans this week about our treatment at McDiarmid last Sunday. Here's what was reported.
St. Johnstone chairman Geoff Brown (right)is also fielding flak from furious Saints supporters who claimed the club and police treated them like second class citizens in their own stadium. Season ticket holders led the charge after Gers fans bodyswerved segregation arrangements and swamped the main stand reserved for home fans. An internet petition has been set-up to tackle Saints over letting the Ibrox followers kick-oiff their championship party at Perth.
Brown said "We're treating the fans' complaints seriously and their views have been aired to police and the security people. We've no wish to alienate the club from its core support. It's clear many fans were upset by the breakdown in segregation arrangements despite the best efforts of ourselves. Obviously the circumstances were exceptional as Rangers celebrated a championship win here and their fans were prepared to go to great lengths to get tickets. But the fact that 118 seats were damaged in the celebration indicated the kind of atmosphere that was in the stadium. We've never had that sort of problem before at a game against one of the Old Firm"
A similar vein continues in the P.A. with the chairman basically saying the same stuff and that the postbag about last Sunday was "unprecedented in his time at the helm". Stewart Duff is also quoted saying "Several issues seem to have arisen from Sunday's game. As a club clearly will have to look once again at our arrangements for selling tickets. Together with the police we have to look at stricter arrangements for fans accessing the ground. And that policy has to be adapted to deal with away fans entering areas designated for our support. I'm not passing the buck but it's the police who have control on match days, although we pay for their services and those of Rock Steady. The bottom line is that St Johnstone has the smallest home support of the SPL clubs. And we would face having to sell around 2000 additional tickets - in advance of Sunday, it was just 800 - creating an even bigger safety and security headache, especially as the internal east stand corridor runs from one end to the other. We certainly understand the frustrations of our fans having to move from east stand seats for Old Firm matches, especially if they are then subjected to intolerable behaviour. But since we moved into the Premier League this has proved a difficult issue to resolve. The club is very unhappy with the situation which arose on Sunday and understands that fans have genuine grievances. That's the reason we met with senior police and stewarding representatives. It also provided an opportunity to air complaints made by supporters in recent days in the hope that problems can be eliminated from future games"
The police officer in charge of Sunday's game Chief Inspector Matt Hamilton said "This was a one-off fixture in many ways. It was always likely a considerable number of Rangers supporters from all over the country, including the Perth area, would want tickets and the sale of tickets is the sole responsibility of St Johnstone FC.(so that's a bit more buck-passing there) We've since had discussions with the club with a view to introducing measures to lessen the likelihood of visiting fans gaining access to home sections of the ground. Prior and during the game police and stewards either turned away or ejected a large number of supporters and arrests were made. At the conclusion of the match in excess of 1000 fans remained in the west stand and the vast majority had not come to the attention of stewards or police during the game." - to which I say BOLLOCKS - the PA reported on Tuesday that 1 arrest had been made and 16 fans ejected - not a large number.
Well all I can say is that there's another visit of the OF coming up in a couple of weeks and there must be some improvement in the way the situation is handled otherwise season ticket renewals will be non-existent over the summer. The P.A. has also started a letters page where Saints fans can air their grievances. Just send an e-mail to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyway on the park Saints have a doubt in Danny Griffin(right) who has a thigh injury. The N Ireland internationalist was taken off in the second-half of the game v Hungary on Wednesday night after being kicked in the thigh. The only other news is that Kiegan Parker is set to keep a place in the starting line-up despite the return of the Messiah and the Corporal. St. Sandy said "Keigan did very well for a young lad. I think everyone could see the talent that is there. With no relegation to concern ourselves about we have a chance between now and the end of the season to try out different line-ups and formations and we certainly intend to use it. ". And as for signing target Darren Lockhart - the manager hadn't even heard of the player!
For the Arabs the latest is that Jim "Mercenary Git" Hamilton is doubtful and they seem set to give an 18-yr old striker a debut up front (well I suppose it's better than having him shoplifting round the Wellgate on a Saturday afternoon).
April 27th- Not much to report
on except for a rumour that Saints have received more than expected
numbers of complaints about Sunday's match. In addition Stewart Duff
is said to be rather miffed at the number of season tickets which have
been returned. Please sign the petition at
or place a message on the Official
Saints Site Fans Forum (with the latter even if you're message isn't
published the club will read it).
For Saturday's game there's no new info from Saints but the Arabs are set to feature ex-Saint John McQuillan whilst his fellow conversion to tinkdom, Leigh Jenkinson will miss out thanks to a knee injury. So all we have to do is play a fast left-winger such as Keyring and we're home and dry.
Finally congratulations to ex-Saints star of the 70s and all-round cult hero John Connolly who has been appointed manager of Queen of the South.
26th- Just for a change there is some on the field news about
Saints. First up is media reports today linking the boys with a move for
Crusaders midfielder Darren
Lockhart. The 26-yr old is out of contract in the summer and "St
Johnstone sent over someone to watch me in our match against Newry last
month. I went over on my ankle during the warm-up before kick-off and I
didn't play well. But I was told that St Johnstone wanted me over for
three or four days to have a look at me. Unfortunately, they needed an
answer immediately and I couldn't give them that. I had to think about it.
I have a three-year-old daughter Amy and another child on the way, so it
was never going to be a snap decision.".
Meanwhile it looks like we'll see little of Craig Russell (right)for the rest of the season as the hamstring injury which has kept him out of the last couple of games continues to cause problems. St. Sandy has said that "We've not seen enough to offer him a deal and it's unlikely he can get his match fitness up for what's left of the season.". However the manager has not ruled out a further loan period at the start of next season. As for Nathan Lowndes he is still ruled out with St. Sandy saying that "it's too important to rush".
There is some good news with both Kevin Thomas (who scored twice for the U-21s in their 3-1 win over the Arabs this week) and Graeme Jones available for selection. They are likely to be joined by one or more of the youngsters who have impressed in the U-21 games with the manager saying that "It's a chance for them to stake a place in the first team or at least on the bench." He refused to single out any names in particular but went on to say that the game at Tannadice is not meaningless saying, "We've got a situation where pride certainly comes into it and there are a lot of players who are playing for contracts here or elsewhere." .
April 25th- Surprisingly enough there's little football talk amongst Saints fans just now with the furore surrounding Sunday night's crowd problems still the main topic of conversation. If you want to get across your opinion of the way the club have treated the supporters then please sign the petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/saintees/petition.html, or place a message on the Official Saints Site Fans Forum. There have already been several letters written to the club by various fans on the mailing list and it looks like the P.A. will have a full postbag by the end of the week.
April 24th- Following the
problems last night at the TFOD match the Shrine of the Saintees
has set up an online petition to be handed to the club. Please make an
effort to sign as it's time the club were forced to take notice of the
Saints fans instead of pandering to the bigots. You can sign up at
Time for an editorial rant methinks - Personally some of the stories
from last night make pretty poor reading for the club, stewards and
Tayside Police. Despite numerous warnings that the West Stand was for home
support only and that away supporters would be ejected the lack of
willingness to implement this policy when Rangers scored their goals was
pathetic. Instead we had a Saints fan thrown out first for trying to take
action himself and it was only when there looked set to be a mini-riot in
the stand amongst the home support that the police took some token
In addition word is that a Saints youth player was seen handing out tickets to some Rangers players prior to the game which allowed them into the West Stand. God knows it's hard enough for the Saints supporters to work up any sort of enthusiasm about attending the bigoted atmosphere but when it gets to the stage that we feel threatened in our OWN section in our OWN ground then something must be done.
As it stands there's not exactly much difficulty in getting into any non-OF game. And given the hassle we have in terms of the sectarianism and bile that we have to put up with from the OF fans when they come to town the club might soon find that Saints fans will just forego their season tickets and settle for watching the games on Sky. I don't mind getting beaten by a better team but when it gets to the stage that the club would rather keep the OF bigoted fans happy than look after the safety of their own support then it's not worth it any more.
April 23rd- An average Saints performance tonight saw us lose 2-0 to the Forces of Darkness in an atmosphere which was poisonous at best and thanks to the attitude of the police and stewards towards the bigot fans became dangerous. Post-match St. Sandy's comments were of the usual "Rangers are brilliant" style - which is getting almost as boring as Totten's Staircase Story.
April 22nd- Still not that much
happening ahead of tomorrow night's "Title Clincher"
(copyright every media organisation in Scotland). No new injury worries
for the lads but Blaster is set to
return from suspension. This should mean a move to left midfield for
Keyring with the Saints youngster
hopeful of repeating last year's feat of scoring against TFOD. As for next
year all talk of contracts and moves were being passed to his agent all
week with rumours of a move to Norway now doing the rounds which would see
Saints lose out on any transfer fee.
Finally a reminder that issue 2 of Blue Heaven Fanzine will be out at the game with a percentage of the proceeds going to the fund for ex-Saints Alan Morgan.
7.00pm Today's SPL scores saw a 1-1 draw between TFOE and the HIVBees which means that the other bigots who come to Perth tomorrow are already champions. Elsewhere Killie beat Scumdee, the Sheep beat Well and the Arabs beat the Gorgie Gits meaning Saints now drop to 9th.
20th- Nathan Lowndes is set to
miss out on Sunday. The striker, who has been suffering from a back injury
needs to see a specialist. Of course with Saints usual timing, the
specialist is on holiday. Still at least we were featured slightly in the
papers today as the tabloids continued their week of OF arse-licking.
Still Saints have a new signing for Sunday night as Super Saint (right) makes his long-awaited debut as the club mascot prior to taking on "Broxy Bear" and the other idiots." I'm absolutely thrilled to finally be chosen, and hopefully I can come up with goods against Rangers this weekend. I've waited a long time to get a chance, and I'm just delighted that I'll be able to make my debut at McDiarmid Park." No word on who's playing "Ormond the Wonder Dog" yet.
April 19th- Little in the papers
with most of the news about Sunday worshipping the pagan bigots at TFOD as
if they only had to turn up on Sunday. Saints have still managed to slip
to 8th in the SPL thanks to the Arabs 3-1 win at Fir Park and Scumdees 1-0
win at Pittodrie.
Little team news for the sell-out match on Sunday so far - Craig Russell will definitely miss out due to his hamstring pull. Alan Kernaghan missed the U-21 game on Monday with a groin strain but is expected to play in a closed-doors match against the HIVBees this week. Marc Millar scored Saints goal on Monday afternoon for the U-21s.
17th- Not too much to report today with the Monday papers
concentrating on the whingeing HIVBees. Still there was some good news for
one of Saturday's goalscorers with Kieran
McAnespie(right) getting a call-up to the Scotland U-21 squad for
the match against Holland next week.
Saints U-21s lost 3-1 in Kirkcaldy this afternoon to the junior Gorgie Gits. Shite game apparently.
St. Sandy's post-match comments showed
mixed feelings about yesterdays game. "When you are 3-2 up with
minutes to go and you only get a point you've got to be disappointed but
by the same way when we were 2-0 down I would have been delighted with a
point. I had to have one or two words with the team at half time and I
thought all three of our goals were excellent. Young
Kiegan Parker has been in the team on
merit and hopefully his goal today will be the first of many."
Tonight's SPL match saw Well beat Killie 2-0.
15th- Today's ref is Willie Young
so expect at least one dodgy handball. We're also the 2nd game on BBC1
tonight (after an OF game of course).
6.00pm - Saints saw the HIVBees snatch a point in a 3-3 draw after we'd come back from 2-0 to be leading 3-2 with a minute to go. Still it was good to see Kiegan Parker get his first SPL goal and Kieran McAnespie scored a cracking free-kick.
Elsewhere TFOE and Scumdee drew 2-2 whilst the Jambos beat the Sheep and TFOD beat the Arabs setting themselves up to have a chance of winning the league at Sky next Sunday. As if.
14th- Well so much for the quiet period in the media. First up
today is the news that both St. Sandy
and Billy K were in Manchester this week
watching Man Utds reserve left midfielder Michael
Twiss in action with The Sun saying that they tried to sign
the player prior to the transfer deadline but look set to move for him in
the close season. He's a 22-yr old Salford-born, 6ft tall left-sided
player who has managed 3 games for Alex Fergusons side and also played in
Sheffield Utds first team when on a seven-month loan spell there. A
product of the Man Utd youth policy it looks like his chances at Old
Trafford will be limited. We'll see.
Still on the signing front and cult hero Chief O'Halloran has been offered a new 2-year contract and seems set to sign, saying "I've had regular first team football this season and I'm delighted about that. That's what brought me to St Johnstone in the first place. I'm enjoying myself here and this is a great platform for building a career, so hopefully we can get something sorted out. I've played more than 50 games for Saints now and I'd be happy to stay on.". It's good to see the boo-boys haven't gotten the better of him.
On to tomorrow's trip to Poofland and Saints are still suffering up front. The Ginger Bomber (who will be seeing a specialist about his back injury) and Craig Russell will join George O'Boyle in the stand at Easter Rd due to injury and accompanying them will be suspended Graeme Jones. Also missing are Blaster who is still suspended and Alan Kernaghan who isn't fit yet. It means that Kiegan Parker andKevin Thomas(right) have both been added to the squad and are in with a chance of playing alongside Paddy Connolly and possibly the Karaoke King or Del up front. St. Sandy is wary of a backlash from the HIVBees who lost to the sheep in the cup semis last week "I'm sure Alex McLeish will be trying to make sure it works the right way for Hibs and trying to get them a result. But we're hoping they suffer a wee bit from it and we can get them at a good time. But as always, we're only concentrating on our side of things and if we get that right, I think we can get a result.". And remember that the game is definitely a 3pm kick-off - ignore what Teletext says.
Danny Griffin has been called up for the N Ireland v Hungary match in Belfast on April 26th.
Saints U-21s lost 2-1 to TFOE midweek with Stephen Stewart scoring for us.
13th- REJOICE as the world has decided that Saints still exist with
a token mention in the media today. And it's good news with the
appointment as full-time youth coach of legendary Saints star of the 70s
Henry Hall (right)on a 2-year contract.
He's been in the position part-time for a while and Stewart Duff said
"St Johnstone have always had a strong commitment to youth
development and this move reinforces our strengths in that area. Henry
deserves his contract for the board have been very pleased with the
progress that has been made in the time he has been working for us so far."
April 12th- Well there's still
sod all happening at the club with only some comments from
Cartman about proving himself in the
upcoming Old Firm games to show that Saints still exist.
Tonight's SPL results saw a Killie 1-0 win over the Sheep and a TFOD 2-1 win at Tynecastle, which means that assuming both mobs of bigots win at the weekend then TFOD will come to McD a week on Sunday looking for one win to secure the title. Oh joy.
7th-Rotten news for Saints fans today with the confirmation that
Il Biscottiwill have to give up the
game or else face up to life in a wheelchair. The Saints midfielder and
cult hero said "I have severe arthritis in my hip. The operation
has a 95% success rate but I'm one of the 5%. It didn't really sink in
until I took a letter from the surgeon to Saints physio
Nick Summersgil. He told me to sit down
and broke the news. George O'Boyle was
in the treatment room at the same time and he was sick for me. I just went
down the tunnel to sit in the dugout and cried my eyes out. Even part-time
football is ruled out or I could face up to being in a wheelchair. As it
is I still have to face up to another operation. ".
Biscuits who was criminally ignored by
Pa Broon, has played for the Arabs, Jambos and Pars but rates his 6 years
at McD, culminating in one of the best goals ever in the League Cup Semi
last year as "easily the best of my career". He's
planning to go on to get his A Coaching badge at Largs in the summer
saying "After working under guys like Jim McLean I feel there's a
lot I can offer football off the park".
Chairman Geoff Brown paid tribute to the Edinburgh-based player saying "It's the first time since I've been here that a Saints player has had to give up the game early. Allan has been a great servant to the club and has the sympathy of everyone here. I'm sure he can carve out a good coaching career and we'll do all we can to assist him". Saints haven't ruled out a possible testimonial either.
St. Sandy, added, "First and foremost, everyone here feels disappointed for Allan. He's a popular guy and it's sad to see such a good career end this way. It's well documented that I've been trying to find a player to fill in for Biscuits, for quite some time. Left-sided players of his ability and tactical know how are thin on the ground. Hopefully his coaching qualifications will stand him in good stead and he won't be lost to the game."
The Saints squad have been given the weekend off.
5th- St. Sandyhas decided not to
sign Nicola Innocentin on a longer
term deal. The Italian defender played in Monday nights 4-0 U-21 defeat
and did not impress enough to merit the offer of a contract with Saints.
And we still don't know what he looks like.
On the plus side, Kevin Thomas played for 80 minutes and has suffered no reaction. Alan Kernaghan played 70 minutes in the testimonial in Inverness last night along with Frail, Lazarus, Gerry and Marc Millar. However the bad news is that a very strong Saints side were gubbed 2-0. Still at least the manager says that the injury list is diminishing "slowly but surely."
Craig Russell apparently tore fibres in his hamstring during his goal-scoring Saints debut at Motherwell at the weekend but St. Sandy is hopeful that he will be fit for the HIVBees match on the 15th.
Tonight's SPL match saw TFOE gub Well 4-0. Doesn't your heart just bleed for the Buckfast Quenching Cheats.
April 4th- Saints have taken
disciplinary action against Graeme Jones
after his red card at the weekend with St.
Sandy describing the player's actions as "totally
unacceptable for a professional". In addition the man we know as
the Corporal is suspended for 2
games. He misses the HIVBees match on April 15th automatically and since
the sending off was deemed to be "violent conduct" he'll also
miss the home match against TFOD on the 23rd.
Saints U-21s lost 4-0 away to the Gorgie Gits last night. Kevin Thomas and Nicola Innocentin both played.
Saints have a side in Inverness tonight for Mike Noble's testimonial. On the same subject, Roddy Grant will make his final appearance on the park at McDiarmid before the Sellik game on May 13th to receive his testimonial cheque.
Tonight's SPL match saw TFOD gub the Arabs 3-0.
April 3rd- More stories and
rumours concerning the Italian trialist. Nicola
InnoCentin not as previously christened Innogentin) is a 23-yr old
who started his career at Parma and then Ancona before moving to the USA
last year to play for New England Revolution. He had a trial at
Motherwell but decided he preferred chianti to buckfast. Other rumours
have him as a central defender. The mystery deepens.
The tabloids reports from Fir Park have concentrated on the post-match comments of both managers with both the Sun and the Retard reporting a clash in the tunnel after the game following Billy "Speeder" Davies' refusal to shake hands at the final whistle. The Retard outdid itself though saying that Graeme Jones was red-carded for "a challenge on McCulloch" carefully ommitting the fact that McCullochs tackle from behind had started it. Still at least they all think we deserved a penalty.
Craig Russell is suffering from a strained hamstring.
April 2nd- According to
St. Sandy, the defeat at Fir Park is the
fault of the players. "It was our own fault. We threw it away. If
we had gone two up, that would have been it." However the red
card incident prompted criticism of the Buckfast Quenchers with the Saints
manager saying "The sending off for me was just two big lads
going for the ball and was a tangle of legs. If Graeme Jones has committed
a violent offence then we will take action but I don't think it was a very
sporting reaction from their bench."
Tonight's SPL match saw Sellik beat Killie 4-2.
1st- Well we're still no nearer fathoming out the identity or
origin of Nicola Innogentin. However
Craig Russellseems set to make his
debut at Fir Park today.
6.45pm - Well another shite referee and Saints inability to kill off a team meant a 2-1 defeat at Fir Park which effectively kills off European hopes. Craig Russell scored a good goal on his debut for the club but Saints finished the game with 10 men thanks to the sending off of Graeme Jones (right)10 minutes from time.
Elsewhere in the SPL there were draws between the Sheep /TFOD and Scumdee / Gorgie Gits whilst HIVBees got a 1-0 win over the Arabs.
Top Of News
31st- With the Scottish transfer deadline today, Saints have been
in the market to boost their squad for the run-in.
Garry Gow, a 22-yr old keeper from
Stirling Albion has signed until the end of the season as cover for
Robbo. He'll go straight on to the
bench for tomorrow's trip to Fir Park.
Meanwhile another face to join according to the Official Saints Site is Italian "attacking midfielder" Nicola Innogentin who has signed up on a months loan, after playing as a trialist in the midweek Scumdee U-21 match. It's a surprise to most of us since there wasn't even a hint of rumour in the media about the player. Not that we know anything about him anyway. It also means that Martin Nash looks to have failed in his second trial spell with Saints to get a move.
On the outgoing side, Irish right-back Daryn Smith has moved to Stranraer on loan until the end of the season.
Saints head to Fir Park tomorrow minus back injury victim Nathan Lowndes. Craig Russell is in the squad as well with the new striker saying "I've settled in here quickly and it would be brilliant to get a game on Saturday. If things work out for me here I'd have no qualms about moving to Scotland. This is a fresh challenge and a big opportunity". Blaster will definitely miss out as he starts a two-match suspension. For the Buckfast Quenchers, both the Flying Turd and Diving Git Spencer are set to miss out through injury.
Finally, next Monday's U-21 match is likely to see the return to playing action of Alan Kernaghan (right). The big defender is looking for an extension to his current deal saying "this hopefully means I can show in the run-in that I'm still worth a new deal".
Russell signed for Saints last night on loan from Man. City until
the end of the season. St. Sandy said
"Things haven't worked out at Man. City for him but he looked
good in a closed doors match last week".
Elsewhere, Barnsley have confirmed their interest in Danny Griffin (who played for the 90 minutes in N. Irelands 3-0 win in Malta last night). Any possible move though depends on whether or not the Yorkshire side are promoted - so start praying they get gubbed between now and the end of the season.
28th-Barnsley have been linked with Danny
Griffin in today's Retard with the English club rumoured to
be trying to get the Saints defender to sign a pre-contract deal with the
promise of Premiership football next season.
Elsewhere and it looks like Craig Russell(right) will be signing for us from Man. City until the end of the season on loan. The ex-Sunderland striker is due at McDiarmid today to discuss terms. However, Metro reports that the player could be moving permanently to Perth in a £30,000 deal.
Saints are still in the hunt for a keeper ahead of Friday's transfer deadline with Stewart Duff now saying that it's a "priority".
Martin Nash joined The Messiah and Marc Millar all played as overage players in last night's U-21 match. Saints lost 2-1 to Dundee with Daryn Smith scoring our goal.
Il Biscotti has undergone his hip operation.
March 26th- Latest news on the
signing front for Saints concerns a striker and goalkeeper. Ex-Killie
keeper Dragutin Lekovic, currently at
Malaga is apparently being looked at as cover for
Meanwhile 26-yr old Man. City striker Craig Russell is apparently set to discuss terms with Saints this week ahead of Thursday's Scottish transfer deadline. The player was interesting us last week according to the News of the World but was awaiting interest from England first. With none forthcoming it looks like he'll be considering a move to the sacred ground of McD.
Finally congratulations to the Sunday Mail reporter Des Kane for one of the classic statements ever saying that "...Dundee deserved at least a draw". Mind you he also made Darren Dods man of the match !!!!!
The meaningless OF match today finished with Darkness beating Evil 4-0.
25th- No word as to whether or not new signing
Marc Millar(right) will play today. The
player said of the move "I am just delighted now at this fresh
challenge. I had three years Premier League experience with Dunfermline
and it's good to be back playing in it."
St. Sandy reckons the signing is a good
move for the club. "Whatever happened with Marc in the past
should stay there. It's not an issue with me. Marc's a good player with
Premier League experience who can do a job for us".
6.30pm - Saints got a glorious 2-1 win over the Unwashed Ones thanks to goals in injury time of each half from Blaster and substitute Marc Millar(right) with both goals candidates for goal of the season. Post-match St. Sandy said that "All 13 player played well today and we deserved the win" - I agree we deserved the win but there are some players out there today who are not pulling their weight in the side.
Elsewhere in the SPL it was draws for the Arabs v Sheep (with ex-Saintee Leigh Jenkinson playing for the home side), and the Gorgie Gits v Motherwell. Killie beat the HIVBees 1-0.
24th- The Messiah restarted
training yesterday and St. Sandy is
optimistic that the injury problems will clear up soon. "We're
slowly getting there. There are 10 injuries at the moment and I would hope
that within two to three weeks we'd have four of them back."
Martin Nash has had his trial extended so that he can be assessed in another under-21 match. The manager said "I think he's got to catch up on his fitness a wee bit and we'll give him the opportunity to do that. He's played at a decent level and it looks like he's got something to offer, so we'll judge him when his fitness is a bit better." Which seems fairly optimistic. The keeper situation is still ongoing.
For tomorrow's match all that St. Sandy would say was "We're obviously hoping for better entertainment than our last two home games and three points would be great as well." The bad news though, is that Nathan Lowndes looks very doubtful and if he misses out Kiegan Parker(right) will come into the squad, although there is the possibility of a new face for Saturday. Sandy said "Obviously it's a real concern if Nathan is going to miss any game and it leaves us really short of personnel. We have to add to the squad and if it's not long-term signings we'll certainly consider bringing players on loan through to the end of the season. Basically, we're looking everywhere and there's a possibility something can be sorted out before Saturday's game."
Marc McCulloch has signed an extension to his current contract. The U-21 left-back is in line for a stint in the first team when Blaster serves his suspension.
Any masochists about in Perth from 9.30 tomorrow can see the SPL trophy, which will be on display at Perths St. Johns shopping centre tomorrow from 9.30 am.
Finally, congratulations to ex-Saintee Paul Cherry who has set himself up as a Perth-based football agent.
5.30pm - Saints have signed ex-Pars and Livvy midfielder Marc Millar until the end of the season. The player was released by Livingston midweek following a bust-up with some of their fans. No fee was involved.
March 23rd- Latest on the injury front is that Nathan Lowndes is carrying a back injury. Elsewhere, the Messiah is still two weeks away from a return, Cartman has only just restarted training whilst Stuart McCluskey and Martin Lauchlan are both carrying minor knocks. Oh joy.
March 22nd- Sod all to report
today other than the definite plans for the club to install undersoil
heating to ruin the McDiarmid pitch immediately after the final home game
of the season on May 13th. Here's to a sale of the current turf as well !!
Tonight's SPL match saw the Gorgie Gits slaughter the Sheep 3-0. No word on how many penalty claims were ignored though.
21st- There's a familiar face at McDiarmid just now with Canadian
internationalist and Gold Cup Winner Martin
Nash on trial at the club. 25-yr old midfielder Nash who can play on
either wing as well appeared at the club before on the pre-season tour of
the Highlands in the Great Striker Search of
1998-99 when he scored a cracker of a goal before bowing out with a
hamstring injury. He's now been freed by Chester City and has been
training at the club since last Thursday. An appearance as an overage
player in last night's U-21 match v Killie may lead to a move. All
St. Sandy would say was "Martin
has been training with us for the last few days and we only got clearance
to see him in action last night". The game ended in a 2-1 defeat
for Saints with Martin Fotheringham
getting the Saints goal.
Elsewhere the manager would only say that they were "still working" on providing goalkeeping cover for the first team.
Tonight's SPL match saw Scumdee get a 2-1 win at Easter Road.
20th- Little in the papers today. Current Scotland no. 1
Robbo (right)is set to start contract
talks this week to keep him at the club past this summer. But with the
keeper quoted in the papers today as saying he'd be "delighted to
stay here" hopefully things will be a formality.
Gary Bollan's suspension will mean that
the left-back misses out on the Motherwell and Aberdeen games.
6.45pm - Today's riveting piece of excitement at McD saw one of the most boring games ever with a goalless draw with Killie only a slight improvement on the midweek defeat. Far too many passengers in the side and a total lack of creativity from midfield meant a lot of booing when the players left the park. We badly need to freshen up the side. Anyone that wants to see how bad it was - watch BBC Sportscene tonight.
Post-match all St. Sandy would say was "There were no saves to make and I suppose it was disappointing from an entertainment point of view. We had two teams who didn't want to lose and Killie are probably happy to be off the bottom of the league and St Johnstone are happy to keep an eight-point gap. The game against Hearts during the week was similar but we've got eight managers in the league who don't want to get relegated. We don't care as long as it's not us. The Premier League is developing into this type of game and every game might be like this until the end of the season." Sounds almost as depressing as being a fan is tonight.
Elsewhere HIVBees shafted the Jambos 3-1 whilst TFOD gubbed Well 6-2.
17th- Surprise, surprise there is no mention in the papers of the
reduced admission prices on Saturday so yet again the opportunity for some
decent publicity is missed. Still going by the Jeffries/Barnes Theory
of Balanced Events Over A Season, Saints fans will at least have a
home penalty to look forward to.
Off the park, Il Biscotti is set to undergo a revolutionary hip op in an attempt to save his career. The surgeon in Cambridge is one of only two people in the country who does this kind of opt and Biscuits has been told "there is a 95% chance I'll be able to play again". The op sounds nasty though with Biscuits banned from flying home since he'll be in a cramped position !!!
Paul Kane(right) has signed a new 1-year deal. Hopefully it means that he'll act more as cover to the rest of the team next year.
Gary Bollan was booked for dissent by the Arse They Call Dougal on Wednesday night but the club will be not be punishing him further (unlike Dougal who most of us would like to see being slowly tortured over a roaring fire). It means Blaster has a two-match suspension coming up.
There's little in the way of team news for tomorrow. No new injuries as far as I'm aware so expect a line-up along the same lines as Wednesday, though hopefully with a bit more fight about it. Ref for tomorrow is Bobby Orr.
March 16th- The furore
surrounding last night's game continues although as usual the media seem
to be more concerned with the lack of atmosphere at McDiarmid and the
apathy of the home support, with Euan "Fatboy Fat" Smith
of the Sun more scathing than usual. But when even Teletubby
Jeffries has admitted it should have been a penalty (although he then
gibbered on about how it was just "luck evening itself out after
the Rangers game"), then there's something wrong. Christ, even
the Evening News said it was a "good
claim" - which is about as generous as they'll ever get.
Admission prices for Saturday have been cut to £10 in the East, North and Ormond stands for adults whilst for kids/OAPs it's a quid.
Saints have some players on duty for Scotland in youth internationals. The U-15s play N. Ireland at Dens tomorrow night with Emmanuel Panther and Davie Dods set to play, whilst the U-18 team next month should feature goalkeeper Scott Findlay.
March 15th- Not much in the way
of team news for tonight's visit of the Gorgie Gits to the sacred ground
of McD. Jim Weir will play and said "There's
no way in the world that I'll miss this game. A lot of water has passed
under the bridge since I left Tynecastle so I no longer feel I've a point
to prove. But it would be nice to come out on the winning side against
Hearts. Injury has kept me out for a few games against them in the past
and that helps explain why I'm still waiting to get a win against my old
club. This is a great chance to have that hoodoo removed for once and for
10.00pm - An absolutely disgraceful referee performance spoilt the game which saw Saints lose 1-0 to the biggest bunch of cheats since Airdrie in the 80's. Suffice to say there are a lot of angry fans going about tonight. Both St. Sandy and Gary Bollan were summoned to referee Stuart Dougal's room after the game after their post-match protests regarding the disallowed penalty which arguably turned the game. All the Saints manager would say was ""I was in the referee's room after the match with Gary Bollan but I do not want to talk about what happened. Everyone in the ground thought it was a penalty but the referee saw it differently. Players are fairly honest and even their guy said he thought it should have been given. It looks like he made an error but everyone makes mistakes. Gary Bollan will be playing for us on Saturday though."- the last remark implies Blaster was only warned or booked by the arse= of an official.
Elsewhere Killie threw away another 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 at Tannadice. The Sheep match scheduled for April 8th has been moved to Tuesday May 2nd due to the Pittodrie sides participation in the cup.
14th- Alan KernaghanThere is
finally some good news on the injury front with
Georgio's cruciate op looking good.
St. Sandy said "The surgeons
were absolutely delighted with the way the operation went for George. It's
great news for us". Apparently Georgio has been told by the
doctors that he could be back playing by the end of the year. More good
news as well with Father Dougal completing
his first training session yesterday. St. Sandy said "It's a very
long and slow process that Alan's on but he's getting there. He keeps
getting a reaction in his stomach and until that goes away, basically he
isn't fit to play. But his return to training is definitely a step
Unfortunately there was worse news for Il Biscotti (right) with the player set to undergo hip surgery soon.
Looking ahead to tomorrow's game, Jim Weir has recovered from his head knock and Saints have no new injury worries. The manager said "Jim will be okay for the Hearts game. We'll be talking with the doc again but I'm certain he will be available. He had been having trouble with his vision on Saturday but he hasn't suffered concussion." There is still the chance that a keeper will be signed as well.
Saints U-18s got a 3-3 draw with the Sheep on Satutrday, whilst the U-21s went down 5-1 to TFOE at home last night - of course we only know about the latter thanks to the massive reports in the Retard and STV's camera coverage. Wonder why?
Finally if you want to see the Killie game on Saturday for free be at the North Stand turnstiles by 1.30. The police and stewards at McDiarmid are planning the first ever mock evacuation of a stadium. The whole exercise will be over by two and any fan that takes part will get a voucher to get into the game for nothing.
13th- Little to report as the media seem intent on sticking their
tongues as far up Verukkas rectum as possible. Goalscorer
Paddy Connolly the Younger said "The
final result was disappointing and we maybe let ourselves down a wee bit
in the second half. Obviously we came here to frustrate Celtic as we knew
they would get a lot of possession but after my goal I thought we started
passing the ball about well. At 1-1 anything can happen but maybe
half-time came too quickly for us. Before this match our results had been
not too bad and if we can forget about this one it would be great because
we have another big game coming up in midweek. That is a crucial match
because Hearts are close to us in the league table.".
Meanwhile the manager knows where things went wrong. St. Sandy said "The disappointing thing for me is that we defended well at Rangers last week but didnt do that today either individually or collectively. I can pinpoint where we lost all four of the goals and with players of the quality of Mark Burchill and Mark Viduka, you cannot give them opportunities like that. We maybe should have scored one or two more ourselves as well because we created more chances than we did at Ibrox."
12th- There is a new URL for the
Shrine of the Saintees.
It's been revealed that Jim Weir(right) was taken off at half-time with concussion. Hopefully he'll still be fit for Wednesday night.
Today's token transfer rumours have Huddersfield Town interested in Robbo. Meanwhile, Charlton are supposed to have made a bid for Danny Griffin but since they only offered to pay the fee in instalments it was rejected.
Bobby Mimms won't be joining Saints.
St. Sandy said "Robbo was
always going to play at Parkhead after his performance at Ibrox. We took a
look at Bobby Mimms because we need another keeper but he wasn't the right
one for us. ". So that means Kevin
Cuthbert will be on the bench. As for the rest of the side
Nathan Lowndes is pushing for a
7.00pm - TFOE 4 Saints 1 was the final score but realistically Saints should have taken at least a point from this with some stupid defending letting us down in a five minute period in the second half. Worse was the removal at half-time of the injured Jim Weir although the elbowing attentions of FruitCake Verruka didn't help matters.
And for the real masochists out there we're the featured match on WegieSport on STV on Sunday night.
10th- Bobby Mimms (right) has
been revealed as the mysterious keeper from yesterday. The 36-yr old
ex-Blackburn player is currently with York City having been round the
block several times. Saints have him in Perth to look at but a decision
isn't definite according to St. Sandy
who said "We've had a goalkeeper up to have a look at him but we
haven't carried it further yet. He's still here and there's a possibility
a deal will be done before Saturday but there's nothing happened yet."
So it looks like Robbo will keep his
place in the side. That means the sub's slot will be taken by 17-yr old
Kevin Cuthbert who kept a clean sheet
in the U-21s 2-0 win over TFOD earlier in the week which impressed the
manager. "I'm quite happy with what we've got going in to
Saturday. Steven had no problems last week and both he and Kevin kept
clean sheets in their last games, and that's all we can ask of them.
Kevin's been on the bench for the first team before so he knows what it's
Looking ahead to tomorrow the Saints boss said We did well last week. We can take a lot of confidence from the game goalless draw at Rangers into the Celtic match. But I am sure Celtic will want to hit back from the disappointment of the midweek defeat by Rangers as well so we know that we are in for a very difficult game again. But it is very important that we do not underestimate Celtic and take anything for granted after our performance last week. We will be trying to drum that into the players ahead of the game because we wary of a backlash from Celtic's defeat by Rangers on Wednesday. The motivation is still trying to get some points - it's as simple as that. We will be looking no further than that. I'll be looking closely at the starting 11 for the trip to Glasgow to see if it could be worthwhile making changes. Apart from Allan Ferguson, we have no fresh injuries to report."
March 9th- A keeper was expected
at McD today according to Stewart Duff, Saints' chief executive.
The deal will be until the end of the season but until it's finalised we
won't know his name. All we do know is that the player is not a
Premiership player - ruling out Steve
Simonsen and that he has "vast experience" ruling
out anyone under the age of 65 probably.
Someone else due back at McD is cult hero Il Biscotti following his loan at Queen of the South.
8th- With the world's attention on the War of the Bigots in
Plagueland tonight it's surprising that Saints have even got a minor
mention in the Wegie Medja. But we have, with England U-21 and current
Everton 3rd choice Steve Simonsen(right)
linked with a loan move to Perth until the end of the season. All
St. Sandy would say though was "We
have a few irons in the fire. But it's a difficult one as far as knowing
what the best thing to do is concerned because if you sign someone on loan
there's always the risk they might be recalled by their club." .
Tonight's amateur dramatic society performance in Wegieland saw Darkness conquer Evil 1-0.
7th- Alan Main reckons
Stephen Robertson has a chance to make
the Saints keeper's jersey his own. "Robbo has been maturing this
season and this is his big chance to show what he can do. I hope for his
sake that he can convince Sandy Clark
that he's worth a run in the side".
Latest news on Dolph is that he will be out for at least 6 months following surgery on Sunday, which is better than was hoped - the reason being that the operation did not require any rewiring of the joint.
Saints are still looking for another keeper though with the mythical Donald Mackay (right) tasked with scouting round the North of England. St. Sandy said "Donald is an ex-keeper and I've put the pressure right on him! Whether it's a loan or a short term buy we get involved in I don't know but there's no way we can avoid bringing someone in because young Kevin Cuthbert is too young to act as back-up." There is no guarantee either that Robbo will keep his first-choice role with the decision depending on "who we bring in" according to the Saints manager.
Meanwhile transfer speculation still surrounds Danny Griffin. The latest rumour has Sellik as favourite to sign him. Stewart Duff said, "We have been made no offers for Danny from other clubs nor indeed had any contact. But if he does sign for another UK side we will be due a fee and all sorts of things would have to be taken into account in determining the figure. Danny is a good player who has been made a very good offer to remain with St Johnstone. He has improved and benefited from the experience he has gleaned since turning down a £ 1 million move to Derby County four years ago this summer. And the fact Sammy McIlroy has indicated he intends building the Northern Ireland team around him indicates he is obviously held in high regard at international level, too"
6th- It looks like Saints will be signing another keeper on a
short-term deal. Dolphhad surgery to
rebuild his kneecap yesterday in Wegieland. St.
Sandy said, "It is awful that Allan is going to be out for
so long but at least having had the surgery done he can now concentrate on
his recuperation. We have been told it will take nine to 12 months before
he is ready to play again and I am sure he will be aiming at getting back
before the end of the year" St.
Sandy is set to go into the transfer market for another keeper as
backup to Stephen Robertson (right)
due to the 22-yr olds lack of experience. "I have a few guys in
mind. One option we may pursue is that of bringing someone up from England
on loan until the summer".
Meanwhile let's hear it for Sun columnist Gordon "the Hun" Smith who nominated Saints fans for his "Moan of the Week" becaused only around 200 of us went to the Death Star at the weekend. Perhaps he might like to consider the fact that at the final whistle there were still 200 of us whilst the "best fans in Scotland" had all vanished like snow off a dyke. Mind you if some of these media pundits had to sit with the away support at places like the Death Star and be subject to the gobbing that goes on from the upper stand then perhaps they might think twice about paying £17 for the privelige.
Finally tonight, a young Saints side ran out 2-0 winners over their TFOD U-21 counterparts with Graeme Jones and Martin Fotheringham getting the goals.
March 5th- It's been confirmed
by St. Sandy that
Dolph has a fractured patella (or
kneecap to us non-medical plebs) and will be out for 9 months to a
year. IT has to be seen as real hard luck on the keeper who waited a
long time to get a run in the first team and despite not losing any goals
in his time seems set to miss out again.
Apparently Barnsley were at the Death Star yesterday watching John O'Neil with a £75,000 bid possible. Danny Griffin is also rumoured to be interesting the English club.
Meanwhile congratulations to Rob McLean who yet again managed to pass not one compliment towards Saints on Sportscene. This guy is an arse. Finally tonight's SPL result saw the HIVBees chalk up a 2-1 win over TFOD knocking Saints back into 7th.
4th- A cracking defensive performance saw Saints get a point in a
Goalless Thriller at the Death Star
despite the best efforts of a crap referee. Unfortunately the game also
saw Saints keeper Allan Ferguson (right)
taken off at half-time with a split kneecap which has effectively ended
his season. On the plus side his replacement in
Stephen Robertson had a cracking game
which should calm the nerves for next weeks follow-up trip to Plagueland.
Post-match St. Sandy would only say "It was a good performance from us and we could have won it at the end. Still I'll settle for a draw" . The game is also the featured match on BBC Sportscene tonight at 10.30.
Elsewhere in the SPL Well beat the Sheep 1-0, the Jambos won at Tannadice by the same score whilst Killie and Dundee shared the points in a 2-2 draw at Rugby Park.
3rd- Saints head off for TFOD's base at the Death Star (known to
the rest of the world as Ibrox or Chic's 2nd Home), with
St. Sandy in a confident mood. "The
lads are on a high, they are looking forward to the game against Rangers.
We will pick the best team for Saturday, but any dramatic changes are
unlikely. We know each other well, we must have played eight or nine times
recentl. We know what to expect from them and they know what to expect-it
works both ways." .
There are no new inury worries although best wishes go to Georgio today as he meets with surgeons in Glasgow to rebuild his cruciate ligament. Meanwhile the U-21s beat their Arab counterparts 1-0 on Monday. Gerry McMahon got the goal.
2pm -Roddy Grant (right) has signed for Ayr Utd until the end of the season, bringing to an end his second period at Saints and leaving the fans without another cult hero. The striker, known simply as LEGEND to most of us these days said "That's my career with Saints at an end, and my only regret is that I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to the fans, although my testimonial night is one I'll never forget. The supporters were always brilliant during my years at Perth and the club has been great to me. St Johnstone has been a huge part of my life. I've signed for Ayr until the end of the season and I'll take it from there. It's great being involved in a squad on a Saturday again. It gets frustrating training through the week only to miss out on matches. I'd like to wish the lads the best of luck for the rest of the season. It would be great if they could get back into Europe. " Still in with a chance in the cup, St. Sandy echoed all our wishes when he said "The club wishes Roddy the very best at Ayr and it would be nice to see their cup run continue"
2nd- Not much to report today. As expected the
Danny Griffin (right) transfer rumours
have started. Portsmouth are apparently the latest club to be
linked with a move for the N. Ireland international. The Pompey manager
watched him against the Arabs at the weekend, but with the English side
also trying to get Colin Calderwood on loan it's possible that
talk of Danny is just media speculation.
March 1st- No news today - but we play TFOD at the weekend so expect some dodgy media rumours by Friday. Tonight's SPL matches saw TFOE gub Scumdee 6-2 at Parkhead whilst the Jambos got a 2-0 win at Motherwell to leapfrog Saints in the league.
Top Of News
29th- Little news to report today. Alan
Main(right) has come through his groin op successfully although
there is no chance of seeing him play again this season. The Saints keeper
is still in hospital in England. He's been joined by
Kevin Thomas, who was under- going
surgery to repair what is thought to be a nicked cartilage. Finally on the
casualty front, Georgio is scheduled to
have the cruciate surgery op carried out on Friday although he'll be out
On the park, St. Sandy thinks that we're finally getting some luck. "That's just two defeats we have suffered in the last 10 games and I have felt for a while now that we were playing quite well without quite getting the results we might have. The difference between getting three points compared to one or none can be quite small, as the games against Motherwell and Aberdeen showed. And apart from maybe defending better in the last two matches, for me the only difference is that the one or two breaks you need have gone our way. Paddy suits the type of football we play and, having overcome his injury problems, he is now showing what he is capable of."
February 28th- Saints chairman Geoff Brown has revealed more of the details surrounding the acrimonious departure of Miguel. He said that once Miguel's move to Hiroshima had been confirmed he then went to Stewart Duff to ask for a payment to leave early !!!! Speaking of the other contract stories the chairman also said that Danny Griffin has been told that if he even just signs on for one more year, the deal can include the player receiving a fair percentage of any fee that Saints get.This was similar to the deal made with Callum Davidson when he moved to Blackburn Rovers.
27th- Well despite having to suffer the indignity of Rob "Interesting"
McLean calling the first half boring Saints looked good on TV last night.
Of course so that means the papers have to bring us down to earth today with the Sunday Mail continuing it's rants against the club with an article on how Kieran McAnespie(right) could cost us a fortune and leave for nothing at the end of the season. According to the paper, "French club Lille and Switzerland's Grasshoppers Zurich are interested. And Austrian cracks Sturm Graz and Lillestroem, from Norway, also want to take the player to the continent. McAnespie is the forgotten man of McDiarmid Park and is understood to feel frozen out of Saints' plans."
Elsewhere yesterday's scorer Danny Griffin has been described by N. Ireland manager Sammy McIlroy as "the player I want to build the team around". Expect the transfer rumours to start this week.....
Tonight's SPL match saw TFOD use up their goals in a 7-1 win over Scumdee setting us up nicely for a glorious win next week :-) Finally the West of Scotland Saintees have a new site.
26th- Classic quote in the papers today from
Greedy Bastard - "I would
hope the St Johnstone fans will be OK with me when I go back there but I
accept that some of them will want to get a wee dig because they have
their own ideas about why I left. " Let's not disappoint him then
Meanwhile for Saints Danny Griffin (right) wants to get back into the side. "The manager has a tough decision to make. I was playing regularly before I went away with the international team and, fingers crossed, I'll keep my place. United have been a bit of a bogey side so far this season but this is a good opportunity to get one over them."
6.30pm - The revival continues as Saints gub the Whores 2-0 although to be honest it should have been a lot more as the sexy football began to reappear. Goals came courtesy of a Danny free-kick and a solo effort from Nat King Goals. As for the traitorous Greedy Bastard he never even made the squad. Post-match a chuffed St. Sandy said "The team spirit is there amongst the whole squad cos we rely on 14 or 16 players. As for Nathan he can give me all the stick he wants as long as he keeps scoring goals". The win takes the boys up to 5th and the game's on the telly tonight.
Elsewhere the Sheep crushed the HIVBees 4-0 whilst the Gorgie Gits and Killie played out a goalless encounter. In the Cup Well were shafted 4-3 at home to Ayr.
25th- Theres a major injury crisis developing at McD this week.
With Alan Main and
Nick Dasovic already ruled out for the
season the latest long-term crock is George
O'Boyle(right), who has been told his cruciate ligament will need to
be rebuilt. This will be the second time the 32-yr old has faced this sort
of injury and it means that it will be 9 months before he can kick
a ball again. St. Sandy said "Obviously
its a horrendous situation-especially for George. I dont want
to harp on about our problems, but its certainly far from an ideal
situation! If you look at it, were missing influential and
experienced players right through the core of our team. But were
fortunate that the lads weve got here are doing well at the moment.
Well also be looking to try and strengthen our squad a little bit."
As if that wasn't enough, Allan Preston still needs treatment on a stomach injury and following a cartliage knee op, it'll be 3 weeks before Kevin Thomas will feature in any Saints side. Panic buys have been ruled out though.
Also suffering from minor knocks are Paul Kane and Chief, although both are expected to make tomorrow's trip. The latter has even made a confession about Tuesdays penalty winner over the HIVBees (stopped greetin' yet McLeish). "We had agreed beforehand. It's the first time I've taken a penalty in first team football but I was confident I would score. It turned out to be an important one but you don't think about that at the time. Winning has given everyone a huge boost.".
The original penalty taker was meant to be Danny Griffin who missed out due to international commitments. Interestingly enough the managers comments about the make-up of the central defence tomorrow was limited to "Danny was out of the team and it won."
There is little in the way of team news with the squad expected to be along the lines of last Tuesday. For the Whores of Hiltoon we'll see the return of Greedy Bastard and the Jug-Eared Judas.
Tickets are on sale at the club for the TFOD and TFOE trips for the next two weeks priced £17 and £16 respectively.
Saints U-18s crashed out of the Youth Cup 1-0 to an older Morton side. However part of the reason for the defeat was that the majority had played the previous night for the Saints U-21s in their 3-3 draw with TFOD. A Kieran McAnespie penalty and a couple from Ross Forsyth were the Saints scorers.
St. Sandy has been full of praise for
the fans after Tuesday's win."If the players show the right
attitude the supporters respond, and thats been proved against
Rangers and Hibs. Also, players respond to being well supported when they
arent playing so well. Its good to all pull together and Im
happy with the backing we get from the fans. Like myself and the players,
the fans have been frustrated this season, but were getting there as
It's been confirmed that Alan Main will undergo a groin op next week and we won't see him until next season.
February 23rd - Well the bad
news is that Alan Main is off to Leeds
today to see a specialist but is more than likely to require a groin op
and miss out on the rest of the season. Meanwhile on-form midfielder
Pope has been commenting on the
difference between TFOEland and the Blessed Ground of McDiarmid. "At
St Johnstone though it's no different to Celtic because if you're not
doing it here you'll be out the next week which puts the pressure on you
to do well and stay in the team. I'm enjoying first team football because
it's frustrating to come along on a Saturday, be on the bench, not go on,
then play for the Under-21s on the Monday - that's a bit frustrating after
a while ".
Oh yeah and as expected Red Eck is whingeing about a dubious penalty award. Finally tonight's SPL tie saw Scumdee go down 3-1 at home to the Diving Sheep.
22nd - Not too much in the way of team news ahead of tonight's
rearranged Hibs match. With admission set to £5 and £1
a big crowd is expected. Apart from the usual long-term injuries, Saints
will be without Danny Griffin who is on
international duty. Otherwise expect a side along the lines of last
Tuesday's with Stephen Frail and
John O'Neil dropping back on the right
hand side to defence and midfield. That leaves room for
Nathan Lowndes or
Graeme Jones to move up front to partner
11.30pm - A first-half penalty from Chief (right) saw Saints run out worthy winners in a 1-0 defeat of the HIVBees. The game also saw Dolph take over in goal as Alan Main finally lost the battle with his groin strain - expect to see him missing for a while. Elsewhere in the wonderful SPL, Killie scored 4 without reply at Fir Park leaving the Diving Sheep rooted to the bottom of the table.
February 21st - More fixture
changes with the Jambos game scheduled for March 14th now put back to Wednesday
March 15th cos the Gits of Gorgie are on the telly the Sunday before.
Little team news for tomorrow other than Nick Dasovic resuming light training - not that he's expected back this season though.
February 20th- Miguel is still in the papers seemingly intent on turning most of the fans against him. Today's quotes include "Saints are a shambles of a club" and "Most of the players were unhappy that Sturrock left" - as if the club could do anything about it. Strange as well how such comments have been kept for when he's left Saints eh?
February 19th- With the Cup on
there's little Saints news. Miguel seems
to have scuppered his chances at saying farewell on Tuesday night with
media comments that he was "unhappy at being dropped by Sandy
Clark as soon as I rejected a new deal. The manager just seems to be a yes
man - the chairman really picks the team.". So nothing
controversial there then....
Miggy's potential replacement in Zico Elliot meanwhile is attracting several other clubs with the Glentoran Official WWW site reporting that Newcastle and Sunderland plan to watch the player this weekend.
Geoff Brown has hit out at
Miguel calling him the "worst
sort of Bosman mercenary". Not bothering to understate anything
Geoff said "Miguel got himself into a position where he was
making demands on us that were impossible to meet. He has used Saints for
his own ends. The Bosman ruling has changed the face of football for all
time and we were faced with unrealistic demands from a player who has
scored just three goals this season. There was no way on earth we could
meet his terms of pounds 3000 a week. It was a waste of time even thinking
about negotiations. On that basis a club like ours would be reduced to
half a dozen players! Miguel seems to have landed himself a very good deal
in Japan, so good luck to him. But, remember, this is a guy who isn't even
a regular in the manager's starting 11."
The player was a bit more generous saying "Football is my job and I have to secure my future. Clubs in Scotland and England were interested in me but this was too good an opportunity to turn down. The club got me for nothing and they are selling me for pounds 50,000. We have both done well. I loved the supporters here and my one regret is that I won't get a chance to say goodbye. But I have made many friends here and I will come back for holidays."
Meanwhile St. Sandy has predicted more comings and goings in the next few weeks. He said, "I think things will probably happen in the near future. We've sold two players and although we've brought in Stephen Frail we're looking to get more players in. We'll be looking in this country and abroad. If players are determined to leave the club then it's better that we get some money for them."
Saints have scheduled a closed-doors game today to give the fringe players a run out. The club have also announced that they are planning to install undersoil heating for next season - let's just hope that it doesn't ruin what it arguable the best playing surface in Scotland.
17th- The exodus continues as St.
Sandy stamps his mark on Saints. On the heels of
McQuillan(right) this afternoon signed for the
Hilltoon Whores in a £62,500
deal. Ironically he's cup-tied this weekend and with
Judas threatening to quit this weekend
he may never play for the one-time Saints boss.
Next on the cards could be Legend. Currently on loan to Ayr, Somerset Park boss Gordon Dalziel has said he'd like the loan period which ends in a fortnight made permanent.
Closer to home, Gerry McMahon has recovered from his cold and is set to play in a bounce game tomorrow along with some of the other fringe players including Kevin Thomas. Worst news ahead of next Tuesday's rearranged HIVBees match is that we look certain to be minus Danny Griffin, as he is required by Northern Ireland for their away international against Luxembourg.
Finally, Saints have added another youngster to their squad in 15 year old defender Frazer Briggs
16th- John McQuillan and
Miguel Simao seem to have played their
last games for Saints. The former was at Tannadice yesterday undergoing a
medical check and is expected to sign for the
Hilltoon Whores this week. Meanwhile,
Miguel(right) is reported to be set to
sign for San Frecce Hiroshima in the J-League for £150,000.
8.00pm It's been confirmed that Miguel Simao is away. The fee involved was around £50,000. Applications for new cult chant to the club......
15th- Team news for tonight's visit of TFOD sees tonsilitis victim
Graeme Jones set to return to the
starting line-up. Meanwhile Gerry McMahon
(right), out of contract at the end of the season (and doubtful
tonight due to a head cold) has been talking about his future plans. "I
would like to stay with Saints but it will be up to the manager. I'll see
how things progress in the next couple of months. This is my third club
and I don't really want to uproot my family. The aim is to impress the
manager and convince him I merit a new deal. But even is my future doesn't
lie with Saints, decent performances will help attract another club."
. With Saints rated as 7-1 outsiders for the 3 points more than a
decent performance will be required.
St. Sandy still has faith though. "We beat Rangers here a year ago and if we play well on the night, we have a chance. But we have got to play well and show a great team effort - we know that. At the moment, the pitch is perfect despite the snow that ruined the game on Saturday "
For the Forces of Darkness, all eyes will be on ex-ITV F1 commentator Jim "Tubby Shite" Rozenthal who is set to make the squad. Quite what Murray Walker makes of it we don't know but expect Chic the Pric to do the usual arse-licking.
Off the park, there are several reports that Saints are set to move for N. Ireland U-21 winger Stuart Elliot (right) for around £50,000. The Glentoran player has scored 15 goals in 34 games this season (although 6 yellows and 2 reds could mean disciplinary problems) and was watched at the weekend by Saints.
11.30pm - Saints fought back from going behind to score in the last 5 minutes through sub Nathan Lowndes and earn a well-deserved 1-1 draw with TFOD in a game which also saw countless Saints players booked as John Underhill tried to single-handedly destroy the reputation of Scots referees.
February 14th- Tonight's U-21 match at Easter Rd has been cancelled due to Saints playing tomorrow night and a youth cup tie planned for Wednesday.
February 13th- Plenty of flak
for the Saints directors in the papers today with the media reporting a
"sizable" section of the Leith junkies protesting at the
abandonment of yesterday's tie. Probably just concerned that the
rearranged date coincides with their next methadone fix. Funniest of all
was the complaint in the ever-so-reliable Sunday
Mail that the club "delayed the announcement until the fans
had bought their half-time pies" - and there was me thinking that
it was the referee's decision all along.
Elsewhere the papers say that Judas is set to sign John McQuillan this week for around £70,000 - a good enough piece of business in my book.
February 12th- With snow
threatening the game we still managed 45 minutes of
goalless action against HIVBees before
ref Kenny Clark called a halt to play,
despite the pitch still being playable and the weather clearing up within
10 minutes of the game going off. The match has been re-arranged for Tuesday
Feb 22nd with a 7.45 kick-off. Prices will be reduced to £5
for adults and £1 for kids.
Elsewhere TFOE gubbed Scumdee 3-0 and Killie lost 2-0 at home to 10-man Motherwell.
12th- With Saints currently having the wonderful record of not
having won at home in the league for 6 months,
St. Sandy has been urging fans to "turn
out and support the team" in as many numbers as possible. "It
doesn't matter where you pick up the points but obviously it's better from
the supporters point of view if we get victories at home. There's no
better time to start than on Saturday," said the manager. "We're
not alone in finding wins harder to come by at home. It's a common factor
among a number of clubs. The pressure in this league is usually on the
home side." With rumours in Perth of a change of manager in the
close season if things don't improve the 3 points are badly needed by the
Injury-wise Nathan Lowndes(right) is fully-fit and should be on from the start. However John McQuillan looks set to miss out with the manager rating his chances as "60-40 against playing". George O'Boyle meanwhile faces a longer period out with recovery some weeks away after a cartliage op in the mid-season break. Kieran McAnespie could make a return after scoring for the U-21s this week.
Saints have been awarded the maximum £300,000 by the SFA to develop it's youth programme.
February 9th- Nick Dasovic has played his last game this season with confirmation today that his ankle op will rule him out for 3 months.
8th- Well after a fairly quiet day yesterday, there's plenty of
media speak today with St. Sandy(right)
in a talkative mood regarding transfer moves and the Bosman ruling.
Speaking of the media tales of the bid for Jay
Stein, Sandy said that the story was "absolute rubbish".
Moving on to the arrival of new right-back Stephen
Frail the manager asks for the player to be given some time to
settle. "He hasn't played first-team football for a wee while and
it showed a bit on Saturday. He was playing against Robbie Winters, who is
very quick, so he had a hard debut but I know Steve well and once he gets
up to speed he will be a really good player for us. The fact we have
signed Steve, though, shows we are not getting any closer (to agreeing a
deal) with John McQuillan. If he does
decide to stay, however, Steve is a versatile player and can play in
midfield as well as defence.". There have apparently been some
"weekend enquiries" for McQ, but the manager continued
"We've tried very very hard to keep John but his agent has
refused to budge so we had to take action when it became clear John was
definitely going. We may have to go down the same road if other players
make it clear they aren't staying. But if even if players won't be here
next season I'll continue playing them if they are showing the right
attitude and level of performance. The Bosman rule will benefit many
players but I suspect there will be an awful lot on the market over the
summer. Agents are coming to us touting players and I know that's
happening with agents representing some of our guys. We knew this would
happen and we managed to get Alan Main and Nick Dasovic tied-up earlier.
We'll let the contracts of some lapse and we're talking to others. It will
be the same at every club in the country" So that should get the
rumour mill going....
Meanwhile the other media story regarding Alan Main's proposed move to the English Premiership had the club chairman making the comment that "if Main moved on then the cheque would have to be 'substantial'. Main could be the difference between Saints remaining an SPL club and facing a play-off.".
The re-arranged SPL match against the Jambos at McDiarmid has been confirmed for Tuesday March 14th with a 7.45pm kick-off. Elsewhere Saints U-18s beath Hibs 4-2 at the weekend and last night's U-21 game saw Kevin Thomas play alongside some of the U-18s due to injury. Kieran McAnespie scored the winner in a 1-0 victory.
February 7th- Another dull day in the papers although the media at least mentioned some of the diving antics from Saturday. Jim Weir is reported as still having faith in Saints to improve. Speaking after Pittodrie, the club captain said "I think we have always been aware of the possibility of being dragged into trouble at the bottom of the league. It was very disappointing to lose against Aberdeen as, beforehand, we had regarded the game as something of a six-pointer. But we have bounced back from similar setbacks before and there is no reason to suspect we cant do it again.".....I just wish I had his belief.
February 6th- Little to report
today other than a News of the World story which has
Nick Dasovic definitely facing an ankle
operation which with the 3 month recuperation required effectively ends
Tonight's SPL match saw next week's opponents Hibs get a 2-2 draw with TFOD.
February 5th- Latest team news
is that John McQuillan is rated 50-50
for today's game. Given that we have cover at right-back expect to see
Stephen Frail take over. Reports say
that the sheep have sold out of their entire home allocation so an early
arrival is advised to get into the ground.
7.00pm - - An average Saints performance deserved a draw but lost 2-1 to the biggest bunch of cheats, divers and all-round whingers in the Scottish game. Post-match St. Sandy restricted his comments to attacking the "blatant diving that took place today. This is creeping more and more into the Scottish game". The result leaves us in 8th spot although the other scores (a 3-2 win at Parkhead for the Jambos and a 3-0 win at Fir Park for Scumdee) mean that the non-OF SPL is tighter than ever. Stephen Frail made a solid debut today. Oh yes and if you're a real masochist we're on BBC Sportscene tonight as the main match.
Other news is that Paul Kane is set to be offered a new 12-month contract with "only the small print to be sorted out".
4th- Fans favourite Jim Weir(right)
has signed a new 3-year deal with the club. Speaking of the deal he said
""I didn't have to think twice about the offer. I'm glad the
club has shown the same commitment to me that I've given over the last
five years ago." . St. Sandy
said "Some players may be leaving in the summer so it's great to
have Jim tied up". Whether that means that
Danny Griffin will still be around
remains to be seen.
Transfer rumours surrounding Alan Main in the papers as well. The Sun has West Ham and Leicester interested in the Saints keeper saying that the player wants to improve his chances of making the Scotland side. A fee of £500,000 is mentioned. Meanwhile over in Daily Record territory it's Wimbledon, Leicester and Liverpool all being mentioned. This time the fee is only £300,000 but the paper does say that despite Main signing a long-term deal only recently the club "would only be too glad of a concrete cash offer" - who the fuck do they think we are - Airdrie?
Finally, one player definitely away is Andy Whiteford who has been released by Saints. The young defender is likely to make his move to Stirling Albion permanent. Personally I wish him all the best.
On the incoming front Saints made a bit for Raiths 21-yr old winger Jay Stein last night. The player is out of contract this summer and Raith rejected the bid as being too low
.Looking ahead to the Pittodrie trip, we have another injury doubt with Nathan Lowndes suffering from a back injury from last Sunday. For the sheep Jess is missing with a hamstring injury. Fans are advised to arrive at Sheepville early - with prices at £5/£1 a large travelling support is expected.
8pm news - Saints have apparently signed former Scumdee / Jambo right back Stephen Frail from Tranmere for a "nominal fee". The player should start against Aberdeen tomorrow subject to international clearance. Frail was signed on a two and a half year deal after John McQuillan rejected the club's latest offer of a new contract.
2nd- Good news and bad news on the injury front. Bad news is that
it will be at least the end of the month before
Nick Dasovic (right) knows whether or
not his season is over. He saw a specialist last week and
St. Sandy said "They took bits
and pieces out of Nicks cartilage and bone out of his ankle. "Hell
be re-assessed in a couple of weeks and until then we cant really
say how much longer hell be out for. It will obviously be at least a
few weeks though.".
Elsewhere the good news is that John McQuillan is expected to resume training this week and should be in contention for a starting place at Pittodrie.
Finally tonight's SPL match saw TFOD gub the Arabs 4-0 at Tannadice. Nice to see somethings don't change under Judas.
February 1st- Saints watched video of TFOD game yesterday. St. Sandy wants to get back to concentrating on getting some league points. Morale was pretty low yesterday, but the manager said -"From here on in, we will be looking forward to the game against Aberdeen and working towards going up there and getting a decent result. The guys all know how strong Rangers are these days and I have no fears about them recovering their confidence as the week goes on. There is a lot of football still to be played for St Johnstone FC this season and we have a talented squad who are capable of doing well in the second half of the season.". Whether or not the "talented squad" will be added to remains to be seen.
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January 31st - Some things never change - Saints get knocked out of the cup by TFOD and Daily Record makes a mistake in their report. Little else in the media today as they content themselves with the Ibrox hero-worshipping. Still slagging time for The Scotsman who described the match as "abysmal" - maybe not a classic but it was a pretty good game given the conditions. Mind you it was fitba' not rugger eh?
January 30th - A lacklustre performance from too many of the Saints side saw us lose 2-0 to TFOD and leave Saints with only the league to try and salvage something from this season. St. Sandy was fairly brief post-match with his comments saying merely that "We gave them far too much of the ball"
29th - More pre-match hype with Keith
O'Halloran (right) getting the latest quotes - "We're
better off going in as underdogs because there's no pressure on us.
They've already beaten us at Ibrox this season but the last time they were
at McDiarmid Park we beat them. Admittedly they beat us in the League Cup
final and also the semi-final of this tournament so they have a good
record against us in cup competitions. But anything can happen in a
one-off and we will go in positive and try to knock them out the cup.
We're not paying too much attention to the fact that they have injury and
suspension problems and we're happy not to be facing Billy Dodds. But they
still have a strong squad."
Meanwhile the manager is just as optimistic. St. Sandy said "Because we play each other so often there will be no surprises. It would be good for us to get a bit of revenge in the cup after losing to them twice last season. Those games were both in Glasgow which was more intimidating because of their massive support but this time we're at home and we won 3-1 the last time we played here. The pressure is 100 per cent on Rangers because if we win it everyone will say it's a shock result. The team are relaxed going into the match and we're really looking forward to Sunday evening." . Saints are 6-1 to win tomorrow night.
28th - Latest news from the injury front is that
Nathan Lowndes, who limped off with a
calf strain against the Buckfast Quenchers last Saturday should be fit for
Sunday night's cup-tie. Also in with a chance is
John McQuillan (right) who is
recovering from an operation. St. Sandy
said "John has always been a quick healer. We have to be sensible
and remember he has come through an operation. But he will be given every
opportunity to prove he's ready to face Rangers."
January 27th - Last night's SPL results saw a 1-1 draw between the Sheep and Buckfast Quenchers whilst Killie and Scumdee has a goalless game at Dens. All very nice for Saints.
January 25th - Only one item to
report today and it doesn't look good for Nick
Dasovic. He's off to London to see a "specialist"
about his ankle injury. If an operation is recommended then don't expect
to see the long-haired One on the park for the rest of the season.
Wimbledon are the latest club to be linked with watching Danny Griffin.
January 24th - It looks like Canadian midfielder Nick Dasovic will have to undergo an operation on his ankle injury. He has already been ruled out of the Canadian Gold Cup squad for next month.
23rd - Not much today with Saints getting the usual slagging for a
poor home support and a "dire" game yesterday - usual crap from
the papers then. Media-wise Geoff Brown
is set to appear on the Back Page programme on STV on
Tonight's SPL match saw another 1-1 draw between Killie and TFOE.
Finally the Aberdeen game on Feb 5th will see prices pegged at £5 for adults and a measly quid for kids. All that and we get to play the worst team in Scotland as well?
22nd - Latest fixture news is that the Gorgie Gits game
currently scheduled for Feb 22nd is likely to move back to March thanks to
international commitments for Nick Dasovic
andDanny Griffin. Meanwhile the tickets
for next weekends cup-tie against TFOD go on sale at the ground on
Ahead of today's match and theP45ers have McCulloch and Brannan suspended whilst off-the-field frolics mean that Teale is unlikely to line up against us either. For Saints it looks like Nick Dasovic will miss out but Dods could be back in action.
7.00pm Well Darren Dodsreturned to the subs bench but a 1-1 draw saw Saints slip up with a late Motherwell equaliser cancelling out Graeme Jones (right) first half strike. Other results saw TFOD shag the Sheep 5-0, the Jambos beat Scumdee and a goalless encounter between Arabs and HIVBees.
Meanwhile the rumour mill was in full swing today with a story that the legendary Tommy Løvenkrands was out in Marbella with Saints during the break. And the Swedish trialist from midweek has been described as a left-winger. That'll be another one then.
January 21st - Well despite the
best efforts of Bill Gates and co (oh the delights of Windows 98 TCP/IP
rebuilds), the Temple is back on-line as of now. Latest news from
yesterday's papers had Eusebio quoted as
how he "wants to stay at Saints but the club need to improve on
their offer". On the injury front, it looks like
Nick Dasovic will be fit for Saturday's
visit of the P-45 Buckfast Quenchers.
Meanwhile Judas' mob are now apparently "the front runners" for the signature of John McQuillan either before or at the end of the season.
Oh yes and according to the Courier we've had another "Swedish trialist" at the club for a few days - no word on name, position or fertility status of partner.
19th- Bloody typical - I can't get a quick break in
Barthezland without loads of stories / rumours breaking regarding Saints.
First of all the definite stuff with the out-of-favour and wanting a
better deal Miguel Simao(right) currently
enjoying the attentions of Birmingham City. A proposed week's
trial with a view to a permanent move fell through after the English FA
wouldn't give international clearance for him to play. Still a £50-60,000
bid is rumoured to be on the cards.
Meanwhile the media rumour mill has Danny Griffin heading to Real Mallorca or Celta Vigo at the end of the season if you believe the papers (with no fee for Saints), although the more accurate local story is that he has agreed financial terms on a new 3-year contract with Saints but the stumbling block is his wish for a regular first-team game - which based on his form this season is not that big a deal, especially with the other central defenders on the club's books approaching the end of their careers.
Another name linkes with Saints is ex-Jambo and current Tranmere reject Stephen Frail who is being touted in the media as the target right back in the event of John McQuillan pissing off at the end of the season. Some of you might remember him as "Handball Frail" red-carded for the Gorgie Gits in our 4-2 League Cup win a few years ago.
On the injury front things are still pretty bad withGeorgio's knee injury set to see him sit out football for the next month.
Finally, another possible lack of updates on the horizon between now and the weekend as I upgrade to a new P3 700 PC.
14th- Saints have returned from their mid-season break with
St. Sandy hailing the trip a success.
Apart from one day of rain when they were forced to train on the beach
everything has gone well. "They were doing a power of running.
And they look in good shape. Darren Dods
(right) joined in all the training and while match fitness has still
to come he has had no problems with the shoulder".
Off the field and the boys at Blue Heaven have taken over from the J-Files with the new fanzine of the same name which will be out next week priced £1 featuring an interview with Sergei Baltacha (senior) - and yes my "Sutherland Speaks" column continues... Pick up a copy before the Buckie-Quenchers visit next week or from Perth outlets at Goldrush Records, the Twa Tams, Ormonds, Campus Sports and the bus station newsagents.
Finally, this'll be the last update before next Wednesday as I head off to Paris to celebrate New Year picking fights with Baldy Barthez lookalikes.
13th- St. Sandy looks set to put
some pressure on the out-of-contract players to re-sign. Speaking from the
training camp the Saints boss said ""Our talks are
continuing. This is the first time the Bosman ruling is really kicking in
and players are wanting to keep their options open. If I was a player I
would be doing exactly the same but it doesn't affect my team selection as
you can see by including John McQuillan and John O'Neil. If the players
are doing their jobs properly on the park then they will play. We're still
paying their wages and you expect a return for that.".
Meanwhile the latest injury sees George O'Boyle on crutches after "jarring his knee" during training. It's not thought to be too serious though.
12th- Ticket prices have been announced for the TFOD
cup-tie. It's £15 for Perth fans in the west stand and the
Ormond family stand will be £12 and £6. Purchase
arrangements will be announced shortly. Season ticket holders needn't
worry though - seasons are valid for this game, although those of us in
the East Stand will be punted westwards as usual.
Elsewhere Sainteeish and the Legend has been given another £2500 towards his testimonial fund courtesy of Coventry City defender Carlton Palmer. The cash is the result of the club fine imposed on him by Gordon Strachan for missing the trip to Perth for the Saints game in November - a nice gesture by the club to boost Legend's Fag Fund.
Finally Goalden Graeme (right) is quoted in the papers saying "It's a new experience for me but if you are going to win the cup then you have to face one of the Old Firm sooner or later. The club might not agree with me but you might as well go out in the opening round as the semis. But from our point of view, if we can somehow win the game against Rangers then it sets us up f or a great cup run. ". Not defeatist in the slightest then....
January 10th- The Scottish
Cup-tie has been punted back to Sunday Jan 30th with a 6.05pm
kick-off to accomodate the delights of SKY TV. Still as the
Ginger Bomber put it "As far
as the fans are concerned it will be a great occasion, but we know it will
be a very hard game. It is hard to find weaknesses in the Rangers side,
but at least we do know what it is like to beat them so that will help.
People might say it would have been better to have avoided them until
later in the competition. But we lost in the semi-final last year, and
that didn't feel very good.".
Elsewhere, there's little news from Spain on how the lads are doing but in the absence of any SPL action the Daily Record Media Falsehood contributions keep on coming.
January 9th- In the great randomness that is the Scottish Cup 3rd Round Saints have (surprise, surprise) been draw to face TFOD. Still at least this time we're at home and who knows, it might even be on the telly. Aye and Chic Young is a St. Mirren fan. The game is set for Jan 29th, with the Sunday a possibility if the TV moguls deign to feature us. Season ticket holders will at least get in for nothing - about the only decent thing to happen today.
January 7th- More bad news for Father Dougal today. The Eire defender underwent a stomach operation yesterday but looks set to miss out on the next 12 weeks of action.
6th- As Saints head off for their week in Marbella today, one
player not going with them is Father Dougal
with the big Irishman having to undergo yet another stomach operation in
his battle for fitness. Also missing out is fellow defender
John McQuillan who underwent a knee op
yesterday. The right-back will be out for 3-4 weeks as he recovers from
the op giving St. Sandy a chance to
groom his successor assuming the contract situation remains the same.
Some Saints players who will be seeing action though are Roddy Grant and Allan Preston, with both of the "veterans" extending their loan periods to Ayr and Queen of the South respectively by a further month.
Elsewhere on the injury front, Darren Dods is back in training and is heading with the players to Spain today.
Off the park, it's been revealed that Saints are currently leading the SPL Fair Play Table and after the delights of the Vaasa Raspberry Cider Experience, Geoff Brown hasn't ruled out a Fair Play spot as a back door entry into next season's UEFA Cup. Finally, Saints rearranged SPL fixture with the Gorgie Gits has been confirmed as a 7.45 kick-off on Tuesday Feb 22nd.
January 3rd- The Scottish Cup 3rd round will be drawn this Sunday on Sky TV. One can only hope we manage to avoid the likes of F**k**k, St*****r and any wee team which would mean a tie being postponed 125 times before being played on a dreich Tuesday morning.
January 2nd- Saints have confirmed that they'll be heading off to Marbella from January 6th to 13th. Hopefully they can work on team morale as well after some behind the scenes trouble at the club's Xmas bash when 5 of the senior players failed to turn up to their all-expenses-paid night in a hotel, despite giving assurances that they would be there. Geoff Brown is said to the "less than chuffed" about it all.
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