Weir’s Week: Glasgow Down Under, Tiger balm and no cups in Ayrshire

<em>Picture: Kenichi Nobusue</em>
Picture: Kenichi Nobusue
By Stewart Weir

Saturday
Celtic are Down Under doing their pre-season preparations and tackle Central Coast Mariners in their opening friendly. However friendship was lacking amongst the 17,000 who packed the ANZ Stadium.

According to the Operation Commander, Acting Superintendent Mick Rochester, the night was marred by anti-social behaviour by a few.

“The majority of fans were at the ground to see a game of football – not to have the match spoiled by idiots,” said Rochester who revealed nine men and two women were arrested after jumping the fence in an attempt to invade the pitch, 27 people were ejected from the stadium for being intoxicated, while 47 people were refused entry because of drunkenness. Five people were issued infringement notices, one of whom was arrested along with one man who was charged with assaulting police while another man was charged with assault.

So, a typically quiet night in Glasgow played out in Australia.

Sunday
David Haye chose to hide behind dark glasses today. One suspects through embarrassment more than anything else.

Not at his performance when being soundly beaten on points by Wladimir Klitschko. Probably more to do with the realisation of just how lame both he and the excuse he offered after the fight were.

Haye claimed he suffered a broken toe three weeks before the fight, which meant no sparring during the latter stages of the build up and led to his depressing loss.

Not sure what toe it was. Probably the one that went wee, wee, wee all the way home.

This was the biggest fight of his career. So why not call it off if he knew how handicapped he would be?

I don’t buy the excuse that he didn’t want to let his fans down. He did just by getting in the ring, so treating those who followed him to Germany to a second-rate performance.

Haye is considering his future but says he wants a rematch. After all those things you said about Wladimir before the fight? I don’t think so.

Monday
Tiger Woods isn’t coming to The Open. Disappointing, but injuries are curtailing his playing currently.

Which is maybe why Tiger is keen to promote “Vantelin Kowa” Japanese heat rub.

Maybe not quite in the same category as Accenture, AT&T, Gillette and Pepsi, all lost after going out-of-bounds in his private life. But Vantelin Kowa is a starting point – as is the knee, then the lower back, calf muscle …

Tuesday
There were all kinds of names banded around. But Spaniard Juan Manuel Ortiz will be remembered forever more as Ally McCoist’s first purchase as Rangers manager. As I said at the time, three names for the price of none.

There may be other arrivals, but McCoist’s most important signing could be Allan McGregor, who penned a deal to keep him at the club, possibly until he is 35.

McGregor was brilliant last season. Just how many points was he worth to Rangers last season. Or more accurately, how costly was he to Celtic?

Wednesday
Andy Murray descended on Paisley and was descended upon himself by several hundred locals who had come to see the beaten Wimbledon semi-finalist open some new tennis courts in the town.

Now, out of those hundreds, if not thousands who came to see Andy Murray, how many saw him as a tennis hero and possible role model to inspire them to pick up a racket – and how many were just nosey?

Paisley is of course home to St Mirren, and one of their former players, Charlie Adam, who for several million appears to be on his way from Blackpool to Liverpool.

So what was the thinking behind reports of Rangers collecting a possible £1 million bonus because Adam is switching clubs.

Surely it is more of a seven million pound loss having let him go on the cheap in the first place?

Thursday
I admit to having a special dictionary and thesaurus which offers different key words and phrases and puts them in to a sporting context.

For instance, under parochial it lists alternatives such as insular, inward-looking, limited, narrow, narrow-minded, petty, provincial, restricted and small-minded. The comparative sporting word or phrase in this section is Aberdeen fan.

Just to prove how parochial, insular, inward-looking, limited, narrow, narrow-minded, petty, provincial, restricted and small-minded Aberdeen fans can be, they gave a near-perfect performance out in Germany as they harassed, abused, insulted and taunted their new club skipper Richard Foster. Why?

Because last season Foster left Pittodrie on a season-long loan deal to play for Rangers, sworn and most-hated enemies of Aberdeen, according to a section of their support.

Perhaps it’s not wise to point out the connections their manager, Craig Brown had with Ibrox, or his assistant Archie Knox, long-time No.2 to Walter Smith at Rangers during the 90’s.

If those same Dons supporters hadn’t noticed, maybe I should also explain that Foster never actually left their beloved club, only that the management there accepted Rangers offer to pay his wages for a year.

And now he has returned, no doubt the better for the experience, which saw him playing in Europe and winning the SPL title.

Or do winners have no place at Pittodrie either?

Friday
And, sadly, it appears as if there will be no winners of the Ayrshire Cup again this season after Ayr United cancelled a “friendly” with rivals Kilmarnock because the trophy was not up for grabs.

Ayr claim, that as part of an agreement with holders Kilmarnock, the cup was to have been contested this season. Kilmarnock disagreed, so the pre-season derby fixture is no-more.

For the record, Kilmarnock have been holders of the trophy since 1998, mainly because it has not been played for since. If my memory is correct, wasn’t that the same year Ayr United knocked holders Kilmarnock out of the Scottish Cup?

Maybe Kilmarnock just don’t want the trophy cabinet to look completely bare, although if you listen to the scurrilous allegations made by some Ayr fans, said silverware is actually on show in Cash Converters in Fort Street …