Weir’s Week: Paragon Puyol, bungling ‘blip’ and dashing Dario milking it

Puyol. PIcture: Gerard Reyes
The great Puyol. PIcture: Gerard Reyes

Puyol. PIcture:  Gerard Reyes
The great Puyol. PIcture: Gerard Reyes
Saturday
Just thinking about what I’d seen the night before when Barcelona won the Copa Del Rey and said farewell to their manager Pep Guardiola.

Barca were unstoppable against Athletic Bilbao and had the game won in the first half.

All that was left was to say cheerio to their coach – who’d made it another trophy winning season in the end – and for the pot to be presented to skipper for the evening Xavi.

The Spanish midfielder signalled for injured club captain Carles Puyol.to come forward and share the moment – remember, this was the end of an era with Guardiola’s departure – but Puyol waved the request aside.

He hadn’t played and this was Xavi’s moment.

Cast your mind back a year ago to Wembley and the Champions League final, again when Puyol could have basked in the limelight after victory over Manchester United, picking up the silverware as was his right.

But no, Puyol shared the occasion with the fit-again Eric Abidal, who had just overcome a career-threatening kidney problem.

Puyol is everything you’d want a captain to be. Caring, sharing. An example to show children how sport should be done, especially when you are a leader.

What a contrast to the clown that was John Terry …

Sunday
ESPN decided to broadcast it under the ticket “international football” – but really they should have done a quick rebrand, football’s equivalent of Don’t Watch Alone.

Actually for a Scotland fan, it would be more like don’t watch again.

The national side were outclassed, outplayed and out-performed by the USA, going down 5-1 in a friendly, bring to an end an instantly forgettable 2011/12 international campaign.

“A blip” was how one in-house SFA optimist saw it. The truth is that Scotland, at international level, are flat-lining. A blip would indeed be a positive sign …

Monday
Congratulations go to “Super” Dario Franchitti, who on Sunday night (UK-time) triumphed at the Brickyard for the third time to win yet another Indianapolis 500.

For the third time, the Scot took the chequered flag under yellow cautions flags, basically meaning he coasted to victory because of an incident on the track, this time when rival Takuma Sato spun into the wall.

Monday’s media in Scotland reported Dario’s success, one presenter saying that the Scot didn’t celebrate by spraying champagne, but by drinking milk.

There was a certain level of incredulity in his voice, as if to say what a strange way for anyone to celebrate. Except, it’s the manner in which every Indy 500 winning driver toasts his win. Some people know sport. Others seem to have been introduced to it a few hours before broadcast …

Tuesday
Rangers are successful in the Court of Session action to have the SFA’s 12-month transfer embargo lifted. A success for the Ibrox club, one of few in the last five months.

Of course, given the legal heavyweights the SFA had co-opted, hired, rented, invited and pressed into making this decision, both first time around and on the appeal, you would have thought they would have had a copper-bottomed, iron-clad, bomb-proof case.

Except they didn’t. Instead of Rangers, it was the SFA who stood accused of basically making the rules up as they went along. Some people would resign from office if they oversaw such a debacle.

Instead of throwing their hands up a Rangers cheek, it might serve the SFA members better to look at their own dealings in football and decide if those steering the ship have any idea where they are going.

Wednesday
Stewart Gilmour, the St Mirren chairman is one of those outraged at Rangers audacity in taking the SFA to court over their, eh, illegal actions.

Gilmour was speaking after the SPL’s latest meeting to decide what none of them want to decide, namely what punishment might befall Rangers, now, or if they become a NewCo. I love the way so many of these people have different hats for different days, or should that be blazers and ties.

Gilmour was angry, saying Rangers had no right to challenge the SFA in court and was worried about what sanctions may now be set against the SFA by FIFA.

FIFA frown upon clubs taking local governing authorities to court, particularly when proving the inadequacies of that local governing authority.

Gilmour and other coffee club members are worried that FIFA might strike down on high on Scotland, taking sanctions that may even include banning us from international competition, like the World Cup. What a waste of time that would be for Mr Blatter, when the Scots have been capable of doing that themselves for the last four such tournaments.

Thursday
Not for the squeamish, or those of a nervous disposition. This is a gruesome tale. But it’s worth reading for a fantastic coincidence buried (no pun intended) within the story.

Friday
And the managerial merry-go-round spins into hyper-mode with Brendan Rodgers taking over at Liverpool, Paul Lambert tipped for Aston Villa, even Hamilton Accies manager Billy Reid linked with a move to Swansea as the No 2 there should Graeme Jones leave his post to take over the role previously filled by Rodgers.

All very confusing.

The amazing thing is, that despite all the moves, departures and re-shuffles, there still appears to be jobs for all the boys somewhere in football. If you don’t get to play on the roundabout, then there is always the swings.

There is no other industry like football where, regardless of the candidates mediocrity, they will still appear better than who some clubs already have in charge …