Here’s what we did this week

Here’s what we did this week

By Graham Ruthven

This was the week of Walter Smith. The week that a name from Scottish football’s past was thrust forward as a solution to its future. What is it they say about repeating the same mistakes over and over again and expecting different results? Yeah, that.

 

Of course, as eventually materialised, Smith ruled himself out of the running for the Scotland national team job, serving another blow to the Scottish FA. It’s not been a very good couple weeks for the sport’s governing body. They could use a pick me up. How about hiring Alex McLeish?

 

It’s been a busy week at TheTwoPointOne. We’ve published stories on Henrik Larsson and the possibility of the Swede being named Celtic manager, Oriam, Sportscene and more. Here is a selection of some of the best work we have done over the past six days.


 

How Sportscene became ‘relevant again’

 

 

A few years ago, Sportscene was an easy target for Scottish football fans. It’s fair to say that Scottish football’s weekly highlights show felt stale. Stagnant. It was certainly in need of fresh ideas. But things have changed. The programme is now vibrant, punchier and much more analytical. The turnaround has been remarkable.

 

We went behind the scenes to look at the work that goes into each and every episode of Sportscene. You might be surprised at how pundits Michael Stewart and Steven Thompson shape every package, every analytical point they make. We were afforded a rare peak behind the curtain at BBC Scotland.

 


 

Oriam: One year into the future of Scottish football

 

 

 

It’s been a year since Oriam, Scotland’s centre for elite performance in sport, opened. Looking like a futuristic carnation in the leafy grounds of Heriot-Watt University, the complex is quite the sight. But what about the purpose of the facility? What does it represent about the future of Scottish football?

 

We visited Oriam to take a look around and speak to Ross Campbell, executive director of the centre. Just how important is the construction of this stunning complex to the future of Scottish football, and Scottish sport as a whole? How will it change practice? How will it change the talent that our country produces?

 


 

What if… Henrik Larsson had been appointed Celtic manager?

 

 

Back in 2014, Henrik Larsson was offered the Celtic job. The former Swedish striker was their first choice and, at the time, was rated as one of the brightest young managers in the European game. As we know now, Larsson rejected the job, choosing to stay where he was.

 

But what if the Celtic legend had taken the job? How would that have changed the course of history for both parties? Is it possible that Brendan Rodgers would never have pitched up at Celtic Park had Larsson been appointed? We put some thought to it.

 


 

Scottish clubs must get smarter in the transfer window

 

 

As we all know, Scottish football simply can’t compete with the English game, financially. The Premier League is another world, with £420 million spent on players in just January alone. That’s more than Scottish clubs have spent on players in their entire history.

 

But all across Europe there are clubs who are making the most of this. Portimonense, a small Portuguese outfit, sold a player to Porto for £6m in January. Since 2016, Zilina have brought in £10 million in transfer revenues from selling players abroad. Both of these clubs would have the lowest average attendance were they in the Scottish Premiership. If these comparative minnows can make millions on the transfer market, then why can’t Scottish clubs? Dougie Wright looked into the subject.

 


 

Badge of honour

 

 

What’s in a badge? Well, rather a lot of you’re a Scottish football club. It’s your identity. It might not make much sense to many others, with all its idiosyncratic, hyper-local features, but what does that matter? Your team’s badge is exactly that – your team’s.

 

Scottish football boasts some weird and wonderful badges, or crests if you’re a purist. Ships and animals and shields and mottos – they’re all in there, and all for specific reasons. They all mean something to someone. That’s the beauty of a badge.

 

And so it’s natural for clubs to plaster their home grounds in the design that marks them out from the rest. Some have stood the test of time, others haven’t. But each one represents the symbol of a fanbase, a community, a club. This photo essay is dedicated to all the bizarre badges across our country’s stadiums.

 


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