Here’s what we did this week

Here’s what we did this week

By Graham Ruthven

What a week it’s been. Craig Levein is still winding up Scott Brown, Charly Musonda and Callum Musonda are now a circus act and Alex McLeish is the Scotland manager again. Even by Scottish football’s usual standards, this one was a rip-roarer.


A busy week in the world of Scottish football means a busy week on TheTwoPointOne. We’ve had pieces on St Johnstone’s dismal recent form, claims of racism against Hearts fans and an essay on the place of smaller clubs in our national game. Because what would the week be without a bit of soul searching.


We also started a new video series called ‘Talking Tactics.’ St Mirren manager Jack Ross was our first guest (thank goodness he didn’t join Barnsley, eh?). Here’s a run through of some of the best content we posted this week. There’s no paywall here, so fill ‘yer boots!



Talking Tactics with Jack Ross



It’s astonishing just how infrequently you hear coaches in Scottish football talk about coaching. Many claim that as a footballing nation we are uneducated in the tactical side of the game. Of course, that’s not to say that we aren’t without our master tacticians.


We kicked off a new video series called ‘Talking Tactics’ to delve into the nuts and bolts of the Scottish game, talking to the very people who make use of those nuts and bolts. First up, Jack Ross, the coach who has performed a remarkable turnaround at St Mirren, with the Paisley club now on the brink of a return to the top flight. We sat down with him.





Where do smaller clubs fit into the landscape of Scottish football?



Scottish football’s eco-system is what makes it what it is. Our country boasts big clubs, like Celtic and Rangers, Aberdeen and Hearts, but also smaller clubs, much smaller clubs, like Elgin City and Montrose, Berwick Rangers and Stenhousemuir. But where do those smaller clubs fit into the landscape of our national game?


Duncan McKay looked at that question, drawing on his own experiences as both an Elgin fan and a Hibernian fan. Just how important are these clubs, slumped further down the league ladder, to the sport in this country? Are they the best or worst of Scottish football?



Fans must face up to racism after Isma Goncalves revelations 



This week, former Hearts striker Isma Goncalves made some startling comments about the circumstances surrounding his exit from Tynceastle last month. The striker revealed in an interview with the Edinburgh Evening News that he faced racist abuse from Hearts fans in the stands during his time in the capital. The abuse was directed at him in front of his wife and young son, who later stopped attending games.


Alastair Brian looked into how every Hearts fan should feel shame, but not shock at these revelations. It’s up to the fanbase as a whole to face up to these allegations and take action within themselves. That goes for all football fans.



Do Partick Thistle really improve as the season goes on?



Partick Thistle’s seasons have followed a familiar pattern in recent years. The Jags have made a habit of starting their campaigns poorly before rallying to recover in the second half. There are signs that this pattern is set to continue this season, with Alan Archibald’s side lifting themselves from the foot of the Scottish Premiership over the past few weeks.


But just how accurate is this widespread belief that Thistle improve as the season goes on? Last year, the Jags finished in the top half of the Scottish Premiership on the back of a surge in the second half of the season. Or at least, that was the perception. How accurate is this perception? James Cairney looked into it.



Why are Tommy Wright’s St Johnstone in decline?



Tommy Wright joined St Johnstone as assistant to Steve Lomas in November 2011 and took over as manager in June 2013. In that time, he has established St Johnstone as a top six Scottish Premiership club, something that many fans haven’t experienced in their lifetimes. However, things aren’t looking so pretty at present.


Rather worryingly, the Perth club are sliding down the table as they suffer a dreadful run of form. St Johnstone are struggling for goals and confidence. But just how worried should Wright be? Stevie Grieve looked at the reasons behind their recent decline.



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