Sept 30th .... I hate going on about referees week in week out but once again the whole crowd at Falkirk on Saturday were blazing with the man in black. Time and time again he kept blowing his whistle loudly and prevented us all from getting a couple of extra hours sleep.
Apart from a five-minute flourish at the end this was the kind of fare that gave birth to the phrase no-score-bore and will no doubt have left the television producers scratching their heads as to what 'highlights' to feature . . . still, that will give them a reasonable excuse to show more of the Old Firm games, not that they usually need one.
It's a busy week for Killie fans with the well advertised KFCSA meeting going ahead this Thursday in the Park Hotel.
Oct 14th .... Friday night saw the Killie Trust hold their latest fundraiser, a cracking evening with some great food on offer by one of Scotland's top chefs and entertainment from a table magician. He was asked if he could make bigger crowds appear and the board disappear at Rugby Park, but stressed that he was only a magician, not a miracle worker. The proceeds of the evening went towards the Fifty for the Future youth initiative, which recently contributed to the Scotland Under-16 victory against Northern Ireland. Fourteen-year-old Matthew Kennedy of Killie came on as a substitute and scored two goals in three minutes to hand Scotland victory. He also became the second Killie player to feature in Soccer AM's showboat feature this year. Hopefully we can produce a few more like him!
Oct 21st .... I had the pleasure of being Mike 'the gentleman' Manley's sidekick on his Killie World radio broadcast that goes out to fans throughout the world and hospitals in Ayrshire on Saturday at Easter Road. It is a great view up in the press area at the top of the main stand, unfortunately the performance of both teams left a lot to be desired. Hibs won the match by virtue of a very dubious penalty but in truth the most we deserved was a point and we would have considered ourselves lucky to get away with that. The natives are getting restless again. It is time we started utilising tactics to suit the players and not the other way around as that seems to be a problem. Come on JJ, we're better than this and we need a result to get the heads back up.
Oct 28th... SATURDAY saw a return to winning ways, and it was no coincidence that Kevin Kyle was back on the goal scoring trail as well. The first half of the game left a lot to be desired with St Johnstone bossing our midfield which was all over the place as usual but we never really looked in any serious danger.The second half was a lot better after JJ shuffled the pack a bit and mistakes by Alan Main allowed the home side to capitalise and take two goals and all three points … and even score one for the Saintees just for good measure. The manager said he was happy to win ugly on this occasion and the fans are happy just to get a win. Hopefully we can take a point off Celtic next week the same way we took one off the other twisted sister and continue to put some points on the table.
Nov 4th... Normal service resumed at Celtic Park on Saturday with Killie still not having recorded a win there since the 1950s…and the bookies say there is no such thing as a banker! Jim Jefferies has tried every formation possible at some stage and so far the best we have ever come away with is a draw. This time we reverted to type and continued our trend of playing guys out of position. The stand-out this time was dropping our only left back Garry Hay and playing midfielder Jamie Hammil in there to try and counter McGeady's pace. What area did the first two goals emanate from? Epic fail in the tactics stakes again. I suppose at least he is trying something, apart from the patience of the Killie support. He has brought in some good players, it is time that they started to repay his faith.
Nov 11th... The KFC Supporters' Association meeting is taking place in the Park Hotel tomorrow night and it is open to all Killie fans who wish to attend. One person who will definitely be there is manager Jim Jefferies, which may ensure a good attendance as there are a few punters who could feel the need to vent after another home defeat. We had a fair few chances to hit the back of the net on Saturday but it seems that when big Kev is not doing the business then no one else is either. Worrying times indeed. United took the lead from the spot after a mistake by veteran left back Hooky but, truth be told, despite woeful refereeing and an Ayr United-supporting linesman, the best team won on the day and we can have no complaints.
Fortunately, our next game is against Rangers at Ibrox. Nothing to worry about then.
Nov 18th... AS ALWAYS when our beloved chairman attends a KFCSA meeting, there was a sense of deja vu. One wag on the website wrote his script prior to the meeting and they could have handed out copies of that at the start of the meeting to save some time. In a nutshell the "unfair fines" story has apparently been sensationalised by the press; the club are on course to lose another £900k this year; Setanta/injuries/bad luck are to blame for all our troubles and everything is rosy in the garden between MJ and the gaffer.
Funnily enough that is not quite how the gaffer saw it in the meeting he attended a few months back. We are fast getting to the stage where no-one can get along with anyone else. Rangers next for us, maybe we will not see so many St George's cross flags at Ibrox this time around!
Nov 25th... SUPPORTERS were left devastated this week by the passing of one of Kilmarnock's greatest ever players – Frank Beattie. Big Frank captained Killie to our only league title in 1965 and played over 600 games for Ayrshire's finest. In his day, he worked a full shift down the pit until 2:30pm, had a bite of lunch and then took the train into Kilmarnock for training, clocking up over 500-miles-a-week travelling in the process… and was still playing for our first team at the age of 38 after breaking his leg. On the pitch, meanwhile, the current team need to get back on track against Hearts this week after another miserable result at Ibrox.
Dec 3rd ... TWO bad teams kicked the ball around Rugby Park last Saturday and Hearts just happened to be the team who were luckier on the day. Many Killie fans had left before our missed penalty and subsequent consolation goal near the end of the game. It is not surprising really – a lot are fed up of the fare on offer. The club are in financial mess off the park and just as big a mess on it. Things are looking extraordinarily bleak and it is hard to break the cycle of negativity. That is why it was so surprising to see such a low turnout at the Trust AGM on Monday. The Trust offers a legitimate way to effect positive change, a chance to make a real difference and help the club survive into the next decade. It seems like a lot of the fans just don't see that – or they just like to moan and not do anything about it. Apathy reigns supreme; change has got to come soon.
Dec 9th... WELL, those were three massive points. We could have woken up on Sunday morning to find the mighty Killie rock bottom of the SPL, but, in the end, Saturday's victory at St Johnstone moved us four points clear of Falkirk. It's not exactly daylight but the one-goal win was precious all the same. These remain troubling times at the Theatre of Pies, though, and things could get worse next month if JJ and BB are unable to hold on to KK. Killiefc.com has been awash with rumours this week that Celtic are going to come in and buy King Kyle. It's hard to believe, I know, but the big striker has also been linked with MLS side Toronto FC and it wouldn't exactly be a huge surprise if someone somewhere comes in with an offer during the transfer window. Kilmarnock have scored ten SPL goals this season; Kyle has scored five. It's fair to say we'd be half the team we are without him.
Nick Wilson (filling in fur Baz who's in Yankville fir his 40th!)
Dec 16th... A DRAW was a fair result against Hibernian last week and it to play some football. That said, both goals could well fall into the "defensive nightmare" bracket. The Hibs goalie fumbles and lays it on a plate for Burchill, and at the other end we couldn't even get a defender to perform the basics and stand in front of the ball preventing a quickly-taken free kick. Fowler and Bryson performed well but Mehdi Taouil is wasted out on the wing (not his fault). It is time we brought in Flannigan who, despite not being an out-and-out winger, can at least do a job there and is able to cross the ball with both feet. I'd even give Owens a chance so we can see what he can do. The Falkirk game on Saturday is the proverbial six-pointer – we have to ensure that our form in the last couple of games continues.
Dec 22nd ... Last week at home to the bottom team was the acid test for Jim Jefferies and his men and when push came to shove they failed to produce the goods and Killie are now just one point off bottom place. As the chairman of the Killie Trust and as the co-publisher of killiefc.com I have always been very hesitant about making rash statements aimed at any club employee, despite my views about how we are mismanaged at almost every level; but it is fast getting to the stage where I am losing faith in the managers ability to get the best out of the players he’s brought in and unless things start to improve drastically in the coming months then it may be time for a change.
Dec 29th ... Our best performances seem to end in draws of late and that does not auger well for our points tally. That said, our lads put in a decent shift and deserved at least a point from Tannadice, if not more. Having now seen the replays I am convinced that Mark Burchill’s goal should have been allowed to stand and the backroom staff at Dundee United, whom I overheard in the corridors while visiting someone in hospitality, seemed to agree. Who is to say what would have happened had the goal been given, the game was pretty open and it could still have went either way, but in our position we could do with some decisions going our way for a change.
The assistant manager appealed to the travelling fans to get behind the team, which they certainly did, but there were still some calls for the manager’s head and it was disappointing to hear BB’s comments to one fan at the final whistle. The pressure is possibly starting to tell. We take on Celtic at the Theatre of Pies on Wednesday, if the game goes ahead in these adverse weather conditions, and I hope that a late Xmas gift of three points will miraculously come our way, god knows we’re due a result against them!
Jan 6th... Fortune once again did not smile on the Killie faithful as we came away from Paisley with no points. The game only really sparked into life with the introduction of virus victim Kevin Kyle and latterly Mehdi Taouil. While Killie looked a bit livelier up front we were caught again at the back by our inability to defend set-pieces. There is talk of protest and there were calls for the manager's head, and I can't help but think they might have been even louder had our midweek game against Celtic not fallen victim to the weather. Speaking of which, Peter Lawwell did himself no favours by making up rules about clubs' responsibilities for their 'footprints' that do not exist. Killie didn't decide to cancel the game, the police did… and it was to protect his own fans more than anything!
Jan 12th... Despite the lack of games over the previous few weeks it is all going off down Rugby Park way. On Sunday the Trust and the KFCSA released a joint statement proclaiming our dismay at the way the club was being run and our embarrassment at the recent media coverage afforded us by Kevin Kyle and Michael Johnson. The Association meeting, scheduled to launch their new website, was packed to the rafters the next day, and the club chairman chose the event to tell us that our struggling management duo had exited stage left…by mutual consent. While this may solve a few of our problems it still leaves us with no manager and staring relegation in the face with our one-man board having to cope with even more than normal. We have to hope that change at that level is the next thing to happen! Killie fan and successful businessman Kenny Alexander has sent a proposal to MJ and the bank that he hopes will see us through to the end of the season and give us some breathing space to sort things out while still in the SPL. Whether his plans are accepted are not remains to be seen and the supporter’s groups have still to sit down and talk to Mr Alexander about his proposals so don’t get your hopes up just yet…but hopefully there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel.
Jan 20th... Finally…a goal and a win at the Theatre of Pies! Even if the goal was a John McEachran special and went in off Manu’s back side, we are through to the next round of the cup and now face Inverness at home. No easy task of course given that they dumped the same team who spanked us 3-0 at the weekend, but the less said about that the better; obviously a learning exercise for the two Jimmys, or Jimmy Two Times as they shall henceforth now be referred to, and they clocked soon enough that Danny could do with a spell on the side lines. Every game from here on in is massive and we have to stand shoulder to shoulder with the players in a united front to ensure that we keep our SPL status. Falkirk showed last night, without some key players, that they are no pushovers and will battle all the way, and we will be their main target now that they only have the league to concentrate on. You could see the relief on the faces of the players and the fans when that ball went into the net and the confidence boost it gave us seemed to make such a difference to everything. Hopefully, like back in 1997, a wee cup run will give is the belief we need to ensure our safety.
Jan 25th... Taking points from Aberdeen at their ground has never been easy and it was no real surprise to return from the land of sheep with nothing to show for our troubles. To be fair the game was probably quite even up until the goal, and a fine goal it was I’ll have to admit, but we still seem to find it impossible to string two results together, and at times two passes. One major criticism I had of JJ was how often he utilised players out of position, and Jimmy C seems to be using the same guys in similar positions as his predecessor, so it is obviously me who is wrong! Here is a few pointers for Jimmy from someone who has watched these guys for long and weary.
Kevin Kyle, our only goal threat, has to start even if we use him as a decoy to give the others more room. Mehdi is not a winger and wasting his talents out wide left, get him in the middle behind the front two or playing off Kyle up front, you can guarantee plenty of free kicks that way. Speaking of free kicks, Iain Flannigan must be given a few starts to prove his worth, he is adept in dead ball situations and is the only player we have who can cross a ball equally well with either foot…ideal to service big Kev. Try three at the back with Paska or in a sweeping role and Hooky pushed forward as a wing-back; try playing Old at centre half. I could go on but I doubt whether anyone will take heed, especially not to a clueless half-wit like me...those football manager games have a lot to answer for!
Feb 1st...Football made a welcome return to the Theatre of Pies on Saturday with our game against the Arabs. Okay, so maybe the defences were not all they should be, but there is nothing quite like two teams trying their hardest to play a good passing game and score some goals. The manager rang the changes once again as he strives to find our best starting eleven, not easy with so many injured, and young Liam Kelly was rewarded for his good performance at Hamilton midweek. It is good to see Paska back in form and mad as ever, a bit of passion on the field really fires up the crowd and that is what we need at the moment.Kilmarnock born Craig Conway, who used to play for our country bumpkin neighbours down the road, was a real thorn in our flesh, scoring two goals and ripping us to shreds down that wing…but he blotted his copy book by falling on his posterior every time someone breathed in his direction, resulting in the penalty that tied the game up at four apiece. Craig Bryson stole the show though with a powerhouse performance and a goal straight out of the top drawer that we will be talking about for years. More of the same please and everyone will be happy and hopefully that elusive three points will materialise for Jimmy Two Times and we will start crawling back up the league again.
Feb 9th... It has been a good week to be a Killie fan and I have not been able to say that for a while. The first forty-five minutes against Celtic last Tuesday have to be the best we have played all season, and the goal and subsequent win, the first in nine years, was just the cherry on the cake. With seven games in twenty-one days the boys looked a bit jaded come the Saturday, but they still managed to continue our good run and put three past the team who knocked us out last year, with the magnificent Cammy Bell keeping another clean sheet in the process. Some of our players really seem to have come into their own since Jimmy Two Times and Sandy Clark took the reigns.
The management trio attended the Trust and Supporters Association meeting on Monday night and there was a fair to reasonable turnout to greet them, despite the lack of a crisis situation. The fans were full of praise and enthusiasm about the turnaround in our fortunes of late and our guests talked freely about their plans for nearly two hours. The bottom line is that they have no idea if they will still be here at the end of the season but they are going about their business as if they will be and getting our house in order as they would do under normal circumstances. They are very keen to keep the momentum going and want to help reconnect the club with the community.
As they say…it’s all good!
Feb 17th... The fun boy three, Calderwood, Nichol and Clark, worked some magic again this week as the players tired legs struggled to keep up with a busy fixture schedule. The big one was on Wednesday when we scraped past fellow relegation candidates Falkirk (although we are undefeated up there apparently) when a clever move by Hooky and Maguire down the left wing was sublimely finished by the boy Bryson who is coming into his own again under JC’s watchful eye. It was the proverbial six pointer and it sent the larger than normal away support home happy. Well done to the Bairns on reducing the prices, I hope they stay up as long as it is not at our expense!
Our fourth win on the bounce came on Saturday with yet another value for money match at the Theatre of Pies. St Johnstone are no mugs and came to Kilmarnock looking for a win and to their credit took the lead twice…but the confidence and belief that our players now have that they can take on anybody saw us equalise twice, take the lead, and ultimately hold on for the three points. Six weeks ago there was not a snowball’s chance in hell of that happening, we now run the risk of actually looking forward to the next match! The other Saints are up next, here’s hoping a week off will reinvigorate the players and they can continue our march back up the table.
Feb 23rd... Despite being the first time in ages without a midweek game, the team still looked a bit jaded against St Mirren and never really got into full flow. There was an outside chance that home advantage may have taken us over the line, but a screamer from Mehmet ensured that the Paisley men took a share of the points and in all honesty we probably can’t complain about it too much. We had some clear cut chances to double our one goal lead but failed to do so, and ultimately that was to be our undoing on the day. There was a bit of chopping and changing going on and at times it was difficult to pinpoint exactly who was meant to be playing where with wide spaces, particularly on the left wing, not being filled…but with a points tally from the last four games we would have killed for just a short time ago, ours is not to reason why, the fun boy three obviously are well aware of what they are doing and we have to have faith in that.
The Supporters Association had approached the club to follow in Falkirk’s footsteps and have a price reduction for the game to try, like the Bairns, to double the attendance and tempt people back to see the new rejuvenated Killie, but for whatever reason they chose not to. Possibly we can’t afford to speculate to accumulate at the moment but I wouldn’t discount them trying something of that ilk when the final fixtures are announced.
Mar 2nd ... The honeymoon period must be officially over now as the troops headed back from the battlefield at Motherwell with nothing to show for their efforts. It was a pretty poor all round performance with Bell being the best of the bunch on the day and keeping the goals against to a minimum. It is true what they say that the pitch at Fir Park is bad for both teams and not conducive to a good passing game, or good football in any form, but it has to be some advantage to the home team who have to play on it every other week. There are still testing times ahead for the fun boy three and their charges, despite a good start they have had we are still well and truly in the midst of a fight against relegation and we would do well to remember that and get right behind the team. The fans did their bit on Saturday, despite provocation from one rotund steward who had ideas well above his station and could have caused a riot with his abrupt manner and obviously missed his calling in life as a Tayside policeman. Football is a spectator sport and fans are having a day out to watch their team in a game…there are those who would do well to remember this.
Mar 9th... Two defeats in a row from two debatable free kicks, it seems that when your luck is out, it’s out. Despite recent results the supporters are still pretty upbeat about the change of management style and hopeful that the fun boy three will stay and get more of a chance to turn things around at the Theatre of Pies. It looked like we could be in for a thrashing at Easter Road when outstanding young keeper Bell was carted off; replacement Robinson however was up to the task and pulled off a man of the match performance, saving a penalty in the process. Unfortunately for him and us though, there was no stopping Riordan’s sweetly taken free kick and that proved to be the difference between the two sides and ensured that we would go home a second week empty handed. With our next two matches being Rangers in the league and their east end of Glasgow counterparts in the cup the chances of us getting some redemption is slim to say the least, but we have proved that we can actually get results in these games with a fine win over Celtic recently so the players can garner some confidence from that. The Supporters’ Association meeting will be in the Park Suite next Monday (15th March) and don’t forget the Trust’s fund raising Skool Disco at the Park Hotel that Friday as well…see the Trust website www.killietrust.org for details of how to get tickets.
Mar 16th... It seems like only last week I was talking about two defeats in a row…and it was…we’ve now had another two making it grim times for the Killie faithful. To be brutally honest I don’t think many of us were expecting back to back victories over the old firm. Surprisingly enough though in the first halves of both matches we more the more dangerous teams, but we succumbed to the pressure in the second halves and lost ground in the league and are out the Scottish Cup once again. Such is life, and we now know what lies ahead to keep us in the SPL. Oh wait, we don’t quite know that yet either because of the grossly stupid league split. I hope the managers pushing for a bigger league where we face each team less times a season get their way.
The KSA meeting went well with John Corrigan of the management committee and Jimmy Nichol appearing on behalf of the club to answer questions and the final push is on to sell tickets for the “Skool Disco” a week on Friday which is a major fundraiser for the Fifty for the Future initiative and helps the club ring through young talent. The KSA and the Trust have agreed one fans bid to get the club to instigate some kind of memorial to Killie legend Frank Beattie. The idea being put forward is to rename the West Stand after him and unless there is some commercial potential there that we don’t know about then we are all 100% behind the move. Come on MJ, you know it makes sense.
Mar 24th... With no game last week we were all watching the other results with a great deal of anxiety as the teams round about us were playing their games in hand. It is always better to have “points in the bag” but in our case we didn’t win the games in question so we could have gone into the Hamilton game on Wednesday at the bottom of the table, and when you are down there it seems all the more difficult to grind out results, just ask anyone at Falkirk. Fortunately for us things worked out pretty well and now on the same number of games we sit five points clear of the Bairns and can only do ourselves a massive favour by sending Hamilton home with no points come the midweek match. On Saturday we face Celtic who it looks like only have the Scottish Cup to play for this year so maybe we can catch them on a downer for the first time in fifty odd years and snatch a win in the east end, I’m not going to be putting my mortgage on it though! I’ll be happy with a point away from home in any remaining fixture as long as we can do the business at the Theatre of Pies. Last call for the Trust’s Skool Disco in the Park Hotel on Friday night…all proceeds go to the FFTF initiative and ticket details can be found on the killiefc.com website.
Mar 30th... As predicted we got nothing from our trip to the east end of Glasgow on Saturday and to be honest the whole match seemed more like a training game than anything else…nice goal from Bryson all the same but in the end no more than a consolation. While getting beaten by Celtic was pretty much what we expected, the midweek defeat at home to Hamilton was not. Tactically we seem to be a bit all over the place at the moment and the players seem to be finding difficulty coming to grips with the changes. I do not know whether that reflects more on their inability to adapt, or the manager’s propensity for tinkering with the system to counter upcoming opponents; but whatever the case it does not seem to be working as we have now lost six in a row after the previous seven undefeated.
The fun boy three are struggling to cope with the lack of depth in the squad built by JJ and they do not have the luxury of dropping players in some positions who are out of form, because there replacements are just not up to the task. I would like to see Garry Hay, our only left back, regain his place and Tim Clancy put over on the right where he is much better than anyone else in the squad. We also need some Mehdi magic if we are to get some points against Aberdeen in the relegation battle. If we do not win that match it looks like a straight fight between us and Falkirk to see who goes down…sad days indeed.
Apr 6th... Well we pulled out a result when we really needed it and sneak past the Buddies instead of lying one point clear of the bottom. I know that we are still well in the thick of the relegation battle but it does ones heart good to know that the players are up for the fight and can pull off a result when really needed. The win over Aberdeen should give the players (and the fans) some confidence going into the split after next week, and it would be a small bonus if we could drag our former managers team into the bottom six with us…after the start of the season we endured it is probably fair to say that he deserves to be in the doldrums as well, no offence to the Hearts team of course! A big part in the turnaround on Sunday must surely be down to Garry Hay’s reintroduction to first team action. Hooky had been off form and he may not be the best left back in the world (if he was he would not be playing for us), but he is the only one we have and the fact that several managers have tried and failed to replace him must go for something. Hay must play, that’s the bottom line, and Tim Clancy looked far better on the right hand side even though he was deputising at centre half. I feared the worst with Bryson out injured but credit to all concerned for a great result.
Apr 13th... Killie went down at Tynecastle with the proverbial whimper, not a bang, and to be honest, no one was really surprised. Four away goals all season is the worst record in the whole of the UK, never mind just the SPL, which is a tad worrying considering that three of our last five games are away from home. Just over ten years ago we went to Dunfermline and scored six without reply, oh how the mighty have fallen, we will be lucky to score the same amount in 19 away games at this rate. The path ahead is now clear and we know all the whos, wheres and whens, just not the hows. We have five games in front of us that will not just determine our SPL status but possibly whether we survive as a club or not, because first division status does not carry enough funding to service our massive debt.
There is no time for recriminations now, that will undoubtedly come at the end of the season, we have to focus on the job in hand and make sure that we fight to make sure that the oldest professional club in the land does not go down and possibly out for good. As supporters there is only so much we can do but let us make sure we do it well and not take this sitting down. I beseech each and every Killie fan out there to get their backsides to the remaining games and support the team for all you are worth, we need to be the much vaunted twelfth man and hopefully the players will respond in kind and get the results we need. Come on Killie, you can do it!
Apr 20th... Things just seem to be going from bad to worse for the mighty as we crashed to yet another defeat against the Accies on Saturday. The worst thing about it was that though there probably shouldn’t have been a three goal deficit, the best side won on the day and up until the first goal we had bordered on mediocre at best. The only good thing that happened at the weekend was St Johnstone pegging back the Buddies after going two down at home, and by all accounts that was a tad fortunate. Hopefully the Paisley side will suffer similar bad luck this weekend when we come calling in the next league fixture…but luck won’t be enough to secure points in the three way relegation scrap and unless our squad starts to get the finger out soon the situation could be out of our own hands.
This will be our third away fixture in a row (not that we complained) and it has not been a good run in for us considering our abysmal away form, we could have done with a home game thrown in there. The fans will turn up in numbers again and try and do our bit but that’s as much as we can do and it will be down to the grit and determination of the players on the day if we can put some much needed points on the board. Sadly, that has been lacking of late, and it is time that MJ and/or JC had a few choice words about what the catastrophic consequences of Killie going down would mean. Get it sorted!
Apr 26th... It is a struggle to remember the last game we won, although the defeat on Saturday was a little tough to take given the effort put in by the players. It has to be said though, after a few months in charge there are being some questions raised about the team selection and the manager’s propensity for chopping and changing the starting line up. At Paisley we had Garry (played in every game we’ve won) Hay on the bench and right back Tim Clancy slotted in at the left. We had right winger Jamie (three chances to clear before the corner that the goal came from) Hamill in at right back…and we saw Mark (anonymous) Burchill start again in front of Chris Maguire and Moroccan magician Mehdi not even quoted.
There was certainly a lot of questions to be asked when the two Jimmys made an appearance at the Supporters’ Association open meeting on Monday, but to be fair they answered everything openly and honestly, and surprisingly enough seemed to agree with the majority of points being made! Apparently most of the changes were “football” decisions based on who we were facing on the day and there seems to have been some disciplinary problems with Mehdi which have hopefully now been resolved. It seems that we have some of the best players in Scotland on the training ground during the week but the same players do not reproduce that good form when it matters, on a match day. We can only hope that things come together next week as this could be the three most important games we have played in a long, long time…let’s get right behind them on Saturday!
May 4th... Not looking good is it? I suppose we can be grateful to St Mirren that we are still ahead of Falkirk on goal difference with only two games to go, although the plaudits should go to the Bairns who have managed to stuff things up every time we have given them the chance to overtake us. Our performance against St Johnstone was abysmal and we really look like a team who is going down. As much as the fans are trying to back the team we are just not seeing any response on the park. Losing Bryson to a broken nose was a blow as our midfield failed to show any invention without him, and for the good of the club I hope that Jimmy C and Mehdi bury the hatchet before the Dons game because we need our best players on the field in the next two matches. I really want to write something that the fun boy three can pin to the dressing room wall on Saturday but it wouldn’t be fair to all the players because there are some who are trying their best, it may be that they are just not good enough. This could be my last submission as a fan of an SPL club so best of luck to my Falkirk compatriot…and I hope you go down!
May 11th... It has been a week of contrasting news for Killie fans with the untimely death of 23-year-old Graeme Howie, a Killie stalwart, and the club just managing to stay in the top division. It certainly gave us some real perspective and took the edge of Saturday’s game for a lot of us, but it was still a very nervous ninety minutes and there is no way we want to go through that again in a hurry. We started the game well enough but, as expected, gradually dropped further and further into our own half as the game went on. The Bairns missed a gilt-edged chance to save themselves with ten minutes to go but to be fair we were denied a stonewall penalty prior to that when one of their players blatantly handled the ball in the box. A draw was probably a fair result and it looks like I’m here for another year so condolences to my Falkirk compatriot who will be taking an enforced sabbatical. I don’t think it will be for too long, league reconstruction is on the cards in my view and there are worse sides in the SPL than the Bairns. The word on the street is that Gus will be replacing JC in the hot seat…not sure how that will pan out!
May 17th ...
The midweek win at Aberdeen, coming back from behind to draw 4-4 with Dundee United and the departure of the management team who had passed their shelf life were all highlights but the most remembered will probably be spoiling £65k-a-week man Keane’s debut at the Theatre of Pies. Just for the pure noise-up value of so many glory hunters down our way!
From February 27th in eight weeks we played eleven games and lost all but one of them…that whole period was a bit much to endure, especially the three straight losses after the split. Getting horsed 3-0 at Hamilton was the real sickener, at that point we thought we were doomed.
Manager’s report card?
Jim Jefferies was going through the motions in the end and I can’t help but feel that he engineered his move to Hearts with us footing the bill. He just was not interested any more and it showed. The three-year contract he got at the start of the season was ridiculous. The fun boy three came in and had a some decent results but they soon found out that they squad they had inherited was way below their original expectations but they scraped over the line in the end despite some dubious team selections so fair play to them…can’t see them coming back though.
JJ – 3/10
JC – 6/10
Player of the season?
Craig Bryson had a sticky spell but was still miles better than his peers. Youngsters Bell and Kelly are due an honorable mention for their performances in the latter part of the season.
Expectations for next season?
I expect the chairman will sell Craig Bryson in yet another attempt to balance the books. Other than that it is anyone’s guess, depending on who takes over during the summer. I’m hoping for mid-table mediocrity and a cup run.
What needs to be on the club’s summer shopping list?
A new manager obviously, a board of directors preferably…and hopefully between them we could at least bring in some peripheral players to compliment the little quality that we have.
Which players should the club be offloading?
It would be quicker to say who should stay. Several have left already, I expect a few more will go soon…Burchill and Fernandez seem to be the most popular choices on the forums.
If you could give the manager one piece of advice, what would it be?
Players that we can afford are not world-beaters, they know that, we know that, so play them where they are comfortable so that we can get the best out of them…also embrace youth development, it is our only hope of salvation.
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