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British

Scotland vs Israel WC Qualifier 09/10/21

This post today comes from the hangover after a hard fought game from Scotland yesterday which gave a nation Hope to be able to qualify for the World Cup next year in Qatar.

My experience from the game started by getting the train to Mount Florida from Glasgow Central and what better way to hype yourself up for a Scotland game by listening to bagpipes and singing songs about John McGinn.

The buzz in the stadium was ripped out the hearts of the fans within the first five minutes which left me with the dread that it was going to be one of those games. A super strike from the main man John McGinn brought some hope back but some shocking defending was frustrating to watch as we conceded another making it a higher mountain to climb especially with our Aussie lad Lyndon Dykes missing a crucial penalty.

I can happily say the second half was a much better watch with Scotland pushing much higher up the pitch and playing much better football with Dykes redeeming himself and getting his goal. It was certainly an experience seeing VAR in use for the first time in the flesh. It was over after the longest two minutes of our lives and of course the goal was given as Israel were just seen to be cheating, again.

An 88th minute miss from McGinn made it seem that all was over but an added six minute of injury time was seen as a massive boost and our favourite Manc McTominay had us all chanting his name after his added time winner.

Suppose I can’t finish a blog without talking about what tops me and Lauren had on. I went with the new away top as I had just bought it in Edinburgh airport last Thursday and it is a belter but Lauren went a bit classier with JD’s Score Draw 96’ replica home top.

I think I can speak for everyone when I say we all had a boogie after full time and I hope everyone in the tartan army enjoy their night last night. Roll on the Faroe Islands Tuesday.

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British Club Tops

James Tavernier

Signing from Wigan in 2015 for £200,000, with teammate Martyn Waghorn, Tavernier would start his Rangers career in the Scottish Championship. Scoring a free kick on his debut in a 6-2 victory against Hibernian in the first round of the Scottish Challenge Cup, Tav would also score his first league goal against Alloa Athletic in a 3-0 victory.

A free scoring right back who has racked up a very impressive 18 goals in 46 games while also assisting 11 last season (20/21). Not only an attacking threat but also a defensively sound player as he was part of the defence who conceded 13 goals in the league last season.

Also worth noting that he was the man to captain Rangers to their first league title since 2010/11 and stopping city rivals Celtic from winning the coveted 10 in a row.

This is the first kit made by British manufacturer Castore who signed a five year deal with the club. The first thing you notice is badge that features the five stars to symbolise their fifty league titles. The league badges on the sleeves also match up with the tops colours red, white and blue. A small message reading “follow follow” can be found behind the collar.

There is also faint diagonal lines running through the top in a darker blue to the royal blue that is used for the main body of the top.

It is also worth noting that Rangers re-released a special edition to mark their historic league win that featured a golden badge and Castore badge with some embroidery reading “Champions 55, 20/21”.

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British Club Tops

Artur Boruc

Polish goalkeeper Artur Boruc started his career with Pogoń Siedlce before moving to Legia Warsaw. In 2005 Boruc was loaned out to Scottish side Celtic who quickly made the move permanent after noticing his quality. He made his debut in a Champions League Qualifier against Slovakian side Artmedia Bratislava after replacing David Marshall for the second leg of the tie. Quickly establishing himself as number one between the sticks due to his shot stopping, self belief and arrogance which would get him into bother at times with opposing fans.

Keeping 17 clean sheets in his first season helped Celtic win the 05/06 League title and the League cup. He would go on to lift the next two titles and another League cup while adding a Scottish Cup.

His most memorable moments for the hoops consist of keeping clean sheets against the likes of Manchester United and Benfica in the Champions League. He also saved many of crucial penalties such as in the penalty shootout against Spartak Moscow to help Celtic move into the Champions League group stage.

He would make his final appearance for Celtic against Old Firm rivals Rangers in a 2-1 victory although he was subbed off due to breaking his finger. He would move to Italian side Fiorentina where he would spend two seasons before moving to England with Southampton and Bournemouth before moving back to Poland with Legia Warsaw who he currently plays with at the age of 41.

This top comes from the 09/10 season, his final season at Celtic where he was unable to win any major honours to cap off his time at with the bhoys.

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British Club Tops

Fulham – 02/03

For this post we are throwing it back to the early 2000’s with a Fulham top from their time in the FA Barclaycard Premiership. This season would be a regular season for the lily whites as they finished the season in 14th position, one place lower than the season previous.

Looking at that team now you would probably have placed them a lot higher as they had brilliant players such as Edwin Van Der Sar, Louis Saha and Steed Malbranque. This poor season would see manager Jean Tigana sacked in the April of 2003 with recently retired Welsh Defender Chris Coleman taking over who would guide the team into the top half of the division in 9th in the 03/04 season.

This jersey is from Scotland midfielder John Collins who played 65 games for Fulham before retiring in 2004. Before playing for Fulham, Collins would play in the Premier League with Everton and also played in France with Monaco. He is mainly remembered for his time at Celtic where he won the Scottish Cup in 1995.

Collins played 58 times for Scotland, scoring 12 goals with one of them coming on the opening day of the 98′ World Cup in France with a penalty against Brazil. Unfortunately Scotland never made it past the groups and still never have made it past the groups in any major tournament.

Made by Adidas, this Fulham top uses their famous lily white as the main body with the contrasting black used for the thick collar, side of the top and inside of the arms. The red in the badge is also used at the front of the neck. This was Adidas’ last kit with Fulham from that deal but Fulham brought back Adidas strips and have been with them since 2013 after moving from Puma, Airness, Nike and Kappa.

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British Club Tops

Nottingham Forest – 02/03

The 02/03 season saw Scottish attacking midfielder Eoin Jess arrive at Nottingham Forest who would finish 6th in his first season, just inside the play-off spots, however they were defeated in the first round by Sheffield Utd. The 18 time capped Scot would go on to play 86 times for Forest over a 3 season spell which saw promotion hopes turn into league relegation.

Starting his career in Aberdeen, he would play over 200 games for the don’s before making his first move down to the Premier League with Coventry City where he would play along side fellow Scots Gary McAllister and Gordon Strachan as they finished just above the drop zone in 17th place. After that one season in England, Jess would return north to Aberdeen where he would bring his total appearances with the club to over 300, ranking himself 11th in the Aberdeen all time appearance rankings.

A season loan and then a permanent move to Bradford City followed before he reached Nottingham Forest. Arriving as promotion hopefuls, it was not long before they were relegated down to the third tier of English football. They would stay in league one until they were promoted back to the championship in 07/08 where they most recently finished in a respectable 9th.

Nottingham Forest had began using Umbro kits in 1986 with them using their famous red as the main home colour but the away and third kits would catch the eye during the Umbro tenure as they would go through yellow, blue, white and green kits with some being more bizarre than the next. Forest would finish with Umbro and go back to Adidas before moving to current kit makers Macron.

This kit also features the sponsor of ‘Pinnacle Insurance’ who sponsored the top for five seasons between 98/99 to 02/03.

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British Club Tops

Motherwell 21/22 – Home and Away

We are taking a closer look at both of Motherwell’s home and away jerseys for the upcoming 21/22 season now that I have them in my possession.

First up we have the home top and it is very much what you expect from a Motherwell home top.

The obvious colours of claret and amber are used with amber being used as the main body with claret being used as a hoop around the body with a white border surrounding.

The collar matches the pattern of the cuffs with both being white with a claret and amber stripe in the middle.

A nice hidden feature of this top is lyrics being featured above the tag an the inside of the collar reading “Claret and Amber Colours True” as the well will always be far ahead of green and blue.

The one criticism I do have with the top is only with the hoop as it does not wrap all the way round the back of the jersey as I do not think it looks fully finished.

The away top has been more controversial amongst fans as it is not a typical Motherwell away kit, with some comparing it to a Livingston kit.

I actually like the kit and it’s a shame that some don’t as a pinstripe design will always look good if you have the right colours and black and amber do go well together, giving me an industrial vibe which is quite fitting for the steelmen.

Similar to the home top, this also has lyrics along the back of the neck but this time it reads “Since I Was Young, I Followed On”.

Again, I do have one criticism and it is that the pinstripe isn’t continued right down as it breaks for the sponsor but other than that it’s a nice look for the well boys.

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British Club Tops

Aberdeen – 99/00

The 99/00 season was a bit of a mixed one for Aberdeen fans. Finishing bottom of the league is certainly not something to celebrate but reaching two cup finals that season is an unbelievable feat but unfortunately it was the two old firm sides who stole the silverware at both League Cup and Scottish Cup finals.

This jersey comes from Cato Guntveit who started for Aberdeen in the League Cup Final at Hampden Park. The Norwegian was brought off at half time after being 1-0 down to Celtic. During the second half, fellow Norwegian Thomas Solberg was sent off and that was the end for Aberdeen.

Guntveit joined Aberdeen at the start of the 99/00 season having arrived from Brann where he would return in 2002 after 69 appearances The Don’s.

During Aberdeen’s run to the League Cup Final, they eliminated teams such as Livingston, Falkirk, Rangers and Dundee United with the last two being a fairly respectable achievement for Aberdeen.

Only avoiding relegation due to Falkirk’s stadium not being up to SPL standards, meaning they would not play their playoff game against Aberdeen. They also managed to qualify for that seasons UEFA Cup Qualifying due to finishing runners up in the Scottish Cup to league champions Rangers.

Coming from Puma, this kit is a classic late 90’s/early 00’s with the tidy white collar that is complimented by a small V-neck. The thick band of Puma badges running down the arms gives it retro vibes, especially with that CIS Cup Final Badge plastered on top of it. Whoever wanted them to be so large should get a pat on the back because they look fantastic as they match the top very well.

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British Club Tops

Motherwell 82/83

We’re keeping the Motherwell tops coming since there was clearly a huge demand after posting my Motherwell kit collection a couple of weeks ago.

So this time we have the first Motherwell top to ever feature a sponsor, Scottish Brewers. This was worn during the 82/83 season where Motherwell finished 8th in the Scottish top flight, missing out on the drop by seven points. This league title was won by a strong Dundee Utd team where there was only one point between United, Celtic and Aberdeen.

During the pre season for this season, Motherwell played Leeds at Fir Park where the away side won a comfortable 4-0. The main thing to take away from this game however is that Motherwell had a guest appearance from former European Footballer of the Year George Best after his contract expired with San Jose Earthquakes

This would be the first kit Patrick would make for the well, with their last coming two seasons later in the 84/85 season before moving to Umbro for a season then Matchwinner. Patrick’s kits had similarities as they bolstered a central badge and the branding coming on the sleeves.

The collar on this top is very 1980’s as it is overly large while using a deep V-neck and using horizontal amber stripes against the claret of the kit. There isn’t too much to say about the kit other than the thick block amber in the middle surrounded by claret with the amber stripe running down the side of the top.

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European International Tops

Alessandro Birindelli – Italy 03′

As Italy have just won the Euros, there is no better time to share this classic from a friendly game against Northern Ireland in the summer of 2003. Italy won the fixture 2-0 to no surprise as they had a squad filled with household names at the time such as Ballon D’or winner Fabio Cannavaro, Antonio Di Natalie and Alessandro Birindelli.

Birindelli origionally started his career as a right winger during his time at Empoli before dropping back into right back. It is with Empoli that Birirndelli would play almost 150 games, helping them get promoted back to back seasons from the Serie C1 to the Serie A.

The lifelong Juventus fan would eventually get his move to the star studded side that would bolster the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Edgar Davids, Allessandro Del Piero and Filipo Inzaghi. Birindelli would go on to win 3 Serie A titles and 3 Suppercoppa Italiana’s before Juventus’s relegation at the end of the 2005/06 season due to the Calciopoli match fixing scandal which saw Juventus, alongside Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio and Reggina be deducted points and fined but it was only Juventus who were to be relegated to Serie B. Juventus were also stripped of their 04/05 Serie A title.

Juventus won the Serie B with a six point gap above Napoli even after being given a 9 point deduction at the start of the season. This is no surprise as a handful of their star players stayed to help lift the super club back from the ashes. Players such as Birindelli, Trezeguet, Buffon, Chiellini, Nedved and Del Peiro all stayed loyal with Del Piero winning the golden boot for the season.

Birindelli would leave Juventus in 2008 after spending 11 years in Turin and moving to Pisa for a season then eventually retiring after a season with Valle del Giovenco. His son Samuele Birindelli currently plays centre half for Pisa and has made over 130 appearances since is debut in 2016.

This jersey was Puma’s first take on the Italian National Team and have managed to keep supplying belters ever since. A plain kit that looks very elegant with the blue tone that Italy have used for years plus the badge on this jersey is probably personal favourite of mine and agree that it should be used more often. The three stars above the puma badge on the sleeve is also a nice added feature.

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European International Tops

Forza Italia / Andrea Pirlo

Italy are going to be playing in the final of Euro 2020 at Wembley tonight and what better way to get you in the mood than having a read at this.

Winners of four World Cups and a European Championship, Italy have always been one of the best in the world but over the last few years it hasn’t been easy supporting the Italian National Team. In 2018, Italy dropped down to 14th in the FIFA world rankings after failing to qualify for the World Cup in Russia. After failure to qualify, Italy would start their rebuild by hiring manager Roberto Mancini and haven’t looked back since.

Starting off the tournament with a 3-0 victory over Turkey and then another 3-0 win over Switzerland saw Italy qualify with one group game to spare but a 1-0 win over Wales saw Italy become the only team this tournament to qualify through the group without conceding a goal.

They haven’t had an easy route to the final either after beating Austria 2-1 after extra time, Belgium 2-1 and Spain 4-2 on penalties, they thoroughly deserve their place in this final.

Looking back to Italy’s last major trophy takes us back to the 2006 World Cup that was played in Germany. When you think about this final, two things come to mind. The first being Zinedine Zidane’s famous headbutt and the second being Andrea Pirlo’s man of the match performance. Beating France in penalties after full time ended 1-1 with Pirlo taking one of Italy’s penalties. France scored in the 9th minute after Zidane converted a penalty into Gigi Buffon. Italy equalised not long after in the 19th minute with Marco Materazzi scoring from an excellent delivery from an Andrea Pirlo corner.

Andrea Pirlo is not only one of Italy’s greatest ever players but is regarded as one of the best deep lying playmakers ever. Capped 114 times for Italy, Pirlo has played for Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus, going on to manage The Old Lady for the 20/21 season.

This jersey comes from Italy’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Northern Ireland. The Italian’s left with a draw after an excellent effort from the Northern Irish forcing a 0-0 stalemate.