Off Kilter – Season 7: Episode 1 | @PeterJonesPhoto

Peter is taking Alloa into their 7th season and hopes are high that this, finally, will be the year they topple Rangers. What can go wrong?

Nothing much changes north of the boarder. Rangers piledriving every league with 6 (six) championships in 6 (six), no relegation or promotion from Division 3, and we’ve got £29m in the bank and no one to buy because either a) there is no one out there with an Alba birth certificate worth spending it on or b) our reputation is still minimal even though for the 2nd year in a row, we’re in the Champions League. I can’t quite tell if we’ve moved up the epileptic rollcall of reputes. So, we plough our lonesome furrow with the usual miserable looking faces that skirt the dressing room walls.

There are at least two itching to pack their backs and wave farewell after rumours of golden streets and English Premiership riches. Charles Stirling has been an ever present in gold, but I think it’s time he went. His moral is dragging the mood down and Newcastle aren’t really a threat to us.

He was a superb free find back in season 2 and barely missed a match since. Putting him in the advanced midfield role last year unleashed his goalscoring prowess.

Brady was the first new face through the Rec gates with innocent eyes and a heart of regret after leaving the big smoke. His corner taking ability lead to many scrambles in front of goal but his form dropped off this last few years as newer and fresher faces pushed him down the pecking order.

Again, a near ever present but he couldn’t quite make the international grade. As before, Everton aren’t a threat to us so there’s no chance of reprisals. Clip that and quote me later…

It’s another preliminary round for us after finishing 2nd in the league and we’re off to Macedonia. The boys ask where is FYROM. Trying to explain Greek objections and geographic fractures to the lads leads to a few side glances and snoring sounds from the back of the bus.

There are no new signings to report apart from the usual free transfers who immediately go in the AdMag loan listings. Hopefully, some manager who is down to the bottom of their cone of chips will spot the ad and want a young left winger.

Here’s how we’re lining up. I’ve shored up the defence. Brebs injured his arm during preseason so Kinnaird gets his chance.

The Green Men clearly skipped their pre-season as two of their men are slashed in the 1st half. Martin gets straight back into goalscoring form.

Another attempt at geopolitics on the plane and I’m told to be quiet. Let the football do the talking.

Unbeknownst to us all, Carlisle are in the Premiership! Melvyn Bragg must be ecstatic!

Clyde are an easy pushover and everyone is lining up to get the ball in the net.

I give up! I really do…

We’ve managed to find the right method to overcome the Celtic charge. Sadly, we can’t produce the same effect in front of goal.

Taking time off from running the Hunnic Empire, Atila gets a consolation goal. Ferguson is moaning every other week that he wants to leave. The usual Glasgow ghouls are batting their wings at our locked window.

Where does this leave us in the draw? Bloody Everton!!!!

Morton are sitting atop the league with three victories including one again Rangers. We give them heroes welcome as Roger wastes no time in putting them one up. Our star defender grabs one back and Brebs makes a quick appearance from the bench to steal the winner.

The training sessions during International week will be incredibly quiet.

It’s the usual tight game. Even though this is a just a 4th tier cup game, we’re not giving an inch and Martin grabs the winner in the last minute. Come on!!!

McLeod isn’t performing at his best so I move Glennie into the advanced midfield role and give Thompson his 1st run out of the season. All three score and it looks like I’ve found the magic formula.

This is quickly changed to a 5-1-3-1 and we’re 2-0 up at half time! What??? MacFarlane takes one for the team but Real can’t take advantage and we win at the Bernabeu! Eh???

Without 6 defenders, we’re a bit leaky but at least our front line-up can tip the scales our way.

And so it happens. The international break where Craig Brown decided to call up the entire Alloa squad lead them to losing 1-0 to Northern Ireland in the qualifying group and his subsequent removal from that role. The Scottish FA in their wisdom of not seeing any correlation between the two approach me for the job. I can’t turn it down, surely? Maybe this is a ruse to distract me from the league to enable Rangers to carry on their Blob-esque spread and suffocation for everything in sight. I secretly book a rash of military helicopters and plan the route to the Arctic while on the look out for Steve McQueen.

Here’s how the land lies in the European Championship Qualifying group. We only have one more match to play and that is against Cyprus. If we win that then we have a fighting chance of getting a play-off position.

All of this International excitement certainly does this trick as Beth inspires her troops to victory. Wonderful name that. Cappielow Park. I’m not too bothered. The less games we play during the CL group stages, the better.

Another one of the Oliver clan to milk his celebrity status to death and use it for their own advantage is given short shrift after only 60 seconds. I’m delighted at this and couldn’t care less about what happens next. Thomo is loving life now.

We keep Brady quiet until the last minute when he blazes over the bar. Doesn’t he know what I wrote before??

Off to Ibrox and we’re riding high with confidence. It’s only 0-0 but I’m pleased with that.

Not learning any lessons, half the team are Alloa men. And it works! We’ve done what we set out to achieve.

Northern Ireland waste their chance and draw with bottom Iceland. A quick glance at the fixture list and it’s Norway v N. Ireland! What ever happens next, we’re guaranteed to finish 2nd for a play-off place! Not quite sure why Craig was sacked. Ah well.

The BTCC season over and John swaps the Vectra for a polyester top(I think he’d retired at this point) but his efforts are unable to secure any points for Papa Croc.

Seth, not taking to the reasoned arguments that his cartoon series are growing long in the tooth and are really bland these days, objects to these provocations and sulks back into the changing rooms for the second half.

There are no beachballs for Rafa to get objectionable about and we come away with another 3 points. Martin is out for a couple of couple weeks which Thomo takes full advantage of. Cracking stuff this!

After three matches, we’re top. Looking further down the table and the shine of that Real victory is scuffed and ready for a new coat of varnish.

Even more spectacular is the fact that Rangers have lost three matches already and are in 3rd! Our problem is the old Glenn Hoddle syndrome of drawing too many matches. Something we did a past life? Best get the healing crystals out…

Och aye for now!

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