I don't often post about football on this Blog, partly because I largely lost interest in it a few years ago. Up until 2004, I always had a season ticket for Rugby Park, but in that final season I found that I really wasn't enjoying it. The golden era of Bobby Williamson's team which won the Scottish Cup and was then supplemented by guys like Ian Durrant, Ally McCoist, Andy McLaren, Christophe Cocard and Freddie Dindeleux had come to an end. In its place was niggardly (although largely essential) cost-cutting and Jim Jefferies' miserable features bemoaning everything that was wrong.
For the first time in years, Killie has an exciting team. Not the first time we have had a decent team: JJ is not a bad manager, after all. But the first time that we have a team that really gets people talking. During the summer, some Moaning Minnies (including me)questioned whether the club should be spending good money on the pre-season tour of Italy. We came back with Manuel Pascali, signed from Parma for what seems like the bargain fee of the decade. He is from the very best tradition of Italian hard men, who make Vinny Jones or Roy Keane look like pussies, whilst having the most immaculate technical ability when they are on the ball. With Pascali patrolling the midfield, we have stopped conceding goals (five clean sheets in a row) and Mehdi Taouil is finding the space and freedom to strut his stuff.
Simon Ford, who was as useful as a chocolate teapot last season, has rediscovered his confidence and form ever since he won his first caps for Jamaica in the summer. It seems that that was all he needed to give himself a shake. The list goes on and on because, for the first time in years, it is all a brilliant team effort.