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About tenthreeleader

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  • Biography
    | 29-time FMS Award winner
    | FMS Writer of the Year 2008-09-12-15-16
    | Rob Ridgway's doppleganger

About Me

  • About Me
    FMS Hall of Fame Class of 2012


  • Interests
    "Raising Cain" - 2016 FMS Story of the Year

Favourite Team

  • Favourite Team
    Rangers, MUFC, Reading

Currently Managing

  • Currently Managing
    Oxford United (FM15), Rangers (FM17)

Recent Profile Visitors

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  1. The Wilson Approach is a good one. As for formatting, I would suggest "Surrender Dorothy" as the best approach.
  2. Love the team, Mark. My preferred 4-1-3-2 tactic seems to suit it right down to the ground. For the second straight season, a loanee in central midfield is making an enormous difference. Last season Maddison, this season Rothwell. ___ 5 Sep 2015 – Luton Town (1-1-3, 22nd place) v Oxford United (4-1-0, 2nd place) Sky Bet League Two Match Day #6 - Kenilworth Road, Luton Referee Lee Mason The playoff rematch was televised, so Kyle made sure that the color of his sling matched the blue in his track suit. His arm was mending fairly well according to his doctor, with only a few weeks of cast time remaining until he could regain the full use of both of his arms. It was a quite lovely late summer afternoon but not as warm as it had been so there wasn’t as much itching to deal with under Kyle’s cast. He appreciated that too. But for this match, Kyle was going to try something he had never thought he’d be able to attempt: after the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win, he was going to change out all eleven of his starting players. Oxford United (4-1-3-2): Ashdown: Grandison, Wright, Dunkley, Skarz, Willock, MacDonald, Rothwell, O’Dowda, Gnanduillet, Hoban. Word had come to Kyle during the week that Gnanduillet didn’t like the idea of training with, or being mentored by, Hoskins. The two had similar personalities but on the pitch they just did not get along. That was unfortunate – especially since Hoskins was finding it hard to break into the regular XI due to his protégé’s strong play. The tutoring arrangement was working to the tutor’s disadvantage. The first half started slowly, which wasn’t surprising given the rivalry of the two clubs. Luton started with five at the back plus a holding midfielder in a 5-3-2 alignment which was designed to do one thing from the outset, and everyone knew what that thing was. But after fifteen minutes it turned into a steady procession of corners for the visitors, leading to decent scoring opportunities. O’Dowda, Gnanduillet and Hoban all came close, saved by Arran Lee-Barrett with efforts ranging from pedestrian to ‘how’d he do that?’. The possession stats were telling too, as part of a first half in which Oxford did everything but score. Andy Drury had the home team’s best chance of the first half, forcing Ashdown into a sharp save just a minute before the interval. That gave Kyle the chance to tell his team that he was hopeful of a result but that if they messed up they’d wind up getting beaten. It was a switch from the usual for Kyle, who, despite his usually salty personality was optimistic with his players. They seemed to react well to the realism his team talk displayed but it remained to be seen whether they would take it onto the pitch with them in the second half. Yet less than ten minutes after the restart, referee Lee Mason was pointing to the spot after Scott Griffiths bundled MacDonald to the floor just to the right of the same spot. The reactions were predictable on both sides, and so was the end result as O’Dowda sent Lee-Barrett the wrong way in the 54th minute. The breakthrough achieved, Kyle set his team to wait for the riposte he expected. Their play deserved the lead, but Luton’s equalizer was just as well deserved as Olukorede Aiyegbusi worked past both O’Dowda and Skarz, pulled the ball to his left foot and beat Ashdown to his right post along the floor from twenty yards right on the hour mark. Sometimes the other guy just makes a good play. Kyle didn’t have to like it, but in this case it was certainly true. The match was level again, Luton went back to five men at the back and the Us had to start over again. While playing like the better side, Oxford wasn’t as sharp as they had been in recent matches, part of which was understandable due to the purple patch they had enjoyed. Yet settling for a draw was disappointing to Kyle and as the match pushed past 80 minutes he pulled Gnanduillet for Hoskins, the significance of which was not lost on either player. The idea was to spark the team and it certainly did that, with Hoskins flicking on O’Dowda’s cross from the left five minutes from time. His arcing pass sailed over the flailing Abdoulaye Faye in the area and onto the boot of Hoban, and League Two’s leading marksman did not miss. It was a late show, but one which Oxford deserved. Luton Town 1 (Olukorede Aiyegbusi 60) Oxford United 2 (O’Dowda pen 54, Hoban 86) H/T: 0-0 A – 7,997, Kenilworth Road, Luton Man of the Match: Joe Rothwell, Oxford United (MR 8.4) Note: This match wins me the "Squad Depth" Steam achievement, winning two consecutive matches fielding an entirely different starting lineup in each. First time for everything! # # #
  3. Good to have you writing again, Gav! We'll see how far you can take Concord and more importantly, good to see new work from you here.
  4. Guy Barry had set a record. His goal made him the youngest goal scorer in club history, breaking a thirty-nine year old mark in the process. Somewhere, Jason Seacole was presumably tipping a glass to the fellow who had broken his record, as Barry was just over four years away from being legally able to do it himself. At age sixteen years, 303 days, Barry had something to remember. “Good win,” Kyle told the press, which seemed to outnumber the fans. Barely fifty traveling fans had made the trip from Oxford to the south coast, so it wasn’t as though either team had been particularly well supported, which wasn’t a very good advertisement for the JPT. Eales had even told Kyle that if he lost, it wasn’t a big deal. Now that is a second-rate feeling. But Kyle was pleased. The win gave his squad players another opportunity to play, with Northampton the next drawn opponent in just over a month’s time at Sixfields. And Max Crocombe had sent a text, as a full international. He had played for his country, which had defeated Singapore 2-1, and was replying to his manager’s message of congratulations. It was a good day for a lot of people wearing blue and yellow. The big news on the Monday was a training protest by Wigan’s Brazilian winger Moreno, a 32-year old player who didn’t like the idea of being so far down the leagues, didn’t like Melky Mackay, and decided that a better way to spend his first day of the week would be to hit the shops instead of the training pitch. Mackay made that idea expensive for him, so the shopping trip wound up costing the player a week’s wages instead of just a few quid. Kyle had tried twice to lure the player to Oxford in the 2014-15 season but the player didn’t want to move south right at that moment. Now, though with Richards, Skarz and O’Dowda in the left side of midfield and at left back, there was no place for an older player, even if he was Brazilian. The scouts said Moreno was better suited to play wing back, a position which hardly existed in Kyle’s lexicon, and as such he went to Burton on a month’s loan shortly after getting his wallet trimmed by Mackay. The other item of note was Oxford falling out of the top spot in the table as Stevenage remained devilishly difficult to score against. They went to Colchester, where Oxford had drawn, and beat the recently relegated hosts by two goals to nil, vaulting the Us in the table and putting Oxford squarely behind the eight ball with a big match at Luton coming up. It would be a rematch of the playoff semifinal from last season and had a tinge of local rivalry in it as well, but the Hatters had gotten out of the gate very slowly in the new season, sitting in 22nd place with only four points from five matches played. The Luton match would be the second away day on the spin for Oxford and Kyle didn’t mind that. It got him away from the mess his home life was becoming. He was thankful for Owen. The little guy was a delight and without doubt the only member of the Cain household who was entirely innocent. Being home with him made life palatable within his own four walls. That made him special to Kyle, who before the team boarded the coach for the brief trip to the east to Luton had taken an evening away from his videos and his team sheets and his training plans to take a nap with his son laying across his chest. Jenna had taken the obligatory picture – still close to her dad in spite of their recent differences, she thought it was a wonderful moment – and the picture was now the wallpaper on Kyle’s phone as the coach rolled into Luton on the M1 from the south. Kyle thought of the fun things about fatherhood – watching Jenna grow had been the highlight of his life and he was looking forward to watching Owen do the same – and since it appeared as though Allison would be unavailable to help him, he’d be doing it from the comforts of his own home. # # #
  5. SAT 11 FEB 2017 Arsenal 2-1 Hull City Manchester United 2-0 Watford Middlesbrough 1-2 Everton Stoke City 2-0 Crystal Palace Sunderland 1-1 Southampton West Ham United 1-1 West Bromwich Albion Liverpool 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur SUN 12 FEB 2017 Burnley 0-3 Chelsea Swansea City 1-1 Leicester City MON 13 FEB 2017 Bournemouth 1-3 Manchester City
  6. 23 July 2016 – Waasland-Beveren v Rangers Friendly #5 – Freethiel, Beveren, Belgium “Good thing I’m not a betting man.” Troy wasn’t in an especially good mood as he surfed The Scotsman’s website on his phone while the team ate breakfast. They were in Belgium for a friendly placed quite inconveniently between the third and fourth matches of the Betfred Cup group stages, and he was looking at the league odds. Celtic were, naturally, favored. That should have been no surprise. Evens, though – now that was a bit surprising. The bookmakers had placed a 4-1 price on Troy’s head to take the team to the summit – not bad odds, but still, seeing them in print had raised his competitive juices to the point where they affected his mood. The home team wasn’t awful – twelfth in the Jupiler League the preceding season – and away, they would be a test. Unfortunately, they weren’t coming at the right time. The only clash in the group stages that really mattered – holders Ross County away – was four days away and the desire to not have to qualify for the second round as a second-placed team was starting to force its way to the front of the manager’s mind. Rangers already had the best goal difference in the competition, but Troy didn’t want to leave anything to chance. Both of the Group F matches on the day had resulted in upsets – lowly Buckie Thistle won away by a goal to nil at League One East Fife, and Livingston had beaten Ross County on penalties. By the competition rules, that meant two points for Livi and one for the holders, so Rangers would go into their match with the Staggies leading them by two points in the group table. Troy’s pride had been dented by the odds. Clearly Celtic should be favored – financially they were still in much better shape than Rangers and as such had had several years to strengthen their squad while Rangers were rebuilding and reclimbing the leagues. But Troy’s Rangers had won the league when he played there and it was ingrained in the minds of fans that first place was where his team belonged. To see his Light Blues dismissed before the season had even begun was galling. So his directions were simple. He wanted the odds posted in the home dressing room at Ibrox. “I don’t want anyone who puts on this shirt to forget what people think of their chances,” he told Weir, who nodded. Weir had played in the famous 2010 Cup final where Kenny Miller’s goal seven minutes from time had given a nine-man Rangers team a famous 1-0 win over St. Mirren, and knew a thing or two about overcoming odds. It was galling and annoying, and with the Ross County match approaching, Troy put out his rotated squad to see what it could do against the Belgians. The answer, to his pleasure, was “more than he had thought”. The team was starting to come together and the 4-2-3-1 was starting to create chances with a fluency that was starting to please Troy. Forrester began things in thirteen minutes with a cracking drive from just inside the eighteen yard box which handcuffed Hassan Hegelstein in the Waasland goal. The keeper got a strong hand to the ball but didn’t have his angle quite right, so a shot that would ordinarily have been palmed round the post instead found the lower corner anyway to put Rangers into the lead. The breakthrough achieved, Troy’s men concentrated on playing from the goal outward. In this they succeeded admirably, holding their hosts to only one decent opportunity in the entire first half. Referee Eddie Chartier, though, had seen fit to card two of Troy’s defenders and Rossiter within the first 24 minutes, forcing Troy’s hand in substitution a bit earlier than he had planned. Wallace had been booked within the first ninety seconds for what seemed like an innocent challenge, as the referee showed he meant business. So the second half saw defenders coming into the match earlier than usual, with the idea of playing with ten men not appealing to anyone in blue. And as expected, the regular players who came on in the second half turned things up a notch. Not enough to score again but enough to keep the home team away from goal with some comfort. Troy’s late switch to 4-5-1 to see how his team held a lead also worked. Everything worked. There would come a day when it wouldn’t, but this wasn’t it. Waasland-Beveren 0 Rangers 1 (Forrester 13) H/T: 0-1 A – 3,873 (409 away), Freethiel, Beveren, Belgium Man of the Match: Harry Forrester, Rangers (MR 8.3) # # #
  7. 1 September 2016 - Eastleigh (18th place League Two) v Oxford United (1st place League Two) Johnstone’s Paint Trophy South Section First Round – St. Mary’s, Southampton Referee: Trevor Kettle At least the ground was nice. Eastleigh was a lower-midtable League Two team that played in a Premiership ground – while their home at SIlverlake Stadium was being renovated, they were groundsharing with their parent club, Southampton, at St. Mary’s. The club had earned a surprising promotion as Conference National champions the preceding season. They needed to expand, but recent headlines had put the club in the news for the wrong reasons. The pressures of successive first-place finishes in the Conference South and then the Conference National had put a great deal of financial strain on the club. “Financial irregularities”, the papers had said, which was shorthand for a breach of Financial Fair Play rules. In any event, the Spitfires were under transfer embargo and thus finding life in the Football League to be rather challenging. They started close to a first-choice eleven for the match, while Kyle, to be honest, did not. Oxford United (4-1-3-2): Clarke: Bevans, Whing, Mullins, Richards, Rose, Meades, Harrop, Hylton, Hoskins, Barry. Guy Barry, the whiz of the u-21 team, was up front, fresh off a brace in his last appearance despite his sixteen years of age. He was paired with Hoskins, hunting for form and looking for a place in the eleven. Some teams had ‘big-little’ strike combinations, while others had pace/target pairings. This was a “young/old” pairing. There was really no other way to describe it. Kyle had wanted to play Max Crocombe in goal but the player had received his first full callup for New Zealand and the manager had no intention of standing in his way. So Clarke deputized along with ten outfield players who were rather markedly different from a usual Oxford matchday team. The bench was strong, with Ashdown, Wright, Willock, O’Dowda and Hoban waiting in case any of them were needed, and as the match kicked off, Kyle was curious to see how his makeshift XI would fare. As the match started, it looked like he would be one of the very few who was. The place had a listed capacity of 32,505 and later attendance figures showed the ground was filled to .008 percent of that capacity. That meant 262 people were in the stands, which didn’t matter as much as the home team breaking through twelve minutes into the match through veteran midfielder Craig Stanley. He had spent seven years in League Two with Morecambe, Torquay, Bristol Rovers and Aldershot, and was the reigining Conference Player of the Year for a superlative season leading Eastleigh into the Football League. Kyle wasn’t happy but he also couldn’t complain, having selected the eleven himself, but his mood improved through a fluke goal four minutes later, as Meades shook loose down the right, launching a hopeful ball into the box for the run of Hoskins. However, defender Jamie Turley was between them and, trying to clear, instead deflected the past keeper Jake Larkins and into his net for an own goal sixteen minutes in. Mollified to an extent, Kyle watched his team do what it should have done, which was begin to play better. Shortly after the half hour, Richards shook loose down the left and found his way to the byline blocked. He squared for Hylton at the top of the penalty area and the striker-turned-midfielder rifled a shot squarely off Larkins’ crossbar. The rebound fell to Guy Barry, and in the finest tradition of young Oxford strikers, the boy didn’t miss. He had a rather simple finish, but first he had to hold his nerve, and when he did, Oxford led. The halftime talk was thus changed and Kyle kept things light at the break. The team was playing passably well and as such the second half was devoted to defending – something Kyle’s Oxford was not known for being especially good at doing. So, this was a good time to try. Away from home, in a cup competition, with a second eleven. What could go wrong? Well … nothing, in this case. And that made Kyle a happy boss. There was a drawback. Meades pulled up with an obviously pulled hamstring in the 64th minute and that was annoying – the player who wanted more playing time was now going to have to spend more time in the training room and like it – so that forced Willock unto the park in his place. But the larger goal was achieved with some style. While in a more defensive mind set, Oxford allowed only two attempts at goal in the entire second half while taking eight themselves. The first half had actually been slightly tilted in the home team’s favor but the second half was a lot different. Eastleigh was forced into seventeen fouls – whenever Oxford had had decent possession, they had been fouled in order to get them stopped – and the result was a satisfying win indeed. Eastleigh 1 (Craig Stanley 12) Oxford United 2 (Jamie Turley o/g 16, Barry 32) H/T: 1-2 A – 262, St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton Man of the Match: Craig Stanley, Eastleigh (MR 7.7) # # #
  8. Could be worse. You could have drawn Hull at home nil-nil. Saturday 4th February 2017 Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal Crystal Palace 1-1 Sunderland Everton 1-0 Bournemouth Hull City 0-3 Liverpool Southampton 1-1 West Ham United Watford 2-2 Burnley West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Stoke City Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Middlesbrough Sunday 5th February 2017 Manchester City 3-1 Swansea City Leicester City 1-1 Manchester United
  9. TUE 31 JAN 2017 Arsenal 3-0 Watford Bournemouth 1-1 Crystal Palace Burnley 1-2 Leicester City Middlesbrough 1-1 West Bromwich Albion Sunderland 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur Swansea City 0-1 Southampton Liverpool 1-2 Chelsea WED 1 FEB 2017 West Ham United 1-3 Manchester City Manchester United 3-0 Hull City Stoke City 1-1 Everton
  10. Please read the House Rules thread. If you're willing to post original written content here let us know. In the meantime, this will be closed.
  11. Here's the thing, solely from my point of view. Those of you who know my politics know where I stand on the subject of Donald Trump. He is a protectionist and in today's day and age that's not a good idea. Students of history know that the Hawley-Smoot Tariff of 1929 didn't cause the Great Depression, but locked it in cement because the tariffs America charged other countries to export goods to the United States meant those countries couldn't draw out enough greenbacks to buy American products. The downward spiral was disastrous for the world economy. Trump seems to favor tariffs which makes me shake my head since he's one who seems determined not to learn from history. Economically, Trump is in it for himself and his cronies. The idea that he was ever against "crony capitalism" is horse hockey -- there is no greater crony capitalist on the planet than Donald Trump. His supporters are starting to see this thanks to his appointments of former Goldman Sachs employees in key money positions, including Secretary of the Treasury. That said, his ideas on infrastructure can better be handled by public-private partnerships rather than by still more government stimulus which didn't work under Obama and which added nearly eight trillion dollars to our national debt in eight years. In short: he doesn't get it, but he wasn't Hillary Clinton, so he won. Carry on.
  12. I started a Trump thread awhile back and am hopeful I can find time to continue it. Satire is fine. If I could find a way to get a laugh about Barack Obama if the world needed one, I'd write that too. It's also helpful, by the way, to disclaim when you write about players that are real. Fictional DBs are a good way to get around that, of course, but as a rule I don't write anything about a player that isn't backed up by the game engine. I'm probably the wordiest writer this forum has ever had, and I'll tell you this: if you write long, and it's good, folks will read it. George RR Martin is proof enough of that. Go for it!
  13. SAT 21 JAN 2017 Liverpool 4-0 Swansea City Bournemouth 1-1 Watford Crystal Palace 0-2 Everton Middlesbrough 1-0 West Ham United Stoke City 0-2 Manchester United West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Sunderland Manchester City 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur SUN 22 JAN 2017 Southampton 1-1 Leicester City Arsenal 2-0 Burnley Chelsea 3-0 Hull City
  14. “Remember that meeting I wanted? Never mind,” Kyle had texted Eales the next day, and as the manager prepared to take training on the Monday following the Wimbledon match, Fazackerley noticed a change in his boss’s mood. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you so quiet, Kyle,” the older man said. “Bad news, I suppose,” he had replied, to the assistant manager’s puzzlement. Fazackerley had not hesitated in being a sounding board for Kyle on all matters professional but, wisely, he backed away now. It wouldn’t have done to pry. But as a result, Kyle’s full attention was on his players before the impending transfer deadline. Oxford was scheduled to play on the deadline night – the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy was getting under way for the Us and a trip to Southampton lay ahead against Eastleigh – but the senior squad saw a different Kyle Cain than they had seen earlier in their current run of good form. In some ways that was good. In others, not so much. Kyle’s anger – both at himself and at Allison – had been intense and he had to repeatedly remind himself not to project that mood onto his players. Yet everyone who wore the warmup suits that day knew full well that to cross the boss on this day would be footballing death. It was in his eyes. They didn’t have to ask. But deadline day itself was quite interesting. For one thing, the August awards had been an Oxford sweep, which was nice news for the PR folks. Hoban deservedly won the Player of the Month award, O’Dowda was the Young Player, and Kyle himself nabbed the manager’s gong for a brilliant start which had people talking far afield from Oxfordshire. With lots of money in the coffers, the temptation had certainly presented itself for Oxford to spend. Yet Kyle wasn’t in that kind of mood, so when John Ward came to him that afternoon with a list of players available for purchase, there was only one name that really interested him. Kyle wanted to shore up the central defense, midfield and look to the future all at the same time. While he loved Rothwell and Willock in the middle, neither player was contracted to Oxford United and that wasn’t optimal. Ashby would have a role to play in the future but, being injured, he couldn’t help. A player released that week by Swansea could, and hopefully would. Twenty-one year old Giancarlo Gallifuoco could play both the holding position as well as the center of defense – sort of like an Isak Ssewankambo except not a loan player – and he was willing to sign a multi-year deal at an affordable price. Boom. That was done. Between Gallifuoco, former Sunderland and current Oxford u-21 defender Jassem Sukar, Skarz and Grandison, Kyle thought the future of the team’s back line could be reasonably assured. That was the only move the club made, though, with (knock on wood) things well under control on the injury front, the team playing extremely well and the playing squad nicely balanced across the park. That couldn’t be said for Oxford’s next league opponent, though. Since falling over two legs to Oxford in the playoff semifinal, traditional rival Luton Town had gotten off to an extremely slow, injury-riddled start which had seen them sink to 21st place in the early table. They signed four players to free transfer deals on deadline day – former Blackpool, Bristol City and Derby striker Steven Davies, Rotherham defender Richard Brindley, 35-year old striker Aaron Wilbraham, who did his best work at MK Dons from 2006-10, and young defender Alfie Mawson after his release by Wycombe. The possibility existed that at least two and possibly three of the new signings would find their way into the match day squad. Kyle didn’t mind that – he had learned from long experience that derby matches could never be considered safe no matter how much misfortune had befallen an opponent – but he did hope to see all the Luton new boys in the eleven so as to provide the least possible synergy for his opponents. And then there was Allison. Deadline day gave Kyle a chance to shift his mind. # # #
  15. Living up to expectations was always going to be a difficult job at Ibrox. Everyone knew that. And falling down the leagues was no excuse – the hardest core of the blue faithful still expected The Famous to carry all before them. In that regard, Warburton’s Scottish Cup semifinal triumph over Celtic the season before had set the bar at an unusually high level for the club’s return to the Premiership. Everyone knew the rest – the final loss to Hibs had put half the city in a vile mood as Rangers would also have had European football in their first season back in the top flight had they won that match. So as Troy met with the board to go over what those expectations were for the coming season, it didn’t surprise him at all to hear King’s words. Reach the semifinals of the Scottish Cup. That wasn’t even at Warburton’s level. Reach the final of the Betfred Cup. That was a different order. Oh, and win the league. While you’re at it. The league. It was always about the league, and why shouldn’t it have been? These were fans who insisted that “The Dam Busters” theme be played at Ibrox during each and every halftime. Tradition meant everything to them. So why shouldn’t they expect their team to climb back to the top right at the first time of asking? After all, to them it was simple tradition. Some of it was the club’s past. Some of it was the club’s culture. But the most important part of that culture was winning, and now Troy was charged with continuing that task. He had done it as a player and now as the boss, he would be expected to do it again. After the board meeting, Troy stopped by the Blue Room, which he always did when he needed a refresher course on history. There, an artist was making a sketch on one of the walls near the ceiling. The Blue Room is where club functions are held, such as the annual Loving Cup toast is held. After the Holditch Colliery disaster in 1937 in which thirty miners were killed, Stoke City requested a benefit match against reigning Scottish champions Rangers to raise funds for dependents of the victims. This was an invitation which Struth accepted – and as a gesture of thanks, Potters chairman Sir Francis Joseph gifted one of 30 Loving Cups, commissioned to honor the coronation of King George IV, to Rangers – the only non-English club to receive one. Sir Francis had only one condition attached to his gift - that the Loving Cup be used to toast the health of the Monarch at the first home match of every New Year. Rangers were, as a matter of club culture, only too happy to comply, and the tradition lasts to this day. Yet the artist was continuing another tradition which interested Troy even more. Every board chairman, captain and manager of Rangers has their portrait somewhere in the Blue Room. For the time being, that included chairmen Craig Whyte and Charles Green, and Troy wasn’t sure what would happen to the images of those two gentlemen. Now, though, the artist was sketching Troy’s picture in the spot right next to Ally McCoist’s high on the portion of the wall reserved for managers. Super Ally was the ultimate legend as a player, the club’s all-time leading goal scorer, but somewhat less of a legend as manager. Still, he had helped guide the club back up the leagues and his devotion to the Gers was beyond question. To be in such august company meant something to Troy Long, which was one reason he occupied the position he now held. As he spent a moment watching the artist work, Troy suddenly thought that “The Dam Busters” wasn’t such a bad tradition after all. # # #