Episode 35 – Scottish Football with Owen J. Brown

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Owen J Brown is a Scottish football writer, and Co-Host of the Pure Fitbaw podcast. We talk to him about the current state of Scottish Football, as well as his hopes for the Scottish national team at the Euros.

Icebreaker:

The group choose one footballer to go on holiday with when it’s safe to travel again after COVID and decide their destination!

On Owen’s work and love for Scottish football:

Owen says that the passion surrounding football in Scotland and the smaller scale at which the domestic leagues operate in comparison to English football make for a compelling watch for fans of Scottish football. Owen names his favorite aspects of recording the “Pure Fitbaw” podcast, which he describes as “unbiased” and “in-depth”.

He also weighs in on the argument that “wonderkids” are overly fetishized in this modern-day world where footballers younger than 10 years old have thousands of followers and fans on social media.

Who Are Ya?:

The group play “Who Are Ya?”, the guessing game where a mystery player is revealed based of clues. In this edition the players are all linked to the SPFL.
1. This winger was a beaten Champions League finalist in 2004
2. This forward has played in Scotland, England and Wales
3. This player still plays professionally today at the age of 41 and previosuly played for four clubs in Scotland

On Scottish Domestic Football:

Owen examines this season’s title race between Celtic and Rangers in the SPFL and gives his opinion as to whether Ranger’s seemingly-imminent success is more down to their strengths and Steven Gerrard’s tactics or Celtic’s weaknesses and mistakes.

Owen highlights the other big stories coming out of Scottish football and tells us about the impact of coronavirus on the leagues. In the SPFL Livingston are punching above their weight with a former convict as their manager and Motherwell are underperforming to the point of an unexpected relegation fight.

Owen thinks that if there is to be a third club that emerges to challenge the big two Glasgow clubs that it could be Aberdeen, who have recently partnered with Atlanta UTD, Hibernian or Hearts, who look set to return to the SPFL stronger than when they left it.

On Scots playing abroad:

The group discuss whether it’s frustrating for Scottish football fans to see the bulk of their homegrown talent leave for English domestic football and ponder what can be done by Scottish clubs to retain more of these players for longer.

Owen talks about Ryan Gauld, the Scot previously nicknamed “Mini Messi”, and his struggles since moving to Portugal where he is now thriving for the first time since leaving Scottish football.

The group discuss what it would mean for Scottish football to have a Scot make it at a club like Real Madrid or Barcelona and Owen mentions to young Scots at Bayern Munich who may well make the grade one day.

On the Scotland National team:

With the upcoming Euros being Scotland’s first major tournament in over 20 years, the group talks about their prospects for the finals and looking further forward. A quick game of “Either Or” to finish up with Owen picking his favorite Scots from pairings of players who have represented the national team since 2000.

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