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Bannockburn: as seen by the commentators of 2014

"Well it's finally here. After months and months of build-up the day of reckoning is upon us.

"You join us as the anthems ring out at the ancient and royal hunting park at Bannockburn in the rather haunting if cinematic shadow of Stirling Castle, occupied by the English and under siege from the Scots. Strategically England need this castle for entry into the Highlands.

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"The ref has called Bobby Bruce and Eddie King to toss up the royal grout. Ye olde field battle artist is sketching the two leaders and the battle mascots. And here we go...listen to that roar…it's officially kicked off.

"Both sides look tense. No real injury worries ahead of this long awaited clash of the titans. As always so much hope and expectation placed on England, they go into these battles with the weight of the world on their shoulders.

"Scotland, if anything, seem organised, confident, more focused. They look like an outfit who have a game plan, a strategy, know their opposition's strengths and weakness.

"Ye olde bookmakers are installing England as huge favourites. However one bookie told me there could be an upset; there's been a rush of late betting action on the home side. Rumours too about unrest in the camp as older more experienced stalwarts, the Earls of Gloucester and Hereford, are allegedly upset at the bosses' training approach, diet and tactical shape.

"The English side have spent months acclimatising to the conditions and dealing with midgie bites. The experienced players were more concerned about being ill prepared on the Bannockburn terrain.

"Surely Phil Neville, we (sorry, England) should take care of this mob no bother?"

Phil Neville: "Yeah all that goes out the window once you cross the white line."

"Thanks for that clichéd meaningless response Phil. I had that at number 7 in the (pish) crap patter bingo. If you're watching at home, mark your card. Edward certainly looks up for it, if a bit nervous."

Phil Neville: "This doesn't look good. This doesn't look good at all. Sir Henry De Bouhn, our star knight. Many have questioned his temperament, his immaturity, his tattoos, his hair transplant, his exorbitant wages, his lifestyle, his best position for England. Our only genuine world class star…there's no denying the lad's an entertainer…the funny aeroplane celebration after a kill…"

"Phil!!! Get to the point man!"

"It looks to me like…yes he's had his head chopped in two with an axe just like a water melon. What was he doing there? Yeah, young Sir Henry De Bouhn, too cocky, deciding to run up and bite Bobby Bruce while he's speaking to his men…What was he thinking? Certainly not much now…"

"Indeed Phil, Bobby Bruce showing all his class there; great axe work. What a hit, that's a warrior. Skull in two, weapon broke; result."

"You have to say that was stunning technique there. Kids don't win you battles."

"Didn't know we were through to sudden death already, Phil. Well, England have to keep it tight across the back and make sure the defence isn't breached and caught on the counter. The Scots really have started out plucky, in your face, thwarting everything the English are throwing at them. Scotland winning so many skirmishes across the battlefield. Phil Neville?"

"My money's on extra time and penalties, so yeah we're humped."

"Surely we (sorry, England) have to watch here. We don't seem organised at all. Eddie King's men looking like they're being manoeuvred into a corner. This is starting to look good for Bobby Bruce's men; the Scot is a tactical genius. So strategically, in layman's terms Phil Neville?

"Eh the king wants to keep his castle."

"Thanks Phil and what's happening here on the top right of the battlefield? The referee just making sure the Scottish wall is behind the shaving foam line there for this English attack. Oh and the half time horn goes, press the red button if you want the English version, back to Gary Lineker in the studio with a couple of fighting Geordies…"

"Well Alan Shearer, I didn't see that coming? Star man gone. Scots toying with us? How could this happen? We could be back home before ye olde postcards yet again? Should Edward II go?"

"Gary, the performance of Gloucester and Hereford was nothing short of disastrous. The star knight? Someone should've calmed the lad down, had a word in his ear. Don't even start me on the king.

"Let's look at the positioning of the skipper, the second push by Robert Clifford? He's been into battle over 100 times and what's he doing? He's let himself and his country down. Tactically naïve, hemmed into a corner. Ridiculous.

"We need a root and branch reform. Kids should be out learning to fight from an early age, working on their technique, getting their kill in early. Look at this, the Scots in the middle there. Brilliant organisation, tight, together in schiltorns, strong defensively; pikes sticking out.

"How can any cavalry survive those pikes? Killer hedgehog play there. Technically and tactically superior. Scotland are giving us a lesson today and what about those secret ditches too? A few feet deep, killing all our horses, Bobby Bruce has proved how canny Scottish coaches are.

"We're supposed to be one of the best in the world. We outnumber the Scots two-to-one and still we're taking a hell of a beating, we're on the back foot. Out-thought, outfought; he has to go now. Don't mention the conditions, either. No more excuses."

"Don't shilly shally Alan, come off the fence. Chris Waddle, I'm scared to ask you?"

"Alan we're not set up right tactically, we aren't good enough. Look at how poor we are in defence? At key moments, we're not switched on. Too many mistakes, you get punished at this level if you don't stay focused. Every time it's the same.

"Same old song really; looks like we're heading homeward, to think again."

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