A GOLDEN rule when interviewing someone is to make sure you do your research. Preferably in advance, and not by googling a footballer just as he is about to sit down in front of you, as one of our men found this week to his cost.

Looking for something new to ask Partick Thistle's Christie Elliott, a Youtube video entitled "Christie Elliott's goal ends Celtic's jaw-dropping run" from 2014 caught our intrepid reporter's eye.

Without time to explore further, he decided to ask the Thistle man if it was he who ended Fraser Forster's long run of clean sheets. Elliott, one of the nicest guys in the league, was either too polite to correct our man or wasn't too sure himself, but he conducted the full interview in any case on the assumption that the journalist was correct.

It was only after a 10 minute interview centring almost exclusively on this feat, that it was in fact ascertained that his record-breaking stat was that he was the first non-Aberdeen player to score against Celtic for four months. Jonny Hayes had actually been the player to have broken the clean sheet record some weeks before.HeraldScotland:

If it wasn't bad enough that practically the whole interview had to be spiked, Elliott -emboldened by the knowledge of what he thought he had achieved - subsequently offered the line right up to the broadcast press. The lesson folks? Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

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Right at the end of 2016, Scottish football’s man of the year emerges.

On Christmas Day itself when most of us are tucking into our third glass of bubbly – eleven in the morning to be exact – Hibernian’s Dylan McGeouch will be at Glasgow Green to lend support to a homeless project.

A five-aside tournament will take place before Christmas dinner, arranged by Street Soccer Scotland. A similar get-together is also happening in Edinburgh at the same time.

Fair play to McGeouch who has always come across as having more than one dimension to him.

Former Rangers captain Ally Dawson, who has been deeply involved in the project, will also be in Glasgow to bring a bit of cheer to those whose life has taken a few bad turns.HeraldScotland:

What with clubs all over the country visiting kids hospitals this year and Brendan Rodgers revealing he will spend Christmas Day at a hospice back in Northern Ireland, a sainthood surely can’t be far away, it does serve to remind us cynics that there is a lot of good within Scottish football.

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History was made last Friday at New Douglas Park.

On the bench for Hamilton was Massimo Donati. Similarly, a few yards away was Philippe Senderos who was a substitute for Rangers.

Surely this was a first for Scottish football. Two former AC Milan players deemed not good enough for a league game.

At least Donati got on. Big Phillipe stayed in his now familiar unused sub role.

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Alan Pardew is a man who isn’t easy to like. Smarmy people rarely are.

A story goes that a journalist held a house party that had a VIP section in it – with Pardew the only one sitting there.

At West Ham, and again this may not be true (but it pure is) he was sitting having a meal with the coaching staff, his was the last to be served, and he reached over the stole a plate from one of the underlings.

“When you are the king, you can do anything,” was apparently his quote. Aye, okay.

Because of this, there were few tears shed when Crystal Palace sacked him this week for not being particularly good as a football manager.

Pardew signed an eight-year contract with Newcastle United five years ago. So he didn’t even see out that. What a shame.

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This diary is not supposed to be taken hugely seriously. It isn’t the Magna Carta, let’s put it that way.

So when last week we mused about whether Barry Smith was one of the first to move away from football journalism and get into management – he moved from the Dundee Evening Telegraph to East Fife – it wasn’t to be seen a statement of fact.

Willie Waddell, of course, famously did this, swapping the Daily Express for Rangers.

And yet apparently we let our standards slip according to one correspondent called Matt Vallance, who for a few years could be found and hears in press boxes at various football grounds.

As someone once famously said; “They shot Liberty Vallance, how did they miss him?” Except they said it far less polite terms.

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To more five-aside names which have been sent in by all our readers. Thanks to both of you.

Unathletic Bilbao, We're Going Toulouse FC and Multiple Scoregasms are all pretty good, although not as ace as Game of Throw-ins. Whether this team is made up of drunk dwarves with a penchant for brothels is unknown.

Although the winner, at least for this week, is AC A Little Silhouette of Milan. Utter genius.

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