Welcome to the latest edition of The Engine Room with Adam Miller from the Old Firm Facts podcast.
As always, we've got the latest Footsie Index revealing the best and the worst in Scottish football this week.
And we've caught up with Dundee United star Ian Harkes to quiz him about everything cars. Buying a car? Don’t just nail it, cinch it cinch.co.uk
Now let's kick off the Footsie Index…
Third in the table. Five wins from their first nine games. Four points from six against the Old Firm. There’s a mood of optimism around the club, and a top-six finish could now be considered a realistic prospect.
To say Tam Courts has had a positive impact since taking the manager’s job at Tannadice would be an understatement.
So, incidentally, would: “There are a few tweets from this summer that Dundee United fans might feel a bit sheepish about.”
Specifically, productivity in the east end of Glasgow on Tuesday afternoon.
How else to explain a crowd of over 50,000 at 3.30pm for Celtic’s 2-0 win over Ferencváros? Despite fears that the awkward kick-off time would deter supporters, it was the away team who failed to turn up.
Supporters unveiled a banner insulting UEFA with some Countdown wordplay, but European football’s governing body were too busy to notice as it was Tuesday afternoon and they were at work.
Rangers handed Celtic the baton in January. Now it’s Aberdeen’s turn!
He might not be getting results at Pittodrie, but Aberdeen captain Scott Brown can at least fall back on a media career.
The Dons’ poor form was addressed at a press conference, with Brown being asked, “What’s the key to improvement?” and answering: “Results”. When then asked “But what’s the key to getting those results?” he responded, “Winning games”.
The reporter tried again with, “In terms of methods to win those games though…”. Brown’s reply? “Playing well”.
I mean, he’s not wrong.
Ian Harkes in the driving seat
What was your first car?
A silver Honda Civic hybrid. We bought it off my neighbour and it later became each of my two younger sisters’ first car as well. It took ages to accelerate, but it got me to school and training in Washington DC every day.
What do you drive now?
A Vauxhall Corsa. It’s nothing special but it gets me from A to B and has bluetooth for music, so that’s all I need.
Best ever driving experience?
Driving through the Isle of Skye in 2020 with my wife. The views and landscape were incredible – we felt like we were on another planet!
Do you have a favourite road?
The Pacific Coast Highway in California. The coastline is right next to you the whole way.
Your dream passenger?
Jim Carrey. He’s hilarious and would be a very entertaining ride.
If you were a car, what car would you be?
James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5!
UNLIKELY SCOTTISH FOOTBALL FAN OF THE WEEK: Ilir Meta
*ALBANIAN PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE*
“What’s on my agenda today?”
“Well, Mr President, you’ve got the energy minister at 10, the Serbian ambassador at 12 and Motherwell vs Celtic at four.”
Most Celtic fans will agree they’ve attracted some unlikely celebrity supporters in their time. Unless, that is, they thought Gangsta’s Paradise rapper Coolio turning up for their match against Hibs in 2017 was a perfectly normal thing to happen.
Some fans struggled to make Tuesday’s 3.30pm kick-off against Ferencvaros, but there were no such problems for the commander-in-chief of Albania’s military as he made his first visit to Celtic Park.
Albanian President Ilir Meta befriending former Hoops star Rudi Vata set in motion a chain of events that led to his being filmed wearing a Celtic top while running around a beach in Albania shouting, “Hail Hail!”
“Remember your press conference at seven, sir…”
“Reschedule. I need to call Superscoreboard.”
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