Tom English

BBC Scotland's chief sports writer

Analysis and opinion from BBC Scotland's chief sports writer

About Tom

Tom is BBC Scotland's chief sports writer. He is a... Read more about Tom English six-time winner of the Scottish feature writer of the year award and has twice won Rugby Book of the Year at the British Sports Book Awards. His columns and radio documentaries have been short-listed for media prizes in Scotland and the UK.

He has been a sports journalist for 25 years, the highlight being an afternoon spent with former world heavyweight champion Joe Frazier. He joined BBC Scotland in 2014 and writes and broadcasts on many different sports.

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha squares up to Celtic captain Scott Brown

'Rangers' Caixinha choosing odd battles'

Read full article on Rangers' Pedro Caixinha choosing odd battlegrounds in Celtic's wake

When deciding to rail against Celtic in the wake of Saturday's Old Firm game, Pedro Caixinha wasn't exactly short on causes to fight.

He could have highlighted the flare flung on to the pitch from the Celtic end, he could have raised the big claim for a penalty when the score was still 0-0, he could have shone a light on Leigh Griffiths' provocative behaviour when blowing his nose on the blue paper that was part of the Ibrox club's tifo display before appearing to wipe the contents of his nose on a corner flag bedecked with the Rangers emblem.

Brendan Rodgers

Celtic money gulf comparisons do add up

Read full article on Celtic money gulf comparisons do add up but praise is not always equivalent

In the build-up to Celtic's humbling experience at the hands of Paris St-Germain last week there was an understandable focus on the jaw-dropping financial disparity between the two clubs.

On the night, PSG's starting line-up cost 531m euros - including the 166m euros due on Kylian Mbappe next season - and their match-day squad in total came in at 638m euros. By comparison, the team that began the match for Celtic on Tuesday night cost £19m (about 21.6m euros). PSG's starting 11 was about 25 times more expensive than Celtic's in terms of transfer fees.

PSG strikers Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Edinson Cavani

'In a football world that can be ugly, PSG were beautiful'

Read full article on PSG's play was bewilderingly brilliant, but Celtic have grounds for concern

When the lone moron ran on to the pitch at Celtic Park in an attempt to assault Kylian Mbappe on Tuesday, a couple of thoughts occurred. Firstly, how on earth was he allowed to get so close to the Paris St-Germain superstar - where were the stewards? - and secondly, what will Uefa make of it?

European football's governing body moves in mysterious ways. They deliver fines for flares, even greater fines for political banners, but their idea of consistency is hard to read.

Dave Rennie

Warriors chief Rennie's culture club

Read full article on Glasgow Warriors' Dave Rennie out to match winning culture he had at Chiefs

To get a proper angle on what Dave Rennie achieved at the Chiefs in his native New Zealand, all you have to do is take a look at the local press from the week it was announced their coach was committing himself to Glasgow Warriors.

There was practically a black border around the newspapers of Hamilton when the news broke. There were eulogies from current and past players. Local rugby historians wrote think pieces reminding everybody, not that they needed reminding, of what life was like before Rennie brought entertainment and success into their world.

SFA chief executive and Celtic counterpart Peter Lawwell

'A commotion that can never have a conclusion to satisfy everyone'

Read full article on Celtic take aim at Scottish FA with call for governance review

Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap opened in London's West End in 1952, played to tens of thousands of people up to Christie's death in 1976 and has played to tens of thousands of people ever since. It's the longest running theatre show in history, thriving after many of the people who have acted in it on the stage and who have watched it from the stalls have passed away.

The governance of Scottish football in the time of Rangers' implosion in 2012 is our own Mousetrap, a seemingly unending story, a commotion that can never have a conclusion to satisfy everyone. Christie's play takes all sorts of twists and turns but at least there's an understanding in the endgame. There's clarity when the curtain falls.

Aberdeen striker Stevie May

Are May's best days yet to come?

Read full article on Aberdeen's Stevie May: hat-tricks, horror injury, scooting round B&Q & lure of Dons

The last time Stevie May played against Hearts he was 16 goals into his 27 goal Cup-winning season with St Johnstone. It was mid-January 2014 - and he got a hat-trick.

Whatever happens on Saturday when his new club, Aberdeen, play Hearts at Murrayfield, it'll have to go some to rival what went down in a match that is still vivid in May's mind's eye. A first goal, from the penalty spot, after 39 minutes, a second after 49, a third, from the penalty spot again, just after the hour. A 3-1 lead despite playing with 10-men for much of it.

Stuart Armstrong celebrates with his team-mates after he heads Scotland in front

'Cigar time' for Scotland in Lithuania

Read full article on Lithuania 0-3 Scotland: 'Cigar time' for Scots in Vilnius

After half an hour's play at Lithuania's LFF Stadium you knew that this was going to be one of those rare Scotland nights when the smelling salts would not be required.

There would be no chasing the game like mad dogs in a meat house, no frenzied search for a late goal to avert a horror show, no metaphorical defibrillator needed like those games at Hampden against Lithuania, Slovenia and England where everybody left the stadium feeling like they'd spent 90 minutes on fast spin in a tumble dryer.

Leigh Griffiths celebrates one of his two strikes against England in the World Cup qualifier at Hampden

Scotland have 'no safety net' in Vilnius

Read full article on World Cup 2018: Scotland have 'no safety net' ahead of Lithuania test

Last October, Scotland made their first, faltering step in World Cup qualification when dropping points at home to Lithuania, a moderate team that had to be put away, but weren't.

It's instructive to look at some of the players Gordon Strachan picked that night at Hampden. Or, put another way, the players he couldn't, or didn't pick.

Celtic winger Patrick Roberts

Roberts needs to shine on Euro stage

Read full article on Celtic need Patrick Roberts to perform on the Champions League stage

In the wake of official confirmation of Patrick Roberts' return to Celtic Park, it wouldn't have been much of a surprise had a jubilant Peter Lawwell appeared on the stadium roof with a PR7 jersey in one hand and a trumpet in the other to blast out the news of a major signing.

A loan signing for just a season from Manchester City, it's true, but a loan signing that fans of the club have been salivating over for weeks.

Celtic fans celebrate

Noise and glamour await Celtic in Group B

Read full article on Champions League: Celtic in 'glamorous' Group B

For Celtic, the Champions League draw could scarcely have worked out any better had their chief executive Peter Lawwell stage-managed the entire thing himself, grinning knowingly all the while.

After all, it provides the right amount of glamour in Bayern Munich and Paris St-Germain, the right kind of third seed in Anderlecht - challenging but beatable - no long trips to eastern Europe, no rematches with overly familiar foes, a shot at European football post-Christmas, if they're good enough.