Friday, November 21, 2008


I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the international football scene and expressed a wish to see a British team in the Olympics, this was based on several factors, such as possible success and a wider audience. Above all I said it was time to reappraise the whole business of international football.

Events at Hampden on Wednesday evening did nothing to change my mind, excuses have been trotted out by people who should know better, such as ‘a cold November night’ ‘too near Christmas’ what piffle! any game against Argentina would have filled the stadium 20 years ago. Just before that era Celtic became the first British team to win the European Cup and lost in the final of the same trophy as well as reaching I think 3 semi finals, Rangers won the Cup Winners Cup and always featured in European tournaments, not long after that the game became swamped with money and Scottish teams have since struggled to keep up, that is not about to change and it’s impact can be seen in International Football, quite simply the world has left us behind.

I’ve seen Scotland play many times and seen some great players but, unfortunately they were not in the same team, it would have been great to see Mackay, McStay, Bremner and Baxter in the same midfield with Law and McGrory as twin strikers, add McGrain, Ure, Buchan and Jardine and you could put almost anyone in goal. The larger countries have so many players that they can get several outstanding players into the same team, I can no longer be bothered to go to a Scotland game, in fact if they are on TV and a better international is also on I will watch that and switch on occasionally to check the score. When Scots. fans don’t turn out to watch the team play Argentina it spells big trouble, without an amalgamation it will only get worse and eventually it will become a waste of time, just consider the number of players who don’t bother with it now, how many call offs etc. the game’s up I’m afraid.

The match was painful to watch and predictable, Argentina scored a superb goal early and spent the rest of the game passing rings round the Scottish players while carefully avoiding the frustrated flying boots of Hutton, Brown and Broadfoot, I think they clearly enjoyed winning the game and would have seen the avoidance of serious injury to their players as a bonus, the look of incredulity on the faces of some of the Argentina players at some of the tackling said it all.

Maradonna’s contempt for Terry Butcher was deserved and completely destructive, his demeanour and likeable nature were a joy to watch and contrasted sharply with Butcher’s childish pique, after all these years Butcher should have shown more sense, he has no class I’m afraid, did he not stop to think about the misdemeanours that he committed on the football field in his long career as one of the most uncompromising ‘hard man’ defenders.

He might also have thought about the greatness of the man he refused to shake hands with, those who like me were lucky enough to see him at 18 years of age on his debut against Scotland knew we were in the presence of greatness, even at that age you could see he was special. A man who sustained more abuse on the football field than Terry Butcher could ever understand and, BTW along with Charlton, Pele and Puskas etc, one of the greatest players ever, a true legend with not a bad line in ‘put downs’ judging by his crack about England’s World Cup win. Butcher was probably right to stay away from him; he would have taken another drubbing, this time verbally.

And finally I have to say that the great Diego Armando Maradonna was wrong, IMO the English goal was valid.


Anonymous said...

I am a fervent Scot. I love my country & have followed my club team & Scotland both home & abroad.

i have to say that the so-called "tartan-army" is the most parochial narrow minded shower I have ever come across. They define themselves by how much they hate someone else (the English).

In any other field they would call it racism but because it is dressed up in tartan and a ridiculous redhaired wig it is laughed at.

Stand up if you hate Ireland
Stand up if you hate Sierra Leonne
Stand up if you hate Japan
Stand up if you hate Mexico
Stand up if you hate England

Which one of the above statements is not racist?

Anonymous said...

"IMO the English goal was valid"

Oh dear! For years I believed that, now I shall have to think again.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Oakwood) 09:35
I agree, the ‘Tartan Army’ is an excuse for grown ups to make fools of themselves and like the SNP spew forth their anti English poison, they are also the most disloyal fans to be found as witnessed in Argentina when they turned on Aly McLeod and the players.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(David Duff) 15:50
Not only was it a valid goal, the English were a truly great team with players such as Banks, Moore, Styles, R Charlton, Hurst and Peters who would have graced any team in the world before or since.

Only in Scotland do you find people who can’t accept that.

Allan said...

To be fair to the common 5/8ths out there, £35 is way too much, especially in this ecconomic climate, to pay for a ticket to a meaningless friendly.

Yes we did used to have a conveyor belt of sportin talent. However, we have an alarming lack of facilities in this country, but a surplus of councllors who don't see this as a problem. Forget the World class sportsman issue, the lack of facilities in Scotland is a health issue and encroches into Law and Order issues too (providing somewhere for our teenagers to go, other than sit in deralict ground and drink).

Your comrades in government have at least made a start in this respect, but it is only a small step. Norway, for example, has an indoor football pitch in every town. They don't have the health and social problems we do, and they have qualified out of their group at a World Cup too.

Anonymous said...


There is very little support for a British team. We have always had separate teams in the UK. Who would support the notion of such a team? The English wouldn't, because the other nations would only add the odd squad player (Hutton, Giggs?) to a UK team, while the Celtic nations would complain about not being represented.

We were playing in other before we started to play any other countries.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Allan) 23/11/08
The councillor’s fault again, it must be great to live in such a simple world.
Scotland are capable of qualifying from a world cup group just as are Ireland Wales Norway etc. but very few have the remotest chance of winning anything, that’s why the international game is fading in popularity.
You will not solve the issues you mention without a radical change in society.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Rumbold) 24/11/08
The status quo is destroying the game, players couldn’t care less whether they play for Scotland or not, it’s a changed world and Scotland has been left behind.

Anonymous said...


Don't you remember the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign? Scotland were incredible in a group containing the wolrd cup champions, the runners-up, and a quarter finalist.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Rumbold) 11:31
Scotland are in the worst state I have ever seen in over fifty years of watching the beautiful game, something has to change we are already regarded as a joke.