When you pull on the Dark Blue of Scotland…
You don’t behave like Barry Ferguson and Allan MacGregor
The Glasgow Rangers pair have been in the news this week for all the wrong reasons as Scotland battle to gain their way to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. After the Scottish capitulation to Holland by 0-3 in Amsterdam, Scotland captain chose to spend the whole night on a drinking spree with stand-in goalkeeper, MacGregor. Doubtless other Scotland players are not innocent but Ferguson appears to have no respect that he has had the honour of captaining his country upon him.
There are various lurid stories about what actually happened on the night after the Holland game but what comes across very clearly is that these two ‘professionals’ seem to have little respect for their country or the army of fans that follow Scotland around enthusiastically. Surely, at least the fans deserve better than this?
The Scottish manager, George Burley acted promptly after the incident by dropping both players. It was also rumoured that Ferguson may relinquish his captaincy also. Unfortunately the weak and mealy-mouthed Burley turned his decision around by re-instating both players to the team bench for the crucial Scotland-Iceland clash last Wednesday evening. Surely this sends out completely the wrong message regarding team discipline?
This is not all by any means. During the Iceland game at Hampden Park both Ferguson and MacGregor were clearly caught on camera making childish and crude v-signs towards the media. I find this unforgivable. What is it with these people? They take home huge wage packets, are offered adulation and generally live a great life playing a game they presumably love – why do they act so moronically and so churlishly? It would be easy to state a lack of class and intelligence but whilst this is easily applicable for this pair of idiots, I have a feeling that it all runs a lot deeper.
I have long been a critic of the average Scottish footballer’s reported lifestyle, (this applies to British football in general but I focus solely on the Scottish issue here). At my own club, Hibs, John Collins, a fitness fanatic and the most dedicated of professionals was finally, effectively ousted by a group of players that clearly felt threatened by having to behave like professional footballers for once. His fitness regimes, dietary advice and all were not appreciated to the tune that the players actually grouped themselves on the Hibs Chairman, Rod Petrie’s doorstep for a crisis meeting. There were other issues surrounding Collins’ tenure and he was certainly not entirely blameless for his demise but all the same it was a good indication of Scottish Footballer’s expectations and (lack of) dedication.
When I was a young boy, the Scotland football team meant everything to me. When they ran out on to the pitch in the familiar Dark Blue jerseys I could feel my heart pounding with pride. I still to this day tingle when I hear the National Anthem played when the Scotland team line-up before a game. This is what most of us recognise as pride. It was fostered in me by my father who was a hugely patriotic Scot but seriously, it didn’t take a lot – it was an urge I felt very strongly, deeply and with great conviction. Now when I see the likes of Ferguson and MacGregor I wonder what goes through their minds when they pull on those Dark Blue Scotland jerseys? There are many, many of who would have loved to be in their position in playing for Scotland. Scoring the winning goal in a World Cup game or against The Auld Enemy, England was all I dreamt of as a youngster. These two individuals let all of us with Scottish blood coursing through our veins, down incredibly badly.
The news as of today is that both players have been sent home from their club, Rangers and possibly placed on the transfer list, though unconfirmed at this time. I hope they receive the commensurate punishment for letting Scotland down and are never allowed near the national team again. Good riddance.
God bless Scotland.