Sunday, 12 October 2008

Boyd Spits Oot the Dummy

In typically Scottish fashion Kris Boyd has declared he will not play for Scotland again while George Burley is our National Coach. One has to wonder whether Kris Boyd is really thinking of what is best for his country or what is best for himself. I'd suggest that his attitude confirms that Burley was right not to play him as it speaks volumes for his commitment to Scotland.

One thing that was pretty obvious to anyone at the Norway match was that Scotland were not creating any chances. I don't care what any Rangers apologist says about Boyd's strike rate, if his team isn't creating chances he won't score (unless Mark Kerr is playing for the opposition).

So playing Boyd from the start or having him come on as a substitute was never going to help Scotland yesterday. As it turned out, Burley's double substitution had an immediate impact with big Iwelumo's presence leading to Scotland's first meaningful shot on goal within seconds of his coming on. And, if weren't for that miss, Burley would be being hailed as a master tactician today.

Burley still has to prove himself to me but the stick he is getting is completely out of order. Yes, he took too long to change the system against Norway but when he did, he showed he knows how to change a game. He also showed he is not afraid to make difficult decisions by substituting the ridiculously over-hyped McFadden when he knew it would be unpopular with the crowd.

I'm pretty certain we'll finish 2nd in this group - we may even still win it if we can turn in a couple of decent performances against the Dutch and carry the same kind of luck Walter Smith and Alex McLeish enjoyed against France in the last campaign. On the other hand, I'm not sure finishing 2nd is going to get us a play-off berth.

When all is said and done, Burley may not lead Scotland to the World Cup Finals. In the grand scheme of things what difference is that going to make to anyone's life? We'll be disappointed temporarily but nobody is going to die as a result. Scotland really needs to get its obsession with football into some kind of perspective.

Until she does there will always be elements that will sympathise with a moderately talented prima donna that throws in the towel at the first sign of difficulty rather than knuckle down and prove his critics wrong through application and hard work.

So away you go in your pathetic cream puff Kris and give us all a break from the tiresome debate about whether you should be playing for Scotland despite the fact you can't even hold down a regular first team place in a team that was humiliated by a bunch of barely competent Lithuanians.

Those of us that care about Scotland will support the manager and the team come what may.

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