Are All Right
At last! After years of frustration it looks like there might
just be a new generation of talent emerging in the Scottish
game. In recent weeks we have seen an upsurge in young Scottish
talent commanding some fine reviews. At Pittodrie, Phil
McGuire and Kevin McNaughton have been prominent
in Aberdeen's surge up the table. Over at Rugby Park, Kris
Boyd and Paul Di Giacomo have broken into the Killie
first team where they join Jamie Fowler and Peter
Canero. Kiegan Parker is an outstanding prospect for St
Johnstone. Even at Ibrox - not usually noted for bringing
players through the ranks - Stephen Hughes and Maurice
Ross made excellent contributions during the earlier injury
crisis at Rangers.
So, two cheers for the youngsters. Why only two? Well, remember
what has happened to previous teenagers hailed as Scottish
football saviours. Mark Burchill and Kenny Miller
to name but two. It seems we put too much pressure on some
of the young players and also, sadly, that some of them start
believing the hype.
So let's get things into a proper perspective. By all means
welcome the development of our young players. But remember
the determination of Alex Ferguson never to repeat
the 'burnout' of kids at Old Trafford that happened
at Pittodrie. Remember too, we have a long way to go before
we can ever again produce a Denis Law, a player capable
of playing international football at 18. Or, for that matter,
a Patrick Kluivert who scored the winning goal in the
European Cup Final at the same age.
Yes, the kids are all right. And that's it. Not brilliant.
Not world-beaters. But they are all right. And for that, let
us be grateful.
Foot and Mouth
Over the years the Herald has been
a repository of the best in sports journalism. Even today
the Glasgow-based newspaper can be relied upon to afford the
likes of Graham Spiers and Ewing Grahame plenty
of space to offer the reader something different from the
usual tabloid fare of transfer speculation and professions
of undying love for Rangers/Celtic from the latest big-name
signing who has managed to locate Scotland on the map.
Which is why it is a bit of surprise that
this esteemed organ is also the home for the neanderthal jottings
of one Darryl Broadfoot. This journo first came to
our attention back in August writing about the Kilmarnock
v Glenavon UEFA Cup tie at Rugby Park. In his match report,
Broadfoot waxed lyrical about the friendly, good-natured Northern
Irish supporters and how they kept on singing even in defeat.
There were 7,500 people in the ground and
Broadfoot was apparently the only one not to have noticed
that the fun-loving fans from across the sea had a repertoire
reminiscent of Scottish football at its worst. 'The Sash,'
'Derry's Walls,' 'The Billy Boys' etc. Close your eyes
and it could have been Ibrox. Somehow all this managed to
escape Broadfoot's ears. All he heard from the away end were
the strains of the ubiquitous 'Hey Baby.'
Ah well, maybe this was a one-off. Not so,
we fear. Lamenting the poor quality of the Livingston v
Dundee league match at Almondvale, Broadfoot writes that
"female followers among the 6112 crowd must have had
a longing glance towards the McArthur Glen retail park adjacent
to the stadium."
Welcome to Darryl Broadfoot's world of
football. A place where men can be men. Free to wear their
inherited sashes, and revel in ancient prejudices while the
women do the shopping.
How are we ever going to be taken seriously
in world football in the 21st century when this sort of insulting
and patronising drivel is allowed to pass itself off as
"reporting" in the so-called 'quality' press?
Darryl, why not give us all a break from
your pre-1960s fantasy world. Why don't YOU go shopping on a
Saturday and do us all a favour.