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A tale of two K/Chrises

Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 9:52 pm
by Scottish
Once upon a time there were two young footballers at Kilmarnock called Chris. Well, one was called Chris and the other Kris actually. Chris never made the grade at Rugby Park while Kris quickly earned a place in the first team.

Undaunted, Chris continued his career in various places - like Paisley, Stoke, York, Cheltenham, Brighton, Colchester and even as far afield as Denmark and Germany. Eventually, quite late in his career, he found himself playing at a high level with Charlton & Wolves.

Meanwhile Kris set new scoring records at Rugby Park and was transferred to Rangers. Not long after and to no one's great surprise, Kris was capped for Scotland. But when a former Scotland boss who didn't rate Kris as a player took over as Rangers manager he played less frequently for Rangers and yet another Scotland manager thought this might affect his game so demoted Kris to the subs bench.

Chris though was playing the best football of his career and he was rewarded with a call-up to the Scotland squad for an important game.

The match was scoreless and the call went out to send on a man who could score a goal to win the game for Scotland. "Send on K/Chris" was the shout.

Alas, 'twas Chris not Kris who entered the fray.

Fear not for our tale has a happy (of sorts) ending. For Chris took just seven minutes in a Scotland shirt to establish his name as one that will be spoken of forever more. An instant legend - up there with the Haffeys, Donnachies and the Miller/Hansens. Men who took years to carve out the same place in Scottish football history that Chris earned for himself in seven short minutes.

I hope the poor sod gets the chance to put things right but misses like today's are destined to be talked about for decades to come.

Posted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 12:44 am
by Alan McCabe
His 'van Vossen' aside, he actually played his part in the second half improvement.
We appear to be a rudderless vessel at present though as our 'skipper' desperately grasps at randomly chosen sea charts.
We're sinking fast I'm afraid.
Will our 'skipper' hang around long enough to go down with it?
Will Smith & Peat's violin concerto continue to play the tunes whilst all around them jump ship in preparation for the impending doom, declaring defiant support for the man at the bridge?
All it needs is a wee bit of championing in the Swiss corridors of powers and, hey presto, they might expand the Brazilian Finals to 48 nations!

Posted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 8:59 am
by upthewell
The thing is, his miss was captured in "iconic" fashion...


Face says it all really!

Posted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 12:16 pm
by Scottish
This is hardly the right attitude though.

Talking about the friendly v the USA in 2005 I wrote "None of the quartet of David Weir, Christian Dailly, Graham Alexander and Neil McCann for instance will be around internationally come 2008 and this was the perfect opportunity to bring in new blood."

Yet yesterday we were still relying on Weir and Alexander was on the bench. Depressing. And what makes it even more so is the very real possibility that even if we should somehow scrape second place in the group (and despite the poor results to date that is still possible) it could well be with the worst runners-up record and thus miss out on a play-off place.

I think now we are hoping for a Dutch victory over Norway and a draw between Iceland and Macedonia. That leaves the second spot wide open and offers Scotland the chance of redemption against Macedonia at home and Norway away.

Remember our last game is v the Netherlands at home. By then they could have qualified comfortably and facing a Dutch side with nothing to play for is a far better proposition than one which needs the points.

Fourteen points could well be enough for second and the path to that is winning the three remaining home matches and drawing in Norway. If we can do that - and this coming midweek's games go our way (two big IFs admittedly) then the only way we could be overhauled for second would be if either Macedonia or Norway were to win all their remaining games - including away in Holland.

Posted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:12 pm
by upthewell
I disagree strongly with Kris's decision plus the manner in which he's had it announced.

Same went for Weir when he pulled the same stunt.

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:54 am
I couldn`t care less about "Boydie". Would he like to take a few of his international mates with him - we`d hardly be worse off. Weir`s time is long up too. Did anybody notice what Robson, Maloney, Morrison & Fletcher actually did on Saturday? The only player we have who could reasonably pass as of international quality is the goalkeeper.

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:07 am
by lbb
Iwelumo's face is a picture, you have to say. Watching it on TV, I thought it was in but had been ruled offside. I'm sure the Sky commentator and Davie Provan thought so too. It was only on the replay that the full horror of it all became clear.

To be fair to David Weir and Graham Alexander, I think they only played on Saturday because of injuries to Alan Hutton and Stephen McManus.

On the back of Lee McCulloch's retirement last month, Boyd's retirement looks suspicious. I didn't hear it but seemingly Barry Ferguson was 'outspoken' about the team selection - mainly because his friend, Kris Boyd, wasn't playing - on Radio Scotland pre-match on Saturday. It might not be too dramatic to say there appears to be some kind of coup being orchestrated by certain players. Ferguson and Boyd have previous for this sort of behaviour at Ibrox with Paul Le Guen. They should have been transfer-listed at Rangers after that episode but perhaps, having got away with it, they think they can try it on again at international level.

I thought Saturday was the inevitable performance of a side missing four guaranteed starters - Hutton, McManus, Ferguson, Miller - which would have made a difference. It wasn't great but it wasn't dreadful either. It was a difficult match against a side of broadly equal ability and a strong defensive setup. We never did and never will hammer such teams.

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:02 am
Obviously there IS a strong club connection here but tbh none of the missing players you mention would have made a jot of difference; their reappearance won`t ease Burley`s problems. When did Bazza last make a telling international contribution? He`s just a more "earthy" Fletcher. OK when things are going his way, unable to change the pattern and liable to "disappear" when the going gets tough. Darryl Broadfoot`s comments in today`s Herald re "Boydie" are spot on.

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:23 am
by lbb
Do you mean Graeme MacPherson's article? Broadfoot only gives a brief summary of events - though he does make a reference to Boyd's legendary 'poor attitude in training' which seemingly repeated itself last week.

I wonder if MacPherson had his tongue in his cheek here - 'Boyd will not be available to play international football again until 2012. At that point he will be 28 at a time when players like Fletcher, David Clarkson, Ross McCormack and Steven Naismith should be approaching their peak.' It's not exactly the Golden Generation, is it? I'm not a fan of Boyd but I reckon he'd fancy his chances, even at 28, of outscoring any of that lot.

With Barry Ferguson, people in Scotland either loathe him or don't like him. However, Alan Hutton would have provided much needed width - our best chance came when Naysmith, on the other side, got in behind them - on the right and Miller is, imo, the best striker we have. Taking those four players out was a blow and we're not so talented that we can ignore it.

The deeply unpleasant James Traynor sounded beside himself with glee at FT on Saturday. For Traynor, of course, criticising Burley is simply a way of having a go at his main target, Gordon Smith. Burley does seem to have an increasing problem, rightly or wrongly, with certain players and journalists and it's not going to go away. I'm struggling to think what he's said or done to warrant it. Perhaps he's perceived as weak.

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:27 am
by lbb
The warning signs were there, too. :evil: Iwelumo in training last week -

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:13 am
by Scottish
Methinks ‘poor attitude in training’ is a euphemism for ‘re-fuelling problem’ which in turn is a euphemism for……..well, we all get the picture.

Bazza? Before this campaign kicked off I’d have said his absence gave us a chance to go forward more often in matches we needed to win. Results speak for themselves though and it appears he’s missed much more than seemed probable.

Boyd’s attitude is all wrong and it’s the culmination of hat happened with Weir. David Weir should never – IMHO – have been allowed to play for Scotland again once he made it clear that his willingness to play for his country depended on who the manager was. I’m afraid that by allowing Weir’s selection the SFA gave carte blanche to any other player to pull a similar stunt at any time. And while I’m sure that applies in the round it is just a tad suspicious that the ones to have come out with this so far all earn their daily crust at the same place.

I’m sure Boyd felt deeply frustrated watching two players much less likely to score than he was take the field on Saturday. I’m also sure he felt the comment about him not playing regularly at his club was singling him out unfairly when there were several players on Saturday in a similar situation. But – I’ve used this contrast before and make no apologies for using it again – better players than Kris Boyd have warmed international benches. Once again David Beckham sat on England’s bench and saw just over ten minutes of action. Beckham has over 100 caps, a medal-strewn career in both England and Spain and is clearly in the twilight of his playing days. He has nothing to prove to anybody. Yet he is prepared to cross the ocean and park his arse on a bench for 90 minutes if need be. For Scotland Scot Gemmill was never an automatic selection, was booed by the fans on more than one occasion yet Gemmill too never refused a call-up even when he knew his only chance of action was reliant on injuries to others.

Burley and problems with players and hacks? He’s not part of the back-scratching crew that involves having played or managed the OF or membership of the Largs mafia. Since Ally McLeod’s day only two Scotland bosses have come from beyond this less than charmed circle – Burley and Berti. It’s a lot easier to have a pop at such managers when there isn’t a journo-boss relationship stretching back decades and you’re not going to have to rely on titbits from the guy in future.

Missing players. Yes, Hutton, McManus, Miller & Ferguson were all missed. But the opposition were no great shakes. Starve Iversen & Carew of the ball and the job’s half-done. This Norway side could only draw at home to Iceland, remember. We should still have been able to beat them at home yet their coach was perfectly justified when he claimed to be disappointed at leaving Hampden with just the one point.

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:27 pm
by bobby s
Graeme McPherson - isn't he a St Mirren fan?

Also, wasn't he one of the main writers in the Rangers News? Maybe he still is - pretty damning criticism of Boyd then.

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:54 pm
I seem to recall when the great Duncan Disorderly decided to pull down the shutters on HIS international career various international managers tried to tempt him back. He stuck to his guns & wouldn`t represent the blazeratti again. Weir, McCulloch & "Boydie" seem to have a shallower reason for retiring and yes I quite agree with David - retiral shouldn`t mean a Sinatra type farewell. "Thanks for all your efforts boys & have a happy future club career." They`ll be secretly jealous if Burley pulls it off & Scotland DOES get to S.Africa. The FGR have a long history of a lukewarm relationship with the national side as have the supporters of the other half of the "great" divide although that club itself seems to have no qualms about its players pulling on a dark blue jersey.

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:29 pm
by lbb
There seems to be a strange hysteria about Kris Boyd in certain media circles. It used to be said that Paul Le Guen never picked him - and then when you checked it you found out he started 17 out of Le Guen's 31 matches with an additional 8 substitute appearances with the rest made up of absences due to injury and suspension. If he doesn't feature for Scotland, it's trotted out that he scores 'every other time he plays for Scotland' - his record boosted by goals against the Faroes and a brace in a friendly. Even now, it's still an issue at Rangers - if he doesn't play, it's almost certain to be the first question Walter Smith is asked pre-match as if the decision is so baffling as to require instant explanation to the nation.

It can only be the fear of facing media questioning such as this that caused Burley him to pick in the squad in the first place as he clearly doesn't fancy him to actually play. I can see why Burley doesn't pick him, tbh, and successive managers at club and international level have thought this about Boyd so Burley's opinion is not unique.

However, I can see why Kris Boyd wonders why he should spend all week in a hotel when he has no chance of playing. The space could surely go to a more deserving youngster. The comparison with Beckham is not a valid one. By moving to the USA, Beckham effectively announced his retirement from top flight football and England have a wealth of talent in his area - if not always properly utilised. Although Kris Boyd may sometimes give the impression of deeply contemplating retirement, he is only 25 years old. It's unlikely David Beckham would have accepted a continual bench place after Euro 2000, particularly so if his place in the team was taken by Nick Barmby or Dennis Wise.

I think it's right that now Boyd has made his decision then that should be the final one.

I don't know who Graeme MacPherson supports. His name doesn't ring a bell, I have to say. I stopped buying the Rangers News when they stopped the 'Terry Talking' column - Terry Butcher's exclusive insight into the dressing room high jinks that was typical back in the day.

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:19 pm
by Skyline Drifter
[quote="lbb"]To be fair to David Weir and Graham Alexander, I think they only played on Saturday because of injuries to Alan Hutton and Stephen McManus.
To nitpick somewhat without disagreeing with the crux of your point, Graham Alexander didn't play on Saturday.