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A different kind of beat

Posted on November 22, 2018 by

So this was in the Times football section today:

And you find yourself thinking, “Well gee, why might THAT be, Alex?”

Everyone’s entitled to take their own position on constitutional politics. But there’s something really dismaying about people who represent Scotland in international sport coming out and declaring that they don’t think Scotland is a nation.

Rugby players don’t compete in the Six Regions Trophy and Bavaria doesn’t get a team in the World Cup. There’s a perfectly fair and reasoned argument that says “If you don’t think Scotland is a nation, then don’t accept international caps, don’t wear the national badge and don’t stand there singing the national anthem”.

As an Aberdeen fan I was especially gutted when McLeish, Willie Miller, Jim Leighton and Alex Ferguson came out for “Better Together”, but nothing could ever destroy the magical memories of what they achieved for my club in the 1980s. When the national team is involved, though, a legitimate difference of political opinion becomes something harder to stomach, bordering on flat-out dishonest.

Countless articles, books and TV shows have speculated that Scotland’s catastrophic showing in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina had a direct impact on the following year’s devolution referendum, with a shattered nation bereft of the self-belief to vote in sufficient numbers to establish a Scottish Assembly.

It hardly seems an enormous stretch to imagine that it also cuts the other way – that a country too afraid to take political responsibility for itself when it came to the crunch would feel a debilitating pang of shame and embarrassment when it came to standing out there on the pitch before kick-off singing about rising now and being a nation again.

McLeish, of course, abandoned Scotland the first time he was the national coach when Birmingham City waved some money at him, walking away from his contract despite having only narrowly failed to qualify for the 2008 European Championships from a group that had BOTH of the 2006 World Cup finalists in it.

(He took Birmingham up to the Premiership in his first season with the club, only to get them relegated again the next year and walk away from them too.)

Despite being statistically the best manager in Scotland’s history, McLeish hadn’t either the belief to knuckle down and go one step further next time or the patriotism to put his country/region before his wallet, and he left the team to George Burley, whereupon its win rate plummetted from 70% to just 21%.

So all we’re saying is that if he’s looking for someone to blame for Scotland lacking confidence in itself, both on the football pitch and in a wider sense, it might be time to stop casting around for other suspects and have a wee keek in the nearest mirror.

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    1. Brotyboy says:

      In London last February I described to my daughter’s boyfriend the relationship between sporting success and self-determination. The example I chose was Croatia.

    2. mountain shadow says:

      The thing is, Yoons like McLeish, do see Scotland as a nation, just not an independent one.

      They see Scotland as nation within a nation, a nation within a country or country within a nation.

    3. Arabs for Independence says:

      I could not agree more with you. I was disgusted at some of my national sporting heroes saying we shouldn’t/couldn’t be an independent country. I watched McLeish before the Israel game sing along to “and we can still rise now and be a nation again” and thought what a f**king hypocrite.

      The wummin who founded the Centre for Confidence (Carol Craig) also told us we couldn’t cope on our own. Go figure that one?

    4. Merkin Scot says:

      There won’t be a decent Scotland fitba team until the high heid yins stop choosing a team based on West coast bigotry.

    5. Geordie says:

      Could not agree more. It really sticks in my throat when Scottish sport fans stand there singing Flower of Scotland then dismiss and vote against the notion of Scotland being Independent. I personally know several.

      And as for Mcleish, why doesn’t he push for a Team UK in international football? After all, by his reasoning Scotland would be much more successful. I’ve no doubt we would qualify for more tournaments. Why, knowing how generous the British are we might even manage to get up to 2 token players in such a team.

    6. Proud Cybernat says:

      I don’t know why but you tend to find a LOT of Scots sports people tend to back staying in UK. Is it because they have personally benefited in being able to get lucrative contracts at big clubs in rUK? Is it because many of them practice their sport outside Scotland and have mates from all over the UK that they perhaps feel they would be betraying with a YES vote?

      Oddly though (the Barrowmans and Muriel Grays of the world aside), the arty folks tend to be more supportive of indy. Is that because those folk tend to work even further afield, all o’er the world and have more of an internationalist perspective and would like to see the same for indy Scotland?

      Who knows but it’s a curious phenomena.

    7. yesindyref2 says:

      As an Aberdeen fan I was especially gutted when McLeish, Willie Miller, Jim Leighton and Alex Ferguson came out for “Better Together”, but nothing could ever destroy the magical memories of what they achieved for my club in the 1980

      This is an important principle for all of us. Thinking of the Rughy, there were some old-timers who cane out for NO, a gaggle of them. But that shouldn’t put us off Rugby (specially as a fair few of the team seem to be YESsers).

      Same goes for everything. Just because some people came out for NO, doesn’t mean we should be put off the whole shebang.

    8. Luigi says:

      Aye must be confusing – wearing pink and not knowing whether your were playing for a region or a county. Even Brazil and Germany would struggle in such circumstances.

      Congratulations, BritNat blazers of the SFA – Job done!

    9. Giving Goose says:

      Personally speaking;
      You cannot support Scotland at sport and be a unionist.. end of!
      If you are a unionist then please fuck off and let true Scots – those who have Scotland’s best interests at heart – support Scotland in sporting events.

    10. Dr Jim says:

      Yeah but Alex McLeish has *went* from hope to *comfidince* in the players havin more *comfidince* in thur hope, and it’s uptae him him tae inspire that *comfidince* by picking a team that he didn’t actually pick because a whole load of the players he actually wanted got injured just in time to be too late to compete so was left with a bunch of guys he really didn’t believe in who belted him in the eye by going out and playing their own game and ending up winning

      Alex McLeish ended up with credit for something he didn’t do

    11. Effijy says:

      The former Aberdeen trio who have earned £Millions
      During their careers go with the BBC ‘s choice of keeping
      Scotland suppressed as they pick up £Thousands from
      The Beeb every time they appear as a pundit.

      For s free match ticket and money for their next holiday, they
      Can turn a blind eye to The Scottish Nation being used abused
      And insulted by our English overlords.

      They haven’t needed a food bank, used Unicersal DisCredit, had a home repossessed
      Or witnessed the ever increasing demands on the NHS.

      They are another bunch of red Tories who can’t understand why others haven’t been as lucky
      As them and why they are not happy with their lot.

    12. Ottomanboi says:

      English money has always had the power to ‘persuade’.
      You want a country? We got a country. How much you offering?

    13. Iain says:

      So, time to ask, ‘You YES yet, Alex?’ Maybe he’s having an epiphany.

    14. Clootie says:

      If the Manager doesn’t believe Scotland to be a Nation then he should keep hid mouth shut on the topic.
      Croatia, Norway, Sweden, Ireland etc etc but for some reason not Scotland. Please shut shut up Alex. We will not forget!

    15. Oh, that we had more Michael Stewarts and less Alex McLeishs.

    16. Cubby says:

      I’ve always wondered why all the Britnats have the nerve to sing Flower of Scotland – but they do. Strange what goes on in people’s heads after proving susceptible to years of conditioning.

      We should count our blessings – there is no campaign to bring back God save the Queen as the national anthem.

      My son was promised a game of golf with one of his sporting heroes by mutual friends. This great chap found out he supported independence and he cancelled it . He learned a lesson – sporting heroes are always just normal people – some with better manners and character than others.

    17. Tartan Tory says:

      Sadly, I firmly believe that pseudo ‘national teams’ are a major hurdle to self-determination, as they give a vast number of yoons something to pretend to be proud about. I regret to say that the same principle holds for the kilt.

      I have lost count of the number of people I’ve seen on social media where the profile picture is a chap in a kilt, or in a Scotland football shirt, where the Union Jack is also present and their ‘likes’ range from ‘SIU’ to a variety of anti-SNP pages.

      Scotland, England, N.Ireland and Wales have absolutely no right to be playing as individual teams in the World Cup, because NONE of them are soverign nations recognised by the UN. The only ‘country’ here is the ‘United Kingdom’. That’s not how I want it to be, but that’s how it is. I firmly believe that FIFA have received brown envelopes from the Palace of Westminster to allow the status quo to continue, as it has the effect of quelling the Scots. In other words, it allows them to keep the notion that they are a country and hence keeps all the Proud Scot Yoons on their side.

      The last time I wore my kilt was on the morning of 19th September 2014. I have not been proud enough to wear it ever since and it was something I regularly wore to work back in the day!

      I think that if FIFA insisted on a UK team in the World Cup (Team GB) then a lot of ‘Proud Scots’ might actually change their tune about independence. Don’t you think it’s odd that the Olympics haven’t followed the same line??

    18. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Most of the people we reference in these discussions are or have been “lifelong Labour supporters”.

      So of course were three successive Labour Lord provosts of Glasgow – who all voted YES.

      Let us not make premature judgements. I understand the strength of political loyalty and it sometimes takes a real struggle to change -even with all the evidence in front of you.

      There is a lot more to Alex Ferguson than meets the eye. He has significant Irish connections. He knows all about 1916 and the GPO. Who’s to know where he is now. And the same goes for the others. I’ll say it again . When what’s left of Scottish Labour comes with us or (more likely, dies) we win.

    19. Muscleguy says:

      Compare to independent New Zealand. As an indication of how invested people are with the national rugby team an economic study found productivity goes measurably up in NZ when the All Blacks LOSE.

      Admittedly they do this rather less often than the Scottish fitba team (recent most excellent results notwithstanding) but it shows a very different mindset. It’s like when AB’s lose people feel they have to work harder as a nation to atone and fix it.

      Imagine what that attitude could do to Scottish GDP if applied to the national fitba team.

    20. desimond says:

      McLeish..the guy who charged his side up the park against Italy and lost a last minute goal when a draw would have sent a nervy France into Ukraine needing a result!

      McLeish who already had agreed to join Birmingham but went on the SFA jolly to World Cup Draw in South Africa before handing in his notice as he departed the plane.

      McLeish..a man who loves the UK so much he took an EBT of £1.7m and deprived the UK Tax Office of megabucks.

      I wont be looking to Big Brass (n) Eck for any advice thanks.

    21. S.Perspective says:

      Flower of Scotland’s an awfy hymn to sing anyways. Is sending an English king home to think again all a nation has to say for itself? I hope that when independence comes, or perhaps by necessity even before, there will be a debate about coming up with something more inspiring.

    22. galamcennalath says:

      I just don’t get it. How can anyone support a team or individual in sport who is representing their nation and their country one minute, then in the next deny the existence of that country and nation. Worse, oppose the right to self determination like every other.

      That said, the world of BritNattery is full of contradictions, hypocrisy, and double standards. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that sport follows the pattern.

    23. Luigi says:

      Croatia and Iceland are small, independent countries.

      They do rather well at fitba.

      Just sayin. 🙂

    24. Cubby says:

      It was strange ( no it wasn’t – only kidding) that the great Scottish media never mentioned how the recently independent small nation Croatia spanked big ol engurland in the semi final of the World Cup. A country smaller than Scotland whose current national team manager thinks is too small to be independent.

      What’s the odds on McLeish doing a Billy Banana feet and coming out with a suitable vague comment on independence to curry favour but not clear enough to rule himself out of a return to Ibrox in the future. Money money money it’s a rich mans world.

    25. Lenny Hartley says:

      As an Aberdeen supporter who held a season ticket during the Glory days (and before and after) I also feel the same as the Rev. mcleish should not have been given the job, not because he was/is a No voter but because he walked out on the team and Nation before. I totally agree there is a link between confidence and being brainwashed all your life that you are too wee/poor/stupid.

    26. AndyH says:

      Unfortunately, due to overpowering the mighty Caesar!nia and Israel we will have to endure two more years of his inane mumbling until Finland beat us in the play offs.

      A lot of hypocrites singing a song that’s not for the lukes of them.

      Looking forward to looking into the eyes of known No voters when The Proclaimers sing Cap in hand at the Caird hall in Dundee.

    27. desimond says:

      @Tartan Tory

      there was an Olympic GB side for London 2012
      No Scots or Northern Irish though, both Associations said no thanks.

      It would impact Associations\Country voting rights if they dare open that door and also impact cosy countries voting block and reduce power weighting so they declined any GB style side in case it set the precedent you mentioned

    28. AndyH says:

      My sausage fingers have made some typos…

    29. ephemeraldeception says:

      @mountain shadow “a nation within a country or country within a nation.”

      I’ve never understood this mentality. It goes against all accepted norms and is contradictory self delusion. Puts the Moron into oxymoron

      Scotland is either a Country or a Region it cannot be both. Alex simply shows he thinks Scotland can be both depending on some fantasy Uncle Tom like unionist and wholly anglocentric context. It Cannot.

      People need to get busy being Scottish or simply being English from a Northern English Region. Alex is already the latter.

    30. manandboy says:

      Alex McLeish, Scotland’s latest British Nationalist football manager. He is wallowing in all the praise for Scotland after two victories, but he’ll be feeling a wee bit sheepish that he owes so much to the scorer of 5 out of 7 Scottish goals, James Forrest, a Celtic player, whose game has moved to another level under the coaching of Brendan Rogers.

      For all that McLeish earned his reputation as a formidable and effective defender with Aberdeen, he is a true Ibrox man. Otherwise, he would not be the manager of the International team. Once a Sevco BritNat, always a Sevco BritNat.

    31. galamcennalath says:

      Luigi says:

      Croatia and Iceland are small, independent countries.

      They do rather well at fitba.

      Just sayin. ?

      On balance, iScotland will do better at everything including sport, IMO.

      Imagine the pride in seeing our team march behind the saltire at the Olympics.

      Or, even appearing in the Eurovision Song Contest … “and now we go to Edinburgh to hear the voting from Scotland”.

      Or, the when a Scot takes their turn as EU President.

    32. Vestas says:

      Some of us (anecdotally a lot) aren’t going anywhere near a mens game until the SFA is sorted out – ie isn’t such an incompetent sectarian mess!

      While I wish the Scotland (senior) men well & all who go to watch them, they don’t have a future with the (multiple) rejected manager who it turns out could only win at club level management by becoming involved in tax evasion & arguably fraud.

      Of course none of that will ever get sorted until the Scots MSM sports hacks aren’t comprised of 90% protestants who absolutely (honest guv) don’t support Rangers but just turn up at their games a lot (while not reporting).

      Plus ca change….

    33. Neil Mackenzie says:

      It’s always annoyed me that “the UK” is commonly called “a country” when it obviously isn’t.

      Counties are supposed to have actual names. Maybe not legally – but properly. “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” is not an actual name and neither is “the UK”. That’s only an abbreviation and, even then, it’s only an abbreviation of another abbreviation because if people thought the country the lived in was called TUKOGBANI, they’d probably think they must be foreign.

    34. manandboy says:

      I sincerely hope that an independent Scotland will shake every last bit of English dust from its feet as we walk out the UK door. May all the British branding throughout Scotland be likewise removed. New country, new claes.

    35. Luigi says:

      Any offer of taking over a decent (or not so decent) team in the English premier/ championship that materlialises, and you won’t see our manager for dust. Guaranteed. Maybe that’s the cunning plan all along – try and get a few decent results for Scotlandshire, restore some level of managerial reputation and it’s offski at the first opportunity? Time will tell (if Scotlandshire get a few results that is). If Scotlandshire do badly, however, we are stuck with him for the foreseeable future. 🙁

    36. Luigi says:

      Imagine if some brave Scottish sportsmen and sportswomen kneeled for the national anthem (the BritNat or Scottish one). Can you imagine the furore. The BritNats would be apoplectic.

    37. Hamish100 says:

      Sperspective.
      Flower of Scotland was never a hymn. Your trollers are drooping. Lucky to see the Corries belting out the song at the right pace and fervour. Fantastic. I now believe Highland Cathedral is best foe Civic Scotland and for sporting events. I want an anthem accepted everywhere.

    38. galamcennalath says:

      National anthem?

      I’ve always thought Freedom Come all Ye appropriate.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBK8swaXZqY

    39. Dan Huil says:

      @Luigi 4:23pm

      Spot on.

    40. Graeme says:

      I just can’t get behind the Scotland team anymore since the appointment of Alex McLeish I just don’t care if they win or lose anymore, it is an utter hypocrisy that our so called national team is managed by a man who doesn’t even believe we should be a nation.

      I will not watch them and I will not support them and if that makes me unpatriotic then so be it but there are some things in life more important than football

    41. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Sic a parcel o rogues in a Nation

    42. Ottomanboi says:

      Flower of Scotland is rather a dirge, its sentiment rather maudlin and banal. It is not a national song on a par with Mae Hen Wlad, the Welsh one.
      We need an anthem whose words, in Gaelic and Scots, say nothing about mountains, heather, ‘the English’, ancient battles and like backwardlooking, shortbread tin stuff, has a rousing Marsellaise type tune and knocks G-d Shave the Queen into history.
      NB A variant of the tune called Bruces march at the Battle of Bannockburn aka Scots Wha Hae is used by the French Army at passing out parades. It’s called La Marche des Soldats de Robert Bruce. Checkout examples on youtube. A German band plays it rather well. Tempo is slow but catchy.

    43. manandboy says:

      Andrew Tickell (Lallands Peat Worrier) is appearing in The Wellwynd Centre, 35 Wellwynd St, (just up from the Polis station) in Airdrie tonight at 7pm.

      I’m sure the status of March 29th 2019 as a ‘drawbridge’ moment will come up, as there is unquestionably a difference of opinion about Scotland’s ability to gain Independence via a referendum after that date.

    44. frogesque says:

      If you believe in your Nation you play above yourself. If you don’t believe in your Nation you have nothing to play for.

      When I first came to Scotland 50 odd years ago, kids would have given their right arm for a Scotland shirt. Now it’s either the Old (New) Firm, Liverpool, ManU or anyone else but.

      An embarrassment and so sad.

    45. manandboy says:

      Aye, galamcennalath, Freedom Come All Ye. Braw!

    46. Referendum1707 says:

      I know very little about football and care about it less but even I could tell you why Scotland are a crap team. The british nationalist SFA and the british nationalist manager don’t want Scotland to do well. I can’t imagine how anyone would be dumb enough not to see that.

      Scotland shouldn’t be fronting a “national” team at all, until such time as they have a real country to represent.

    47. Juteman says:

      I grew up in the 70’s watching the Scottish football team. I remember ’74 and the up swelling of national fervour. I was at Annfield for the ’78 match, and Wembley 77 and 79.
      The Home Internationals were not stopped because of a few punch ups between fans, they were stopped because they increased Scottish patriotism.
      We now have a couple of Englishmen in charge of our national game, and an Uncle Tam as manager.
      The Brit establishment were scared by 100,000 flags at Hampden and Wembley. They have taken steps to keep the lid on that pot.

    48. Such a pity those stalwarts of that great Aberdeen team are Unionists.

      As a St Johnstone fan looking down the league at Aberdeen now, I urge you to console yourself in the knowledge that your team may not be very good anymore – but probably have more YES voters in the squad for Indyref2.

      I hope Better Together organise a rally in Perth soon. That way McLeish will get to know where Perth is and stop overlooking Saints players.

    49. yesindyref2 says:

      OT
      Bloody Yanks.

      So my current host wanted to bump the price up of my dedicated server so I looked to move, read the reviews, that stuff, made my choice. 51% off the hosting account so I bought for 2 years (hosted in Amsterdam), delighted with myself since even that was half the price I’d expected to pay at the old one let alone the price they wanted to charge, and for 2 years not 1.

      So I happened to look now, and it’s 67% off. I missed out. Booger. So I emailed and asked for the 3rd year free and they said they couldn’t do that. Bloody Yanks. But they could put me on the 3 year plan which is now being offered at 67% off. So I’ve got the 3rd year for £2.43 (the difference between 67% and 51% basically times 3 over 2, done and dusted and charged. Bloody Yanks.

      So we have a thing or two to learn in Scotland about service from these bloody Yanks.

      I think ScotGov, with all the enterprise initiatives they’ve been coming out with, should import a new service advice unit from the USA, maybe a half dozen people from the likes of my new host A2hosting, restaurants and hotel and other sectors, and have this as a service advice unit for businesses in Scotland. Now THAT would give us an even bigger advantage for competing in business than we have now, and our service ain’t bad really (speaking for myself!).

      Bloody Yanks.

    50. Tartan Tory says:

      @ Referendum1707

      “Scotland shouldn’t be fronting a “national” team at all, until such time as they have a real country to represent.”

      Thank God I’m not the only one!! 🙂

    51. robertknight says:

      The trouble with Scotland is that it’s full of folk… like McLeish.

      How many of us haven’t had the misfortune of meeting the former ‘Scotchman abroad’ now returned ‘home’, (usually having spent time in England), who has morphed into the Brit-loyal ‘Pet Jock’, with a cringe big enough to create its own gravity.

      Someone, please, save us from ‘ourselves’!

    52. manandboy says:

      Right up to its demise in 2012, no one ever described the Ibrox club as ‘a credit to Scotland’. Nor was such an accolade sought down Ibrox way. That’s one thing that has continued with the replacement club.

    53. Astonished says:

      Dr Jim @3.34pm – spot on.

      McLeish didn’t pick the team. The call offs meant it was picked for him. And like graham @4.38pm , I just don’t support them anymore.

      I believe the gates have more than halved. Mcleish and the guys who appointed him must go.

      Any day now McLeish will call for loyalty.

    54. Liz g says:

      RE.. National Anthem
      Said it before… for me it’s Auld Lang Syne
      It has no catching up to do for international recognition.
      It has been sung and performed as much if not more than GSTQ, it’s heard in movies and always in a positive or emotional way.
      Many people cannot name more than one or two other Countries Anthems, but that song they know as soon as it starts

      It was written by our best known son of Scotland so nay controversy there!
      The theme is about kindness and friendship, a cup of kindness and here’s a haun o mine…. that’s our aspiration for Scotland, is it no?

      It has not a thing to do with battles,bloody tombs or mair tae the point any mention of the English!!
      And our past with the English should not have a place in our future Anthem.
      Most of the world sings it and “performs” the actions to it once a year and might very well continue to do so!!… also imagine it in a stadium it’s a great stadium song?
      It was written around the time of the Union, and it could be argued that ….we gave it to the world to keep and to sing for all that time……. now….. we are bringing it home

    55. Colin Alexander says:

      This isnae about Alex McLeish or any particular individual. Maybe Alex will have a change of heart and back YES.

      It’s just that there seems to be a trend that the more money you have, and the more mercenary you are, the more likely you are to be a unionist.

      As Jessie J sang in Price Tag:

      “Seems like everybody’s got a price
      I wonder how they sleep at night
      When the sale comes first
      And the truth comes second….”

      And Rabbie Burns said:

      Fareweel to a’ our Scottish fame,
      Fareweel our ancient glory;
      Fareweel ev’n to the Scottish name,
      Sae fam’d in martial story.
      Now Sark rins over Solway sands,
      An’ Tweed rins to the ocean,
      To mark where England’s province stands-
      Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

      What force or guile could not subdue,
      Thro’ many warlike ages,
      Is wrought now by a coward few,
      For hireling ("Tractor" - Ed)’s wages.
      The English stell we could disdain,
      Secure in valour’s station;
      But English gold has been our bane-
      Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

      O would, or I had seen the day
      That Treason thus could sell us,
      My auld grey head had lien in clay,
      Wi’ Bruce and loyal Wallace!
      But pith and power, till my last hour,
      I’ll mak this declaration;
      We’re bought and sold for English gold-
      Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

    56. mike cassidy says:

      I knew Scotland could win those matches as soon as I heard Tierney was injured.

      Cos it meant McLeish wouldn’t have to chicken out of his wellpaid responsibilities and play an unbalanced rabble to accommodate Tierney and Robertson.

      And suddenly that piece of good fortune means he’s telling us to get our finger out and be a proud nation again.

      Aye, right!

    57. Andy-B says:

      I call people like McLeish, stalk of rock jocks, because theyre all Saltirey on the outside, but the Union Jack runs through and through them at their core.

      McLeish is in it for the money, the SFA are a disgrace, we beat two diddy teams by the skin of our teeth, McLeish will fold as soon as we come up against a half decent team.

    58. velofello says:

      Scots Wha Hae, played with an upbeat tempo, not as a march. Try singing it as a waltz,and then with some swing, and even a LatinAmerican tempo.

    59. To those who call theirselves proud Scots well because of you and your ilk I am an ashamed Scot I to no longer support Scotland in football or rugby and I also could not care less if they win or lose and as for flower of Scotland our anthem I think it is great as it tells of the wrongs that have been done to us and how if enough true Scots would change things but of course the proud Scots do not like that as it keeps the spirit of freedom alive every time it is sung and offends them and their guilty masters

    60. Cubby says:

      Colin Alexander@5.08pm

      You must have millions then.

    61. yesindyref2 says:

      LOL 🙂

    62. yesindyref2 says:

      Mmm well, current 3 headlines in the Herald online:

      “Watch: Ian Blackford slams Theresa May over Scottish fishing rights”

      “Nicola Sturgeon says David Mundell should resign by end of today”

      “Brexit breakthrough: May declares final deal with Brussels ‘within our grasp'”

    63. Ian Brotherhood says:

      FWIW, I’ll never support the Scotland mens team again so long as McLeish is there, no matter how far they go in Euro 2020 or anything else.

      The reasons have all been stated already.

    64. manandboy says:

      Using another form of words this time, to understand what Theresa May is actually doing, google Vladizlav Surkov, the creator of the political strategy used by Vladimir Putin, which the Tories have been using exclusively since the EU referendum back in June 2016.

      It is based on creating confusion by denying the electorate the factual information they need to properly inform their vote, and is virtually a denial of democracy.
      It also makes it impossible for any opposition to criticise the government since the opposition are as confused as the voters as to precisely what the government is doing.

      It works in Russia. Now working in the UK too.

    65. ScottieDog says:

      I have felt for quite sometime that our national cringe affects our sport. Countries like Ireland (rugby), Iceland, Belgium at football punch above their weight. Might have something to do with not being constantly reminded you are shite and a spunger on the U.K.

      I love rugby but I lost the appetite for going to Murrayfield post indy1. I hope to go back there one day when we get our shit together and abandon this awful union. I’ll hopefully be singing a national anthem that is forward looking.

    66. JLT says:

      It’s a paradox indeed. Why is it quite a large percentage of folk born roughly before 1960 (say up to 1965) supports the British Union?

      I know there are definitely a decent percentage of that age group would vote independence, but for roughly more than a good half, they believe in the idea of the Union. So …what changed within half of the electorate’s mentality to finally break that idea of Britishness?

      Was it the ending of Conscription? Was it the demise of ‘Empire Day’? Was it the fading Empire itself with one colony after another vanishing thus leading to oneself to look around and then take a more introspective look at the home nations and wonder why they were still together?

      For the younger generation born after the handing back of Hong Kong in ’97, the idea of Britishness must surely baffle many of them. When there is talk of the ‘old colonies’ such as India, Canada, Australia, etc, the youngsters must look …frown a bit …and think ‘but they’re all independent. Why are the home countries not independent? I don’t get it?!’

      But something changed somewhere at some point? Personally, I believe it was already happening – slowly though, but happening – during the 70’s

      …and then we got Thatcher.

      And I believe since she was the icon of Britishness, with a loathing for Scotland, that it was she who fired up in the imaginations of Scots during the 80’s and it’s those folk, born in the late 1960’s onwards, who, facing a future of great uncertainty and self-doubt, created a generation (if not two) where half the nation believed that another option to ‘Thatcherism’ had to exist …and well …here we are today on the cusp.

      But for that older generation, it’ll beharder sell the next time with their ‘Better Together’ nonsense. The lies are all exposed. And another half generation of kids have come of age who only know the SNP in power and the idea of independence.

      McLeish and Co better have damned good reasons next time, because being ‘British’ won’t wash, nor will excuses of ship yards, military power, shared identity, only a ‘No’ vote will keep you in the EU, our voice will be heard and respected, etc …won’t cut it for half of Scotland.

    67. manandboy says:

      Brexit breakthrough within our grasp, says May.
      ‘Within our grasp’ is one of Theresa May’s well used phrases. It is Surkov-speak for no progress – allowing May to make a statement when she has nothing to say, but leaving the voters none the wiser, just zero information.

    68. Jock McDonnell says:

      Now the fog has cleared I expect the FM to demand a seat at the table in the planned future negotiations & that probably means we need to be independent.

    69. Legerwood says:

      Euro 2008 and Alex McLeish. Was it not Walter Smith who did most of the ‘heavy lifting’ to get Scotland in a position where the had a chance of qualifying? He departed to become Manager of Rangers and McLeish took over for the last couple of games.

      If I remember it all came down to the last game which was against Italy at Hampden. Gordon Brown turned up to watch the game. As soon as I saw that I knew Scotland would lose because he was a bit of a jinx. In the first few months of as PM there were terrorist attacks in London and Glasgow Airport,a major foot and mouth outbreak and the worst flooding for years in parts of the UK, then he turned up at Hampden!

    70. Truth says:

      Alex has headed a LOT of balls over the years.

      I’m sure his faculties are consequently lacking.

      As for the topic at hand, I couldn’t agree more. It’s something I used to bang on about during the referendum campaign, that we would gain not only self determination, but self respect, self esteem, self belief and all the associated health benefits.

      Just imagine what an economy full of invigorated healthy people could achieve.

    71. Jim Clark says:

      And let’s not forget the anti-Scots who have made their fortunes out of their Scottishness. The late Kenneth Mckellar comes to mind, along with several living celebs.

    72. Legerwood says:

      How about Les Soldats de Robert de Bruce for the National Anthem? If for no other reason than the sheer amusement it will generate when watching military bands the world over trying to play it when the President of Scotland comes visiting.

      It is a strangled piece of music to say the least. There is a film of it on YouTube being played by a French military band.

    73. Clydebuilt says:

      BBC radio Scotland Drive time 16.12 hrs Andy Kerr SNP “Scottish Fishermen Betrayed” , Tory MP Ross Thompson “Scottish Fishermen Betrayed.”
      17.00 till 18.06 SNP “Scottish Fishermen Betrayed” . . . . No mention of dissent from Ross Thompson.

      A pattern repeated daily. Nothing that would damage the line . . . SnP bad Westminister good after 17.00 hrs

    74. Donald Cowey says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Small technical point: McLeish actually led Birmingham City to a League Cup win (beat Arsenal in the final), not promotion, before getting them relegated.

    75. DerekM says:

      Ach whit can ye say except big Eck was never the brightest Willie Miller`s shouting turned his pea size brain into mush i reckon.

      One of the things we need on the to do list after indy sort out the SFA once and for all.

    76. ian macdiarmid says:

      We should remember that many of us have moved from thinking we were “to small to poor and to stupid” to govern ourselves,even on this site.I believed the information i read in the papers and on tv and thought i was reasonably well informed!The referendum was the turning point helped by the internet and sites such as wings, there is now no going back.
      I have no doubt as an independent nation in a sporting context we could find that extra yard,that extra dynamic such as Iceland and compete in major competitions.
      Maybe Mcleish and others have woken up to the fact that maybe independence is the way forward.

    77. Hamish100 says:

      Shouldnae have a parliament unil we’re independent nor Scots law nor football team or curling ( except when it’s the British one at the Olympics)

      Aye right. put a saltire up for a tiddle winks competition and I’ll support.

    78. Ahundredthidiot says:

      No time for Scottish football or its british nationalist manager.

      As for my own sport, I havent set foot back inside ‘Better Together’ Murrayfield since early 2014 and will happily go without until we are a Nation again.

      The thought of standing beside my fellow Scot singing the National Anthem is not something I am prepared to do. Even when we played at Rugby Park (Killie) it turned my stomach to see scots singing it.

      Effn Pathetic. We should be booing it or forced to sing god save the queen until we find a pair of balls big enough to run our own affairs.

    79. Auld Rock says:

      Ah, the 80 and 90 minute Scots.

    80. Tinto Chiel says:

      Referendum 1707, Juteman and Ian Brotherhood seem to me to have most eloquently analysed the the problem and our response.

      McLeish, hypocritical and completely lacking in self-awareness, is merely the symptom of the bigger problem.

      I stopped supporting the “national team” in the 80s and restricted myself to supporting club football because of the appalling mismanagement of our game by the SFA, who have no interest in the footballing success of our nation and are peopled by small-minded blazers who lack imagination and national fervour.

      I have always believed we will have no progress until we take to the field as an independent and self-confident nation.

      Well done, however, to McLeish’s second and third choice players who tried so hard to retrieve a desperate situation.

    81. Benhope says:

      We shouldn`t overlook why Scotland did win on Tuesday night. It was because of the involvement of 5 Dons players. McKenna, Fraser, Christie, Shinnie and MacKay-Steven on the bench. For any doubters of this fact remember once a Don always a Don!

      Of all the pundits on radio shortbread Michael Stewart is head and shoulders way out in front, followed by Tom English and Willie Miller.

      Off The Ball is also worth a listen except when the pompous windbag Archie MacPherson makes his all too frequent appearances. I don`t know how Stuart Cosgrove can sit in the same studio listening to the same old (Yes, I knew Jock Stein).

    82. Clydebuilt says:

      About 8 years ago BBC Radio 4 a Friday night debate from 9pm (can’t remember the subject) on came Heather Dewar (BBC radio Scotland Sports journalist) who linked sporting success with national moral and drew a link with Scotland’s failure at the 78 World Cup and the subsequent vote in the 79 referendum.

      They know what they are doing . . . . Even sports journalists!

    83. The Herald Britland headlines the North British victories, especially the one against that ‘European’ team, Israel, with Mcleish’s quote that they were his greatest ever achievements in football.
      What, pray, did Big Eck, ‘achieve’?
      He played Forrest at long last and his team’s performance owed more to the coaching of Jurgen Klopp and Brendan Rogers than the fitba’ nous of this tired old chancer.
      The players merely played their club game, working round the daft formations McLeish and Co tried to impose on them.
      It is not hyperbole to assert that the Scottish lads won despite Eck’s tinkering.
      Any of us could have picked a team and urged them to go out and play their club game.
      He is a North Briton; making yet another big wedge out of nothing.

    84. Ps and of course the Wiz of the North, manager extraordinaire of the Dons,Del Boy.

    85. Bobp says:

      Geordie 3.10 pm. Aye and halfway through a team (cough)gb match, the commentator would probably let the mask slip and say, and that was another fine attacking move by engerland, sorry uk, sorry same thing.

    86. McDuff says:

      McLeish like so many will not support independence because it would damage their chances of earning big bucks down south, Stu is right it’s about money,money before country. A pretendy Scot.

    87. Bobp says:

      Scottiedog 5.39pm. Very true, Although born in Scotland i went to school in southern ireland for the last 5 yrs of my schooling. I never ever once heard the national broadcaster RTE telling us our country was sh**e. Why Scotland puts up with this garbage is beyond my understanding.

    88. Bobp says:

      Proud cybernat. 3.14pm. Also a lot of Scottish writers support Scottish independence.

    89. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Couldn’t agree more. Small technical point: McLeish actually led Birmingham City to a League Cup win (beat Arsenal in the final), not promotion, before getting them relegated.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009%E2%80%9310_Birmingham_City_F.C._season

      “The 2009–10 season was Birmingham City Football Club’s sixth season in the Premier League and their 56th in the first tier of English football. The side was managed by former Scotland manager Alex McLeish, who successfully guided the side to promotion from the Championship the previous season.”

    90. uno mas says:

      @Juteman 4.52pm

      “The Home Internationals were not stopped because of a few punch ups between fans, they were stopped because they increased Scottish patriotism.”

      I´ve been waiting 35 years for someone else to say that!

    91. Bobp says:

      Blair paterson 5.20pm. You got that right blair. On the 20th sep 2014 i was sitting in a bar in benidorm on a fortnights holiday. Was wearing a celtic top, spanish people along with other EU nationals kept asking me why we voted against our own independence. As i do (having lived there) an authentic Irish accent. I showed them my Irish passport and for the 1st time in my life denied the country of my birth. Never ever had i felt so f*****g ashamed to call myself Scottish. Proudscotbuts your a stain on Scotland.

    92. stonefree says:

      @ Effijy at 3:35 pm
      They haven’t needed a food bank, used Unicersal DisCredit, had a home repossessed….Could I site Gordon Smith for the latter one, good socialist and Red Tory

    93. Terence callachan says:

      Sport and politics are always linked ,politicians ,governments , use sport to persuade the populus how great a country they have but of course it can work the other way too, the SFA is run by an Englishman with the help of a lot of ex rangers players British nationalism is in control same in the rugby world and it’s no lie that so many players and commentators choose to support British nationalism over Scotland with of course a cheque in the post if they can come up with as much negativity about Scotland as possible ,bow their heads praise England whenever possible and don’t ever ever mention Scottish independence they will get back on again.
      Know your place and be prepared to betray your country is the name of the game.
      We will see if the dreadful treatment and insulting behaviour from England over the last four years will make any difference to all those Scots who voted against their own country being independent preferring another country to control its finances and make all rhe important decisions for Scotland.

    94. Big Jock says:

      I’m a big Scotland rugby fan. However the players beliefs off the field make me ashamed. The 80 minute Scots who think a nation is sporting match and nothing more. Are as far removed from me as Jupiter’s moons.

    95. Colin Alexander says:

      If moaning about wealthy individuals in fitba and rugby is the best that Wings can come up with, and Wings is the great pro-indy site, that leads the fight for indy, this isnae looking good.

      No disrespect to you Stu, as you’ve had some great articles over the years but, I think you need to up your game, if you want to persuade people to support indy.

      A moanfest and mince about third-rate MSPs is a waste of your talents and people’s time.

    96. Fred says:

      How about a moan-fest on the Largs public lavvies for Colin who demeaned himself & wasted our time!

    97. Bill McDermott says:

      As an example of a country regaining its self-pride, I give you Ireland. Not only does it have the full backing of 26 EU countries (yes, countries!)it also has a higher GDP per head than the UK and it has a really world class rugby team that has a chance of winning the World Cup.

    98. Cactus says:

      New anthem, here’s a marching anthem wae a different kinda beat…

      Courtesy of The Corries:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IN61UrW5qUo

      Ah can hear it on the pipes!

      *Endorphins*

    99. velofello says:

      And not once has Scotland’s women team been mentioned here.If you want to watch football played with an understanding of the core principles, watch them.

      So what is required to be a successful footballer?

      Spatial awareness and constantly making yourself available to receive the ball – mobility.

      “Let the ball do the work” I was lectured.

      A fantastic speedy athlete but needs to have ball control ” he’s away wi’ the idea, and left the ball”. Another of my gems of instruction.

      The refereeing in Scotland is disgraceful – grabbing jerseys, obstruction, and blatant thuggery passes go.

      Here’s a couple of ideas, if a player’s arms go above his shoulders it is a foul. If you harass the referee,10 minutes on the bench.

      i moved from football to rugby, I was fed up with the unsporting attitude of football, and i could play a bit,.I quickly learned, in rugby, that I was no athlete, and that takes me back to above,what does it take to be a footballer? let the ball do the work.

    100. stonefree says:

      An anthem ? I can’t stand FoS as has been said a dirge…I used to think Anthem by Alex Harvey…..That too has gone in the bin……What about something in the style of Tom Morello in Watchman mode

    101. Cubby says:

      Fred@10.17pm

      Oh no he’s not back wandering about the Largs loos again is he. Have Largs public loos installed free wi if for our esteemed zoomer.

    102. Skintybroko says:

      Agree with the majority of posters here, Scotland will never have a decent football team until we are an independent nation and people will have a real focus on playing for their country – am sure there were a number of players out there playing for their country but when your Manager doesn’t believe in your country it’s not so hard to see how that undermines the players psychy and you get the why bother syndrome. Yes their clubs and the money involved has a part to lay in call offs but that pressure could be countered with a real desire to represent your Country on the world stage and not be associated with a mediocre regional team.

    103. Essexexile says:

      The reasons for us achieving SFA for 20+ years are straightforward.
      The Scotland football team has increasingly struggled for identity in the overbearing shadows of the Old Firm, like a well meaning, but rather fragile unity project.
      Oh, and glaring technical deficiencies.



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