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Chick Young's view

Chick Young
By Chick Young
BBC Scotland football correspondent

It's a tough ask, but George Burley is just two football matches from drawing alongside Kenny MacAskill in the popularity polls.

The Scottish Justice Minister frees prisoners: the national team manager can't seem to take any World Cup ones.

A Daily Telegraph cartoon this week depicted Alex Salmond's parliament as "haggis eating surrender monkeys". It would be nice if the newspaper were denied the opportunity to adjust it for use on their sports pages.

Of course here is a newspaper as capable of talking as much nonsense as the rest of us, for it described the Ashes win as a result in "the oldest rivalry in international sport."

Scotland manager George Burley
Burley has two games to rescue Scotland's World Cup hopes

"The Ashes" I am led to believe is, incidentally, played for in a sport which is rounders for Englishmen and Australians.

In any case England's first Test match was in 1880. Can I just point out they were already playing us at football long before then.

Or maybe our international reputation is so puny these days it doesn't even rate as rivalry any more. It's all very sad.

It is then, my countrymen, time to do something about it, to pray for the Old Firm in the European campaigns ahead, to bow our heads and beg for a miracle in the two remaining World Cup group games.

Burley has done the right thing in beseeching David Weir to return to his squad. The Rangers captain has done the right thing in not taking the moral high ground - or a huff as it is sometimes called - and accepting the invitation.


Except a phrase involving bolts, stable doors and horses comes to mind.

Was the time to include the Methuselah of the Scottish game in the back four not Norway where we had to defend deep against the threat of the Leviathan John Carew?

Weir is a ridiculous age to be playing in the biggest club and international tournaments on the planet. He should be down the pub on Wednesday nights sipping a pint and talking about the good old days.

For goodness sake, the man is two years older than the manager of Barcelona.

As soon as we are officially out of this tournament - an event coming your way sometime soon - Weir's international career will be laid to rest. But to exclude him in Oslo and include him now does reek of the panic button.

Rangers defender David Weir
Weir is still going strong at the ripe old age of 39

The manager will argue that his hand has been forced because of injuries and the suspension of Gary Caldwell, but then we weren't exactly in the middle of a centre half population explosion at the beginning of August either.

However, I'm right behind any plan, whatever it takes to get a win. The season is in its infancy and already I am weary of writing obituaries about the Scottish challenge in Europe and beyond.

I have been in London all week covering the Arsenal v Celtic tie and there can be little doubt that there isn't much respect in the English press for life north of the border.

Back at the politics someone wrote that "the chief consequence of setting up the Holyrood parliament has been that 129 Scottish villages are missing their idiots" but I am no political commentator.

No, I was more perplexed by the Monday evening paper in London that concerned itself with Cesc Fabregas's chances of making the Arsenal team for the weekend match against Manchester United.

Not a whiff of a mention of the Spaniard's availability for the Celtic game.

I'm not quite sure what is worse: wallowing in despair, or just being completely ignored.

see also
Weir & Kyle recalled by Scotland
25 Aug 09 |  Internationals

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