Sunday, December 03, 2006

Fall Guy Fletcher is Inspirational

“The brazen Scottish argument that teams who aren't good enough to qualify under the current system should be allowed in because, um, that would be nice, should be dismissed with the same blend of pity and scorn that would greet Darren Fletcher if he called for Fifa to make football a 20-a-side sport just so he could get into the Manchester United starting line-up. Because the result would be the same: messy mediocrity.”

Excellent work on The Guardian’s blog site from Paul Doyle on Thursday. In one pithy, 40-something word sentence the master of brevity calls the Scottish football team rubbish and picks on the United fall guy.

On Saturday evening Fletcher scored the winner in a game that took his side six points clear in the Premiership.

He may not have the talent of Wayne Rooney or the flashiness of Cristiano Ronaldo but he has a work ethic and passion that makes him a valuable squad member at United.

Why the United fans choose to pick on him eludes me. I might be wrong but the criticism seems to get worse when Fergie’s going through a bad patch.

Perhaps, unwilling to stick the boot in their boss, the supporters use Fletcher, another Scot, as a conduit for their abuse.

We should support Fletcher. He’s fighting a lone battle in the upper echelons of a league that once pulsed with a Scottish heartbeat.

Let’s use him as an inspiration for other young players to prove that they can make it at the very top down south. We might want to keep our talent in Scotland but we are a small pond.

The more players we have playing for top European sides the easier Walter Smith’s job becomes.