Friday, October 17, 2008

The Boyd Done Bad

5pm last Saturday. George Burley is being hailed by the press for the double substitution that led to Chris Iwelumo's debut goal, the winning goal.

Somewhere in a darkened corner of Hampden Kris Boyd decides to turn his back on his national team. Nobody cares.

One moment of inexplicable madness can, of course, change a lot of things. Iwelumo was to be fall the guy. Burley the incompetent, blind to the match winning potential of the Ranger on his bench.

And Boyd's decision to quit the national team in disgust was, if not applauded, at least understood in some quarters. Burley was left to defend himself for making the change that cost Scotland the game.

But here's the thing. Boyd was benched by Scotland for the same reasons that he's benched by Rangers. We're constantly told that he doesn't work hard, doesn't do enough for the team.

Boyd seems to think that his goals are enough. His managers disagree. Through stubbornness or through a lack of ability Boyd refuses to change.

And then he throws his toys out of the pram. Not in a spectacular, Duncan Ferguson, I'll never be back kind of way.

Rather in a "this Scotland thing ain't big enough for the both of us, I'll be seeing ya when Burley's a goner" kind of way.

Not so daft Kris. With the qualifying campaign all but dead in the water and Burley not endearing himself to the mass of Scotland's fans in the stadium or in the press box, Boyd will be thinking that he can wander back the minute Burley walks. At this rate that could be sometime next autumn. Not a big price to pay for the striker, is it?

But here's the news Kris. The way Scotland play now, the way we are so comprehensively not as good as our opponents means that maybe, just maybe Walter and George are right. Maybe goals aren't enough. And if he's still not changed then maybe when a new manager arrives and Kris dramatically announces his return he won't find the welcome as warm as he'd like.

That turn of events might seem like justice to many of the Scotland fans who think Boyd has behaved abysmally.