Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Farewell Fergie

BARRY FERGUSON’S decision to quit international football is one that may have some apologists within the media ready to finally write his Scotland obituary. For me, it’s no big loss.

The former Rangers captain has finally decided to called time on his international career and has reportedly informed coach Craig Levein, presumably sitting by his phone in eager anticipation at what Baz was going to do.

Ferguson has given nothing but lip service to Scotland in the last decade or so and the fact that he’s decided to walk away after being given an olive branch by Levein should be treated with the sort of contempt Ferguson showed the national team.

Craig Anderson's certainly not sorry to see Barry Ferguson pull the plug on his international career.

Difficult not to disagree. Ferguson was a player who was rarely as bad for Scotland as his critics made out. But nor did he ever play as well as you suspected he could have.

However well he has been playing for Birmingham City, and I saw some excellent performances last season, there was never a guarantee with Ferguson that he could carry that into an international week.

Like many things with Barry Ferguson I suspect this had a lot to with his state of mind.

His 45 caps from a decade or so of being considered for the team is a fairly mediocre return compared to his career at club level and raises questions over his commitment to the cause.

That statistic, just as much as "Boozegate," means yesterday announcement should come as no surprise.

Leaving aside my thoughts on Barry as an individual I've got to say I welcome the news for the team.

Craig Levein was keen to be able to choose from all his available talents. But at least Ferguson's official retirement means the manager has to move forward.

Scottish football is in a hole. We're looking for a brave new world. Ferguson has just ensured that Craig Levein will need to be that little bit braver in taking us there.

> Stephen Naismith has been touting Kevin Thomson as a ready made Ferguson replacement. With only two caps at the age of 25 and a number of calls offs from the squad, my big fear would be it being a like for like replacement both on and off the field.

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