Last week Scotland boss Gordon Strachan revealed that he would have no problem with Scot fans booing Everton and Republic of Ireland duo James McCarthy and Aiden McGeady as long as it was for footballing reasons only.
This week, it was the turn of Scotland legend Gordon McQueen to have a go. He launched an astonishing attack on McGeady and McCarthy insisting that they deserve ‘a horrible reception’ when they appear for the Republic of Ireland on Friday – although McCarthy still remains a major doubt for the game with a hamstring problem.
The pair – who were both born and raised in Scotland were eligible to play for Ireland through their grandparents.
McGeady was born in Paisley and represented Scotland Schools as a teenager before switching whilst Glasgow-born McCarthy granted his dying grandfather’s wish for him to represent Ireland.
McQueen insists he has ‘no time’ for players who turn their backs on the country and the former Scotland and Manchester United defender wants the home fans to make it as uncomfortable a night as possible for the Everton duo in the Euro 2016 qualifier.
“Will it be hard for them coming back here with Ireland? I really hope so. I hope they get a horrible reception because they deserve it.
“Your either Scottish or you’re not Scottish – and you should know that by the time you’re 12 years of age. I’m sure somebody must have asked them to play for Scotland at some stage.
“But you’re born in Glasgow but then you go and play for someone else? I hate that! What‘s that all about? I’m not having that at all. I’ve got no time for these players.”
But what about the non-Scots who play for Strachan’s Scotland? Surely McQueen is being hypocritical hitting out at James McCarthy and Aiden McGeady for pledging their alliance to Ireland when there are players in the Scotland squad who – yes you have probably guessed it- aren’t from Scotland! Yes it is understandable to be angry or annoyed that they don’t play for their home country but it is actually anger or jealousy?
It wouldn’t surprise me if the majority of Scots are simple jealous that the duo, don’t play for them. Especially McCarthy after he is proving to be a steal at £13 million for Everton with outstanding performances week in, week out. He, as is McGeady used to the boos and abuse from Scots and as always there are some who take it a step too far on Twitter. It’s a shame McCarthy has now been ruled out as I’m sure for a player like him, the abuse would have done nothing but spur him on and make him want to have an even better game – if that is even possible!
In the current squad (called up in November) there are four players who were born in England and NOT Scotland but qualify to play for the country through the family rule.
Burnley’s goalkeeper who has previously played for Blackpool and Rochdale. Although born in England, he qualifies to represent Scotland and was first selected for the national team in August 2010 and made his international debut two years later in August 2012. On his call-up Gilks said: “My grandmother was Scottish and they’ve traced the roots back and checked it. I’m eligible and it’s great to be in the squad.”
Norwich City’s captain who qualifies to play for Scotland through his Scottish father. He was named in the Scotland squad for the Nations Cup games against Wales and the Republic of Ireland on 17 May 2011 – making his debut as a late substitute against Wales. Martin remarked before a game against Croatia in June 2013 that he was not recognised by any Scottish taxi drivers who transported him for the matches.
The West Bromwich Albion midfielder chose to play for Scotland at full international level after representing various England junior sides – playing at every level except senior level. He qualifies to play through his Scottish grandparents and chose them ahead of England as he felt his “opportunities would be limited”. He made his Scotland debut in the friendly against Czech Republic in Prague on 30 May 2008.
The Derby County striker was born in England and represented them at Under-19 level in 2007 and was eligible to lay for Scotland through his father, as he was born in Glasgow. He was first selected for the Scottish national team and made his full debut in May this year.
So what’s the difference? Why is there such anger towards James McCarthy and Aiden McGeady because they didn’t choose to play for Scotland? Whose business is it apart from theirs?
Maybe they didn’t choose to play for Scotland because they weren’t given the chance. Ireland came knocking first and they took their chances to play for them and the majority of the Republic of Ireland fans would say that it’s worked out pretty well for them.