Saturday, September 02, 2006

Savagely Disappointed

I feel like this on the morning of every Wales away game. A bit guilty. I feel like I'm letting them down by not being there. I don't often travel away with Wales for a lot of reasons, mostly logistical. But I still place myself mentally in Prague with mates, acquaintances, and friends that I haven't met yet. I'll scan the television pictures for close up shots of old comrades from Cardiff, and look out for the flags from Pwllheli, the Ty Gwyn and CPD Inter Ifor. I should be there. I'm letting them down.

How much worse must it be for Robbie Savage this morning ? He could be playing, but he's not. He said some nasty things about the boss, and this time he wasn't forgiven. Toshack had a difficult job to do when he came in. He was left with a player power culture that had been cultivated by Mark Hughes, himself not long out of the dressing room, and keen to offer the players the same sort of priveleges that he would have liked. Tosh was prepared to make a stand, and there has been a revolution amongst the pampered.

I belive that Sav has tried to make amends, but the peculiar and outmoded childishness of the football professional has meant that he won't phone Tosh because "he hasn't got his number." Tosh has responded by claiming that Savage wouldn't get in his side anyway.

Meanwhile, Gary Speed sits at home. He'll probably play golf instead of watching the game. He retired a few years ago you see, because he wanted to save himself...for Bolton. I know, I know, but remember this is a man who once went on holidays instead of playing for Wales.

At least Gary Speed is a decent player. Sunderland's Danny Collins has thrown his toys out of the pram because of selection disagreements. Come on Danny, at last wait until you've got something to brag about.

Ben Thatcher has bigger things to worry about at the moment, but he has proved that adopting a country is not always a good idea. Like Pat Van Den Hauwe before him, Thatcher had a go at international football, but his heart wasn't in it. At least Van Den Hauwe had the Mandy Smith excuse.

Jason Koumas is yet another international outcast. Currently sitting in front of his PSP I expect. Sulking since the start of the season, he has yet to kick a ball, and has been left out by Toshack's tough love.

The magnificent Andy Johnson (no, not that one, the crap one) retired from international football a couple of years ago, when it became apparent that despite his remarkable talent, he wasn't going to be a first choice player.

And finally, Johnnie Hartson, who retired for family reasons has now moved down South and wants to play again. "Only on my terms" says Tosh. To give Hartson is due, he has never let Wales down, and would always turn out. Toshack's loyalties now lie with the young players that he has been forced to use by the arrogance, and apathy which has afflicted many of our players.

What are we to make of all this ? There will be about a thousand people out in Teplice today who have made great sacrifice to stand in the rain and watch this team. They have paid good money, left families at home and taken time off work for the privelege.

Meanwhile, there are a group of professional players, who to put it bluntly, can't be arsed to play for their country. Ivor Allchurch must be turning in his grave.

1 comment:

Kevin Finnerty said...

You can't really "sit in front of a PSP" can you? You could "sit with your PSP in your hands/lap"

You could "sit in front of a PS2" but even then you are really sitting in front of the TV, the console could be elsewhere.

Hope this helps.