THE GREAT, THE GOOD, THE IFFY AND PISH ALL IN ONE – IT’S TIME FOR THE 4 AYES WITH MARTIN FRIEL
We are all about Scotland in this week’s 4 Ayes in preparation for Poland on Thursday. I was chewing wasps after the Georgia game and was near packing in international footy. However, like all fans, I’m fickle. The team that breaks my heart one week is the same team I’ll adore next week. So I’m back on the tartan army bandwagon like the hypocrite that I am and will be giving it Gordon’s men full backing come Thursday night.
Aye, Pure Belter
Charity starts at home
A few weeks ago I gave Steven Naismith the thumbs up for his hat trick against Chelsea, this week I’m grabbing the megaphone and heaping on the praise for his continued charity efforts. A lot of footballers do great charity work, however Naismith is a champion for those who are at the hard end of austerity measures.
Last season Naismith arranged free tickets for the unemployed. A small gesture, but significant in my eyes. This season, Naismith is fronting Everton’s work with ‘We Shall Overcome’, an anti austerity organisation who are focused on helping those are struggling with benefit cuts. Everton also deserve a lot of credit for supporting a cause that some might shy away from due to the political implications.
Steven Naismith, one of Scottish football’s good guys and my tip for first goal scorer on Thursday. Get on it.
Aye, Fair Do’s
Hair starts at home
Get the Thumb up front on Thursday night Gordon, he’s up to the job. We need to hit the ground running against Poland, that means getting Scotland’s most on form player on the pitch.
There are a number of reasons why Leigh Griffiths is ready. First of all, Griffiths has proven throughout this season that he can play up top on his own, certainly to more effect than Steven Fletcher. Sunday was not the first time this season that Griffiths pinched a win in an otherwise pretty grim Celtic performance. Not only is he scoring frequently, Leigh’s showing variety in his finishing. You won’t see a better header this weekend than his at New Douglas Park.
Griffiths’ link up play is improving all the time. He had some great flick ons against Fenerbahce and has learned how to play with his back to goal. If Naismith can get close to Griffiths, the pair of them can create problems.
Finally, his set piece delivery is a valuable asset, which means we’ve solved the Charlie Mulgrew conundrum.
I want to see Scotland all guns blazing on Thursday and give the Poles something to think about. Griffiths will give us that…. mon the Thumb!
Maybes Aye, Maybes Naw
Brown doing his thing
Scotland need leaders on Thursday, I really hope Scott Brown can deliver. A lot of pundits commended Brown for his performance against Fenerbahce, I wasn’t so enamored. He had a 20 minute spell at the beginning of the second half where every pass went astray, including one that lead to Fenerbahce’s equaliser. Scott managed to get back on track towards the end of the half, but in big games, big players need to play for 90 minutes.
It was a similar hot and cold performance against Hamilton, albeit I might be generous and suggest the pitch was a bit tricky.
Watching an on form Scott Brown is a treat for Scotland fans, I really hope we get a captain’s performance for the full 90 against Poland.
Aye Right, Get In The Sea
Ronnie Brown, Amy MacDonald or anyone else thinking of butchering Flower of Scotland, just don’t. We don’t even need bagpipes. I’m fed up of watching our national anthem look like it’s being played over Skype, with music, fans and players all running at different speeds. Just let the fans belt it out at their own pace and enjoy the moment.
If we must indulge in some kind of pomp, let’s bring out Robert Carlisle dressed as Begbie and get him to square up with Lewandowski, casual like. After that, well, the game will be ours…
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE 4 AYES? DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE? COMMENT BELOW OR TWEET US @90MINUTECYNIC
TWEET MARTIN YOUR THOUGHTS AND GIVE HIM A FOLLOW: @ODGE1983
Martin's an Edinburgh based Celtic fan (you'll find him at Parkhead in section 123) and when he can bothered he keeps an eye out for SpVgg Greuther Fürth, Germany's answer to Inverness Caledonian Thistle - Forza Kleeblätter! His match day playlist will always consist of the Boss, Morrissey & the Manics.