When Aiden McGeady let rip at his manager after Celtic’s 1-1 draw on Saturday, he probably felt justified in his actions. After all, every decision he’s made down the years has been approved from the rafters amongst the adoring Celtic support and media.
When he turned out for Ireland’s schools team the blame was laid at his club, for being in conflict with Scotland’s schools. When he decided to turn out for Ireland’s international team, the blame was laid at the door of the SFA, for being bigots/too slow to pick him/dimwits. When he failed to sparkle against makeshift Rangers defender Kirk Broadfoot, it was Shunsuke Nakamura who took the rap for being lazy.
Since his emergence onto the scene as Scottish football’s best winger in some years (yes, this is confusing – McGeady is Scottish but ‘feels’ Irish; whatever that means) he has been fawned over and accommodated by people all too ready to offer sycophantic praise rather than what was needed – Fergus McCann’s famous reality check.
We can’t really criticise footballers of limited intelligence for believing their own press; unless they have an Alex Ferguson or a Walter Smith figure to keep them in check, it must be all too easy to let it all go to your head. No, I’m not having a go at McGeady for acting like a spoilt brat.
It’s those who insist we must ‘respect his decisions’ who are to blame; it’s those who portray him as an innocent victim of hysterical bigotry who are to blame; it’s those who kiss his ass in return for a few quotes. Yes, our old enemies the media. If you tell someone often enough they are always in the right, they can hardly be blamed for believing it.
So my message to Aiden is this: don’t believe all you read. Sometimes, the only person to blame is yourself.