It was with interest Ibrox Noise noted Allan McGregor’s retirement from international duty. It was with a tinge of sadness that we realised the best goalkeeper in Scotland and one of the best in the UK would never feature at a major championship or indeed turn out for his nation again.
Sure, regular readers know we aren’t exactly friends of SFA FC these days, after the toxicity of recent years – ever since 2008 Rangers’ relationship with the national team has plummeted and our players get booed in the dark purple.
But McGregor was an exception – he didn’t get booed and he was the best goalkeeper for the NT since Goram.
His statement was intriguing:
“It’s a sad day for me to bring an end to my international career, but unfortunately I feel it is a decision I have to make. I am playing over 50 games each season, but I know my body and at this stage of my career I need to use the international breaks to rest up to help ensure that I play at the top level for as long as possible.”
Quite honestly mate we don’t believe a word of this. McGregor is 37 which in goalkeeper years is still far from the end – Gianluigi Buffon is 87 and was still playing regularly for club and country at McGregor’s age – he didn’t fully retire from Italy till he was 40. And many other great goalies have gone well beyond McGregor’s years for club and country.
No, there are clearly two reasons for McGregor to call it a day with Scotland.
Firstly, the ban over the Lewis Ferguson incident clearly affected him – it has been denied in the press as being a reason, but McGregor felt absolutely cheated on that one. While we personally on this site do think it was a red, the fact that so many other incidents got ignored but that one was lambasted was clearly utterly inconsistent. And McGregor felt robbed.
Secondly is what we alluded to at the start of this piece – that the toxicity between Rangers and Scotland continues to this day, and certainly hasn’t improved any. That McGregor, having been away from it in England for years, now comes back home and the spotlight on it is even worse than it was. And this is a guy who stuck by his country even when it suspended he and Ferguson in 2008.
No, it looks to us like he’s just had enough of the whole circus and wants to concentrate instead on Rangers alone. He is a Ranger like us and while it should be an honour to play for Scotland, we’re not sure that really applies any more.
It’s good to have him all at Ibrox.