With the passage of time you can look out for ‘statistical anomolies’ and debate for hours whether or not certain players should have received fewer or more caps than they did.
Two players which I have found have always divided opinion in this respect are Frank ‘Where’s the burdz?’ McAvennie and Alan ‘You’ll never win anything with kids’ Hansen.Frank McAvennie won only five caps for Scotland [one fewer than Willie Carr] but two of these were against Denmark and West Germany in the World Cup Finals in Mexico 86. He also helped get us to the Finals by appearing in both play-off matches against Australia.Frankie-boy might have been a prolific scorer with Celtic, West Ham United and attractive young fillies in general [allegedly] but he only hit the net once for Scotland – in his debut against the Aussies at Hampden. To be fair, he also had a number of other decent strikers to compete with -eg Charlie Nicholas,Stevie Archibald, David Speedie, Graeme Sharp, Mo Johnston and Ally McCoist.
Alan Hansen won 26 caps for Scotland between 1979 and 1987 although only nine of those matches ended in victory for the dark blues. He played in all three of Scotland’s matches at the 1982 World Cup Finals in Spain but caretaker Manager Alex Ferguson left him out of the squad for Mexico 86. Many people consider Hansen’s relatively low total to be something of a mystery given the high quality of his football and his medal tally at Anfield. Others however have questioned his commitment to the National cause and his inability to play the Scotland way and fit in with players such as Willie Miller, Alex McLeish, Frank Gray and David Narey.
Personally speaking, I’ve often wondered what Hansen the pundit would have made of the performance of Hansen the Hadron Collider? A bit of an enigma is our Alan, the only thing that can be said for certain is that in appearing for Partick Thistle and Liverpool he starred for two of Europe’s greatest clubs.
Robert ‘no caps/no call-ups’ Marshall
First posted on Facebook May 1st, 2015