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A man with two brains and a boss with no guts.

IT'S official: There are two Andy Gorams. There is the one who wants to do nothing more than play a part in fulfilling the ambitions of his new club, Motherwell, and then there is the man who still wants to be the keeper of Scotland's dreams.

Together both Gorams add up to one mightily confused individual, but that's not all. We also have a national team manager who lacks the bottle to do his own dirty work and who is in danger of demeaning the status of his position.

Rather than approach Goram directly Craig Brown chose to send a hack from a local paper sidling up to Goram asking if the keeper would be willing to come back and play for Scotland.

There are two things amiss here. First, it would be an injustice if Goram, who abandoned his country, were to return and displace Neil Sullivan or Jonathan Gould and secondly, if Brown is convinced that neither Sullivan nor Gould are good enough then why didn't he approach Goram himself?

If he genuinely believes Goram should be brought back then why the subterfuge?

Maybe he was afraid of being rejected and embarrassed by Goram again, but Brown would also have been thinking that if the keeper refused to play ball only a few would know of the failed attempt. Big mistake.

Brown's back-alley methods demonstrated a lack of class and although his paper boy sounded out Goram there should be no way back for the former Rangers keeper who has already walked out on Scotland twice.

On Wednesday morning Goram insisted he would never again play for his country and cited a comment made by SFA chief executive Jim Farry after the keeper had walked out on Scotland only weeks before the opening World Cup match against Brazil in Paris.

After Goram had departed Scotland's US training camp complaining about press harassment last summer Sunny Jim offered a quaint, but damning reaction to Goram's desertion.

The ageing fat bloke formerly known as "the goalie" was described as a non-person.

It was one of the most succinct but viciously cutting remarks since Farryspeak took over from Esperanto and the words are tattooed on Goram's brain.

Just the other day he spoke to an English-based paper and said he didn't need the hassle of playing for Scotland any longer and on Farry's description of him he added: "One day I'm the country's No.1 keeper with 42 caps and the next I don't exist. It left me very annoyed and frustrated."

However, the day after he repeated that he wouldn't play even though there is a growing clamour to have him back on the squad he went public again, but this time he was reading a different script.

Get this, in the paper of Brown's message boy Goram said: "When he (Craig Brown) asked if I wanted to come back there was only one answer - that I was happy to do so if I was wanted."

Excuse me, Andy? Either you want to play or you don't and all this mental somersaulting could make the rest of us as confused as you.

You know, I've half a mind to remind everybody that you walked out on Scotland about four years ago just before a Euro 96 qualifier against Greece saying your head wasn't quite right, but I wouldn't be so cruel.

Apart from Goram contradicting himself just what exactly is Brown playing at? Getting someone else to do his bidding is hardly statesmanlike and demeans his position.

And if the national manager can ask Goram to come back why hasn't he shown the same leniency to Duncan Ferguson and David Robertson? After all, they also said their international days were over.

The manager is playing a peculiar game and is leaving himself open to charges of hypocrisy because he also refused to select Richard Gough even though his beef was with the previous manager, Andy Roxburgh.

It is totally ridiculous that Goram might be welcomed back into the international fold when others, who didn't turn their backs just before crucial matches, are still considered non-persons.

Brown might believe the squad will be strengthened by Goram's return, but the team's most pressing need is up front because we have a striking lack of strikers for the next double- header, against Bosnia-Herzigovina and the Czech Republic.

Ignore

Gordon Durie and Kevin Gallacher (what? again?) are injured, Darren Jackson is on a slow boat to China and Billy Dodds will miss out because of suspension.

If Goram can be forgiven then why not also Ferguson, who is expected to return early in March after injury.

Brown might say that the Newcastle striker must write a letter to supersede the one he sent saying he no longer wanted to wear the country's jersey, but this is not a school outing.

This is international football, the big boys' playground and besides, Goram also wrote a letter saying he wouldn't be playing again.

Maybe the manager couldn't find another runner from the Fourth Estate, but if our manager were bold enough he would simply accommodate the wishes of anyone who said he didn't want to play for Scotland and ignore them forever.

Turning out for the national team is a privilege, not a chore and only those whose chests still swell with pride when selected should play.

How will Brown square it with Sullivan and Gould if Goram saunters back and takes the No.1 shirt?

I'll tell you this much, if I were Gould I'd be disgusted because the Celtic keeper was the man on form when Scotland played in the World Cup finals and he was only drafted into the squad when Goram did his runner.

We don't want and we don't need fairweather pros. Goram, Ferguson, Robertson and anyone else who has doubts shouldn't be entertained.

We need players who are committed rather than players who should be committed.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Traynor, James
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 5, 1999
Words:986
Previous Article:SILENCE IS GOULDEN; Jonathan keeps mum on Goram comeback.
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