Jamie McCluskey's TV Burp
Feature by Stuart Gillespie
Updated Monday, 21st February 2011
As if things weren't bad enough on Sunday, we also had to put up with the embarrassment of one of our players cheering a Celtic goal live on television while wearing a club suit. But is that the real issue?
Since the start of the season, Sky have been allowed to put fly on the wall cameras in certain SPL dressing rooms. Curiously, no one can recall an occasion when they have been allowed in either of the Old Firm's dressing rooms.
They had their new toy out at Greenhill Road on yesterday and, from their point of view, it proved a worthwhile experience. Before our disaster against Hibs, Sky were showing the Old Firm. The Saints players decided to watch it in the dressing room while wearing their club suits and ties.
At half time, Sky showed a clip from our dressing room of the reaction when Celtic scored their first goal. A few players looked happy. One, Jamie McCluskey, took things to the extreme and decided to get up to celebrate as if he was watching at home. You can see the footage at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xsYTV5UZjo
I am not naive enough to think every player who plays for a club supports that team. Plenty of our players support Rangers, Celtic or someone else. That is fine. What is not fine is when one of our players decides to celebrate one of those teams scoring while he is at our stadium, in a club suit and tie. That is unacceptable. Their focus at that stage should be entirely on St. Mirren. In McCluskey's case, he should perhaps spend more time trying to get in the team rather than acting the fool.
The clip has split opinion on Saints' message boards. Some people don't see the harm. Others, like myself, find it unacceptable. It has caused great embarrassment to the club - and it has been shown repeatedly on Sky Sports News today. However, an apology would be a waste of time. All McCluskey would be saying sorry for was getting caught.
But as I hinted at earlier, there is a bigger issue here. Why, just hours before our biggest game of the season so far, were our players sitting around watching a football match - regardless of who is involved. And why is there a flat screen TV in the dressing room anyway?
Considering our awful form, would our players not be better off spending their time getting ready for our matches and getting focussed? Perhaps they could spend time thinking back to what has gone wrong in previous games and wondering how it can be put right. Maybe they could even discuss tactics, although on the basis of the last few weeks that only takes two minutes anyway.
The other week Danny Lennon took great delight in telling the media how John Potter - our captain - had decided to pooh (it's a family website) in some Halloween pumpkins. Lennon suggested he liked jokes himself, hardly an ideal admission from a manager. Is the fact that Lennon allowed our players to watch yesterday's match further proof that he is trying too hard to be the players' mate rather than their boss?
Things have slipped considerably on and off the park this season and yesterday's incident is perfect evidence of that. But it shouldn't have happened, because our players should have been getting ready for our game. Perhaps if they'd concentrated on doing that, rather than celebrating goals, we might not have lost.
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