Harty on England’s win and the NSC debate conclusion

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THE anticipation and expectation of this week’s Scotland versus England game evoked memories of days gone by.

This fixture used to be one of only three games to be televised live on national television, the FA and European Cup finals being the other two.

Tuesday night’s emphatic victory for England will certainly have whetted appetites for the game to return to the footballing calendar as an annual fixture.

On a personal note, and the only real downside, was the booing of the national anthem by a section of the Scottish support.

If the Queen had turned up to the game and been presented to the two teams, would parts of the crowd have heckled her?

Almost certainly not, so why boo her theme tune?

And, before the hate mail from north of the border starts, I know the anthem booing is a widespread problem. I was present when some of Ricky Hatton’s travelling support to Las Vegas drowned out the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ at the MGM and it was acutely embarrassing for everyone else present.

Back to footballing matters and England skipper Wayne Rooney’s brace moved him ever closer to breaking Bobby Charlton’s all-time scoring record and, again, highlighted the fickle nature of football fans.

It wasn’t that long ago that numerous radio phone-ins were awash with callers demanding Rooney’s international career be ended, as he clearly wasn’t up to it anymore.

Regarding making the fixture an annual event, I actually think the FA should go a little bit further with a total revamp of the start of the football season.

Let the England boss name a squad at the beginning of August, to take in two matches, the first could be replacing the FA Cup winners and taking on the Premier League Champions in the Community Shield.

I think that would totally transform what has become, in recent years, a bit of a tired event. That could be followed, perhaps three days later, by an England versus Scotland fixture, alternating venue each year, where all the proceeds go to something like Help for Heroes or the Poppy Appeal.

While the torrent of faceless personal abuse over the internet continues, I’ve been asked by many people close to me in the last week why I’ve continued to pursue this issue.

It’s quite simple, I, like many other Albion fans, feel something is currently seriously flawed at the club.

Raising my concerns publicly, as I did back in 1995 over Archer and co, is far better than saying nothing and then, when or if it all implodes at the Amex, thinking could I have done something more.

Last week’s anger over the naming of North Stand Chat’s ‘leader’ is made even more pointless by a simple Google search of ‘North Stand Chat shut down’ where they will see the particular individual has been named several times. He is also listed online as the registrant of the site.

It’s time now for everyone to move on, both in the real and cyber world, and, hopefully, we’ll see the Albion pick up some much-needed points.