BBC BLOGS - Chris Jardine
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Skipper left kicking his heels

Chris Jardine | 10:06 UK time, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Hello to you all once again and I hope you've had a good week.

There can be nothing more frustrating for a footballer when you are training all week only to find yourself sitting on the bench or in the stand come Saturday afternoon.

No matter what level you play at, if you're serious about your game it's a nightmare when your name's missing from the manager's starting eleven.

What's worse is knowing you're not going to be playing even before the team is being read out and that's exactly the situation I find myself in at the minute.

Players cope with being left out differently. Some go into a shell before the game and others might head straight home as soon as the match is over.

Personally, I do neither but find it difficult to celebrate a victory as it's hard to feel part of it.

Of course, football is a team game and throughout the season everyone plays their part.

But each match is down to the players that make it on to the pitch and contribute to the result at the end of the day.

Despite my frustrations and disappointment I never find it difficult to support the boys from the sidelines.

I continue to kick every ball, complain about decisions and celebrate every goal.

There are also times, like Saturday against East Stirlingshire, when you have to stand back and applaud and admire your team-mates' performance.

I would go as far to say it was a pleasure to watch and I only wish I could have contributed more than my three minutes and two touches allowed!

Annan boss Harry Cairney (right) and assistant Derek Townsley have the team playing well even without Chris Jardine

We have had some great results and performances this season.

I missed the home game against Elgin when the boys won 5-0.

But in my opinion, Saturday was our best performance - possibly since our second half showing against Cowdenbeath on the first day of the season.

Despite the conditions everything about our game was fantastic.

The boys looked fit and sharp and never allowed East Stirlingshire to get a grip on a game in which we were completely dominant.

I have read their manager Jim McInally's comments and even he has admitted how impressed he was with the performance.

There is absolutely no disrespect intended here but I honestly don't think that six or seven would have flattered Annan in this game.

From back to front we were superb and the only thing missing for me was Jamie Dunbar not getting a goal.

The wee man has been playing really well for a long time and if anyone deserves a goal it is him.

Fingers crossed when he gets one he will go on a goal-scoring run.

I thought the East Stirlingshire fans were great on Saturday and I was having a bit of banter with them while I was warming up - well, one in particular.

The young lad said he was a friend of my wee cousin Greig, which was strange considering the things he was saying.

Eventually I advised him to stay off the Babycham the next time he went to watch the football.

I don't think he took too kindly to that comment but his mates certainly had a chuckle to themselves.

Staying with the opposing fans - Graeme Bell was heading for a night out after the game and jumped on the train from Annan.

Belly and his mates were joined on the journey by a few Shire fans.

Unfortunately the train was heading for Carlisle, so I hope you all got home safe and sound boys.

Last week I spoke to my mate Barry Nicholson who plays for Preston.

I was pleased to hear that he has been following my blog the last couple of weeks and he asked me to give him a mention, so there you go wee man.

Oh and by the way, Barry, I'm still waiting on my tickets for the AC Milan game!


  • Comment number 1.

    I find your comment about it being "difficult to celebrate a victory because it's hard to feel a part of it" a bit odd. Surely you have to give your all to the club that employs you?
    OK you may not be a boyhood Annan supporter ( I have no idea) but as an employee, captain no less, you *must* give total commitment to the club.
    Good luck against "The Blue Brazil" - you will need it.

  • Comment number 2.

    i totally understand his comment baout not finding it as easy to celebrate...when you give 90 mins of high intensity effort and play through the tense pressurised situations that occur in a game it feels so much more rewrding when you come through it then when you sit on the bench nad watch your team mates in that situation knowing that you cn have no influence. yes you cna cheer and dispute desicions but that is not where the thrill comes from for footballers, that comes from the battle on the pitch and is what people love to do.

    Yes he can support his team mates and be commited but if i was estatic every week by just sitting on the bench then i would think there was somthng wrong and i think it shows more proffesionalism to want to play.

    fair enough there is a line that can be crossed when this frustration becomes disruptive but if its just not being able to celebrate a victory as they would if they were playing then whats wrong with that!!

  • Comment number 3.

    Any truth in the rumour we could be seeing you up in Edinburgh to help Spartans try and win the EOSL title this season?

    Would be good to have you with us!

  • Comment number 4.

    When I played football, when I was 15 (only 5 years ago) I found it embarrassing to be named as a sub, I hated it, made me not even want to bother going to the game, I realise now that I was a kid playing in an adults league and and fitness, tactics etc... were all reasons why at times I was a sub, but it really did put me off football for a while.

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    fully understand the comment about finding it hard to celebrate a victory when you're not involved. You almost wish that they weren't victorious in some ways because you haven't been involved. But like you said football is a team game and you always like your team to win.

    agree with comment 4 about hating being a sub, when I used to play youth football, I felt ashamed when I'd get called off, especially when I felt other players had been putting in a poorer performance than myself. I think it's healthy to not want to be a substitute, noone should enjoy it, you want to be involved in the action from start to finish.

  • Comment number 7.

    I don't understand why people get upset when a player is actually being honest. As an Annan fan I would be more annoyed if you were happy warming the bench. Yes you should be annoyed at being named as sub and only getting 2 or 3 minutes at the end when the result is sorted I know I would be. As you correctly say it is a team game and you need to make sure you grab the chance when you get it to hold onto your midfield postion again. Bryan is away now so the berth should be yours for the taking and I would expect 100% from you now to make sure no-one else can push you out. You in the holding midfield role with Sloany and Jacko pushing forward to support the front two sounds pretty good to me. Come on Jardie show us your worth!!

  • Comment number 8.

    Some great comments this week everyone so thanks to you all for taking the time out to read and reply to this weeks blog, especially calydon_road!

    TheSpartans - I assume you have been reading pie and bovril? Who the person is I do not know but there is absloutley no truth in what he is saying. There have been some nasty things posted on that website so this is one of the more pleasant ones!

    Rabster - I said I found it hard to celebrate not that I didn't and I'm sure most players can relate to that feeling. As for a lack of commitment, I have been with the club for 12 years so I don't think anyone can question that side of things.

  • Comment number 9.

    dunion - I don't think I could have put it better myslef!

  • Comment number 10.

    Fair enough Chris but I was speaking from a fans point of view. I played at schoolboy, Saturday/Sunday league and Junior level and was frankly often a sub. Many times I did not get on and had to watch from the sidelines but I celebrated every goal my team scored. (Albeit a mild handclap if we pulled one back from 6-0 down :) )
    I was not trying to question your commitment and I do understand the difference between playing and watching from the touchline. Apologies if I misunderstood.


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