Critics should lay off Thierry Henry
Hi everyone, I hope you are all well.
I have to say that, as I'm about to turn 31, the last two games haven't been kind to the old legs. With the weather we've been having recently the pitches have been really heavy and I've been waking up on the Sunday with aches in places I never knew existed.
If I'm feeling like that, goodness only knows how Derek Townsley felt after his 90 minutes against Albion Rovers!
Well, there has only really been one person dominating the front and back pages of every newspaper up and down the country since last Wednesday - I give you Thierry Henry.
There have been a lot of things written in the past week and Henry has taken a lot of flak - a lot of it unjustified as far as I'm concerned.
I honestly can't believe the furore this incident has caused. We've had demands for the game to be replayed and even Damien Duff blaming Adidas.
I think the officials have got away with this big-time as well. Without doubt, Henry is the main culprit but this was a massive decision - and a completely obvious handball (twice) - and neither the referee nor assistant were in a position to call it correctly.
It was a shocking decision to allow the goal to stand. I really do feel for Ireland and their supporters but I genuinely believe that anyone else in Henry's position would have done exactly the same thing.
As far as I'm concerned, it was complete instinct. It doesn't make it right but it was a natural reaction and any one of us would have reacted in the same way.
I'm not sure anyone actually believed that Ireland would get the opportunity of replaying the game. Whether that's down to believing Platini and Blatter really were high-fiving each other at the result I don't know.
But let's just say it was replayed, where would things stop then? There are incidents going on all over the park in games every week where players try to gain advantages over their opposition and there are decisions potentially costing clubs points because of this. We'd have clubs contacting their respective associations every other week.
What I can see happening from this incident is the five officials per game being rapidly introduced to reduce the risk of it happening again.
Platini has already trialled the idea in the Europa League and, let's face it, had there been an official behind each goal in Paris that night, Ireland might have been heading for penalties.
Personally, I'm not one for tinkering too much with our game - players are already barely allowed to tackle these days and it's not only my partner, Laura, that doesn't know what offside actually is anymore. But if it meant major mistakes costing clubs and countries then, for me, video technology might be the way to go.
It's done in other sports so why not football too? I was watching Murray v Federer on Tuesday night and it's exciting waiting for the decision on the big screen and the fans get right up for it as well.
There is a lot of thinking to be done and I'm sure the subject or something similar will be on the agenda when the men running our game meet two days before the World Cup draw.
I'd just like to finish this week by congratulating our under-19s on their first victory of the season. The young team faced the long trip to Elgin on Sunday and came away with a superb 4-1 victory.
It's been a long time coming and hopefully the hard work of coaches Buff, Ronnie and Jimmy is finally paying off. I'm sure there have been times of enormous frustration but they are a team who were quickly put together for the debut season in the SFL, pretty much like the first team, and everyone involved deserves credit for their efforts.
I trained with the boys a couple of weeks ago and not only was the training superb but there was a committed bunch of young players there and you could tell they were enjoying things, even though results weren't going there way. That's testament to the guys helping the kids and I hope they can really kick on from their win at Elgin.
See you next week.