As we wind up for Saturday, we may brace ourselves for another round of McCarthy and McGeady bashing from Scotland.
Ahead of the Glasgow match, Gordon McQueen bullishly announced that he hoped the duo would get a 'horrible reception' off the Scottish crowd. His countrymen obliged him as McGeady's every touch was roundly booed. McCarthy avoided the same fate - but only through injury.
Former Scotland manager Craig Brown has adopted gentler tactics.
Essentially, all he asks is that grannies lose their influence in international football.
I personally think the rule should be that you are either born in Scotland, or your parents are, not your grandparents. The other thing I think too, the staff should all be on the same criteria. That’s my humble opinion.
He does not blame Ireland for exploiting the rules, praising Jack Charlton wiliness, in particular.
I would have wanted them (McCarthy and McGeady) to play for Scotland but the rules are the rules. And you use the rules to your best.
At a time when Scottish football was in decline and their team was beginning to be swamped by mediocrity, Brown held the line well, guiding the team to Euro 96 and World Cup 98.
Unfortunately, they failed to get past the first round on both occasions.