Oli McBurney is popular on social media. It only means one thing – it has to be International Week!
The striker came under heavy criticism from Scottish football fans yesterday for missing out on a fantastic opportunity as Scotland lost 1-0 to Slovakia in the UEFA Nations League.
He arrived a few days later as one of the heroes of the penalty shoot-out in Belgrade, recording Scotland’s place in the late Euro 2020 – their first major match in 22 years.
It is a few weeks to the Sheffield United striker who has yet to find the net for the Dorton Army.
That goal draft saw McBurney enjoy a love / hate relationship with his national team when he recovered from injury only to play friendly for United in the derby, with his decision to step down from international duty earlier in the season.
The love part plays out for him and his country. The other bit is where fans come in on social media.
I was delighted with his company for an interview at the National Center for Sports in Edinburgh, where United spent their previous season.
It’s an interesting chat, which revealed more than your normal pre – season interview.
His love of being Scottish and not being proud to play for the national team, but he made an interesting acknowledgment about a role that made him a $ 18 million striker.
“Swansea fans will not believe I will lead the ball,” he said.
He made his name with the Welsh team as a goal scorer, played a key striker and played the ball on his feet.
However, his role in Pramal Lane is now leading the line.
Although not every United fan has fully subscribed to the McBerney fan forum, he was United’s ninth-ranked scorer last season.
He currently tops the Premier League rankings for most air duels he has won, and although the strikers set goals, his missions on the pitch go unnoticed by those in the game.
Chris Wilder is one of his biggest supporters and often advances to his defense. After United’s 2-1 defeat at Anfield, Wilder said: “I thought Oli was the best, it’s the perfect nine performance.”
Steve Clark received praise yesterday for overcoming missed opportunities.
“Oli left everything on the pitch against two tough center-backs,” he said. “His qualities are in catching the ball and bringing others into the game.”
Teammate Ryan Christie also got to know his feelings. Says: “It’s only a matter of time before Oli gets the scoresheet. We see it in practice every day when he leaves.
“He was unlucky with the title today, especially when the boy got a chance to get a big block in the first half.
“But before Oli got the scoresheet it was only one thing, I think everyone knew it.”
As United prepare for the next match against West Ham, do not miss a single thing from Bramal Lane over the next two weeks.
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He knows he needs to score more goals. He was one of United’s best players during the project resumption, and was also a defender for Chelsea and Tottenham. He also found the net as United had two comfortable and interesting wins.
Returning to that type of form in front of the goal certainly reminds everyone why he is so much thought of by those in the game.
But he is not ashamed of that challenge of responding to fan criticism.
Far from it. He really grows it.
A look at his social media activity shows that he is made up of tough things.
He takes criticism with a pinch of salt and is not afraid to hand it back. There is always no one to hide, and his presence online does not vary based on his performance levels on the pitch.
This week alone he produced a fantastic one-word response to Pandit Michael Stewart. The former Hearts and Hips midfielder said, ‘There is no sound answer to Scotland’s forward problems.’
McBurney was not ashamed to come forward with his answer to that.
If anyone can prove the Scottish fans wrong it is him. He has the ability to handle this pressure and thrive in that environment.