Published Wednesday, 30 March 2011
'There's only one Pat McCourt' came the roars from the bouncing west end on Tuesday night.
He's been described as Derry's Pele and after the 0-0 draw with Slovenia, captain Gareth McAuley called him Northern Ireland's Lionel Messi.
To anyone who has been living in a football free bubble for the last few years Messi is in my humble opinion - and also in plenty of expert's eyes - currently the best player in the world.
So you can understand many a member of the GAWA that has queried Nigel Worthington's decision over the last year or so to leave such a player on the fringes of his squad.
I have to say I have been one of them.
Now I'm not saying Nigel is wrong, I just think McCourt deserves a bit more of chance.
We've seen what he can do with a ball and some of the individual goals he has scored have been world class.
Nigel's argument there is that he has players who can score great goals.
That's fair enough but scoring goals is something Northern Ireland haven't been too hot at lately.
Nigel has also said that there are aspects of the game McCourt needs to improve on to become an all-round player - another valid point but that could be said for others in the squad.
McCourt came on as a second half substitute against Slovenia but the crowd were singing his name while he was still sitting on the bench 'track-suited' up.
I'm guessing many of those cries were coming from fans who saw McCourt in action against Morocco in November's friendly at Windsor.
That night he stood out a mile and looked like that all-round player - he moved the ball forward like no other player in the first half and every tackle was timed perfectly to win the ball in defence.
He has yet to be given a chance to shine for as long a period as that again - but with second place in Group C still up for grabs this campaign is still wide open and there's still time for more of that McCourt magic should he get the nod.