IF Hampden Park could talk then it would surely lament that it’s feeling rather unloved.
There were plenty of people suggesting it should be replaced as Scotland’s national stadium by rugby’s Murrayfield.
That won’t be happening now that Queen’s Park have sold the famous old venue to the SFA, but the criticism is unlikely to stop.
Aberdeen skipper Graeme Shinnie, however, won’t be joining the anti-Hampden movement.
In fact, he can’t get enough of the famous old ground.
Shinnie came off the bench to earn his fourth cap in Scotland’s 3-1 friendly defeat by Portugal last Sunday.
It was a bittersweet occasion for the 27-year-old and he hopes returning to Hampden seven days from now will be an altogether happier occasion.
Many Dons fans feel he should be a regular in the national team, but he refuses to take anything for granted.
He approaches club football with the same attitude – honours don’t come easily and he’s adamant Rangers are favourites ahead of next Sunday’s League Cup semi-final.
Shinnie said: “I don’t think I will ever feel like a Scotland regular.
“The way I see it is, if I get too comfortable then it can lead to a downward spiral and I don’t want that to happen.
“I never ever expect to just make squads, that’s why I always work as hard as I can to make sure I get called up.
“Whenever I get the call to say I have been selected, I am always delighted.
“I never feel jaded after being away, I feel re-energised. Getting any cap is an honour for me.
“Coming away with your country is always a learning curve.
“I have been in a few squads and it is always a good experience to go somewhere different. I love it.
“I enjoy playing in foreign countries with Aberdeen and Scotland. It is something different to what you are used to.”
If there were any positives from Scotland’s defeat by Portugal, they were probably heading Aberdeen’s way.
Shinnie got an outing, defender Mikey Devlin was called up for the first time and Gary Mackay-Steven showed a flash of genius to set-up Stevie Naismith’s goal.
The Aberdeen skipper went on: “Gary has that in him to do that.
“Like Mikey, he has been brilliant this season and been a real positive for Aberdeen.
“His performances mean he merited the call-up and I fully expect him to carry this form on.
“He will take a lot of confidence from coming on in that game and setting up a goal.”
Shinnie admits Aberdeen aren’t completely satisfied with the way they’ve been performing.
Beating Rangers would do a lot to boost morale.
He said: “We have had a slower start to the season than we would have liked.
“We have been good in some games and not so good in others.
“Small margins have defined things so far, but we know we aren’t in our groove yet.
“Going to Hampden with Aberdeen is always a good day out and one we look forward to.
“It will be a massive occasion for the whole club and one we are desperate to win.
“We don’t expect to be regulars at Hampden every season, but it is something we strive to achieve.
“My preparation is always the same and it won’t change because it is a semi-final at Hampden.
“We have a few players who haven’t been in this position before so I will speak to them and tell them they have to look to view it like any other 90 minutes.
“We like to give the fans that day out but it is only enjoyable if you get through.
“Cup finals are where we want to be.
“We got to both finals two years ago and that is something we want to do again, but we want to go one better this time.”
There’s a feeling of unfinished business for the Aberdeen players who collected two runners-up medals in successive finals.
Shinnie said: “The squad has changed a wee bit recently, but the boys who played in those finals against Celtic have that hunger to try and replicate what we have done before.
“We would love to get our hands on some silverware this season but we know it won’t be easy. Rangers are doing well this season.
“With Morelos and Lafferty missing, it probably gives us a better chance.
“But they have strength and depth in their squad, so I wouldn’t say we were favourites – Rangers are.
“However, it is a game where anything can happen.
“I have been involved in many cup games over the years that have been weird – especially with Inverness.
“It is important we turn up on the day and make a real game of it. You never know what can happen.”