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541ntees

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6 hours ago, Abernethy Saint said:

Yep, any win will do. Bizarrely, if we are the worst 3rd place qualifier, we get by far the easiest draw - winner of the Sweden Group at Hampdén. 

That could end up being Spain, of course (although Spain seem a real shadow of their former selves based on their two games so far).

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Bit puzzled by the hysteria over Gilmour not playing.  I thought he had a great game v England and he would certainly have been in my starting line up for tonight but the rest of the guys played their socks off as well and young Billy wasn't even on the pitch during the critical last 15 minutes.  I would mention others like Hanlon who responded well to the stick he got for the previous game and Tierney who was told all week that the entire game plan depended on him being fit and playing well.

So long as there are no more Covid shocks my hopes for tonight remain high.

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16 minutes ago, south inch said:

Bit puzzled by the hysteria over Gilmour not playing.  I thought he had a great game v England and he would certainly have been in my starting line up for tonight but the rest of the guys played their socks off as well and young Billy wasn't even on the pitch during the critical last 15 minutes.  I would mention others like Hanlon who responded well to the stick he got for the previous game and Tierney who was told all week that the entire game plan depended on him being fit and playing well.

So long as there are no more Covid shocks my hopes for tonight remain high.

Hanlon , Hoodlum Will be doing a Cagey on you.

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If we get a draw and don't embarrass ourselves, I would take that as a decent tournament. Anything further will be a bonus. It's more about establishing qualifying as a regular occurrence. Sometimes nations can go really far (like Greece, for example), and then be out in the wilderness for years afterwards.

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Oh well - that's that.

I'm not quite sure why Scotland are getting so much hate in some quarters though. I've seen comments that Clarke should be sacked, this is the worst performance from a Scotland team ever and so on. I'm still amazed we qualified really, and we haven't done any worse than expected, although I thought we'd get the draw against the Czechs rather than England to be honest.

We've come a long way since losing 3-0 to Kazakhstan, 6-1 against Holland or drawing with the Faeroes. If we can build on this and become regulars at tournaments, that'll be a good step forward. We need to be trying to emulate similar sized countries like Denmark & Croatia.

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Normal service resumed.

Our superstars Teirney & Robertson did nothing.Midfield non existent.

Missed a lot of chances but that's not new.

Manager clueless. Never changed personnel or shape. Resorted to long ball. Gave Modric the whole field to work his magic.

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Good points: we made a tournament, we had moments of decent performance (tho not against the Czechs) and we have some great young players that now have a taste of a major tournament which will hopefully spur them on to qualify for another one.
 
Bad points: Steve Clarke lacks a plan B and even C. He also shows needless loyalty to players that underperform. Armstrong was honking tonight and O'Donnell wasn't much better. Should have been off at half-time. Marshall freezes to the spot too much as well. I could bang on about players that were not in the squad, particularly Saints players, but I actually think Griffiths would have made the difference tonight if he had been there and prepared to show up.  But I'll be honest, I don't think Clarke is the best man for the job.
 
Cant complain losing to the world cup finalists tho in a lot of ways. Croatia turned it up when they needed to, and Modric was amazing. Saints would have beaten them tho!

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As said before, midfield non-existent. Pressed for about 10 mins at the start and then just stood off them and let them dictate the pace of the game. 

This game and the one against the Czechs just highlighted Clarke's tactical ineptitude.

Dykes should be nowhere near a starting lineup ever again. Utterly useless.

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10 hours ago, Linky said:

I'm not quite sure why Scotland are getting so much hate in some quarters though. I've seen comments that Clarke should be sacked, this is the worst performance from a Scotland team ever and so on. I'm still amazed we qualified really, and we haven't done any worse than expected, although I thought we'd get the draw against the Czechs rather than England to be honest.

 

Sacking Clarke after he got Scotland to a first finals in 23 years would be ridiculous - but I don't think there's any denying Scotland fell way short of what was needed. We qualified through the back door, using a route that hasn't existed for previous tournaments, and I think it showed.

I don't watch a lot of Scotland games so come at this as a bit of an outsider, but I felt most of Scotland's players looked technically a long, long way behind what we've seen from virtually every other team in the tournament. Countries like Finland, Denmark and Wales all have similarly small populations and no particularly impressive league set-up to speak of, and yet they seem to be able to produce better players than Scotland can. It's the same as what we've often seen with Saints in Europe, where we get drawn against little-known teams from small countries, and they turn out to have players who often look better than anything we regularly see in the Scottish Premier.

None of that is Steve Clarke's fault, and I don't see it changing any time soon. I've lost count of the number of times I've heard these post-mortems after Scotland disasters and the SFA have come out with supposed masterplans to do things differently. It never really seems to work.

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Depressing to watch the long balls being played. 60 yard howitzers launched at Dykes head. That being said we just do not have the technical ability to play the footbal Croatia do. The answers lie in how we develop players and the style of football we play. That is a change which would take years.

Edited by Bruno Strasser

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I think it says a lot that Croatia looked very average against both England and Czech Republic, but suddenly returned to looking like world beaters when they came up against Scotland. The time and space Modric had on the ball was unreal. Incredible player to watch, though.

Of the four teams who qualified through the Nations League play-offs, that's three now finished bottom of their group. That whole competition is rubbish and makes no sense.

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39 minutes ago, blueheaven said:

I think it says a lot that Croatia looked very average against both England and Czech Republic, but suddenly returned to looking like world beaters when they came up against Scotland. The time and space Modric had on the ball was unreal. Incredible player to watch, though.

Of the four teams who qualified through the Nations League play-offs, that's three now finished bottom of their group. That whole competition is rubbish and makes no sense.

Personally, I feel that your last point is proof of how the Nations League is a good thing. Countries qualify who perhaps wouldn't otherwise. This gives them the incentive to improve, opens things out and gives a bit of hope to the smaller nations. I find International football competitions quite boring if Scotland aren't there, partly because it's always the same teams playing one another. Part of the fun of any cup competition is the chance for a weaker club/country to go further than people expect, which is why all the Super League stuff is the death of football.

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1 hour ago, blueheaven said:

Sacking Clarke after he got Scotland to a first finals in 23 years would be ridiculous - but I don't think there's any denying Scotland fell way short of what was needed. We qualified through the back door, using a route that hasn't existed for previous tournaments, and I think it showed.

I don't watch a lot of Scotland games so come at this as a bit of an outsider, but I felt most of Scotland's players looked technically a long, long way behind what we've seen from virtually every other team in the tournament. Countries like Finland, Denmark and Wales all have similarly small populations and no particularly impressive league set-up to speak of, and yet they seem to be able to produce better players than Scotland can. It's the same as what we've often seen with Saints in Europe, where we get drawn against little-known teams from small countries, and they turn out to have players who often look better than anything we regularly see in the Scottish Premier.

None of that is Steve Clarke's fault, and I don't see it changing any time soon. I've lost count of the number of times I've heard these post-mortems after Scotland disasters and the SFA have come out with supposed masterplans to do things differently. It never really seems to work.

I think Wales are a bit of an anomaly as their best clubs play in England, so they really benefit from that. Finland have an even worse record of qualification than we do. I'd say countries like Denmark, Croatia and Switzerland are places with similar populations, and similar quality in terms of the league, and we should be looking to emulate them.

I agree about the technical ability though. I think there is something to do with the fact that English and Scottish clubs play in broadly similar styles. So, if Saints get drawn with an English Premiership team in the UEFA cup, I feel like we could give them a decent match, but suddenly up against a club from the Romanian/Czech/whatever else league, we falter. The league itself is weaker, but the style of play is so different that we struggle.

I think that's why Scotland did ok against England, and why someone like O'Donnell had a good game - it was a bit like when he's playing for Motherwell against the OF. He broadly knows what he's up against. Against other countries, it all falls apart.

Having said that, again, I feel that we did ok. Played some fine football at times, weren't embarrassed at any point even though we were playing against countries much better than us. My first sight of a Scotland match was at the '98 World Cup, and I've seen a lot of terrible Scotland teams since then, at least this one can make England sweat, have Croatia a bit worried for 20 mins, and qualify for a tournament. What is everyone expecting?

And Steve Clarke getting all the stick - what are the other options? Neil Lennon? Derek McInnes? Or....be careful what you wish for as they'll come after Davidson next. He's done the best job of any Scotland manager for 23 years, and people are suggesting he's rubbish and should get the sack, it's ridiculous.

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1 hour ago, Bruno Strasser said:

Depressing to watch the long balls being played. 60 yard howitzers launched at Dykes head. That being said we just do not have the technical ability to play the footbal Croatia do. The answers lie in how we develop players and the style of football we play. That is a change which would take years.

Friday was like watching a Callum Davidson team,pass & play.

Last night was like watching a Tommy Wright team, punt up the park as quick as possible.

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1 hour ago, Linky said:

I think Wales are a bit of an anomaly as their best clubs play in England, so they really benefit from that. Finland have an even worse record of qualification than we do. I'd say countries like Denmark, Croatia and Switzerland are places with similar populations, and similar quality in terms of the league, and we should be looking to emulate them.

I agree about the technical ability though. I think there is something to do with the fact that English and Scottish clubs play in broadly similar styles. So, if Saints get drawn with an English Premiership team in the UEFA cup, I feel like we could give them a decent match, but suddenly up against a club from the Romanian/Czech/whatever else league, we falter. The league itself is weaker, but the style of play is so different that we struggle.

I think that's why Scotland did ok against England, and why someone like O'Donnell had a good game - it was a bit like when he's playing for Motherwell against the OF. He broadly knows what he's up against. Against other countries, it all falls apart.

Having said that, again, I feel that we did ok. Played some fine football at times, weren't embarrassed at any point even though we were playing against countries much better than us. My first sight of a Scotland match was at the '98 World Cup, and I've seen a lot of terrible Scotland teams since then, at least this one can make England sweat, have Croatia a bit worried for 20 mins, and qualify for a tournament. What is everyone expecting?

And Steve Clarke getting all the stick - what are the other options? Neil Lennon? Derek McInnes? Or....be careful what you wish for as they'll come after Davidson next. He's done the best job of any Scotland manager for 23 years, and people are suggesting he's rubbish and should get the sack, it's ridiculous.

Some great points there Linky.

Thought Clarke was a wee bit cautious in throwing on the younger players.Surely Gilmour should have been on for the first game and Paterson as well.Thought he looked very composed and comfortable on the ball unlike SOD.Definitely think Kerr is worth a place in the squad as well.

It's such a shame NI came in for Ali first as a midfield partnership with Gilmour would have been quite something. 

 

 

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I think we did OK. The result at Wembley was a great highlight to look back on. Losing two games at home, not so much. And if you can’t score, you can’t win.

I think we have always lacked the ability to manage a tournament. Every game is approached as a Bannockburn, turning too often into a Culloden. Other countries know you most often progress by playing steady, cagey, rather boring, possession football in the group stages, which usually pays off over the three games. 

Still it was nice to be able to support Scotland for a couple of weeks before reverting back to our usual position of supporting whoever plays England. Mon the Germans. Or Portuguese. Or French. Or Hungarians.

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Just one more point: I think we don't often recognise just how incredible other countries' squads are.

Look at Turkey, who did even worse than us: back 4 play for Lille, Juventus, Leicester, Liverpool.

Or Poland, currently bottom of their group yet with a Goalkeeper at Juventus and a striker at Bayern Munich. The rest of the squad generally English Premiership or Italian Serie A regulars.

We have a right-back at Motherwell, and a central defender who can't get in the Celtic team. The squad is improving (I remember the likes of Lee Wilkie and Kevin Kyle), but we're still a way off those that come to these tournaments regularly.

 

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3 hours ago, saintee in exile said:

It's such a shame NI came in for Ali first as a midfield partnership with Gilmour would have been quite something. 

... except Scotland would never have come in for McCann because he's a St Johnstone player. 

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