CZ 1 Scotland 0…an apology

Not sure where to start with this one except to say, what an embarassment. Not in terms of the result, which was quite respectable only losing 1-0 away to a team who are higher ranked than us and clearly were a better team, but in the manner of the way we played…or rather didn’t play or even worse, never really attempted to play.

Some of the post-match comments from the manager and some of the players are disturbing”

“I thought it worked very well,” he (Caldwell) said. “They looked very frustrated, you could see that in their play and I don’t think they had many chances……..the Czech Republic the hosts’ team manager, former Liverpool midfielder Vladimir Smicer, said he remembered playing a Scots team that played “normal” football. “We were containing them and I thought, if the game had gone on a bit longer, we could maybe have opened them up and got back into it…(David Weir)

Ho hum…it’s a sad and rather pitiful day when we go abroad and start with a 4-6-0 formation in the hope of boring everyone to death and escape with a 0-0 draw. We might have one or two decent players in our side but the way we approach games these days, we’ll never know because we never give them the chance to show what they can do. Just what is the extent of our ambition these days? We set our stall out as if we are San Marino, that is to say, to try and avoid an absolute cuffing which sends out a great message about how we view our own ability.

Following Scotland used to be a bit of a laugh. Invariably we had promise, used to have a few good wins, had a team with a load of exciting but generally undisciplined mavericks and qualified for loads of the big tournaments – World Cup 74,78,82,86,90,98 and Euro 92 and 96. Inevitably we’d struggle when we got there but we had a go, played some football and used to earn a bit of praise into the bargain. We certainly didn’t set our stall out in the 4-6-0 formation with the intention of boring the arse of everyone watching.

Nowadays, we don’t qualify for any major tourneys, fair enough, but we seemed to have accepted our roles as a 4th tier nation whose only hope of gaining decent results is to play a horrendously defensive and cautious style in the slim hope of absorbing 80 odd minutes of opposition pressure and then sneaking upfield and poaching a goal from what is likely to be our only attacking move of the match. Personally, as it is fairly inevitable that we will lose more games than we will win, I’d like to see us go out in a blaze of glory, get shot down in style and have a go and I imagine that also applies to the majority of Scotland supporters. If we’re going to lose might as well lose having had a decent stab at trying to win the match in the first place, at least the opposition might then have a bit more respect for us afterwards.

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