Scottish teams in Europe - or should I say - out of Europe

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Post by Scottish » Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:00 pm

nightfire wrote:
A draw against CSKA is worth nothing unless you qualify as I quickly check that CSKA did qualify :D
Not quite nothing. There'll still be a rankings boost from it just as Dundee United's draw last night will have done the same. But you'll note from my earlier post that I mentioned BEATING teams from the ROI & Finland - countries which have given shocks to Scottish sides in the recent past. Note also that not only did Welsh sides defeat teams from those countries but that the Welsh season is similar to the Scottish one and both the ROI and Finland run 'summer' seasons. No nonsense there about if only the season started earlier.

That's why I stick to my original position that while I doubt we'll never be as good as we once were, we should be a lot better than we currently are.

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Post by nightfire » Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:21 pm

scottish wrote:
nightfire wrote:
A draw against CSKA is worth nothing unless you qualify as I quickly check that CSKA did qualify :D
Not quite nothing. There'll still be a rankings boost from it just as Dundee United's draw last night will have done the same. But you'll note from my earlier post that I mentioned BEATING teams from the ROI & Finland - countries which have given shocks to Scottish sides in the recent past. Note also that not only did Welsh sides defeat teams from those countries but that the Welsh season is similar to the Scottish one and both the ROI and Finland run 'summer' seasons. No nonsense there about if only the season started earlier.

That's why I stick to my original position that while I doubt we'll never be as good as we once were, we should be a lot better than we currently are.
I'm sorry but if the future of Scottish football is getting a high on beating teams from ROI and Finland then whatever way you look at it the game is in the doldrums.

I don't know what the answer is and maybe it's just the long wait for the bubble to burst in English football and elsewhere to a degree that we get a more level playing field in the financial stakes.

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Post by Scottish » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:21 pm

nightfire wrote:
I'm sorry but if the future of Scottish football is getting a high on beating teams from ROI and Finland then whatever way you look at it the game is in the doldrums.

I don't know what the answer is and maybe it's just the long wait for the bubble to burst in English football and elsewhere to a degree that we get a more level playing field in the financial stakes.
Of course the game is in the doldrums and has been for some time, masked by the ability of the OF to convince fans that in order to see the big European names they need to buy a ticket that covers games v Hamilton. Once the big names are no longer coming (in Celtic's case already and in Rangers most likely after this season) those fans will ask whey they need to renew their season tickets. That is already happening at Celtic Park.

I don't think there should be a 'high' on beating teams from the ROI or Finland. I think it should be the norm for full-time professional clubs and that we shouldn't rely on excuses like the timing of the start of the season if part-time League of Wales clubs can do it.

As for a level playing field, you'll have a long wait. There has never been one in the Scottish game and the OF are now experiencing in Europe what the rest of us have in Scotland for over a century.

At the same time while I wouldn't expect the OF to compete with the big clubs in England, Italy or Spain, I can and do expect them to compete with the Hapoels, Copenhagens and Zilinas of this world.

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Post by Scottish » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:22 pm

Going on from the earlier mention of Dundee United’s lack of success in Europe since the 1987 UEFA Cup run. Here’s the performances of ALL Scottish sides in Europe (including Intertoto) since then on a country basis. That’s 24 seasons counting this one and remembering Rangers have yet to play this term.

For two-legged ties the outcome of the tie is given – i.e victory/defeat on away goals is given as a win/loss. For group stages the outcome of a single match is given. I know that’s uneven but other than counting all matches as individual – which nullifies the effect of winning or losing the tie as 2-1 home, 0-1 away is a defeat in a tie but a win apiece if counting everything – I can’t think of a better way to differentiate.

Aberdeen

Wins
Republic of Ireland
Cyprus
Iceland
Lithuania
Wales
Moldova
Ukraine
Denmark

Losses
Holland
East Germany
Austria
Poland
Denmark (2)
Italy
Latvia
Republic of Ireland
Germany (2)
Greece
Spain
Czech Repubic

Draws
Russia

Total: Wins 9 Losses 14 Draws 1 Entries 12

Airdrieonians

One appearance lost to Czechoslovakia

Celtic

Wins
Hungary (2)
Belgium (2)
Germany (2)
Switzerland
Georgia
Slovakia
Wales (2)
Austria
Republic of Ireland
Portugal (5)
Israel (2)
Luxemburg
Finland
Holland
Italy (2)
Norway
Lithuania (2)
England (3)
Spain (3)
France
Czech Republic
Ukraine (2)
Denmark
Russia (2)

Losses
West Germany (2)
Yugoslavia
Switzerland (3)
Germany (4)
Portugal (6)
France (4)
England (4)
Croatia
Italy (4)
Norway
Spain (5)
Belgium
Ukraine (2)
Slovakia
Denmark (2)
Israel
Holland




Draws
Germany (2)
Spain
Italy
England
Denmark
Austria (2)


Total Wins 41 Losses 43 Draws 8 Entries 22

Dundee

Wins
Albania

Losses

Serbia
Italy

One win, two losses, two entries

Dundee United

Wins
Northern Ireland (2)
Malta
Iceland
Andorra

Losses
Czechoslovakia
Romania
Belgium
Holland
Denmark
Slovakia
Turkey
Finland
Greece

Total Wins 5 Losses 9 Entries 9

Dunfermline Athletic

Wins
None

Losses
Iceland
Sweden

Two losses from two entries

Falkirk

One appearance lost to Liechtenstein

Gretna

One appearance lost to Republic of Ireland

Hearts

Wins
Republic of Ireland
Austria
Yugoslavia
USSR
Czechoslovakia
Cyprus
Iceland
Bosnia (2)
Portugal
Switzerland

Losses
West Germany
Italy
Belgium
Spain (2)
Yugoslavia
Germany (2)
France
Holland
Hungary
Greece
Czech Republic
Croatia

Total Wins 11 Losses 14 Entries 11

Hibernian

Wins
Hungary
Latvia

Losses
Belgium (2)
Greece
Lithuania
Ukraine
Denmark
Sweden
Slovenia


Total Wins 2 Losses 8 Entries 8

Kilmarnock

Wins
Republic of Ireland
Bosnia
Iceland
Northern Ireland

Losses
France
Czech Republic
Germany
Norway

Total Wins 4 Losses 4 Entries 4

Livingston

Wins
Liechtenstein

Losses
Austria

One win, one loss from one entry

Motherwell

Wins
Faroes
Wales
Albania
Iceland
Norway

Losses
Poland
Germany
Finland
France
Romania
Denmark

Total Wins 5 Losses 6 Entries 6

Partick Thistle

Wins
Iceland

Losses
France
Croatia

Draws
Austria

One win, one draw, two losses from one entry

Queen of the South

One loss to Denmark from one entry

Raith Rovers

Wins
Faroes
Iceland

Losses
Germany

Two wins and one loss from one entry

Rangers

Wins
USSR
Poland (3)
Malta
Denmark (3)
England
Belgium
Russia (4)
Cyprus (2)
Switzerland
Faroes
Republic of Ireland
Greece (2)
Israel (3)
Germany (4)
Finland
Italy (3)
Holland (2)
Lithuania (2)
Austria (2)
France (3)
Slovenia
Portugal (3)
Norway
Serbia (2)
Montenegro

Losses
Romania (3)
West Germany (2)
Yugoslavia
Czechoslovakia
Bulgaria
Greece (2)
Italy (4)
Switzerland
Holland (4)
France (5)
Sweden
Germany (6)
Spain (6)
Turkey (2)
Austria
Czech Republic
England (2)
Russia (2)



Draws
France (4)
Belgium
Russia
Germany (4)
Romania
Turkey
Greece
Spain (3)
Portugal
Italy
Romania

Total Wins 49 Losses 45 Draws 19 Entries 23 (not including this season)

St Johnstone

Wins
Finland

Losses
France

One win and one loss from one entry

St Mirren

Wins
Norway

Losses
Belgium

One win and one loss from one entry

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Post by LEATHERSTOCKING » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:40 pm

Turn to cricket? Dear god, we struggle to compete with Afghanistan & Ireland & this from a country with more cricket clubs per head of the population than England!

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Post by exile » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:45 pm

Something that's been forgotten here is that in terms of cash coming into the game Scotland is actually far better off than most of the nations we're struggling to compete with. Sure we can't be on a level playing field with England, Italy, France, Germany and Spain given the economics of the game today - but that's not the issue. Celtic and Rangers are in the top 30 or so European clubs in terms of income - but you wouldn't know it from looking at their results (since 2008 anyway - the few seasons before that they actually did punch their weight but probably only because they spent beyond their means).

The standard the OF should be aiming at is the likes of Panathanaikos, Galatasaray, Anderlecht, Ajax and so on - big clubs in the leagues ranked about 6 to 12. Non-OF teams should IMO be able to beat clubs from nations ranked in the 15 to 20 range - Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and so on - not every time but 50%.

There is of course the issue of the sheer lack of talent coming through in recent years. England suffers from the same thing - see recent World Cup and Euro campaigns - but because of the huge market for all things footy it represents it's able to support a world-class league setup which just happens to be lacking in actual English players at the top level.

What happens next? Has any other nation managed to turn itself round after a decline like ours? Portugal perhaps which after the departure of Eusebio and co (once African "colonials" were no longer available for selection) had decades of non-success at national and club level but have now managed to re-establish themselves at the top table in Europe. Can we learn from them? Or should we be looking at the fate of Hungary who have fallen from a far greater height than we have ever reached (at national level anyway) and have sunk even further than we have.

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Post by msdkfc » Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:26 pm

I'm quite sure no-one was in the least bit surprised when Dundee Utd went out and Motherwell's exit had an all too familiar inevitability about it, despite their fans and the media getting all excited and talking it up. Who genuinely deep down thought they would go through? The chances were Odense would score making Well's task all the harder. Although, they didn't help themselves by missing a load of chances and a penalty by all accounts. But we've seen it all time and time again.

As much as i dislike the OF and find it oh so hard to support them in Europe, the Celtic result shocked me to the core and to me it's that result that's hammering home the message of exactly Scottish football's standing in Europe. An absolute capitualtion and no wonder the likes of Talksport's default position is to slag Scottish football stupid. It used to anger me but who can blame them?

I totally agree that our results in Europe are pretty much nothing to do with when we start our season and as David said, TNS beating teams from ROI and Finalnd disproves that theory. We are simply not good enough! That's the reason. I just can't see how moving the season back to start a month earlier is going to change that. I am, however, completey and utterly in favour of a switch to summer football but for a whole host of other reasons, and none of them do with our results in Europe.

One other thing that actually makes me feel worse and makes me believe that despite all the talk of change, think tanks, root and branch reforms after the European disasters everything will just carry on the same, nothing will change and the whole sorry cycle will start again - Anthony Stokes impending move to Celtic. I really wonder sometimes what the point of Scottish football is. We're all just OF feeder teams. It's getting beyond farce. It just makes you feel - as a non-OF fan -there is no hope, nothing to look forward to, nothing to get excited about and that you're just not allowed to have any good players. I'm 32 but i don't believe i will ever see a non-OF team win the league in my lifetime.

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Post by Scottish » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:58 pm

exile wrote:Something that's been forgotten here is that in terms of cash coming into the game Scotland is actually far better off than most of the nations we're struggling to compete with.......

The standard the OF should be aiming at is the likes of Panathanaikos, Galatasaray, Anderlecht, Ajax and so on - big clubs in the leagues ranked about 6 to 12. Non-OF teams should IMO be able to beat clubs from nations ranked in the 15 to 20 range - Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and so on - not every time but 50%.
Exactly
exile wrote:What happens next? Has any other nation managed to turn itself round after a decline like ours? Portugal perhaps which after the departure of Eusebio and co (once African "colonials" were no longer available for selection) had decades of non-success at national and club level but have now managed to re-establish themselves at the top table in Europe. Can we learn from them? Or should we be looking at the fate of Hungary who have fallen from a far greater height than we have ever reached (at national level anyway) and have sunk even further than we have.
You could argue that England turned things round. Following the Heysel ban their results in Europe were generally poor - in the CL at any rate - and even the foreign imports struggled to make a mark until Liverpool won in 2005. That started a period of at least one Champions League finalist for five successive years.

At a national level what Sweden did between 1990-1994 was pretty impressive, going from losing every group match to finishing third.

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Post by LEATHERSTOCKING » Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:03 am

I see Walter Wallcarpeting is @ it again - complaining that reports, think tanks etc. are ignored here in Scotland while @ the same time he`s bringing a barrowload of 3rd rate foreigners.

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Post by exile » Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:12 am

If I'm allowed to plug a couple of sites

www.scoreshelf.com
and
http://www.xs4all.nl/~kassiesa/bert/uefa/

Bert's site shows how Scotland was consistently in the top 10 for European club performances from the 60s to the mid 70s, and again throughout most of the 80s. The lowest point we reached was in the mid 90s where, hard as it is to imagine, we were getting worse results overall than we are now. This was the era where Rangers got stuffed 4-0 and 4-1 by Juventus despite having a very good set of players whilst Celtic found it hard to win any European ties at all, Aberdeen lost to Bohemians, and so on. We did actually recover from that low point by the mid noughties - but it's all gone pear shaped since as Scottish clubs finally try to live within their budgets.

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Post by Scottish » Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:22 am

Bert Kassie's site is consistently excellent. I wasn't aware of the other one but will have a look. One glimmer of hope is that sometimes these peaks and troughs arrive without prior warning. The decline of the OF in Europe after 1974 was entirely unexpected (of course everything is relative so for example Celtic losing a CWC quarter-final tie in 1976 was regarded as a bad result) and the rise of Aberdeen and Dundee United in Europe was predicted by absolutely no one. Not many gave Aberdeen a prayer against UEFA Cup holders Ipswich Town in 1981 but that victory was the launchpad for their European runs. Prior to that they have never been past the second round.

Similarly, the same season, Dundee United won 5-2 in Monaco and 5-0 at home v Borussia Munchengladbach. Of course they had that famous victory v Barcelona back in the 1960s but they too had never won two successive European ties.

Those results came out of the blue. Yes, those clubs had been successful domestically but no one seriously thought that would translate to Europe.

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Post by exile » Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:05 pm

Aberdeen and Dundee United had come close a few times in the years immediately before their golden era - for example, Aberdeen lost 1-2 to Molenbeek (then a decent team) in 1977, 2-3 to Dusseldorf in 78 and 1-2 to Eintracht Frankfurt in 79. United went down 0-1 to Standard Liege in 78, beat Anderlecht on away goals in 79 and went out on away goals to Lokeren in 80.

Over those years the players got experience of playing top teams and confidence that they could meet them on equal terms. Ferguson and McLean built on that feeling - and there was no rapid turnover of players.

Jock Stein's Celtic was the classic case of a set of generally ordinary players being turned into world-beaters (the only player he brought in was Wallace - and that was to replace the injured McBride who was more of a goalscoring machine than Wallace).

I guess I have to echo Jimmy Greaves - football is a funny old game. It's played with the inside of your head almost as much as with your feet.

Watching old videos I do have the impression that Scottish teams got results by running their opponents into the ground rather than by actually beating them for skill - and in the 60s many countries still had part time or amateur leagues. I guess it's a case of us standing still whilst the rest of Europe catches us up and is now leaving us behind.

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Post by HibeeJibee » Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:00 pm

Well of course many countries didn't even have national leagues made up of their best clubs until the 1950s or 1960s...
... Denmark, Greece, Netherlands spring to mind!!
... Germany too, IIRC.

Those that did were often part-time, low 20s of games, or slower pace.

Old trick of beating teams through physicality has also been countered.

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Post by exile » Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:15 pm

Rangers fans are fond of pointing this out with reference to Celtic's European Cup win in 1967.

I suppose the curious thing is - how did Scottish club football pick itself up after entering a serious decline in the mid 70s? Was it an effect of the national team's relative success in the World Cup at this time - but then that just gives us another unanswered question.

It certainly wasn't based on finance as attendances were on a steady downward trend from the early 70s to about 1983 and only picked up thanks to coming out of an economic recession and after we started to get decent results in Europe once again. The subsequent Souness revolution still divides opinion as to whether it did Scottish football any good other than in money coming in at the gates of Ibrox and latterly Parkhead as well. The wheels came off in European results somewhere around 1990 and results were dreadful for about 10 years after that - Rangers' Champions League campaign of 1999-2000, beating Parma and doing a double over PSV, was the 1st sign of a partial revival which in turn only lasted 8 or 9 seasons. It's still the case that the last 6 CL group stages in which the OF have taken part (2006 through to 2010) have seen them progress to the 2nd round on 3 occasions - which is an excellent record. Pity the last 2 campaigns have been so dreadful. We'll have to see what Rangers manage this time - but I'm not filled with confidence - and neither are the bookies - they make Bursaspor strong favourites to take 3rd place, despite Turkish football also being in the doldrums at club level at the moment, and the fact Bursa haven't played a European tie in over 2 decades.

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Post by Scottish » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:22 pm

I think that sometimes we over-emphasise continental weakness in the 1960s & 1970s and that allows us to play 'the other caught us up' card. Yes, the Scandinavian leagues were all amateur or part-time and there has been a huge improvement there. You'd no longer expect Morton or Dundee United to be attractive propositions for top class Scandinavians.

But as far back as 1966 the Dutch national team thrashed a Scotland team consisting entirely of SFL players (though admittedly none from Celtic) 3-0 at Hampden.

The Eastern European nations were professional in all but name and nobody doubted the prowess of Iberian & Italian club football which dominated the European Cup until 1967.

As for the Germans, yes West Germany had a regionalised league until 1963. But then again the Brazilians still do. The West German national side was one of the strongest in the world and their clubs were well regarded in Europe.

Regarding Souness, it may not be a popular view but I think the 'Souness Revolution' was an absolute success. Not just for the gate increases at Ibrox and Parkhead. This had an affect everywhere else - in the top flight at least. In 1989-90 seven teams had a five-figure average league gate. OF fans travelled in greater numbers to away venues but supporters of other Premier teams turned out to see players who would never have entertained the notion of Scottish football had it not been for a combination of the Souness effect and the European ban.

Some smaller clubs benefited too as cup ties (v Rangers at least) were either home sell-outs or drew vastly bigger crowds at Ibrox than would otherwise have been the case. The cut from a 30,000+ gate was a substantial boost to smaller clubs.

Finally, theoretically, Bursaspor are the lowest ranked club left in the Champions League. Failure to stave off bottom spot will confirm the disastrous results of the past couple of seasons. I think the best hope for Rangers is, as I said before, nobody other than Andy Gray expects them to go through. They have nothing to lose.

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