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Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 1:34 pm
The subject of different nationalities in the 2005 Champions' League final got me thinking about our own domestic cup final. After some delving I was surprised to find that it is 30 years since there was a Scottish Cup final when all the players and managers were Scottish.
Further investigation revealed that there have only been a further 11 instances amongst 70 post-war finals, namely '48, '50, '60, '63 '64, '74, '76, '78, '79, '81, and '86.
I was surprised.
Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 5:29 pm
I'm not. Since the late 80's there has a been a significant influx of "foreign" labour (including other UK nations) into Scottish football, especially at the higher levels. It's pretty unlikely that both Scottish Cup Finalists wouldn't have a non Scot in their starting line up or management. A quick look at the current top two divisions shows:
Celtic - Their manager is Irish and they have multiple foreign players including Dembele (France), Sinclair (English) & Toure (Ivory Coast)
Aberdeen - Their main three attacking threats Ronney, McGinn and Hayes are all Irish, Lewis & Logan (English) and Taylor (Welsh)
Rangers - Their manager is Portuguese. Foderingham, Hill, Tavernier, Waghorn, Windass, Forrester & Garner are all English for a start before we consider the Maltese, Ghanian and Spanish parts of their squad!
St Johnstone - Their manager is Irish, as are Cummins, Mannus, Shaugnessy and apparently Paton.
Hearts - More than half the squad are non Scots including their American captain
Partick Thistle - Their captain is Ghanian, their keeper is Czech with a few Englishmen and Irishmen in the squad also.
Kilmarnock - About half the squad are English with 2 or 3 Irish thrown in.
Ross County - A few English, Irish, French and Dutch players in their regular selections.
Dundee - Apart from Kevin Holt their entire defence are non Scots and Haber up front is Canadian whilst Ojama is Estonian.
Hamilton - Current squad has fewer foreigners than expected but Donati is Italian, D'Acol (Brazilian), Skondras (Greek) and a handful of English including their first two keepers.
Motherwell - Their manager is Irish, Scott McDonald is Australian and there are plenty of English in there as well as the odd Welshman and Irishman.
Inverness CT - Their manager is Irish and it would be quicker to list the Scots in their squad than the non Scots!
Hibernian - Manager is Irish, keeper is Israeli, there are a handful of English, Humphrey is Jamaican and there is currently a Nigerian (Ambrose).
Falkirk - 2 Canadian, 3 Englishmen and an on loan Irish goalkeeper in their squad.
Dundee United - Squad contains German, Dutch, Irish, Portuguese, Danish and French players.
Morton - Best yet. Just four non Scots with a squad number and none of them an automatic pick. Oyenuga (England), McDonough (Northern Irish) & Pepper (Rep of Ireland) being all mostly subs.
Dunfermline - 5 Englishmen and an Irishman in their first team squad, most of whom are regulars.
QoS - Both goalkeepers are English, as his full back Jordan Marshall. Kyle Jacobs is technically Dutch or South African whilst Lyndon Dykes is usually deemed Australian and was born there but both are eligible to play for Scotland.
Dumbarton - NEARLY - They were pretty much all Scots for the first half of the season but now have Nade (France) and Nuttall (England) in their squad.
St Mirren - 4 Englishmen, a Cypriot, a Welshman and a Norwegian in their squad.
Raith Rovers - Their best player is French, they have the Czech Skacel still whilst two of their keepers are Slovakian & Irish.
Ayr United - NEARLY - Peter Murphy is Irish and late season signing Farid El Alagui is French. Conrad Balatoni is English born but schooled in Scotland and eligible to play for Scotland, England, Hungary or Austria apparently.
Livingston - Keaghan Jacobs is South African / Dutch, Da Vita is Italian and they have the Bulgarian Todorov on loan from Hearts.
Alloa - Their player manager is Irish.
Airdrie - Boateng (England), Mensing (England) and Gorman (Irish)
Brechin City - Andy Jackson is Irish and they have James Dale of England also.
East Fife - Couple of Australians & couple of Englishmen in their squad.
Queens Park - NEARLY - Adam Cummins is English and they currently have the Canadian Zarate on loan from Hearts.
Albion Rovers - DEBATABLE - Calum Ferguson is Scottish born but has played for Canada's u20's as his mother is Canadian. Otherwise the rest are all Scots.
Stranraer - Their keeper is English and they also appear to have an Italian in the squad.
Stenhousemuir - A Frenchman and a Spaniard in their squad (and an Irishman on loan from Celtic)
Peterhead - CLOSE - Just the American Kevin Dzierzawski who isn't Scottish.
I've run out of time to check the League Two teams but there isn't a single club in the top three divisions who don't have at least one non Scot regular starter and there's the square root of zero chance of both Scottish Cup Finalists coming from further down than that anyway. All being equal I doubt we'll ever have another instance of all the players and both managers being Scottish.
That said, if independence comes and the labour market potentially shrinks in terms of English / European workforce, or at least it's more difficult for non Scots to come work here (or non UK if we remain with England but outside the EU) then the chances will improve. I suspect however the top league clubs will always have some non Scots in their squads.
Posted: Tue May 09, 2017 8:10 am
At Ibrox, just a few weeks ago, Thistle fielded 9 non-Scots in their starting line-up, a new club-record.
Have there been any fully non Scottish starting elevens in our domestic game?
Posted: Tue May 09, 2017 8:56 am
You can only imagine that either Celtic or Rangers listed entire non-Scots starting line-ups in the Martin O'Neill and Dick Advocaat days. I'm fairly sure Barry Ferguson was the only Scot playing regularly for Rangers around that time.
In those days, admittedly when Rangers were signing players that they could not ultimately afford without using dubious tax schemes, the majority of the non-Scots were generally of a decent standard with the Old Firm signing most. These days though, our game seems awash with non-Scots journeymen, mostly of moderate quality. I guess it's a damning indictment of the standard of our indigenous talent when third and fourth tier, sometimes non-league(!), English players can seemingly prosper up here.
From the 1987 Scottish Cup Final between St Mirren and Dundee United when not a single non-Scot played, this number had increased to a record 20 in the 2001 Final with Celtic and Hibernian. Thankfully these numbers have lessened in recent years.