Euro 2008

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Scottish
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Euro 2008

Post by Scottish » Sat Sep 02, 2006 7:23 pm

I'm not going to go overboard about it but that was a good start. Interesting to note where the Scotland players came from

Today’s starting eleven’s first clubs were: Hearts 2, Dundee Utd, Falkirk, Rangers, Man Utd, Hamilton, QPR, Hibernian, Kilmarnock, Motherwell

Playing subs: Clydebank, Hibernian, Hearts

Non-playing subs: Stenhousemuir, Scunthorpe, Aberdeen, Newcastle

That's one of the eighteen on display who started his career with the Old Firm (Pressley) and he was punted out of Ibrox by the current national manager.

It's one of the reasons why I refuse to get too enthusiasic over the Wattie/Toammy show. Been said before but worth saying again
that one of the reasons for our international decline is the inability of our top clubs to produce top players, preferring to import rther than encourage Scottish players. And Smith & Burns must take some of the responsibility for that, having been at the helm of the OF for much of the 1990s.
Last edited by Scottish on Mon Sep 04, 2006 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by lbb » Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:46 am

I don't really see the point you're making unless you're seriously arguing that players have developed no further than at their first clubs. It begs the question why any of them bothered moving on, in that case.

I also think you might be guilty of attributing the import of foreign players in the 1990's as a cause of Scottish football decline rather than, as it mainly was in my view, a symptom.

By the 1990's, much of the damage in Scottish football had already been done. We were simply witnessing the manifestation of problems that had begun to take root some 20 or so years earlier.

It would be absurd to suggest that having the likes of Brian Laudrup and Henrik Larsson playing in Scottish football was bad for the game here. What did become a problem was Scottish clubs came to rely too much on quick and cheap fixes of foreign imports rather than blooding young players.

The golden age of Scottish football was the 1960's. For cultural reasons, there was a plethora of genuine international class, perhaps even world class, Scottish personnel - Denis Law, Jim Baxter, Willie Henderson, Jimmy Johnstone, etc. Players who could, and did, grace the biggest games on the football calendar. The frugal days post-WWII were excellent breeding grounds for producing quality footballers - offering time, dedication and practice. Youngsters had little other alternatives and clubs naively took for granted that the sociological conditions that produced such players would always exist.

Scotland continued to produce excellent players throughout the 1970's but, in my view, there is a noticable decline in the late 1970's in terms of the quality of player produced. It was just that we had produced so many that we didn't notice it. In the early 1970's Celtic brought through a youth team of Dalglish, Hay and Macari, to name a few. By the end of the decade, the standard of their youth player had markedly dropped. Jock Stein conceded in 1975 that 'you can't stay in a sick man's house without contracting the illness'. Improving social conditions meant it was becoming harder to get youngsters to devote the time, dedication and practice required to reach the top.

So, in my view, the decline is down to Scottish clubs failing to react to changing circumstances and taking for granted the pool of talent. Modern training complexes should have been compulsory at least 20 years ago. Even today, only Rangers and Hearts in Scottish football have anything like the facilities of other countries. It *can* be tackled. West Ham United, for example, have produced the likes of Ferdinand, Lampard, Cole and Defoe in recent years despite the modern distractions available. They have a good system, a good setup and good coaches.

The influx of certain foreign talent did have an effect and, in hindsight, the Scottish league is probably too small to carry 2 or 3 'foreign' sides without it having an impact on the national side.

The SFA presided over the decline in Scottish football's status and needs to be radically overhauled. The clubs smugly assumed that society would always produce the players and they wouldn't need to work to make it happen. I'm more optimistic than I was a few years ago about it. At national level, I feel we have a better squad and a better team than we did 5 years ago which probably isn't saying much -and probably not as good as we were 10 years ago (and we weren't that good 10 years ago). But we do have better creative players than we under Brown and more clubs are fielding decent young players. It would be nice to think we could qualify for a World Cup again.

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Post by the hibLOG » Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:08 pm

lbb wrote:I don't really see the point you're making unless you're seriously arguing that players have developed no further than at their first clubs. It begs the question why any of them bothered moving on, in that case.
Well, more money obviously. Kenny Miller notably went to Ibrox to 'test himself at a higher level' and promptly disappeared for two or three years into a no doubt well paid oblivion. It's arguable whether he is any better now than when at Hibs. He used to score for fun, now he looks like he's trying to s**t a hedgehog.

I took David's point to mean that hardly any of Saturday's internationalists were scouted as kids, nurtured and developed by the Old Firm. The two richest clubs in the country seem to use none of their considerable resources to identify and coach native Scottish talent, and even that which they do has long struggled to get first team experience. This has meant that the OF's monopoly on the bulk of European competition opportunities has not benefitted many Scottish players over the last 10-20 years.

Of course it's not their job to manufacture Scottish internationalists, and the SFA has to take a lot of the blame for leaving the onus on clubs to develop young talent. But when that situation pertains and the two clubs best placed to do it choose not to, then it creates a bigger problem. It's even worse when very few of the top players cherry-picked by the OF don't flourish when they arrive in Glasgow either. The blame for that has to go partly to the OF too.

I'm not sure I subscribe to the tanner ba' theory of Scotland's golden age in football any more either. Sure it helps if there's nothing for kids to do but kick a tennis ball against a wall all day, but Brazil for one didn't achieve its pre-eminence in world football simply by virtue of a population explosion in the favellas. They very deliberately set out to identify and coach the very best talent for the benefit of the national team. Other small European countries like Holland and Portugal probably have comparable X-Box ownership rates nowadays, but they are still churning out far better footballers than we are.

Sure it was great that Laudrup and Larsson greaced Scottish football, but the OF could have saved themselves millions by effectively developing young Scottish talent years ago and establishing a model for the rest of Scottish football to follow. The OF stuck with and enlarged their long-favoured model of buying their way to success, adding foreign imports to the time-tested policy of depriving other clubs of the services of their best home-grown talent. It was that model that the rest of Scottish football followed in the 90s, nearly bankrupting themselves in the process.
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Post by bobby s » Mon Sep 04, 2006 4:48 pm

Maybe a comparison with Englands 18 might be revealing? I suspect that Man United have produced more than their fair share of England players in the last 20 years.

v Andorra

Leeds United, Man United 2, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, West Ham, Middlesbro, Tottenham, Charlton Athletic.

Subs

Leeds United, West Ham 2, Birmingham, Coventry, Nottingham Forest, Ipswich.

Mmm. :?
It's the Hope I can't stand

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Post by Scottish » Mon Sep 04, 2006 6:23 pm

lbb wrote:I don't really see the point you're making unless you're seriously arguing that players have developed no further than at their first clubs.


Kenny Miller has already been mentioned but I am sure Kris Boyd was as capable of scoring against Bulgaria and Faroes this time last year. If he has been transformed into 'international calibre' since he left Rugby Park then why did Rangers let a coach of such ability as Big Eck go? Another case in point is Derek Riordan, currently festering somewhere in the bowels of Parkhead.
lbb wrote:It would be absurd to suggest that having the likes of Brian Laudrup and Henrik Larsson playing in Scottish football was bad for the game here.


And I wouldn't attempt to do so. I was hinking more of the likes of Rico Annoni and Seb Rozental - both signed by our current national management - who are much more representative of the OF signing policy than the odd gem amid the dross.
lbb wrote:Youngsters had little other alternatives and clubs naively took for granted that the sociological conditions that produced such players would always exist.
True. But as the hiblog points out the same conditions apply in other 'rich' countries in Europe but without the same precipitous decline in their national team. And just across the water is a country which, twenty years ago, had qualified for nothing and has since played in three World Cups, reaching a quarter-final (though admittedly playing a brand of football which makes Craig Brown seem cavalier).

My views can be summed up thus:

1. The national side is at last improving thanks to clubs being forced to bring through their own talent again.

2. This is in spite of the recruitment policies of our biggest clubs and our league structure, not because of it.

3. The current national management duo were - as club bosses - among the chief instigators of the policies which speeded up our decline.
Last edited by Scottish on Tue Sep 05, 2006 10:58 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by LEATHERSTOCKING » Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:52 pm

I`m not sure about this "Golden Age" stuff. When was this? 1960s? Didn`t qualify for the World Cup Finals with the likes of Baxter, Law, White, Cooke, McNeill & Greig wearing the Lion shirt. 1970s? Qualified in 1974 from a 3 team group including emerging professional Denmark @ the same time losing 0-5 & 1-5 to England & 1-2 to N.Ireland (@ home). Qualified in 78 from a group inlcuding Wales then being humiliated in Argentina. 1980s, 90s, 00s? Nope. 1920s? Hard to justify when only opponents were England, Ireland & Wales but did beat the white shirted might of the master race 6 times in 10 meetings but also managed to lose twice to the Welsh & once to the Irish. 1930s? Started with a thrashing in Vienna to the Wunderteam & a beating from Pozzo`s Italians but also 2 good wins over the strong Czechs and the French and 4 wins over England. Before that, it`s all purely parochial but in that context, the Scots were dominant gthrough the 1870s & most of the 80s. From the advent of intercourse with other countries to the early 1980s we did produce individuals of International class, Steele, Smith, Baxter, Cooke, Willie hamilton, Law & Johnstone (how many good games did Dalglish REALLY play in a dark blue shirt?) in addition to the dozens of players WE class as stars. I don`t want to denegrade any of our class footballers but by the time we started to test ourselves against the best of "overseas" sides as the Wee Red Book quaintly termed them, Meisl, Pozzo et al had really taken the "Scottish" game to a different plane and only our robust "British" game masked the gulf. While Meisl & co. had worked out a way to circumvent the sterility of the old off side rule, the British hadn`t & against the wishes of the rest of Europe, the Home Associations bulldozed through the new offisde law in the 20s rather than try a tactical answer. The result was disasterous. After a few years of goal gluts as defences tried to stem the tide, the "stopper" centre half evolved and the game became even more defensive. If there ever was a Scottish "Golden Age", I`d put it in the pre Great War era. The "Scottish" game was the one on which the leading European coaches based their own in the first thirty years of the 20thC with devastating results. We`re not really making much effort to catch up. Thirty years after being shown up in Argentina, our U21 coach is still amazed at how much better the young French side was last Friday evening stating that we must improve our coaching ! Oh, really?

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Post by the hibLOG » Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:09 am

Obviously sticking it to the Old Firm in their own back yard is the next best thing to being signed by them, as Toammy explains in talking about Scott Brown's call up:
Scott has scored a couple of goals which really stick in my memory, notably against Celtic at Parkhead when he ran 70 yards late in a game and chipped the goalkeeper. I think he did a similar thing at Ibrox.
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Post by lbb » Tue Sep 05, 2006 9:15 am

Kenny Miller is not a striker who has ever particularly impressed me - he will almost always lack composure in front of goal when given time to think - but to ascribe his recent good Scotland form purely on the basis of his first club (unless I've horribly misunderstood it) with no coaching or development in between is churlish, to say the least. He may well have failed at Rangers (I would not disagree) and with Wolves in the Premiership (though not the Championship) and seems destined for a Cascarino-style career of legend at Celtic Park but it could not be argued that those clubs along the line helped in the long-term development of the player just as much, if not more, than his time at Hibs.

How much of a role did Falkirk play in David Weir's international career? More than Hearts and Everton? And I doubt if even diehard Accies fans would claim that Paul Hartley was started on the road to an international cap there. Presumably if Ross McCormack plays for Scotland whilst at Fir Park, his achievement will be attributed to the grounding he received at Rangers. Was Barry Nicholson's cap a Rangers triumph or a Dunfermline one (I'd say the latter meself)?

No-one would argue that the Old Firm haven't done enough in youth development but what I'm trying to argue against is drawing a line in the sand and saying 'this was the point it all started to go wrong' or to say that the influx of foreign players was the catalyst for inferior homegrown talent when it was, in my view, the result of inferior homegrown talent in the first place.

They look to be doing something about it. Eleven of the 26 players in the U-21 squad come from the Old Firm. Eight of the 17 players in the U-17 squad. Rangers have undergone a third transformation in their youth setup and seem confident in the boys coming through and have a manager who has a proven track record in developing young players. So we'll see.

We're in agreement with regards the likes of Holland and Portugal. I agree that such nations are an example that it can be achieved if the correct infrastructure is in place. I expect the way they've recruited and developed young players has changed dramatically in the last 40 years. In Scotland, you get the feeling that some people still expect to go along to pish-stained park on a freezing Monday night and see a bunch of weans running about.

The clubs didn't do enough to adapt to a changing social climate. They're like the record companies who expect the Beatles to turn up at their door. The SFA, as the chief organisation, have done nothing, as far as I can see, to develop Scottish football in any way, shape or form in the last 30 years. This is a criminal failure.

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Post by lbb » Tue Sep 05, 2006 9:35 am

scottish wrote: Kenny Miller has already been mentioned but I am sure Kris Boyd was as capable of scoring against Bulgaria and Faroes this time last year. If he has been transformed into 'international calibre' since he left Rugby Park then why did Rangers let a coach of such ability as Big Eck go? Another case in point is Derek Riordan, currently festering somewhere in the bowels of Parkhead.
Boyd was good enough for Scotland whilst at Kilmarnock, I agree. But that's a separate argument re players outwith the bigger clubs getting international recognition. I do not see that ever changing, tbh, whether you or I agree with it.

In the long term, if Boyd does not improve playing in European football or playing in higher profile matches, such as title-deciding games, then I would be amazed. No-one is suggesting that Kilmarnock shouldn't get any credit for Kris Boyd - they should - but it would be equally foolish to ignore his development at other club(s). I'm not saying Rangers have made him 'international calibre' in that short space of time but I would expect him to improve at that club in the same way that, say, Paul Lambert became a better *all round* player in Dortmund. I'm surprised people are arguing about this, tbh.
scottish wrote:And I wouldn't attempt to do so. I was hinking more of the likes of Rico Annoni and Seb Rozental - both signed by our current national management - who are much more representative of the OF signing policy than the odd gem amid the dross.
You won't get any argument from me there. But how many of the Scotland team in 1998 would have got into the Rangers team of 1998, in your view? There were certainly no Gorams or Goughs in the Scottish side by the end of that decade.

It's also worth pointing out that, due to UEFA regulations, Smith did have a policy of trying to recruit the best Scottish players in his early years at Ibrox. The likes of Goram, Gough, Robertson, McCall, etc. My recollection is that this was met with accusations in some quarters of 'trying to buy the national team' culminating in the fury unleashed when Duncan Ferguson was purchased for £4m. Go figure, as the Yanks would say.
scottish wrote:True. But as the hiblog points out the same conditions apply in other 'rich' countries in Europe but without the same precipitous decline in their national team. And just across the water is a country which, twenty years ago, had qualified for nothing and has since played in three World Cups, reaching a quarter-final (though admittedly playing a brand of football which makes Craig Brown seem cavalier).
I agreed with hiblog. Other countries adapted - every English Premiership club has outstanding training facilties and youth facilities. Compare and contrast Terry Butcher in yesterday's papers saying the best piece of training equipment he had at Motherwell was the shovel to remove dog dirt from the public park. No-one would expect the 'Well to rival Man Utd for a training ground but with a bit of imagination and effort, and support from the SFA, clubs like 'Well could have had something in place 10 years ago.

The Irish model is a flimsy one. Its early success relied on players who weren't Irish and much of their supposed next generation have been trained in England by English clubs.
scottish wrote: 3. The current national management duo were - as club bosses - among the chief instigators of the policies which speeded up our decline.
The decline was already in place. Check out the difference in quality between the 1982 and 1990 World Cup squads, for starters. You can quibble all you like about whether it would have happened in the 1990's or now, or to the extent it did, but happen it would have done.

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Post by lbb » Tue Sep 05, 2006 9:41 am

LEATHERSTOCKING wrote:I`m not sure about this "Golden Age" stuff. When was this? 1960s? Didn`t qualify for the World Cup Finals with the likes of Baxter, Law, White, Cooke, McNeill & Greig wearing the Lion shirt.
Well, that was the SFA again. Strange selection policies, woeful organisation and downright incompetence being the order of the day for long enough.

The failure of Scotland, as a nation, to catch on to the coaching and tactical side of the game is well-documented. But we did produce good players and good teams in this period and certainly competed on a European level and international level that we haven't done since.
LEATHERSTOCKING wrote:Thirty years after being shown up in Argentina, our U21 coach is still amazed at how much better the young French side was last Friday evening stating that we must improve our coaching ! Oh, really?
It does sound like the annual argument. Knox has no history of bringing through young players and it's another classic SFA appointment - jobs for the boys.

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Post by Scottish » Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:36 am

lbb wrote: In the long term, if Boyd does not improve playing in European football or playing in higher profile matches, such as title-deciding games, then I would be amazed.
I'm sure he will - if he gets the chance to do so.
lbb wrote: But how many of the Scotland team in 1998 would have got into the Rangers team of 1998, in your view?
Just about them all. Rangers were clapped-out by 1998 as a result of Wattie's failure/refusal to rebuild the side lest it jeopardise the (doomed attempt to make ten in a row
lbb wrote:It's also worth pointing out that, due to UEFA regulations, Smith did have a policy of trying to recruit the best Scottish players in his early years at Ibrox......My recollection is that this was met with accusations in some quarters of 'trying to buy the national team' culminating in the fury unleashed when Duncan Ferguson was purchased for £4m.
Hmm. So Walter bought some Scottish/Scottish-qualiifed players because he HAD to and the moment UEFA regulations changed he stopped? Not sure exactly what you're getting at here. Walter was at Ibrox for 12 years - five as assistant and seven as manager. In his time as manager the only player who came through the ranks, wasn't offloaded as not good enough and went on to play for Scotland was Barry Ferguson. That's not much of a return for seven years in charge.

lbb wrote:The Irish model is a flimsy one. Its early success relied on players who weren't Irish and much of their supposed next generation have been trained in England by English clubs.
Wouldn't argue with that. But it did bring success and their 'non-Irish' players turned out to be a lot better than our 'non-Scots'. They've been to three World Cups to our one since 1990. And they're not alone in having all their players playing club football elsewhere - Sweden for example. Given that we have a full-time professional league we should be able to at least match those countries that don't.

lbb wrote:The decline was already in place. Check out the difference in quality between the 1982 and 1990 World Cup squads, for starters. You can quibble all you like about whether it would have happened in the 1990's or now, or to the extent it did, but happen it would have done.
Highly debatable as to whether the 1990 squad was any worse than 1982. On paper the 82 squad had bigger names but the 90 squad contained players from Man Utd, Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. It achieved one of Scotland's best ever WC results with the defeat of Sweden - one of only four WC victories, one of only two against a European side and the only time we've beaten another European country at a WC in Europe or when the other team had anything to play for. And the 1990 qualifying group was arguably the strongest we've ever had to contest.

As for when decline set in, how long is a piece of string? There are some posts on here which suggest it might have been before the 1960s. Who to blame? I'd go further than lumping it all on the SFA. I think the decline in playing at schools level during the 1980s must have had some effect and I maintain the chequebook fixes of our biggest clubs haven't helped. Bob Crampsey used to say that at least a strong OF meant a strong Scotland. It's been a long time since that held true.

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Post by Jimmy Superscot » Tue Sep 05, 2006 10:03 pm

And probably explains why no players outside the OF, Edinburgh and English clubs get a game until they move to one of the above. Boyd had been scoring for fun for Killie for more than 2 years before he went to Ibrox when suddenly Wattie decides he's international material. How would we have performed against e.g. Belarus if he had been partnering Miller up front?

Sorry, originally posted this a couple of days ago but gremlins in my PC (or my incomptetence!) meant it turned up in totally the wrong forum - so it should be read as following on from "Scottish"'s original post on this thread!! :oops:

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Post by Sat31March1928 » Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:05 pm

It's only recently the the Capital's Clubs have been getting players picked with anything other than grudgingly.

In fact Craig Gordon only began is full time run in the side when 'Rab Douglas' remember him was injured in the Italy game.

See

http://www.londonhearts.com/scotland/ga ... 50326.html

Going back to that Scotland Sweden Game

Craig Levein gave an imaculate performance only to be dropped for Stewart Mckimmie in the Brazil game.

http://www.londonhearts.com/scotland/ga ... 00616.html

http://www.londonhearts.com/scotland/ga ... 00620.html

And don't get me started on why Robbo only played 16 times for Scotland .....

Is Tom Boyd still available?
Jackson; James; Jackson; James; Jackson

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