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Scotland vs Czech Republic - Match Thread [14/10/2020]


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Dykes is brilliant in the air. Dykes and Griffiths could be a really dangerous partnership. Fraser doing great though. Must be all that sex with Kirks wife giving him a spring in his step... 

It is great to finally have a winning run, but those results mask poor performances with abysmal ball retention. The Czechs bossed possession and should have won comfortably.  

We're doing it. We're starting to bloody do it ! Clarke's getting it all to work. And Declan Gallagher and Andy Considine step forward and take a bow lads. Well done. John McGinn and David M

Ryan Jack was excellent last night as was McGinn who is now indispensable.

Greg Taylor must be the unluckiest wee sod in fitba considering what he's got to compete against for a jersey.  He did well though and always has when called on.  Wonder if he'd be any good on the right?

Daft thing to say after 3 clean sheets, but I'd prefer McTominay's presence in midfield.  Not that he didn't play well in defence, just that I think we need more ball winning and retention in the middle of the park.

Considine should retire so in 30 years time he can be saying to the grandkids, "Aye when I played for Scotland we won every game and never lost a goal!"  Delighted for the big guy.

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Its been a great few days in terms of results but I'm not getting carried away.  The Czechs could easily have won last night if they took their clear cut chances - to be fair we could also have scored at least one or two more.  Its great just to see us solid and a threat on the counter attack and finally looking like the players all know what they should be doing.

Moving on to Serbia, it is still a big task but we have a chance.  Interesting to hear Levein last night say he would go for height at the back to counter Mitrovic.  I think the players that are guaranteed starts are Marshall, McTominay, Robertson, McGinn, Fraser and Dykes.  The big questions are who plays centre mid, centre half and right back.  Centre mid I think will be Mcgregor and Jack, but I would also be happy with Fleck in there.  Centre half, I would be tempted to go McTominay, Gallacher, and either Cooper or McKenna. Consedine has done nothing wrong and should in the squad.  Then the right full back position is a toss up between SOD and Tierney.  Difficult call.  As we are playing wing backs, if we play Tierney we will get no natural width down the right.  As we are likely to be backs to the walls for most of the game it might come down to who can defend better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Caledonian Craig said:

The team I would start with V Serbia:-

------------------Marshall------------------

----Gallagher---McTominay--Cooper-------

Tierney--------------------------Robertson

 

-----------Jack----------Mcgregor---------

-----------------McGinn-------------------

 

------------Dykes----------Fraser----------

It's hard to argue against that team.  A big decision will need to be made on Tierney.  Too good to leave out but the defenders that have played have been good.

That team with options like Armstrong, Christie, Forrest, Burke, McBurnie and Griffiths on the bench has a chance against Serbia.  The wait now is to see who is actually available next month.  A big factor could be about which squad avoid covid the best! 

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1 minute ago, PASTA Mick said:

The wait now is to see who is actually available next month.  A big factor could be about which squad avoid covid the best! 

Indeed. And maybe this is where we benefit having players based largely in just two countries - Scotland and England. Serbia have players playing in Italy, Spain, France, Germany, England, Poland and Turkey amongst others.

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Great feeling though!  As most of know we have always been unlucky losers.  Scotland are getting like Celtic under Clarke and learning to win ugly which makes a huge difference.  Well done to Scotland every single one of them.  Someone suggested making McGinn captain but I would stick with Robertson.  Maybe vice captain though.  Time we got a bit of luck.  Cant wait to the Serbia game and I was going.

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1 hour ago, Caledonian Craig said:

The team I would start with V Serbia:-

------------------Marshall------------------

----Gallagher---McTominay--Cooper-------

Tierney--------------------------Robertson

 

-----------Jack----------Mcgregor---------

-----------------McGinn-------------------

 

------------Dykes----------Fraser----------

Before this set of results I would not have Jack or Gallagher near the team but both have been outstanding in these recent games. I thought Jack gave the ball away to easy in the first game but last night was excellent. This has the feeling of a club side and it will be interesting to see some of the youngsters coming through. Brilliant problem for Clarke. This is the team to beat Serbia. 

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If this international break proves anything its that fans should put more faith/trust in our players before shelling out derogatory terms or lambasting them. Before these games we had Gallagher and O'Donnell being lambasted and both have made big contributions to our week. We also had people slating Fraser and then the calling up of Considine at 33 but has been excellent. I'd like to think people may think twice now before slating players who are called up but somehow I doubt it.

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Obviously lots can change between now and the Serbia game and the results / performances were encouraging but I'd still be looking to get out best players into the team whilst still retaining the same sort of core as these games.

Marshall

Palmer, Mctominay, Gallagher, Tierney, Robertson

McGregor, Jack

Mcginn

Fraser, Dykes

 

 

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3 minutes ago, gonzohiggy said:

Obviously lots can change between now and the Serbia game and the results / performances were encouraging but I'd still be looking to get out best players into the team whilst still retaining the same sort of core as these games.

Marshall

Palmer, Mctominay, Gallagher, Tierney, Robertson

McGregor, Jack

Mcginn

Fraser, Dykes

 

 

After these last three games you cannot drop O'Donnell for Palmer in my opinion. O'Donnell had a hand in our goals V Slovakia and Czech Republic. If O'Donnell is axed it should be for Tierney to play there. That aside I agree with that side.

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1 minute ago, Caledonian Craig said:

After these last three games you cannot drop O'Donnell for Palmer in my opinion. O'Donnell had a hand in our goals V Slovakia and Czech Republic. If O'Donnell is axed it should be for Tierney to play there. That aside I agree with that side.

I put Tierney in my side for the game v Serbia but I honestly don't know if it's the right call. I have slagged O'Donnells ability rotten in the past, but in this system he does his job very well. He presses at the right times is disciplined he holds his position really well. His ability still lets him down at times going forward, but what a cross v Slovakia and that is where our goals are going to come from in wide areas so having Tierney on the right may not be ideal

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4 minutes ago, Caledonian Craig said:

After these last three games you cannot drop O'Donnell for Palmer in my opinion. O'Donnell had a hand in our goals V Slovakia and Czech Republic. If O'Donnell is axed it should be for Tierney to play there. That aside I agree with that side.

Can understand the sentiment but O'Donnell is a glaring weak link in that side and had a few jittery moments in the last three games. Same rationale to considine, did well but I'd feel more comfortable with Tierneys pace to tuck round and if our other centre halves are out position.

Would be amazed if Tierney played right wing back

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8 minutes ago, gonzohiggy said:

Can understand the sentiment but O'Donnell is a glaring weak link in that side and had a few jittery moments in the last three games. Same rationale to considine, did well but I'd feel more comfortable with Tierneys pace to tuck round and if our other centre halves are out position.

Would be amazed if Tierney played right wing back

Agree about O'Donnell.  He did well for the two goals this week but we can't wait until players give us a reason to drop them before doing so.  You need to go with your strongest available XI.  Clarke has some big decisions to make and I bet he is fucking delighted with it!!

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13 hours ago, ErsatzThistle said:

Where are all the wankers who were calling for Clarke to be sacked ?

Come on, where are you all ? Speak up.

I'm not sure if I was one of them. I think I said something along the lines of, if we don't win the semi final he should go? We did win the semi so in my mind he has now achieved about the same as Mcleish did. McLeish's team beat Israel to get us to the play off. Clarke's team didn't manage to beat Israel, but he still took us to the play off final. 

McLeish won our group in League C. If Clarke can win our League B group then that will be a big step up. Czech Rep need to win both their last two games to have any chance of catching us, which I think they probably can do. But if we can get 2 points or more from our last 2 games there is nothing the Czech Rep can do about it. But we shouldn't forget what happened the last time we went away to Slovakia and Israel. 

Israel could still catch us as well.

If we beat Serbia OR if we win our League B group, then IMO, Clarke will have surpassed what McLeish did. If we do neither then, then if it was right to sack McLeish, then it should be right that Clarke's position should be looked at very closely. 

Hopefully we can beat Serbia and win our Nations League group then the only person who needs to make any decisions will be Clarke himself.

We have had two good results, both at home, I'm not getting too carried away just yet.

 

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O'Donnell gives me the fear at this level. He was great for Killie at times, but faded badly in his last 6 months with us. He was frequently caught out for pace on the turn and by through balls inside him. Serbia do this a lot - quick balls in the channels between full back and central defence. Often they utilise fast and accurate passes from Kolarov from about the half way line. If we can combat it well it leaves opportunities to counter attack, but they are good at it. I will look for a twitter post I saw with a video of this.

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It's positive. Really positive. However we need our best players against Serbia and Tierney is our best (for me). He needs to be at CB I think. His passing out is better than McTominay's and at Arsenal a lot of attacks start with him or go through him. The 3 CBs are hard to choose now though.

 McTominay/Jack vie for CM and then I don't really know what to do with McGregor and Armstrong. 

I'd go with

                 Marshall

     Gallagher  Cooper  Tierney

O'Donnell                         Robertson 

      McGinn    Jack    Christie

                      Fraser

                      Dykes

 

Turnbull, Gilmour, Campbell, McCrorie, Hickey and a few more will only make that squad stronger over the next year or two. C'mon!!!!

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A massive result last night for this group of players who deserved the success they have had this week.

They have bought fully into Steve Clarke's plan, they have tactically executed it to the letter to the point where we have chucked both Considine and Hanlon in at very little notice and both did fine. Indeed if anyone a month ago had said a back five at the end against the Czechs would contain 2 from Motherwell, 1 from Aberdeen, 1 from Hibs and Scott McTominay whilst keeping a clean sheet, you'd have been laughed out the room.

Special credit has to be paid to SOD, McTominay, Gallagher, Considine, Cooper  Robertson, Taylor, Hanlon and David Marshall over the last week. They have put together some excellent individual and collective defensive displays against three reasonable teams including the free scoring Eran Zahavi and a good Czech side and come out with three clean sheets. It's been an excellent building block.

Fraser, Dykes and McGinn once again linked superbly last night until the former two understandably ran out of steam. They've been a delight of a triumvirate this week and you can see burgeoning confidence there. Also shoutout to Ryan Jack last night who again had a good game.

Yes we rode our luck a couple of times but we deserved the breaks for the work that we put in. Czechs also had let offs when Fraser blazed over and McBurnie crashed his shot off the bar.

Collective spirit and workrate of this group is making them even more endearing to watch and support, full credit to the players and Clarke.

All in all, a great win and a superb end to the perfect week. The fact we have again taken the Nations League seriously and will reap the benefits of more glamour games and more importantly both better seeding for the next Euros and a better playoff route just adds to the positives.

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4 hours ago, BucksburnDandy said:

A massive result last night for this group of players who deserved the success they have had this week.

They have bought fully into Steve Clarke's plan, they have tactically executed it to the letter to the point where we have chucked both Considine and Hanlon in at very little notice and both did fine. Indeed if anyone a month ago had said a back five at the end against the Czechs would contain 2 from Motherwell, 1 from Aberdeen, 1 from Hibs and Scott McTominay whilst keeping a clean sheet, you'd have been laughed out the room.

Special credit has to be paid to SOD, McTominay, Gallagher, Considine, Cooper  Robertson, Taylor, Hanlon and David Marshall over the last week. They have put together some excellent individual and collective defensive displays against three reasonable teams including the free scoring Eran Zahavi and a good Czech side and come out with three clean sheets. It's been an excellent building block.

Fraser, Dykes and McGinn once again linked superbly last night until the former two understandably ran out of steam. They've been a delight of a triumvirate this week and you can see burgeoning confidence there. Also shoutout to Ryan Jack last night who again had a good game.

Yes we rode our luck a couple of times but we deserved the breaks for the work that we put in. Czechs also had let offs when Fraser blazed over and McBurnie crashed his shot off the bar.

Collective spirit and workrate of this group is making them even more endearing to watch and support, full credit to the players and Clarke.

All in all, a great win and a superb end to the perfect week. The fact we have again taken the Nations League seriously and will reap the benefits of more glamour games and more importantly both better seeding for the next Euros and a better playoff route just adds to the positives.

You can really tell now the players want to play for Scotland and for the team; there's a togetherness we haven't seen since the 2005-07 period.

The very fact we've had three clean sheets in a row (no matter how lucky we may have been at times) with a very makeshift backline is a testament to that - if you were to have named our strongest back five before the start of this week's fixtures, probably only Robertson and Cooper would've been there out of those who played any part this week, however the players came in, gave their all and did a great job all things considered. Players like Gallagher have probably put themselves in a position where you'd struggle to drop them now.

The attack looks like there's an understanding growing. Dykes looks like a player who'll be starting regularly for us for the next few years, while Fraser may well be at home playing a central freer role. McGinn looks like he could become our most important player for the next few campaigns.

The central midfield pairing of Jack and McGregor looks great; Fleck and McLean did a good job when they came in.

You almost have to question where the missing players are going to fit back in now, but it's great that we're even having to think about it.

I'm also really happy we've taken the Nations League seriously. In two years time, we could be competing against Europe's elite in it after hopefully having played in our first tournament for twenty-three years. With some of the younger players coming through as well, I hope this isn't a flash in the pan and we're going to build to become one of the top small European nations again.

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