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Good point. We need three though.

I like Griffiths. But can you imagine the outrage if McBurnie fluffed that chance the way he did?

That is true. If we had played shot against Israel with 4 at the back I'd be providing essays and dissecting it. In this match, however, we dominated it, got more shots on target, off-target, corners,

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12 minutes ago, 0Neils40yarder said:

For all that the Serbia game (well 90mins and penalties) was magnificent...the last two matches have been utter shite, our centre forward area now looks to be our Achilles heel, with Griffiths looking completely off it and Dyke and McBurnie being anything other than prolific.

The last two games havent looked utter shite at all. Theyve highlighted where we need to improve and thats a great thing with 7 months to go.

We passed the ball around very well and with confidence away from home, when did we last say that about a scottish national side?

Our finishing needs work but everything else is falling into place. 

Dykes isnt meant to be prolific, that not his game. I actually think griffiths will go back to celtic and hit form. Playing in a euros as first choice is a massive incentive for him.

To say the last two matches were utter shite is well, its utter shite.

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51 minutes ago, ThistleWhistle said:

Bit disappointed to be honest as after proffering screeds of ruminations on your tactical omniscience I’d hoped at least for a bit more objectivity following last night.  If Scotland had served up last night’s performance with 4 at the back there would have been an avalanche of diatribes from here to the next round of fixtures.     

 

 

 

At best that performance can be excused because it’s the 3rd away trip in a week but to suggest it’s some way a step forward is blinkered in exactly the same way anyone who defended 4 at the back would be accused of being. 

End of the day a Pot 4 side, who’ve now kept 2 clean sheets in 14 (both vs us) and lost 7 out of 13, played the same formation as us last night and, even missing two of their main players, were better at it than us.  One of their CB’s looked like a raffle winner and SOD had the run of their left back but we persisted in going down our left despite them being far stronger down there. 

 

 

 

Despite their manager being let go for pish results he managed to do a number on us again with Nacho looking like Pirlo in the gap between our lines again and continually managed to pick out their right back again who spent most of the game in our half again.  Their strikers then played in the gap between our defence and midfield with Zahavi having a ten minute spell of being allowed to take potshots despite everyone knowing he’s lethal.  Having three, four, five or six at the back makes no difference if the midfield in front don’t protect them. 

 

 

 

For all the corners; all the possession; all the huffing and puffing around their box we could easily have conceded four last night.  There was the chance straight after half time that just got a nick of McTominay’s arse; Zahavi clear through when SOD came from RWB to LB to get a block in when we were all over the place; the goal where the gap between SOD and McTominay was about 50 yards a minute before half time and; the fella who had 4 touches in the box and still got a shot away relatively unchallenged. 

 

 

 

It doesn’t mean I’d advocate throwing the baby out with the bathwater and from the Serbia game it shows how effective it could possibly be in the Euro’s so long as we have some sort of Plan B as a team as limited as Israel can exploit our weaknesses and; a better corner routine because those were painful last night.  

 

 

 

What it does show is there are a lot of questions around WC qualifiers as we’re typically pish around breaking down Pot 4 teams when we really need 6 points to even think about top 2 and that doesn’t seem to be changing – we are totally incapable of dragging teams out when they’re sat in and then get more and more desperate until the point we’re a piece of piss to counter attack.    

 

No idea what you're talking about.

We have come very far, but last night shows that there's more to go. You think we should be crying in our porridge because of an unfortunate defeat? I don't. We have an identity. We have a group of players who are playing well and they know what's expected of them. We have a raft of young players coming through (NOT from the u21s, apart from Gilmour and a couple more.)

We could've easily have conceded four? They only had two shots on target. To our seven. We could've easily have scored four, from memory. Their keeper won MOTM, as did the opposition keeper done when we played Slovakia.

If you want to nitpick over a few instances were we lost shape or they had chances or space, etc, and point score over three at the back, have at it. I'm not going to entertain it.

This is the situation: For the first time, since under Craig Brown, Scotland has a clear identity. The players know their job. 

People put too much stock on effort. It's all for nothing if there's no organisation and no coaching. The only manager that we've had, that had us properly coached, was Walter Smith. Alex McLeish 1.0 benefitted from the foundations laid down by Smith. Burley, Levein, Vogts, McLeish 2.0, Strachan we're failures. Undeniable failures. They, along with the fans, were obsessed with a system that we haven't been capable of playing since the early 90s. 

Steve Clarke has got us playing well. We're difficult to break down (Wanna focus on the match against Kazakhstan when they beat us 0-3? If not, I could bring up dozens of other examples), we look organized, we're. Creating chances and actually looking lively up front, and, if wasn't for two motm performances by opposition goalkeepers, we would've won the previous two matches

We are on the right track.

Or do you want to go back to the same system that we used for 18 years? You know the one, the one where we qualified for zero. Our defence was disorganized, our midfield was like pudding, our midfield was constantly pulled back so deeply that Steven Fletcher, Steven Naismith, Kenny Miller, etc, were constantly disconnected from the midfield and had to feed on long balls.

Personally, I'd rather stick to the road we're currently on. It's brought us 2020 qualification, after all.

 

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34 minutes ago, bazmidd said:

Honestly think Mikey Johnston is a match winner in the making for us, just hope he fully recovers from his injury problems, the boys dribbling ability is special 

Yeah. I think so, too.

Just hope that he recovers and stays fit.

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13 minutes ago, vanderark14 said:

The last two games havent looked utter shite at all. Theyve highlighted where we need to improve and thats a great thing with 7 months to go.

We passed the ball around very well and with confidence away from home, when did we last say that about a scottish national side?

Our finishing needs work but everything else is falling into place. 

Dykes isnt meant to be prolific, that not his game. I actually think griffiths will go back to celtic and hit form. Playing in a euros as first choice is a massive incentive for him.

To say the last two matches were utter shite is well, its utter shite.

I thought we were everything I'd want to see from a Scotland side, when we played Serbia...we had a plan, we were controlled, we played the ball with confidence all throughout the team. 

 

I didnt see that in the games v Slovakia and Israel, I thought we looked very flat, and all out of ideas.

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9 minutes ago, 0Neils40yarder said:

I thought we were everything I'd want to see from a Scotland side, when we played Serbia...we had a plan, we were controlled, we played the ball with confidence all throughout the team. 

 

I didnt see that in the games v Slovakia and Israel, I thought we looked very flat, and all out of ideas.

We created chance after chance in both games

We just didn't take any of them

Manager said it, lacking calm and street smart

Absolutely bang on

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7 minutes ago, Bino's said:

We created chance after chance in both games

We just didn't take any of them

Manager said it, lacking calm and street smart

Absolutely bang on

Apart from the header in the first half, the McGinn shot that was blocked in the second half, I’m struggling to remember any clear cut chances against Israel 

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14 minutes ago, ParisInAKilt said:

Apart from the header in the first half, the McGinn shot that was blocked in the second half, I’m struggling to remember any clear cut chances against Israel 

the griffiths chance which he shouldve buried. Christies shot at goal, o donnell had two good attempts, jack had a chance but blew it too. 

We had good chances

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35 minutes ago, 0Neils40yarder said:

I thought we were everything I'd want to see from a Scotland side, when we played Serbia...we had a plan, we were controlled, we played the ball with confidence all throughout the team. 

 

I didnt see that in the games v Slovakia and Israel, I thought we looked very flat, and all out of ideas.

I saw it in all three matches, fuck knows which games you watched.😂😂

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13 minutes ago, ParisInAKilt said:

Apart from the header in the first half, the McGinn shot that was blocked in the second half, I’m struggling to remember any clear cut chances against Israel 

Christie could have played dykes clean through but didn't

He was clean through himself and tried to square rather than shooting


Was also fouled in the box but didn't go down

Mcginn was held back in the shot you mentioned but didn't go down

Gallagher header

Griffith's scuffed effort late on

38 crosses

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Just now, Bino's said:

Christie could have played dykes clean through but didn't

He was clean through himself and tried to square rather than shooting


Was also fouled in the box but didn't go down

Mcginn was held back in the shot you mentioned but didn't go down

Gallagher header

Griffith's scuffed effort late on

38 crosses

I forgot about O'Donnell's two digs

Insane we didn't get the late handball pen too

Griffs free kick late on

At least 2 of all the above should have been taken

 

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48 minutes ago, Taylor1996 said:

No idea what you're talking about.

We have come very far, but last night shows that there's more to go. You think we should be crying in our porridge because of an unfortunate defeat? I don't. We have an identity. We have a group of players who are playing well and they know what's expected of them. We have a raft of young players coming through (NOT from the u21s, apart from Gilmour and a couple more.)

We could've easily have conceded four? They only had two shots on target. To our seven. We could've easily have scored four, from memory. Their keeper won MOTM, as did the opposition keeper done when we played Slovakia.

If you want to nitpick over a few instances were we lost shape or they had chances or space, etc, and point score over three at the back, have at it. I'm not going to entertain it.

This is the situation: For the first time, since under Craig Brown, Scotland has a clear identity. The players know their job. 

People put too much stock on effort. It's all for nothing if there's no organisation and no coaching. The only manager that we've had, that had us properly coached, was Walter Smith. Alex McLeish 1.0 benefitted from the foundations laid down by Smith. Burley, Levein, Vogts, McLeish 2.0, Strachan we're failures. Undeniable failures. They, along with the fans, were obsessed with a system that we haven't been capable of playing since the early 90s. 

Steve Clarke has got us playing well. We're difficult to break down (Wanna focus on the match against Kazakhstan when they beat us 0-3? If not, I could bring up dozens of other examples), we look organized, we're. Creating chances and actually looking lively up front, and, if wasn't for two motm performances by opposition goalkeepers, we would've won the previous two matches

We are on the right track.

Or do you want to go back to the same system that we used for 18 years? You know the one, the one where we qualified for zero. Our defence was disorganized, our midfield was like pudding, our midfield was constantly pulled back so deeply that Steven Fletcher, Steven Naismith, Kenny Miller, etc, were constantly disconnected from the midfield and had to feed on long balls.

Personally, I'd rather stick to the road we're currently on. It's brought us 2020 qualification, after all.

 

If Scotland had played so shit continually vs Israel with 4 at the back you'd be providing essays on it for months to come.  To be honest can hark back to the 90's if you want but if 24 teams qualified for the euros its almost more difficult not to qualify.  

A list of the teams who didn't qualify or at least qualify for the playoff:  Montenegro; Luxemburg; Lithuania; Estonia; Gibraltar; Azerbaijan; Faroe Islands; Malta; Slovenia; Latvia; Albania; Moldova; Andorra; Cyprus; Kazakhstan; San Marino; Greece; Armenia and Lichtenstein.

I'm chuffed we have qualified but lets not kid ourselves on - in the nation league and euro qualifiers we've been varying degrees of crap throughout regardless of pivots or numbers of centre backs really.  By far the best performance though was Serbia and nearly threw that away. I specifically said 3 at the back was the way forward for the Euros because we can play on the break - Fraser will be key.  However, we didn't build on it and failed to capitalise on a chance of a WC playoff on the high of what we'd achieved but in your book that's progress.

Can't possibly say yesterday was any step forward because we've been turgid vs a pot 4 team again which is our typical identity.  We passed going nowhere, looked toothless up top with no idea how to breakdown a fairly ropey defense and looked suspect at the back ourselves.  Who gave their keeper MOM because he had almost bugger all for about 85 minutes apart from McGinn's header? 

Them possibly scoring four was conservative - two shots on target (one where he took 4 touches in our box!), one that missed by about an inch and then the one first half where Zahavi was clear through and tried to check back when he already took a touch and had a good look at the goal.  Zahavi must have had three shots from just outside our box in ten minutes too.  Apart from Griffiths at the end we didn't have chances anywhere near that quality.  

Effort isn't over-rated - its fundamental now as teams press high up the pitch then drop back to their own box.  Germany's wingers didn't track back and they took a spanking.  Passing about aimlessly and slowly in the middle of the pitch is becoming obsolete.  

No doubt we're better than Kazakhstan and the future is brighter but that's an extraordinarily low bar to be setting.  We've categorically proven over 2 years we can't deal with a team as limited as Israel which doesn't bode well for WC qualifying and can't say we're as yet better than under Strachan.  We were also one penalty save away from the week being an unmitigated disaster.  

  

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38 minutes ago, Rohan said:

One thing I though of during the match was our crossing has to be better, too often it found an opposite player and failed to beat the first man. Though we were decent value for a draw at least in both games

Didn't get to the byline enough for me and kept coming back to chuck balls in from deep giving them the chance to reset.

I thought they were unlucky not to get something v Slovakia and probably deserved a win - yesterday if we'd been in Israel's shoes we'd probably think we were more than good value for the win.   

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1 hour ago, Bino's said:

Christie could have played dykes clean through but didn't

He was clean through himself and tried to square rather than shooting


Was also fouled in the box but didn't go down

Mcginn was held back in the shot you mentioned but didn't go down

Gallagher header

Griffith's scuffed effort late on

38 crosses

That’s a stretch for clear cut chances 

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1 hour ago, vanderark14 said:

the griffiths chance which he shouldve buried. Christies shot at goal, o donnell had two good attempts, jack had a chance but blew it too. 

We had good chances

The Griffiths free kick? That is a chance, not sure about burying it though. The others are half chances and part of most games. On another night we could have won definitely but the idea we dominated that some are picturing is a fantasy. 

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4 minutes ago, ParisInAKilt said:

The Griffiths free kick? That is a chance, not sure about burying it though. The others are half chances and part of most games. On another night we could have won definitely but the idea we dominated that some are picturing is a fantasy. 

No, griffitsh had a chance from 8 yards which he shoild have scored. You cant even remember out best chance yet you say others opinions is fantasy? 

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3 hours ago, Taylor1996 said:

McFadden's dribbling ability was often the difference between a draw and a loss. Christie and Fraser are good, but I don't think either could do what McFadden could.

Hepburn is one to keep an eye on. He'll be learning tons at Bayern Munich.

 

Well, McFadden is arguably our best player from the last 2 decades. As you can see from my profile picture, I am a massive fan of his. He produced world class performances at times. 

So it's probably harsh to judge any player on the very high bar he set. But I do think Fraser and Christie are two that can emulate his performances, and they'll now have the chance to showcase their abilities on a bigger stage. It's a travesty that McFadden never got that chance.

Barring a clip here and there, I've not seen much of Hepburn. But the Bayern academy have the pick of the German elite, so the fact they felt like they had to pilfer a lad from Scotland is highly encouraging.

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6 hours ago, er yir macaroon said:

Dykes and McBurnie are nothing like the same player. 

People keep saying they are, but I don’t see it.

Dykes is a strange player, a bit of a target man, but also runs about a hell of a lot, good at bribing others in obviously. 

What the fuck is McBurnie, just a useless annoying guy who does nothing. He’d be about sixth choice for me, and that’s being kind.

The Dykes love in is too much for me, he is decent, nothing more. I think he fits the system well, and does a job, but he will very rarely score a goal. 

Dykes is like a McDonalds to a starving guy, yeah you love it as it’s needed, but the quality isn’t up to much. 

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Clarke says we've come a long way which is fair enough taking into account drubbings from Kazakhstan,  Belgium and Russia plus a defeat by Israel when they played us off the park. We've now had a long unbeaten run,  qualified for a tourney and have got some decent established players and a good team spirit but know improvements are needed. Was a bit disappointing to play well and lose one Sunday but I felt Israel has the measure of us knowing they had some skilful players that could get a goal on breakaways. I would have hoped that there was enough skill in the team to be more of a threat they must know that also. Agree with others that more variety at corners would have helped also but looking forward to the draw on Dec 7th and next years games. We have a decent platform to build on. 

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I do think we played well against Serbia  but when you think about that game and the next 2 our finishing in all 3 have been woeful.

I still think we made big mistakes letting the players get drunk on Thursday they are meant to be professionals. This goes back to the 70s in the world cups where we could have done so much more but the players thought they were on holiday rather than being professional. 

Robertson is not a wingback and I think he should swap with Tierney. Mctominay needs to be given a chance in midfield and Mckenna in the back 3. SOD yes he did OK but we need to get someone who can actually go passed the defender and cross a ball as well as defend. Sadly at this moment not sure who. We need to get somebody who can score. 

When I'm thinking about this that's not much of a list to hopefully make us a better team so I will stop at that. Got to be positive we can sort the few things out for the euros. Hope a couple of the youngsters manage to step up. 

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14 hours ago, ThistleWhistle said:

If Scotland had played so shit continually vs Israel with 4 at the back you'd be providing essays on it for months to come.  To be honest can hark back to the 90's if you want but if 24 teams qualified for the euros its almost more difficult not to qualify.  

A list of the teams who didn't qualify or at least qualify for the playoff:  Montenegro; Luxemburg; Lithuania; Estonia; Gibraltar; Azerbaijan; Faroe Islands; Malta; Slovenia; Latvia; Albania; Moldova; Andorra; Cyprus; Kazakhstan; San Marino; Greece; Armenia and Lichtenstein.

I'm chuffed we have qualified but lets not kid ourselves on - in the nation league and euro qualifiers we've been varying degrees of crap throughout regardless of pivots or numbers of centre backs really.  By far the best performance though was Serbia and nearly threw that away. I specifically said 3 at the back was the way forward for the Euros because we can play on the break - Fraser will be key.  However, we didn't build on it and failed to capitalise on a chance of a WC playoff on the high of what we'd achieved but in your book that's progress.

Can't possibly say yesterday was any step forward because we've been turgid vs a pot 4 team again which is our typical identity.  We passed going nowhere, looked toothless up top with no idea how to breakdown a fairly ropey defense and looked suspect at the back ourselves.  Who gave their keeper MOM because he had almost bugger all for about 85 minutes apart from McGinn's header? 

Them possibly scoring four was conservative - two shots on target (one where he took 4 touches in our box!), one that missed by about an inch and then the one first half where Zahavi was clear through and tried to check back when he already took a touch and had a good look at the goal.  Zahavi must have had three shots from just outside our box in ten minutes too.  Apart from Griffiths at the end we didn't have chances anywhere near that quality.  

Effort isn't over-rated - its fundamental now as teams press high up the pitch then drop back to their own box.  Germany's wingers didn't track back and they took a spanking.  Passing about aimlessly and slowly in the middle of the pitch is becoming obsolete.  

No doubt we're better than Kazakhstan and the future is brighter but that's an extraordinarily low bar to be setting.  We've categorically proven over 2 years we can't deal with a team as limited as Israel which doesn't bode well for WC qualifying and can't say we're as yet better than under Strachan.  We were also one penalty save away from the week being an unmitigated disaster.  

  

That is true. If we had played shot against Israel with 4 at the back I'd be providing essays and dissecting it. In this match, however, we dominated it, got more shots on target, off-target, corners, the ball was in their half almost double the amount of time it was in ours. We had seven shots on target, to their two. Seven shots inside the box, to their six. SEVENTEEN! Traditionally, when Scotland get beat, we get thoroughly dominated, even if it was against unfashionable teams.

You listing the teams who failed to qualify for Euro 2020 is supposed to, what, devalue our achievement? Fair enough. Want to know the titan nations that qualified for Euro 2018? Azerbaijan, Serbia, Slovenia, Kazakhstan. So don't pretend that only the mammoth teams qualified for the previous European Championships.

Yes. It is progress. We're living in a small bubble where Scotland fans were up in arms when we drew away to Israel, playing a three at the back. Even to the point where people were calling Clarke clueless, and even wanting him to get fired. ONE MATCH. That's akin to the people of Rome, after one day of construction, calling it a day.

Scotland are showing progress. We've played well for four or five matches in a row. I can't remember the last time I could say that. No, I'm not an idealist. I would rather have the result than the performance, but if you have a performance, for such a sustained period, it's evidence that we're now playing in a system that doesn't tax the players and ask them to do anything that they aren't capable of. Why previous managers (or FANS) couldn't see that, I have no idea. McLeish and Strachan flirted with a three, but both didn't have the fortitude to continue with it. Even though we were within a Stuart Armstrong error withing a win against England.

I'd need to watch the match again to pour through the minutiae of it. On first showing, though, I quite clearly remember O'Donnell having a couple of really good chances. Christie could've slipped in Dykes for one,  and then there was the McGinn chance. That's four that I remember. We looked suspect at the back? You mean, allowing them to get a mammoth two shots on target? SofaScore gave their keeper 9.4. He had eight saves to make as opposed to Marshall's two.

Ok. I forgot about the Griffiths chance. So that's five.

As I said, I'd need to have a second watching to properly analyse the performance, the chances made and the chances conceded.

Effort is over-rated. Look at Kenny Miller, for instance. He broke his back in every single match he played for us. How do we remember him? As "Kenny Misser". Lovely tribute there. From 2002 - 2020 our players have run about, they've shown passion and effort, with zilch to show for it. With effort, you need organization and coaching and unity. At long last, we have all that. However, it's still a work in progress. The difference between now and the previous eighteen years is that we're showing progress. Is the job done? Not even close, but I'm delighted that Steve Clarke has shown enough nouse to realize that Scotland haven't been capable of playing with a back four since the early 90s.

Forget about the two years. We've been playing with the current system for three months. How about we all give it at least two years before we formally form an opinion, yes?

The early signs are promising. This is only phase one of the rebuilding process. There's a long way to go before we're a well-oiled machine that can go up against the minnows as well as the Titans.

We look more solid at the back. We're conceding less chances. (We've only let it two goals in one of eight matches where we have played with a three). We are playing better football. We're creating more chances, no, we aren't taking our chances, but that's more down to the calibre of our strikers than the system. In previous years we've had proven EPL standard strikers, such as Miller, Fletcher, Naismith. Now we have Dykes, Shankland and Griffiths. The latter being at the end of his career. The first two are unproven at any decent level.

We've had eighteen years playing a system that I was never a fan of. I remember Vogts's first match in charge. Playing a back four. I remember the doom that I felt from that moment on... Didn't know that it would've lasted eighteen years. At long last, we're playing the system that I grew up with, and I could not be happier. Is it going to all sunshine and roses? No. It's not. But how about we compare the merits of the current system with the previous system, if, God willing, we play it for the next eighteen years.

Also, facts show that Craig Brown played a back three for eight years. With two qualifications (should've been three as we hammered England in the '99 playoffs) and Steve Clarke has qualified for a tournament with three months using this system. So that's three tournaments in eight and a quarter years. As opposed to zero tournaments in eighteen years playing a four.

So, how any Scotland fan can say that we're better with four at the back, for the previous eighteen teams, is confusing. And bear in mind, in those eighteen years we've had guys like Weir, McManus, Dailly, Caldwell. Fine, not exactly Baresi or Costacurta, etc, but they're better than the likes of Gallagher and Considine. Plus, midfielder like Brown and Fletcher and Ferguson, with the magical touch of McFadden. 

The previous seven (McLeish twice) Scotland managers have failed generations of Scotland players and fans.

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