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Levein interview


ParisInAKilt
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Even in a piece that’s supposed to gather sympathy for the manager he still comes across as an arrogant twat

https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/58788704

“People will always remember the 4-6-0 formation we played against the Czechs, but I try to forget about it. Anyway, you are better to be known for something than nothing, eh?

In all honesty, no-one would have noticed if it was not for a player leaking it to the press and, even today, I am still comfortable with that decision. Looking back, I would do the same thing. But at least it gives people something to talk about.”

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He chose to play Craig Mackail Smith instead of Kenny Miller who had flown his family over to Prague for his 50th cap. Seriously poor man management. He could easily have played the same tactics with Miller in the team and no one would have batted an eyelid. He created a rod for his own back by over thinking the situation and trying to be smart. He lost the entire support that night and it was remarkable he lasted as ling as he did after that. Dont even get me started on hanging Faddy out to dry v Lichtenstein at Hampden.

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Still bugs me now - they'd just lost to Lithuania at home match day 2 so our draw away there first game was suddenly not  a disaster.  We therefore went into the Czech game 4 points ahead but they had a game in hand - we had a shot to nothing over there because if we won they'd be struggling 7 points behind with 6 games left and two of them being Spain.  Just realised  there if we had beaten them then only beat Lichtenstein away and Lithuania home we'd still have got 13 points so they'd need something from a Spain game.

If we drew they would still likely need snookers coming to us later in the campaign.  Instead he basically shit out putting his eggs in one basket to park the bus clinging for a 0-0 just inviting them to score despite their confidence no doubt taking a dent.

On top of that it made no sense on the pitch because instead of passing it about a bit like the Barca formation he was allegedly copying we continued to bunt it forward at a 5 foot 10 target man in our usual fashion but even less effectively than usual as they were stood out on the fucking wing for some unfathomable reason.    

 

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2 hours ago, Texas Pete said:

How does this guy even still get interviewed/written about? He should be consigned to the annals of history. 

Even if you don’t consider the 4-6-0 he’s one of the worst Scotland managers ever. 

He really was. The only slight mitigation is he got a stinker of a qualifying group for Brazil 2014 but even so, his competitive record is terrible.

11 minutes ago, ThistleWhistle said:

Still bugs me now - they'd just lost to Lithuania at home match day 2 so our draw away there first game was suddenly not  a disaster.  We therefore went into the Czech game 4 points ahead but they had a game in hand - we had a shot to nothing over there because if we won they'd be struggling 7 points behind with 6 games left and two of them being Spain.  Just realised  there if we had beaten them then only beat Lichtenstein away and Lithuania home we'd still have got 13 points so they'd need something from a Spain game.

If we drew they would still likely need snookers coming to us later in the campaign.  Instead he basically shit out putting his eggs in one basket to park the bus clinging for a 0-0 just inviting them to score despite their confidence no doubt taking a dent.

On top of that it made no sense on the pitch because instead of passing it about a bit like the Barca formation he was allegedly copying we continued to bunt it forward at a 5 foot 10 target man in our usual fashion but even less effectively than usual as they were stood out on the fucking wing for some unfathomable reason.    

 

Aye, we missed out the passing it to a teammate bit that's quite important for that formation to work! 😂

I see Scot Gemmill dusted off that formation for the frist half against Denmark in the U21s game the other day though, with similar outcomes.

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3 hours ago, ThistleWhistle said:

On top of that it made no sense on the pitch because instead of passing it about a bit like the Barca formation he was allegedly copying we continued to bunt it forward at a 5 foot 10 target man in our usual fashion but even less effectively than usual as they were stood out on the fucking wing for some unfathomable reason.    

Our tactic for the previous few years had been to lump the ball up for Kenny Miller to chase and the 4-6-0 team was no different, however the problem was Kenny was sitting on the bench.

 

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1 hour ago, Toepoke said:

Our tactic for the previous few years had been to lump the ball up for Kenny Miller to chase and the 4-6-0 team was no different, however the problem was Kenny was sitting on the bench.

 

😅

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A low point I remember was in the first game (or one of first games) of a campaign, making out it would be OK to draw with Serbia at home, as if 0-0 was somehow 'taking something from the game' - yeah gaining one point, but losing two.

Edited by exile
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8 hours ago, Judith said:

He created a rod for his own back

Strange you say that...

I was sat high up on the side that night in Prague and over-looking the match, it was like over-looking a table football - but with only three rods - Goalkeeper, defence and midfield.

 

There was no 'forwards' rod in Prague and our midfield rod barely crossed the half-way line.

 

Levein once tried to compare Spain with his formation didn't he?

I think Spain played without recognised strikers - But they played attacking midfielders in the forward positions instead.

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19 minutes ago, Rich NATA said:

Strange you say that...

I was sat high up on the side that night in Prague and over-looking the match, it was like over-looking a table football - but with only three rods - Goalkeeper, defence and midfield.

 

There was no 'forwards' rod in Prague and our midfield rod barely crossed the half-way line.

 

Levein once tried to compare Spain with his formation didn't he?

I think Spain played without recognised strikers - But they played attacking midfielders in the forward positions instead.

Think it was the Dutch.  They played without a centre forward on occasion.

 

I like levein.  Thought he was decent and we were robbed in the home game against the Czechs with the dive.

I have met him and I know he is not everyone’s cup of tea but speaks a lot of sense.

 

also a brilliant footballer. If it wasn’t for injury would have played at the very top winning the big prizes.

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11 hours ago, BraveheartGordon said:

In the game following the 4-6-0 when we played Liechtenstein at home he literally played McFadden and Boyd so that he could throw them under the bus.

Must be up there with some of the weirdest/worst man management ever.

McFadden was awful in that game. Probably his worst game in a Scotland shirt. He got subbed at halftime and quite rightly too.

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18 hours ago, Malcolm said:

Think it was the Dutch.  They played without a centre forward on occasion.

 

I like levein.  Thought he was decent and we were robbed in the home game against the Czechs with the dive.

I have met him and I know he is not everyone’s cup of tea but speaks a lot of sense.

 

also a brilliant footballer. If it wasn’t for injury would have played at the very top winning the big prizes.

I’ve met him as well and he did come across as a bit of a fanny. Hard to judge someone on one meeting though to be fair to the guy.

I dare say he knows a lot about football and he was a indeed a good player but you need more than that to be a good manager. You need to be able to manage people for a start and I just don’t think he has those skills.

There’s a reason his managerial career stalled and then died on its arse. 

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1 hour ago, Orraloon said:

McFadden was awful in that game. Probably his worst game in a Scotland shirt. He got subbed at halftime and quite rightly too.

He was awful because he gave him 45 mins in a rigid 4-4-2 and zero freedom to play.

He was awful because Levein only started him and Boyd to throw them under the bus. McFadden has said so himself.

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1 hour ago, Orraloon said:

McFadden was awful in that game. Probably his worst game in a Scotland shirt. He got subbed at halftime and quite rightly too.

Thats not quite true.

The entire team were shite and McFadden was having to do everything on his own. A mix of bad decision making and trying too hard meant nothing was coming off for him.

Subbing him at half time was a total slap in the face and quite embarassing for someone who had been a very important player in that team for such a long period of time.

Levein was under so much pressure after Prague that he bowed to public opinion to play McFadden and Boyd. Subbing McFadden was his "f#ck you, I was right" moment and displayed a horrendously bad understanding of man management. The fact the team were just as shite 2nd half and needed a Stephen McManus injury time winner to get him off the hook shouldnt be forgotten.

He could have tweaked things at half time and made the subs on 60 mins and avoided any criticism.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, BraveheartGordon said:

He was awful because he gave him 45 mins in a rigid 4-4-2 and zero freedom to play.

He was awful because Levein only started him and Boyd to throw them under the bus. McFadden has said so himself.

That's his version of the story. We all watched that game. He was awful. Ran about like a daftie and was just hoofing to ball about to nobody in particular, but mainly to the opposition. I thought somebody must have slipped him some magic mushrooms or something. 

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Re. Prague

IIRC, we barely stepped into the Czech half of the pitch prior to the Czech's scoring.

Do I think that's because the Czech's had hemmed us in? Not for a moment.

It was clearly instruction from Levein.

 

My issue isn't with the 4-6-0 formation per se.

You can use that as your default set-up and then break out of it as and when opportunity arises, but we didn't. Well, not until after we had conceded.

My issue was with the instruction not to counter in any way, which just resulted in wave after wave of Czech attacks.

 

Now, if Levein had done this 4-6-0 away to France, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, etc... and we got a 0-0 draw no one would have complained, but we weren't playing teams of that calibre; we were playing a fairly ordinary Czech side.

 

We spent the Faddy/Paris match camped in our own half. None of us complained about that at the time and even if Faddy hadn't scored that goal and the match ended 0-0 no one would have complained - and that's because we were playing a top, top, top, class side.

The Czech's weren't that.

 

Edited by Rich NATA
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13 minutes ago, Rich NATA said:

Re. Prague

IIRC, we barely stepped into the Czech half of the pitch prior to the Czech's scoring.

Do I think that's because the Czech's had hemmed us in? Not for a moment.

It was clearly instruction from Levein.

 

My issue isn't with the 4-6-0 formation per se.

You can use that as your default set-up and then break out of it as and when opportunity arises, but we didn't. Well, not until after we had conceded.

My issue was with the instruction not to counter in any way, which just resulted in wave after wave of Czech attacks.

 

Now, if Levein had done this 4-6-0 away to France, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, etc... and we got a 0-0 draw no one would have complained, but we weren't playing teams of that calibre; we were playing a fairly ordinary Czech side.

 

We spent the Faddy/Paris match camped in our own half. None of us complained about that at the time and even if Faddy hadn't scored that goal and the match ended 0-0 no one would have complained - and that's because we were playing a top, top, top, class side.

The Czech's weren't that.

 

The Prague game was for EURO 2012. The Czech Rep went on to reach the QF only losing narrowly to a late Ronaldo goal for Portugal.

That game in Paris was for Euro 2008. That mighty France team finished bottom of their group managing to scrape only a single point from Romania. France got humped by both Italy and Netherlands, both of whom got knocked out in the next round.

Trying to make comparisons like that don't always stack up.

To me the biggest mistake Levien made in that Prague game was failing to realise how poor their right back was. He was the only major weakness in that team but we didn't capitalise on that.

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Levein is an interesting one for me. I don’t actually mind listening to him on sportsound etc, does make some good points. I also understand he was involved with the performance schools which on paper was a good idea and hasn’t done Gilmour, Patterson and others any harm it would seem. However the whole appointment as manager was a shambles imo. Gordon Smith should take a fair bit of blame for it. Levein has come out and said international football did not suit him on numerous times. Surely to fk that should have been discussed at interview. To go from Burley to Levein was terrible recruitment in terms of the first team manager position.

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21 minutes ago, JECK said:

Levein is an interesting one for me. I don’t actually mind listening to him on sportsound etc, does make some good points. I also understand he was involved with the performance schools which on paper was a good idea and hasn’t done Gilmour, Patterson and others any harm it would seem. However the whole appointment as manager was a shambles imo. Gordon Smith should take a fair bit of blame for it. Levein has come out and said international football did not suit him on numerous times. Surely to fk that should have been discussed at interview. To go from Burley to Levein was terrible recruitment in terms of the first team manager position.

He might not have known "it didn't suit" him until he tried it, though. If I was really shyte at my job I might have tried to use that excuse as well. 😂

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3 hours ago, Orraloon said:

The Prague game was for EURO 2012. The Czech Rep went on to reach the QF only losing narrowly to a late Ronaldo goal for Portugal.

That game in Paris was for Euro 2008. That mighty France team finished bottom of their group managing to scrape only a single point from Romania. France got humped by both Italy and Netherlands, both of whom got knocked out in the next round.

Trying to make comparisons like that don't always stack up.

To me the biggest mistake Levien made in that Prague game was failing to realise how poor their right back was. He was the only major weakness in that team but we didn't capitalise on that.

Aye and France had been in a World Cup Final the year before we beat them in Paris... and only 3 months before we beat them at Hampden. France dominated the match in Paris and our boys had to work extremely hard that night.

 

Re. the Czech match; their defence spent most of the night camped on the half way line.

I've just watched a 10 minute highlights package. We only got near their area 3 times and one of those was offside.

 

Anyway, the point is... I can understand having a rigid all-out defensive formation away to one of the big boys, but not to the Czech's.

As I previously said; we could have used 4-6-0 as our default set-up and then broken out of it as and when opportunity arose, but it was such a rigid 4-6-0 we barely crossed the half-way line.

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On 10/14/2021 at 3:32 PM, JECK said:

Levein is an interesting one for me. I don’t actually mind listening to him on sportsound etc, does make some good points. I also understand he was involved with the performance schools which on paper was a good idea and hasn’t done Gilmour, Patterson and others any harm it would seem. However the whole appointment as manager was a shambles imo. Gordon Smith should take a fair bit of blame for it. Levein has come out and said international football did not suit him on numerous times. Surely to fk that should have been discussed at interview. To go from Burley to Levein was terrible recruitment in terms of the first team manager position.

It really was, and what makes it worse is the SFA went out of their way to hire those duds.  Just before Levein got the job Lars Lagerback was available and apparently interested, but instead they paid through the nose to get him out of his contract with Dundee United!

They both had more than their share of bad luck but for me, it's touch and go which one of Burley and Levein was worse.  Burley took over a team on the up and brought it back down with a thud.  Levein kept it there.

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