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What does Scotland need?

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sodhat
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Post by The Special Juan Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:55 am

What does Scotland need to become a better side?

I'd love to see us in the top 25 in the world (24 will suit me) but what do they need to get there?

I think Craig Levein is a good manager so there's no problem there. The defence and midfield are reasonable but I feel we lack a clinical goalscorer. Wales have Bellamy, England have Rooney, we have Kenny Miller!! I don't think he's the most talented player on the park when he plays but he does work hard which is more than I can say for a lot of other players.

In all honesty, I think they suffer from "Scottish Syndrome" which is a poor mentality if things aren't going right, akin to Andy Murray ( heart ).

We can win in Liechtenstein and the Spanish will beat the Czechs, but I feel we will be obliterated by the Spanish and the Czechs will pick up at least a point in Lithuania. The only positive I can see is that the Lithuanians beat the Czechs in Prague but I don't think lightning will strike twice.

I think we're improving though. Little By Little.
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Post by super_realist Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:04 am

Probably pick a sport we're actually good at.

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Post by Celtic Warrior Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:10 am

I disagree with a few points you've made.

Levein may be a decent manager, but he's not a good manager. His attitude is all wrong. Any manager that plays 4-6-0 in a competitive match should be sacked on the spot. He is far too negative. We scraped a 1-0 win in our last game after hanging on for the last 15 minutes. We should have had that game sewn up long before then.

We have much more talent than we give ourselves credit for. We set teams out to disrupt the opposition and chase after them. Cloggers like Brown getting picked against actual players will always hinder us. We need to move Fletcher in to his natural role and stop looking at him to be our main attacking influence just because he plays for Man Utd. Bannan, Dorrans and Morrison are all great players/prospects.

As much as I dislike him, Kenny Miller is a good talisman for Scotland. He has been consistently one of our better players in attack. He may not be the most clinical striker in the world, but he does score. Again though, if Fletcher comes back in and with Mackail-Smith/Goodwillie I think we have decent options.

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Post by super_realist Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:21 am

I think not picking any players who ply their trade in Scotland would be a good start.

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Post by legendkillar Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:30 am

I think Scotland need some young players to come through. Granted Scotland have some talented players ATM in Miller, McFadden, Fletcher, Hutton. Depends on what expectations the fans have. The chances of qualifying automatically to major tournaments is a long way off.

Levein isn't a bad manager. I don't buy into this whole the Coach's role should be for born and bred candidate. I know the Bert Vogts appointment was a disaster, but there are better managers out there than Levein at the moment. Lambert for example will be a great manager in years to come.

Agree with CW about the prospects in Dorrans, Morrison and Bannan. A few more and Scotland can put themselves back on the fringe of group challengers.

If you take into account when they defeated France home and away and still didn't qualify for the Euro's was highly disappointing.

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Post by JDandfries Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:41 am

We set out too negative, plain an simple; we have some good players but don't utilise them at all.

Miller would make a great foil for a goal scorer like Mc -Smith etc, but he is almost always used on his own.

We have some good midfielder, and some good ball players, but do generally lack at the back - everytime I see Caldwell on the team sheet I worry, but what are the alternatives??

McGregor/Gordon

Hutton McManus Berra Bardsley

Fletcher Adam Bannan Morrison/Commons

Miller Mc-Smith

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Post by JPX Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:59 am

Is top 25 a realistic ambition for Scotland?

When were they last at that level? Before the African and Far Eastern nations took football seriously and became any good?

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Post by super_realist Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:05 pm

Probably not realistic JPX, but then again England are ranked 4 yet are nowhere near that level so perhaps it is.

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Post by JPX Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:13 pm

True super, there's no way England are 4th best team in the world.

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Post by Celtic Warrior Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:15 pm

I doubt we'll get to Top 25, but we definitely have potential to improve. Hopefully dramatically so.

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Post by sodhat Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:16 pm

I don't think any stock should be put in the Fifa rankings, and instead Scotland should aim to improve finishes in each qualifying round. Push up to 3rd/2nd and give yourselves a consistently better chance at qualifying each time.

It isn't easy though, European sides are improving across the board.

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Post by Guest Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:31 pm

to be fair there are worse strikers around than kenny miller.

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:31 pm

super_realist wrote:Probably not realistic JPX, but then again England are ranked 4 yet are nowhere near that level so perhaps it is.
Knew it wouldn't take long for the Northerners to vent their anger south Whistle
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Post by super_realist Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:50 pm

Josiah Maiestas wrote:
super_realist wrote:Probably not realistic JPX, but then again England are ranked 4 yet are nowhere near that level so perhaps it is.
Knew it wouldn't take long for the Northerners to vent their anger south Whistle

Are you saying England are worthy of No.4? Laugh Laugh Laugh

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Post by monty junior Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:51 pm

JPX wrote:Is top 25 a realistic ambition for Scotland?

When were they last at that level? Before the African and Far Eastern nations took football seriously and became any good?

This time 4 years ago we were 13th.

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Post by monty junior Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:52 pm

super_realist wrote:
Josiah Maiestas wrote:
super_realist wrote:Probably not realistic JPX, but then again England are ranked 4 yet are nowhere near that level so perhaps it is.
Knew it wouldn't take long for the Northerners to vent their anger south Whistle

Are you saying England are worthy of No.4? Laugh Laugh Laugh

I think their 8th now, which is a bit more realistic.

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Post by dummy_half Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:15 pm

The problem for Scotland as a football team is that you simply don't produce enough players of really good quality - look back to the 70s and early 80s and even a team like Liverpool was built round a spine of top quality Scots. These days, where is your Dalglish or Souness?

A further problem is that the quality of the SPL seems to have declined rather in the last few years - it's not that long ago that you could reasonably suggest that if Celtic or Rangers were transplanted into the EPL they'd have been challenging for Champions League places. Now they'd be looking to keep out of a relegation fight. I know that money has a large part to play there, and that the EPL is far more wealthy and important than it deserves to be (and that the strength of the league is very little reflection on the quality of the English players in it) while the Scottish League has suffered after the demise of Sultana Sport.

One thing that is to Scotland's advantage compared with the England national team, is that at least you don't have many over-blown egotists in your side - they'll all give everything they have for the team, whereas that certainly is not the case for the England team over the last 5 or so years.

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Post by The Special Juan Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:28 pm

Ok, picking up on a few points you've made.

I'd say Levein is a good manager (he succeeded at Dundee United and saved them from relegation) but he's unproven yet at International level, so I see no reason to doubt him too much yet. I agree, the 4-6-0 was shocking.

His selection sometimes confuses me, I agree with the Scott Brown criticism. If Levein stopped being scared about picking non Old Firm players, I think he'd do a lot better. Commons, for me, is a first choice player but Scott Brown and Naismith belong on the bench at best. Don't have a go at me for criticising Naismith, he isn't very good.

Dorrans has to play more regularly. He's a great talent. I wouldn't be putting too much hope in Barry Bannan yet but he has had a few good games for Villa recently that is making me think he could be a good CM partner for Fletcher.

Kenny Miller isn't an out and out striker in my opinion. The SPL is pretty weak (he scored 20 goals in half a season, left for Turkey and still won the Golden Boot :/ ) so it flattered him. As we can see, 30 goal a season Kris Boyd is struggling in the Championship. Anyway, back to the point, Miller needs to play behind someone. He can pick a pass, I'll give him that. The ball to Fletcher was superb in the Czech game.

My team:

Gordon
Hutton McManus Berra Bardsley
Dorrans Fletcher Bannan/Morrison Commons
Miller
Mackail-Smith

Ok, he plays for Brighton, but I like what I've seen of him in the Scotland squad.
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Post by Calder106 Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:01 am

Lets be realistic we just don't have the players. I'm not really a Levein fan as I think he is too pig headed sometimes but I can't really see anyone else doing better with the players available. Looking at the players named above they are as good as we have got although I do think Brown and Naismith add an energy and agression some of the others don't. However how many of these would be first choice picks for the likes of Wales (Bale, Ramsey, Bellamy) ROI (O'Shea, Doyle, Kean, Mc Geady). Not many if we are honest.

Unless we suddenly discover a couple of better than average players then I'm afraid that our lean period will continue for a long time.


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Post by The Special Juan Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:20 pm

How could I forget Charlie Adam? I'd have him in the CM with Fletcher. He's a great player. I can't understand why he didn't win the Ballon D'Or last year.... :P
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