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  1. #1
    @hibs.net private member Keekaboo's Avatar
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    Question If Croatia can reach the World Cup Final...

    ...then what is Scotland doing so badly wrong that they can't even qualify? Scotland's population is only 5 million, but Croatia's is actually slightly smaller, so that's not a legitimate excuse.


    The footballing authorities need to take a long. hard look at themselves. What do they care about most: Rantic? Having a nice office and a free lunch? All expenses paid trips abroad?

    Whatever it is, they have been a complete failure at helping produce the standard of footballer required to compete with even half-decent international sides, never mind reaching a World Cup Final.
    Last edited by Keekaboo; 12-07-2018 at 01:03 PM.


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  3. #2
    Testimonial Due Robinho08's Avatar
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    Training from grass roots up needs an overhaul.

  4. #3
    First Team Regular Renfrew_Hibby's Avatar
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    They have been producing quality technical players in that part of the world for generations now.
    Footballing talent and styles of play are partly a reflection of a nations character and philosophy so there are some hurdles that we will always find difficult to overcome.

    Croatia have players at Barca, R. Madrid, Juve, Inter and Bayern Munich. Not only are these talented, gifted footballers they are also challenged on a game by game basis, week in week out in a way that even many of the English players aren't.

    They learn technique, game play and tactics from a very young age but they also have heart and desire that I don't think even Scottish players have, and these are qualities that are supposed to be our strengths.

  5. #4
    I said it last night on another thread but I reckon the Futsal programme Croatia have in their schools plays a part. It's a great game for keeping the ball down, getting a touch, close control and showing a bit of skill. By 10 or 11 year old a lot of kids will be proficient with a ball at their feet and a 1st touch and dribbling will be 2nd nature.

    I think there has to be a balance struck between the 'just let bairns play in the street' brigade and the 'every coach should be a B license' school of thought. Football should be fun but I don't think it is either for guys who play in teams that get pumped every week or for laddies who are removed from their mates and taken out of any kind of competition at 10 year old. Maybe a system that groups players based on ability rather than age would work? So rather than have a team of 12 year olds pump an inferior team of 12 year olds we could have divisions with a mix of players between say 11 and 14 who are grouped in conferences related to ability so you get evenly matched games with the best players pushing each other and the lads who need a bit more development having something to aim at.

    Facilities also need looked at. The lack of affordable facilities suitable for winter training in Edinburgh is a disgrace, I'm sure that is mirrored across Scotland. Somewhere like the Oriam just isn't affordable for most youth teams.

    The real story for Scotland shouldn't be England's loss but rather why Croatia are in the final, why Iceland were there and so on. It's not a copy and paste job but there must be ideas we can take and run with.
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  6. #5
    First Team Regular Renfrew_Hibby's Avatar
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    Interesting way you say about futsal. I'm sure there was a lot in the media about a decade ago about futsal being introduced in the Leeds area then I think.
    Any coincidence that Englands back line are all now very comfortable and proficient at playing the ball out from the back, and that they're all Yorkshire lads to boot?

  7. #6
    Keeping there players out the pub at weekends probably helps.

  8. #7
    Testimonial Due HoboHarry's Avatar
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    I've said it before on here but what has happened to Scottish football was predicted by Andy Roxburgh who saw all this coming back in the early eighties. They took him out of that role though when they made him manager of the national team and eventually chased him off completely.

    We could start by getting rid of everyone involved with the SFA/SFL (or whatever the hell it is that they are called these days) and employ the Icelandic staff en-masse and let them change our game like they did theirs.....

  9. #8
    I know Gordon Strahan got laughed at when he moaned about Scottish genetics, but I do think he had a point. Size obviously isn't everything - Modric was the best player on the pitch last night - but it does often seem that the likes of Croatia and other top European countries' teams are made up of tall, well built, proper athletes. For whatever reason we don't seem to produce players of a similarly physical stature..is that fair to say?

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Hibster View Post
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    I know Gordon Strahan got laughed at when he moaned about Scottish genetics, but I do think he had a point. Size obviously isn't everything - Modric was the best player on the pitch last night - but it does often seem that the likes of Croatia and other top European countries' teams are made up of tall, well built, proper athletes. For whatever reason we don't seem to produce players of a similarly physical stature..is that fair to say?
    Is that nature or nurture though?

    A few years ago when Spurs humped Hearts at Tynecastle Jermaine Defoe was bullying Webster and Zaliukas despite being 5'7", he was just so much stronger than them. A huge part of that must be conditioning and core strength. Likewise Stones, Trippier and McGuire are all from the north of England but looked absolute units last night. Is there really a reason we can't build players like that?
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  11. #10
    First Team Regular Renfrew_Hibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pretty Boy View Post
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    Is that nature or nurture though?

    A few years ago when Spurs humped Hearts at Tynecastle Jermaine Defoe was bullying Webster and Zaliukas despite being 5'7", he was just so much stronger than them. A huge part of that must be conditioning and core strength. Likewise Stones, Trippier and McGuire are all from the north of England but looked absolute units last night. Is there really a reason we can't build players like that?
    There's a lot to be said for sheer dedication and professionalism. Lots of elements have to come together but if you don't have that desire then you will fail.

  12. #11
    @hibs.net private member Ozyhibby's Avatar
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    Croatia have a massive advantage over us though.
    They donít have the SFA.


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  13. #12
    First Team Regular Gordy M's Avatar
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    I dont really get the population thing....and never have. If that was the case then China would be playing India or USA every final of the World Cup.

    I genuinely feel we were on the wrong side of 'seedings' when they came out and have never recovered from it. In the not too distant past we have beaten france home and away and croatia home and away so we have had reasonably good teams at times. Thing is we are at that level where we end up with groups with decent teams in them. The last euro group we had, three teams that qualified from our group ended up in the last 8. Thing is, every time we dont qualify we fall further down the seedings and it makes it harder to qualify.

    I think we need a bit of luck with a group at the same time as a decent team and i think we could qualify. Hope so anyway.

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Pretty Boy View Post
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    I said it last night on another thread but I reckon the Futsal programme Croatia have in their schools plays a part. It's a great game for keeping the ball down, getting a touch, close control and showing a bit of skill. By 10 or 11 year old a lot of kids will be proficient with a ball at their feet and a 1st touch and dribbling will be 2nd nature.

    I think there has to be a balance struck between the 'just let bairns play in the street' brigade and the 'every coach should be a B license' school of thought. Football should be fun but I don't think it is either for guys who play in teams that get pumped every week or for laddies who are removed from their mates and taken out of any kind of competition at 10 year old. Maybe a system that groups players based on ability rather than age would work? So rather than have a team of 12 year olds pump an inferior team of 12 year olds we could have divisions with a mix of players between say 11 and 14 who are grouped in conferences related to ability so you get evenly matched games with the best players pushing each other and the lads who need a bit more development having something to aim at.

    Facilities also need looked at. The lack of affordable facilities suitable for winter training in Edinburgh is a disgrace, I'm sure that is mirrored across Scotland. Somewhere like the Oriam just isn't affordable for most youth teams.

    The real story for Scotland shouldn't be England's loss but rather why Croatia are in the final, why Iceland were there and so on. It's not a copy and paste job but there must be ideas we can take and run with.
    Very good post.. the SFA are a joke and only interested in doing the bare minimum.. I would like to see the Scottish government step in .. I know that sounds drastic but I donít see anything about to change any time soon.. we are getting totally short changed as a football mad nation .. something needs done..

  15. #14
    @hibs.net private member tamig's Avatar
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    Itís this kind of thing that should be right at the top of Malky Mackayís to do list.

  16. #15
    @hibs.net private member Ozyhibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamig View Post
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    Itís this kind of thing that should be right at the top of Malky Mackayís to do list.
    He canít even get on top of the things that were on his to do list. Project Brave?
    The SFA is a disgracefully run organisation and itís no surprise our own Rod Petrie is near the top of the tree there.


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    Testimonial Due Waxy's Avatar
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    Dinamo Zagreb have won the league 12 out of the last 13 seasons so itís also a bit like our league.

  18. #17
    What we should be asking is why Scotland has very competitive youth international teams which donít translate into success for the senior team.

  19. #18
    @hibs.net private member green day's Avatar
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    Not the only reason, but (putting aside the SFAs poor record in youth development and obsession with results).....

    Another reason is partly history, partly geography - IMO, Croatian kids appear happy to broaden their horizons, go abroad etc to learn and refine their trade.

    Most of our young laddies can only see the horizon as "the other end of the M8" (hate to say it, but look at the current SJM speculation as an example).

    Same in tennis - no surprise that Andy Murray was taken out of the system by his mum and sent to Spain as a youngster. All his LTA coached contemporaries did the square root of **** all in singles.

  20. #19
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    Donít forget the lasting effects of geopolitics. Add to the mix a legacy of totalitarian oppression, a long history of hostility with bigger, more powerful neighbours...

    but letís leave Scotland out of this shall we...?

  21. #20
    @hibs.net private member blackpoolhibs's Avatar
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    Lets be perfectly honest here, we have an association run by people who don't give a toss about right and wrong.

    Most are in it for self gain, and to get this they pander to everything huntic.

    We are never going to see progress while this is the case, and can anyone genuinely see it changing, as i cant?

  22. #21
    Testimonial Due Baader's Avatar
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    Croatian domestic football is a mess as well. The head of their FA was jailed last month for six years for corruption. Modric is up on a perjury charge and could be joining him. Remember their fans protesting at Euro 2016 over corruption in the game there? Yet they still produce quality players with technique the likes of which you just dont see here. So they're doing something right. I happen to think the Icelandic model is the one Scotland need to look at.

  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baader View Post
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    Croatian domestic football is a mess as well. The head of their FA was jailed last month for six years for corruption. Modric is up on a perjury charge and could be joining him. Remember their fans protesting at Euro 2016 over corruption in the game there? Yet they still produce quality players with technique the likes of which you just dont see here. So they're doing something right. I happen to think the Icelandic model is the one Scotland need to look at.
    Yes I was going to say we shouldnít be looking at Croatian politics for good governance models.

  24. #23
    Coaching Staff Haymaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pretty Boy View Post
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    Is that nature or nurture though?
    Bit of one, a lot of the other. Dedication to your craft and self discipline to do your own work help.

    On your futsal comments, I've always been a big believer in it however it became the newest "fad" when I coached in England and never really took hold - too many people tried to make money off it without really knowing, or caring, how it relates to the bigger game.

    I call it the "Barcelona do it" problem.

  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by green day View Post
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    Same in tennis - no surprise that Andy Murray was taken out of the system by his mum and sent to Spain as a youngster. All his LTA coached contemporaries did the square root of **** all in singles.
    After the Davis Cup win, the team slated the LTA especially the new state of the art facility in south London that, IIRC, Murray said he'd never seen anyone using whenever he was there.

  26. #25
    The success of countries like Croatia, Uruguay and Iceland should put the "small nation" argument to bed but I fully expect Scottish pundits and media to trot it out next time our national team come unstuck.

    While people make all the right noises too much of grass roots coaching here is entrusted to gadgies with an out the park for medals mentality and too many of our administrators are in out for the blazer and their ego.

  27. #26
    Testimonial Due hibbytam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brizo View Post
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    The success of countries like Croatia, Uruguay and Iceland should put the "small nation" argument to bed but I fully expect Scottish pundits and media to trot it out next time our national team come unstuck.

    While people make all the right noises too much of grass roots coaching here is entrusted to gadgies with an out the park for medals mentality and too many of our administrators are in out for the blazer and their ego.


    I think a perfect example of this is the Ryan Porteous situation, where we've had a youth player possibly damaging his future prospects for a youth tournament. That simply shouldn't happen, it's losing track of actual purpose of such things, which is to develop players good enough for the top level. What happens at youth level doesn't really matter too much.

  28. #27
    Testimonial Due seanshow's Avatar
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    I think we can add Portugal to that list with 10 million inhabitants, 7 times they have been to the WC/Euro semis or beyond.

  29. #28
    First Team Regular hibsmad's Avatar
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    To many people in this country, be it parents or coaches, think that the most important thing when kids are playing football is that they win.

    I'm talking from 5 or 6 years old.

    Wanting to win is something that comes naturally. Having skill and technical ability is not, and improving this is all that should matter when kids are this young.

  30. #29
    Testimonial Due pacorosssco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hibsmad View Post
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    To many people in this country, be it parents or coaches, think that the most important thing when kids are playing football is that they win.

    I'm talking from 5 or 6 years old.

    Wanting to win is something that comes naturally. Having skill and technical ability is not, and improving this is all that should matter when kids are this young.
    Hutchison Vale syndrome

  31. #30
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    Some musings....

    I'd be interested in how much weight the likes of The Spartans carry in the development of the game.

    They are doing great things in North Edinburgh, in building links to the community, which includes a large number of children of African descent. I just wonder if these opportunities are available in areas with a similar demographic in the rest of the country.

    It's worth noting that almost half of Southgate's squad were of West Indian extraction.

    Is there a greater incentive, in financial terms for English kids to meet the discipline required to be a pro. due to the fact that even the most lowly of teams are able to pay big wages. I remember seeing the Chelsea under 10s at Faro airport a few years ago, they already had the attitude and style of future pros.

    Is it maybe time to widen the eligibility criteria for international recognition. I know that in rugby, you can get naturalised pretty easily.

    I don't know the answers, but these might be some areas worth discussing.

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