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  1. #301
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie Reid View Post
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    Perhaps worth remembering that Northern Ireland's revival under Michael O'Neill only came after some very difficult times for them. NI had won two of their previous 24 matches when he took over, and then one out of his first 18 - I remember many, myself included I'm sure, expressing surprise at the fact that he still had a job. Even with their qualifying for the Euros, and getting to the WC playoffs in 2017, he has still lost more games than he has won with them.

    I would never wish to run down his achievements because their turnaround has been incredible, but sometimes you need a bit of luck as well - I still can't get my head round how they got a Euro qualifying group (that they had been in pot 5 for) that consisted of Romania, Hungary, Finland, Faroe Islands and Greece. They got a great draw just as they were in the ascendancy, and took full advantage - and to be fair, definitely kicked on, as they finished 2nd in a much tougher WC group. When Wales were on the up, they qualified from the Euros in a group with Belgium, Bosnia, Israel, Cyprus and Andorra.

    When we were the best we have been in recent memory (ranked 13th - 17th in 2007/8) we somehow got a Euro qualifying group that included Italy and France (who had contested the World Cup final two months before Euro qualifying began), and the Ukraine also. We beat France home and away (their only two defeats), won 8 of 12 matches and didn't qualify despite averaging two points per game. We have had the World Champions or best team in the world in our groups quite consitsently.

    We need to hope that we can improve significantly, and then somehow get a group of similar makeup to those of NI and Wales 2016 ones in order to progress to a tournament, I would think. We never seem to get the latter.
    We might have been a bit unlucky to get France and Italy (although that France side was on the cusp of a rapid decline and IIRC they failed to win a game at Euro 2008) but we still contrived to lose a key game to Georgia who I think finished bottom or second bottom of the group, so ultimately be blew it as usual rather than being unlucky.

    As for getting a 'lucky' draw like Wales and NI would anyone actually be confident that Scotland would qualify from them? We did our best to fail to win a 'League C' Nations League group comprising Israel and Albania, while we're currently below Kazakhstan in our Euro 2020 qualifying group.

    Over the last 22 years, it ultimately hasn't mattered how tough or easy our qualifying groups are perceived to have been, the bottom line is we've simply not been good enough. I caught a few minutes of a programme a few nights ago about our ill-fated 1978 World Cup campaign. The disbelief and anger from fans as we got gubbed by Peru and limped to a draw against Iran was an eye opener because the hype around Scotland at that time was such that we were actually being talked about as World Cup winners. These days we can't even qualify for a tournament let alone think about winning it.


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  3. #302
    @hibs.net private member J-C's Avatar
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    There still needs a clear out of players, Russell, O'Donnell, McKenna etc are all very average and only SPL standard

  4. #303
    @hibs.net private member Stevie Reid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G B Young View Post
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    We might have been a bit unlucky to get France and Italy (although that France side was on the cusp of a rapid decline and IIRC they failed to win a game at Euro 2008) but we still contrived to lose a key game to Georgia who I think finished bottom or second bottom of the group, so ultimately be blew it as usual rather than being unlucky.

    As for getting a 'lucky' draw like Wales and NI would anyone actually be confident that Scotland would qualify from them? We did our best to fail to win a 'League C' Nations League group comprising Israel and Albania, while we're currently below Kazakhstan in our Euro 2020 qualifying group.

    Over the last 22 years, it ultimately hasn't mattered how tough or easy our qualifying groups are perceived to have been, the bottom line is we've simply not been good enough. I caught a few minutes of a programme a few nights ago about our ill-fated 1978 World Cup campaign. The disbelief and anger from fans as we got gubbed by Peru and limped to a draw against Iran was an eye opener because the hype around Scotland at that time was such that we were actually being talked about as World Cup winners. These days we can't even qualify for a tournament let alone think about winning it.
    I fully appreciate what you were saying, you ultimately have to beat who is in front of you, but my point was really about Wales and NI getting those groups just as they were on an upwards trajectory, and how we got such a hard group at a similar time. Tbh though, I thought we were pretty impressive in the 2016 campaign under Strachan, and would have fancied us in either of those groups - I don't think it could really be argued that they were much more favourable than our one with Germany and Poland.

  5. #304
    Quote Originally Posted by J-C View Post
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    There still needs a clear out of players, Russell, O'Donnell, McKenna etc are all very average and only SPL standard
    Clear out to replace with who? It would be someone equally as poor at that level. In the positions mentioned, we simply donít have any players remotely close to international standard.

  6. #305
    @hibs.net private member Bristolhibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie Reid View Post
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    I fully appreciate what you were saying, you ultimately have to beat who is in front of you, but my point was really about Wales and NI getting those groups just as they were on an upwards trajectory, and how we got such a hard group at a similar time. Tbh though, I thought we were pretty impressive in the 2016 campaign under Strachan, and would have fancied us in either of those groups - I don't think it could really be argued that they were much more favourable than our one with Germany and Poland.
    And Ireland. The draws v Poland and not taking a single point off Germany gubbed is in that one. Combined with Poland and Ireland taking points off of Germany. Oh and drawing at home to Lithuania. Thanks Levine!

    J

  7. #306
    @hibs.net private member J-C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.H.F.C View Post
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    Clear out to replace with who? It would be someone equally as poor at that level. In the positions mentioned, we simply donít have any players remotely close to international standard.
    Unfortunately that is a worry and I don't know what the answer is.

  8. #307
    Coaching Staff HoboHarry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.H.F.C View Post
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    Clear out to replace with who? It would be someone equally as poor at that level. In the positions mentioned, we simply donít have any players remotely close to international standard.
    If they are the best we have then they clearly are international standard. What does that actually mean anyway? Where is the "being good enough" bar set anyway? Do we compare our players against France? England? Wales? Just like domestic football there are good teams and lower level teams like Scotland.

  9. #308
    Coaching Staff Haymaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 90+2 View Post
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    There are already players graduating from the SFA performance schools so Iím not too sure about that. The younger teams have been doing pretty well in tournaments too.
    Sorry, my comment should have read "see the full benefit"

    Once the kids who have been in it since 7/8 graduate, we'll see the best success. Hopefully anyway!

  10. #309
    Quote Originally Posted by HoboHarry View Post
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    If they are the best we have then they clearly are international standard. What does that actually mean anyway? Where is the "being good enough" bar set anyway? Do we compare our players against France? England? Wales? Just like domestic football there are good teams and lower level teams like Scotland.
    How about Kazakstan?

    I think itís fairly obvious what I meant in that a lot of the players we are producing arenít of the standard to allow us to be competitive in international football. Just because they get picked it doesnít mean they are international standard. They are just what we have.

  11. #310
    Coaching Staff HoboHarry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.H.F.C View Post
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    How about Kazakstan?

    I think itís fairly obvious what I meant in that a lot of the players we are producing arenít of the standard to allow us to be competitive in international football. Just because they get picked it doesnít mean they are international standard. They are just what we have.
    There is no recognised "international standard" for the very reason you stated - they are the best we have and therefore get selected and so are of international quality. We win some and we lose some so we are competitive until we come up against the better sides.....

  12. #311
    Quote Originally Posted by HoboHarry View Post
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    There is no recognised "international standard" for the very reason you stated - they are the best we have and therefore get selected and so are of international quality. We win some and we lose some so we are competitive until we come up against the better sides.....
    Weíve been out of the running in the majority of our qualifying groups after three or four games over the last 20 years or so. Weíve not been competitive very often in that period.

    There are players playing at a level which is way beyond their abilities who are being picked by default.

  13. #312
    Quote Originally Posted by HoboHarry View Post
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    There is no recognised "international standard" for the very reason you stated - they are the best we have and therefore get selected and so are of international quality. We win some and we lose some so we are competitive until we come up against the better sides.....
    Was Ian Black ďinternational standardĒ??

  14. #313
    Coaching Staff HoboHarry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoomtownHibeys View Post
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    Was Ian Black ďinternational standardĒ??
    You are missing the point of what I am saying.

  15. #314
    @hibs.net private member Mantis Toboggan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bristolhibby View Post
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    And Ireland. The draws v Poland and not taking a single point off Germany gubbed is in that one. Combined with Poland and Ireland taking points off of Germany. Oh and drawing at home to Lithuania. Thanks Levine!

    J
    Levein long gone by then so can't blame him unfortunately, the draw with Lithuania was awful but was under Strachan and in the 2018 campaign. Once again Georgia away did for us in 2016 qualifying. tbf all these failures do blend into one after a while.

  16. #315
    First Team Regular Lucy Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mantis Toboggan View Post
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    Levein long gone by then so can't blame him unfortunately, the draw with Lithuania was awful but was under Strachan and in the 2018 campaign. Once again Georgia away did for us in 2016 qualifying. tbf all these failures do blend into one after a while.
    Let's just blame him anyway!!

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