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  1. #151
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    All the talk of World Cup qualification etc was a diversion from the last two games.

    Now we can concentrate on the Euros and Hibs in reverse order.


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  3. #152
    Ultimate Slaver Keith_M's Avatar
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    I do wonder if some people got a bit carried away with our momentous qualification after playing Serbia and imagined we were suddenly a decent side.

    I'm glad we qualified, and also appreciate the long unbeaten run, but we've hardly been setting the heather alight. Under Clarke, Scotland have scored 20 goals in 17 games... 6 of those were against San Marino and 3 against Kazahkstan.


    TBH, Israel is about our level.

  4. #153
    Coaching Staff Smartie's Avatar
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    I thought we looked decent enough for much of the 3 games but the thing that blew me away last night was how abysmal our attacking set pieces were.

    We’ve got lots of left footers in the squad, and the out swinging corners from the left were just pitiful. We had enough of them, and we’re not exactly short of players with physical presence.

    The way we play, games are tight and likely to be decided on fine margins. We need to find a way to make better use of situations like that when they come along.

  5. #154
    @hibs.net private member JimBHibees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Hi-Bee View Post
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    Agree, we as a country have had a pretty poor team for more than a generation, no going anywhere fast.
    Apart from the euros.

  6. #155
    I thought we played better last night than in the play off game we won - swings and roundabouts, i'm sure Israel felt they were "due" a win against us.

    IMO people were getting carried away after qualifying thinking we'd turn everybody over. I dont think its unreasonable to be hoping to beat Israel, but its also been an incredible 7 days that hs taken a lot out of the players physically and mentally.

    For 2.5 games this week we played some excellent football IMO and don't think we got the rewards for it (some would say Euro qualification is more than just)

    I like the direction we're going in. We press the opposition, we play nice football (or did vs Serbia and Slovakia, both of whom are deemed "Above" us in international football terms these days)

    Frustrating way to end the campaign as it was in our hands but on reflection of the group as a whole we've probably finished where we'd hoped to at the start, a reserve Czech side in the away tie gave us hope of promotion.

    I think it has given the whole country a boost, the league should be even more competitive this year with places up for grabs next summer

    Onwards and upwards

  7. #156
    Quote Originally Posted by hibbysam View Post
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    ‘Except for the above offences’ is the key part you’ve missed in the next paragraph. Previous offences include hand being above the shoulder and making the body unnaturally bigger. The defender failed on both of these aspects and it should’ve been a penalty.
    I did miss that but I still think the rules say no pen. My view is the player played the ball and then it hit their arm. I have made bold the part of the law I think best fits what happened.
    the hand/arm is above/beyond their shoulder level (unless the player deliberately plays the ball which then touches their hand/arm)

  8. #157
    Scotland are in the right Nations League group. Any higher and we'd be well out of our depth. That's been proven now.

    Sent from my LG-H870 using Tapatalk

  9. #158
    @hibs.net private member whiskyhibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EI255 View Post
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    Scotland are in the right Nations League group. Any higher and we'd be well out of our depth. That's been proven now.

    Sent from my LG-H870 using Tapatalk

    Sorry to say I have to agree

  10. #159
    Quote Originally Posted by EI255 View Post
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    Scotland are in the right Nations League group. Any higher and we'd be well out of our depth. That's been proven now.

    Sent from my LG-H870 using Tapatalk
    Yup

  11. #160
    Quote Originally Posted by whiskyhibby View Post
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    Sorry to say I have to agree
    nothing to be sorry about, we’d got skelped and straight back down.

  12. #161
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith_M View Post
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    I do wonder if some people got a bit carried away with our momentous qualification after playing Serbia and imagined we were suddenly a decent side.

    I'm glad we qualified, and also appreciate the long unbeaten run, but we've hardly been setting the heather alight. Under Clarke, Scotland have scored 20 goals in 17 games... 6 of those were against San Marino and 3 against Kazahkstan.


    TBH, Israel is about our level.
    Just checked and Israel's FIFA ranking is 88th. I remember when we lost to them under McLeish it was billed as one of our all-time low results, but understandably the qualification for the Euros has spared Clarke similar flak.

    I'd suggest that losing the last two games (while making allowances for tiredness/comedown after last week) underlines that beating Serbia was not necessarily the incredible achievement many seemed to think it was and the manner in which we qualified for the play-off was far from demanding.

    It's a pretty miserable take on things I know, but for all it's given our game a boost by ensuring we'll be at a major tournament for the first time in 23 years I remain unconvinced we're suddenly 'back' as a football nation.

  13. #162
    @hibs.net private member whiskyhibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ancient hibee View Post
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    And

    No he won’t but Dykes wins most of the balls in the air and the midfield should be bursting a gut to get beyond him.They’re not.Much like our midfield didn’t when Grant Holt was here.
    id rather have a prolific striker getting the goals, a McCoist type, rather than having to rely on midfielders.....

  14. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by EI255 View Post
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    Scotland are in the right Nations League group. Any higher and we'd be well out of our depth. That's been proven now.

    Sent from my LG-H870 using Tapatalk
    Very true, being in League A would have seen an automatic Play Off place for the next Euro’s though but that ship has sailed now.

  15. #164
    Quote Originally Posted by EI255 View Post
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    Scotland are in the right Nations League group. Any higher and we'd be well out of our depth. That's been proven now.

    Sent from my LG-H870 using Tapatalk
    Although you are probably correct, I’d have taken getting pumped 5/6 times to be almost guaranteed a World Cup and Euro 2024 play off place, which is what promotion to A would have brought.

  16. #165
    @hibs.net private member CropleyWasGod's Avatar
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    How times change.

    Just over a year ago, we were ticking along in Division 3. Now, we have just qualified for Euro21, and almost had a second successive promotion.

    Beating Serbia (not just beating them, but outplaying them for most of the game) was no mean feat. Serbia battered Russia last night .

    I agree that we have found our level just now; we weren't ready for Division 1. But we can look forward to being competitive in Division 2, and challenging for play-off spots in our WC group. The trend is upwards for now.

    We couldn't have envisaged that a year ago.

  17. #166
    @hibs.net private member Speedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CropleyWasGod View Post
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    How times change.

    Just over a year ago, we were ticking along in Division 3. Now, we have just qualified for Euro21, and almost had a second successive promotion.

    Beating Serbia (not just beating them, but outplaying them for most of the game) was no mean feat. Serbia battered Russia last night .

    I agree that we have found our level just now; we weren't ready for Division 1. But we can look forward to being competitive in Division 2, and challenging for play-off spots in our WC group. The trend is upwards for now.

    We couldn't have envisaged that a year ago.
    Winnings those game could also have been the difference between being 2nd seed and 3rd group in the world cup qualifiers.

    Huge missed opportunity and I think it is very unprofessional the way we approached it.

  18. #167
    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy View Post
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    Winnings those game could also have been the difference between being 2nd seed and 3rd group in the world cup qualifiers.

    Huge missed opportunity and I think it is very unprofessional the way we approached it.
    Winning those games would have made zero difference to our seeding firstly. Secondly, I’ve no idea how it was unprofessional. We dominated both games in the main, failed to take gilt edged chances in both. The players celebrated for a night before heading to Slovakia, where preparation was exactly as it should be. One thing you can’t throw at this squad and management is unprofessional.

  19. #168
    Coaching Staff Smartie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G B Young View Post
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    Just checked and Israel's FIFA ranking is 88th. I remember when we lost to them under McLeish it was billed as one of our all-time low results, but understandably the qualification for the Euros has spared Clarke similar flak.

    I'd suggest that losing the last two games (while making allowances for tiredness/comedown after last week) underlines that beating Serbia was not necessarily the incredible achievement many seemed to think it was and the manner in which we qualified for the play-off was far from demanding.

    It's a pretty miserable take on things I know, but for all it's given our game a boost by ensuring we'll be at a major tournament for the first time in 23 years I remain unconvinced we're suddenly 'back' as a football nation.
    Football always seems to be black and white with little room for grey.

    McLeish got some very good results and in many ways built the foundations of this impressive qualification. His legacy should now be viewed a bit more positively. Yes, Clarke was the man who nudged it over the line but McLeish played a part.

    For the first time in a while Scotland look quite hard to beat again. They don't lose cheap goals, and Clarke has found a way to make a solid defence out of some pretty average (as well as some very good) defenders. Over-achieving Scotland sides of the past had this characteristic, so when we see this return I think we have the right to feel optimistic.

    I don't fall for the hyperbole, but I do think there are reasons to be optimistic about our national side at long last.

  20. #169
    The goal against Serbia was very cheap. The scorer was left unmarked seven yards out from goal at a corner with 89 minutes and 33 seconds played.

  21. #170
    @hibs.net private member Speedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hibbysam View Post
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    Winning those games would have made zero difference to our seeding firstly. Secondly, I’ve no idea how it was unprofessional. We dominated both games in the main, failed to take gilt edged chances in both. The players celebrated for a night before heading to Slovakia, where preparation was exactly as it should be. One thing you can’t throw at this squad and management is unprofessional.
    The nations league playoff place is for the highest ranked group winner so number of points would've mattered for that. Also, world cup qualifiers seedings are based on November Fifa rankings are they not?

    The Slovakia game was treated like a friendly. No need to change the entire defence and goalkeeper, it screams 2nd priority. As does the various comments about the main job being done last Thursday. Great that we qualified for the euros but it was a poor attitude imo.

  22. #171
    Quote Originally Posted by G B Young View Post
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    Just checked and Israel's FIFA ranking is 88th. I remember when we lost to them under McLeish it was billed as one of our all-time low results, but understandably the qualification for the Euros has spared Clarke similar flak.

    I'd suggest that losing the last two games (while making allowances for tiredness/comedown after last week) underlines that beating Serbia was not necessarily the incredible achievement many seemed to think it was and the manner in which we qualified for the play-off was far from demanding.

    It's a pretty miserable take on things I know, but for all it's given our game a boost by ensuring we'll be at a major tournament for the first time in 23 years I remain unconvinced we're suddenly 'back' as a football nation.
    Your quick to mention Israel’s ranking, yet totally ignore Serbia’s first and foremost (30th) and the pumping they’ve just given to Russia. It was a top performance, and an even better result. Slovakia are 37th, the Czech’s are 1 place below us. If qualifying for our first tournament this millennium isn’t a huge achievement then we’d be as well packing it in.

    The defeat to Israel two years ago was far from billed as the worst result ever, we had ten men. There was apathy around the appointment of Mcleish, and that result was early in a huge campaign, but it was far from our worst result ever.

    We get that you think the nations league is ****, and that we had a walkover into the Euro’s, even when it’s clear that the team we beat in the final was a team that we would’ve probably played if it was the old route.

  23. #172
    Coaching Staff Smartie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconhoof View Post
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    The goal against Serbia was very cheap. The scorer was left unmarked seven yards out from goal at a corner with 89 minutes and 33 seconds played.
    Yeah, fair point.

    But over the piece, against a team who beat Russia 4-0 a week later, we didn't do badly at restricting opportunities - and that one was to a 60 million Euro Real Madrid player.

    Over the 3 games, 3 away games of varying toughness, I thought we looked a lot more solid defensively than we have.

    I was more concerned about the lack of a cutting edge in the final third and the poor threat from set pieces. That was what ultimately cost us imo.

  24. #173
    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy View Post
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    The nations league playoff place is for the highest ranked group winner so number of points would've mattered for that. Also, world cup qualifiers seedings are based on November Fifa rankings are they not?

    The Slovakia game was treated like a friendly. No need to change the entire defence and goalkeeper, it screams 2nd priority. As does the various comments about the main job being done last Thursday. Great that we qualified for the euros but it was a poor attitude imo.
    Your point was based on seedlings for the world cup qualifiers, fact is even winning both games would not have seen us in a higher pot. The players had just gone through mental and physical exhaustion 3 days prior to that, there were always going to be big changes. That was normal, knowing we had yet another huge game just three days after that one as well. The tempo in the Slovakia game as a result of the changes was far higher. There was a greater energy and we battered them. We never took our chances, that’s football. It happens. It’s not unprofessional.

  25. #174
    @hibs.net private member Speedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hibbysam View Post
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    Your point was based on seedlings for the world cup qualifiers, fact is even winning both games would not have seen us in a higher pot. The players had just gone through mental and physical exhaustion 3 days prior to that, there were always going to be big changes. That was normal, knowing we had yet another huge game just three days after that one as well. The tempo in the Slovakia game as a result of the changes was far higher. There was a greater energy and we battered them. We never took our chances, that’s football. It happens. It’s not unprofessional.
    I said it could have been the difference. It absolutely could have been.

    If that was another play off final there's no way we all make those changes. Likewise if it was a group stage of a tournament itself. It was given a lower priority - make a few changes, fine but when you start doing things like changing the keeper it's not because he needs a rest. It's because you see it as 2nd fiddle and you want to give folk a run out and a chance to prove themselves.

  26. #175
    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy View Post
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    I said it could have been the difference. It absolutely could have been.

    If that was another play off final there's no way we all make those changes. Likewise if it was a group stage of a tournament itself. It was given a lower priority - make a few changes, fine but when you start doing things like changing the keeper it's not because he needs a rest. It's because you see it as 2nd fiddle and you want to give folk a run out and a chance to prove themselves.
    Absolutely nothing that scotland could’ve done over the two games would have had us in pot 2, nothing whatsoever.

    All three keepers are more than good enough, changing it made no difference to the outcome. If you don’t think Marshall’s mental fatigue would have been taken into account then fair enough. It’s very hard to go again a few days after a gruelling 120+ minutes and the elation that you felt after the game. Any side in the world would’ve made most of the changes we made, especially when at least 3 of them were enforced, and clubs will also have had an input into how many minutes players play.

    Folk were wanting Armstrong etc to play, then when they do play the following game it’s disrespectful and amateurish.

  27. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smartie View Post
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    Football always seems to be black and white with little room for grey.

    McLeish got some very good results and in many ways built the foundations of this impressive qualification. His legacy should now be viewed a bit more positively. Yes, Clarke was the man who nudged it over the line but McLeish played a part.

    For the first time in a while Scotland look quite hard to beat again. They don't lose cheap goals, and Clarke has found a way to make a solid defence out of some pretty average (as well as some very good) defenders. Over-achieving Scotland sides of the past had this characteristic, so when we see this return I think we have the right to feel optimistic.

    I don't fall for the hyperbole, but I do think there are reasons to be optimistic about our national side at long last.
    We won 5 out of 12 under McLeish, losing the other 7, including an abject humiliation against Kazakhstan. We beat Hungary, Albania (twice), Israel and San Marino. That's not impressive unless you're prepared to accept an extremely low standard. McLeish took us many steps backwards after we had started to show real promise under Strachan.

  28. #177
    @hibs.net private member Speedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hibbysam View Post
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    Absolutely nothing that scotland could’ve done over the two games would have had us in pot 2, nothing whatsoever.

    All three keepers are more than good enough, changing it made no difference to the outcome. If you don’t think Marshall’s mental fatigue would have been taken into account then fair enough. It’s very hard to go again a few days after a gruelling 120+ minutes and the elation that you felt after the game. Any side in the world would’ve made most of the changes we made, especially when at least 3 of them were enforced, and clubs will also have had an input into how many minutes players play.

    Folk were wanting Armstrong etc to play, then when they do play the following game it’s disrespectful and amateurish.
    Fine, happy to agree to disagree.

    The game should have been treated as if it was the difference between qualifying for the world cup or not. I don't think it was taken seriously enough but others may have a different view.

  29. #178
    Coaching Staff Smartie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mal View Post
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    We won 5 out of 12 under McLeish, losing the other 7, including an abject humiliation against Kazakhstan. We beat Hungary, Albania (twice), Israel and San Marino. That's not impressive unless you're prepared to accept an extremely low standard. McLeish took us many steps backwards after we had started to show real promise under Strachan.
    I'm not saying he was a success - overall, this time he wasn't.

    He did get some good results. As it happens, his poor results (including the Kazakhstan one) ended up being of little consequence as his good ones helped pave the way for our qualification.

    My point was just that it was bit more nuanced than Strachan = good, McLeish = bad, Clarke = brilliant, in my opinion. All have very mixed records with high and low points.

    The emergence of a few pretty good players has probably been of greater significance than the manager in the dugout.

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