Archive for March, 2013

Two more defeats for Scotland

Posted in Gordon Strachan, Scotland Squad, World Cup 2014 with tags , , on March 27, 2013 by Tartan Army Soldier

It’s a tough life following the Scotland squad. We’ve endured two more internationals, both familiar in their disappointing outcome. Is there any hope for Scottish international football?

After being bettered at home by a not-exactly-mighty Wales, we have just suffered a 2-0 defeat in Serbia. If it wasn’t obvious before, we are now clearly not going to be seeing Scotland playing in the Brazil 2014 World Cup finals. If we harbour any hopes of being the best in the world it would help if we could at least win our home games. At present we clearly can’t. Presently I would hesitate to argue with Alisdair Lamont of the BBC who described the current squad as deserving “the tag of the worst Scotland team ever”.

So, what’s gone so wrong? And how will it be fixed?

There are many possible reasons. Some say a the lack of strong competition in the SPL, made worse by the problems suffered by Rangers, has weakened Scottish football. But with many Scottish players having and continuing to play club football outside of Scotland this is probably not a significant issue. Is it a lack of skill or physical strength, a probable factor in Serbia? Or is it something more fundamental, such as a lack of belief that we can win and/or acceptance to endure losses as long as we have played with “pride”? My fear is that it’s all of these, possibly with a little too much of the last.

In fairness to our new coach the absence of some players may have hindered efforts. The team lacked the skills of Darren Fletcher and Scott Brown. Also, some of the new blood wasn’t of the same quality (admittedly less so in Serbia). My only hope is, now that we won’t be heading off to Brazil, Strachan will have free reign to try out as much new blood and experiment with the team as possible. And let’s hope it yields results. Preferably wins.

Scotland Squad announced for Wales and Serbia matches

Posted in Scotland Squad, World Cup 2014 with tags , , on March 8, 2013 by Tartan Army Soldier

Scotland Coach, Gordon Strachan has released the names of those players selected for the forthcoming World Cup qualifying matches. The pool includes three new additions to the squad – Gary Mackay-Steven, Liam Bridcutt and George Boyd. Their recent form has earned a place in the team and they will no doubt be looking forward to their first caps.

Goalkeepers
Matt Gilks (Blackpool)
David Marshall (Cardiff City)
Allan McGregor (Besiktas)

Defenders
Christophe Berra (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Gary Caldwell (Wigan Athletic)
Daniel Fox (Southampton)
Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers)
Alan Hutton (Real Mallorca)
Russell Martin (Norwich City)
Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic)
Andy Webster (Heart of Midlothian)

Midfielders
Charlie Adam (Stoke City)
Liam Bridcutt (Brighton and Hove Albion)
Chris Burke (Birmingham City)
Kris Commons (Celtic)
Graham Dorrans (West Bromwich Albion)
James Forrest (Celtic)
Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United)
James McArthur (Wigan Athletic)
James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion)
Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City)

Forwards
George Boyd (Hull City)
Steven Fletcher (Sunderland)
Ross McCormack (Leeds United)
Shaun Maloney (Wigan Athletic)
Kenny Miller (Vancouver Whitecaps)
Steven Naismith (Everton)
Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers)