Filed under: football | Tags: craig levein, FIFA, fifa rankings, levein, Scotland, scotland v czeck republic, Scottish Football, SFA
For a Jambo, Craig Levein is a nice bloke but that in no way exonerates him from open and outrightly hostile criticism in the wake of last night. It was so embarrassing that I forsee no future at all for our ‘national game’. We turned up to play a team ranked 37th in the world who had just lost a European Qualifier at home to Lithuania and we failed to play with a striker. In other words the limits of Levein’s ambitions was a 0 – 0 draw. To a team who had just lost a European Qualifier at home to Lithuania. The formation was 4 6. have you ever hard of that? Apparently Spain play 4 6, but that’s 4 defenders and 6 strikers! And this was to a team who just lost a European Qualifier at home to Lithuania.
If we had a chance I do not recall it, and yet after we went 1 0 down with 20 minutes to play he reverted to a 4 4 2 formation that, whilst unsuccessful, at least put the Czechs under some pressure which is hardly surprising because they are a team who had just lost a European Qualifier at home to Lithuania.
OK, Rangers have ground out two good results by playing ultra cautious tactics, but they played a striker at least. The same striker that is in the form of his life and only came on as a sub to create the aforementioned formation to a team who had just lost a European Qualifier at home to Lithuania. Rangers’ tactical decisions are fair enough. They were playing one of Europe’s finest – not a team that had just lost a European Qualifier at home to Lithuania. (That said, the Turks they played had never made the Champion’s League before and had just been humped at home by Valencia – but it paid off).
Levein looked sheepish, but unapologetic, after the game. I anticipate that the media will rightly go on a field day and, for once, I support them.
It’s very, very sad that our national game, one that only 30 years ago we were considered amongst the finest in the world at, has become a joke. A laughing stock.
How anyone could forgive us taking 96 minutes to pip Leichtestein (a country with a population of 34,000) is beyond me.
This result and this formation in particular, sets out our position in stark relief.
And unambitious ones at that.
God help us on Tuesday night. Although. Although. Although. You can just see it can’t you. A backs to the wall Braveheart performance.
(And an unlucky 1 – 0 defeat.)
Filed under: football, jokes, politics, Rants, sports | Tags: 2010 world cup, FIFA, Handball, ireland v france, Irish Football, Thierry Henri
I respect Henri’s frankness.
What disgusts me is FIFA’s predictable support for the big ticket frenchies.
You know what they are?
Filed under: football, Hibees, jokes, life, Scotland | Tags: FIFA, FIFA world cup hibernian, Hibs, macedonia, Scottish Football, Scottish Football Association, SFA, SPL, tartan army, World cup, world cup Qualifiers
As a Scottish foootball fan one has two options: support the Old Firm (either half will do) or follow your heart and stay local.
I chose that route and support Hibernian FC.
When it comes to your country the choice is rather more restricted. Therefore I support Scotland.
Today I watched my country play Macedonia in what was a very important game. What I witnessed was what I see week in week out from my club team. Complacency.
Scotland, in the first half, against a team ranked 50 or so places behind them in the FIFA rankings were out-fought, out-thought and out-bothered. Scotland didn’t give a damn. It was a really disappointing thing to see, post Euro 2008 badluckness. Sure, it was a different thing in the second half, when it was a race against time.
‘It was too hot’ they’ll say. But it was the Macedonians who were most suffering at the end. So that is no excuse.
I think the comparison to being a Hibs fan is very relevant here. Week in, week out Hibs fail to beat the rank and file (like St Mirren, say) but come the glamour tie all the stops are pulled out (The Old Firm and Hearts).
Scotland can turn it on, big style, against France, Italy and, no doubt, the Dutch but an eminently beatable Macedonian team screwed it for us once again for lack of application.
By the way, I hate, naye loathe, Skopje. I slept in the train station overnight there in 1983 and it was full of idiots. 30 degree heat all night and folk pacing about in leather studs and chains. I honestly don’t know how I got out of there alive.
Filed under: football, life, politics, Scotland, sports | Tags: FIFA, FIFA world rankings, football, Scottish Football
This is incredible.
Scotland’s highest ever FIFA world rankings. And look who is only two places above us.
Incidentally this is the population rankings of those above us.
1 Brazil 187m
2 Germany 82m
3 France 64m
4 Italy 59m
5 England 50m
6 Spain 45m
7 Argentina 39m
8 Romania 21m
9 Netherlands 16m
10 Portugal 10m
11 Czeck Republic 10m
12 Scotland 5m
13 Croatia 4.5m
And of the 7 teams below us in the top 20 only Uruguay is smaller in population terms.
The top 9 European teams become number 1 seeds for the World Cup qualifiers. We currently sit 11th.
Bring on Italy.