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It's Maybe Simple Enough to Explain

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HK Blues    419
HK Blues

Following on from our failure to qualify for our 10th consecutive tournament, we've had the usual gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands as to why, with the conclusion we're too wee and not doing it like Iceland being the frontrunners!

I wonder if it's not just the simple fact the game up here is, frankly speaking, screwed. At a time when kids and adults alike have numerous options as to how they spend their time and money, we have a top league which is a one-horse race. That's great if you're backing that 1 horse, but it's not helping our game in the wider sense. I know our game has been going downhill for 20+ years, so the above doesn't fully explain things - but it has to be a big part of the reason.

I'm not holding out any hope for change - we're just rearranging deck chairs on the titanic now. 

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andrak    56
andrak

I'm afraid I disagree HK. Well, I partly agree. The game up here is screwed, but I don't think it has anything at all about what people choose to do with their time and money. And, I don't think it is permanent, although it could be terminal.

I'm winding up my old gramophone, here, but I think there is a rot at the heart of our game that has been growing exponentially since the 1980s and 90s. If we can contain that rot or even get rid of it, the whole system will grow healthy again. We will have greater competition, higher quality football, bigger attendances, and a much better national team.

What is that rot? An unyielding and absolute subordination of the interests of all other clubs in favour of the European success of Glasgow Celtic and Rangers. Three of the main examples of that are 1. Voting rules that mean the OF can block anything they don't like. 2. The scrapping of sharing gate receipts. 3. The systematic failure to apply rules to the OF (Rangers being the obvious example, but I don't doubt for a second that Celtic would be given an equally easy ride if they broke the rules).

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Gedee    1,166
Gedee

I'm not sure whether it's me , but although the he two posts above may appear contradicitive at first glance, I find myself in total agreement with both.

The posters (two good posters) I'm not sure are disagreeing with each other .... Just coming at the problem from two different angles.

Both raising good points. And in doing so, opening it up, to a very good discusion I'd hope. Weel done lads (Twa Likes):chaplin:

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thegen65    110
thegen65
49 minutes ago, andrak said:

I'm afraid I disagree HK. Well, I partly agree. The game up here is screwed, but I don't think it has anything at all about what people choose to do with their time and money. And, I don't think it is permanent, although it could be terminal.

I'm winding up my old gramophone, here, but I think there is a rot at the heart of our game that has been growing exponentially since the 1980s and 90s. If we can contain that rot or even get rid of it, the whole system will grow healthy again. We will have greater competition, higher quality football, bigger attendances, and a much better national team.

What is that rot? An unyielding and absolute subordination of the interests of all other clubs in favour of the European success of Glasgow Celtic and Rangers. Three of the main examples of that are 1. Voting rules that mean the OF can block anything they don't like. 2. The scrapping of sharing gate receipts. 3. The systematic failure to apply rules to the OF (Rangers being the obvious example, but I don't doubt for a second that Celtic would be given an equally easy ride if they broke the rules).

Very good post, pretty much spot on in all you say there fella.

Edited by thegen65
Typo

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Billy Campbell's Ghost    454
Billy Campbell's Ghost

Not to mention too many wee boys! (Lol) But there is a pub mentality with kids when they get within touching distance of 18 plus our diet is poor.

To succeed in sport requires dedication even more these days as young people from many countries, and their countries have overtaken us as we sleep walk to mediocrity.

We also do not invest in our national sport with Council pitches being neglected for years along with awful changing facilities.

Screaming Dads and coaches on the touchline are a turn off too (I can hear them now!)

If anyone flies into France have a look as you come in to land at the countryside - every town, village, hamlet has a decent football pitch (pitches) with good lookng facilities.

Malky McKay needs to get out, travel, learn, set his masters some objectives and push them for outcomes.

Edited by Billy Campbell's Ghost
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Gedee    1,166
Gedee

Referring to the non-interest by present day kids on playing football & sports in general, (& possibly the neglect, or at leat disinterest by the local authority to maintain pitches) I have no facts really, to back whether that is true or otherwise.

However, it just made me realise, when moving into my semi-rural area further north ... (Jings anither realisation...aboot 30 years ago) I was pleasantly surprised to see in the nearby village (pop aroond 2, 000) no only did it have a lovely school with loads of space (within & ootwith the school) it had a beautiful full-size fitba ground, ideally situated, with scenic space all round for parents ( & ANYONE) to watch the bairns playing their weekly games.

Whit a disappointment to find however ... it was never used. Whether this was lack of interest, or lack of time, or lack of staff, or lack of money ... I've no idea.

But maybe that is a general reflection of what it is like wherever you are ... (As a point, there is a Highland League Team no far away & they are well attended)

However moving on. When DFC get this all singing, all dancing complex built, we can offer  the best in training for everyone of all ages. Adding to our fan base.

Case yir wonderin' whar eh'm located eh'm no telling ye. No only do eh need my privacy, eh'm no having ye coming up on Buses Stealin' my Prize Tomatoes :wub:

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HK Blues    419
HK Blues
2 hours ago, andrak said:

I'm afraid I disagree HK. Well, I partly agree. The game up here is screwed, but I don't think it has anything at all about what people choose to do with their time and money. And, I don't think it is permanent, although it could be terminal.

I'm winding up my old gramophone, here, but I think there is a rot at the heart of our game that has been growing exponentially since the 1980s and 90s. If we can contain that rot or even get rid of it, the whole system will grow healthy again. We will have greater competition, higher quality football, bigger attendances, and a much better national team.

What is that rot? An unyielding and absolute subordination of the interests of all other clubs in favour of the European success of Glasgow Celtic and Rangers. Three of the main examples of that are 1. Voting rules that mean the OF can block anything they don't like. 2. The scrapping of sharing gate receipts. 3. The systematic failure to apply rules to the OF (Rangers being the obvious example, but I don't doubt for a second that Celtic would be given an equally easy ride if they broke the rules).

I think we're saying the same thing, albeit I only referred to the result of the problem whilst you detailed the reasons. I think the powers that be, as guardians of the game, must accept responsibility for us having a league that is focused in the direction of the big two only - I mentioned only Celtic as Rangers f**ked themselves.

All that said, we need to fix things within the current framework - The Old Firm are going nowhere anytime soon. I'm not optimistic.

Edit to add - I wasn't suggesting other alternatives for people are the cause of the problem, simple it compounds what is already a challenging environment.

Edited by HK Blues

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andrak    56
andrak

Agreed, HK. I might have cranked up my gramophone a little too quickly.

I can't decide if I'm optimistic or not. When I hear people like Henry McLeish saying we have reached a new low in Scottish football, when, had we actually made the World Cup, or even the play offs, he would, no doubt have been saying we are on our way to a truly competitive team (or some other such meaningless drivel), I despair. One goal does not make the difference between greatness and mediocrity of a national team (greatness and immortality, maybe). And just don't get me started on people like Gordon Smith and other ex OF players....

It's as though we're caught in some weird 'Groundhog Day' scenario where we keep trying things only slightly different just to see if the outcome will still be the same. Maybe the only hope is that we are about to enter the phase of the movie where the protagonist starts to get extreme in his testing just before realising that he, and not his environment, was the problem all along.

Sadly for us though, this is not a movie, and Scottish Football is no Bill Murray.

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Cobra    3,041
Cobra

If you look at other European countries of our size (4m-6m) you see that our Fifa rankings is not that bad.

Slovakia 19
Denmark 26
Rep. of Ireland 34
Scotland 43
Norway 73
Finland 87
Georgia 103
Moldova 156

And our Uefa co-efficient for club sides is also ok.

Denmark 17
Scotland 24
Norway 27
Slovakia 32
Moldova 33
Finland 38
Rep. of Ireland 39
Georgia 45

Then you take a look at football attendances and you see that we have the highest rate for people attending games in the world (excluding the small islands)

Fanatics.jpg

 

Why then do we think our game is dead or dying?

I suppose it's partly down to our ridiculous over-achievement between the 1950s and 1980s before money dominated the sport and we were able to mix it with the best club sides in Europe.

I think we are probably now where we should be for a country of our size. It's just a pity that the Old Firm's massive following isn't more spread out among other clubs. The general obsession with Rangers and Celtic is a problem and I don't see any simple solution (that might actually be implemented).

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andrak    56
andrak

Great post Cobra. But while those stats look comforting, I'm not sure that they tell the whole story. These comparisons are more possible in football because it is such a universally liked game. It doesn't take into account any historical, social, or infrastructural factors.

I don't have the figures, but it would be interesting to see how we compare with countries that have a similar level of footballing infrastructure and social following for the game. Without that, it could be a bit meaningless. For instance, our national Ice Hockey team is a disgrace when compared to Finland's or Norway's. How about our basketball team, an embarrassment when you see how poorly we do against smaller nations. Mind you in Tennis, we are doing so very well with the kind of infrastructure and social following for the game that is probably as bad as anywhere.

What your stats do show is that we haven't hit rock bottom quite yet. But if we are to perform at a level commensurate with the attention we give football then we really should be comparing ourselves with countries that have a similar fanaticism for the game and not just those with a similar population. Lets use Portugal, The Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, and Greece as our cohort. Now we see how much we have fallen back and how much higher we should be aiming.

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HK Blues    419
HK Blues
1 hour ago, andrak said:

Agreed, HK. I might have cranked up my gramophone a little too quickly.

I can't decide if I'm optimistic or not. When I hear people like Henry McLeish saying we have reached a new low in Scottish football, when, had we actually made the World Cup, or even the play offs, he would, no doubt have been saying we are on our way to a truly competitive team (or some other such meaningless drivel), I despair. One goal does not make the difference between greatness and mediocrity of a national team (greatness and immortality, maybe). And just don't get me started on people like Gordon Smith and other ex OF players....

It's as though we're caught in some weird 'Groundhog Day' scenario where we keep trying things only slightly different just to see if the outcome will still be the same. Maybe the only hope is that we are about to enter the phase of the movie where the protagonist starts to get extreme in his testing just before realising that he, and not his environment, was the problem all along.

Sadly for us though, this is not a movie, and Scottish Football is no Bill Murray.

That 1 goal would have righted all the wrongs and we'd be good to go for another 20+ years eating out off of qualification - NOT.  IF we listen to the wake-up call now we might be OK in 20 years.  But, we won't.

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binhoker    307
binhoker

It is simple to explain.  Scotland has not been good enough to qualify since God knows when .  When I watch Scotland I see  a team which looks cared to take risks, quick breaks and tends to try and keep possession until the circumstance are perfect to score . A drudge of a team to watch with  a dull brand of football.  I would say that the Scottish team need to stop the slug like performances and  try what teams like  N. Ireland do-  try to win every game in spite of the statisics  being stacked against them

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Gedee    1,166
Gedee

Age can cloud the memory. But I'm sure I recall the time when putting on the Dark Blue Jersey (Scotland or Dundee)

engendered a genuine feeling of patriotism/pride (I'm no sure slipping intae something PINK has the same effect):chaplin:

Putting that last daft comment aside ...  I still believe there was a real feeling of achievement for both players & fans.

And in the case of players especially, whether it's because of money, I no' longer think this is still the case (My opinion)

Other people/fans will see it differently (& may well be right) But on a personal level I remember Club Football being an

important part of my life (as a fan) But the Scottish International Games aye took pride of place when they came along.

As I remember, most players of course were home-bred & had a genuine link with Scotland & Scottish home supporters.

Easier to relate to players who  you could follow on a weekly basis, as opposed to those representing Scotland now (imo)

 

 

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Edin_Dee    274
Edin_Dee

I'm not sure the state of our league is the reason the national team hasn't been qualifying. As Cobra has highlighted above is our league really any worse than the leagues of teams we need to be beating to qualify? Ireland have consistently done better than us in recent campaigns so I'm not convinced it has much to do with it.

As much as I despise the Old Firm, they probably actually help the national side (well not Rangers just now). If I've to pick between an English Championship squad player or a Celtic player with Champions League experience who has had a "must win" mentality drilled into them, give me the Celtic player every time. Look at the recent Scotland games where we had 5/6 Celtic players playing compared with games we didn't and it was like night and day.

Probably the biggest two reasons we no longer qualify is because a)other nations have got better and b)there are more teams we need to compete against compared with the pre Yugoslavia breakup etc.

My view is that for the size of country we are, we are producing decent players who are good enough to finish second in qualifying groups. There is no need to have this inquest into genetics, diet, coaching, state of the league etc. after every campaign. We are missing a world class creative player like a Bale, Hamsik or Lewandowski who can take an average team to the next level but realistically you can't coach that. They are freak players who come along once in a blue moon.

 

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WoodStein    725
WoodStein
48 minutes ago, Billy Campbell's Ghost said:

Is it not true that we still would not get a play off place even had we won?

No, had we won (any one of our 3 drawn games), we'd have been on 20 points (less the 6 from Malta), and in the playoffs. Four teams on 19 points made the playoffs....one of them would have missed out. 

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Cobra    3,041
Cobra
37 minutes ago, Edin_Dee said:

There is no need to have this inquest into genetics, diet, coaching, state of the league etc. after every campaign. We are missing a world class creative player like a Bale, Hamsik or Lewandowski who can take an average team to the next level but realistically you can't coach that. They are freak players who come along once in a blue moon.

 

Totally agree. Had we performed at home to a very poor Lithuania side we'd be in the play-offs and everybody would be happy so this inquest into genetics, diet, coaching is really not necessary.

I was reading the other day about the 'new Messi', a 16-year-old Italian kid called Pietro Pellegri, and I was thinking if he was born in Scotland and we could build a team around him that would probably see us being fairly successful for a generation. Maybe Celtic's wonderkid Karamoko Dembele can be that player, although there is a danger he could switch to England.

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Attilio    1,087
Attilio

A 2 horse race isn't any better than a one horse race in terms of competition and that pretty much sums up most European leagues these days. With the present system we do not have sufficient quality to finish top of any qualifying group and I doubt we ever will. What we do have is enough quality to finish 2nd in these groups and to give ourselves a chance via a play off.

If we have the quality to finish 2nd and we don't get to a play off, I can only put it down to a combination of squad and team selection, tactics and a lack of self belief in the players. Until WGS had a 'lightbulb' moment and picked almost every Scottish player that played for Celtic, we were going nowhere again with players who were nowhere near international standard. We are all assuming that Strachan has learnt a few lessons in recent months but I doubt he has. He will revert to type sooner rather than later.

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binhoker    307
binhoker
2 hours ago, Gedee said:

Age can cloud the memory. But I'm sure I recall the time when putting on the Dark Blue Jersey (Scotland or Dundee)

engendered a genuine feeling of patriotism/pride (I'm no sure slipping intae something PINK has the same effect):chaplin:

Putting that last daft comment aside ...  I still believe there was a real feeling of achievement for both players & fans.

And in the case of players especially, whether it's because of money, I no' longer think this is still the case (My opinion)

Other people/fans will see it differently (& may well be right) But on a personal level I remember Club Football being an

important part of my life (as a fan) But the Scottish International Games aye took pride of place when they came along.

As I remember, most players of course were home-bred & had a genuine link with Scotland & Scottish home supporters.

Easier to relate to players who  you could follow on a weekly basis, as opposed to those representing Scotland now (imo)

 

 

I agree  . 

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HK Blues    419
HK Blues
2 hours ago, Gedee said:

Age can cloud the memory. But I'm sure I recall the time when putting on the Dark Blue Jersey (Scotland or Dundee)

engendered a genuine feeling of patriotism/pride (I'm no sure slipping intae something PINK has the same effect):chaplin:

 

 

 

Putting on the blue V Slipping into something pink - it's a tough choice Gedee!:o

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HK Blues    419
HK Blues
30 minutes ago, Attilio said:

A 2 horse race isn't any better than a one horse race in terms of competition and that pretty much sums up most European leagues these days. With the present system we do not have sufficient quality to finish top of any qualifying group and I doubt we ever will. What we do have is enough quality to finish 2nd in these groups and to give ourselves a chance via a play off.

If we have the quality to finish 2nd and we don't get to a play off, I can only put it down to a combination of squad and team selection, tactics and a lack of self belief in the players. Until WGS had a 'lightbulb' moment and picked almost every Scottish player that played for Celtic, we were going nowhere again with players who were nowhere near international standard. We are all assuming that Strachan has learnt a few lessons in recent months but I doubt he has. He will revert to type sooner rather than later.

I suppose, Attilio, at least in the other leagues they start the season hoping - there is not one team that doesn't play in green and white hoops with any hope in Scotland.

We were 3rd seeds, rightly so, and finished 3rd. We have probably punched above our weight before, and we are not doing so now. That said, surely to goodness we could have got lucky and pulled together a team capable of qualifying once in the last 10 competitions! Especially when 3rd would have been enough for a play-off in the Euros.  The fact we came so close - a point - shows it's not beyond the realms of possibility to qualify.

Strachan should go like any manager who has failed to achieve a modicum of success.

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Spiritof62    310
Spiritof62

One really big decision that could improve things at a stroke is for the authorities to admit that our weather is a big turn off for playing and watching the game.

It's no fun to pay +£20 in our freezing wet winter to watch a substandard product.

The SFA/SPFL cartel will never really change, they are led by the nose by the Glasgow big two.

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Gedee    1,166
Gedee
59 minutes ago, HK Blues said:

Putting on the blue V Slipping into something pink - it's a tough choice Gedee!:o

Dinnae you be adding any mair complications to my miserable life HK  :wub:

I have got enough on meh mind, trying to secrete money, to enhance meh

spending powe,r to include twa treats aff the Penny Tray every ither week

& buy New (refurbished) Pair o' Long Johns to replace these baggy ains :wacko:

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