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State of Scottish National Team


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Cracking article on BBC site by Tom English - few "not so hidden" digs at the blazers at their mishandling of the National set up and their treatment of other clubs in comparison to the ugly sisters. 

Nothing will change but good to see it's not just fans on the terraces that have this view. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/47697708

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An unusual article, I thought....rightly very critical of the way the 'wee teams' are often the targets of tough action (like his Clyde & Motherwell examples), while virtually nothing happens to the big ones....and also critical of the SFA/SPFL management.

But I got to the end of it & wondered what it is he believes needs to be done to bring about changes, and what it is he's advocating?

Did i just mis-read it?

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First time around he left the job after 10 games because he was doing well. Second time he leaves after 12 games because he's doing badly.

He had to go really after the manner of the defeat to Kazakhstan. I imagine the players are relieved.

Strange how a manager's stock can drop so dramatically in the space of a decade. McLeish guided us to a famous win in Paris and then he lifted the League Cup with Birmingham. It's been downhill ever since though.

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20 minutes ago, Cobra said:

First time around he left the job after 10 games because he was doing well. Second time he leaves after 12 games because he's doing badly.

He had to go really after the manner of the defeat to Kazakhstan. I imagine the players are relieved.

Strange how a manager's stock can drop so dramatically in the space of a decade. McLeish guided us to a famous win in Paris and then he lifted the League Cup with Birmingham. It's been downhill ever since though.

I feel a bit sorry for him. I think he's in theory, a very good manager and he demonstrated that he was a good tactician and man manager before.

It's very easy to say as an armchair pundit but he genuinely doesn't seem the same. It's quite sad watching his interviews five years ago and then seeing him now. I wouldn't want to speculate what the specifics are but I think it's been pretty clear for a while that something isn't right and that seems to be the indication from the report of his departure.

I think part of it though is just the inexperience in the squad. The defense is hugely important at international level and we've got McKenna, Souttar and Bates as the emerging promising options and two of them are playing for Scottish teams and not participating in Europe. I know it's a view I'm alone with but I genuinely think that these players need to be thinking of their next move and hopefully going on to a higher level soon (Bates will likely be by default) or they will stagnate. It's maybe going to be the case that the next manager just tries to keep these guys playing (and integrates McTominay in his natural role where he was playing against PSG) in the hope that they are all ready for the play-offs when they come round.

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Think we were always going to have difficulty getting out of this group, beating the lower ranked teams is an essential requirement. I think Strachan is right and the fault lies with the coaching ethos and inability to get palyers to concentrate on developing greater technique. Just watch the shootie in practice before any game at Dens it's an absolute disgrace that so few "goals" are scored. apologies for returning to a pet hobby horse but is a glaring example of why Scots players don't have composure when presentred with a pressure situation to score a goal.

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8 hours ago, harry94 said:

I feel a bit sorry for him. I think he's in theory, a very good manager and he demonstrated that he was a good tactician and man manager before.

It's very easy to say as an armchair pundit but he genuinely doesn't seem the same. It's quite sad watching his interviews five years ago and then seeing him now. I wouldn't want to speculate what the specifics are but I think it's been pretty clear for a while that something isn't right and that seems to be the indication from the report of his departure.

I was really surprised by aspects of his recent interviews, even before the 2 games. I didn't notice it during last year's Nations League games, which ended with a couple of good performances. Kazakhstan was a disastrous performance, but caused by elementary player errors. I think the over-reaction to the San Marino game wouldn't have happened if players had done their job in the first game. It's hard to describe, but I thought Eck's speed of reaction/thought/response in those interviews seemed 'dulled'. Eck's usually been fairly sharp-witted & not at all slow to make his point clear to the media if he disagreed with them. 

He's not been sacked, according to BBC's quotes from the SFA at mid-day, though it wouldn't surprise me if they cave in to media pressure & replace him with Moyes, who's obviously being asked about the job by some of the media. Whatever the 'incident' was between the two games, I hope it's not something health-related. He's a relatively young guy, just turned 60.

I first met Eck when he was a teenage prodigy with Aberdeen reserves, in August 1977, when he was allocated by Billy McNeil to the Div.1 amateur team I played for (Cove Thistle, including Stewart McKimmie's dad 'Syd' & his uncle Jocky), as trainer/coach. We were hugely impressed by Eck, a classic 'auld heid on young shoulders', with self-confidence well beyond his age & experience. I recall how convinced we were over the next few months that he was destined for coaching roles, someday. Unfortunately for us, McNeil gave him his first team debut in the 'hogmanay derby' with the arabs in January 1978, and his great partnership with Willie Miller took off from that day, and he had to give up the evening trainer/coach role. It was great to see him be so successful at both club & national level, then in management (with the exception of one day at Hampden in May 2003, of course!).   

8 hours ago, harry94 said:

I think part of it though is just the inexperience in the squad. The defense is hugely important at international level and we've got McKenna, Souttar and Bates as the emerging promising options and two of them are playing for Scottish teams and not participating in Europe. I know it's a view I'm alone with but I genuinely think that these players need to be thinking of their next move and hopefully going on to a higher level soon (Bates will likely be by default) or they will stagnate. It's maybe going to be the case that the next manager just tries to keep these guys playing (and integrates McTominay in his natural role where he was playing against PSG) in the hope that they are all ready for the play-offs when they come round.

If I try to forget those 3 disastrous goals in Kazakhstan, I also think McKenna & Bates, and Souttar, are great prospects for the next decade of central defenders, perhaps the best we've had since Eck, Miller & Narey (:o). Bates is highly regarded at Hamburg (their 'red brick wall' & the 'ginger Ramos') & will be in the Bundesliga with them next season. McKenna will continue to improve at Aberdeen, but I'd agree he's probably going to need to move to a bigger club in the next 15 months. Levein has done a good job of developing Souttar, but I'd imagine he'll also be off when his contract ends. 

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