Another failure for Scotland, and only one man to blame

Another failure for Scotland, and only one man to blame
Scotland v Czech Republic - UEFA EURO, EM, Europameisterschaft,Fussball 2020 - Group D - Hampden Park Scotland manager Steve Clarke during the UEFA Euro 2020 Group D match at Hampden Park, Glasgow. Picture date: Monday June 14, 2021. Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xJanexBarlowx 60358242

After the illusion against England, the real Scotland, the one we’re much more familiar with, returned with gusto last night and shattered any real hope this pathetically-managed national team had of getting to the next stage.

Make no mistake, Croatia have been absolutely horrific in this tournament, but they outclassed Scotland everywhere and even though they still weren’t at their best, they had a tonne too much for the home side to contend with and ran out comfortable winners.

Scotland faked it v England. Aside the outstanding Gilmour and his once in a lifetime decent performance against a totally out of sorts Mount and Sterling not to mention Shaw by Stephen O’Donnell, Scotland were nowhere near as good at Wembley as their press hoped, with a home side who simply didn’t show up and exposed their prima-donna nonsense at its worst.

They corrected that for the visit of the Czechs.

Meanwhile Scotland, deluded into thinking they were seriously in with a chance of the last 16, got completely rolled over by a Croatia side still not at its best but a major improvement on the first two matches.

Steve Clarke shoulders a tonne of this failure – he refused to go with youth, giving only Gilmour that one outing v England till Covid did the rest, then for the crunch match v Croatia it was back to the same old rubbish we saw against the Czechs.

O’Donnell was back to his hapless worst, falling over half the time and being Scotland’s least effective defender, statistically. And visually, frankly.

Star player Kieran Tierney clearly wasn’t fully fit but he gave it his best and had a solid enough evening, but compared with Robertson’s productive evening on the left, SoD was back to barely being in the match and offered 3 attempts at crosses compared with Robertson’s 8, 3 of which found their mark.

We don’t want to completely turn this into Stephen O’Donnell Hate Show, because we’ve nothing against the man, but to overlook the infinitely superior Nathan Patterson not once but 3 times, while also overlooking young talent like David Turnbull is pretty much on Clarke’s head alone.

He’s the loser who managed this mess of a NT, and sure, we got there, but we didn’t take an ounce of risk.

Apart from Gilmour, and it worked out brilliantly, probably to Clarke’s incessant chagrin.

Clarke’s post-match comments were farce to say the least:

“I’m disappointed the tournament has ended early for us but we have a lot to be happy about.”

What kind of loser says this? What kind of loser has anything to be happy about after such a terrible campaign?

Graeme Souness wasn’t shy at slaughtering him either:

“I’d like to have changed things in the second half. The plan in the first half clearly wasn’t working – they had 68 per cent possession. I’d have taken a striker off and tried to get a bit more possession in midfield and build from there. We went too long at times, we tried to hit Lyndon Dykes too often. It was tactics from the past, it made us look like a team from the past. I get it. The manager has a group of players and it’s up to him to come up with a way of playing that gets the best out of those players, but I’d like the manager to have changed things in the second half. He put Patterson on with seven or eight minutes to go but that’s not going to affect the game. We had problems down the right hand side with O’Donnell all night. He could have done better for the first goal and the third goal. Okay you start with the same team for the second half. But if you’re struggling, you change it. It was more of the same and he didn’t change until 70 minutes. I don’t want to be down on my nation but I am disappointed after the England game. It was football from another age. You need to play football. Our defence was launching it, bypassing the midfield. We have to play more football if we’re going to progress. We were like a team from another era. Sorry if that hurts. We have to up our game. We have a country mile to catch up.”

Hardly a word in there you can disagree with. Steve Clarke is a dinosaur who sticks with rubbish like SoD and isn’t interested in progressive football.

He is to blame for this, not the players, who did their best.

Clarke clearly considered his modus operandi complete when Scotland got to the Euros. He didn’t give a damn what happened after that.

Welcome to 1975.

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  1. Totally agree with Mr Souness . Scottish football once again displays the lack of investment improvement or coaching . Clarke is anti Rangers , belligerent and stuck in a system and set up with all the rest of the SFA and it’s clique and croneyism that totally teaches robotic non skill based football. Our young kids do not get to play with freedom or skill like Portugal, Italy etc etc. It’s nothing to do with apptitude or even actual population FFS look at all of the Nordic nations . Once again we sit back and say we done well, we tried …no we didn’t . Nothing will change until everything changes at NT level from top to bottom. If they don’t know how to do it there are plenty of excellent examples of how to make it better . France , Netherlands , Spain …etc etc etc . Or we stick with what we have ….It’s that simple

  2. I can’t believe all the good press the Scotland Euro campaign has received right across the media today. Where has all this positivity come from? They failed to get out of the original Euro Qualifying Group and dropped into the Dug’s Chance Group which they couldn’t win either. They then dropped into the Dugs Dugs Chance Play-offs and scraped through the against the might of Israel and Serbia, the latter only just after extra time and penalties.
    Having somehow managed to get there they then scored one goal in 3 games and lost 2 home games to an aggregate score of 5-1 and got outclassed in both games. For the 2 teams that beat them that was their only victory in the tournament so far.
    Yet I hear today that Scotland has a bright future and not only will qualify for future tournaments but will finally make it out the group stages. Despite already being behind the black ball after just 3 games in their World Cup Group.
    Absolute nonsense. With Clarke in charge we will be tough and hard to beat playing direct long ball football(?) but like Kilmarnock will ultimately get nowhere.

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