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:
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:
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.