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  1. McTominay is better than most people think, but not as good as we want him to be.
  2. Is that relevant to their tournament record or to your claim that their record is 'pretty dire'? Is your point that they should have produced better players over the period based on the relative success of their league in Europe? I would agree, but generally I would say they have rarely if ever in that period had a squad anywhere near the quality of their peers. For what they had, they did okay IMO. Agreed, but being worse than Italy, Spain, France and Germany doesn't make their record dire. Those teams all had comfortably better squads in most of their tournament runs, albeit there were some notable exceptions (maybe Germany 2014, Italy 2006?). Perhaps our view of what makes a good tournament performance is different, but I'd argue making a final makes it a successful tournament. The media made out England were favourites to win most of the tournaments in the period, but I would say that was a view widely held only in England. Certainly my impression of the view outside of England was generally that their squad was relatively weak compared to their peers. Okay, again not sure Scotland's performance is at all relevant to your claim that their performance has been dire. By all objective measures they have been pretty effective at tournaments. They haven't won one, but that doesn't make them dire. I understand the point that, relative to resource levels, their performances haven't been as effective as they maybe should have been, but that is a different point. I think it has taken them a considerable amount of time to get their youth structures right to allow them to leverage the huge amounts of money and world class coaching structures they have. I think you are starting to see the impact of that with some of the players they are now bringing though. As I say, I think they now justify the hype and will probably win a tournament in the foreseeable future.
  3. Not sure if this is a joke. England are our primary rivals, but to say they have a poor tournament record is surely stretching the truth. Since 1996 (i.e. the last 25 years) they have managed the quarter finals 7 times across the Euro and the WC, with a 4th, 3rd and 2nd place amongst those 7. Yes, they have failed to win a tournament in the period, but they have qualified for all but one of them and have performed reasonably well. That's a comparable record to the likes of Argentina and Netherlands and substantially better than Belgium for instance. Unfortunately for us, the current team is the first in my lifetime that I think are genuinely as good as the hype, I think they may well win a couple of tournaments over the next decade or so.
  4. It's not happened yet to us on this level, but Rice and Grealish switching from Ireland to England stick in the mind. Ireland 'lost' two generational standard players for them (and they would also have been for us). That's a bit of a sickener.
  5. Wotte might well have been a slavering c**t, but that doesn’t mean all his ideas were wrong. I conceded there is probably a point where tactical inflexibility becomes a problem but I would argue avoiding that is about the quality of education you give the kids. Remember that the performance schools are just one strand of it, they will still also be at club academies at the same time where they will learn something different, although hopefully also based on developing high quality technical players. Having them well drilled in a particular style or system (or more likely a series of related systems) is hugely beneficial to helping with transition between age grades and ultimately into the full side. It’s exactly what Barcelona and Ajax do, for instance. The players who come out of those systems are still able to adapt and play elsewhere.
  6. This is definitely part of it. Whilst the SFA are to be commended for their Performance School initiative, their view of the whole strategy is lacking. They've implemented a programme to bring through more technically able players than ever before, then dumped them in a regressive national team coaching platform that uses pump-it-long kick-and-rush tactics that were seen as out of date almost 30 years ago. The PS strategy should also have come alongside a coaching strategy, as originally was the blueprint from Mark Wotte, to use the same style and system throughout the player's football education that both draws on the 'Scottish way' as well as focuses on the main skills they are learning in the PS system. If you teach them how to do it one way for years, but then when it comes to using the skills ask them to do it a different way, you are likely going to get poor results. That and everyone else has been doing this sort of development for the best part of 50 years, so we are only playing catchup really, not getting ahead of the game. Our small player base means we will always struggle at unders levels, but if we bring through a number of top players every year we will have plenty of success at the top level.
  7. Interesting chat on the Performance Schools too. Having the ex-head of the PS system telling everyone its great is a bit pointless, but at least to my untrained eye the system seems to be making a real difference.
  8. A second genuine top level centre-back would be brilliant - it would be exceptionally on brand for him to end up either a top level left-back or a top level-LCB, both of which are positions we are already strong in. Fingers crossed he turns out to be an absolute beast of a CCB!
  9. Never heard of him either. Is he Scottish, or qualified but born in England? If the later I wouldn't hold high hopes for retaining him in our system once he goes to City - he'll be off to play for England.
  10. Scored 2 on his ‘debut’ in a friendly tonight against karlsruhr SC who are in the 2 Bundesliga apparently.
  11. An interesting move. Complete speculation, but I'd guess the chance of him declaring for the Ivory Coast is probably higher in France due to a) the number of ex-pat African players he will encounter being much higher and b) the level of media scrutiny on his choice that he is exposed to being much lower. If he is good enough to establish himself as a Ligue 1 standard attacker he is good enough for Scotland. He's still only 19 and is still exceptionally talented so there is a fair possibility he does successfully break though.
  12. Notable names for me (in rough order of age) who are 21 or under: 21: Gilmour (midfield, Chelsea) 20: Patterson (rightback, Everton), Hickey (leftback, Bologna), Harrison Ashby (rightback, West Ham) 19: Eliott Anderson (midfield/attacker, Newcastle), Connor Barron (midfield, Aberdeen), Liam Morrison (centreback, Bayern Munich) 18: Leon King (centreback, Rangers), Alex Lowry (midfield, Rangers), Calvin Ramsay (right back, Liverpool), Dire Mebude (forward, Man City), Barry Hepburn (forward, Bayern Munich) 17: Kerr Smith (centreback, Aston Villa), Charlie McArthur (centreback, Kilmarnock), Dylan Reid (midfield, St Mirren) 16: Rory Wilson (striker, Aston Villa), Ben Doak (forward, Liverpool) 15: Lennon Miller (midfield, Motherwell) Every position (roughly) is there other than a keeper.
  13. Yeah out of contract and probably won't sign a new one, although is still in talks with the club. A year ago he looked like he had the potential to go really far but a really poor season will limit his options quite a bit, especially considering he'll command a decent development fee. Yeh, still only 20 though so lots of time to put a poor season behind him.
  14. Is he out of contract? I remember a bit of chat about some decent clubs at the start of the year but haven't heard anything since.
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