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10 years ago Scotland Under 19's reached the Euro Final.. what happened?


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Usually I want to take action about things but wondered what people might think of this. I can appreciate youth football might sometimes not bring debate.

I was doing some research. 10 years ago in 2006, we reached the European Championship finals at Under 19's level. This was our best performance since 1982. We lost to Spain 2-1.

En route to this final in qualifying we drew with France 1-1 and Portugal 2-2. Three of those countries were finalists in this year's European Championships. 

This was the team that started in the final: McNeil, Cave-Brown, Wallace, Cuthbert, Grant, Ferry, Conroy (Gilmour 78), Cameron (Dorrans 74) Adams, Elliot, McGlinchey. 

Out of the entire squad, only Wallace and Dorrans have become Scotland players but in the squad. Two players missing from the final in Snodgrass and S.Fletcher are first picks. Garry Kenneth won 2 caps and Fox and Reynolds have been called into squads 

6 of the players in the squad were part of a Celtic U19 team that won the Youth Cup and League. These were Grant, Conroy, McGlinchey, Cuthbert, Ferry and Fox. Only McGlinchey became a full international but for New Zealand!

Shortly after this tournament, with the next Under 19 age group, we beat Bosnia 6-0 and Germany 1-0 who had Mezut Ozil in their team. A Germany who were already building their youth development structure that included Ozil in their team.

What this goes to show is the big problem happens between 19-22. Undoubtedly some players will become late bloomers and people have to be dedicated. However this is the pattern that I feel needs to be identified if we are to have any chances of going further forward, My thinking believes it is because we focus on competitive attributes and winning matches than developing individual technique by the time it comes to adulthood we don't have as much of a technique as other nations.

The problem I feel extends to other sports but mainly in society and in education because this age range (19-22) is also when players stop playing football and even sport because education ends and thus opportunities to play don't come forward. Thus also because the elite were selected and lesser players ignored, those players tend to drift out of the game and the ones who were selected therefore are not selected for the national team due to the way the manager wants to play (a long ball back to the wall job) and the way Scottish Football is structured. I feel taking aspects from other athletes are one way forward.  

 

 

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That more or less squad played in the u20 wc the year after and had their arses handed to them. Its a similar pattern to the u17s that made the wc final in late 80s.....most of the Portugal side we beat became full internationals and only a handful of ours even became pros. Think only dickov and oneill played for senior Scotland team. Your spot on about the consistent failure we have in the 19-22 age group.....as for a solution ive no idea.

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Yep - Portugal had Figo, Abel Xavier, Pexie and Paolo Santos.

Just found out about the 1996 team at Under 21 level we had, McNamara, Pressley, Dailly, Donnelly, Crawford and Johnston who won more than a few caps with Charlie Miller and Glass winning 1 cap. 

Alongside us in the tournament was Spain, France and Italy. Huge nations. These were the kind of players who went on to win international caps 

Spain - Mendieta, Raul, Morientes, Agustun

France - Vieira, Makelele, Wiltord, Pires, Candela, Dacourt, Dharasoo

Italy - Buffon, Totti, Cannavaro, Panucci, Nesta, Tacchardini, Delvechioo, Tomassi, Sartor, 

In the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign we proved we could compete with big nations beating France home and away that included Vieira and Makelele. However none of the 1996 team apart from Dailly and Pressley (only in first 4 games) were involved in the campaign. Panucci's goal knocked us out of reaching Euro 2008.

Maybe I am reading too much into it. But then Iceland had a team that reached this year's quarter-finals and the majority of that side were Under 21 players previously. 

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The figures which are more startling are the ones from 96. Clearly that generation provided a high level of quality to pick from across Europe, and we seemed to be in sync with that.

 

Despite my desire for us to not surrender our entire youth into England's genetic doping, ie looking for the biggest and strongest athletes between 12-14, and teaching them the game, competing against the best of the Continent, armed with our skill sets, is far more important. The sketchy success, i'd say is equal to our standing as a nation overall. 

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18 hours ago, mcfadden78 said:

Usually I want to take action about things but wondered what people might think of this. I can appreciate youth football might sometimes not bring debate.

I was doing some research. 10 years ago in 2006, we reached the European Championship finals at Under 19's level. This was our best performance since 1982. We lost to Spain 2-1.

En route to this final in qualifying we drew with France 1-1 and Portugal 2-2. Three of those countries were finalists in this year's European Championships. 

This was the team that started in the final: McNeil, Cave-Brown, Wallace, Cuthbert, Grant, Ferry, Conroy (Gilmour 78), Cameron (Dorrans 74) Adams, Elliot, McGlinchey. 

Out of the entire squad, only Wallace and Dorrans have become Scotland players but in the squad. Two players missing from the final in Snodgrass and S.Fletcher are first picks. Garry Kenneth won 2 caps and Fox and Reynolds have been called into squads 

6 of the players in the squad were part of a Celtic U19 team that won the Youth Cup and League. These were Grant, Conroy, McGlinchey, Cuthbert, Ferry and Fox. Only McGlinchey became a full international but for New Zealand!

Shortly after this tournament, with the next Under 19 age group, we beat Bosnia 6-0 and Germany 1-0 who had Mezut Ozil in their team. A Germany who were already building their youth development structure that included Ozil in their team.

What this goes to show is the big problem happens between 19-22. Undoubtedly some players will become late bloomers and people have to be dedicated. However this is the pattern that I feel needs to be identified if we are to have any chances of going further forward, My thinking believes it is because we focus on competitive attributes and winning matches than developing individual technique by the time it comes to adulthood we don't have as much of a technique as other nations.

The problem I feel extends to other sports but mainly in society and in education because this age range (19-22) is also when players stop playing football and even sport because education ends and thus opportunities to play don't come forward. Thus also because the elite were selected and lesser players ignored, those players tend to drift out of the game and the ones who were selected therefore are not selected for the national team due to the way the manager wants to play (a long ball back to the wall job) and the way Scottish Football is structured. I feel taking aspects from other athletes are one way forward.  

 

 

When players hit 20,21 in other nations is when they are bled into the national team from u21s.  In Scotland we wait until players retire from international football before replacing or trying out new hungrier versions by which time there coming into late20s see them through 25 caps then retire and so on

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11 minutes ago, kenny131 said:

When players hit 20,21 in other nations is when they are bled into the national team from u21s.  In Scotland we wait until players retire from international football before replacing or trying out new hungrier versions by which time there coming into late20s see them through 25 caps then retire and so on

pretty much this, james mccarthy has 39 caps for ireland and he's 25, there is only 4 midfielders either currently in the scotland squad right now or have been selected in the last 12 months with more caps, all 4 are over the age of 30, a 25yo midfielder in our squad (matt phillips) has 4,

as for this thread altogether, 2004 klinsmann overhauled the german national team and instigated change that fed down throughout the country's game, he picked players on performance instead of reputation (imagine scotland even tried that, the rhodes v fletcher debate in here would be a minor gunshot in the all out war it would cause) and took the young players on the fringe of the team and blended them in

scotland will never win the world cup, or the euros, but still, imagine someone out there had the foresight to try a klinsmann on our game

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The fucks going on here? The likes of Andy fucking McNeil vanished into obscurity because they were fucking pish. The Spanish side we played in the final only had two players in the matchday squad who became regulars in the senior side (Pique, Mata). We arguably had the same with Lee Wallace and Graham Dorrans, although Wallace is a complete one-off due to how he wasted his talent. So what exactly is the point here?

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2 hours ago, 53_and_counting said:

pretty much this, james mccarthy has 39 caps for ireland and he's 25, there is only 4 midfielders either currently in the scotland squad right now or have been selected in the last 12 months with more caps, all 4 are over the age of 30, a 25yo midfielder in our squad (matt phillips) has 4,

as for this thread altogether, 2004 klinsmann overhauled the german national team and instigated change that fed down throughout the country's game, he picked players on performance instead of reputation (imagine scotland even tried that, the rhodes v fletcher debate in here would be a minor gunshot in the all out war it would cause) and took the young players on the fringe of the team and blended them in

scotland will never win the world cup, or the euros, but still, imagine someone out there had the foresight to try a klinsmann on our game

Klinsmann is often wrongly praised for the overhaul of the DFB system....it was put in place in early 2002, because of the falling numbers available to Voller ahead of the WC. That they made the final, is of little importance.....that's where we differ from most countries, we'd have abandoned it on the basis of one good tourney alone.

 

Germany had absolute disasters in 2000 and 2004, which were of far greater worry to them. In the last twenty years, we've had Ernie Walker/Rinus Michels 'Think Tank', Henry McLeish's twice-rehashed inquiries and Mark fucking Wotte poking his neb in, all the while taking a foreign manager with an insightful no2 (Bonhof, similar to Lowe) then binning the groundwork on every level up to the 21s (which Lowe did for the Germans, look at them now) then spending the next decade living hand to mouth, while following unrealiatic models in Spain (40 fucking years in the making) and ironically The Germans, again. 

 

Our problem isn't just being shite, it's lack of discipline and backbone to stick to a structure. What Bonhof tried to instill here, was not unlike what Cruyff did with Barcelona. Spotted the flaws preventing a fertile, football-obsessed area achieving success, and doing so with the people actually listening to what he was saying.

 

Barca had to watch Madrid and Basque domination while this went on, akin to us watching all four British Isles rivals in the last fucking 16 from the living room. We don't even have anything to look forward to, or anything we know that is being done....except Chesney's 'blueprint'. Fucking joke. 

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Klinsmann is often wrongly praised for the overhaul of the DFB system....it was put in place in early 2002, because of the falling numbers available to Voller ahead of the WC. That they made the final, is of little importance.....that's where we differ from most countries, we'd have abandoned it on the basis of one good tourney alone.

 

Germany had absolute disasters in 2000 and 2004, which were of far greater worry to them. In the last twenty years, we've had Ernie Walker/Rinus Michels 'Think Tank', Henry McLeish's twice-rehashed inquiries and Mark fucking Wotte poking his neb in, all the while taking a foreign manager with an insightful no2 (Bonhof, similar to Lowe) then binning the groundwork on every level up to the 21s (which Lowe did for the Germans, look at them now) then spending the next decade living hand to mouth, while following unrealiatic models in Spain (40 fucking years in the making) and ironically The Germans, again. 

 

Our problem isn't just being shite, it's lack of discipline and backbone to stick to a structure. What Bonhof tried to instill here, was not unlike what Cruyff did with Barcelona. Spotted the flaws preventing a fertile, football-obsessed area achieving success, and doing so with the people actually listening to what he was saying.

 

Barca had to watch Madrid and Basque domination while this went on, akin to us watching all four British Isles rivals in the last fucking 16 from the living room. We don't even have anything to look forward to, or anything we know that is being done....except Chesney's 'blueprint'. Fucking joke. 



The whole Wotte/performance schools thing is still on the go though, isn't it? We haven't ripped things up *yet*. It's a good 5 years down the line by now surely.
I think WGS is losing sight of his role by getting into this blueprint business, though it is hard to resent the guy for caring about our game.
Whatever happens, this blueprint needs to be properly appraised and only acted on (in whole or in part) if/where it has merit. Tweaks and polishes, no problem, but starting again is madness.
Then again, I shudder to think what shower of candidates we might drum up to appraise/examine it.
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