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Gordon EF

A team for 2020

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What struck me during the world cup is how many caps most of the players in the 'smaller' but high performing nations have and how quite a few of their players aren't playing for top clubs in top leagues. How often do you hear a commentator scoff because the Swiss left back had a failed 1 year stint at Aston Villa or some shit like that? It got me thinking that what a lot of these countries do is look ahead, build the best team with what they have available at the time, with an eye on future tournaments. And then they try to stick with it so that they can build teams with a huge amount of international experience, who've played together under a consistent system for years. So the failed Aston Villa left back might not be the greatest player but he fits into that team, knows what his job is and does it well.

It seems to me like Scotland have consistently failed to do this. We chop and change players and systems. We always seem to take a short term view and scream for the latest guy who's appeared scoring goals in the Championship to come in etc.

What we should be doing is trying to identify what our best team will be in 2020, what system suits them best, getting the most out of our best players and what other players would complement them best. Get these guys as many games together as possible through Nations League, friendlies and Euro qualifiers so that if we get there, we've put a real team together.

That's not to say McLeish shouldn't make changes when they're needed but maybe a bit more faith in guys we've identified is needed. Make it more like a club side.

So what team should we be looking to go with for 2020?

Goalkeeper: I'd stick with Craig Gordon. He'll be 37 by the time the Euros come around but that's not a huge problem for a keeper. Huge experience and still a good keeper.

Defence: There's the possibility of going 3 but I think and hope we'll stay with 4. Lots of question marks here. What to do about Tierney/Roberston, who to play at RB, go with promising young CBs or stick with the old guard? I'd be bold and go with Callum Paterson - Jack Hendry - Scott McKenna - Kieran Tierney. A young backline with plenty of potential. Paterson may not play RB for Cardiff but our options are limited there at the moment. I'm not sure if O'Donnell is the answer there.

Midfield: I'd have a holding two of Scott McTominay and James McArthur. Fletcher will most likely best past it by 2020. These two will be the Scottish Paul Pogba and Ngolo Kante. On the left, it has to be Andy Robertson - no brainer. I like the look of Stuart Armstrong and would have him as the attacking central midfielder. The right side might be a bit more difficult. Matt Richie, James Forrest, Callum McGregor, Robert Snodgrass are all good shouts. And I'd be reasonably happy with any of them. I'd give Robert Snodgrass the edge though.

Forward: Maybe not entirely suited to playing up on his own but possibly the most talented forward we have at the moment, got to go with Leigh Griffiths.

Craig Gordon

Callum Paterson - Jack Hendry - Scott McKenna - Kieran Tierney

Scott McTominay - James McArther

Robert Snodgrass - Stuart Armstrong - Andy Robertson

Leigh Griffiths

I think that team looks pretty good and should certainly be capable of qualifying for the Euros and maybe even doing something once they get there.

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To be fair that’s kind of what Strachan did and we still failed to qualify.

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6 minutes ago, Enigma said:

To be fair that’s kind of what Strachan did and we still failed to qualify.

I appreciate a lot of changes are down to injuries etc, but there certainly looked like a lot of changing through the qualifying campaign. Only 4 players who started in our first two games started the last game against Slovenia - Robertson, Bannan, Fletcher and Martin.

So if that's what he was trying to do, it failed spectacularly.

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I'll always be against putting into place anything that makes us actively worse.  I'm not convinced that "doing a Wales" and just putting young players in is ever the right way to go.  It's just far too much of a risk with little guarantee of any kind of reward.  If a player is showing obvious promise, we don't need anything like this to be put in place, we just get him involved.  If he then continues to be good enough, he'll be folded into the side around more experienced heads.

Also not too convinced about the necessity to have hundreds of caps between them to do anything of note.  We absolutely should be identifying a system and using that throughout, but 10-12 games over the course of two years isn't really going to make the massive difference some like to think it will.  When you don't qualify for tournaments, and your national association fucking hates friendlies, then you'll naturally have less caps.  Look at the caps league table for us - 33 players have 50 or more, and only 7 of those (at a glance, Kenny Miller, Scott Brown, Craig Gordon, Darren Fletcher, Alan Hutton, Gary Caldwell and George Young) haven't represented us at a tournament.   Most of the rest have at least two to their name, and those like Jim Leighton have five.  Now that the SFA are essentially forced into playing games, if we start actually qualifying we'll start to see players with more caps.  Andy Robertson already has 22, for example.

Where possible, it really is as simple as putting together the best combination of players we can muster, no matter if they're pushing 35, or barely old enough to have a pint while they struggle to grow a beard.  

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Team for 2020

                                Gordon

          Hendry.     Mckenna.     Tierney

Fraser.                                                Robertson

                              McTominay

           Armstrong.                Cairney

                               McGregor

                                  Griffiths

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McRorie

McRorie

Hendry

McKenna

Tierney

McTominay

Gilmour

Armstrong 

Morgan

Griffiths

Robertson 

Subs. Porteous, McGregor, Cochrane, Gauld, Burke, Johnston, Hornby

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5 hours ago, tartanbrush said:

Team for 2020

                                Gordon

          Hendry.     Mckenna.     Tierney

Fraser.                                                Robertson

                              McTominay

           Armstrong.                Cairney

                               McGregor

                                  Griffiths

Apart from Cairney that's a cracking team.

Edited by BingMcCrosby

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On 08/07/2018 at 13:22, Gordon EF said:

What struck me during the world cup is how many caps most of the players in the 'smaller' but high performing nations have and how quite a few of their players aren't playing for top clubs in top leagues. How often do you hear a commentator scoff because the Swiss left back had a failed 1 year stint at Aston Villa or some shit like that? It got me thinking that what a lot of these countries do is look ahead, build the best team with what they have available at the time, with an eye on future tournaments. And then they try to stick with it so that they can build teams with a huge amount of international experience, who've played together under a consistent system for years. So the failed Aston Villa left back might not be the greatest player but he fits into that team, knows what his job is and does it well.

It seems to me like Scotland have consistently failed to do this. We chop and change players and systems. We always seem to take a short term view and scream for the latest guy who's appeared scoring goals in the Championship to come in etc.

What we should be doing is trying to identify what our best team will be in 2020, what system suits them best, getting the most out of our best players and what other players would complement them best. Get these guys as many games together as possible through Nations League, friendlies and Euro qualifiers so that if we get there, we've put a real team together.

 

 

I genuinely don't think that's an actual plan that teams are doing. They will be playing what are considered their best players just the same as us. 

Like if a cracking young left back broke thru he wouldn't be kept out the squad just cos Aston villas failed left back can do a job.

Their just managed better and probably don't  have a corrupt football association. And can actually see past the end of their nose.

 

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10 hours ago, BingMcCrosby said:

Apart from Cairney that's a cracking team.

Aye I wasn't to sure about Cairney after his last performance for us, but he is a quality player and would be far better in a more central role. Really between him and McGinn for midfield

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On 7/8/2018 at 14:05, Gordon EF said:

So if that's what he was trying to do, it failed spectacularly.

 

We looked a far better team in the second half of qualifying when we brought in a bunch of fresh faces than in the first half where we by and large persisted with the team which failed to get us to Euro 2016. That to me demonstrates that simply persisting with a core of players for the sake of continuity and building up international experience doesn't really work. It was far preferable for Strachan to fail spectacularly at creating continuity and improve the team than persist with the same players because we've decided that that's the way to do it. The likes of Armstrong and Griffiths immediately looked far more effective despite limited caps when they came in from the start against Slovenia and in the games after that than their more experienced predecessors had looked in the first four games of the campaign.

I think we often over complicate what other countries do to get success in the belief all we need to do is find that magic bullet (play the same team for years at a time/have a core of players from the same club/play in a specific style) to start qualifying for things. To me, the thing that all these overachieving countries have in common is that they find a manager who will by and large pick the best players available to them, man manage them to get the best out of them, generate a great team spirit and play tactics which suit the players and the opposition. I've been watching Scotland since 2002 and there is only one qualifying campaign during that time where I can say I think we had all of those things and that was the one where we ended up in the same group as France and Italy. Finding that manager is obviously the difficult part but I'd really rather we didn't try to stick to a philosophy such as the one proposed in the mistaken belief that its the main reason for other country's successes.

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46 minutes ago, MrWorldwideJr said:

 

We looked a far better team in the second half of qualifying when we brought in a bunch of fresh faces than in the first half where we by and large persisted with the team which failed to get us to Euro 2016. That to me demonstrates that simply persisting with a core of players for the sake of continuity and building up international experience doesn't really work. It was far preferable for Strachan to fail spectacularly at creating continuity and improve the team than persist with the same players because we've decided that that's the way to do it. The likes of Armstrong and Griffiths immediately looked far more effective despite limited caps when they came in from the start against Slovenia and in the games after that than their more experienced predecessors had looked in the first four games of the campaign.

I think we often over complicate what other countries do to get success in the belief all we need to do is find that magic bullet (play the same team for years at a time/have a core of players from the same club/play in a specific style) to start qualifying for things. To me, the thing that all these overachieving countries have in common is that they find a manager who will by and large pick the best players available to them, man manage them to get the best out of them, generate a great team spirit and play tactics which suit the players and the opposition. I've been watching Scotland since 2002 and there is only one qualifying campaign during that time where I can say I think we had all of those things and that was the one where we ended up in the same group as France and Italy. Finding that manager is obviously the difficult part but I'd really rather we didn't try to stick to a philosophy such as the one proposed in the mistaken belief that its the main reason for other country's successes.

That's a fair post. Argubaly, the reason for the poor start was making the wrong decisions about who to 'stick' with in the first place. If we'd gone with the team that ended the campaign from the start, maybe we'd have been more successful?

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1 hour ago, MrWorldwideJr said:

 

We looked a far better team in the second half of qualifying when we brought in a bunch of fresh faces than in the first half where we by and large persisted with the team which failed to get us to Euro 2016. That to me demonstrates that simply persisting with a core of players for the sake of continuity and building up international experience doesn't really work. It was far preferable for Strachan to fail spectacularly at creating continuity and improve the team than persist with the same players because we've decided that that's the way to do it. The likes of Armstrong and Griffiths immediately looked far more effective despite limited caps when they came in from the start against Slovenia and in the games after that than their more experienced predecessors had looked in the first four games of the campaign.

I think we often over complicate what other countries do to get success in the belief all we need to do is find that magic bullet (play the same team for years at a time/have a core of players from the same club/play in a specific style) to start qualifying for things. To me, the thing that all these overachieving countries have in common is that they find a manager who will by and large pick the best players available to them, man manage them to get the best out of them, generate a great team spirit and play tactics which suit the players and the opposition. I've been watching Scotland since 2002 and there is only one qualifying campaign during that time where I can say I think we had all of those things and that was the one where we ended up in the same group as France and Italy. Finding that manager is obviously the difficult part but I'd really rather we didn't try to stick to a philosophy such as the one proposed in the mistaken belief that its the main reason for other country's successes.

Totally agree. McLeish's biggest weapon during that campaign was his no-nonsense approach to selections and tactics. I don't think there was any instance of shooting himself in the foot apart from the Georgia game.

One thing that is niggling me re 202: everyone seems to agree that Griffiths is our striker now. But the reality is he's still struggling with injury and is unlikely to displace both Edouard and Dembele this season at Celtic. We need him at his sharpest, but he's likely to be unfit or carrying injury as things stand.

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20 hours ago, Gordopolis said:

I don't think there was any instance of shooting himself in the foot apart from the Georgia game.

Just like there wasn't much of it in the 2016 campaign, apart from the Georgia game.

Or the 2018 campaign, apart from the Lithuania game.

We've not been far away the past two campaigns, and that's with Strachan, who was *insert disparaging/derogatory comments here*.  

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Surprised there' s no mention of Dylan McGeouch so far, I'd say he's definitely worth a place in the centre of midfield or at least in the squad

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