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Scotland v Czech Republic (UEFA Nations League)

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2 minutes ago, Waspie said:

Nobody's preparation is ideal at the moment but clearly we have been far more settled than the Czech Republic. Or maybe I missed us naming a possible alternative squad the last few days as we travelled around the continent. 

Have to agree to disagree on Israel. Horrific game of football and while they were pish too they looked a more coherent side than us. And you didn't think McGinn had a wee bit of luck with his pen? 

I'm delighted we are winning games and there are lots of positives. Nothing wrong with a wee bit of perspective though. 


They named a squad as a contingency and then never used it, I would imagine due to their previous issues. I don’t see how that affects their main squads preparation. We had as many players missing as they did. 

If you’re going that far into the Israel game to find a bit of luck then you’re struggling. And no I don’t think there was any luck involved in us winning the penalties. 

Perspective is needed, yes, but not bizarre negativity. 

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Nobody's preparation is ideal at the moment but clearly we have been far more settled than the Czech Republic. Or maybe I missed us naming a possible alternative squad the last few days as we travelled around the continent. 
Have to agree to disagree on Israel. Horrific game of football and while they were pish too they looked a more coherent side than us. And you didn't think McGinn had a wee bit of luck with his pen? 
I'm delighted we are winning games and there are lots of positives. Nothing wrong with a wee bit of perspective though. 


Compared to us, Israel looked nicer on the eye in the first half, definitely. But it meant nothing. How many chances on goal did it give them? We easily could have tried to play like them - we definitely have the players with the technique - but I believe we were instructed not to by our manager. SC saw - before any of us - that playing the 4231 was leaving us too vulnerable and open to poor results. The approach we took offered much more security and a means of nullifying our opponents. From that point on - as it proved - we always had a stronger chance of victory.

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9 minutes ago, No_Problemo said:


They named a squad as a contingency and then never used it, I would imagine due to their previous issues. I don’t see how that affects their main squads preparation. We had as many players missing as they did. 

If you’re going that far into the Israel game to find a bit of luck then you’re struggling. And no I don’t think there was any luck involved in us winning the penalties. 

Perspective is needed, yes, but not bizarre negativity. 

Glad you agree that perspective is needed. And "bizarre negativity" is a bizarre charge in itself when I've listed a number of positives about our current situation.  

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13 hours ago, GordonS said:

If you'd told me at the start of 2020 that we'd be 90 minutes away from making Euro 2020 and very close to two matches from Qatar 2022, I'd have said there's more chance of the pubs being shut down and the Orange marching season cancelled.

If you'd told me in January 2020 that in mid-November 2020 we'd be 90 minutes away from qualifying for Euro 2020, and we'd do it by swapping the whole back line including Tierney and Robertson, for half the Motherwell defence, Andy Considine and Paul Hanlon, then that might be just about the most confusing sentence ever. Not one single bit of it makes the slightest bit of sense.

And yet, here we are....

Edited by Al B

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Just now, Gordopolis said:

Compared to us, Israel looked nicer on the eye in the first half, definitely. But it meant nothing. How many chances on goal did it give them? We easily could have tried to play like them - we definitely have the players with the technique - but I believe we were instructed not to by our manager. SC saw - before any of us - that playing the 4231 was leaving us too vulnerable and open to poor results. The approach we took offered much more security and a means of nullifying our opponents. From that point on - as it proved - we always had a stronger chance of victory.

 

I dont think the last couple of games have proven anything in that regard.

Its been discussed already tho.

If we manage to jam a win against serbia with this crap then great. 

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Absolutely delighted to see the vast majority of fans getting on board with Clarke's approach after the past week. It's not the most attractive brand of football there is, but it maximises the abilities our players have and makes the team greater than the sum of its parts. Some have mentioned that we rode our luck a bit tonight and that may be the case - but imagine how the previous couple of managers would have set up against this team tonight, we'd have been on the end of a pumping. As it is it's the Czechs who are complaining about their lack of luck and it's us who go into the Serbia game next month with absolutely nothing to lose in the best form we've been in for years. Add to that we still have players like Christie, Armstrong and Tierney to bring in - we definitely have cause to be optimistic. No matter what happens in Serbia we absolutely have to go for it against Israel and Slovakia as this gives us a great chance to get ourselves to Qatar and also to bring some big, glamorous teams to Hampden to really test ourselves. Chuffed for the players and the manager - after all the criticism that's been aimed at them since last month it's great to get results.

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Whilst the pishing of skants about match stats and individual performances is to be expected in any Scotland post-match reaction - and I include myself in this after last month's fixtures and the end of the 90 minutes in the Israel play-off - it's time to get with the times. 

Clarke has picked a system that he fancied would match up well against Norway/Serbia and it's held up against progressively better opponents over the last week.

It has been murder to watch in the earlier stages, but we go into our most realistic chance of reaching a major tournament with a whole squad accustomed to a formation that has produced good results and clean sheets - as has been stated countless times across countless threads, give me this any day over Strachan's 2-2 draws and bemoaning the height of Scottish people.

Embrace the shithousery.

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2 hours ago, Fratelli said:

I wasn't too arsed about it at the time, forgetting how big a game tonight was and thinking he'd earned himself a rest, but the more i think about Robertson (seemingly) getting booked to save himself for the Merseyside derby the more i think it's absolutely not what you're after from a captain. Tonight was probably the hardest game of the whole group. 

He was most likely told by Clarke he would be rested for tonight anyway. It wouldn't surprise me if Clarke was the one who suggested it.

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Nice result. Liking Fraser and Dykes up front with McGinn behind them.  Everyone between them and Marshall is pretty much interchangeable. Which is great. 

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The Czech Republic are a better team than we are, they qualify for the Euros all the time and a significant chunk of that team went to Barcelona last season and came away with a point - we're obviously going to need a bit of luck on our side to get a win over them.  Especially when you consider that our one arguably world class player was missing, as were several other stick-on starters.  Tom English on the radio gave a summary of the odds before the game and while I'm by no means a betting men it's clear the bookies had the Czechs as reasonably solid favourites, and that's not for no reason.  But while you can't control your luck, you can do something to control how often you'll need it, and we did that tonight.  They missed some very good chances, but our defence was by and large solid and restricted the amount of chances they got. 

How many times have we gone home with a defeat away to some team we should have beaten over the last twenty years - if we missed sitters or sold a goal through some stupid mistake we don't sit around here talking about how jammy the other team were, we praise their organisation and tactics and how they managed to get the best out of their limited team with a handful of good players, and bemoan our own useless haddies who couldnae hit a coo's arse wi a banjo.  That's what the Czech fans will be doing now, no doubt. 

Ed: I also don't accept that McGInn's penalty was "lucky".  He hit it on target, it went in.  The keeper nearly got it, but didn't.  The only lucky penatlies are ones that go in off the keeper after hitting the post, or that the keeper catches but carries over the line or something.  If it goes in, it's a good penalty.   Again, had it been the other way around and Israel beat us on penalties, none of us would be considering it some undeserved luck on their part, in fact there would probably be people on here bemoaning it as proof of some essential shitebag mentality of the Scottish nation or something.

Edited by Tulloch Gorum

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The Czech Republic are a better team than we are, they qualify for the Euros all the time and a significant chunk of that team went to Barcelona last season and came away with a point - we're obviously going to need a bit of luck on our side to get a win over them.  Especially when you consider that our one arguably world class player was missing, as were several other stick-on starters.  Tom English on the radio gave a summary of the odds before the game and while I'm by no means a betting men it's clear the bookies had the Czechs as reasonably solid favourites, and that's not for no reason.  But while you can't control your luck, you can do something to control how often you'll need it, and we did that tonight.  They missed some very good chances, but our defence was by and large solid and restricted the amount of chances we got. 

How many times have we gone home with a defeat away to some team we should have beaten over the last twenty years - if we missed sitters or sold a goal through some stupid mistake we don't sit around here talking about how jammy the other team were, we praise their organisation and tactics and how they managed to get the best out of their limited team with a handful of good players, and bemoan our own useless haddies who couldnae hit a coo's arse wi a banjo.  That's what the Czech fans will be doing now, no doubt. 

Ed: I also don't accept that McGInn's penalty was "lucky".  He hit it on target, it went in.  The keeper nearly got it, but didn't.  The only lucky penatlies are ones that go in off the keeper after hitting the post, or that the keeper catches but carries over the line or something.  If it goes in, it's a good penalty.   Again, had it been the other way around and Israel beat us on penalties, none of us would be considering it some undeserved luck on their part, in fact there would probably be people on here bemoaning it as proof of some essential shitebag mentality of the Scottish nation or something.
Spot on

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Looking forward to seeing Halkett get his chance to team up with Dec again, just unlucky he got injured or he'd have been playing already.  The two of them played brilliantly together in a back 3 for Livi, so wouldn't be difficult for him to slot seamlessly into Clarke's defensive line up.

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Something funny happened tonight. For the first time ever watching Scotland I felt confident we would hang on..
God bless Sir Steve Clarke.
Now you know how it feels to ride the juggernaut!

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Something funny happened tonight. For the first time ever watching Scotland I felt confident we would hang on..
I remember saying the same about Clarke's Killie team.

Over time, as fans we got more and more patient and relaxed, even if we lost a goal, and even against the 'big teams'.

We knew we always had a chance.

A few fans got annoyed about us keeping possession and wanted us to lump it forward, but the vast majority trusted Steve over a few know-nothing loudmouths..
Ok, we didn't win every game, but we won plenty and always competed well.

Once the players got used to the system, we played with more confidence, freedom and creativity.

I'm seeing a similar pattern with Scotland.


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I'm ill and passed out before the end tonight, but there's definite improvement going on, which is a relief in itself. The McLeish performances had been so poor that to not immediately perform better under Clarke was incredibly depressing. His plan is pretty obvious now and seems to have stabilised results - maybe we can stop going in to games with that sick feeling that we're seconds away from being ripped apart by anybody who fancies it. Also nice to see some unfancied names being called up and doing well - two caps and two MoMs for Considine, wow.

Sorry if this has already been posted, but this 'longest undefeated run in 32 years' thing is interesting. The last time we went this long without a defeat started at the arse-end of our disastrous Euro 88 qualifying group, when we pulled our socks up (too late to do anything but help Eire qualify for the first time) to record wins against Bulgaria and Belgium, before slumping to that infamous goalless draw with Luxembourg, who were notoriously Europe's worst side, back in the days before the micro-nations entered the fray.

We then managed a slim win in Norway and a home draw against Yugoslavia in World Cup qualifying, which wouldn't have been considered a great result at the time considering France were also in our group. Three friendly draws in Saudi Arabia, Malta, and Spain came before a goalless draw against Colombia in the Rous Cup, after which England ended the run.

This year's run of games doesn't look that impressive on paper either, but I don't think anybody in 1989 would have believed that this would have been our best run of results for over three decades:

Scotland 2 Belgium 0
Bulgaria 0 Scotland 1
Luxembourg 0 Scotland 0
Norway 1 Scotland 2
Scotland 1 Yugoslavia 1
Saudi Arabia 0 Scotland 0
Malta 1 Scotland 1
Spain 0 Scotland 0
Scotland 0 Colombia 0

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9 hours ago, John Lambies Doos said:

Something funny happened tonight. For the first time ever watching Scotland I felt confident we would hang on..

I was something similar listening to the radio.

Strange times...

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Another good thing about Clarke's Scotland is that anyone performing well who has aspirations to be involved has a real chance of getting picked if they try hard enough/show commitment .

Edited by greenockraver

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Amazing to see a team develop so much over the course of a week.

Whilst I was pleased about beating Israel I wasn't very upbeat about anything ahead of us. We didn't concede many chances but Israel are a poor side that we made look competent. If anything, I was pretty down about our chances against Serbia.

Slovakia was a big step up in performance in terms of not just defending well but actually controlling the flow of the game,

Last night, in the first half, we were great (relative to us). Solid, dogged and a real threat on the counter. Exactly the way we will succeed against the 'big' sides in qualifying. The Czechs are a legitimate side we could be competing with for 2nd in a WC qualifying group so that was really encouraging. Yes they are a better side and we had some very shaky moments but I now feel really positive about the short to mid term future of the side.

Friday I gave us very little hope in Serbia. Today I think we have a really decent chance against clearly a good team.

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I don’t think Hibs stepped up in the way that Aberdeen and Motherwell did.  Must try harder next month.

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