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Scotland v Ukraine (21st Sep)


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2 hours ago, Diamonds are Forever said:

A very small sample size from which to judge, but I think tonight showed a couple of things, the first of which people have been saying for a while.

When either Robertson or Tierney aren't available we should be playing with a back 4. To be honest even when they are available I'd be going with a back 4 (although I'd listen to arguments), but given Tierney's injury problems over the years I think it's foolish building a team based on both of them being available. The back 3 also came from a time a few years back when we had almost no competent defenders (Charlie Mulgrew and Mikey Devlin anyone?) so there was probably a need to clog that area up to provide support. It's still one of our weaker areas but we have a few options there now with a bit more experience and we can deal with just having 2 centre backs, assuming they are properly protected in midfield.

McTominay and McGregor with McGinn in a forward role is clearly our best midfield. Gilmour may be the golden boy for some but he does not provide the protection we need for the defence, the biggest difference tonight compared with the last Ukraine game was that they weren't able to continually run off our midfield (mainly Gilmour). Hopefully he'll get a run of games with Brighton but he shouldn't be in the starting 11 unless we have injuries and/or he has been performing well with Brighton, this is a massive season for him.

The one position which is a real weakness is the Ryan Christie role. He's been awful for almost 2 years now, continually gives the ball away and has no end product - 1 assist and 0 goals in last 18 appearances. However in fairness to Clarke I couldn't offer a better alternative to play that role given our lack of options so we'll maybe just have to persevere.

Ukraine looked a difference side than the last game but that was partly down to us. A much more encouraging performance which we need to repeat on Saturday before we can think we've turned a corner.

Ryan Christie was excellent tonight. 

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5 hours ago, kingjoey said:

For Sam Matterface's information, there won't be many, if any, Everton fans tuning into Scotland v Ukraine tonight. 

 

25+ pages on the main Everton forum about the injury would suggest otherwise. In fact they've been raving about him so much recently I would hazard a guess that never have so many Everton fans watched a Scotland game! 

 

https://www.grandoldteam.com/forum/threads/nathan-patterson.115786/page-115

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5 hours ago, Hendricks said:

 

25+ pages on the main Everton forum about the injury would suggest otherwise. In fact they've been raving about him so much recently I would hazard a guess that never have so many Everton fans watched a Scotland game! 

 

https://www.grandoldteam.com/forum/threads/nathan-patterson.115786/page-115

Fair enough.

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6 hours ago, ExiledLichtie said:

I dont know if I agree there.  We've lost 2 games in the last year while winning 7 and drawing 2.  I believe the commentator said we'd lost 1 home match in the last 14.

When was the last time Scotland were this consistently good?  The Craig Brown era?

Quite a few of the wins were fairly ropey and came against weak opposition.  

I'm also a bit surprised by that home matches stat.  The 2 in the Euros and the Ukraine defeat in June, surely fell in the last 14 we've played at home.

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7 minutes ago, Monkey Tennis said:

Quite a few of the wins were fairly ropey and came against weak opposition.  

I'm also a bit surprised by that home matches stat.  The 2 in the Euros and the Ukraine defeat in June, surely fell in the last 14 we've played at home.

They did indeed. But as it was a Euro finals, it will be regarded as a neutral venue and not an official home match. Or they've just fucked it up!

Edited by Highlandmagar
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32 minutes ago, KingRocketman II said:

He helpfully pointed out for the ITV audience that Scotland were in the dark blue shirts.....

To be fair, I'd always expect a commentator to say which strip one side is wearing, particularly for a mainstream channel where you might have casual viewers joining in and even more so in these times of needless uses of away/third/commemorative strips. He's shite otherwise. Surely ITV must have realised a lot of folk would have liked the Drury/McCoist dream team but maybe Drury was elsewhere doing the world feed for another game.

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5 hours ago, Hendricks said:

 

25+ pages on the main Everton forum about the injury would suggest otherwise. In fact they've been raving about him so much recently I would hazard a guess that never have so many Everton fans watched a Scotland game! 

 

https://www.grandoldteam.com/forum/threads/nathan-patterson.115786/page-115

FFS, let's hope it's precautionary and he has the same commitment to Scotland as big Dunc had.

that rat Robertson hasn’t played a non-competitive minute for Scotland in what seems like 3 years, Patterson should do the same - utterly pointless
 
 
Edited by Ro Sham Bo
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Last night was my first Scotland game since the 2-2 draw at Hampden a few years ago.

Thoroughly enjoyed the game, thought we were the better team for the majority after a slowish start. First half we did well but weren’t clinical enough with our chances. A lot of people saying that challenge on Adams was a red but having seen it again I’m sticking with my original thought that it was a good yellow for Ukraine, I’d have 100% expected our defence to do the same in that position!

Second half we came out and took the game to them and killed it off with three good goals. How often can we say that about Scotland?! 
 

After the disappointment of being pumped 3-0 in Dublin this certainly makes up for it!

Edited by BullyWeeStonehouse
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8 hours ago, Donathan said:

Patterson was carried away on a stretcher tonight. I’d be surprised if it’s not Hickey at RB on Saturday, but if not, it’s probably Ralston. Patterson sadly will be out for a while unless it’s less serious than it looked. 

Ah I didn’t realise Patterson had been injured, was on a call out so listening in where I could.

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Have we played 14 home games since we lost to Czech Republic and Croatia last year? Surely not.

Or are the Euro games counted as neutral venues?

Edit - just read the last few posts. Neutral venue is it.

Edited by TheScarf
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Anyone thinking we're about to leave the back 5 formation behind needs their head checked. I'm glad Clarke changed to a back 4 last night as Ukraine had done their homework on our system in June and nullified it. They weren't expecting a high press and it worked perfectly. I did think it left us quite open though, often it was just one pass that broke our midfield and if they had someone better than that big dumplin Dovbyk up front they may have had success. The challenge for Clarke now is to know when to change it up - some games will suit the back 5 and others won't. 

Delighted with the win though. Get the Irish dicked on Saturday now. 

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2 minutes ago, The Moonster said:

Anyone thinking we're about to leave the back 5 formation behind needs their head checked. I'm glad Clarke changed to a back 4 last night as Ukraine had done their homework on our system in June and nullified it. They weren't expecting a high press and it worked perfectly. I did think it left us quite open though, often it was just one pass that broke our midfield and if they had someone better than that big dumplin Dovbyk up front they may have had success. The challenge for Clarke now is to know when to change it up - some games will suit the back 5 and others won't. 

Delighted with the win though. Get the Irish dicked on Saturday now. 

Why on earth didn’t Roman Yaremchuk start? He destroyed us in June and we’ve had trouble with those big lone forwards in the past (Patrik Schick in particular) 

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2 hours ago, Monkey Tennis said:

Quite a few of the wins were fairly ropey and came against weak opposition.  

I'm also a bit surprised by that home matches stat.  The 2 in the Euros and the Ukraine defeat in June, surely fell in the last 14 we've played at home.

There was a time in the 80s I think we had gone multiple years not losing a WC qualifier at home 

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Being in the stadium, it's always possible that the experience is different in person than it is watching at home.

A much better start than the play off, and looked far more comfortable throughout.  Their left wing caused us some problems in the first 15, but that nullified by the time Patterson went off.  His injury resulted in a lost 10 minutes, but Ukraine did little with the ball.

Before the McGinn goal, it did feel like it could be another one of those games - profligacy in front of goal is the last remaining issues for SC to overcome.  On another night Armstrong knocks in a couple, as does Adams, and Christie joins in too.  I can't ever recall such a dominant performance against a nation of Ukraine's standard.

Now, it's entirely possible that Ukraine are just not quite at the races - fitness, focus just not there.  June could be a high watermark - they did train specifically for a single match, and perhaps our relative performances in the summer is understandable, if not forgivable. 

That game does however put to bed the concern that June was a regression.  I'd say we can safely say that it was an aberration, and the Denmark/Ukraine performances are what this team are capable of.  They aren't flukes.

What's also very reassuring is that 4atb looked far more secure than expected, and that both Hendry and McKenna generally played well.  Their pace and positioning for the counter attacks was encouraging. 

McTominay played his best game for us.  A fully fit-and-firing Gilmour, with McGinn, McGregor and McT, and with McLean, and Jack provides a lot of options.  And that's not considering the likes of Campbell, Ferguson, and Turnbull.  Injuries aren't the problem they once were to us.

Hickey was streets ahead of his last game at rb.  Patterson is a big loss, but this team genuinely has cover in every single position - and they're all of a good age.  I can't ever remember being in that position. 

Adams had a very good game, and was unfortunate not to score.  The attack did link up well, even if the rain in the first half was causing real issues with our touch and final ball.

Brilliant across the team - the subs were well timed, and clearly impactful, but they weren't made to replace anyone struggling.

As an aside, that starting XI had 300+ caps in it.  Surely we haven't had numbers like that since the 1990s?

Edited by HuttonDressedAsLahm
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