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Scotland v Ukraine (21st Sep)


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There’s a lot more international football now so player’s cap counts will go up quicker.  Guys like Dykes are on 23 already and he’s only been playing for us 2 year. 

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We're a weird team currently.
Plenty sides are capable of inconsistency, but we seem to take it to extremes.  In the last year, we've delivered a couple of really complete performances.  Between them though, we managed to produce some utterly pitiful stuff. 
That was hugely encouraging tonight, but I've still got little idea what to expect on Saturday.
 
Incredible that we can rump Ukraine 3-0 and make them look like lost wee boys... a few months after looking like lost wee boys against Ireland and end up on the wrong end of the same scoreline.

I didn't like how people used the Ukraine playoff & Ireland result to frame the Denmark performance (cough ) as lucky or only because it was a dead rubber (it wasn't).

It's as you say: we are absolutely capable of bullying and winning convincingly against "better" sides with displays like last night's.

Consistency is usually very difficult to achieve in this game, but our weird spikes of brilliant to abject and back again recently are, well, weird.

I'm in the optimist camp, and hopeful that the long term trajectory is steadily and gradually upwards, and the up and down spikes are just part of that journey.
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15 minutes ago, Willie adie said:

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

We didn't lose any home qualifiers (WC and Euro) between 1987 and 1999. As far as WC qualifiers alone, we went from a 1-0 defeat to Wales in 1985 to a 1-0 loss to Norway in 2004 without losing at home. 19 games and four full sets of qualifiers.

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Just now, 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. 

Whats with the aggression, we won and played well using a new formation. Just enjoy the success. Clarkes shown he learning to adapt and im happy we can switch formation now. I would think we would play that formation more in games that should be winnable and the 5 for tough away games and against the bigger teams. No need for anyone to get their head checked if they disagree.

Edited by BingMcCrosby
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11 hours ago, Craig fae the Vale said:

Just home, what a second half. Looked like a totally different team when we switched to the back four.

Might I politely suggest you had a couple of refreshments before the game? We were never at any point in anything other than a back four.

10 hours ago, O'Kelly Isley III said:

Anyone desperate to see Grant Hanley return ?  No, me neither.

Yes. Very much so. But probably for different reasons to everyone else.

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36 minutes ago, TheScarf said:

There’s a lot more international football now so player’s cap counts will go up quicker.  Guys like Dykes are on 23 already and he’s only been playing for us 2 year. 

There's not really that many more international games now unless you're comparing it to the 60s and beyond. From the 70s onwards Scotland have consistently played about 85-95 games each decade. I think the only real differences now are there's far less friendlies due to the Nations League so once you break into the team there's not as much rotation and specific to the last 2 years there's been international windows with 3 or 4 games each time to catch up for the cancelled games due to the pandemic.

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Given the fact that a lot of the team were playing for their clubs on Sunday, it was really impressive how we were able to implement a new formation, passages of play and set piece routines in such a short timeframe. Hats off to the coaching staff and to the players for taking it on (including, as Clarke said, players who knew they weren’t starting). A proper professional set up.

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On the subject of caps, there's often chat about us not getting players called up early enough (which definitely can be the case) but sometimes you can just be a bit unlucky.

Hendry and McKenna were brilliant last night - a partnership that's spanned more than four years. Ideally they'd have played together throughout that time, but Hendry's up-and-down career and McKenna's fitness issues and drops in form have meant that that was only the fifth time they've played together since the first (March 2018). There's not much you can do about that, but it shows how we end up with a bunch of players kicking about in the 20-35 cap range. Fraser and Tierney are quite similar where we thought they're in the team for good but fast forward a few years and it's been all over the place.

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Love a game that's so enjoyable you want to see it again. Sitting watching Sportscene's 40 minute coverage. 

If we had won 5 or 6-0 Ukraine could have no complaints. Armstrong and Adams alone could have had a few each. 

How the ref isnt at least asking for a VAR check on that obvious red card beggars belief.

Thought at the time, that Hendry recovery tackle on the boy was offside anyway was sensational, great burst of pace.

McPhee is certainly earning his wage. Great return on corners from him - two last night alone.

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1 hour ago, TheScarf said:

There’s a lot more international football now so player’s cap counts will go up quicker.  Guys like Dykes are on 23 already and he’s only been playing for us 2 year. 

I don't think there are more than there were 5-10 years ago?  Recent times have included +3 Finals matches, +2 friendlies in preparation, and +2 for the playoffs (Austria friendly).  The impact of Covid in 2020, also pushed fixtures later so we've appeared to play more in a narrower window.

Of course we play more games than we did in the 1980s, but recent additional caps are a result of qualifying for tournaments and playoffs.  We still play far fewer matches than the likes of the Belgians, English, or Spanish.

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I caught the first half on the radio and then the second half on the TV. Other than a couple of runs from Mudryk, it didn't sound like Ukraine caused too much bother in the first half. 

I'm not sure I agree with the "no more 5 at the back" shouts from some on here and many on Twitter. It's nice to have options and being able to switch between a couple of formations at this level is a useful tool to have. It's like having four quality full-backs: it's good to have options and depth.

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3 hours ago, Salvo Montalbano said:

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.

Yeah, you're right - am probably being a little bit over critical. However, maybe even inserting a "traditional" to describe the Scotland dark blue home kit would have appeased my indignation meter, which is always alert to any slight - perceived, imagined or otherwise - from English commentators shoe-horned in from time to time to commentate on Scotland games. 

If any said commentator were to describe England team colours for your casual viewer, they would at the very least automatically get a "famous", an "of course" or an "as you would expect" prefix if in their white tops at home; and at least one "shades of 66" to their red top (if that is still an away option they have) 😀.

Am off now to replay the game to see if I can detect anything patronising that I may have missed on first viewing.....

Edited by KingRocketman II
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12 minutes ago, HuttonDressedAsLahm said:

I don't think there are more than there were 5-10 years ago?  Recent times have included +3 Finals matches, +2 friendlies in preparation, and +2 for the playoffs (Austria friendly).  The impact of Covid in 2020, also pushed fixtures later so we've appeared to play more in a narrower window.

Of course we play more games than we did in the 1980s, but recent additional caps are a result of qualifying for tournaments and playoffs.  We still play far fewer matches than the likes of the Belgians, English, or Spanish.

We made the finals of the euros which meant 3 group matches + 2 friendlies whereas previously we’d just play a friendly or two in those summer windows.

 

I think the nations league also means we are seeing people get more caps. A two year window is now 6 UNL group matches + 10 qualifiers + possible playoff matches, whereas previously it was just 10 qualifiers + friendlies and we were never a country who played a massive number of friendlies compared to others. We’d often just play one friendly or have a get together where others were playing two friendlies.

 

Not to mention that friendlies often meant call offs and experimental lineups whereas the UNL pretty much means that the preferred lineup is used in the vast, vast majority of matches now, so it’s easier for people to jump out to high numbers of caps. 

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7 minutes ago, yoda said:

I caught the first half on the radio and then the second half on the TV. Other than a couple of runs from Mudryk, it didn't sound like Ukraine caused too much bother in the first half. 

I'm not sure I agree with the "no more 5 at the back" shouts from some on here and many on Twitter. It's nice to have options and being able to switch between a couple of formations at this level is a useful tool to have. It's like having four quality full-backs: it's good to have options and depth.

the first half - for about 30 mins - became a bit of a slog in my view. Plenty of possession for Scotland in comfortable areas but nothing cohesive, few slick moves and no real chances. Second half saw Scotland's momentum build and confidence grow, and we were excellent. 

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13 hours ago, stressball said:

The absolute snotters over in Govan right now are ever so beautiful.

Pointless tribute denied.

Ukraine win denied.

Mon the Scotland!

It's shite like this that causes folk to believe in the nonsense that Rangers fans don't support Scotland.

As far as I am aware, there are no Scottish Rangers posters on here that don't support Scotland. And that's not to mention that the last time I have seen the figures were released, Rangers fans made up the largest proportion of Tartan Army members.

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15 minutes ago, Donathan said:

We made the finals of the euros which meant 3 group matches + 2 friendlies whereas previously we’d just play a friendly or two in those summer windows.

 

I think the nations league also means we are seeing people get more caps. A two year window is now 6 UNL group matches + 10 qualifiers + possible playoff matches, whereas previously it was just 10 qualifiers + friendlies and we were never a country who played a massive number of friendlies compared to others. We’d often just play one friendly or have a get together where others were playing two friendlies.

 

Not to mention that friendlies often meant call offs and experimental lineups whereas the UNL pretty much means that the preferred lineup is used in the vast, vast majority of matches now, so it’s easier for people to jump out to high numbers of caps. 

Wikipedia has a pretty good record our matches by decade.  It can be scraped into Excel and pivoted in a couple of minutes.

 

Row Labels Count of Date
2000 7
2001 6
2002 10
2003 12
2004 11
2005 9
2006 7
2007 10
2008 7
2009 7
2010 7
2011 10
2012 8
2013 10
2014 7
2015 8
2016 8
2017 8
2018 10
2019 10
2020 8
2021 15
2022 9
Grand Total 204

 

Edit: UNL probably does mean an extra game a year, rather than playing a single friendly.  Perhaps we also setup more competitively so the same number of caps are concentrated in fewer players.

In addition, 5 subs means that 15% more caps be awarded for every game.

Edited by HuttonDressedAsLahm
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