Just days before the Wales game, Mickey Thomas claimed that this Scotland team was the worst Scotland side ever. Just a week later and Thomas’ claim is not only true, but it has got far more damning. With Scotland losing to Wales and Serbia, with results going against them – specifically Croatia beating Wales 2-1 last night – Gordon Strachan’s side can arguably be called the worst international team in Europe currently.
Harsh? Maybe, but when the likes of Andorra and San Marino are still mathematically capable of qualifying, Scotland are the first team to be eliminated from the UEFA qualifying stages for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil.
With just two points from 18, Scotland sit bottom of Group A and their unwanted accolade of being the first nation out is a humiliating tag for newly appointed manager Gordon Strachan.
The blame for Scotland’s demise cannot fall on the lap of Strachan – although he is responsible for the two teams sent out against Wales and Serbia. Scotland’s international problem not only lies with the players on the field of play and succession of average managers who should never have been given the job in the first place – but also the Scottish FA blazers for cost-cutting by appointing said average managers in the first place. The lack of evolution within the nation’s coaching system and at grassroots level until it was blatantly obvious to everyone.
Sadly for the Tartan Army, any resurrection of Scotland’s fortunes will not happen in the short-term, if we are to believe the soundbytes from Mark Wotte.
Between now and the expected date of ‘excellence’ – whenever that may be – Scotland will have to get to grips with their game. Taking just this campaign for example, the players basic football skills were lacking – they couldn’t trap the ball, couldn’t lay a simple pass and even the ‘world cup’ passes went straight to the opposition. The defence had more leaks in it than a sieve and the attack fired more blanks than a Hollywood movie firing squad.
While Scotland’s fortunes in Curling, Rugby and Tennis are on the up – our national me is at its lowest level ever. It has been on the cards for years even during the Walter Smith and Alex McLeish era’s when we shocked France.
I am not even going to mention what our co-efficient will be after this campaign ends, safe to say it will fall dramatically.
The fans can only watch on and support their side through thick and thin, but it is time that the Scottish FA along with Gordon Strachan, Mark Wotte and the respective youth coaches radically overhaul our game and our national side or face being at the same level as San Marino and Andorra.
Today though, being on par with San Marino and Andorra would be a step up. They can’t get any worse can they?