KRIS COMMONS admits he was not impressed with Steve Clarke’s “timid” Scotland side after watching the 1-1 draw with Israel last night.

The Scots have now dropped four points from a possible six in their quest to reach the World Cup Finals in Qatar next year with the stalemate in Tel Aviv following the 2-2 deadlock with Austria at Hampden on Thursday.

Former Celtic midfielder Commons, who won 12 international caps for his adopted country, believes Clarke’s men treated an “average” side like Brazil at the peak of their powers.

The Scots, who had to fight back twice to get a draw with the Austrians in Glasgow, were asked to come from behind again against Hatem Abd Elhamed and Co after their opponents took the lead with a long-range drive from Dor Peretz that foxed keeper David Marshall on its way into the roof of the net.

Newcastle winger Ryan Fraser rescued a point shortly after the turnaround with a low drive from the edge of the box after being set up by new boy Che Adams.

Commons said: “Our performance was massively underwhelming. For a team who are heading to their first major finals in a generation, there is still something deeply flawed in the make-up of this Scotland team. It’s a mentality thing as much as anything.

“We should be riding high on a wave of confidence after what happened in Serbia last year. Instead, we still look timid and afraid to impose ourselves on games.

OOPS…Scotland keeper David Marshall allows Dor Peretz’s 30-yarder to sweep past him for Israel’s goal.

WHOOPS…Ryan Fraser flashes in Scotland’s equaliser past keeper Ofir Marciano.

“We look scared to be aggressive and press teams. We’ve played Israel six times in just over two years. It’s not like we don’t know what they’re about. They’re not a surprise package who warrant a cagey approach.

“They’re an average side, with one or two decent players up front. Scotland have by far and away the better squad of players. We have more talent all across the pitch.

“But judging by how Scotland approached the first-half, you’d have thought it was Brazil we were playing. We sat back and just allowed Israel to dominate us. We were rabbits in the headlights.”

Commons, writing in his Daily Mail Column, added: “Steve Clarke was brought into the job to instil a sense of pragmatism and to make us hard to beat. Credit to him because he’s certainly done that.

“But, at times, it feels like we’re a bit of a one-trick pony. It’s almost like we don’t believe in ourselves to go and play on the front foot and cut teams open.

“The first-half was basically a non-event from Scotland’s point of view.

“We just stood off Israel and allowed them far too much time and space to dictate the game.”

Scotland go back into action against on Wednesday evening with the Faro Islands, who lost 3-1 to Austria last night, the visitors.


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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