Monday, September 04, 2006

The 'Scotland / Not England' Thread

As regular visitors will know, we've recently been looking into the fortunes of the England football team during the 1970's and some of you I hope will be pleased to know that the fourth and final part of that series will be appearing on SPAOTP in the next few days.

In the course of reading the feedback to part 2 of England In The 70's, however, an interesting discussion transpired. It turns out that one of our loyal visitors, Flicktokick, is a Scotland supporter and as such gave us an insight into his regard for the Scotland sides that participated in the 1974 and 1978 World Cups as well as pondering on what the future holds for his team.

As someone who's only ever supported England and only ever known other people that also supported England, I found it fascinating to hear what a non-English person thought of their national side.

Because the conversation has been developing at a great pace, I thought it was about time we started up a thread specifically to talk about Scotland and other international teams beyond the English frontier. If you're a visitor to SPAOTP and you follow a footballing country that isn't England, why not leave us a comment and tell us your story? We'll be glad to hear your feedback!

To start the comments bit of this thread, then, I've published Flicktokick's last comment from part 2 of England In The 70's, in which he talks about Scotland's qualification for the 2006 World Cup. My comments will be added after... feel free to add yours too!


Chris said...

Written by Flicktokick, 31/8/06:

"In the World Cup qualifying we never got over our dreadful start. Drawing at home with Slovenia then losing to Norway was pretty much a suicide note as far as getting to Germany was concerned.

This time yes we have a fairly difficult group. Actually who am I kidding, we have the two World Cup finalists and a quarter finalist, its a horror show, but still we have to have some confidence - we are getting better. I think we will cause problems to all three of the big teams.

I saw Italy twice during the World Cup and they were pitiful against USA and superb against Germany, so I can only hope they are still hungover or feel playing us is beneath them and play as they did against America.

France were fairly poor throughout the World Cup and are now without Zidane, so who knows. They have however absolutely stuffed us on the last two occassions we've met.

As for our team. If we are organised at the back we wil let in few goals, and for once we have a goalie you can't laugh at. Our midfield is coming together - Hartley is the star, along with Fletcher (yes Man Utd fans that Fletcher - he plays well for us almost every game) Quashie works bloody hard and kicks a few folk.

Up front we will play Kenny Miller - hopefully the one who remembers how to score and not the one Wolves seem to have sent Celtic - and Kris Boyd who certainly knows about getting goals, two goals on his debut against Bulgaria. James McFadden will almost certainly come on as substitute in every game and score. That's been his job for the last two years and he has done it well.

The only other name to fit in is Chris Burke, another two goal debutant from our trip to Japan. Injured at the moment but will feature sometime.

So as far as Scotland goes the future's bright, the future is Dark blue with Gold trim and a fairly bizarre shadow Y across the chest (One for your Guide to the New Season's kits there)

As for England I wish you all the best in your qualifying group against the might of Ruritania, Rockall, Smurfland and the 13th Zagreb Sea Scouts. It's not that I'm bitter, but..."

Chris said...

With the weekend's Euro 2008 qualifiers out of the way, I'd like to start by saying how impressed I was with Scotland's 6-0 despatching of the Faroe Islands on Saturday! You see - nothing to worry about... ;-)

I agree that France and Italy are just about the worst combination to have to face in your group, but after the latter laboured to a 1-1 draw with Lithuania the other day, who's to say Scotland won't do something similar?

And how prophetic your comments were about the star players in your team. Fletcher scored the first against the Faroes, McFadden got the second and Miller got the fourth. The only two you didn't get were Boyd and O'Connor, but we'll let you off for that!

Who are Hartley and Burke then? I can't say I've heard of either of them?

And what about that kit, eh?! I have to say it caught me by surprise on Saturday when I saw the match on Sky Sports. Gold trim indeed! Not bad though... your thoughts on the kit?

Ah yes, England. This thread isn't really about the England team, but let's just say we were quite satisfied with the qualifying draw... :-)

Chris said...

Oh by the way, on closer inspection I can confirm that the Y-shaped shadow across the new Scotland shirt is in fact an X... it's the cross of St. Andrew.

Nice touch, that...

Flicktokick said...

Ah, you see the kit was supposed to have a st. andrews cross on it, but the clever marketing people at the SFA decided that was too hackneyed an idea and so took the uniquely inspired decision to take away one of the pieces of the cross leaving a rather wide Y. The air is certainly very blue on some of the Tartan Army websites.

Personally I think the kit misses on a number of issues. The collar is faraly awful, the badge we have now looks cheap and nasty and I can't think why there is some white on the top of the socks when there is none anywhere else on the strip.

Other than that I have no problems with Scotland playing in all blue, or even printing Alba (Gaelic for Scotland) on the back - look just below the number.

On the playing front yes it was great to be 5-0 up at half time, but two of the goals were penalties, one extremely soft to say the least and the goalie could have saved at least four of our goals.

Incidentally 5 did mention Kris Boyd in the original - he signed for Rangers last year from Kilmarnock, and was top scorer in the SPL. He got his first call up for the Kirin Cup in Japan in May and scored twice against Bulgaria on his debut.

Burke is also a Rangers player and scored twice against Bulgaria. He is a winger who played excpetionally well in Rangers' Champions League games last year. He is currently out having injured the samw ankle twice this season already.

Paul Hartley almost became the archetypal jobbing professional,playing for amongst others Millwall. He ended up at Hearts where in the last two years he has become an inspiration. It was primarily his performances that led to Hearts' storming run last year. Unfortunately he was injured at the beginning of the season and didn't make the Champions Cup first leg against AEK Athens, but hopefully you should dee something of him in the UEFA cup - if the BBC ever show a Scottish team play, one for another discussion there.

BAck to the qualifiers. Its great to have beaten the Faroes and got six for the first time since 1984, but we have to get something against Lithuania on Wednesday if we are to stand a chance of qualifying. Never mind, we are top of the group for now!

Smart said...

As an Englishman, I can say I have been more impressed with recent Scottish results and performances in recent months than that of the English national team.

Decent results against the likes of Norway since "Dirty Scrotes" was sent back to the Fatherland should put Scotland in a good position for the future.

Qualifying from a group containing Italy, France and Ukraine is probably just a bit too soon however, but it wouldnt suprise me if they caused a few upsets along the way.

Chris said...

Do you know, you're right about that 'Y' - I thought I'd seen the whole 'X' on the picture I was looking at before! Hmmm... I think the whole 'X' would have worked a lot better!

I don't mind the collar, myself. Not the best or the worst I've ever seen. As for the badge, would you prefer to see a round one like Scotland had back in the 70's and 80's?

I could be wrong again, but it looks like gold trim at the top of the socks? Still not sure about Scotland playing in all blue, though. Call me old-fashioned if you like, but I prefer the white shorts, meself!

Thanks for the info about the players you mentioned. You never know, the BBC MIGHT one day show a Scottish team playing in a European match! There's hardly an excuse not to these days what with the BBC and ITV having several channels each. DEFNITELY one for another discussion!

Another great result last night, I see? Top of the group still... bring on France!!!

Kedge said...

Now wouldn't that be something eh!

Scotland beating France.

Come on you Jocks!


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