Scotland National Team Discussion

shaky

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Scottish & Irish fans always celebrate English defeats. I’m not sure about the Welsh, doesn’t seem to be we much animosity there.

Glad Scotland are out anyway. Offered nothing to the tournament. The problem with making the euros 24 teams is we’re getting more & more teams just park the bus & try to draw every game 0-0. Scotland were one of the worst for that.
Scotland had more shots on goal, and on target, than England in that match. If any team should be embarrassed at the woeful state of their attacking play, it wasn't the visitors.
 

Alex99

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it was a really strong group, the strength of which has bizarrely been ignored by many.

England, and Croatia and the Czech Republic are all top teams.

can’t comment on Scotland’s actual play, and perhaps that can be improved - but it would have been quite a big shock for Scotland to qualify from that group.
It wasn't a strong group though. England are good, Croatia decent but clearly in decline, and Czech Republic very much of a similar level to Scotland. I'd argue that Hungary's group was the only strong group in the tournament.

They're not a perfect metric, but Fifa rankings are decent measure of the general strength of a team (3 of 6 groups finished in rank order and the other 3 only saw teams finish above a single higher ranked team), and Scotland's group doesn't appear among the strongest in any measure:

Average Group Ranking:
  1. Group F (France, Portugal, Germany, Hungary) = 14
  2. Group A (Italy, Wales, Switzerland, Turkey) = 16.5
  3. Group E (Spain, Sweden, Poland, Slovakia) = 20.25
  4. Group D (England, Croatia, Czech Republic, Scotland) = 25.5
  5. Group B (Belgium, Denmark, Russia, Finland) = 25.75
  6. Group C (Netherlands, Austria, Ukraine, North Macedonia) = 31.25

Average Group Ranking (Top 3 ranked teams):
  1. Group F = 6.33
  2. Group A = 12.33
  3. Group E = 15
  4. Group B = 16.33
  5. Group D = 19.33
  6. Group C = 21
The group was third weakest in terms of overall ranking, but when you consider that Scotland were the lowest ranked team in it, and therefore had to play three higher ranked teams, their opponents were the 2nd weakest when compared to the teams the other lowest ranked teams had to face.

Additionally, Scotland were the only team lowest ranked in their group to face another team ranked within 10 places:

Ranking Difference (Lowest Ranked to Next Closest)
  1. Group D = 4
  2. Group A = 12
  3. Group E = 15
  4. Group B = 16
  5. Group F = 25
  6. Group C = 38
Czech Republic are simply not a top team, and if anything, one of the weaker sides that qualified (only Scotland, Finland and North Macedonia ranked lower). They've not been ranked higher than 40th by Fifa since the start of 2016, and have been ranked as low as 58th in recent years. Going into this tournament they were ranked 40th, Scotland ranked 44th. Scotland even beat Czech Republic twice in the build up, and have actually beaten them the last three times they've faced each other (going back to 2016).

When you look at Hungary (ranked 37th) having a proper go, leading both Germany (twice) and France in their matches, and Scotland just basically giving it "just happy to be here" and going out with a whimper, it's not hard to see why people might have expected more from Scotland, especially when you consider 3rd place could well have got them through to the knockouts.
 

SilentWitness

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When you look at Hungary (ranked 37th) having a proper go, leading both Germany (twice) and France in their matches, and Scotland just basically giving it "just happy to be here" and going out with a whimper, it's not hard to see why people might have expected more from Scotland, especially when you consider 3rd place could well have got them through to the knockouts.
Did you watch all of our games? It’s daft to say we were just happy to be there. We had plenty of chances in all of the games and we were terrible at converting them which is unfortunate.
 

Bwuk

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Did you watch all of our games? It’s daft to say we were just happy to be there. We had plenty of chances in all of the games and we were terrible at converting them which is unfortunate.
We haven't had a decent striker since McFadden. I hope Nisbet gets more of a chance now along with Adams. Dykes is a donkey.
 
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It wasn't a strong group though. England are good, Croatia decent but clearly in decline, and Czech Republic very much of a similar level to Scotland. I'd argue that Hungary's group was the only strong group in the tournament.

They're not a perfect metric, but Fifa rankings are decent measure of the general strength of a team (3 of 6 groups finished in rank order and the other 3 only saw teams finish above a single higher ranked team), and Scotland's group doesn't appear among the strongest in any measure:

Average Group Ranking:
  1. Group F (France, Portugal, Germany, Hungary) = 14
  2. Group A (Italy, Wales, Switzerland, Turkey) = 16.5
  3. Group E (Spain, Sweden, Poland, Slovakia) = 20.25
  4. Group D (England, Croatia, Czech Republic, Scotland) = 25.5
  5. Group B (Belgium, Denmark, Russia, Finland) = 25.75
  6. Group C (Netherlands, Austria, Ukraine, North Macedonia) = 31.25

Average Group Ranking (Top 3 ranked teams):
  1. Group F = 6.33
  2. Group A = 12.33
  3. Group E = 15
  4. Group B = 16.33
  5. Group D = 19.33
  6. Group C = 21
The group was third weakest in terms of overall ranking, but when you consider that Scotland were the lowest ranked team in it, and therefore had to play three higher ranked teams, their opponents were the 2nd weakest when compared to the teams the other lowest ranked teams had to face.

Additionally, Scotland were the only team lowest ranked in their group to face another team ranked within 10 places:

Ranking Difference (Lowest Ranked to Next Closest)
  1. Group D = 4
  2. Group A = 12
  3. Group E = 15
  4. Group B = 16
  5. Group F = 25
  6. Group C = 38
Czech Republic are simply not a top team, and if anything, one of the weaker sides that qualified (only Scotland, Finland and North Macedonia ranked lower). They've not been ranked higher than 40th by Fifa since the start of 2016, and have been ranked as low as 58th in recent years. Going into this tournament they were ranked 40th, Scotland ranked 44th. Scotland even beat Czech Republic twice in the build up, and have actually beaten them the last three times they've faced each other (going back to 2016).

When you look at Hungary (ranked 37th) having a proper go, leading both Germany (twice) and France in their matches, and Scotland just basically giving it "just happy to be here" and going out with a whimper, it's not hard to see why people might have expected more from Scotland, especially when you consider 3rd place could well have got them through to the knockouts.
can’t fault the effort of your post.
 

Alex99

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Did you watch all of our games? It’s daft to say we were just happy to be there. We had plenty of chances in all of the games and we were terrible at converting them which is unfortunate.
I watched vs Czech Republic and vs England. Czech Republic I thought was a bizarre team selection, and as much as you had a number of shots in that game the xG that has been brought up a few times tells the story of a team that didn't look remotely like threatening until they were already 2-0 down.

As for the England game, it was definitely a "here not to lose" set up, and the celebrations post-match proved that. I also think in terms of chances created, England should have won that one reasonably comfortably, and once again the xG tells that story.

I didn't watch you vs Croatia, but everything I read pointed to you being soundly beaten, and the stats back that up.

If anything the "happy to be there" remark was less performance based (although I do think the set up in all games was far too negative for a team that really could have thrown the cat among the pigeons with a win) and more from what I've heard and read from Scottish supporters and media since.
 

Reiver

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We haven't had a decent striker since McFadden. I hope Nisbet gets more of a chance now along with Adams. Dykes is a donkey.
I think the decision to start Dykes in every game, with hindsight, was definitely a mistake. I think McGinn was probably our top score in qualifying- he certainly carries a threat- but he did this playing in a position further forward than where he was used at the Finals. Should have dropped Dykes and let McGinn off the leash.
In fairness, whilst we're never likely to score for fun, I don't think there was much indication we would be as poor in front of goal as we turned out to be here.
 

Gio

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I watched vs Czech Republic and vs England. Czech Republic I thought was a bizarre team selection, and as much as you had a number of shots in that game the xG that has been brought up a few times tells the story of a team that didn't look remotely like threatening until they were already 2-0 down.

As for the England game, it was definitely a "here not to lose" set up, and the celebrations post-match proved that. I also think in terms of chances created, England should have won that one reasonably comfortably, and once again the xG tells that story.

I didn't watch you vs Croatia, but everything I read pointed to you being soundly beaten, and the stats back that up.

If anything the "happy to be there" remark was less performance based (although I do think the set up in all games was far too negative for a team that really could have thrown the cat among the pigeons with a win) and more from what I've heard and read from Scottish supporters and media since.
So you see how accurate xg is in the England game, but deny its value in the Croatia and Czech Republic ties?

Glad Scotland are out anyway. Offered nothing to the tournament. The problem with making the euros 24 teams is we’re getting more & more teams just park the bus & try to draw every game 0-0. Scotland were one of the worst for that.
True. Ideally we'd get rid of all these teams who made less attacking effort than Scotland, such as England and the other 13 countries who created fewer opportunities.

 

Alex99

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So you see how accurate xg is in the England game, but deny its value in the Croatia and Czech Republic ties?


True. Ideally we'd get rid of all these teams who made less attacking effort than Scotland, such as England and the other 13 countries who created fewer opportunities.

You have literally misunderstood the very date you're claiming backs up your argument.

The story of both the Croatia and Czech games was that Scotland didn't create anything remotely meaningful until they were already losing, and the xG backed that up, which is what I said in my post.

That graph you've posted shows that both England and Scotland skewed average on frequency of chances, whereas England skewed far higher in terms of the quality of chances created, while Scotland actually come in on the Low Quality side of things.
 

Gio

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The story of both the Croatia and Czech games was that Scotland didn't create anything remotely meaningful until they were already losing, and the xG backed that up, which is what I said in my post.
The point is Scotland had 4.84 xg over the 3 games, yet scored just 1 goal.

Did you watch the games? Against the Czechs Robertson missed a 1v1, and at 1-0, there was a ridiculous scramble where the ball somehow didn't go in, and then Hendry hit the bar. That's 3 more-than-meaningful chances. Against Croatia, Adams didn't connect with a volley from 2 yards out at 0-0, McGinn then fluffed a free shot from 13 yards out, and at 1-1 like the Adams chance he failed to connect properly from 3 yards out. And while there were plenty of other opportunities in these games, none of these huge chances above were when we were losing.
 

Alex99

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The point is Scotland had 4.84 xg over the 3 games, yet scored just 1 goal.

Did you watch the games? Against the Czechs Robertson missed a 1v1, and at 1-0, there was a ridiculous scramble where the ball somehow didn't go in, and then Hendry hit the bar. That's 3 more-than-meaningful chances. Against Croatia, Adams didn't connect with a volley from 2 yards out at 0-0, McGinn then fluffed a free shot from 13 yards out, and at 1-1 like the Adams chance he failed to connect properly from 3 yards out. And while there were plenty of other opportunities in these games, none of these huge chances above were when we were losing.
You don't understand xG. A total of xG of 4.84 can either show a few, very good chances, or many, shite chances. In Scotland's case, it was more the latter than the former.

A goalmouth scramble is not a high xG chance, nor is basically any effort from outside the box. You can't argue about interpretation of meaningful chances in relation to xG, then redefine what you mean by a meaningful chance because it doesn't suit your narrative.

Scotland were second best in every game.
 

Gio

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You don't understand xG. A total of xG of 4.84 can either show a few, very good chances, or many, shite chances. In Scotland's case, it was more the latter than the former.

A goalmouth scramble is not a high xG chance, nor is basically any effort from outside the box. You can't argue about interpretation of meaningful chances in relation to xG, then redefine what you mean by a meaningful chance because it doesn't suit your narrative.

Scotland were second best in every game.
I'm not the one that's redefining the xg to suit the narrative. You picked and chose which games it was relevant for.

Here are the chances I set out above from the Croatia game. If you still reckon that none of these were "remotely meaningful", then we'll just accept we're watching different sports.

 

Cascarino

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:lol:
I’ve seen the complaint about from certain posters about teams not setting up the way they want them to, and it’s usually incredible selective at best as their own team is usually absent from these criticisms :wenger:


I'm not the one that's redefining the xg to suit the narrative. You picked and chose which games it was relevant for.

Here are the chances I set out above from the Croatia game. If you still reckon that none of these were "remotely meaningful", then we'll just accept we're watching different sports.

He didn’t watch the Croatia game and it shows.
 

Alex99

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It was tonight aswell...think Royal Mail sent it to Italy by mistake
I'm absolutely gutted, but I'll acknowledge that England blew it tonight, and it pretty much all lies with Southgate.

It won't take long to look back fondly on this tournament, but yeah, it hurts tonight.
 

lefty_jakobz

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I'm absolutely gutted, but I'll acknowledge that England blew it tonight, and it pretty much all lies with Southgate.

It won't take long to look back fondly on this tournament, but yeah, it hurts tonight.
All jokes aside you lot did well to get to the final, shame your manager isn't as talented as the players he manages
 

SilentWitness

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Bump so I don't derail the McTominay thread... @Vault Dweller :)

Since the Euros our record is 14W, 3D and 4L.

Those wins include Denmark, Austria, Ukraine and Spain and a Nations League promotion.

We feel like a far more structured and consistent team/squad nowadays, it's great to see.
 

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Bump so I don't derail the McTominay thread... @Vault Dweller :)

Since the Euros our record is 14W, 3D and 4L.

Those wins include Denmark, Austria, Ukraine and Spain and a Nations League promotion.

We feel like a far more structured and consistent team/squad nowadays, it's great to see.
Yeah good shout posting in here :)

Absolutely, we are definitely building and the squad is very together and resilient. Plus, winning the way we did away to Norway and looking comfortable at home is giving us a great platform. Not used to feeling this watching Scotland :lol:

I'd like to see more of Nisbet though, Dykes does so well for us but I like the look of him. Shankland too.
 
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arthurka

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I am routing for the Scottish team they look very tight and hard to break down. This team also has a couple of good players and McT looks bossing it playing for them.
 

MegadrivePerson

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It's incredible the job that Steve Clarke has done. I don't think he hasn't been given anywhere near enough credit for doing such a good job with such limited talent at his disposal.

It's not even like they have a superstar player the way that Wales did with Gareth Bale.

When I saw the group they were in I thought Scotland would struggle to qualify, but to almost have it sewn up at the half way point is a brilliant achievement.

I think they still need an outstanding attacking player to come through to really become a major threat though. Euro 2024 looks set to be very competitive.
 

SilentWitness

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Yeah good shout posting in here :)

Absolutely, we are definitely building and the squad is very together and resilient. Plus, winning the way we did away to Norway and looking comfortable at home is giving us a great platform. Not used to feeling this watching Scotland :lol:
Definitely, 3 of the losses have been away from home and in our last few games the only home game is Norway so will see what happens but if we beat Cyprus then that's us at the Euros basically...

It's incredible the job that Steve Clarke has done. I don't think he hasn't been given anywhere near enough credit for doing such a good job with such limited talent at his disposal.

It's not even like they have a superstar player the way that Wales did with Gareth Bale.

When I saw the group they were in I thought Scotland would struggle to qualify, but to almost have it sewn up at the half way point is a brilliant achievement.

I think they still need an outstanding attacking player to come through to really become a major threat though. Euro 2024 looks set to be very competitive.
Yeah, I can't see us doing what Wales did that summer due to not having a Bale but getting out of the group stage at a tournament is possible with this squad.
 

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Definitely, 3 of the losses have been away from home and in our last few games the only home game is Norway so will see what happens but if we beat Cyprus then that's us at the Euros basically...
Yeah, I can't see us doing what Wales did that summer due to not having a Bale but getting out of the group stage at a tournament is possible with this squad.
Fingers crossed man. Make sure we win that and then see what we can do, I think we would need 1 more point if we beat Cyprus away?...

I'd be buzzing with that, out of the group would be fantastic.
 

baskinginthesun

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Great squad building from Clarke. Has a bit of versatility in midfield and can vary the style a bit depending on who we play.

Knows the limits of the team as well and seems he has found a system where the bulk of goals from the midfield and just rely on Dykes to be a distraction than the focal point. It's been great watching us play for once and hopefully when Norway visit in the last match, it'll be a nothing game and maybe play some new comers.
 

Reiver

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Clarke has done an amazing job. There have been low points but he's always got the team to respond.
I'm surprised nobody has come in for him.
 

Oscar Bonavena

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Some very good footballers in that Scotland team. Hickey, Tierney, Robertson, McT, Gilmour, McGregor, McGinn..... don't know much about Porteous at the back only for he used to play for Hibs, how good is he?

Don't know much about Dykes either, is he a "big lad, puts himself about" type centre forward or does he offer more than that?
 

SilentWitness

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What do people think our best team is now? We are quite packed in terms of depth at wing back and CM now.
 

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What do people think our best team is now? We are quite packed in terms of depth at wing back and CM now.
I'd go:

Gunn
Hickey
Porteous
Souttar
Tierney
Gilmour
McGinn
McGregor
Robertson
Adams
Dykes

I think Gunn has settled well and deserves a run, Hickey and Tierney should be the locked in FBs barring a drop off in form, Souttar I like and Porteous has adapted well to the national side. Overload the left with Robbo, keep the other 3 in midfield McGinn, Gilmour and McGregor roving and bringing a lot of creativity and hard work. Up front I like Dykes and he works very hard, Adams is the only one I'm thinking might need looking at rotating, I quite like Nisbet.

We actually have some very good depth and the ability to make changes, if we can beat Cyprus we will have a great platform in qualifying and then see what we can do against an excellent team like England.
 

SilentWitness

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I'd go:

Gunn
Hickey
Porteous
Souttar
Tierney
Gilmour
McGinn
McGregor
Robertson
Adams
Dykes

I think Gunn has settled well and deserves a run, Hickey and Tierney should be the locked in FBs barring a drop off in form, Souttar I like and Porteous has adapted well to the national side. Overload the left with Robbo, keep the other 3 in midfield McGinn, Gilmour and McGregor roving and bringing a lot of creativity and hard work. Up front I like Dykes and he works very hard, Adams is the only one I'm thinking might need looking at rotating, I quite like Nisbet.

We actually have some very good depth and the ability to make changes, if we can beat Cyprus we will have a great platform in qualifying and then see what we can do against an excellent team like England.
Fair side. Can't disagree much with it.

I wouldn't mind us trying a 5-4-1 either.

Gilmour, McT, McGregor and McGinn behind Adams or Dykes.