No cheer at snowy Hampden
There's no hiding the fact that Scotland has been unable to field a team capable of competing with what used to be comparable nations for years. Friday's game against Wales merely reinforced that view.
Despite the team sheets showing that both sides comprised a majority of players from the English Premier League the Welsh brushed us aside for almost the first 30 minutes of the game. That we were a goal up at the break just reinforces the old cliché that football is a funny old game.
Our opponents looked comfortable passing the ball while the Scotland defence contrived to make so many blunders early on that many of the 40,000 inside Hampden feared the worst. In the end a crazy lack of discipline and an inability to adjust to the loss of Snodgrass will be highlighted as the cause of the defeat but the underlying lack of class has to be the main reason.
I had a chance to watch the upcoming generation of Scottish talent on Friday afternoon. An Italian satellite station broadcast the Italy v Scotland U15 game, part of a youth tournament that includes Russia and Switzerland. The final score was 2-2 with our boys equalising twice.
All credit is due to the youngsters for earning a draw against a team that had a height advantage in almost every position. But there was little doubt that the Italians looked more comfortable in controlling and passing the ball.
Few will envy Strachan in the job that lies ahead as he tries to mould our best into a side that can compete for qualification to the finals of any competition. Meanwhile, Motherwell fans can be thankful that the boys in claret and amber have delivered much cheer over recent years. Long may that continue.
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