Scotland: Gordon Strachan’s Trust Is Misplaced


Deja vu really should be a Scottish expression, especially when it comes to our national team.

In 2007, Alex McLeish decided to stick with an exciting Scottish side who were doing well in their Euro’s qualifying group and took on Georgia in Tbilisi. That night the Scots came unstuck and were woeful as Georgia won the clash 2-0.

Scotland never recovered and didn’t make it to Euro 2008.

Fast forward to the present day and the Tartan Army were once again heading to Tbilisi in confident mood after playing themselves in with a chance to qualify for the Euros in France next summer.

This time Gordon Strachan was in charge. Like McLeish, Gordon decided to go with the same personnel that had done well up until this point.

But unfortunately for the Scots, they once again failed miserably in Georgia.

Scotland are the definition of team.

The players work hard for each other and play as a unit. That’s brilliant when they are all singing from the same hymn sheet and are rewarded with a well earned victory.

But alas when things go wrong, the whole Scottish team go down together.

Unfortunately we don’t have a superstar talent, like Wales have in Gareth Bale, who can rescue the side when the chips are down.

In Georgia tonight we were woeful. The team were sloppy, slow and lethargic. Too many players were anonymous for large chunks of the game.

We made an ordinary opposition look like Germany. Georgia had lost their previous three home qualifiers before this evening.

Blame has to be placed at the feet of our manager.

Why does Strachan persist with playing Steven Fletcher? 

Yes the striker got a hattrick against part-timers Gibraltar but even in that game he looked humdrum.

In the game tonight, Fletcher went too deep and wasn’t quick enough or strong enough to really trouble the Georgian defenders. At times his hold up play was non-existent. But what do we expect from a player void of any meaningful morale?

The supposed striker has just six goals in his last thirty-five appearances for club side Sunderland.

Yet Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths has banged more goals (eight) in the last two months!. Strachan has to look at players who are currently in form and who add something directly to our starting eleven and then play them!

Alan Hutton is another one who doesn’t play well enough for his club to merit an autmatic place for Scotland.

Our captain Scott Brown was almost invisible tonight. I didn’t see him put in a proper tackle or start any meaningful attack. He simply didn’t lead by example. At the moment Brown reminds me of Barry Ferguson at the same age. Injury has stalled his career and he seems to have lost something in his game. They might play with their chests out but they don’t do anything of note. We saw a similar ineffective performance against Malmo for Celtic this term. That was the warning sign, yet Strachan seems incapable of dropping the midfield man. Brown definitely seems ready for a rest.

James Morrison and Shaun Maloney didn’t dictate the pace of the game, when that happens they can become useless and that was the case this evening.

Our main game=plan seems to be get the ball over to Ikechi Anya and rely on his pace. But at times opposing defenders sit tight and don’t allow him to get behind them. There needs to be a Plan B! 

Young left-back Andrew Robertson has been great for us during this qualifying campaign but he was undoubtably spooked in the Tbilisi heat. The older members of the squad didn’t help him out and often left him exposed.

The Georgian goal, summed up Scotland’s play today. They weren’t hungry, they stood off and allowed Valeri Qazaishvili all the time in the world to put a huge dent into their Euro 2016 hopes!

I feel we have missed yet another fantastic opportunity to see ourselves qualify for another major finals.

The team simply froze and the manager had no way to get them back on track. It could be a case of what could have been for Scotland yet again.

Only world champions Germany next!

Leave a Reply