Negativity Again Blights Scotland’s World Cup Chances

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I stated earlier in the week that Gordon Strachan was wrong to state that Scotland’s game against Lithuania wasn’t a ‘must win’ fixture.

Last night the Tartan Army support watched their team play without much in the way of urgency and any real cutting edge.

The Scotland team started the game like it wasn’t a must win and continued that way until Lithuania took the lead in the fifty-ninth minute.

We can’t afford to be so predictable and pedestrian during these qualifiers, especially not in the home games against the supposed weaker sides.

A lot of people are now questioning Strachan’s future but in all honesty that question should have been decisively asked and answered after the Euro 2016 qualifiers. It’s too late now and I can’t see an immediate replacement to come in and make an impression at the moment.

Plus if I’m being honest I’d rather see changes at the top of the SFA. Chief Executive Stewart Regan has been in his role for the last six years without showing much or any progress.

The fact that the SFA are still charging £30 to watch that kind of performance and result against the 117th best team in the world is crazy in my opinion. As an organisation they are completely out of touch, just look at the poll to decide on what song they should play ‘when’ Scotland score (I say when but it should really be if!).

Getting back to last night, Strachan has to learn to be bolder in his selections and learn from his mistakes.

Why on earth is Chris Martin ahead of Leigh Griffiths in the starting line-up? 

I have said for a while that Martin isn’t an international striker.

I am sure he’s a great guy and will give you his all but he doesn’t really bully defenders or have the pace to outrun any marker.

He has only scored twice for Scotland in his ten caps and that was against Gibraltar and Malta. So far this season he’s scored a total of zero goals at Fulham in the Championship.

You then look at Leigh Griffiths and you see a player who has finally proved to everybody that he can play up-top by himself.

So far this season he’s picked up seven goals in nine games for Celtic and last term he bagged an impressive forty in all competitions for the Scottish champions. He’s also scored nine times in his last seventeen European outings. So a player for the big occasions.

Unlike Martin, Griffiths can run-in behind defences and can score outside as well as inside the box. Basically he’s a greater threat and even proved that last night by doing more in the last nineteen minutes, when he came on, than Chris did in the full ninety minutes.

After the game Gordon Strachan stated:

“We had some great performances tonight. I thought Chris Martin was outstanding up front, bringing people into the game.”

That’s ridiculous. For most parts Martin was anonymous to me and didn’t do enough inside the opposition penalty area. He can come deep all day long as far as Lithuania are concerned because he won’t turn them or get in behind after laying it off. So even if he’s helping build up play we are then a man down going further forward.

Once again we saw our defence crumble.

The midfield need to win more ariel balls when we have two slow central defenders playing behind them.

After the goal we went ten minutes without winning a tackle and whenever we did have the ball we gave it straight back to a man in a yellow jersey.

Strachan is starting to resemble Mark Warburton, in the sense that neither man can make a sub that changes a game. It’s always like for like and too predictable.

Our qualification hopes aren’t in the gutter… Yet! But if we don’t learn from our mistakes and don’t go in with a positive attitude then we will continually disappoint.

We need more ambition and belief, that has to start with those in the dugout and the comfy seats!

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