Saturday, March 28, 2009

After what seemed like an endless amount of time, the European World Cup qualifiers kicked back into gear today for Scotland, although after today’s performance, it’s difficult to see if Scotland were in any gear at all. Holland certainly didn’t seem to have to move out of first at any rate.

It was a very lacklustre performance and you got the impression that if Scotland had been playing all weekend then the Dutch goal wouldn’t have faced many threats.

The lack of a serious and consistently dangerous attacking threat is starting to look like a big worry.

Yes, if Kenny Miller had done better early on then it could have been different blah blah blah, but let’s be honest here, it would just have given the more skillful Dutch the kick up the ass they needed and then they could have gone on to emulate the six they hit past us a few years back.

We were totally outclassed today and that’s not unexpected. It would have taken the most optimistic of Scotland fans to think we were going to leave Holland with three full points, but many of us dreamed of getting one. High goals we set!

When you look at the teams that the Dutch players turn out for at Club level, then compare that to our lower level guys, it would have taken a monumental effort to take anything from the match. We don’t bring subs on that play for Real Madrid.

But where was the passion, the flair and attacking edge of our boys? Even the fans were more subdued than usual. It might have been too many visits to the cafes but it was more likely to have been the lack of fire on the pitch to ignite them.

George Burley is in danger of undoing all the good work that Walter Smith and Alex McLeish did for the side. He’s not quite heading into Bertie Vogts territory but time will tell.

Wednesday’s game against Iceland has always been a must win game. Today’s result would have changed nothing even if we had pulled off a shock win. We need Burley to get the players totally up for it. To attack from the word go and to give the fans something to get behind and be proud of once again.

We may not have the top world class players but we do have some good guys out there.

Of course it may all be for nothing anyway. Only the top 8 of the 9 runners up will go into the play offs. Even finishing second looks unlikely to be good enough unless we win pretty much all of our remaining games.

It’s been too long since we could watch Scotland at the top table. We need to be there for the good of the game throughout the country.

But then, the whole game in Scotland also needs a major overhaul, but we’ll save that for another day.

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