International repercussion’s

Steve Clarke’s dismal showing in his first five matches as the national coach set me thinking.
As a country we seem bereft of talent but is that really true?

The selection of players is all to reactionary and there seems no forward strategy or planning.
Clarke seems to pick players on singular talent and press hype rather than their purpose in the team.
It is so haphazard and any plan seems to be formed on press reaction to previous dismal showing.
Andy Robertson is regarded as one of the better players in the EPL but yet looks totally out of his depth in a Scotland shirt even against modest opposition.
Why is this?

A lack of clarity in role and useless teammates are part of the issue but not the complete reason.
He is well coached by Klopp at Liverpool and is an aggressive and top class performer against excellent opponents in the Champions league.
Is Clarkes inability to define players role and implement a simple system making it impossible for players to fulfill their potential?
Was Clarkes success due to the lack of talent in the coaching ranks in the SPL?
Is the lack of purpose a real problem fo the r Scottish game?
Our teams seem to show a lack of purpose against better opponents.
Our recruitment of coaches suggests nepotism and little purpose.
The SFA are clearly unfit for any purpose as they have presided over the decline of Scottish football for decades with zero introspection or accountability.
That our referee’s lack the impartiality to apply the rules of the modern game they are not fit for purpose.
Our media”s sole purpose seems to be to try and create a successful Sevco to the detriment of our national sport.
They and their cosy relationship in seeking the same outcome desired by blazers are reason for their avoidance of pointing out the real issue hastening the demise of our national sport.

Celtic have had some very talented players in recent years who have looked lost at times against European sides.
Even the highly praised Van Djirk had quite a few stinkers in Europe.
Is it the poor level of coaching and opponents in the SPL that makes the step up to international football difficult?
Do our players not have the intellect, understanding or coaching of the game at International level?

There is no easy answer or solution to all of the above issues but until clubs show ambition to enter the modern football landscape nothing will change.
Plastic pitches are not solely used for financial reasons and that being allowed is a travesty.
Celtic despite being in the top 60 wealthiest clubs in the world show the same ambition as the rest of the SPL and refuse to take a leadership role.
That they allow small minded huns to dominate the SFA/SPL leadership landscape for profit is the real tragedy.

The above is by Fan-a-tic. Should you wish to pen an article we will glad publish and discuss it. Just send to

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Morning all.
Fan,Thanks for the thought provoking article. It’s, as ever, complex
I’m of the opinion that most of our players do have the intelligence, it’s the coaching that’s all wrong.
Having been involved in coaching and watched my son come through the youth ranks at pro youth, some of the stuff still going on is staggering.
I will give you Hamilton Accies, held up by many, as having a good/great youth set up.
They do, if it’s about getting players to a certain level, but I watched Accies for 3 seasons let the smallest and some of the most gifted youth players leave, as they wouldn’t be strong enough for first team football and they because of financial reasons needs players who can break through, quickly.
Pro youth, is supposed to be non competitive, no league tables etc, results published, but I’ve been in a dressing room where Les Gray, chairman, came in and gave the young Accies boys an absolute roasting for losing. He said Accies need to win to encourage others to come and he didn’t want their good reputation ruined.
Many other teams just pick big strong boys with ( for that level) limited ability, that’s one of the reasons we have a limited choice of centre backs, at national level.
My opinion is, nothing will change until we take away the need to win at a younger level and actually coach boys/girls on skills, football intelligence etc.
I’m still convinced Xavi and Iniesta would have been let go by most youth teams in this country for being too small.

big packy

MORNING ALL, FAN, once again great thought provoking article, as you say celtic are one of the top 60 wealthiest clubs in the world, yet clubs with nothing like our budget, seem to do better on the European stage, something wrong somewhere methinks.hh.


Scotland, with its current talent pool, needed someone like Gordon Strachan, who was dour, defensive, and pragmatic. Steve Clarke fits that bill. Until our talent pool widens and we are not picking players from reserve leagues, then we cannot afford a more expansive game, except against San Marino.

I don’t think Steve Clarke lacks coaching ability. I do believe the accumulating evidence that our players are mostly, second or third rate, at present. On top of that, there is a vicious circle, whereby the clubs, including Celtic put conditions on the release of players:-

“He can play but just 60 minutes”
“He can play in one of the legs of the double header but not the other”

And, if you don’t abide by these conditions, the player develops an “injury”, which probably 25% of your top picks already have.

So, do you pick only those who declare themselves available for all games or do you accept that your team will lack continuity but you need to get the best talent for the bigger games?

There is no substitute for competitive experience at the top level. Anyone who plays consistently in the big leagues, EPL, La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A, gets a better education than our younger players do in playing vs Hamilton, St. Mirren and, even Hearts & Hibs these days.

Coaches and managers do not get enough time. Scotland got rid of Gordon Strachan too soon. We should not get rid of Stevie Clarke but sadly, we are in that group of nations, who can compete for the final few places in the competition if it is expanded beyond 32 nations, but we won’t be troubling the final podium places, anytime soon. We should not expect to do so as we never have. The mid 70s were our high point of achievement internationally- the 74 and 78 teams could have qualified but even they failed.

Aff oot!

Awe Naw


Good article.

I so don’t give a fuck btw.


The SFA is completely aligned with the Orange Order in Scotland which is dying. Therefore the pool of talented people who were never really there to begin with is being drastically reduced as is there sphere of influence. There is a large element within Scotland that tolerates the Orange Order and would gladly see it disbanded but desist from calling it out for various cultural and historical reasons and therefore need to live with it.

You can see the trend of IQ plummeting here

Ernie Walker CBE (1977–1990)
Jim Farry (1990–1999)
David Taylor (1999–2007)
Gordon Smith (2007–2010)[7]
Stewart Regan (2010–2018)[8][9]
Ian Maxwell (2018–present)[10][11]


Good stuff Mahe
As ever it’s all about opinions, the game has moved on, it’s so much faster than back in the day, it’s far more skillful as well, the technical ability of the players today is in a different planet to what is was years ago, and IMO, this is down to the referees allowing the thugs and hammer throwers to dominate the game, we really need to get this changed, this could be done with the stroke of a pen, if the will was there to change it, it will allow clubs to produce a better standard of player that they can sell for more money, the only thing that is stopping this leap into the modern day is the hun mentality and the supremacist attitude from the sfa.
I recall back when the huns were winning everything in scotland and they kept getting papped out of europe year after year, the excuse from the smsm was there wasn’t the competition in scotland, they were so wrong, the reason was honest and fair referees, they kept getting away with stuff in scotland that honest euro reffs didn’t allow, yet the powers at the sfa didn’t care as the huns were winning in scotland, that was enough for them and the hoards it seems, and it’s even more necessary today than it ever was, sadly we go along with it, we are reaping what we are sowing.

Awe Naw

TIME OUT Ex-Rangers and Scotland boss Alex McLeish reveals he’s turned down offer to manage Scotland again
Willie Cochrane
14 Oct 2019, 7:40Updated: 14 Oct 2019, 7:40
ALEX McLEISH says not only Rod Petrie but clubs from around the world have tried to lure him back into management — but he hasn’t been tempted.

Big Eck has been out of work since he was sensationally axed by Scotland last April after a disastrous start to the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

The ex-Rangers gaffer was back to the cutting edge in the dugout at Ibrox on Saturday to manage a team of Light Blues legends in a charity game against Liverpool.

But he says he isn’t looking to get back into management properly right now.

Eck said: “I’m having a break I told Rod. I’ve also had two or three approaches from different countries and continents — and even from England as well.

“But I’m taking a break, I’m not committing myself to anything just now.”

The Gombeen Man

Scotland has the inferiority mindset of a province. It is beset by division. Divisions between, classes, religions, east/west, north/south.

You name it and there is a division lurking close behind.
Underachievement in sport, soccer, rugby, boxing…mirrors the underperformance of divided Scotland.

Entitlement, nepotism and fear-based thinking have created a society that doesn’t only fail to question cheating and underperformance but actively encourages it.

Sadly Celtic Plc are part of this mess. We are stuck in a sick system and the lack the calibre of leadership that has the vision to see beyond the maintenance of the status quo and short term financial gain.

I watched last night’s Aqua Aerobics at Hampden and was pleased for the players and coaches.

The reality is that missed opportunities at differing levels have reinforced our position at the back of the bus.

Our grandchildren won’t thank us for our lack of courage.

Our failure at sport simply reflects our failure to shine a light on the contrived divisions and corruption that has undermined Scotland for generations.



If I’m honest I lost interest in the Scottish national team a long time ago,but it doesn’t stop me being pissed off at the way it has disintegrated over the years,probably since Big Jock died. I think Stevie Clarke has the skills to improve our current situation,but he will need some serious time to do so.

We certainly can’t discard him merely because he isn’t getting results-a sow’s ear springs to mind. But you are right in what you say-that the problem is much deeper than the displays on the pitch. JIMMYNOTPAUL made a good point about sizeism,and it’s something that ATHINGOFBEAUTY told me about nearly twenty years ago when she first returned to Scotland.

Now the Dutch are the tallest race in the world,but they don’t bother about sizeism. They don’t bother about results either,not at juvenile level. They teach their youngsters how to play football. We seem to be intent on a win at all costs approach from an early age. And that tends to mean we play the big lads,just as JIMMYNOTPAUL pointed out. I have no idea how we change this,but change it we must-cos it ain’t bliddy working.

big packy

THE GOMBEEN MAN/ AWE NAW. Imho Scotland does not like us tims, they tolerate us, awe naw hope your right about the orange order dying, I will definitely send flowers.hh.



Orange lilies?

big packy

BOBBY yes? while your about, another little story about big terry the keyboard player, when ken dodd would get invited to do private parties and weddings in Liverpool, he would take terry along as his keyboard player not because he thought terry was a great keyboard player, but he knew terry would protect him against any trouble causers, like one night at a big wedding in Liverpool the bride and grooms family were not seeing eye to eye, the brides family included 3 well known hardmen from Toxteth, who were shouting their mouth off at what they were gong to do to some of the grooms family, terry seen this said to the grooms family there is a meal in there for you ive just ordered go in and fill your boots, he then took the 3 guys from Toxteth into a side room locked the door, and knocked the 3 of them out, needless to say there was no more trouble true story.hh.



Terry sounds like a guy to keep on the right side of!

The Gombeen Man

Big Packy,

The different groups of Loyalists like each other, never mind Celts. They aren’t as united as many would have us believe.


Good reading this morning. I’ve said it before but Scotland’s footballing decline seems to be reflected in other sports. Many points have been made in the past but the costs of playing the game in Scotland are prohibitive. A family raising three kids on a modest or poverty level income rightly baulk at the costs of the football subs.
Overcoaching, obesity, mortality rates, substance and behavioural addictions all take their toll too.

Other nations have also emerged. How many Yugoslavia’s do we have now? Coaching programmes mean that we have lost any competitive edge there too. Other countries have improved and everyone appears to be doing the same thing…They have improved and we are left when an antiquated SFA and its nepotism and lazy approach.

Meanwhile, the Old Firm lap it up with the mantra about not ‘raking over the coals’ ringing in our ears.

It’s all about how to make bigotry, mediocracy and profitability.

On another note.

Didn’t WGS make a comment about the size of our players?


I really couldn’t give a flying duck for International football these days. I will on occasion watch a game between 2 of the ‘bigger’ nations usually – Engerlund v ? in the hope that the English get pumped – which I guess makes me a bit of a sad git. But I have no interest in watching either the Rep of Ireland or Scotland other than curiosity to find out if a Celtic player has been injured.

As for sizeism. I mentioned this the other day when discussing young Dembele’s future at Celtic. Due to the nature of the Scottish ‘mans’ game he, imo, wouldn’t stand a chance. He’d be kicked off the park by the hammer throwers at the behest of their managers. No protection will be afforded him by the match officials or his team mates. That is opposition players know that there is no one in the Celtic team who will exact retribution on them.
As has been mentioned managers will pick a big ‘cart horse’ of player over a small skilful player due to the nature of how the game is played and refereed in Scotland. Until such time there is a change in culture and attitude at the top it will remain a footballing backwater.


The Gombeen Man
WGS did indeed suggest we were too wee.
As a diminutive talent he seemed to have a chip on his warm shoulder.
A collective lack of athleticism is more of an issue made difficult due to lack of facilities, geographical climate and modern technology.
The more we decline as a sporting nation the harder it becomes to motivate youth.
And there seems no great desire by those in power to attempt remediation.

big packy

BOBBY YES, a big irish tim with a heart of gold, and a red hot socialist, he used to talk fondly of a Scottish socialist he admired from years ago, but for the life of me I cant remember his name.hh.


Possibly James Maxton, Keir Hardie or John MacLean.
Just guesses, from me, that may refresh your memory.


Watched the game last night. Shooting ducks in a barrel.
We have 1 or 2 decent players but the rest are journeymen at best. We simply must play to our strengths until better players come along. James Forrest started well but slowly faded. Not his fault though, the journey men weren’t getting the ball to him often enough. Our best players on show last night were McGinn, McGregor and Christie. The rest of them should have been told to get the ball to one of these 3 at every opportunity, failing that then just horse the ball up to the front. Watching Findlay shuffling about trying to get the ball on to his left foot was cringeworthy, all to pass sideways to his chum Devlin, who in turn would shuffle about wondering what to do with this leather sphere before passing it back to Findlay’s right foot who would shuffle about as the band played on. I’m already worried about the world over that is Cyprus


over = power

big packy

JIMMYNOTPAUL, Maxton rings a bell, but im not sure, thanks for replying.hh.

big packy

31003 HI, what would john McGinn give us in our midfield, why the hell did we let him slip through our fingers.hh.


Hi Fan-a-tic,,
Many thanks for todays food for thought on a very relevant subject indeed.
It can also be a touchy subject as it brings up the last refuge of the scoundrel, nationalism.

Its noticeable to me that since Alba and Eire clashed in the Hampdump decider when young Maloney proved the difference the winning side has had less fortune than the losing side.
Ireland currently sit pretty at their groups summit by virtue of a very mean defence.
The best wee bigoted country in the world sit below Cyprus as I type,, a sad and shocking fact that should have all in the national team set up hanging their heads in shame.
Possibly players but I dont watch their games to know.
What has happened indeed ?

I would argue that its not the lack of players or quality because if anything theres more talent in your squad than my own nations and I know theres more Epl players also playing for Stevie Clarke than Big Mick.
Like yourself I agree that mentality is a big part of it however I would posit that its the coaching staff that the nation breeds and can attract is the main difference for smaller nations.
The bigger nations just need someone to plot a course for the many talents they produce but smaller nations need that boost from somewhere and its usually from the man in charge.

If you look at both our lands they each hold an attraction to the outside world and could be considered a nice little number jobs wise. Scenery , salary , friendly people etc and being smack bang in the big Epl manager window cannot be underestimated by those who may consider a management role in either land so we are a bit skewed in this discussion.

But take for instance Iceland.
A person who considers taking up the reigns of that nation isnt getting a load of side perks like above. Therefore they are less likely to attract a good level of coaching staff as theres more risk than reward compared to elsewhere.
This then , like many international jobs at small countries . goes down to nationality and many times those inclined to coach that where born there or who feel a natural connection with that land so working there is bonus enough without the major perks.
So its luck of the draw ?
Well not really . If Iceland has a more professional setup that has modernised coaching courses and a national goal that any ego’s and organisations can put aside for the common good then despite their lesser player pool they will probably ( and are ) out perform bigger nations.

In my humble opinion your nation failed to grab that chance when it ignored the McLeish report.
This article shows how Iceland decided to get it right from the bottom up and we are witnessing the results plus the fans have really responded with their own bit,,the famous timed chant.
They would be a fantastic model for any rival country like your own but I think we know the Sfa are dinosaurs who are more interested in hanging onto their wee bit of power rather than modernising.
Until the Sfa changes , the national team will struggle.
Its such a pity as many a cracker has came from north of the border. I know many blame Murray for bringing in foreigners but I think if the governing bodies wanted to fix this they would.
Quite how that report ( Mc Leish ) was ignored is beyond me,,can anyone shed any light on how they managed that ?

I think Ireland is more Gaa crazy than ever which I love. The trick with the Gaa is every child plays, not just the better ones ( well until it gets serious about 16 or whatever ) but everyone who shows up gets to play which is much more fun as a child and parent and thus you are more inclined to support that club in the heart plus financially for treating your kid well ie drink in the bar and buy the strips and be proud of it.
Faced with the above the football team is actually over achieving but then again Big Mick is a very underrated manager. He knows his stuff and out of all our ex players out there is probably the best one in the dug out.

I see we are about to find out if Henke can manage or not. Im not sure youve made the right move Henrik but if you can get Southend playing we will see you soon brother.
Again many thanks.
Hail Hail


Hi bhoys
Off to Lisbon tomorrow
Do you have to book to get into the stadium
Any other places of interest I should not miss
Also going to Fatima,prayers will be offered up for sentinel celts

big packy

TROONBHOY im jealous, never been so cant give you any advice, but one day im gonna walk out that tunnel where the lions walked out, have a good time bruv.hh.


I cant give you any advice but enjoy yourself Sir. Report back how much a beer and what strange stuff they put on your fry pls.
Hail Hail

I apologise, for some reason I thought that Mahe wrote the article.
I’m a bit like Awe Naw when it comes to international football, but I actually want scotland to get beaten as well, that makes me even sadder 😉

big packy

THE EXILED TIM, where is your patriotic spirit.?

No idea

big packy

you know what, my grandmother was born in croy, but her father my greatgrandfather was born in a place called Roscrea, know idea where it is, but im thinking of the Scotland /Ireland. debate, who should I support don’t know, now as a kid loved the Scotland England games, when we used to beat them yes we used to beat England, but we had now forget the protestant catholic thing, players like alan gilzean ian ure jinky Charlie cooke billy bremner dave McKay peter lorimer, obviously the lions, people can add please do,.point is ive tried to switch my allegiance to the republic but somehow I cant something inside me keeps saying come on jim your Scottish anybody else has the same feeling.hh.


There is a Roscrea in County Tipperary,

big packy

CORKCELT, cheers for that, I aim to visit one day.hh.

big packy

CORKCELT, while your on, do you understand the Scotland/ Ireland, allegiance debate.hh.

Heard on the radio today that the coursing season may be cancelled, that’s a lot of hounds that will need homes, that’s a lot of hounds that won’t find homes and will be PTS, quite sad, sometimes the do gooders are efin ejits.


i have just found this site. enjoying the articles and the comments.

Mike in Toronto


Welcome to the madhouse.

I think I recognize your name from CQN. If so, you will recognize most who post on here, including our illustrious leaders, BMCUWP, who was banished, and Mahe, who went into voluntary exile. They are secretly amassing an army, and will soon go back and take over. First, CQN, then the PLC.

big packy

WESTCRAIGS, welcome.hh.

Welcome westcraigs
I thought that you had been on before, obviously not, don’t be a stranger.


Welcome aboard Westcraigs.
Their barks worse than their bite but they’re a great bunch. Look forward to your take on things.
Hail Hail


Welcome and enjoy.

big packy

so im talking to myself, regards the Scotland / Ireland debate,.ok.ffs jimthe tim get on here before I blow a gasket?

big packy

JIM all joking aside are you lurking if so get on here need to tell you something.hh.

Hiya Packy, what’s up pal?

bada bing1

Can see the England game getting abandoned here,game been stopped for racist chants, Southgate just complained again…

big packy

HI JIM, where have you been, anyway on the other channel a well respected poster love him to bits called, ryan Christie corpus now that was what the kids called me in primary school, jim I hated it because my name was and is the same as ryans but different spelling, corpus Christi correct me if im wrong was what the priest said to me before giving me the holy sacrament, different from my name Christie so that’s why I hated being called corpus, some people think its a joke even in 1963/64 they thought it was a joke ,ffs this is 2019 lay off the corpus jokes.,rant over,,jim just had to get that off my chest,hope you are ok.hh.

A thing of beauty

Thanks for the article fan, it’s a subject close to my heart and going by the comments close to others too. There are, as we can see form the comments a myriad of reasons but I would like to put my tuppence worth in. There is definitely merit in the argument that our coaches are to blame and are not capable of actually coaching players to improve. Remember for instance Craig burley praising wim Jansen for how he had coached him into receiving the ball with a different body position ie on the half turn. Seems astonishing he had got to that level before he met someone who could improve him. Another problem is the selection process for young players. Again it has been said we select players by size then shoe horn them into positions. Big boys at the back, nippy guys on the wing, sturdy boys at full back and small technical players on the bench then eventually on the bus home. We are not doing anything to change this as witnessed by Andy Robertson who couldn’t make it at Celtic because he was too wee. How many of Robertson’s ilk just chucked it rather than start all over again. Plenty would be my guess. We also have too many teams. 40 in Scotland with a population of 5 million when there is only 92 for England’s 60m population. Ah but what about all those people who have supported Arbroath or Stranraer all their life people will say? What about them is what I say. They are community clubs and should not be classed as professional footballers. We need 2 leagues of 16 at most that can sustain proper infrastructure ie a grass park, cut to the correct length and four, that’s FOUR stands for spectators. If you can’t do that you’re amateur and that’s where you belong. So we have all these issues against us but the biggest of all is the insistence on the sfa in allowing our professional leagues to play football that stopped being allowed In the 80s. Our bumbling administrators falsely think that levelling the playing field by allowing thuggish tackles and intimidation to give an exciting product are clowns. It sees the likes of Livingston beat Celtic by kicking and snarling their way to victory with not one technical player on show. It sees edouard booted up in the air and not a word said, not even a foul but a tackle that would merit a red card in most European leagues. It sees hatchet men like Kirk Broadfoot Ross draper, uche ikpeazu, lee mcculloch and the like make a living from professional football when they should be nowhere near that level. Only in Scotland could these players flourish. Anywhere else in Europe they’d be found out in a 5 minute box drill in training.
These things are so obvious but there is no appetite to change things. It’s no coincidence that as our football fails to move on from the eighties that it is that era that we look back on as amongst our most successful. The las time when we played the same game as everyone else. All countries had hatchet men mixed with skilful players. Goodness, even Spain had Goicoechea. Not now, they have had hierro, raul, iniesta and xavi moving through to silva, busquets, alba and pique. Meantime we’ve had graham Alexander, Russell Anderson and jay mcevely moving through to Stephen O’Donnell, grant hanley and Ollie mcburnie. No wonder we are light years behind. Steve Clarke will get the best out of the players he has if given time but you can’t give him a pigs ear and ask for a silk purse. It simply won’t happen.

Packy, kids can be cruel to each other. Just think what it was like for kids who were a bit overweight. Had red hair. Wore spectacles. Or had a stutter. Your’s doesn’t sound too bad to me. But then I’m not ten years old!

big packy

JIM, no offence but if your name is Christie and you get called corpus, it does offend me, don’t know why, maybe im going mad in my old age, so I will call myself a stupid old git, it was 55 years ago.hh.


On the subject of the Scotland team I am totally uninterested. My only concern is that Celtic players are not injured. The shocking number of caps accumulated by the Lions was the end for me, constantly overlooked in favour of inferior Huns. Often booed and jeered by the Huns on the terraces when they were selected. I understand that our players want to play in the national side but I wish no success whatsoever to the corrupt SFA.

Packy, I would almost take it as a compliment! You were getting called after Our Lord. Might have been a bit blasphmenous (sp) but not an insult really. Time to forgive and laugh at it.

big packy

JIM, will take your advice because your my best pal on here, miss you when you don’t post, and I mean that.hh.