Same Old Scotland?

Steve Clarke just experienced his first two competitive fixtures as manager of the national team of Scotland.

Some of the football experts and pundits might think something has changed. But after the two latest results, I don’t think we have witnessed much change at all.

In the match against Cyprus at Hampden on 8 June, Scotland was minutes away from finishing in a draw with Cyprus.

A draw with Cyprus at home would have been a disaster. But fortunately for Scotland, came to the rescue in the 89th minute to give the Scots a 2-1 victory.

My biggest concern with Scotland involves defending set pieces and the goal scored by Ioannis Kousoulos of Cyprus was just bad.

There are more words that I can use to describe the goal, but Kousoulos had a free header and there were two Scottish players nearby.

The bottom line is that Steve Clarke still has a lot of work to do with his footballers.

In regards to the match against Belgium, there isn’t much that can be said about a 3-0 loss. The fact is that Belgium is one of the best national teams in the world and the match was played in Brussels.

I still think some Scottish football fans were probably expecting better, but I feel that Clarke’s player selection is something that requires more questioning.

Six of the nine defenders called up for these two matches play in the Scottish Premiership.

Scotland needs to get back to the days when its starting roster had footballers plying their trade in the English Premier League.

It doesn’t surprise me that Clarke started two players that he coached at Kilmarnock. But come on, these are European Championship qualifiers.

Clarke needs to put the best players on the field in big matches, plain and simple.

I have tried to be optimistic many times about Scotland and this time it seems the federation hired a good manager.

But Clarke needs to rethink his player selection or else Scotland will continue to be a below-average national team.

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