the tanner ba'

Scotland 2 – 0 Croatia

New dad Robert Snodgrass (10) celebrates the second best thing to happen to him this week.  Barry Bannan (6) is tiny.

New dad Robert Snodgrass (10) celebrates the second best thing to happen to him this week. Barry Bannan (6) is tiny.

Anything said about this match is going to pale in comparison to what happened a few hours later between the U.S.A. and Panama, so I’m going to keep this very brief.

Scotland’s comprehensive (the were the dominant team in this match for its final 75 minutes) victory over Croatia produced nothing tangible for either side.  Croatia still finished second in UEFA Group A and will enter the playoffs hoping to win their way to Brazil next summer.  Scotland won their first home qualification match of the tournament and moved up to fourth in the Group A table, but they’re not going to Brazil next summer as anything other than tourists.  Now, if you want to talk about intangibles

Scotland have now won three of four competitive matches since Gordon Strachan took over and one is tempted to wonder what might have happened if he’d been in charge all along?  But that’s just the kind of thinking the Wee Man is trying to stamp out in the Scotland camp and yesterday’s match was a signal that he’s starting to have success at just that.

Scotland were two things yesterday, they were energetic and they were crafty.  While watching the match I kept thinking how every player, at every moment, was “hustling,” not waiting for things to happen, but making them happen.  There is a simple reason for this- if you play any other way under Gordon Strachan you won’t be playing under Gordon Strachan anymore.

They were crafty in that they played the match with something I can only call, “plodding flair.”  They were not Brazil of the 1970s or Spain of recent years, but they showed that they had a trick or two and that they were will to use them.  James Morrison in particular showed that, while some may not believe it, this Scotland squad has its fair share of technical ability and creativity.  Combine that with the hustle mentioned above…

…well, I don’t want to get ahead of myself, so I’ll just say that I felt a sense of pride yesterday that I haven’t in a long time.


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This entry was posted on October 16, 2013 by in Scottish Football Association, Scottish National Team, World Cup 2014 and tagged , , , , .
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