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Buster

The Scotland National Team

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Steve Clarke is to announce the squad for the Belgium & Russia games tomorrow. Can anybody see any surprises?

I’m going to stick my neck out and predict a recalls for Grant Handley and possibly a wee surprise left of field like Ryan Fredricks deciding to swap nationalities.

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3 minutes ago, The West Stand said:

Is Shankland worth a call up. For me I dont see why not. 

No imo big gulf between scoring in the Championship in Scotland and International football. Maybe with a bit more experience playing against better opposition and scoring regularly then might be worth a chance to see what he can do but do you want an inexperienced striker playing in vital games for Scotland. The answer is NO. 

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Posted (edited)

So here it is, and I was right, recall for Hanley and I actually changed my post yesterday after I put Snodgrass but wondered if he was injured with not playing for West Ham.

Certainly a few left field call ups as well, although no Fredricks, Liam Cooper finally gets a chance to seal his Scottish allegiance. Delighted to see his name in the squad, he stood out every time I watched Leeds on Sky last season and I can’t believe he was overlooked by McLeish. MacGillivray won’t be known to many, making his way through the English non-leagues before becoming a regular at Portsmouth, and being uncapped at any level.

As always, the biggest talking points will probably be the omissions, no John Soutter or David Bates, despite being in the last few squads, no Oli Burke or Emmon Brophy, who were both starters in Clarke’s first double header, Greame Shinnie also missed out, as does John Fleck, a player that Clarke is on record as saying that he tried to call up last time but was having his stag doo in New York. Despite that, the biggest must be Leigh’s Griffiths. I think everyone imagined he would be an automatic inclusion now that he was back playing for Celtic and scoring a few goals in the bargain.

Certainly going to be an interesting double header, in more ways than one.

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Edited by Buster

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Very valid question @The West Stand, even more so with the fact that Naismith has hardly played any football so far this season. With the impact he had in the Nations League and his mobility up front, don’t be to stunned if he starts against the Russians. I can only imagine that Neil Lennon has stopped Griffiths from being called up, surely he would be ideal to play in the system that Clarke played in the Cyprus & Belgium games?

I can only really go on what I see with McBurnie in Scotland shirt. I know he scored a lot of goals last season but I only seen him on EPL on Quest. He has certainly flattered to deceive whenever I have watched him for Scotland, either doing nothing or very little. I still hold out hope however as the lad is only 23 and obviously managers see something in the lad. The same can be labelled to all our strikers though (apart from Naismith) McBurnie, Russell and Phillips have done diddly squat and have never really put in a credible claim to be our first choice Striker. We live in hope however and keep our fingers crossed that that might change. 

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There are some not bad players in there actually - Robertson, Taylor, O'Donnell, Fraser, Christie, Forrest, McGregor, McGinn, McTominay, Snodgrass.  Shame we have no strikers and can't find a centre half or two.

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1 hour ago, chuckitphilliben said:

There are some not bad players in there actually - Robertson, Taylor, O'Donnell, Fraser, Christie, Forrest, McGregor, McGinn, McTominay, Snodgrass.  Shame we have no strikers and can't find a centre half or two.

The Centre Half options seem to be taking a hammering on social media, but with McKenna, Soutter & Findlay injured, what other options does Clarke have? Hanley is what he is, he’s your basic no nonsense Centre Back who has a mistake in him, but he’s not a bad player, he’s just not always a very good choice, but I do think he is one of our better choices. Cooper, as I said in the initial post, does well at Leeds and probably should have been in the squad before now, both he and Hanley are Captains for their clubs so must have good Leadership qualities that we don’t see. Mulgrew, yeah, his best days are behind him, we’ll just have to see what role he plays when everyone is fit and available for selection.

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About 6 years ago, I met Declan Gallagher in Prison. He wasn’t a Warder or a worker, in fact he was a prisoner on remand and awaiting sentencing. He was involved in a violent altercation with friends at a house party, I can’t remember the ins and outs of the incident, but ultimately his contract at Livingston FC had been terminated and he found himself behind bars, which despite what the media tell us, is somewhere you really don’t want to be.

I worked in the gym in this prison and one Saturday, after finishing a workout, Declan was sitting on the cross-trainer watching the scores come in via Sky Sports News. He was devastated and spoke of how his life was in ruins and that he had let so many people down and he didn’t know how what he was going to do. I’d heard sob stories a million times over the years, but I could see (and hear) that what this lad was saying was true, and from the heart.

I remember saying to him that his life was now at a crossroads, he could go on to be another young footballer who flew with the crows and was shot with the crows and he could continually do that, or he could do the best that he possibly could, to stay out of all the nonsense that goes on within prison and do his best to get his life back on track when he got out, but ultimately, learn by his experience and never take the position that he was is in, prior to the incident, for granted.

He already knew that, I didn’t tell him anything he hadn’t heard a million times before, or that he hadn’t already told himself a million times. Over his time on Remand, Declan did everything he possibly could, to show that he was sorry for what had happened and actually, for the time I knew him, came across as a really good young lad with his head screwed on.

He went to court after about a month of being in Remand, maybe slightly longer, and from memory the judge gave him a suspended sentence of a few years. Upon returning to society he was re-signed by Livingston FC, who were hugely criticised on social media and in the national media at the time and 3 years later he has been called up to the Scotland squad and has arguably been the best Defender in Scotland so far this season.

So what can we take from this story??

I would say that ultimately, from the individual point of view, never think your life is over. No matter how dark it is or how bad it gets. We all make mistakes, some are huge and seem like the end of the world, others are not so, however if you have the right attitude and show remorse and prove to people you are a good person, then things can work out. You may not get back what you lost, but you can still have a happy ending and doors will open for you.

Furthermore, be remorseful. I know from what Declan had said over his weeks in prison that he was, and I know from media reports that he did everything he could to apologise and make it up to the victim, who will probably never forget what happened, but also, never give up showing people and proving to people that you have learned from your mistake.

From a society perspective, give people a second chance, if they are working hard to show they are sorry then they deserve that. You know when someone is a good person. If the people at Livingston FC had never allowed him a second chance, or any other club in Scotland, how would his life have ended up? It could have been a downward spiral for the lad that could have ended horribly.

Good luck to Declan, it’s great see that he was sincere in what he was saying during this time and it’s great to see that he has managed to put that behind him and hopefully his career doesn’t end here and he he goes on to get more caps for the nation and maybe even go onto bigger things at club level.

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2 hours ago, Buster said:

About 6 years ago, I met Declan Gallagher in Prison. He wasn’t a Warder or a worker, in fact he was a prisoner on remand and awaiting sentencing. He was involved in a violent altercation with friends at a house party, I can’t remember the ins and outs of the incident, but ultimately his contract at Livingston FC had been terminated and he found himself behind bars, which despite what the media tell us, is somewhere you really don’t want to be.

I worked in the gym in this prison and one Saturday, after finishing a workout, Declan was sitting on the cross-trainer watching the scores come in via Sky Sports News. He was devastated and spoke of how his life was in ruins and that he had let so many people down and he didn’t know how what he was going to do. I’d heard sob stories a million times over the years, but I could see (and hear) that what this lad was saying was true, and from the heart.

I remember saying to him that his life was now at a crossroads, he could go on to be another young footballer who flew with the crows and was shot with the crows and he could continually do that, or he could do the best that he possibly could, to stay out of all the nonsense that goes on within prison and do his best to get his life back on track when he got out, but ultimately, learn by his experience and never take the position that he was is in, prior to the incident, for granted.

He already knew that, I didn’t tell him anything he hadn’t heard a million times before, or that he hadn’t already told himself a million times. Over his time on Remand, Declan did everything he possibly could, to show that he was sorry for what had happened and actually, for the time I knew him, came across as a really good young lad with his head screwed on.

He went to court after about a month of being in Remand, maybe slightly longer, and from memory the judge gave him a suspended sentence of a few years. Upon returning to society he was re-signed by Livingston FC, who were hugely criticised on social media and in the national media at the time and 3 years later he has been called up to the Scotland squad and has arguably been the best Defender in Scotland so far this season.

So what can we take from this story??

I would say that ultimately, from the individual point of view, never think your life is over. No matter how dark it is or how bad it gets. We all make mistakes, some are huge and seem like the end of the world, others are not so, however if you have the right attitude and show remorse and prove to people you are a good person, then things can work out. You may not get back what you lost, but you can still have a happy ending and doors will open for you.

Furthermore, be remorseful. I know from what Declan had said over his weeks in prison that he was, and I know from media reports that he did everything he could to apologise and make it up to the victim, who will probably never forget what happened, but also, never give up showing people and proving to people that you have learned from your mistake.

From a society perspective, give people a second chance, if they are working hard to show they are sorry then they deserve that. You know when someone is a good person. If the people at Livingston FC had never allowed him a second chance, or any other club in Scotland, how would his life have ended up? It could have been a downward spiral for the lad that could have ended horribly.

Good luck to Declan, it’s great see that he was sincere in what he was saying during this time and it’s great to see that he has managed to put that behind him and hopefully his career doesn’t end here and he he goes on to get more caps for the nation and maybe even go onto bigger things at club level.

Thought provoking story Buster. well worth the read.

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I may have imagined this but I was sure he almost signed for us on loan around the time one of our managers were sacked! 

Great post Buster. I know there are people who find the idea of a convicted criminal playing for their team difficult & id probably have asked questions had we been Livi, but this is young man who has been lucky to have a second chance but has grabbed it with both hands.

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hope we dont qualify by the back door . shambolic from start to finish . we live in the 21st century . but sfa stuck in the 1950s does steve clarke actually have a input on who plays or is the usual suspects off orange order and dodgy handshakes in charge . theirs no point in qualifying for a major tournament to get shown up i didnt watch it last night nor will i again . point is though i have grave doubts about these players we pick .i actually  believe being picked foryour country now is a inconveince to these so called higly paid players . there not intrested 

if they get injured they dont get a penny from the beaks .game on sunday will probably attract the lowest crowd in history id rekon about 6 000 theyl need to fill a awful lot off seats with cardboard cut outs and use sound effects to mask out the apathy . lesser hampden anyone?

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5 hours ago, pete 123 said:

hope we dont qualify by the back door . shambolic from start to finish . we live in the 21st century . but sfa stuck in the 1950s does steve clarke actually have a input on who plays or is the usual suspects off orange order and dodgy handshakes in charge . theirs no point in qualifying for a major tournament to get shown up i didnt watch it last night nor will i again . point is though i have grave doubts about these players we pick .i actually  believe being picked foryour country now is a inconveince to these so called higly paid players . there not intrested 

if they get injured they dont get a penny from the beaks .game on sunday will probably attract the lowest crowd in history id rekon about 6 000 theyl need to fill a awful lot off seats with cardboard cut outs and use sound effects to mask out the apathy . lesser hampden anyone?

Whist I don’t think it’s an inconvenience to play for Scotland the fact remain some of our players simply aren’t good enough at the International level and get found out against the better teams

Lets hope we play better in the playoffs and with a bit of luck we might just scape into the Euro finals. If we fail again then it does nothing for the game in Scotland to have us miss another international tournament. How long has it been since we last qualified for a major tournament over 20 years if my memory is right sad times indeed. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Bino2014 said:

How long has it been since we last qualified for a major tournament over 20 years if my memory is right sad times indeed. 

France 98? So 22 years come the start of euro 2020

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Must admit that this last few years has been the lowest in terms of club and national support for me.

Both have turned into something as a punishment and it’s turning me into one of those negative nellies that I have despised for years, but the national team follows the same cycle as our beloved Stirling Albion. The usual pundits churn out the line “it’s the hope that kills you” and actually it’s true.

When I was a child, we used to look enviously at England but accepted that they had a greater population than us so would of course have better players, but for the last few years I have looked at Wales and N.Ireland and thought, well if they could do it, then why can’t we? Take out the obvious exception of Bale and would you have any of the other players in each of there squad in ours?? I don’t think I’d be clambering for any of them in honesty, so why can’t we do it? 

As I say, I’m off to the game tomorrow night but I’m fed up and don’t see it changing any time soon. Why do we as supporters do this to ourselves?

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We have better players than northern Ireland and wales although wales have the diving bale and Ramsay.

We seem to be riven by a collective lack of self belief.  We've never been great and have always had the ability to lose to pishy teams.  But we used to have the ability to get the occasional result against the big boys.  And that kind of fuelled the fans' hope.

Now we've lost that too. 

Our really good players at the moment are also not in the spine of the team eg robertson and tierney. 

If we could unearth a striker and a decent centre half we might be able to be a bit more competitive 

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Confidence will soar after tomorrow’s demolition of what the late ian archer described as “a hill in Italy”

Lawrence of the Arabs to score at least two and be immediately hailed the saviour of the country

we then use the swelling national pride as a springboard to pump Cyprus and the Kazakhs before wiping away whoever we are presented with in march!

’mon the scots

easy! Easy! EASY!

happy clapper my arse 🤪

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20 hours ago, Bino2014 said:

Whist I don’t think it’s an inconvenience to play for Scotland

 

 

 

Having once read Graeme Souness's book No half Measures, he certainly viewed some international fixture's as an inconvenience. In his view,  nobody was interested in a midweek fixture against Northern Ireland. Especially him!   Just the people who paid to see it really and he didn't give a flying fech about that.  I doubt he was the only one with the attitude of no glamour, no fechs given back then, or since.

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today sees the most pointless international ever staged at hampden . i hope the fans give it the thumbs down and players run out in a empty stadium im sure the diehards will be there  . but day alll wrong timing all wrong and the idiots in their ivory tower will continue to push pens and count paper clips till someone with a modicum off sense and not a freeloader . have lots off them ?.comes along to change things maybe before i kick the bucket . will i see a team that has a bit off pride in the jersey sadily thats lacking 

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