Scotland 0—2 Czech Republic.

Marshall Plan.

The Czech manager branded us long-ball merchants. And he’d a fair point, at least we weren’t playing Israel again. It seemed to be working quite well in the early exchanges. We were in and about their penalty box, without creating much.  Andy Robertson had a chance to put us one up. Missed it. In the second half, Lyndon Dykes had a chance to score (ahem).   

I’ve a long history of watching Scotland lose. The first World Cup I watched was in 1974. We beat Brazil, didn’t lose a game and were technically World Champions. Holland with Cruyff and Neeskins were the boys to watch. Germany sneaked it, as they often do. But I never thought I’d hear myself say I loved the Orangemen.

The Dutch were the best team in the next World Cup too. Argentina won it, but Archie Gemmill had us all out of our seats, with dreams of qualification for the next round.

We were 3-1 up against the Dutch, for fuck sake and all we needed to do was score another. We lost another goal. We were on the march with Ally’s army. Enough said.

Celtic is in my blood. I’m not really that bothered about Scotland, but like to see them beating England. Gone are the days when Celtic players couldn’t get a place in the Scottish starting eleven. I looked for players that represent the other side of Glasgow, Patterson should be playing. But O’Donnell’s was selected instead. My namesake is good enough for Kilmarnock and Motherwell, not for Scotland. Christie has had a terrible season. He was anonymous here, apart from one Laurel and Hardy moment when Christie and O’Donnell knocked into each other, but at least it was in the opposition box. Griffiths, who was in the crowd today, (I also spotted John McGinn’s mum, Anne, nee Gibbon, holding her grandchild, who married a wee guy that looked like Archie Gemmil, so you can see where John gets his footballing genes). Griffiths nearly done it himself with two superb free kicks the last time we played them at Hampden. But then we didn’t pick up Harry Kane. That’s the kind of mistake Scotland are good at. Lyndon Dykes isn’t a goal scorer, but I’m not sure what he is. Despite being long-ball merchants the difference between the teams was simple. They had Patrik Shick we had Landon Dykes.

Schick scored in the 42nd minute and 52nd minute. His first goal was something I’m familiar with as a Celtic supporter. A cross coming into the box. Two of Scotland’s centre halves jumped with Schick, but there was only going to be one winner. We were one down before half time.

We were two down at the beginning of the second half. Jack Hendry shot at goal, but his shot was blocked and cannoned to Schick, he chipped the keeper from around the centre circle. It was a thing of beauty. Whether Marshall should have been playing, or have been so far out of his box, is a moot point. Great goal.

Scotland took off O’Donnell and immediately looked much better. I can assure you I’ve not got an O’Donnell bias. Hopefully, Tierney will be back against the English. Beat them. Beat Croatia and we’ve qualified. Steve Clarke needs to take a long hard look at his team selection. Archie Gemmill must play against the English. If he can do it against Cruyff and Co, Harry Cane and the Chelsea boys should be no bother.  C’mon the Scotland.

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