World Cup Qualifier
So, where to begin? Another qualifying campaign begins, “The Road to Rio 2014” yet the same old Scotland come out with a 0-0 draw.
Many ask is this good enough, a goalless draw against Serbia at Hampden Park. A capacity crowd and they have nothing to cheer about in 93 minutes of football. In truth, Serbia are a half decent footballing nation with the likes of Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea and Aleksandr Kolarov of Manchester City. However, Scotland once again couldn’t perform on the day.
Craig Levein set up the team in a 4-1-4-1 formation, why? Scotland are playing at home, in front of the Tartan Army and yet Levein only opts for the lone striker. This option may be a good ploy against teams such as Spain or France but against Serbia? Maybe if we had started with £8 million Striker Jordan Rhodes it could have been a different outcome, or maybe even £12 million Steven Fletcher but Kenny Miller now plays for the Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS. No disrespect whatsoever to the MLS but a Championship and Premier League Striker are being overlooked by an MLS striker. For a lone striker you want a target man type player and Kenny Miller just isn’t.
It’s not just the strikers that he gets wrong, look at the midfielders too. Morrison, Snodgrass, Naismith and Adam are all top quality Barclays Premier League midfielders that just don’t seem to perform for the national team. Do they have the desire to win? Do they think they’re too good for the national team? Charlie Adam always tries to pick out the 40 yard cross field pass instead of a simple 5 yard pass. Morrison seems lazy, Snodgrass is one footed and Naismith cannot seem to finish.
Defensively there are problems too, Webster and Berra were at the heart of the defence against Serbia and although they are aerially dominant, they don’t have any pace. Hutton and Dixon had a good game attacking wise, however they don’t seem able to deal with the defensive duties well enough. On the plus side, Captain Gary Caldwell played well in his role as the holding midfielder, breaking up play and giving the defence some cover.
If Scotland want to make it to the Carnival atmosphere that 2014 will be, they have to be more attacking. Play a 4-3-3 formation with a couple of quick wingers, such as Templeton and Johnnie Russell, play Jordan Rhodes upfront. If the midfield pass the ball in triangles and play proper football rather than always resorting to the long ball then maybe they will create more chances.
Does Levein know what he’s doing? Does he need more time in charge? Scotland face Macedonia on Tuesday 11th. It should be a question of how many goals Scotland will win by, not a question if they will gain the 3 points.
We shall wait and see what happens.
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