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Are Scotland good? Well…
A few weeks ago in the mailbox I fearlessly proffered the question, ‘Are Scotland good?’. And I think we all know the answer.
Wow. I mean it was hardly ‘Jocka Bonita’, but it might just have been the nation’s finest victory since Robert the Bruce developed superpowers after being bitten by a radioactive spider.
Despite injuries to Fraser, Jones and Wilson, it was great to see the likes of Declan McKenna and Lloyd Griffiths step up when needed. The Scotch tossed those burly Serbs over their shoulders like a caber.
Was it enjoyable to watch? Not particularly. The predictable tactics of getting Robertson to cross it in and hitting Lyndon Dykes up top turned into one of those jokes that first goes stale and then somehow gets better by repetition. But there was also a lot of assurance in their play too. For much of the match, the role of ‘Scotland’ was being played by a nervy ‘Serbia’.
Of course it was inevitable that the replicant Luka Jovic would score. After those missed opportunities, the stars were aligning towards a sickening last-minute equaliser from a frustrated talent keen to make an impact from the bench. They probably shouldn’t have given him a free hit though.
The way the game went reminded me a lot of England vs Colombia in the last World Cup. Do just enough to sweat through extra time and recover your composure for pens, where the stage was set for Nandor the Relentless (I’m not saying that Alexander Mitrovic is a fictional thousand-year-old Vampire, but seriously, check out the likeness) to fire his penalty at David Marshall.
With Scotland’s having two games at Hampden Park in next year’s Cup of Euro Nations and a clash with England at Wembley in the middle, last night’s win has lit a fire under what could have been quite a beige group had Serbia won.
Greyfriars Bobby, Deep-fried mars bars, Kestrel Super Premium, Michael Gove. Your boys… actually did OK.
Quarantino Asprilla, Chairman of the Bored, ITFC
For me, Clive
Glad to see that Dave Tickner picked up on the weird sub-commentary on Dominic Calvert-Lewin last night. I don’t tend to scrutinise commentators to any degree at all, but not every commentator has been involved in the breaking of Clive Tyldesley’s heart.
Last night was my first time listening to Sam Matterface since Clive (I think we can all agree that we are all on first name terms with him) was stood down as ITV’s senior commentator. He was fine but I have to say, I didn’t feel it. Sure, it was an eerily empty stadium and the boys in green continued to leave me with little to no hope for the future of Irish football (absences aside), but I feel like Clive Tyldesley would have spun far better and more emotive narratives around a match between Ireland and the old enemy. Don’t tell my English wife (who exists) that I said that last bit.
I would be genuinely interested to hear if some other readers…