Scotland V Italy last night reminded me of why international football is so flawed, yes it's good to have a go at the giants but some people start to believe that there is a chance and these hopes are dashed, this was David V Goliath, only this time the Bookie's favourites won.
Italy is a great football country and Scotland has produced some really great players, the trick is to produce them at the same time, you could pick a team from the last 30 yrs that would see Scotland threaten anyone and that's what makes it all so frustrating - Law, Bremner, Baxter, Dalgliesh, Souness, Macari, Jordan, Jardine, McGrain, Johnstone, Henderson, Millar, McLeish etc etc.
The commentators we use are truly awful, Ian McCall is the latest and the worst IMO, he talks partisan rubbish and is embarrassing, he's a supporter with a mike and only feeds the fans frustrations, Scotland did OK and can still qualify but it won't be easy.
England IMO will also qualify but what about poor old Steve McLaren the manager, his head is being called for after 5 games by a hysterical press who demand success because they see themselves as favourites to win everything.
This stems from the time when they won the world cup with a team who were a match for anyone past or present, this present England team are not in that class, despite great players like Rooney and Gerrard.
If these managers are guilty of anything it's the fact that Alex McLeish doesn't have Law, Baxter and Jinky Johnstone and Steve McLaren doesn't have Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton or Geoff Hurst, the fact that Jimmy Greaves couldn't get into that team is a sobering thought. It's still all to play for and the fight goes on, it's what makes it the beautiful game.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
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A wee correction, Terry. Jimmy Greaves could, and indeed did, regularly get into that team. However, at the time of the World Cup Final, he was not fully recovered from injury, and it was deemed too risky to include him in that team.
No one cares what you think. You only posted this to persuade yourself that you don't hate the English.
gomez - I don't want to split hairs but my understanding was that he could have played in the semi and final having recovered from injury.
That team however has been haunting English international football ever since, they were the real deal.
Terry, I don't want to split your split hairs, but your understanding is wrong. Greaves had indeed almost recovered, but his fitness was in question and the risk was deemed too great. Your assertion was that Greaves couldn't get into that team. He already had.
Jim - on 'Greaves' I clearly remember the arguments among the experts about whether he should replace Hunt for the semi final and he made very few appearances if any, after that final.
My recollection is that Greaves was fit enough to play in the semi and final but because Hurst had performed so admirably throughout the tournament they went with him.
Of course, Hurst was one of three great strikers playing that day - Martin Peters and Sir Roger Hunt (knighted by the Kop, if not by the Queen).
The 1966 team, loathe as I am to admit it, was a great team full of talented and able players. The current England team has two truly great players - Gerrard and Rooney, and in my opinion, two world class players who are currently injured, Joe Cole and Michael Owen.
The rest are fair to middling.
PS - the late sixties had a great depth of talent in the UK. The Celtic '67 team, the United '68 team, Jim Baxter, the England '66 team among many others. Imagine how good the '66 team would have been with Duncan Edwards in.
RS - You have it right, Hunt represented a sea change in British football, Ramsay stood almost alone when he chose the hard working team player with an eye for goal over the mercurial and brilliant Greaves and was vindicated. The argument though still goes on today and almost every team has a big bruiser up front.
I agree that they were special and I was at Wembley when Scotland became the first team to beat them. They have cast a massive shadow over subsequent English teams.
Duncan Edwards is talked about with reverence by the great Charlton - nuff said.
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