What happened to Scottish football?

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YorkshireSquare
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What happened to Scottish football?

Post by YorkshireSquare »

As Scotland exit the Euros, celebrating their nil nil draw with England as though they had won the World Cup I have to ask. What happened to football in Scotland?

Scotland was arguably at the forefront of the early professional game, with new formations and tactics developing north of the border. When teams turned professional in England there was a mass movement of Scottish players south of the Tweet as Scottish players were regarded to be more technical and professional. Even throughout the last century there were some fantastic Scottish players, many of them plying their trade in England. The great Don Revie side was of course built around a strong Scottish core, starting with Bobby Collins but continuing with the likes of Bremner, Lorimer, Gray, Jordan and McQueen.

So what happened to Scottish football? Where did their production line of great players go?


Billy Bremner
Denis Law
Joe Jordan
Frank Gray
Eddie Gray
Bobby Collins
Peter Lorimer
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Re: What happened to Scottish football?

Post by Clacton White »

The premier League killed it . Where most English clubs in bygone times had a few very good Scots on the books , they then started going to Europe and elsewhere for cheaper players who were as good or better , so the Scottish have missed out on playing in a generally higher standard of football barring a few players , they now haven't the depth in the squad any more .It's a shame especially when you consider the standard and amount of Scots Leeds have had in the past .
Another possibility is the lack of England Scotland matches . We saw how they lifted their performance for England , have those every year is bring back the Home Championships and I think Scottish standards would rise again .Those game in the seventies were something special, plus it's the only way England are going to win anything , or Scotland for that matter .
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Re: What happened to Scottish football?

Post by YorkshireSquare »

Clacton White wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:47 pm The premier League killed it

Scotland's squad for Euro 92 was pretty terrible, McCoist, McAllister and Nevin aside.

Think their decline had set in before the Premier League started.
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Re: What happened to Scottish football?

Post by Leeds1000 »

Its a interesting one. I think they have always punched above their weight with a population of only around 5m. For a while they produce the best managers aswell. Like most sports these days the standard is much higher but the sacrifices are greater, this probably puts more people off in the first place.
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Re: What happened to Scottish football?

Post by Irish Ian »

YorkshireSquare wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:09 pm As Scotland exit the Euros, celebrating their nil nil draw with England as though they had won the World Cup I have to ask. What happened to football in Scotland?

Scotland was arguably at the forefront of the early professional game, with new formations and tactics developing north of the border. When teams turned professional in England there was a mass movement of Scottish players south of the Tweet as Scottish players were regarded to be more technical and professional. Even throughout the last century there were some fantastic Scottish players, many of them plying their trade in England. The great Don Revie side was of course built around a strong Scottish core, starting with Bobby Collins but continuing with the likes of Bremner, Lorimer, Gray, Jordan and McQueen.

So what happened to Scottish football? Where did their production line of great players go?


Billy Bremner
Denis Law
Joe Jordan
Frank Gray
Eddie Gray
Bobby Collins
Peter Lorimer
Gordon McQueen
Alan Hansen
Kenny Dalglish
Graeme Souness
David Harvey
I suppose the short answer is the same as what has happened to English football.

An influx of overseas players which has been manifest right down the divisions has limited opportunity for local players to rise through the ranks.

Look at the home nation players in the sides which won the European Cup in the late 70s and early 80s and you will see English, Scots and Irish and even Welsh ;-) in there.

Those days are gone and England, Scotland, Wales and both Irish sides are left weaker as a result.
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Re: What happened to Scottish football?

Post by YorkshireSquare »

I'd like to think there are signs of green shoots in England, the new academy structures along with St George's Park are bringing through a raft of talented young players. Many who are being snapped up by overseas teams. We got to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2018.

Wales, with a population of just over 3 million arguably have two world class players in Ramsey and Bale. They have qualified from the group stages, got to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.
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Re: What happened to Scottish football?

Post by whiteroseboy »

Think UK countries suffered a major setback when government policy went through a period of non competitive sport, kids went soft.
We are now recovering as said above the academy's are starting to show a few green shoots.
The other issue for me is lots of kids would rather sit in front of a screen than kick a ball about until dark like many did back in the day.
We are developing a very unfit nation.

We can make size of population a issue but if we talk about countries punching above their weight you only have to look at Uruguay, smallest country in South America (3.5mill) yet have two world cups to their name and are always competitive and produce many quality players.
Another to look at that is smaller than Scotland is Croatia, I'm sure others can come up with more.
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Re: What happened to Scottish football?

Post by faaip »

Think there's a Ladybird book entitled "What Happened to Scottish football", you can find it in all good bookshops next to "What Happened To English Cricket"
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Re: What happened to Scottish football?

Post by Smudge3920 »

IMO the Premier league has been the catalyst to weaken the home nations... it was the fore runner of the so called elite league that is wanted now by the greedy six... allowing far to many foreign players into our league, and the run off effect was in the lower leagues brought a mentailty as long as they are european or south American then they are better. Our elite homegrown prospects were subsequently picked off by the European rich kids.
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Re: What happened to Scottish football?

Post by Mountain »

We'd love to have a team as good as Scotland.

Signed - every Irish football fan!

They have some fine players like Robertson and Tierney. I think a lot of teams in recent years, Portugal, Wales etc have found you can go far on just 1 or 2 great players who are proud to wear the national jersey and a good team spirit.
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Re: What happened to Scottish football?

Post by Boo Radley »

Mountain wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:54 pm We'd love to have a team as good as Scotland.

Signed - every Irish football fan!

They have some fine players like Robertson and Tierney. I think a lot of teams in recent years, Portugal, Wales etc have found you can go far on just 1 or 2 great players who are proud to wear the national jersey and a good team spirit.
Slovakia scraped past the Rep. of Ireland in a penalty shootout in the Qualifiers semifinal and only beat Northern Ireland by a single goal in the Qualifier final.

They went on the beat Poland, narrowly lose to Sweden and were eventually hammered by Spain.

If there was one team from Ireland, as there is for virtually every other sport (rugby, swimming, hockey, rowing, boxing, athletics, etc.etc.), then we would qualify for more tournaments and do better in them. The fact that the two Irish teams often qualify and do relatively well is nothing short of miraculous. But it is ridiculous, and a real shame, that there isn’t one team.
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Re: What happened to Scottish football?

Post by Irish Ian »

Boo Radley wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 11:09 am Slovakia scraped past the Rep. of Ireland in a penalty shootout in the Qualifiers semifinal and only beat Northern Ireland by a single goal in the Qualifier final.

They went on the beat Poland, narrowly lose to Sweden and were eventually hammered by Spain.

If there was one team from Ireland, as there is for virtually every other sport (rugby, swimming, hockey, rowing, boxing, athletics, etc.etc.), then we would qualify for more tournaments and do better in them. The fact that the two Irish teams often qualify and do relatively well is nothing short of miraculous. But it is ridiculous, and a real shame, that there isn’t one team.
The Southern side defected in the 1920s so they should repent, ask forgiveness and come back into the fold. :)

Also you didn't mention cricket, we are crap at thst also. :lol:
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Re: What happened to Scottish football?

Post by Boo Radley »

Irish Ian wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 11:17 am The Southern side defected in the 1920s so they should repent, ask forgiveness and come back into the fold. :)

Also you didn't mention cricket, we are crap at thst also. :lol:
You’re correct Ian on what happened unfortunately. There was a book published a while back on the whole sorry story, as well as on the efforts to create one team again for the island. Haven’t read it myself but this has put it back on my list to read. There’s a review on on the link;

http://www.soccer-ireland.com/football- ... -split.htm

I think power and money are now key factors blocking the re-establishment of one Football Union and hence one team. Such a pity that the likes of Giles and Best did not get to play together at international level, along with Brady and O’Leary with Jennings and Pat Rice, all of whom played together at Arsenal.

There may be hope yet. Plans for one football league on the island seems to be slowly evolving. That could be first step.

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sund ... 72822.html
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Re: What happened to Scottish football?

Post by Boo Radley »

Irish Ian wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 11:17 am The Southern side defected in the 1920s so they should repent, ask forgiveness and come back into the fold. :)

Also you didn't mention cricket, we are crap at thst also. :lol:
Meant to add...... at least we’re crap together at cricket - no excuses! Aside from losing the odd cricketer to England of course :rant: .
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Re: What happened to Scottish football?

Post by Lorimer46 »

There's a lot of factors to consider here , In my opinion, the downfall started with the Graeme Souness revolution at Ibrox , Rangers started to spend money and bring in players from England and overseas Celtic quickly followed and to a lesser extent so did the other clubs in the Premier league . I had no problem with guys like Larsson , Laudrup or Gazza coming into Scottish football seeing a player like Frank Sauzie playing for Hibs was fantastic, problem was a lot of the players where not good enough and where no better than our own youngsters . The development of homegrown talent was neglected and a generation of players was lost and it wasn't until the collapse of the TV money and the subsequent financial restrictions that many of the clubs faced that they started look to developing our own young players again .
Other problems include the lack of green spaces for kids to get out and kick a ball about, there's no kids playing football with a tennis ball in the street these days .
Also there are so many other sporting options for kids nowadays not every young boy or girl wants to be the next Billy Bremner ,Kenny Dalglish or Rose Reilly , but hopefully with players like Andy Robertson, Billy Gilmour Kevin Nesbit or Kim Little that might change , young players need a hero to emulate I just wish it was a Liam Cooper rather than a Leo Messi they wanted to be
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Re: What happened to Scottish football?

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Lorimer46 wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 8:02 pm There's a lot of factors to consider here , In my opinion, the downfall started with the Graeme Souness revolution at Ibrox , Rangers started to spend money and bring in players from England and overseas Celtic quickly followed and to a lesser extent so did the other clubs in the Premier league . I had no problem with guys like Larsson , Laudrup or Gazza coming into Scottish football seeing a player like Frank Sauzie playing for Hibs was fantastic, problem was a lot of the players where not good enough and where no better than our own youngsters . The development of homegrown talent was neglected and a generation of players was lost and it wasn't until the collapse of the TV money and the subsequent financial restrictions that many of the clubs faced that they started look to developing our own young players again .
Other problems include the lack of green spaces for kids to get out and kick a ball about, there's no kids playing football with a tennis ball in the street these days .
Also there are so many other sporting options for kids nowadays not every young boy or girl wants to be the next Billy Bremner ,Kenny Dalglish or Rose Reilly , but hopefully with players like Andy Robertson, Billy Gilmour Kevin Nesbit or Kim Little that might change , young players need a hero to emulate I just wish it was a Liam Cooper rather than a Leo Messi they wanted to be
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Re: What happened to Scottish football?

Post by White Riot »

YorkshireSquare wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:14 pm Scotland's squad for Euro 92 was pretty terrible, McCoist, McAllister and Nevin aside.

Think their decline had set in before the Premier League started.
In the past they produced great players that improved by plying their trade in God's country ;-)

McQueen, Jordan, Bremner, Gray brothers, McAllister, Strachan, Souness, Hansen, Dalglish, etc.

But even when they had all those great players available they were absolutely shite at international level.

Twas always so and it will always be so.

Good thing is that every two years they have the privilege of cheering England on at a major tournament :)
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Re: What happened to Scottish football?

Post by HarryofOz »

Yes the standard of footballer coming out of Scotland nowadays is a lot lower than the crop of players that you have listed, but has anything 'happened to Scottish football'. Maybe the 60s and 70s and early 80s was just a golden era of Scottish football that they have not been able to replicate.

Austria, Hungary, Denmark, Poland (and I'm sure others) have all had short spells where they were very competitive at international football, but have not been able to sustain that over a longer term. Maybe such countries just don't have the resources. Even the Dutch - who while not being bad - are not up to the standard of the Cruyff and Gullit etc eras.
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Re: What happened to Scottish football?

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Lorimer46 wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 8:02 pm There's a lot of factors to consider here , In my opinion, the downfall started with the Graeme Souness revolution at Ibrox , Rangers started to spend money and bring in players from England and overseas Celtic quickly followed and to a lesser extent so did the other clubs in the Premier league . I had no problem with guys like Larsson , Laudrup or Gazza coming into Scottish football seeing a player like Frank Sauzie playing for Hibs was fantastic, problem was a lot of the players where not good enough and where no better than our own youngsters . The development of homegrown talent was neglected and a generation of players was lost and it wasn't until the collapse of the TV money and the subsequent financial restrictions that many of the clubs faced that they started look to developing our own young players again .
Other problems include the lack of green spaces for kids to get out and kick a ball about, there's no kids playing football with a tennis ball in the street these days .
Also there are so many other sporting options for kids nowadays not every young boy or girl wants to be the next Billy Bremner ,Kenny Dalglish or Rose Reilly , but hopefully with players like Andy Robertson, Billy Gilmour Kevin Nesbit or Kim Little that might change , young players need a hero to emulate I just wish it was a Liam Cooper rather than a Leo Messi they wanted to be
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I guess we could all learn something from the Icelanders, with a population of 350,000 and a 2000/1 chance we could all be lacing up our boots and giving the mighty England another run for their money.

I don't know if it makes any difference but hasn't Scotland got one of the highest drug/alcohol dependency rates in Europe, gone are the days where you could have a 40 fags and a good skinfull after training everynight.
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Re: What happened to Scottish football?

Post by andrewjohnsmith »

The Scotland squad I remember in the early 80's was great. Every bit as good as England, although they weren't exactly much to shout about in the 80's.

Just look at that squad from the 82 world cup: Dalglish, Souness, Hansen, Gillespie, Brazil, Archibald, Strachan, Wark, Hartford, Jordan.

They were the crop of the English first division back then. Now their best players are championship and premier league reserves. It's a shame. I'd like to see the old days of a quality Celtic, Rangers, and Aberdeen that were among the best in Europe.
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