Sunday, March 29, 2009

Netherlands 3 - 0 Scotland

Can I say much? Probably not. Another tale of what might have been, lost dreams and happily drunken fans.

Sometimes brave displays and happy drunks are not enough. Were they enough tonight? I honestly don't know.

We started well, much better than expected. We had Holland rattled and De Jong's yellow card was the least they deserved. Arguments could be made that they should have been down to ten men before half time.

I felt they were rattled, turned up for a walkover and weren't sure what to do when it turned out they had a bit of battle.

But when we had the chance to make a statement our hero in waiting failed. Kenny Miller is not an international striker. Through on goal he took one, two, three touches. It would have been four but he was tackled. A striker would have scored. Miller didn't even win a corner.

The goals we lost were poor. Last time we were there we lost six goals. Surely, that in mind, you place a premium on concentration. Apparently not as two free headers kill us.

The referee wasn't great but he blew very early on the goal that never was. Fletcher pulled a shirt - normal jostling - but did we expect a decent performance from a ref we already suspected was dodgy?

The disallowed goal leads to a penalty (stone waller) and we're dead. Game turning decision? No. Had we scored a team so far superior it's painful would have scored more or contained us.

But we knew this was a hiding to nothing. What do we learn?

We should learn that Ross McCormack is now an international footballer. Gary Teale isn't and never was.

Darren Fletcher and Scott Brown deserve more than to be lumped into an all singing midfield trio with Barry Ferguson. The captain has had his day and is entirely peripheral in the team Burley wants to create.

Our defence can take injuries, suspensions and more but concentration needs to be drummed into them.

And Kenny Miller, for all his running, can no longer be considered an international striker.

And, of course, that we always run the risk of losing to teams that are so much better than us. But. But - we had a chance to make an impact tonight. And sadly some of our players let us down.

We were unlikely to beat Holland but let's try and beat other sides before we beat ourselves.