Thursday, September 10, 2009

What a Scunner

Scotland 0 v 1 Holland

And so we're gone.

As expected. Again. Another major championship without Scotland. Not even a play off place. Not even a chance of a play off place before the groups are finished.

We'll leave the forensics until tomorrow. There will be plenty of people carving up the corpse.

And we said no glorious failure. But, before Quincy arrives, let us say tonight we built on the second half on Saturday. This team, these Scottish players. They have a pulse. It's been too little, it's been too late. But it's a beating heart.

To praise individuals might be to detract from the team. To apportion blame would be all too easy. Scotland's hopes died tonight but the fatal blows came earlier.

Yes, we could have been ahead. We should have been ahead. But we didn't nullify the Clockwork Orange. As a team we rode our luck. As a team we failed to capitalise.

Always the way it seems. We make everything seem improbable. Then we shoot ourselves in the foot. The improbable becomes the impossible, the threat of glory replaced with the inevitability of being the sympathy winning failures.

The press said we were hopeless. Then they told us we had a chance. And, yes, we had chances tonight. But faced with a superior foe we did all we could. It wasn't enough.

In our hearts we knew it would end like this. Against the supermen of Holland we needed Super Gran.

Instead we got toiling, honest professional footballers. For Scotland, for now, that's not enough. But it is all we have.

But football is football. And the gloom of today is always punctured by the promise of a new dawn tomorrow.

RIP Iain Cuthbertson, 1930-2009

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