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International Fitba

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Is it just me, or is anyone else as close as they’ve ever been to giving up on International fitba?

Players “retiring” while still at the top of their game.

Players being told by their clubs that they cant play on plastic pitches.

Ever increasing levels of call offs for at best dubious reasons.

Players asking not to be selected in order to “receive treatment” during the international break.

Nets being cast even further to capture players with increasingly dubious national credentials.

Young players “undecided” about what country they want to play for??

The “week of football” rather than the guaranteed Wed/Sat games.

I could go on and on.

I’ve been an absolute Scotland nut since at nearly 7 years old seeing Joe Jordan score against Czechoslovakia to qualify us for the !974 World Cup. Once I got old enough for my circumstances and my finances to allow me to travel, I spent the best part of 15 years following the team and missing only one competitive away game during that time, right up until Craig Leven scunnered me in Prague and I vowed to travel no more. Even since then though I’ve still witnessed every game on the telly and been to 2 live. To put things into context, I think the only Scotland games that I haven’t seen since Joe’s goal in !973, would’ve been the odd game back in the old days that wasn’t televised live. This is nothing to do with the quality of the team. I’ve witnessed some fantastic Scotland teams and some utterly shite ones. That’s in the DNA of any Scotland supporter over 40.

HOWEVER, I’m just about at the end of the road of caring. The Indyref result probably got the ball rolling for me and ever since then my interest has started to wane more and more. It’s hard for me to imagine a time when Scotland are playing live on the telly and I’d rather be doing something else, but it’s in the post.

Anyone else feel the same.

I’m not really after the thoughts of the handful of “West Coast Disease” punters we have on here who’ve been slagging off the national team for donkeys years. More the views of fanatics like me who have almost lost their faith. Or alternatively do you still have faith in international fitba and if so why

 

Edited by TPAFKA Jersey 2

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I'm just peeved off with football being played any day that ends with a Y. International football for me was always Sat/Wed. Got my tartan army membership but haven't purchased any home tickets yet for this campaign. The last few campaigns I haven't been to as many home games, mostly due to work. 

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You're not alone TPAFKA Jersey 2...

"I’m just about at the end of the road of caring"

 

I'm now a long way down a dirt track that started after the road ran out for me, dwindled into a single track route and become clogged with mud.

There aren't any real national teams anymore.  Foreign managers and foreign players turn out for anyone. 

Might as well watch Champions League... which I've also given up on as it is also dictated purely by money.

St Mirren is still my favourite niggle...

 

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It’s a disease commonly known as OFS which is short for Old Fart Syndrome. It usually starts when you hit 50. 

i think we were spoilt during a golden era of Scotland qualifying for World Cups during the 70s, 80s and 90s.

i finally gave up going to Scotland games at a recent campaign when the SFA were charging upwards of £40 to see Scotland play Gibraltar on a Sunday evening, I had been a regular at Hampden since the 70s.

UEFA and FIFA and the SFA can get themselves to feck.

Modern fitba is pish. 

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I think the team having been pish for years doesn't help.

It takes some of the fun out of it when you're only making up the numbers.

I could tell you more about the 1982 World Cup, which was played when I was in primary school, than I could about the last World Cup.

I was the same as some of the posters above. I went to most of the home games from about '84 before tailing off through the Berti Vogts era, and I went to all four tournaments that they qualified for during that period, including Euro'92 which we only had about 4000 fans at.

I've barely been to game since then. My last away game was the Euro 2000 play-off at Wembley, and my last home game was the 3-2 loss to Germany, which I only attended to see some of the top Germans players in the flesh, to be honest.

I could envisage getting back into it if the team could compete at a decent level.

 

Edited by Dirty Sanchez

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15 hours ago, TPAFKA Jersey 2 said:

Is it just me, or is anyone else as close as they’ve ever been to giving up on International fitba?

Players “retiring” while still at the top of their game.

Players being told by their clubs that they cant play on plastic pitches.

Ever increasing levels of call offs for at best dubious reasons.

Players asking not to be selected in order to “receive treatment” during the international break.

Nets being cast even further to capture players with increasingly dubious national credentials.

Young players “undecided” about what country they want to play for??

The “week of football” rather than the guaranteed Wed/Sat games.

I could go on and on.

I’ve been an absolute Scotland nut since at nearly 7 years old seeing Joe Jordan score against Czechoslovakia to qualify us for the !974 World Cup. Once I got old enough for my circumstances and my finances to allow me to travel, I spent the best part of 15 years following the team and missing only one competitive away game during that time, right up until Craig Leven scunnered me in Prague and I vowed to travel no more. Even since then though I’ve still witnessed every game on the telly and been to 2 live. To put things into context, I think the only Scotland games that I haven’t seen since Joe’s goal in !973, would’ve been the odd game back in the old days that wasn’t televised live. This is nothing to do with the quality of the team. I’ve witnessed some fantastic Scotland teams and some utterly shite ones. That’s in the DNA of any Scotland supporter over 40.

HOWEVER, I’m just about at the end of the road of caring. The Indyref result probably got the ball rolling for me and ever since then my interest has started to wane more and more. It’s hard for me to imagine a time when Scotland are playing live on the telly and I’d rather be doing something else, but it’s in the post.

Anyone else feel the same.

I’m not really after the thoughts of the handful of “West Coast Disease” punters we have on here who’ve been slagging off the national team for donkeys years. More the views of fanatics like me who have almost lost their faith. Or alternatively do you still have faith in international fitba and if so why

 

Pretty much echo all of this. My interest has certainly waned over the last 5 years. 

Slightly different timeline to yourself - my auld man took me to my first games in the Italia '90 qualifiers and occasionally throughout the 90's. My first away game was Prague '99 and then I barely missed a game home or away over the 10 years that followed. 

The players retiring and pulling out of squads doesn't bother me that much. All national sides have must have that same battle as the money in the club game is ridiculous it's unavoidable so while that annoys me, it doesn't scunner me too much. I would however say that it's very much a reflection of the manager and also the current standing of the national team as to whether players pull out. Players don't want to pull out of squads when you're qualifying for world cups! Strachan also didn't suffer the same loss of players that McLeish does. 

The extended period of failure certainly doesn't help - even more so when they water down the qualification difficulty which they've done for the Euros. Even at that, we couldn't qualify for the 24 team tourney last time round whilst having to sit at home and watch N.Ire, Wales and the Republic all doing well. Quite frankly - that should be embarrassing to us. Even this time around with our mini-group vs Albania and Israel - it was difficult to muster any real excitement at topping the group and securing a play-off place. Partly because it doesn't feel like much of an achievement and partly because you're still expecting us to balls that up. Not to mention that Hampden is a third full.

SFA have seriously ballsed up the pricing for a few of the recent campaigns but I think they're getting back closer to the mark now. 

'UEFA week of football' making fans effectively an afterthought is far from helpful and indyref as you've mentioned will surely have had a negative impact to the national team's support.  

So, there's a wide range of factors in the mix. Add in personal circumstances, changing priorities, etc. I look at away games venues now and think I'd go somewhere for a visit when the fitba isn't on. The trips are a good way to travel to somewhere different (good example Israel last year or Kazakhstan this week) but I increasingly feel that I don't want to do such a trip centered around a 'Tartan Army' experience and a sub-standard national team dishing out disappointment. 

Realistically, the only thing that will give us any chance of turning things around is to start qualifying regularly for tournaments. 

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So far all good and very familiar responses.

The only thing I disagree with is the standard of the team issue. Jeezo fellas we’re St. Mirren supporters for Christ’s sake. Just as well we don’t employ that logic to our club team or SMP would be empty every week.

Like many on here I grew up spoilt rotten through the 70s, 80s and perhaps to a slightly lesser extent the 90s as far as Scotland teams were concerned. Anyone who made it through the Berti years and is still standing proves my point. I absolutely refuse to believe we will EVER see such dark days again. If anyone is in any doubt about that, take a look at the starting line up for the 2-2 draw with the Faroes in 2002. Surely to Christ we could never ever contemplate having a team that bad again. I remember getting off the ferry from Torshavn to Toftir. When we got off, we had to scramble up a big hill (literally climb up a hill, no path or anything). By the time we made it into the ground we were already 1-0 down and it wasn’t long before we were 2 down. An utterly horrendous day, brightened only by the fact that the Buds beat Morton that day and one of the lads on the boat was a soapdodger. Think it might even have been the day of the Yardley mazy run. Someone might correct me on that. Anyway, the point is that anyone who made it through that period of utter turgid shite, isn’t about to give up due to the quality of the team.

After all, we then went on to the relative high of the Smith/McLeish era and the wonderful Euro 2008 qualifying campaign. What a roller coaster that was and although it ended in heartbreak, I don’t mind heartbreak now and again, because t least it reminds you that you’ve genuinely competed and on that occasion we competed with some of the best teams in the world.

I actually have (again relatively) high hopes for this current crop we have coming through. At least for once we appear to be going with younger players and I believe they have the makings of a decent team. We’re always missing something though. For years we were crying out for decent centre backs. Now it seems we’ve got a reasonable crop of young CBs and instead we’re crying out for any sort of striker. Even one of Kenny Miller’s previous standing would do.

No, for me it’s about all the other reasons I gave, not the standard of the team or its ability to compete. As I I’ve said, f I took that approach to football in general, I’d never have been a S. Mirren fan.

Really interesting to hear everyone’s views though. :thumbs2

Edited by TPAFKA Jersey 2

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Other nails in my Scotland fan coffin were £40+ tickets for a FRIENDLY match v Brazil at the Arsenal stadium, where Levein(?) deployed his usual goalkeeper and 10 defenders formula.

Scots can do pessimism, but we have to at least give it a go.  Boring overpriced depression...   only alleviated by being there with the London Saints...

 

and also the SFA. I won’t subsidise those corrupt basturts anymore.  :angry:

 

on on the other hand I enjoyed a later Torshaven match at that glorious stadium in the sky.  Scotland won and CharlieAdam made his debut.  We stopped at the roadside and had some beer, waving to the line of fans in cars as they wound downhill, till we were left, in the gloaming, at peace, with curlews and red necked phalaropes pecking nearby, amid the moss and heather surrounding us.  :)

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Gave up during the Roxburgh/Brown era when we changed from our traditional direct style. into a third rate possession football team. As I also avoid OF games even when Saints are playing I couldn't tell you anyone who played in the last Scotland match with certainty.

At a push I'd offer Robertson who plays for Liverpool.........

***********************

Actually my disenchantment started with Jock Stein in the 80s who overlooked pretty much all Scottish players outside the OF & new firm of Aberdeen & Dundee Utd. including a few Saints from that era who should've at least been given a look-in.

I won't be back until I receive confirmation we've gone back to playing our matches in the rain (with slide tackles allowed) long sleves to wipe noses and falsers out!

Edited by Bud the Baker

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11 minutes ago, antrin said:

Other nails in my Scotland fan coffin were £40+ tickets for a FRIENDLY match v Brazil at the Arsenal stadium, where Levein(?) deployed his usual goalkeeper and 10 defenders formula.

Scots can do pessimism, but we have to at least give it a go.  Boring overpriced depression...   only alleviated by being there with the London Saints...

 

and also the SFA. I won’t subsidise those corrupt basturts anymore.  :angry:

 

on on the other hand I enjoyed a later Torshaven match at that glorious stadium in the sky.  Scotland won and CharlieAdam made his debut.  We stopped at the roadside and had some beer, waving to the line of fans in cars as they wound downhill, till we were left, in the gloaming, at peace, with curlews and red necked phalaropes pecking nearby, amid the moss and heather surrounding us.  :)

Ahem!!! Not to be pedantic, but Toftir, not Torshavn.:P 

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Most scots were based in Torshaven....  though I booked a turf roofed, ex whaling cabin at Nesvik (for which my wummin has not really forgiven me, yet...).

and...  I dunno Toftir....  Tórsvøllur, though....?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tórsvøllur

I was at the new grun, you were at the auld grun....

Edited by antrin
News just in....

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1 hour ago, antrin said:

Most scots were based in Torshaven....  though I booked a turf roofed, ex whaling cabin at Nesvik (for which my wummin has not really forgiven me, yet...).

and...  I dunno Toftir....  Tórsvøllur, though....?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tórsvøllur

I was at the new grun, you were at the auld grun....

If you were at the new grun, why did you call it the “Stadium in the Sky”? The new grun is in Torshavn and isnae in the sky.

Naw but hod on. Were you at the one Maloney and Gary O’Connor scored? Coz that wasnae at the new grun. That was at the Toftir one tae. Incidentally, that was the one game I was talking about that I missed in those 15 years.

Scotland havenae played at the new grun have they? Have I forgotten a game? Or are you just haverin pish? :P

ETA

Aye, Scotland have never played at the new grun (i.e. the one in your link above) so who the f**k did you go and see?:lol: 

Edited by TPAFKA Jersey 2

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I love international football - for me there’s no better tournament in football than the World Cup. The Champions League lost relevance when money started being the main factor. With internationals, most of the hard work a country has made to develop a player will still benefit that country for years as you can’t just “choose” to play for Brazil, Germany etc.

It may help that I’m Belgian born and the National side is better than I ever envisaged seeing, but even if that wasn’t the case, I’d still love it. Scotland may continue to be shite but I’ll still get the buzz when they line up against Kazakhstan and San Marino in a few days time.

Of course it’s not perfect. The amount of withdrawals are ridiculous (I’d feel honoured every time I pull the shirt on, you’re representing your country ffs). The pricing for Scotland games is horrendous too. We should be looking to fill up Hampden every single match, not scrape a maximum from 20,000 punters. Hampden can be brilliant when full up and noisy, hardly has the same effect when it’s half full.

I’ll continue to love international football as it really is the last stand against money dominated club football. Saints develop Morgan, Mallan, McAllister etc, but we will never see them play at their peak while wearing a Saints shirt. Internationally Scotland will always have the like of Andrew Robertson, like Wales have Bale. If Belgium was a club,  we wouldn’t have Hazard, De Bruyne, Lukaku, Courtois and so on. Thankfully internationals are different. Saints may be my club, but our chances of success rely on money. We could develop the next World XI but would have no chance of keeping them (even the likes of Dortmund/Monaco got stripped after success). At least Scotland, like Belgium did, have a chance of changing their own fortunes and over performing without fear the team will be dismantled a year down the line.

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I'm still a big fan of international football. I go to a lot of away games and there is still a strong appetite for it among the core support. I'll be going to San Marino but not Kazakhstan.

I think we've seen cycles like this before. It's just cos we are shite at the moment. McLeish hasn't handled the call offs well. He hasn't shown strong enough leadership and the players dont respect him. They aren't scared to call off.

Something that infuriates me about international football is when new managers come in and give it the cliche "everyone is starting from a blank slate". 

That's basically saying to players like Matt Ritchie "It's okay for you to undermine the last manager and pull out of Scotlands biggest game in years, just don't do it to me"..Then  he's surprised when the same players pull out when he's the manager. You need to show stong leadership from day 1. Players who have pulled out for the previous manager shouldn't get a clean slate as soon as an new manager comes in. If you do that you undermine the last manager and provide an opportunity for these guys to do it again.

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I think there’s a fair few people on this thread who (a bit like me) are still desperately clinging to the idea of what international football USED to mean to players. 

Sure you’ll occasionally get throwbacks the likes Darren Fletcher who woud’ve crawled over broken glass to play for Scotland, but for me, players like him are a rarity now.

In my view, if the national team start using the rules to throw their weight around, it’ll only backfire on them and if players are put in a “push comes to shove” situation, it’ll only end one way.  So i don’t actually blame the national team managers for this phenomenon. I think their hands are totally tied.

Also contrary to Cornwall’s earlier post, I think international football is becoming a bit like the Champions League (in as much that it can of course). All the big teams who are challenging don’t have the same level of issues as we do with call offs, therefore they continue to be successful as teams like Scotland continue to spiral. Sure you’ll get the odd wee blip here and there like Wales and NI qualifying for the last Euros, but they were both prominent by there failures to qualify for the last WC are their performances in the Nations League. Normal service resumed for another 30 years or more.

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17 minutes ago, oaksoft said:

Is that a serious question?

Whilst you are indeed right to afford yourself a scoff at Dougie’s assertion :lol:, given that there’s parts of Russia that are thousands of miles further east than Kazakhstan, i have always wondered one thing, but always been too lazy to find out.

How come Kazakhstan were so late to come to the UEFA party after the break up of the Soviet Union and also, why have none of the other “stans” followed suit?

Edited by TPAFKA Jersey 2

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1 minute ago, TPAFKA Jersey 2 said:

Whilst you are indeed right to afford yourself a scoff at Dougie’s assertion :lol:, given that there’s parts of Russia that are thousands of miles further east than Kazakhstan, i have always wondered one thing, but always been too lazy to find out.

How come Kazakhstan were so late to come to the UEFA party after the break up of the Soviet Union and also, why have none of the other “stans” followed suit?

I was kiddin however partly serious, I mean they are hardly European are they ? Austrialia are in the European Song Contest so I guess anything is possible these days :whistle

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9 minutes ago, TPAFKA Jersey 2 said:

I think there’s a fair few people on this thread who (a bit like me) are still desperately clinging to the idea of what international football USED to mean to players. 

Sure you’ll occasionally get throwbacks the likes Darren Fletcher who woud’ve crawled over broken glass to play for Scotland, but for me, players like him are a rarity now.

In my view, if the national team start using the rules to throw their weight around, it’ll only backfire on them and if players are put in a “push comes to shove” situation, it’ll only end one way.  So i don’t actually blame the national team managers for this phenomenon. I think their hands are totally tied.

I do agree that that national team is not what it used to be for a lot of players now. 

But I think the answer is to be a lot tougher on them. Don't allow them to pick and choose when they play for Scotland when it suits them. The current approach of allowing this clearly isn't working.

Players are human beings aswell and aren't completely unaffected by criticism. They should be singled out for turning the country down and they can then deal with the barrage of public and social media criticism which will result from it. 

Currently the SFA jusy play along with these crackpot excuses to keep the criticism off the players. This only encourages them to pull out and lets them hide beind their excuses.

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