I have to say I’m not an expert on Scottish football by any means, but I have watched some of the Scotland games in recent months and felt frustrated for the Tartan Army.
The current team seems to have so much potential. However they seem to be failing to deliver.
Their 0-0 draw against Serbia in their opening World Cup qualifier probably would have been considered a decent result in years gone by.
However, the Serbia team that Scotland faced were nowhere near as good as past teams and are in transition.
If you look at the players currently available to Craig Levein they are a decent bunch, in the past Scotland have had some awful squads. However, this squad has a host of players from the English Player League and some highly-rated youngsters.
The likes of James Morrison, Charlie Adam and Gary Caldwell amongst others will be regulars for Premier League teams this season. Steven Naismith is also likely to get quite a bit of game time at Everton.
The problem for Scotland is that they don’t score enough goals. Boss Craig Levein has kept the faith with former-Rangers striker Kenny Miller in recent games. Miller has been a great servant to the Scottish game, but I think it’s time for him to be put out to international pasture.
Scotland does have other options up front. The main one being Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes. The young striker has been prolific over the last few seasons, albeit it in League One with Huddersfield.
However, I believe he would prove far more of a goal threat than Miller. Rhodes always looks dangerous and causes opposition problems. More importantly if he gets the chances he will score goals.
There is also Jamie Mackie in the squad. He works hard and puts himself about for the team. Scotland just needs something different to re-ignite their attack. It’s a real shame that Levein can’t bury the hatchet with Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher.
The 25 year-old has scored goals at a consistent level in the Premier League with poor teams and scored a brace on his Black Cats debut. He is the sort of player that Scotland can’t afford to lose.
Relatively small countries like Scotland have to maximise the pool of players available to their national side. Fletcher would be an ideal target man for the current Scotland team. It’s just a shame that he is unavailable to Levein.
Scotland does have some decent youngsters coming through at the moment. The likes of Johnny Russell at Dundee United and teammate Gary Mackay-Steven spring to mind. Then there is Celtic exciting young winger James Forrest who has the ability to run at opposition defences.
I don’t think the current Scotland set-up lacks talent. There is just something missing from the team. Maybe the team just lacks a bit of creativity or a cutting edge. They maybe just need a midfielder who is capable of playing that killer ball or creating clearer cut chances.
I do believe that Scotland should be doing better with the players and resources available to Craig Levein. Scotland has a lot of players just reaching their prime and players coming through ready to shine.
It’s not inconceivable that Scotland could qualify from their group. However, they have made it difficult for themselves by drawing their opening match. They host Macedonia on Tuesday and must win the game if they want to keep their hopes alive of qualifying for World Cup 2014.
Should Scotland being doing better in international football?