With England, Wales, Northern Ireland and ROI at the Euros, and other Euro teams looking for suitable warm-ups against British-style opposition, we are, for a change, much sought-after friendly fodder so it's hard to blame the SFA for accepting these two offers (which is, I presume, is how these games came about). We probably get some money from them (a bit of TV revenue, for example) and our players get the chance to play against higher-calibre opposition so there are reasons why they are not such a bad idea. On the downside, our weaknesses can be ruthlessly exposed by better standard teams and there is a danger of confidence being knocked, too. We don't play as many friendlies as other European countries. A few more and we'll be able to blood new players among the experienced guys and establish styles of play, combinations in various areas of the park etc. It may be a painful process in terms of defeats and we could lose ranking points but we could benefit in the long run.
Tin hat time but... I'm going to defend him a bit. Martin has scored lots of goals for Derby as they are a very attacking team and create a lot of chances. He doesn't get that with Scotland as we play a more possession-orientated game so we're maybe not seeing the best of him – far from it in the eyes of probably the majority of fans. They will argue he offers little movement and struggles on closing opponents down and harrying them etc. Its hard to argue against that. But... I can see why Strachan picks him. He's a big, strong guy and gives us an alternative – a physical presence. If we want to play it long, he's the target to either hold it up, flick it on or try to get a free-kick. Most importantly of all, he gives us a bit of height and power at set pieces, particularly defensive ones. In some games and also in some phases of games (late on, chasing a goal), we'll need that. Even with C. Martin there, we are still a couple of taller players, erm, short at set pieces! That showed against Ireland, who carried an aerial threat. We had to defend with the entire team back at free-kicks and corners and rely on the sheer numbers to do the job. The downside of that is no out ball. In attacking areas, Strachan, McCall and co recognised the height difference between the sides and their instructions against ROI worked as we scored from a short corner. I reckon Strachan also wants consistency in squad selection – something sadly lacking in the Levein era – and to build a club-like feel to the squad. Realistically, we don't have too many surefire alternatives - the other contenders all have weaknesses. A few years ago, Goodwillie would have been the one to pick. Not now unfortunately.
A high-tempo game and England revelled in it. They were stronger, fitter and sharper just about all over the park and it showed the difference in standard from the club level most of our players operate at. They at a lower club level for good reason and better players will exploit their weaknesses. Add in a bit of fatigue from the Ireland game and England being very motivated and the end result was heartache for us. One slightly worrying aspect is that Strachan has us set up to play a certain way and England worked us out. Other teams in our group will have watched that and learned a bit. Another thing that stuck out for me was our lack of strength in depth. We need guys like Darren Fletcher and Barry Bannan getting regular first-team football. Chris Martin and Whittaker have been slated a bit but, well, they are what they are (squad players) and both made significant contributions to the Ireland win so probably deserve a bit of slack. Andy Robertson gets praise because of his goal but his lack of experience was exposed a bit, too. Getting Snodgrass back fit and in form could be vital in the last few qualifiers. Injuries, and avoiding having too many of our important players out, could be the key to our qualifying success and a lot of that is down to timing and luck. We certainly benefitted from Ireland being without McCarthy and Hoolahan.
Hi mate. Re your topic about the website. I've designed a few sites using a website called Wix. 1 was for myself and 1 for a photographer.
Have a look and if thats the sort of thing you're relation is after I could put something together for £200