Xtratime Community banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,938 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We all knows its not an ideal world we live in but as fans we all have our opinions of who should be picked even although it very rarely happens.

With games against Nations who have some of the best strikers in the world coming up in our Euro2008 campaign we'll need defence capable of at least trying to stop the likes of Henry, Trezeguet, Shevchenko, Luca Toni and Gillardino hammering us.

Who we got then?

Andy Webster
Steven Pressley
Stephen McManus
David Weir
Gary Caldwell
Christian Dailly
Mark Wilson
Alan Hutton
Gary Naysmith

You think we stand a chance of forming a solid back 4, or by the looks of it, 3?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,958 Posts
I think we can play with a flat back four as long as we have a holding midfielder in front of them. We proved that at home against Holland and away to Spain. McNamara and Dailly have played there. The problem is Walter Smith seems to prefer a back three.

I'd play these people at the back:

Code:
                 Gordon

Wilson    Pressley   McManus    Naysmith

                McNamara
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,938 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Yeah your right, we're looking at the best striker in the world who are lighting with fantastic movement off the ball, out defenders will have to deal with the likes of Faroes top marksman whoever he may be as well as Lithuania who already troubled us in the last campaign.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
chivoexpiatorio said:
I think we can play with a flat back four as long as we have a holding midfielder in front of them. We proved that at home against Holland and away to Spain. McNamara and Dailly have played there. The problem is Walter Smith seems to prefer a back three.

I'd play these people at the back:

Code:
                 Gordon

Wilson    Pressley   McManus    Naysmith

                McNamara
Webster has got to be there! He's the best defender in Scotland for me. I would have him in instead as Pressley, who I think is now too slow for International football but will continue to do well for us.

On current form I would go with Webster and McManus at the back :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,978 Posts
I'd definitely go with Webster because as well as being a good player now, we'll probably need him in future years too. I've not seen enough of McManus to say if he's better than Pressley, but I don't think it does any harm of you've got a pairing for the national side that play alongside each other at club level.

I'd rather we played a back four too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,958 Posts
I think Pressley is past his best too. The problem I have with both McManus and Webster is that any time I have seen them without an experienced defender beside them they have looked a bit lost. I don't think you could play both of them together at the moment.

As TB says we do lack speed at the back. I don't see anyone we could get that from at the moment which is not too much of a concern if you have a settled backline who move up and down together.

Caldwell is another one who I am not convinced by either. I'm not just saying this because he has signed for Celtic, I'll dig up some posts to back that up. He seemed to think he had a great game marking Totti in Italy but that wasn't what I saw. Each to their own though.

We do have other good young defenders coming through but the worry for me is we have no one with the right balance of experience who isn't past it. That's where Walter Smith will fail. I wouldn't put it past him to play a back two of Weir and Pressley.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,938 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
What I prefer in any central 2 in a 4 4 2 is a young, decent pace, strong and enthusiastic player, Webster or McManus. But for International games you couldnt play them together, you need an organiser, a captains mould to help them through a game. I will agree with that Chivo said, without Balde in the centre of the defence this year McManus has looked a little lost, thankfully thats only happened on about 3 games in January.

Its the same for Webster, if he never had Pressley beside him to encourage him I would bet he wouldnt have had the season he's had so far.

The problem is we have no experienced defenders with decent pace, Caldwell, well as much as I am going to be routing for this guy in August I still dont know if he's the real deal or not. The jury is still out on him.

Pressleys past it on the international stage imo.

We need a Richard Gough, Billy McNeill or Roy Aitken at the back and at the moment we have no such player.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,958 Posts
We seem to have a large from around 25-29 years old in the central defensive department. Our experienced defenders are all over that age group and our prospective defenders are all below that. I blame Craig Brown for that and to some extent Berti. Walter Smith will be yet another manager who will extract every last drip of an aging defender until it's the player themselves decide to retire.

Russell Anderson could, I feel, have fitted into that role but he's lost out on the international scene due to being down the pecking order behind Dailly, Weir, etc. Looking through the Vogts era there are some interesting names like Malky Mackay, Lee Wilkie and Paul Ritchie who have all disappeared for various reasons.

It amazes me that after the 4-0 humping in the Millenium stadium and the goals that Sunderland have shipped in Steven Caldwell is a regular Scotland team member. Surely a better choice would be Zander Diamond, Martyn Corrigan or...christ, is that it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,938 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
In fairness Craig Brown did get us results. I'm not a Craig Brown critic.

He got the best and at times the worst out of defenders such as Colin Hendry & Colin Calderwood, he also squeezed too much out of Stuart McKimmie when he wasnt international class, same goes for Tosh McKinley.

When he left it should have been up to the new manager to drift in more youth players at the time. Richies only had 7 caps and as you said, disappeared into thin air. I believe he's applying his trade at Dundee United, he at least was recently.

Defenders, as its been mentioned before, is not something we have ever been blessed with of late, we have always been a Nation to bring the best out of our midfielders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,958 Posts
I wasn't having a go at Craig Brown for his results. As you say he did better than we should have done with the players we had. He completely neglected the next generation of the NT though.

I remember people shouting for McNamara to be included in the Scotland squad and eventually he caved in but that was only due to public pressure. What Brown did was see where his end was and not think beyond that. When he left the job he had blooded no new players and a good part of his team hung up their boots. His own self interest costed us dearly and for all Berti was a numpty he was working with his hands tied due to Brown.

Walter Smith for me is no different from Brown in that respect. Right now we should have a balanced squad of players with a view to working towards the 2010 work cup. Players like Weir and Dailly should not be included. Players like Pressley and McNamara should with a view to helping the younger players through the Euro qualifiers and then retiring.

Apart from that the mediocrity in the current squad is remarkable. Some of these players that are playing their club football down in England would be average in our league and if they were playing up here would not be in the Scotland squad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
maradona10 said:
What I prefer in any central 2 in a 4 4 2 is a young, decent pace, strong and enthusiastic player, Webster or McManus. But for International games you couldnt play them together, you need an organiser, a captains mould to help them through a game. I will agree with that Chivo said, without Balde in the centre of the defence this year McManus has looked a little lost, thankfully thats only happened on about 3 games in January.

Its the same for Webster, if he never had Pressley beside him to encourage him I would bet he wouldnt have had the season he's had so far.

The problem is we have no experienced defenders with decent pace, Caldwell, well as much as I am going to be routing for this guy in August I still dont know if he's the real deal or not. The jury is still out on him.

Pressleys past it on the international stage imo.

We need a Richard Gough, Billy McNeill or Roy Aitken at the back and at the moment we have no such player.
I disagree about Webster. The times Pressley hasn't played this season fro us, Webster has been outstanding and has been captain for us. He has also has 21 caps and has played in the UEFA Cup for two seasons with us so I wouldn't be worried about his experience
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,938 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Well give and take a few performances but I'm fairly confident that Webster over a season long course wouldnt be the player he has been without an experienced centre back by his side. I am saying the same about McManus so its not a dig at Hertz.

I do like Webster but I am a fan of a younger defender having a more experienced defender beside him, as I've already mentioned.

I think we just need to face the facts, we're gubbed :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,958 Posts
I'm a bit torn on this one. To be honest I've never rated Webster and maybe that is where my opinion is hard to change. I remember him playing for Scotland without Pressley in the game we lost 1-0 to Norway and the 4-1 drubbing by Sweden. He looked lost to me without Pressley by his side.

Obviously Rudi is seeing him on a more regular basis than I have this season so I'd have to take is word for it. I do agree with m10 though too that it's better to have experience in there too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
chivoexpiatorio said:
I'm a bit torn on this one. To be honest I've never rated Webster and maybe that is where my opinion is hard to change. I remember him playing for Scotland without Pressley in the game we lost 1-0 to Norway and the 4-1 drubbing by Sweden. He looked lost to me without Pressley by his side.

Obviously Rudi is seeing him on a more regular basis than I have this season so I'd have to take is word for it. I do agree with m10 though too that it's better to have experience in there too.

Webster has definatly improved 100% since those matches against Norway and Sweden. I can see why you and M10 say we need an experienced defender in with Webster or McManus. I just don't think any of the experienced ones are any good anymore! :frownani:

I would like to see McManus and Webster together for a friendly match to see how they get on. It might not work but you never know! And I might have went off Webster by then when he signs for the Gers in the summer! :tongue:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,938 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Well we have two friendlies in May against Bulgaria and Japan, both of which I expect a good young breed of player to be at least utilised before we start our qualifying campaign in September.

They are in the second week in May so I'm not sure how fit our squad will be when they have literally just finished a season.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top