Scotland vs Italy: now with big boy pants

Sigh. Now that I’ve finished impugning the referee, here’s the mature response.

Considering that they conceded a goal in the first 72 seconds, Scotland did well to be in it at the end. They were lucky to have the second Italian goal disallowed. However, for long stretches of the game, you could have been forgiven for wondering who the true Azzuri were: Scotland’s pace and passing were tremendous. They were strongest in midfield – Pirlo and Gattuso were anonymous for large portions of the game, and Italy were riding their defensive nous and to some extent their luck. Mind you, on the rare occasion when they were in attack, the level of play was distinctly higher than Scotland’s… that’s the difference between being #1 and #13, I suppose.

It’s unfortunate that Scotland missed a couple of good chances, because that would have rendered them less susceptible to last minute refereeing debacles. I suppose that one could say that Scotland should have done a better job of defending the set piece, but I can hardly blame them for being a little stunned. Pirlo seemed to be unable to get much on his corners all night, so picking up maybe 7 – 10 meters on the placement of the ball plainly made a difference.

As I said in my rant, it’s not that they lost, it’s how they lost. Oh well. There’s always the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, and now that they have a proper ranking, they won’t be sent out to be chum for the “big fish.”


Oh now you’ve calmed down? Fuck you too, pasty angry man! 


21 Responses

  1. […] Comments Scotland vs Italy: n… on Fuck you Manuel Mejuto Gonzál…dctrojan on Fuck you Manuel Mejuto Gonzál…Kanu on Fuck you […]

  2. This campaign is definitely something to build on. UEFA WC2010 qualifying draw is next week…

    All in all, a wonderful campaign in the Group of Death against the 2 WC finalists and another quarterfinalist.

    Well done.

    Methinks John Smeaton drank 50 free pints before the match and 150 free pints after the match.

    Maybe McClaren will bottle it on Wednesday and we can all have a laugh at that.

    Heads held high, lads, Heads held high.

  3. Heads high indeed, Kanu. It’s agonizing because they were *that* close, but I’m encouraged. It’s a fairly young team and they play really well as a group, they’ve got passion for it, and they don’t play in fear.

    Can’t ask for more than that.

  4. Congrats on a valliant effort. Hardly unimpressive to get nipped by Italy and France (your Auld Allies).

    Things do look good and generally, one would think, easier, for 2010.

    Of course, have to hope everyone stays relatively healthy. We all know how that can be.

  5. to prove that i am back to some semblance of normalcy (i.e. nitpicking misery), i will make the following statement:

    now can we get rid of darren fletcher? not since wet, wet, wet have i so actively wished that someone not be scottish.

    he can’t pass, he can’t tackle, he has no presence, and he takes up the midfield position that scott brown should have.

    we have plenty of players with limited ability who try harder than him.

  6. technically speaking, that’s more of a question than a statement. He wasn’t as awful against Italy as he was against Georgia, to be fair – but his utility as a midfielder looked to me as if it was in inverse proportion to how long he hangs onto the ball. If he gets rid of it quickly he’s fine.

    Mind you, I was watching it on a picture that was maybe 4″ by 3″, so I could be a bit off here.

  7. no question that the longer he attempts to hold on to the ball, the worse the results. unfortunately, the fella can’t pass for pish in my opinion, so you end up with a skinny pushover who’s loses possession when he has it, or gives it up when he passes.

    there are a number of midfielders i would take over him to start.

  8. Engerland 0-1 Croatia. 8′. Carson howler. They may bottle it after all…

  9. Wow.

    Engerland 0-2 Croatia. 15′.

    Croatia: 2 shots, 2 goals. Looks like McClaren’s men are really taking advantage of their lifeline 2nd chance.

  10. Trying not laugh. Really. There’s still plenty of time left. Yes there is.

  11. Holy hell, my sarcasm was correct – 2 all in the 65th minute!

  12. Holy hell, Croatia’s scored again?!!

  13. England loses 2 – 3, now they need Andorra to equalise against Russia, apparently, or they’ll be keeping Scotland company next summer.

  14. Wow.

    Not content with bottling it once in this match, they scrap back only to bottle it a 2nd time in the same match.

    Russia just went final with their 1-0 over mighty Andorra, so that’s that.

    Amazing really. What will happen first? McClaren fired, or lots of drunken violence outside Wemberley? Since the latter is starting in 3…2…1… it probably wins, but I don’t think McClaren wakes up on Friday as England manager, if not tomorrow.

    Sounded like a cracking 2nd half- FYI they are showing the match tonight on FSC at 8 p.m. EST 5 p.m. PST.

    Happy Thanksgiving to y’all.

  15. well, that’s it for England. They’ll be making sandcastles with the Scotland players next summer, on a resort rotation basis – Bournemouth, Oban, Blackpool, umm, well you get the idea.

  16. Happy Thanksgiving to you too Kanu, although my wife has developed some cockamamie plan to house her niece and nephew in the room with the television – this is going to cramp my evening of schadenfreude to no end.

  17. At least there is a very interesting football game tomorrow, especially for you, instead of {in addition to really} the usual meaningless midseason NFL games.

    Take care and be well.

  18. Hmm. We’re having some Welsh friends who are in town over for Thanksgving. Spoke with him last night and he was positively bouncing with schedenfreude.

    P.S. Just heard on Sports Cener that McClaren is out.
    Morinho, anyone? Although he’s made noises that he is not so inclined just at the moment.

  19. My Welsh friend will certainly be inclined to watch the replay even though he’s developed something of a fancy for American football as well in his oocasional trips to this side of the pond. Either way, DVR is not the least of the things we have to be grateful for today.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  20. very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  21. […] This requires that they then beat Italy. Scotland are hanging on to a draw at home against Italy (admittedly on an offside goal) before one of the worst free kick decisions of all time hands the Italians a […]

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