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Euro 2020 Round Up (Days 4-5)

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Ah bloody hell Scotland. I’d really been looking forward to getting behind them and seeing them make some waves but they got off to such a demoralising start by losing to the Czechs. They played ok and gave it a go but a lack of quality cost them in the end.

 

They’ve got some good players but they don’t have a striker and without a striker you’ve got nothing, as better teams than Scotland will also discover before this tournament is out. That really was the difference here. The Czech centre forward scored two great goals while the Scots had Sick Boy from Trainspotting bustling around up front looking like he was off his face on smack. 

 

Before the game I saw the team and asked in the group chat “who or what in the blue hell is a Lyndon Dykes?” The answer is he’s a crap striker who plays in the Championship. I can’t believe he started ahead of Che Adams, who isn’t great but he’s decent enough. The whole starting line up seemed weird to me though. Granted, Tierney was out injured (yet was in full training the next day) but Billy Gilmore was left out as well as Adams and Ryan Fraser. 

 

I wonder if anyone has told Steve Clarke that if Gilmore is good enough to be getting games for the European Champions then he’s good enough to get in the Scotland team. The Scots are up against it enough without leaving out their best players, but in fairness I can live with them losing this one and also the Croatia game if they were to beat England. With their best eleven out there they’ve got a chance, but it’s tough to see where the goals will come from. 

 

They played some good stuff against the Czechs and Robbo was fucking great. He could have even got on the scoresheet but as we’ve seen plenty of times he’s not great in that situation and his finishing is a bit shit. If he improved on that he’d be scoring half a dozen a season for us easily with the positions he gets into.

 

Schik put the Czechs in front somewhat against the run of play with a brilliant header and then he added a world class second with a first time shot from halfway that looped over Marshall and left him in a heap in the back of the net. Keeper is too high up the pitch and Hendry should never have been trying to shoot in the situation he was in (leaving his defence exposed with a two v two), but fuck me that was a glorious strike by the forward.

 

It’s unfair to blame Marshall for his positioning when he’s almost certainly been told to do that. Most keepers would rather be on the edge of the their own box and those who are pushed up usually aren’t that high through choice, but coaches no doubt feel the potential gains from them cutting out through balls is worth the risk of the occasional worldy like this one. It’s not the coach who ends up looking like a twat though, wrapped up in the netting and the subject of a thousand memes.

 

They said on commentary that Schick was transferred between two Italian teams for £40m a few years back. That blew my mind. Is that where we are now, that players can go for that kind of money and half the football watching public have never even heard of them? Not just that, but £40m is actually closer to £80m when it’s Italian teams involved as they’re bad mingebags and don’t like spending more than they have to. Always crying poverty those fuckers.

 

*Ok, so I googled that and it’s not true. Sampdoria signed him for €4m then sold him to Roma for €22m. In between that Juve activated a buy out clause of €30m but he failed a medical and it didn’t happen. Not sure where they got their €40m from but I’m relieved to know my stereotype of Italian teams being tight cunts has been re-enforced. 

 

The second goal was a killer really. Scotland had their moments but it wouldn’t go in for them. They waited 23 years for this and it was a bit of a damp squib. No-one will give a fuck though as long as they get something on Friday. Three points might be enough to qualify as one of the third placed teams so although this was a big blow it needn’t be fatal.

 

Tell you what though, if the Scots are looking for inspiration they best get those Braveheart DVDs out because it ain’t coming from their coach. If there’s a more boring, uninspiring man on the planet than Steve Clarke then I hope to never meet him. Jesus he’s fucking hard work to listen to.

 

 

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Please note that Euro 2020 round ups are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here. 

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