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Scots must make Norway pine for fjords

Chick Young | 12:23 UK time, Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Once, of course, Hampden was a fortress. Visiting teams were blown away in its infamous swirl, deafened into submission by its legendary roar.

Sadly, these days it is renowned for its hospitality to visiting nations. "Come away in and enjoy yourselves. And here's a point or three to take home with you."

All that must change when Saturday comes. We must make this clear to the folk from the fjords.

Norway must be despatched homeward across the North Sea, their World Cup dream in tatters. It's them or us.

If Scotland don't win this game then it is over, my friends. Not arithmetically but realistically.

It would complete a miserable autumn for the international reputation of Scottish football. South Africa might as well be on the dark side of the moon.

This is a World Cup campaign, not a government in disarray. Peter Mandelson-style comebacks will not be an option for our national team.

George Burley must be bold. This is the time to grasp the hour, to thrill a sell-out crowd and revive the memories of times when Hampden throbbed with anticipation of another savaging of the visiting team.

The loss through injury of Kenny Miller is a major blow, so Scotland's boss must turn to Steven Fletcher to partner Kris Boyd up front. Indulge the maverick James McFadden and play him just off the front two and give him a licence to thrill.

A win of any sort is acceptable, but it would warm the cockles if this business was done with some style. Push the gamble button. Would it be crazy to follow Gordon Strachan's wheeze and fire Barry Robson into the left-back role?

Scotland won 2-1 in Oslo the last time they faced Norway, in 2005

We cannot go on like this. At best, it will be 12 years of famine, a dozen years during which somehow the world has partied on without us at World and European finals hardly noticing our absence.

This is the match that lets us sleep with a smile on our faces through the competitive international hibernation of the winter ahead, to embrace the visit of Argentina next month without the nagging doubt that this is pointless.

Indeed, should the Scottish team blow it against the Norwegians, the Scottish FA might face financial meltdown when the former World champions come to call. There could be an outbreak of apathy the likes of which could rust up the Hampden turnstiles.

The manager needs to thump out his message. No mutiny, no doubts, no bickering. No walkouts, no huffs, no messing about. No way.

Macedonia was just dreadful, whatever spin the manager may put on the second half, and Iceland was a rescue job. But it could have been over before it had hardly started.

Burley, of course, could reasonably argue that he should be given time. But that is a commodity that is in short supply.

Even so, if he wins at the weekend, he can at least be assured of a peaceful Christmas. We will be off his case until the spring.

As it happens, I feel good about this one.

Norway - surely - cannot rain on our parade this time and they must be eliminated from this dogfight for the play-off place. Because, when the dust settles, I still don't believe we will be looking down on the Dutch.

However, that is for another time. There is work to be done on an autumnal Saturday afternoon on the south side of Glasgow.

Nothing less than victory is acceptable. No ifs, no buts, no maybes - and no excuses.

Comments

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  • 1. At 2:23pm on 07 Oct 2008, Andy Malcolm wrote:

    come on Chick lift it, you've got to get us up for this match,Hampden needs to be bouncing.

    The Polis are not helping with their strict no fun policy.



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  • 2. At 2:33pm on 07 Oct 2008, TotalFootball1664 wrote:

    "Come away in and enjoy yourselves. And here's a point or three to take home with you."

    the only home points we dropped in qualifying for euro 2008 were in the final game against italy. its friendlies at hampden that we cant seem to win and last time i checked u dont get any points for friendly games

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  • 3. At 2:50pm on 07 Oct 2008, dcrulesok wrote:

    Chick Charles Chicky boy... where's the glorious 1-0 to the Saints, Stephen McGinn for President blog, I've been anticipating since hearing you post match on sportsound!?

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  • 4. At 2:52pm on 07 Oct 2008, korphaeron wrote:

    I agree with TotalFootball, Hampden is still regarded as a fortress, and on our day at home we are a team to be reckoned with.

    I can't see us whipping them, just because it's not the Scotland way, but we certainly have players at our disposal that could pull off such a feat.

    Fletcher, Gordon, McFadden, Maloney, Robson, Brown, Boyd - these are all guys that can influence a game. Lets hope they are all on top form and produce something that could silence even the Tartan Army.

    Alba Gu Brath!

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  • 5. At 3:09pm on 07 Oct 2008, Hobbespawn wrote:

    Well done Chick in taking some of the criticism to heart and being more positive.

    That said I'm beginning to think that your use of cliche is not naivety but a cunning ploy to get more readers eager to count the amount shoehorned into your word-limit.

    As for Saturday, Robson at LB and the forward trio you suggest sounds like a plan. Lets hope whatever the line-up we get the result.

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  • 6. At 3:18pm on 07 Oct 2008, greenjedi67 wrote:

    No (you know what) Sherlock!!!

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  • 7. At 3:24pm on 07 Oct 2008, Kenny263 wrote:

    TotalFootball1664 exactly.

    Negative Chic yet again!

    If we win you and your BBC pundits will be lapping it up saying how we are destined to be at South Africa. If we get beat, you lot will probably be shouting Burley should be sacked.

    Support the country and lets hope the boys get three points

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  • 8. At 4:14pm on 07 Oct 2008, LokomotivRosco wrote:

    Chick- the only team to go away from Hampden with any points in the last 3 YEARS have been Italy. Prior to them it was Belarus in 2005.

    So I'd say our Home record has been pretty decent recently...

    Have some faith wee man - a wee win on Saturday will put a smile on your face for once...

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  • 9. At 4:17pm on 07 Oct 2008, PhantomFootSyndrome wrote:

    Yeah Chick, I would have throught beating Rangers for the first time in 22 years would have warranted a blog entry? Or maybe it felt more like a defeat?!

    Anyway, what Scotland need is a new national anthem instead of that negative anti-English dirge, Flower Of Scotland.

    I recommend this one - sung in our national language and celebrating all that is great about Scotland!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs07sYQqc1c

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  • 10. At 4:28pm on 07 Oct 2008, HumptyDummy wrote:

    "We cannot go on like this. At best, it will be 12 years of famine, a dozen years during which somehow the world has partied on without us at World and European finals hardly noticing our absence."

    Sadly true Chico, it's long past time to get real to the fact that Scotland is a small nation that punched above its weight for years, then lost out when the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia broke up and Scandanavian nations improved - and became an even smaller fish in a bigger sea. As usual, the Fifa rankings are flattering to deceive!

    I agree it's time for Burley to go for broke at Hampden, there is flair in this Scotland squad. A bit of grit at the back and in the middle, with some fancy dans out wide and up front, could see the Tartan Army crying tears of joy into their beer AFTER the match!

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  • 11. At 4:29pm on 07 Oct 2008, fearlessBobFunkhouse wrote:

    Regardless of the result Chick and his cronies will be schoffing SFA pies and bottles of lager while slagging them off to get a little bit of attention. I'm proud to be Scottish and will always support Scotland and I think the Chick Young negative types should move abroad - they wouldn't be missed! Journalism in Scotland always focuses on the negative!

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  • 12. At 4:30pm on 07 Oct 2008, Shaunymac wrote:

    Chick Young, it's now official that you know nothing about football. This blog is the worst yet. Firstly, as pointed out already above, Scotland's home Euro record was 5 wins, 1 defeat, and a dubious defeat at that, which by the way I remember you complaining about the decision given against Hutton. I can't remember any team enjoying their time at Hampden during the last campaign.

    I'll now move on to the point about the team selection, "Steven Fletcher must now partner Kris Boyd up front with McFadden in behind". What?? You say we MUST win this game or all is over, yet you say we MUST heap all that pressure on a promising young lad just breaking through alongside a player who has hardly had a run of games? Get real Chick, and I'm sure George Burley doesn't need your 'advice' either.

    GB will go with McFadden up front, Boyd or Fletcher may partner him, but it wouldn't surprise me if Burley springs a little surprise and plays Iwelumo. He's in form and offers more of a target than Boyd.

    It's about time your blogs were titled, "Lets get behind the boys and roar them 1 step closer to South Africa", rather than the obvious negative vibes you give out.

    Please also note we are Scotland, we have a population of 5 million people, and just to be in with a chance of the World Cup (via the play-offs) would be a good achievement.

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  • 13. At 4:37pm on 07 Oct 2008, norriemaclean wrote:

    Chick,

    Other than some of the truly awful cliche use I thought this article was a massive improvement. YOu are not correct about the home record though, its actually very good in recent times.

    I am not sure that Fletcher and Boyd will be able to create space up front as they are not especially mobile but hopefully McFadden can produce a bit of creative magic.

    Robson at left back seems like a pretty good idea to me as I am not sure we have that many options.

    I am hoping that Carew is unavaialble through injury as I fear he could get in amongst a likely pairing of Caldwell and Weir.

    For the sake of generating some debate how about a team along the lines of:


    Gordon

    Robson
    Caldwell
    Weir
    Broadfoot

    Brown
    Fletcher
    Maloney

    McFadden
    Boyd
    Fletcher

    Might seem a bit gung-ho and I am a bit worried about the defence, I would like to see Broadfoot given another run out even though many have questuioned his ability. Darren Barr could come in a do a decent job and hartley would feel unlucky to miss out again.

    But we do have some really creative players in Fletcher, Maloney and McFadden. We are about 20 places above the Norwegioans in terms of rank and must really go for a good attacking performance.

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  • 14. At 5:06pm on 07 Oct 2008, jerseytrueblue wrote:

    Chick, Hows about getting behind the team for once instead of all these negative vibes.
    I'm sure the boys who pull on the blue jersey on Saturday will know exactly whats expected of them, so come on some positive comments please.

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  • 15. At 5:06pm on 07 Oct 2008, markrp wrote:

    Yes Chick, you're right, it was a great result for the Buddies at the weekend, wasn't it? What? Eh? Oh.

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  • 16. At 5:17pm on 07 Oct 2008, IvanGolacIsMagic - Save 606 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 17. At 5:21pm on 07 Oct 2008, RostaCocoa wrote:

    Mr. Young,

    I've always loved your articles but lately they have just been full of metaphors, etc. that sound so stupid when you have ten of them in a row..

    Why so negative??? They haven't been doing that bad at all...your english right?? So BBC, how about you get this guy out and someone that will be behind the time..

    This is one fo the worst articles i've ever read...

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  • 18. At 5:30pm on 07 Oct 2008, dwmacleod wrote:

    Chick

    you generally come across as likeable, but your should really do just a wee bit of research before you make such mindbogglingly daft comments. We got more points at home than Italy or England in the last qualifying campaign, 15/18, including beating the world cup runners up and quarterfinalists. We would have had adraw against the world champions as well if it hadn't been for a ridiculous refereeing decision.

    I know it's not really a common journalistic tread for scottish sports reporters, but there are these things called 'facts' that you might wnt to find out about sometime

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  • 19. At 5:31pm on 07 Oct 2008, blowup doll wrote:

    Another week - another blog from Chic.

    The wit, the insightfulness, the balanced opinion - all missing yet again. How do you manage to maintain this level of consistency?

    Chic I salute you - how you manage to make a living at sports journalism is a wonder of the modern age.

    Standards have certainly fallen in our national game - I'd argue its far more obvious in the pressbox than out on the pitch. And you sir are the standard bearer.

    Regards - a happy licence fee payer

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  • 20. At 5:33pm on 07 Oct 2008, ....and surely that's great news for the rest of scottish football. wrote:

    Big improvement on the previous stuff you've written in the last few weeks chic, so fair do's on that. However, it still smacks of thrown together in 2 minutes with the only concern being reaching the word target.

    As virtually every other poster has pointed out, it's not our home record that's the problem, as even the smallest bit of research would have shown.

    I'm reasonably confident of a win, as Norway seem to have more problems than ourselves in recent years, and aren't the team they were 12 years ago or so. Having said that, I'd be more confident if we had Hutton at right back instead of Broadfoot, although given the sort of football that Norway are likely to play, a 6ft 3" right back might be just what we need!

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  • 21. At 5:55pm on 07 Oct 2008, boomshakalak wrote:

    hahaha - scottish football

    i love the way that people even comment on this stuff....

    hahaha

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  • 22. At 5:57pm on 07 Oct 2008, RubberNutz wrote:

    Crikey, Looks like you've started to accept you're not going to South Africa!

    Come on, even south of the border we have started to feel optimistic and our lot couldn't string a couple of passes together 2 matches ago.

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  • 23. At 6:06pm on 07 Oct 2008, AB1987 wrote:

    Boomshakalak-

    People comment on this blog as we are passionate about our football which brings the country together as 1.

    If you look at the FIFA world rankings you will see Scotland up there with the best.

    Our achievements (beating France home and away etc.) are always overshadowed by England's poor performances by overpaid individuals.

    You clearly lack any knowledge regarding football and it is evident that Scottish football is on the up.

    Get off your high horse and stop living in 66.

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  • 24. At 6:22pm on 07 Oct 2008, scotbot wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 25. At 6:56pm on 07 Oct 2008, 9thlegion wrote:

    What about Billy Mehmet for the CF role? After the roasting he gave Bagheera and Weird on Sunday, I thought a Buddies man like yourself would be punting for him!
    Och well, mibbees naw.

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  • 26. At 7:23pm on 07 Oct 2008, gypsysurfer wrote:

    Come on Chick. your always doom and gloom. We might as well enjoy it, and who cares if we go out. At the end of the day - FOOTBALL DOESN'T MATTER!

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  • 27. At 7:48pm on 07 Oct 2008, aberfeldybroon wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 28. At 8:12pm on 07 Oct 2008, boomshakalak wrote:

    23 / AB1987 - and anyone else i may have offended - i am sorry... i was in a particularly mischievous mood and knew that comment would get a bite... so thanks for biting for me.. i love a bit of friendly banter with you scots.

    for what it is worth i wish you lot all the best and think that the world cup will be a better specticle with you guys there!

    I understand why you may have been a bit narky with me and hence the i know nothing about football comment... but i'm certainly not a 1966 reveller nor do i think England are a genuine world superpower because we won the world cup 42 years ago...

    however, all that said, I am sure that you would agree that it is only fair and logical, i view scottish football in the same way as you probably view football in the Faroe Islands :)

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  • 29. At 9:39pm on 07 Oct 2008, killahtron wrote:

    Chick! Stop trying to Wordsworth your articles.

    You are a Scot are you not? Rangers fan I forget, could be wrong

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  • 30. At 9:44pm on 07 Oct 2008, Boogie Bear wrote:

    "What about Billy Mehmet for the CF role?"

    Billy is a Republic of Ireland under-21 international so that's a bit unlikely.

    Can't see Burley being as gung-ho as Chico suggests. But I think he's right that this is a must-win game. This isn't the greatest Norway side ever (especially if Carew's out) so we should have a good chance of doing it. We'll see....

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  • 31. At 10:22pm on 07 Oct 2008, rs wrote:

    i think scotlands world cup dream was over when walter smith left!

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  • 32. At 10:23pm on 07 Oct 2008, howden-end wrote:

    15 out of a possible 18 points last campaign, with two world cup quarter finalists failing to take a win. Even the form team in Europe at the time could only get a 1-1 draw here. Yes Chick, terrible home form.

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  • 33. At 10:26pm on 07 Oct 2008, harisafari wrote:

    I agree with those who have previously submitted comments to this awful "article". Time for Chic to go- please get someone in who will write something insightful, informative, and who has obviously done some homework or research into what he or she is writing about. Maybe someone who decides how our Licence Fee is spent should also take some time out to tell Chic that putting his team suggestions forward will not be as well received as they are when he is playing Championship Manager on his own. Or, at least explain to Chic that he should back his suggested team line-up with reasons why they would be good tactically, rather than just trying to brain-wash his readers by telling us that Uncle George would be using a "maverick"or a "licence to thrill". Get real Chic!

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  • 34. At 03:47am on 08 Oct 2008, NeilG42 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 35. At 07:17am on 08 Oct 2008, NeilG42 wrote:

    Chick why don't you refrain from comments if you can't get your facts right, as others have said with the exception of Italy (World Champions) the last defeat at Hapden was in 2005. Hardly giving away the points is it ?? Love to see how you respond to being found so wrong in what you posted.

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  • 36. At 07:18am on 08 Oct 2008, Iain wrote:

    Guys, I think it's pretty clear that Chick thinks we're going to win and has produced this negative blog as an anti-jinx measure. At least I hope so.

    'mon Scotland!

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  • 37. At 08:16am on 08 Oct 2008, storrie wrote:

    Does anyone find Chick Young enlightening or even remotely interesting?!? Yet again completely negative mundane drivel, the BBC should be accountable for spending my licence fee on this tosh

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  • 38. At 08:24am on 08 Oct 2008, SugarDunkerton wrote:

    Am I in the minority or do most Scottish fans have the blinkers on and dont realise that James McFadden is a luxury player that a team like Scotland cant accommodate??

    He is slow, ball greedy and is neither striker, winger or midfielder. This type of player is fine when you have a World Class striker up front on his own to play off... i.e Van Persie to Adebayor.... etc... I think the sooner we stop re-living the wonderful long range goals from past games and move on the better... He strikes from distance because he doesnt have the pace to go by players. Also remember this is a player who seems to play when he wants which is not good for team spirit. He struggled massively at Everton and is now in danger of doing so at a club in the division below.

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  • 39. At 08:36am on 08 Oct 2008, SHABBA1888 wrote:

    ZZzzzzzzzzzzz

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  • 40. At 09:06am on 08 Oct 2008, shaftpar wrote:

    What is the point of this article? To make the nation feel as depressed and low as you.
    It's pretty clear form all of your blogs that you know nothing about football.

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  • 41. At 09:24am on 08 Oct 2008, Kenny263 wrote:

    38. At 08:24am on 08 Oct 2008, SugarDunkerton wrote:
    Am I in the minority or do most Scottish fans have the blinkers on and dont realise that James McFadden is a luxury player that a team like Scotland cant accommodate??

    I completely agree. Time Mcfadden stopped living on his goal in Paris. To me, he's not a 90 minute player and was so ball greedy in the NI game.

    Put him on the bench and if it's 0-0 after 60 mins put him on to see if he can strill be an 'impact' player

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  • 42. At 09:33am on 08 Oct 2008, IGM wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 43. At 11:21am on 08 Oct 2008, stevieeng34 wrote:

    Englishman just browsing various articles.

    I find it rather odd that Chick criticises Scotland's home record when it is actually excellent in recent times (better than ours!).

    Surely if you want to criticise Scottish football then comments around their ability to perform excellently (often resulting in wins) against strong teams, before a predictable collapse against lesser teams in the next game.

    That is about as inevitable as my team losing on a penalty shoot out.

    Anyhow good luck V Norway, i m off to nose in on another thread that I have no right to contribute to.

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  • 44. At 11:33am on 08 Oct 2008, ita_bhoyeee wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 45. At 11:53am on 08 Oct 2008, DPanna wrote:

    When was Hampden ever a "fortress" where visiting teams were "savaged"??

    The notion Scotland have ever been anything but an average or slightly below team in world football is a joke.

    Scottish fans must live on another planet to the rest of us, the same one where Scotland were a favourite to win the 1978 world cup!! :-D

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  • 46. At 11:53am on 08 Oct 2008, lone ranger wrote:

    have you just learnt how to post links or something?

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  • 47. At 12:06pm on 08 Oct 2008, Sandwich Q. Grande wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 48. At 12:48pm on 08 Oct 2008, Colin The Red wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 49. At 3:52pm on 08 Oct 2008, Marchitect wrote:

    Chic your attempts at journalism make me want to vomit in disgust.

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  • 50. At 4:45pm on 08 Oct 2008, champman1505 wrote:

    Burley needs to get a hold of himself and get rid of some of the pensioners in the team i.e. Alexander and Weir and whoever else falls into that category.
    We have a good crop of younger guys that can come in and do just as good a job. Either way, the older players are hardly likely to still be playing if we make it all the way through to 2010 so what is the value in having them there right now? Experience? Pointless if you ask me. If we are building a team for the future then we should dispose of the garbage especially Graham Alexander.

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  • 51. At 5:36pm on 08 Oct 2008, artshade wrote:

    how many games have scotland lost at hamden recently then, chick?
    italy in the last qualifiers.

    i hate the bashing. get behind the boys. idiot.

    incidentaly - it was my dad who gave him his first proper job - the interview was at butlins as chick scurried out of a bedroom window to make it.

    lets see the bbc print this then

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  • 52. At 8:16pm on 08 Oct 2008, SirEdmund89 wrote:

    'Sadly, these days it is renowned for its hospitality to visiting nations. "Come away in and enjoy yourselves. And here's a point or three to take home with you."

    Did we not take 15 from 18 points in our last qualifying campaign at Hampden? Hardly giving away points.

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  • 53. At 9:10pm on 08 Oct 2008, norriemaclean wrote:

    Chick - you are going to have to sort this out. Poor Marchitect has been vomiting for at least week thanks to your blogs.

    Any chance that someone in the editorial team can get Charles on the blog and at least enter the debate in some fashion!

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  • 54. At 09:34am on 09 Oct 2008, King-Dion wrote:

    The only way teams like Scotland and Wales (and to a lesser degree England) will again flourish in international competitions is to revert to previous selection processes. There was a time when the World Cup was made up of teams from Europe and South America, with perhaps one or two from non footballing or third world countries. Had those rules remained the same, then Scotland would very probably still have a better than a 50/50 chance of qualifying for the World Cup.

    Another factor is that the top English teams always included a handful of top Scottish players who made up most of the Scottish international team. Now the English clubs buy third world players (as do Rangers and Celtic) and the lack of quality available to George Burley cannot be denied. Alas, the world has moved on and Chic Young is probably correct in his analysis. Not a palatable truth perhaps, but a realistic analysis.

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  • 55. At 11:01am on 09 Oct 2008, jim_fix wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 56. At 11:13am on 09 Oct 2008, PneRed wrote:

    I'll be cheering on the boys from my home in Bolton.Doesn't matter how good or bad we play for as soon as The Flower Of Scotland pumps out my hairs stand on end and it makes me proud to be Scottish.Trying to convert my English son but no joy.

    C'MON SCOTLAND

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  • 57. At 1:28pm on 09 Oct 2008, jwn007 wrote:

    Chick,

    I must congratulate you on another 'world beater' article.
    I do believe that the beginning of this article is not merely showing that you have been reporting on Scottish football for 40 years, but that it has also seen you lose any real sense of reality. Hampden was 'once a fortress'? In the many years I have watched Scottish football there has not been a period where Hampbden was a 'fortress' due to unneccessary draws and erratic home defeats...that is, until the last campaign. Scotland recorded a victory against France (when they were arguably the world's best), Ukraine (a team with many stars playing in the top leagues) and also tough opposition such as Lithuania and Georgia (a lot more difficult than 10 years ago). Our defeat to Italy was partly due to pressure and partly due to the referees desparate for their pay cheques saying to the Italian team, "Come away in and enjoy yourselves. And here's a point or three to take home with you."
    In reference to that last quote, now in its 'Blog' context, I must say this was a masterpiece. Regarding our last Euro qualifying campaign: The passionate singing and roaring of the Scottish fans, which is surely a 12th player for the big games, the attacking 'punching above your weight' football that we have since re-discovered, and the hope of qualification in what had to be the 'Group of Death'. Oh no, that was all in my head! What was really going on was Scotland inviting teams to dominate and collect the points...hmm...

    Also, your negativity about the outcome of this game at Hampbden is ludicrous at best. If Scotland DRAW the game it is NOT OVER! Norway DREW at home to Iceland, Macedonia LOST at home Holland, Iceland LOST at home to SCOTLAND! To suggest that it would be over if we did not win is insanity personified. Scotland will likely acheieve second place even if they continue to play badly - there isn't another team good enough to play the level required for that position. Rest assured, Scotland will not take such a farsical statement as truth if they do fail to win.

    Finally my dear friend, your negativity rather startles me. I do recall that last year you exclaimed that you would 'cycle to Austria/Switzerland' if Scotland DO NOT qualify! I am sure you enjoyed that ride. However, going from being 'over the top' full of enthusiasm to the ramblings of a cynic seems like too much of a jump. You are suggesting that our three points thus far was lucky and seemingly unacceptable. Scotland do have a new Manager and they are showing signs of promise - how about focussing on some of the good factors about the progress and hopes of the Nation?

    Nevertheless, I must give you credit for making your blog as dramatic as possible. 'It's them or us' - as I stated earlier, this is not true on our part, and certainly a Norwegian draw would be no problem for them. It is 'just another qualifier' and will not make or break the group. Holland will win this group in style, and Scotland will come lagging in 2nd place, win or draw on Saturday.

    As it happens, I believe victory will be ours :) !

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  • 58. At 9:20pm on 09 Oct 2008, charlyb2 wrote:

    Chick, the World Cup qualification was lost as soon as we lost to Macedonia!

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  • 59. At 4:05pm on 11 Oct 2008, QatarBhoy wrote:

    "The loss through injury of Kenny Miller is a major blow" - this is rather disingenuous given that according to Walter Smith himself, "[Miller] has a problem at the top of his hamstring and he has had that for a few weeks now". The timing of Miller's withdrawal is not because of recent injury but because he is having injections - convenient timing for Rangers, but not for Scotland (rather as it was inconvenient for Scotland to lose Smith as national manager when Rangers wanted him back after all).

    Now that's out of the way, could someone direct me to Chick's blog about St Mirren's home win over Rangers? As a renowned Buddies fan, I'm sure Chick has some interesting insights to offer on the end of 22 years of home defeats to the Gers.

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