GLF 74: GB looks at the performance of our teams in Uefa competitions.
SCOTLAND IN EUROPE
This season has obviously been a bit of a disaster in Europe, although I think you could maybe excuse the three diddy teams who made it through.
All three suffered a degree of turmoil in the summer, particularly at Fir Park, with almost a whole team leaving along with the manager and his assistant. Then the new manager taking over four days before our first tie and therefore it maybe wasn’t a surprise we lost.
After Rangers lost to Stuttgart at home I heard a stat on BBC Scotland where they said Scottish teams had won only five games at that stage. I was please to say we had won two of them…..
Then they went on to say they had only scored 25 goals, once again we managed to supply 12 of them with 8 in one game against Flamurtari, of course.
I then had a look at the Champions League group tables and who was bottom of the groups (after five games) and I think Scotland is no worse off than countries of a similar size and status in Europe.
The teams come from; Israel, Turkey, Switzerland, Cyprus, Hungary, Ukraine and Holland.
I am sure we would be delighted to be in the company of these countries.
Group A – Maccabi Tel Aviv – 0 points
Group B – Besiktas – 4 points
Group C – FC Zurich – 3 points
Group D – Apoel Nicosi – 3 points
Group E – Debrecen – 0 points
Group F – Dynamo Kiev – 5 points
Group G – Rangers – 2 points
Group H – AZ Alkmaar – 3 points
Interestingly the teams at the top of each group came from only four countries, France England, Spain and Italy, with Germany and Romania sneaking into the second place spots.
The next step was to look at the seeding groups for the Euro 2012 competition and once again even though we are third seeds I am not sure that as a country we should expect to be much higher….
Pot 1: Spain (holders), Germany, Netherlands, Italy, England, Croatia, Portugal, France, Russia
Pot 2: Greece, Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, Serbia, Turkey, Denmark, Slovakia, Romania
Pot 3: Israel, Bulgaria, Finland, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Pot 4: Slovenia, Latvia, Hungary, Lithuania, Belarus, Belgium, Wales, FYR Macedonia, Cyprus
Pot 5: Montenegro, Albania, Estonia, Georgia, Moldova, Iceland, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein
Pot 6: Azerbaijan, Luxembourg, Malta, Faroe Islands, Andorra, San Marino
I guess you could argue we deserve to be in pot 2 but that we haven’t slumped far enough to be in pot 4. We are in beside Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland who many told us had good qualification campaigns for the World Cup (by the way, they are staying at home the same as us).
After all this rambling what does this tell us, I think it shows we are performing at the level Scotland can expect to perform at given we have a market place of only about 5 million people. As a result we cannot support the TV money that can be generated in the top four countries and Russia.
Maybe we need to accept the glory days of a team winning the European Cup with the players coming from approx 12 miles from the home ground are long gone.
Until we are comfortable living with ourselves and seeing ourselves for what we are will struggle to come to terms with our current status in World and European Football.
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