Brown: Scots would have at least matched Eng­land

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - World Cup -

CRAIG Brown claims Scot­land would have pro­gressed at least as far as Eng­land at the World Cup if they had qual­i­fied for the tour­na­ment this sum­mer.

But the for­mer Scot­land man­ager says Eng­land’s fail­ure to live up to ex­pec­ta­tions and at least qual­ify for the quar­ter-fi­nal stage had noth­ing to do with lack of qual­ity.

The vet­eran boss be­lieves bore­dom and de­pres­sion - and ul­ti­mately not hav­ing an English­man at the helm - were con­tribut­ing fac­tors in their early re­turn from South Africa.

Brown - the last man­ager to take the Scots to a ma­jor fi­nals - said: “Hav­ing seen the Eng­land games, I be­lieve had Scot­land been there, we would have done at least as well with the team we have at the moment and the man­ager we have.

“Eng­land un­der-achieved with the qual­ity of play­ers they’ve got. The rea­sons for that are dif­fi­cult to de­ter­mine.

“I was work­ing for Al-Jazeera in Qatar and the staff there were all very close to the Eng­land camp, guys like David Platt, Tim Sher­wood, Ray Wilkins, Sam Al­lardyce and Trevor Francis and I think the play­ers were quite con­strained.

“They were put in their rooms in the af­ter­noon to watch tele­vi­sion or to have a rest, which is an Ital­ian method of op­er­at­ing. They were in sin­gle rooms and I think they were a bit bored and de­pressed.

“It’s not a magic for­mula to say pair them in rooms and give them some free time in the af­ter­noon - that’s too sim­ple.

“But I worked with Alex Fer­gu­son in Mex­ico at the World Cup and Alex was at pains to en­sure there was good ca­ma­raderie and ac­tiv­i­ties for the play­ers.”

Scot­land briefly flirted with the idea of a for­eign coach but quickly re­turned to home-grown man­agers fol­low­ing Berti Vogts’ ill-fated spell in charge - a sys­tem ev­ery na­tional team should stick to, ac­cord­ing to Brown.

“There is a dif­fer­ent psy­che be­tween an Ital­ian player and an English player,” he said.

“I gen­uinely think the coach of the na­tional team should have the same na­tion­al­ity as the play­ers.

“That’s not the rule so it doesn’t hap­pen but it would be log­i­cal that the Eng­land team has an English coach. The English coach knows the psy­che of the English play­ers bet­ter than a for­eign coach.”

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