Discipline and confidence needed
SIR, – If by “genetics” Gordon Strachan actually means we just don’t have enough footballers who, from birth, were well fed, well behaved, disciplined and motivated, I think he is spot on. The problems of Scottish football are a metaphor for Scotland.
Our education system is in crisis. Our health, and health system, is in crisis. We have a mental health crisis. And we have a skills crisis.
In 1967 Celtic won the European Cup, Rangers lost in the Final of the Cup Winners Cup, Kilmarnock were in the semi-final of the Fairs Cup and Scotland famously destroyed world champions England. All were full of young men from poor backgrounds.
The current squad has a lot of good players, big and small, well brought up, and they and their manager did their best. Our society has a lot of good, skilled people. But to produce a Baxter, Law, Johnstone, Bremner, Logie Baird, Clerk-Maxwell or Watson-Watt requires a bigger pool of talent.
The demise of Scottish football is the demise of Scotland. The big difference between Scottish players and genetically similar Germans, Lithuanians or Slovenians is not their size, it’s their lifestyle, discipline and the confidence that gives.
Allan Sutherland, Willow Row,