Dis­ci­pline and con­fi­dence needed

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - FEATURES -

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,

Stone­haven

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