March 28, 2013

Youth is the Future For Scotland

Hand's up if your think the Scotland team is heading in the right direction, yup, me neither.

Scotland Men's National Team suffered another defeat on Tuesday evening, this time at the hands of the might of Serbia giving us the worst ever run of matches without a victory. Seven games to be precise, a feat that has never happened to the Scotland National Team so who still thinks that the game doesn't need overhauled at professional level. Oh wait, is that 12 hands in the form of SPL chairmen I see?

For those of you who get out regular to watch youth football as I do, you will know that football at our more professional sides youth teams are all heading in the right direction with coaching and development allowing our young players to flourish and prosper but when it comes to making the step up to senior level, they are asked to sometimes play a style of football that is foreign to them and completely opposite to what they are being taught at the youth level.

You just need to look at our Scotland youth teams, in March our record looks like this:

U21 v Luxembourg Euros 3-0 WIN
U15 v Russia 0-0 DRAW
U15 v Italy 2-2 DRAW
U15 v Germany 2-0 LOSS
U19 v Sweden 3-2 WIN

Two victories, 2 draws and only the one loss for our young men.

The women's sides have also been showing the men's National team how to do it:

WNT v Netherlands Cyprus Cup 1-0 WIN
WNT v Italy Cyprus Cup 2-1 WIN
WNT v England Cyprus Cup 4-4 DRAW
WNT v New Zealand Cyprus Cup 1-0 LOSS
U19 v Italy La Manga 7-3 WIN
U19 v Iceland La Manga 4-4 DRAW
U19 v England La Manga 2-1 WIN

Four victories, two draws and only one defeat in March.

So what's going wrong with the senior men's team?

Continually sticking with senior players when things are going wrong seems to be a common factor and when the rest of Scotland is calling for wholesale change, the powers decide otherwise.

Give our younger players a chance to shine, what harm can come from it? They are doing the business at the younger levels and let's face it, the team that currently play in the senior squad are just simply not up to the job. Seven games without a victory tells you that.

Since Fridays defeat by Wales demolished our fading hopes of Brazil qualification, our 'expert' football radio hosts have been beating down the idea that bringing in new faces such as Dundee United duo Johnny Russell & Gary Mackay-Steven would be the wrong thing to do as we move forward. Bringing new faces in would somehow damage our reputation as a footballing nation.

I've got news for you, not exactly startling news but as a nation at the top level, we are no longer in the upper echelons on football on the world stage anymore.

If this isn't the time to refresh and revitalise the team, there will never be a time.

Forget about the co-efficient for the time being in order for us to stay in pot four, forget about players losing confidence if we lose any more games - they won't if we play the right players with the heart and desire we expect. As long as the future looks brighter for the Tartan Army, and the players appear to be giving their all during the matches, we would see that changes are being made to improve the eventual level of performance.

The current players are simply not good enough to help the cause of the Nation. When we lose a goal at the moment, the players lose heart and look dejected. Simply put, they lack confidence in themselves as a team unit and until new, fresh blood is brought in that oozes confidence and a gallas swagger, we will not move forward.

More losses may be accrued in the coming years to come and if the rot isn't stopped now, we will be asking the same question again.

There is also the argument for summer football in Scotland. Many questionable pundits claim that only the worlds footballing minnows play summer football and the top nations leave that time free to play in major championships. HELLO! It's now been 15 years since we qualified for a major summer competition and things don't look bright that we ever will for the foreseeable future and there in lies the reason behind bringing in summer football.

It would help increase our level of play at all levels from grassroots up to national level and would also increase our top tier teams preparedness for European competition. All roads lead to National level football although it's the senior team that seems to suffer the most from weak performances so lets do something about it now.

I would accept further defeats if the long term prognosis looked to be on the rise. Let's look at the long term instead of the short term, the youth teams all perform well so let's give them a chance. The U21s all play regular top team football so there's no excuse not to play them.

Let's give youth a chance, what have we got to lose?

Marc Roseblade is a Contributor for Examiner.com, Football Speak, Global Football Today, 90 Soccer, Yardbarker, OurGameMagazine and various online & published sports outlets across the globe. All quotes are obtained first-hand unless otherwise stated. You can follow Marc on Twitter @myscottishfitba

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