Scotland – A Case of Football Bunk

19 Oct

Some teams are forever rubbish. Their hopes are in the trash; they are always in the trash. They get dumped from every tournament routinely. They exist to make up the numbers, goal-scoring practice for opponents. The nose of defeat means nothing to them. The senses are numbed. They’ll never smell the roses, never be handed flowers by natives on their arrival for a World Cup Finals.

But what of countries that once saw themselves as contenders, indeed contributors to the soccer platform? Take a nation like Scotland. In the seventies, Scotland had a spot at the top table, when the World Cup Finals hosted only sixteen countries. The fiery Scots were feared, they were trouble; they fought like lions. They lived next door to the English and this made them madder. In celebration, their fans drank more than the rest of the countries combined and they sang louder than anyone else.  A World Cup without Scotland was unthinkable.

Now a World Cup with Scotland is unthinkable. The fire is gone, the lion meows, the next-door neighbor laughs at them and the fans drink more than the other countries combined to drown their sorrows. As for their songs, a sad lament of dirges and desperation accompany the disharmony. The tattered Tartan Army sings, We’ll Walk a Million Miles for One of Your Goals, oh Scotland. Try two million.  It’s never going to happen.

Scotland is already out of the running for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. They have been out of the running for World Cups since 1998. For this is not a soccer problem but one of the spirit and the mind. Lay them down on the psychiatrist’s couch and take a blood sample. The lab results are in – years of overdosing on downer coaches feeding the once proud lion a diet of depressant tactics and fear of everything. The current depressor (he’s facing the axe) actually fielded a team without one striker. Talk about sending a message of hopeless, low self-esteem.

So, what therapeutic remedy is available for a soccer casualty like Scotland? Happy pills! Happy, happy, happy pills! And the fans can have some too.

First of all, accept the fact that you are rubbish. Then field seven attackers and three defenders. Throw caution out with the depressants. Go for it! Fly at the opponents and their carefully structured strategy. What a surprise they will get! We thought Scotland was a bunch of miserable defensive losers, they will say, but look at them throw everything into attack with smiles upon their faces.

And what does Scotland have to lose? Nothing. It’s all been lost already! As for the fans – give up singing that pathetic drone called Flower of Scotland – When will we see your likes again? Never! Good! Live in the present, not the past. Sing Bay City Rollers songs instead, something happy and cheery and not so ponderously glum. Now watch Scotland win a few games.

The next Scotland boss (appointment to be made imminently) should be psychiatrically evaluated. Not to discover why anyone should ever be so crazy to accept a road to nowhere but whether he can bring levity and happiness and attacking at all costs. Kill the meow and make the lion roar again. Listen! The neighbor has stopped laughing. And the fans are singing Easy! Easy!

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