Scotland should withdraw from international football for a couple of years to allow new coaches and managers to reconstruct our game without the constant humiliations which are being visited upon the team at the moment. A period without pressure and the constant gaze of a football press who are a laughing stock would be a welcome break. I'm sure some of the players cringe when they read the drivel churned out by ex players and coaches like Hately, Henry, Dodds, McLeod, Walker, McLean, Provan etc. and so called experts like Keevins, Traynor and the doyen of them all the odious Bill Leckie. Thank god for Archie McPherson almost in his dotage and still head and shoulders above this self serving rabble, they should be forced to listen to people like David Pleat, Joe Royle and Gerry Armstrong before uttering another word. These self appointed experts would not be allowed anywhere near a word processor if they weren't ex footballers and I strongly suspect they get paid for putting their names to wretched articles by tabloid journalists who are somewhere below slave traders in the decency pecking order.
As far as last night's game was concerned I watched it with a mixture of resigned sadness and delight at the play of the Spaniards how do you go about measuring the gulf between them? Surprisingly the only Scottish player who would not have looked out of place in a Spanish strip was Bannan who is a relative newcomer. He is very quick and very skilful with a lovely left foot but most significantly he is clever he seems to know what move to make and when to make it, unlike most of his team mates he is happy to take the ball in tight situations even against Spain, that's a sign of good technique and self confidence, a very impressive player. He is very small by today's standards but so are about 5/6 of the Spaniards and Barcelona don't have any giants in their team but they are easily the best team in the world at the moment.
At my age I have seen some great sporting champions and some great sports teams and I am delighted to be able to say that some of the people I am seeing now are as good if not better than some of the giants of the past, judge for yourself. Charlton was better than Di Stefano and Maradona was better than Pele and Messi is better than any of them. In boxing the greatest! was Ali and I never thought I could possibly see better but the Phillipino world champion Manny Pacquiao , is the best pound for pound boxer I have ever seen and that includes Sugar Ray Robinson as well as Ali. I never thought I would see a better tennis player than Rod Laver and then I saw McEnroe and changed my mind and then I saw Federer and changed it again. I saw the great Valeriy Borzov and then American black power demonstrator Tommy Smith both of whom would only ever see Usain Bolt's rear as he ran away from them with ease. Scotland might produce players like Bremner, Baxter and Jimmy Johnstone again but I can't see at the moment where they will come from our two biggest clubs Celtic and Rangers have one young home grown player each in their regular starting teams Gregg Wylde and James Forrest, Celtic and Rangers won European trophies with all their players home grown as did Aberdeen, it's going to be a long way back if we ever do get back.