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At least Scotland’s women know how to play football

4 14 82

In Scotland, the failure of our international squad to qualify for major football tournaments is as inevitable as death and taxes. A 2-2 draw in Slovenia last October saw Scotland maintain its exceptional record of successfully avoiding the final stages of global competitions. When the World Cup commences in Russia this summer, 20 years will have elapsed since Scotland last competed at the business end of a serious football tournament. An entire generation of Scots now dreams about the World Cup as the Israelites once dreamt of the promised land.

Our international millionaire footballers are adept at discovering new ways of body-swerving World Cups and European Championships. Last year, Scotland took it to the wire and were actually less than 90 minutes away from qualifying for Russia 2018 when they took an early lead in Slovenia. That goal was scored by Leigh Griffiths, the nation’s most deadly finisher.

Inexplicably though, the Scotland manager chose to omit Griffiths from the crucial early games of the qualifying stage. Thus a fresh way had been discovered to ensure non-qualification. Previous attempts at qualifying had foundered on traditional Scottish failings such as tactical ineptitude, managerial favouritism, rank incompetence and our eternal absence of basic skills. Now we were courageously defying the international footballing convention that dictates you always field your best striker.

While our men’s team slipped out of the side door of international football, it was left to our women’s team to remind the nation what a........

© The Guardian