Scotland’s lack of belief, and not just at international level

The fall out continues from Scotland’s disastrous attempt at making an impact at Euro 2024.

Hopes were high of a place in the knockout stages for the first time ever.

But like many Scotland sides before them, they crashed out with a whimper and let themselves down when they are capable of so much more.

This is not a new thing, not at international level or indeed club level when it comes to our nation’s record in the beautiful game. Better Scotland sides in the past, much more talented than the current squad have failed to achieve the holy grail that is the knockout stages.

It’s often put down to bad luck, but there’s far more than to it than that, not that we want to admit it. Whether that’s in international qualifiers, major tournaments, or on the European front at club level we are used to failure, and what’s worse we seem to accept it. I include our own club, Celtic in that.

One reason why we continue to fail is our lack of self belief. We lack the confidence that other nations have in abundance, yes it helps to have more talented players, but it hasn’t stopped other nations from doing themselves proud on the big stage.

Teams like Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Wales have shown in recent years on the international stage that a lack of quality can be countered with sheer belief and determination. While at club level teams from nations ranked lower than ours have shown they have no problem competing and advancing on the big stage.

Then there are countries like Croatia, Denmark and Switzerland who all have similar populations as ourselves, yet are no strangers to making the latter stages of major tournaments. They also have an unbelievable pool of talented players who ply their trade with top sides all throughout Europe, and that is down to grassroots. Although that’s an entirely different argument altogether.

The honest truth is that a big part of our repeated failures is that we don’t believe in ourselves. We are often told that we are beneath the big nations and sadly we let ourselves believe that and seem to accept it.

The time has come to admit that we have a severe inferiority complex, and the only way to fix that is to face it head on and start believing in ourselves on the pitch. Only then will be able to better ourselves on the international or European stages.

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.

1 Comment

  1. Not sure 😊 can agree with all that. All those supposed hundreds of thousands of Scotland supporters “Tartan Army” think we are fantastic
    Our media built them and their management team up despite it being obvious we have a poor squad. Comes down to leadership and players.
    How many of the Scotland squad would you spend big money on this window to have them at Celtic.
    Even Calmac struggled alongside the rest of a poor midfield . The manager is dull in his manner and approach to games.,- lacks in personality and decent manners.
    We can certainly be more positive and back what we do have – but there is a huge lack of genuine young talent in the Scottish game – change should start there. Let’s consider Celtic.
    We are the biggest and most successful club in the country – and have bigger infrastructure and support than many EPL teams -but our youth and development is only responsible for two over 30s and two honest decent full backs in n th Scotland squad. You might add McGinn and Hickey to that ,- but we let them go. Tierney is as success story ,- mostly – but think he’s the last one for us.
    We must spend a fortune on all those development facilities, coaches, expenses , strips , coaches jackets 😃etc c – for what ? When O’Dea, McManus and all the rest of them have their annual performance reviews how have they measured up to targets ? No new players actively involved in the first team, no goalkeeper to take even 3rd spot ? Middle of the table in the Lowland League and nowhere in the shadow Champion’s
    League !
    We then have go to likes of Argentina and Canada even for full backs. Development side should have clear measurable targets – minimum number of players earning minimum number of first team appearances – for us and national under age teams.
    Imagine the research and development teams at Apple or M &S at the end of the year having come up with hee haw to compete against market rivals ! P45s ahoy.
    Be stronger in getting rid of wage thieves like McArthy, Siegrist, Vata etc , plus the other deadwood.
    Cut the number of Celtic academy players from, say, u17 on , to a group that can have structured coaching as a manageable group and not working with multiple coaches and different approaches. Push for a summer league for u21 senior teams in Scotland or wider. Might get some tv coverage or local interest.
    For all the heavy stick our board get their parsimony I think they can point at results and finances and pass their reviews -= the big area they fail to measure up to expectations is the return they get in investment in development.
    So if Celtic aren’t doing it why aren’t other clubs in Scotland doing it either. They have a perverse advantage in having a smaller infrastructure and less budget to waste so have to be more focused around a smaller pool. It may be that they, in the end, lose their good players but perhaps after a minimum contract term and for more money to reinvest. Don’t think there is any physical or psychological reasons a boy from Croatia, Switzerland, Denmark should be better than a Scottish game one. It’s how they are developed and I think less is more. Lots of games, maybe on smaller pitches and more opportunities to play in first team games. Finally can anyone say what fundamentally is different between clubs and young footballers from the Quality Street Gang days and now? Sounds like misty eyed nostalgia for far off days.😧 But ! Most of the bad stuff has gone – abuse, extended contracts, bigotry – why can’t we spot obvious o/S players who we develop and give an opportunity in the first team. I’d like to think that there is a plan in place to replace Hart, McGregor, Forrest etc.