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Saturday, 7 September, 2002, 18:11 GMT 19:11 UK
Things can only get better
Christian Dailly and Stephen Crainey troop off
Christian Dailly and Stephen Crainey troop off

Word from the Faroe Islands has it that the Tartan Army are to adopt the New Labour theme tune.

Things can only get better. Surely.

Berti Vogts would have done any politician proud after the game, remaining inscrutable in the face of journalists' questions by replying with incomprehensible answers.

He would admit only that 2-2 was a "real result" for both teams, whatever that means.

The German also rewrote history by asking us to forget the five previous friendly results, which all ended in defeat, some more embarrassing than others.

None, however, was as embarrassing as the going over in Toftir by a team comprising teachers, electricians, carpenters, students, a postman, and one full-time football player.

Barry Ferguson said after the game that there had been some positive aspects from the second-half performance, but, in reality, it is difficult to ascertain exactly what they were.

True, Scotland came back from two goals down, but, firstly, they should not have been two down to the Faroes and, secondly, the Islanders still had several chances to win the game after Ferguson's equaliser.

Scotland's defensive play was truly awful. The two young fullbacks, Maurice Ross and Stephen Crainey, can be excused to a certain extent, with their inexperience at international level not aided by their lack of first team games at domestic level.

Christian Dailly and David Weir cannot use the same excuses.

These experienced international defenders play week in, week out in the English Premiership against some of the world's top strikers, yet they failed miserably to cope with the ever-eager Faroes strikeforce.

Vogts said prior to the game that he would be looking for goals and, true to his word, he played two attacking players in the wide positions.

Paul Dickov in despair
Paul Dickov cannot believe the performance
Sadly, Allan Johnston and Paul Dickov (who at least had the excuse of being played out of position) were dreadful.

The Faroes' Jakob Borg outshone both, with two pinpoint crosses to set up both of the home side's goals.

In the centre of the park, Ferguson and Paul Lambert failed to live up to their pre-match billing, although it was clear they would have welcomed a De Boer or a Larsson ahead of them as they tried to unpick the Faroes' defence.

The perennial goalscoring problem has been much discussed, but it would be unfair to be too critical of Kevin Kyle and Scott Dobie, both of whom tried hard but look short of international class.

Only when Stevie Crawford came on did Scotland look menacing in attack.

Vogts cannot be expected to fashion the proverbial silk purse from a sow's ear, but he has some way to go, tactically, to prove that he is the man to take Scotland forward.

Too many players seem unsure of their roles and what exactly is expected of them, with Barry Ferguson already insisting that Vogts cannot be given an infinite amount of time to produce a winning team.

No-one in Scotland is looking forward with any great optimism to the trip to play Iceland next month.

Should Berti Vogts quit Scotland job?



5476 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Scotland 3-1 Canada

Iceland 0-2 Scotland

Faroes 2-2 Scotland


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