BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Sports Talk  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
Forum
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

Wednesday, 21 August, 2002, 20:54 GMT 21:54 UK
Did your team impress?
Wales' Simon Davies and Robbie Keane of Ireland both found the net
Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland were all in action on Wednesday night.

Did your team's display give you hope for the Euro 2004 qualifiers?


This debate is now closed.


The Republic of Ireland notched up a convincing 3-0 victory over Finland with Robbie Keane, Colin Healy and Graham Barrett on target for Mick McCarthy's side.

Scotland boss Berti Vogts is still looking for his first win after his side's disappointing 1-0 defeat at the hands of Denmark.

A late gaffe by goalkeeper Paul Jones meant that Wales had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Croatia, while Northern Ireland's match against Cyprus finished goalless.

What did you make of your team's performance? And how will they fare in the Euro 2004 qualifiers?


Back, back, back, across the pitch and then punt forward - have these guys really been playing football all their lives? I fear for Berti - maybe only one game left!
William, Scotland

It's time for the SFA to bite the bullet and be happy to have Scotland take a sabbatical from the finals of major tournaments for quite some time. Do what the French did take 10 years and re-build.

There's a lot of talk about youth schemes at clubs in Scotland. These must be given time to produce the talent. Most of all the clubs must support Vogts by giving the youngsters first team football. However, it's an old chestnut but it could be argued that the Scottish Premier League format does not allow breathing space for clubs to bring in young talent, they're either challenging for European places of fighting relegation. It needs to change.
James Mundy, Scotland


Why didn't Mick McCarthy have John O'Shea on the team?
Niamh, Ireland

Berti seems to be getting more and more frustrated with this Scottish team, and who can blame him? Last night's performance was woeful. We lack quality in just about every position on the field - how on earth is Kyle an international class striker? He can't even get a game for Boro. The only times we looked to have any quality about us was when either Ferguson or Lambert had the ball - the rest of the time forget it.

On recent evidence it's going to be a long hard road back for us - we thoroughly deserve our Fifa ranking of 60th in the world. Our best chance of getting to a tournament is going to be by landing Euro 2008.
Don Massie, Scotland

Why didn't Mick McCarthy have John O'Shea on the team, even as a sub? Is he totally against all Man Utd Irish players? O'Shea has improved greatly in one year and should be a member of the Irish squad. Well done to the Irish lads though - good performance.
Niamh, Ireland

I think that Ireland have some of the best young talent in English football today, and we do not need Roy Keane, we have great players in midfield such as Colin Healy and Matt Holland, not to mention a great forward line up. I think Ireland can go a long way if and when they qualify for the 2004 Euro Championships.
Gareth Malon, Ireland

What a difference a coach makes. Mark Hughes understands Wales and his players so well after playing with most of them for years. It's fantastic that the team is now battling and playing good football. I am certainly looking forward to the European campaign we can certainly qualify if we carry on in this way. Well done Mark, Simon and everyone else in Welsh Football.
Matthew Lloyd, Wales


Club football in Scotland has ruined the international team
Jim Wyse, Scotland

Barry Ferguson will never be international class if he continues to turn and play his passes backwards. Scotland have too many players who panic and give the ball away when closed down by the opposition. Scottish born players have a natural up and at them style of play which should be nurtured and not coached out of them.
John Chernouski, Scotland

I seriously hope Wales put in a good show in the Euro qualifiers, and don't try to play games out at 1-0. That way we can rise far above our rather unjust ranking of 89th. This is 29 places below Scotland, who have lost five straight matches, as opposed to Wales who are unbeaten in five matches.
Nathan Hamer, Wales

Club football in Scotland has ruined the international team. Too many foreign players have been signed by clubs with the result that there is a shortage of home-grown talent coming through. A restriction on the number of foreign players at each club might help but I can't see it being allowed to happen.
Jim Wyse, Scotland

My solution to the Northern Ireland team's current problems would be to issue each player with a mobile phone that can be taken onto the pitch. In this way, Sammy can periodically phone each player to ensure that they are awake.

Having seen most of N.I's matches, particularly over the past 18 months, my conclusion is that when all the players are awake they are capable of great football. Unfortunately, however, they tend to 'nod off' from time to time, thus leaving the opposition free to score.
Chris Quinton, Poland


Where is this new style of play that Berti is trying to instill in our (adopted) players?
Andrew McLean, Scotland

I have no doubt whatsoever that Rep. Ireland would beat England if they played each other. If both teams played against each other in the World Cup there would only have been one winner. Give me Matty Holland any day before the very over-rated David Beckham.
Chris, Ireland

Wales have become a team to be reckoned with under Hughes, gaining increasing respect through Europe after recent results. But what will it take for Fifa to re-think their rankings system? They are now a far better outfit than maybe 20 teams above them, including sorry Scotland.
James Morris, UK

Where is this new style of play that Berti is trying to instill in our (adopted) players? I saw no sign of it last night. Berti must have time - but we must see some progress.
Andrew McLean, Scotland

Without doubt it is the influx of mediocre foreign players into the Scottish game which is killing the development of the national team. Furthermore there is a knock-on effect from the English Premier league which prefers to buy in cheap foreigners rather then look north of the border.
Peter Dow, England


It was men against boys out there
Jim, Scotland

In my opinion this Republic team is better than Charlton's. Given, Carr, Finan, Duff have all made the Premiership XI. Throw in the likes of Holland, Robbie Keane, Reid (the list just goes on) and they have to be the form European team at the moment.

I reckon they're know good enough to go and win Euro 2004. They are capable of out-playing every other team in it.
Frank, Ireland

I am an Englishman living in Holland, and have to take a lot of vitriolic abuse from the 'Tartan Army' over here every time England play. So, it gives me a certain amount of pleasure to see that the Scottish football team is currently extrememly bad, and has been for some time.

If they do not improve they have no chance of qualifying for the Euro 2004 tournament. Don't tell my wife I said that because she is Scottish....
Bruce, The Netherlands

You can forgive the technical inadequacies (hopefully they will now improve under new coaches), but not lack of strength and fitness - it was men against boys out there. I think Vogts got it spot on - our over-paid footballers are not working hard enough.

We also need to put some passion and confidence (very difficult just now) back into our game. Hopefully, Vogts can help with this in the week running up to the Faroes game - if not...
Jim, Scotland

Another fantastic performance by Republic of Ireland. They all work as a team rather than individuals and that's why they play good football. I think England should take a leaf out of Ireland's book and learn to work more as a team.
Scott Atkinson, England

It was the worst Scottish performance I have ever seen! One attempt on goal in a home international? I blame the coaches of Scottish football, who have arrogantly taught the old Scottish way of football for the pass 20 years (while the rest of the world has progressed) and left the nation with a team of players who seem to find it difficult to pass and control a ball. It's like watching a pub team down the local park, with Scottish players having one touch and then their second touch being a tackle!


Berti Vogts will indeed build a good Scotland squad
John, Australia

Rangers Dutch coach Bert Van Lingen once said that Scottish kids learn from an early age how to win a game but never how to play the game and that they are never allowed to express themselves, so by the time they reach the age of 16 they have lost all the confidence they have when in possession of a football and proceed to treat it like a hot potato! Watch the current crop of players it's true!
Gary McDaniel, Scotland

Scotland are a joke. Perhaps this is the wake-up call this country needs to start investing heavily in the grass roots of Scottish football. A period in the wilderness is not so bad when you know it won't last forever.

However, unless someone can tell me any different the end of the tunnel is not in sight. The whole system needs a radical, innovative shake up before it is all too late.
Cameron, Scotland

Given time I think Berti Vogts will indeed build a good Scotland squad but after a decade of playing defensive football it's going to take a long time. Maybe Euro 2004 is too soon and he should be looking to the World cup in 2006.
John, Australia

Another great result for the Republic of Ireland. They have the confidence and players to go on and top their group for Euro 2004.
Henry,, Belgium


Mark Hughes continues to do a tremendous job with the players he has available to him
Pinny, Wales

The future looks bright for the Rep of Ireland, they were missing more than half the first team, and there young players look strong. I think N. Ireland should join the Rep of Ireland and the few good players they have may get to play in a final, i.e. Neil Lennon.
John Mass, USA

Wales have improved so much under Mark Hughes they are playing with passion which they have lacked for such a long time.
Nick, Wales

I think it was a good performance by Ireland. After the World Cup the Irish players played more aggressively and with confidence, and the absence of Roy Keane had no impact at all. If they can maintain this level of play during the Euro 2004 qualifiers, there should be no problem for them to win their group.
Leo Choi, Australia

Mark Hughes continues to do a tremendous job with the players he has available to him from the lower divisions. We are very lucky to have all these players who enjoy playing for their country, unlike English wannabe Ryan Giggs.

Once we have qualified for the European Championship, what's the betting that his injury problems will disappear overnight. Long may Simon Davies rule.
Pinny, Wales


Slowly but surely Wales are turning into a very competent international team
Francis Barbuti, Great Britain

The fun of laughing at the Scottish national team has now become boring. They're so bad that it almost seems unfair. There only way forward is to go down the Irish route and pick Premier League players with Scottish ancestry, who either aren't good enough to play for England or aren't patriotic enough to say no.
Andy Shanks, England

I could not believe what I was watching last night, as Simon Davies picked up the ball in his own half, and had the confidence to run at the Croatian defence. I was even more amazed when he decided to waltz through and slot home a wonderful goal. Well done boyo.
Bob, Wales

Slowly but surely Wales are turning into a very competent international team. I think Wales will now be able to compete against anyone on the world stage - Mark Hughes has done a very good job.
Francis Barbuti, Great Britain

It's sad that three-time World Cup qualifiers Northern Ireland now can't even beat lowly Cyprus. With the limited resources available to our team we need to have a full turn out from our players.


The national team seems to reflect the standard of the Scottish Premier League - third Rate
F Donald, England

It's sad therefore that two of those players were withdrawn under suspicious circumstances by their club, Norwich. What's worse is that the Norwich manager is a former Northern Ireland international. It seems that there's no loyalty from club managers to the national teams any more.
Brian, Northern Ireland

The national team seems to reflect the standard of the Scottish Premier League - third Rate. Where is the talent? Stifled perhaps by the influx of foreign players into Scottish football, preventing development of our youth.
F Donald, England

Good luck to Mick McCarthy and the Republic of Ireland. They've shown that the team can perform and win games without the big-headed Roy Keane.
Anthony Taiwo, UK

A great victory for Denmark, but Scotland were very bad. There was none of the fighting spirit that the Scots always used to have.
P Ravn, Denmark

Another outstanding performance by Mark Hughes' boys. We have a very capable squad now and should be strong enough - when everyone is 100% fit - to challenge the better world sides, like we managed to do against Germany. Soon Wales will be climbing rung after rung up the world rankings and be back where we belong.
Pete, Wales


Another battling, well organised Wales performance
Neil Roberts, Wales

Unfortunately, events off the field have undermined the football on it. I, along with many others, am disgusted that Neil Lennon was forced to sit out this evening's fixture. The actions of a few are spoiling things for the real football fans in Northern Ireland. I hope that Lennon gets the opportunity to lead his country again.
Gar, Northern Ireland

I feel that Scotland should play a 3-4-3 system, as a third striker will provide the necessary cohesion between the midfielders and the goal-scoring strikers. Don Hutchison could best suit this role since he is an exceptional attacking midfielder.

Miller and Burchill still should participate for us, but McCann and Johnston should be excluded from future striker roles, since they are not true goal-scoring strikers.
Freddy, England

I am sorry to say it, but I think Scotland's days are over. The team doesn't have a goal scorer and they seem to lack spirit. I say Berti should give his job up now and go some place where he won't look like a bad manager.
Kev Gahagan, Scotland

Another battling, well organised Wales performance - surely the players can go into the Finland game full of confidence. Well done boys, Simon Davies already gets my vote for goal of the season.
Neil Roberts, Wales

I fear for Scottish football if we don't qualify for Euro 2004, as it is likely we will move even further down the ranks, which will also mean a lower seeding for future tournaments.

I don't think it will be long until Scotland have the same problems as Wales and N Ireland, and end up with two world-class teams in their qualifying group.
Phil Chalmers, UK

All the international action

Wednesday's games
Links to more Sports Talk stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Sports Talk stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales