I’ve always thought it must be very frustrating/bitterly disappointing to be included in a squad that travels to the World Cup or Euro Championship Finals but never get on to the actual pitch. I know how upset I was when I regularly sat on the sidelines with my Boys Brigade team!
Our first appearance at the Euro Finals- at Sweden 92- against the Netherlands, World Champions Germany and the C.I.S. resulted in 16 Scottish players from the squad of 20 getting a piece of the action. No fewer than 10 players also appeared at some point in all three matches, however with the third match meaningless [we were oot by then!] surely Manager Andy Roxburgh could have found room for Henry Smith, Derek Whyte, Dave Bowman and Alan McLaren – or am I just a soft, sentimental old fool?
The Scotland squad consisted of fifteen home Scots and five Anglos whilst the C.I.S. squad had two players based in Scotland – Ibrox boys Oleg Kuznetsov and Alexei Mikhailichenko.Four years later we took a 22 man squad to England and 17 of them got to kick a ball in anger with the unused five being Jim Leighton, Derek Whyte [again and with the same fate befalling him at France 98], Darren Jackson, Scott Gemmill and Nicky Walker [PTFC]. Like Euro 92 ten players appeared at some point in all three matches -versus The Netherlands, England and Switzerland.This time the Scotland squad comprised of 11 home Scots, 10 Anglos and Monaco-based John Collins.
The Scottish Premier League also provided players for the squads of England [Paul Gascoigne], Bulgaria [Aberdeen’s Ilian Kiriakov], Denmark [Brian Laudrup and Erik Bo Anderson] and Portugal [Jorge Cadete].Looking across the two tournaments and it’s hats off to Andy Goram,Stuart McCall and Gary McAllister for getting six out of six appearances with three clean sheets for Andy whilst Gary took two penalties…..Oh yes, and just to confuse matters, the images from the two Panini Euro stickers albums don’t quite match the final squads selected.
First posted on Facebook May 1st, 2015