So David Stuart and I [and a few hundred others] go along to Hampden for free beer[initially] and some complimentary pies and then we sit back as Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour [aka Strachan, McCall & Peter Martin] talk us through the opening scenes of ‘The Road to Russia’. Unfortunately the live link to St. Petersburg for the draw went awry to the extent that would be slagmeister Peter Martin went all fish-like and morphed into Peter Flounder. If ever a team cried out for Alan Rough…..
No matter, because the draw went ahead anyway and personally speaking I quite like it- not that FIFA would change it if I didn’t. All of the opposition are beatable plus there should be no logistical problems with travel and as a bonus [for heavy/real ale drinkers like myself] the holiday island of Malta produces its own Pale Ale! On the football front, we had a world cup qualifier success in Malta in November 1993 when goals from Billy McKinlay and Colin Hendry gave us a 2-0 victory.
Slovakia – we’ve yet to play them although we have been beaten in Bratislava in world cup qualifiers in 1961 and 1973 when they were part of the double act known as Czecho-slovakia.Slovenia- In October 2005 we won a world cup qualifier there by three magnificent goals to nil [Darren Fletcher,James McFadden and Paul Hartley]. We also drew a friendly there in February 2012 with Christophe Berra netting for Scotland.
Lithuania – we have played them a total of eight times- all Euro Championship qualifiers – and have lost only once. I find it difficult however to get enthusiastic about matches against any of the Baltic states- I wonder if their supporters feel the same about British opposition?
England – We have only to fear, fear itself – and besides they are due a hiding from us. Our last victory against them at Hampden came in the 1985 Rous Cup match – a goal from Richard Gough gave us victory in what, sadly, was Jock Stein’s last home game in charge.
So there you go comrades and don’t forget there is a good chance that we will go into that world cup qualifying campaign as European Champions! I’m typing this late on Saturday night so of course I’m half-jaiked…..
Robert Marshall – Beef Stroganoff, Pussy Riot…
First posted on Facebook July 26th, 2015