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How good were Scotland at the 1974 World Cup?

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    #26
    How good were Scotland at the 1974 World Cup?

    I was 7 years old when this happened (Karake, or something equally un-Yugoslavic, in the 81st minute.)

    That was my World Cup. THAT was when I loved football, for myself.

    Imagine that group of players eating pasta and not drinking? Fucking hell.

    But, like every single time we (Scots) go to a World Cup (as players), we embarrass ourselves. And that is a shame.

    I am not that bothered, because life goes on, etc. 'Nice to qualify' and that shit, but I watched that whole tournament with the stars ripped from my eyes. Nothing to do with Scotland, much. But more to do with... 'Brother, how come they have 2 Germany's, and we only have one Scotland?' And then I discovered Szarmach and Lato, and wept never.

    True story: I met Joachim Streich (sic) twice. He was lovely. Jurgen Sparwasser was a teensy bit of a knob, but I understood.

    And I only care NOW, that West Germany won. But they were better than Holland in the final. And Jack Taylor can bite my nipples, again.

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      #27
      How good were Scotland at the 1974 World Cup?

      Land Waster wrote:

      I dug out the book last night, and after reading some of the anecdotes about his hatred for Scotland enjoyed the heavy irony of him co-commentating on their games!
      Another gem occurred after Alan Ball's antics at Hampden in 1972. Ball was no lover of Scots either (he referred to them as 'skirt wearing tossers'), and towards the end of England's 1-0 victory he took the ball to the corner flag, sat on it, and then flicked a V sign at the crowd.

      A few minutes later he did the same thing again, and also wiped his nose on the corner flag which happened to be the flag of St Andrew. Hampden went beserk, and immediately after the final whistle England ran for their lives to the dressing room.

      Was old Alf upset? Not a bit of it. He walked in with a huge grin on his face and said,

      "Alan, Alan, you really are a very naughty boy!"

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        #28
        How good were Scotland at the 1974 World Cup?

        When was the last time you saw Alan Ball?

        He was sandwich fodder.

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          #29
          How good were Scotland at the 1974 World Cup?

          Selected Ambient Works 85-92 wrote:
          There is a new book out about Scotland 1974 by Richard Gordon of the BBC, whose book about Aberdeen in the 1980s was pretty good.

          http://www.amazon.co.uk/Scotland-74-World-Cup-Story/dp/1845027493/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401372250&sr=8-1&keywords=richard+gordon
          I'll be reading Gordon's new book, although I think he has struggled to make the change from broadcasting and writing articles (which he does very well!) to writing an entire book. His book about Gothenburg (from memory it pretty much stopped in '83 rather than covering the whole of the '80s) was decent but I wasn't taken by his style. In addition, there was no real depth, although this is perhaps inevitable in a book about a club like Aberdeen, where the very small number of potential customers means it's difficult to be critical or controversial. I'm interested to see if his new book shows a bit more flair.

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            #30
            How good were Scotland at the 1974 World Cup?

            Felicity, I guess so wrote: Why did David Harvey only get that many (18?) caps?
            The Scotland goalkeeping position was fairly in flux in the early to mid 70ís with no one keeper being a regular choice until the Partick permed legend took his place between the sticks against Switzerland in April 1976. From then on in, the position was settled for over 20 years, Rough-Leighton-Goram-Leighton/Goram.

            This was the high point of the Greavesie "Scottish goalkeepers are crap" jokes, so possibly no keeper ever did enough to keep the national position long term.

            Between 1971 and 1976, Bobby Clark of Aberdeen, David Harvey, Ally Hunter of Celtic, Peter McLoy and Stewart Kennedy of Rangers, Thompson Allan of Dundee, Jim Cruickshank of Hearts and Sheffield Unitedís Jim Brown were all tried out.

            Harvey with his 16 caps was the most regular goalkeeper in those years, however Stewart Kennedy looked set for a long Scotland career until the 5-1 calamity against England in 1975 done for him in the same way the 5-0 drubbing 2 years earlier against the same opposition had done for Bobby Clark.

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              #31
              How good were Scotland at the 1974 World Cup?

              Alan Ball played with both David Harvey and Willie Johnston for the Vancouver Whitecaps in the old NASL. There must have been some interesting conversations in the dressing room.

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                #32
                How good were Scotland at the 1974 World Cup?

                Geoffrey de Ste. Croix wrote: Gallus. Thatís the word we are looking for, gallus. We donít have it anymore in the game and itís the number one reason why weíre now shite. Our footballers donít have gallusness anymore. '74 may not have been as gallus as '67 with Baxter, Johnstone, Henderson, Law (in his prime) et al, but the '74 team had it more than enough to ensure they were not overawed by any team on the world stage.

                My current footballing obsession is with early to mid 70ís Scottish football. Hibs and the Turnbullís Tornadoes, the 1970 Scottish Cup winning Aberdeen side (also managed by Eddie Turnbull), Partick Thistle pumping Celtic in the 1971 League Cup final...itís difficult to comprehend now just how competitive and talented the Scottish domestic game was.

                All three of the teams mentioned above beat Celtic in cup finals, Aberdeen in 1970, Hibs in the 72 League Cup final and Thistle in 71. This was at a time when Celtic themselves had reached a European Cup final and two semis, of course Rangers European exploits brought a trophy. The domestic game was glorious.

                This was clear to see in the squad for 1974. As well as the Old Firm and Anglos, who would be expected to completely dominate the squad, there were two Hibs players (John Blackley and the tragic Eric Schaedler), Donald Ford of Hearts, Thompson Allan of Dundee and Jim Stewart of Kilmarnock. Itís just a shame Pat Stanton never made it, a player of his culture and grace deserved to be seen on the world stage.

                A cursory glance at the programme of any fixture in the 1973-74 Scottish First division season would reveal a myriad of great players who would never be capped for Scotland. It was the best of times, especially looking at it from the worst of times.

                Archie Macphersonís account of the pre tournament warm up, Willie Ormond and the press and the media coverage is fascinating. As an eyewitness he writes the Scotland manager had no control over the squad and no control over the press, who took the seemingly timorous Ormond to the cleaners, so much so that the SFA bunged certain journalists to tone it down.

                After pre tournament games against Belgium in Brussels and Norway in Oslo, drink was taken in enormous quantities (believe it or not) and disorder ruled. Ormond was completely ineffectual and the players ignored him. As Macpherson pointed out, the players would not have dared had it been Stein or Waddell in charge. Stein, who was coincidentally in West Germany as part of the BBC team had serious private misgivings about Ormond as he was to have about Macleod in 1978. Another interesting aside regarding Stein is that apparently he was the only member of the BBC team that the imperious, supremely arrogant David Coleman never, ever, ever crossed and treated with total respect.

                Had there been a different manager in charge, who knows what Scotland may have achieved. As it was, Ormond probably took Scotland as far as they were ever likely to under his management. But what a team. The strength of the Scottish domestic game was clearly underlined by the fact that almost half the squad played in the Scottish First Division.

                And that 74 away kit v Yugoslavia is the second greatest Scotland away top. Itís only beaten by the 1986 lemon one for purely sentimental childhood reasons.

                Where has all the gallusness gone? As another world party passes us by, I almost canít watch any of the 1974 games, itís too painful to see what weíve lost in footballing terms.
                Fascinating post Geoffrey just a couple of points first how come Scotland under achieved in the sixties? and have you any more on Coleman being an arsehole?

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                  #33
                  How good were Scotland at the 1974 World Cup?

                  I read a report of Coleman's memorial service and his son's recollections, and he does sound a bit of a dick.

                  If he wasn't on duty he would watch at home and phone in, giving his notes to the producers and generally acting the prick.

                  And he famously hated both Colemanballs in Private Eye, and Spitting Image's (somewhat affectionate) portrayal of him.

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                    #34
                    How good were Scotland at the 1974 World Cup?

                    Yes on the somewhat hagiographic documentary they mentioned he was difficult to work with*

                    * Meaning he was a pain in the arse to work worth

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                      #35
                      How good were Scotland at the 1974 World Cup?

                      The most famous example of Coleman being a wanker to his colleagues was at Mexico 1970:

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                        #36
                        I didn't watch the 1974 World Cup at all because I didn't really become interested in football until the 1975-76 season. But it always strikes me that Scotland were very unlucky in not qualifying for the next round despite not losing a game. The group they played in was notable for the fact that all matches not involving Zaire ended in draws and that qualification ultimately depended on who could beat them by the biggest margin. Who'd have thought that it would be Yugoslavia and not Brazil that put nine goals past them? I don't think there's ever been a group like that before or since and may well never happen again.

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                          #37
                          Originally posted by Chris1963 View Post
                          I didn't watch the 1974 World Cup at all because I didn't really become interested in football until the 1975-76 season. But it always strikes me that Scotland were very unlucky in not qualifying for the next round despite not losing a game. The group they played in was notable for the fact that all matches not involving Zaire ended in draws and that qualification ultimately depended on who could beat them by the biggest margin. Who'd have thought that it would be Yugoslavia and not Brazil that put nine goals past them? I don't think there's ever been a group like that before or since and may well never happen again.
                          Group E in 1998 was close. All three matches between Netherlands, Belgium and Mexico were draws. Both Mexico and the Netherlands beat South Korea, who were therefore out before the final set of games. Despite that Belgium failed to beat them, only drawing, and therefore going out. If Belgium had won by three goals they would have gone through and Mexico, unbeaten, been eliminated.

                          As long as it’s a situation of two from four from a group this sort of thing is very possible and actually fairly likely to crop up occasionally in a low scoring sport with many drawn games.

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                            #38
                            Scotland simply wasted too many chances in the Zaire game after going 2-0 up in 34 minutes. Brazil had already drawn v Yugoslavia the day before Scotland played Zaire so the prospect of 3 draws was very much on by then, so Scotland's failure to score again after the 34th minute seems suicidal, especially given that it took Brazil 79 minutes to score their 3rd goal in the decider; Scotland would have gone through with a 3-0 v Zaire, and they had 66 minutes to get that 3rd goal:

                            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1974_F...re_vs_Scotland

                            OTOH there's a story that Zaire's morale and motivation slumped between the Scotland and Yugoslavia games because Zaire's entourage squandered the players' money:

                            https://www.history.co.uk/article/th...1974-world-cup
                            Last edited by Satchmo Distel; 08-01-2022, 22:42.

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                              #39
                              They wasted chances but also dicked about, passing between themselves to kill time instead of going for more goals. Even at my tender age, I knew this was a mistake.

                              That was one of the strongest Scotland squads in history, so there was no excuse for this against the weakest nation in the entire tournament.

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                                #40
                                Was my first world cup and was shocked at just how bad Brazil were having spent the immediate preceding years being continuously reminded of their glorious reputation. And as a separate matter this has generally been the case since 1974 the 1982 team aside and maybe 2002. But as is the accepted version it was the Zaire games that determined qualification. And Scotland were maybe unlucky in playing them first. By the Brazil game they were almost literally scared for their lives and explains 'that' free kick moment which was repeatedly used to beat African football for a good few years after. It is still unlikely that Scotland could have matched Germany or Holland and Poland. But it tournament football so who knows without benefit of hindsight.

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