Reasons to support the Europeans


Those of us from small European football nations who have trouble qualifying for the World Cup should be encouraged by results to far.  Qualification places are allocated based on performance at previous tournaments, and so far, this has been a great tournament for Europe.

Five European teams have won and only one, reigning champions Germany, have lost.  Croatia got the better of Nigeria, one of Africa’s powerhouses, while Denmark and Serbia edged Peru and Costa Rica.

The draws involving European teams are probably more impressive.  Iceland matched Argentina while Switzerland drew level with Brazil last night.  Mikael Lustig’s Sweden take on South Korea this afternoon, before Dedryck Boyata’s Belgium face Panama.  Tunisia will be hoping to take something from England tonight to prevent a fourth consecutive defeat for African nations.

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  1. Tunisia just below England in the world rankings I understand?



    Not a walkover…just sayin’ :-)

  2. Iceland in particular.


    Their population is around half that of Edinburgh.


    Incredible achievement to even get there far less holding their own v Argentina.

  3. WilliamKentigern67 on

    Using the same logic will we be supporting all the Scottish teams in Europe. I think not.





    Blinkin’ flip!



    I know what it doesn’t say-win yer league,and yer automatically entered to the CL

  5. Tully57



    Iceland is very similar to Scotland in how it nurtures the game … [NOT]:



    Take a look at what Wikipedia says about the modern development of the game in Iceland:



    The following is from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_in_Iceland



    ‘As recently as 2010, the Iceland men’s national team was outside the top 100 in the FIFA World Rankings. Since then, the team has risen nearly 80 spots in the rankings, entering UEFA Euro 2016 at #34 in the rankings. The team barely missed out on qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, falling in a playoff against Croatia, and qualified for Euro 2016, advancing to the quarterfinals. During their qualification campaign for the latter event, Strákarnir Okkar (“Our Boys”) defeated the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Turkey at home, and also defeated the Netherlands away. The women’s national team has also risen steadily in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings, frequently appearing in the world top 20 in the 2010s, with a peak of 15th in 2011.



    The country has risen to these previously unheard-of heights despite major challenges. As of 2016, the country’s population of about 330,000 was comparable to that of Corpus Christi, Texas, and it had fewer registered football players (of both sexes) than the U.S. state of Rhode Island. Iceland, being a far northern country, also has to deal with average daily temperatures that stay around freezing for nearly half the year, making it difficult or impossible for players to train year-round outdoors.



    The seeds for this rise were planted by the KSí in the mid-1990s, when it began discussions on how to overcome its challenges of population and climate. The initiative bore its first fruit in 2000, when KSí built the first of a series of domed football facilities known as “football houses” in Keflavík near the country’s main international airport. Eventually, a total of 15 football houses were commissioned, some with full-sized pitches and others with half-size pitches, with these facilities supplemented by more than 20 full-sized outdoor artificial pitches and over 100 smaller artificial pitches throughout the country. All children’s schools in the country now have at least a five-a-side football pitch on their premises. Additionally, all of the football houses are publicly owned, making access easier and much less expensive than comparable facilities in many other countries.



    At the same time, KSí invested heavily in training of coaches, starting a regular program designed to equip coaches with UEFA “A” and “B” licenses. The association chose to conduct all courses at its headquarters in Reykjavík, and deliberately chose not to make a profit off the courses, reducing costs for participants. By January 2016, more than 180 Icelandic coaches held an A license and nearly 600 held a B license; an additional 13 held UEFA’s highest Pro license. This translates to about one in every 500 Icelanders being a UEFA-qualified coach. By contrast, the corresponding ratio in England is about 1 in 10,000. Many top clubs in the country have B-licensed and even A-licensed coaches overseeing children as young as age 6. Every UEFA-licensed coach in the country has a paid coaching position, although only a small number receive a full-time salary.’




  6. BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on 18th June 2018 9:43 am



    Glad it’s not just me then, clear as mud!

  7. 50 shades of green on

    Think I will stick to my ABE style of supporting teams at the world cup.



    As for Scottish teams in Europe I will now adopt an ABS style usually only needed till the end of July right enough..




  8. Hunderbirds are Gone on





    If you win a qualifying two legged tie, you… eh… qualify for the next leg of the tournament ??



  9. Have been impressed by the organisation of the smaller nations particularly. Not pretty at times but tactically sound. When you see the likes of Kari Arnasson holding out Messi and Aguero you have to admire them.

  10. glendalystonsils on

    JUNGLE VIP on 18TH JUNE 2018 10:01 AM



    The people responsible for developing and improving the game in Scotland have failed miserably. They are more concerned with helping out at Ibrox than with the quality of our game ,which is ultimately displayed in the national team. They have ensured that we will continue on a downward spiral by appointing a manager simply because of his Ibrox connections.


    Iceland is unencumbered by such bias…..they simply want a better football product.

  11. jeez_I_thought_blinker_was_pants on

    Interesting aside from mccoist during the Croatia/Nigeria game.


    Told us how the cardigan had sent him on a scouting missing to Dinamo Zagreb v Hadjuk Split, phoned back to watty raving about Modric.


    Swally asks him how much they have in the bank……not enough replied the cardigan.



    Didn’t think that mattered to them

  12. South Of Tunis on




    ” I was very ambivalent about our failure to qualify . Disappointed yes , but also relieved that I wouldn’t have to watch yet more humiliations .. . better not to play the likes of Germany , Brazil and France when you really struggle to beat the likes of Albania and manage to deservedly lose a 2 leg tie to a completely one dimensional Sweden .Both of those games rank high in the National Team’s all time dreadful performances Table .That said -having now seen Germany , Brazil and France I now find myself thinking maybe , maybe ,maybe we would have done better than I feared “.



    Marco Graffa – Radio Sicilia 18 6 18

  13. What is the Stars on

    When I was a child and everything was simpler the teams I supported in the world cup were


    Catholic countries ( my mothers influence !!!) ( Ok,of course they had some decent teams,Italy Spain and all of South America)


    Small underdog countries (especially ones that had a bit of colonial history with UK)


    Teams that had any vague Irish connections ( players with Irish sounding names etc)


    Countries that wore green


    and last but not least anyone playing against Eng er Land.


    Does all of the above make me a bigot ??



    Of course I am now a mature cosmopolitan who believes in the international brotherhood of man so my teams now are simply anyone playing against Eng er Land.


    Am I still a bigot



    Do Tunisia wear Green ?

  14. Word of The Day



    Aphorism [af-uh-riz-uh m]





    1. a short pithy saying expressing a general truth; maxim


    2. a terse saying embodying a general truth, or astute observation, as “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” (Lord Acton).



    Derived Forms aphorist, noun



    Word Origin and History for aphorism




    1520s (especially in reference to the “Aphorisms of Hippocrates”), from Middle French aphorisme (14c., aufforisme), from Late Latin aphorismus, from Greek aphorismos” definition, pithy sentence,” from aphorizein “to mark off, divide,” from apo- “from” (see apo-) + horizein “to bound” (see horizon).


    An aphorism is a short, pithy statement containing a truth of general import; an axiom is a statement of self-evident truth; a theorem is a demonstrable proposition in science or mathematics; an epigram is like an aphorism, but lacking in general import. Maxim and saying can be used as synonyms for aphorism.





  15. South Of Tunis on

    WHAT IS THE STARS @ 11.05 .



    When I was a child and everything was simpler , I never supported anyone in the World Cup . My only hope was that the best team (whoever they were ) would win it .



    As I got older , I still didn’t support anyone but had added the rider that I hoped that whoever won it , had won it fairly and without the benefit of dodgy Officiating .



    Pensioner me still doesn’t care – I’m still hoping that the best team wins it (without the help of Officialdom9 .. That said – football fan me will be interested to see how the Swedish front 2 are Refereed — Berg and Toivonen . Absolute brutes — Peak Jock Wallace Deady Bears style footballers.

  16. The World Cup no longer holds the allure or excitement it once did.



    Nowadays most of the players can be seen plying their trade week in week out on one TV channel or another.



    And if they have first dibs on their international players I reckon a handful of top European club sides would win the tournament.

  17. Celtic’s potential CL first qualifying opponents will come from



    Spartal Trnava (Slovakia)


    Valetta (Malta)


    Alashkot (Armenia)


    Sutjeska (Montenegro)


    Spartaks Jurmela (Latvia)


    Flora Tallinn (Estonia)



    So much for regional groupings in first round

  18. Glendalystonsils @ 10:44 am,



    Totally agree.



    The state of the National Sport nails the “Scottish football needs a strong Rangers lie”.



    When Stewart Regan took over as CEO of the SFA, the Scottish game was in such a mess Henry McLeish was commissioned to compile a report on the state of football in Scotland, he had said in 2010 that Scottish football was “underachieving, under-performing and under-funded”.



    When the new CEO was appointed this was an area of huge priority…



    …supposedly, in actual fact this went straight on the back burner as the SFA connived to ensure every advantage was given and blind eye turned towards Rangers to survive and when that failed to be resurrected and the Real Rangers Men aided and abetted in illegitimately forging ahead with a new “strong” Rangers.



    The time, resources and fixation with Ibrox brought Scottish football to an all time low.



    Brendan Rodgers influence, the re-emergence of Clubs like Aberdeen and Hibs together with quality coaches such as Steve Clark returning to the game has given the Scottish game a lift.



    Yet even now the comings and going at Ibrox, the attempted interference by the Club’s – not fit and proper Chairman – in due process and the appointment of a deficient Manager to the National team holds our prospects as a Country back.



    I’m not saying the Manager got the job because of his Rangers EBT connection – he has a huge tax bill to pay and lucrative coaching contracts in England had long since gone but in opinion he changed his tune from aggressive defiance of any wrong doing on the EBT/side contracts front to acquiescence on the advantages said wrong doing afforded.



    He was a very upset lose cannon, they certainly wanted him inside the tent, There is absolutely no logic in replacing Gordon Strachan with similar but inferior otherwise. Steve Clark… well yes.



    We are making progress but the obscuration of the game from Ibrox still holds us back. The authorities, club chairman and all Scottish football stakeholders must say NO MORE!!!



    We can do an Iceland x 100 – the genetics of course;)



    Hail Hail

  19. !!Bada Bing!! on 18th June 2018 11:55 am



    wait till the second round, Beer Sheva and Malmo are possibles there

  20. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    WHAT IS THE STARS on 18TH JUNE 2018 11:05 AM



    Amazing – that’s almost exactly the same teams I support :-)




    Gary 67 – odd that there are much stronger teams in the 2nd round – is that a function of the new qualifying arrangements – I need to take an hour to read the Bert Kassies page : https://kassiesa.home.xs4all.nl/bert/uefa/






  21. South Of Tunis on

    Sutjeska ( Montenegro )



    Named after a World War 2 battle .



    Axis forces tried to destroy Yugoslav Partisan forces and Tito . They failed but large numbers of Partisans were killed or died from typhoid .



    There was a half decent film -early 70s -Sudjetska – Richard Burton played Tito .



    Open University European History Course CSC -way down south.

  22. JUNGLE VIP on 18TH JUNE 2018 10:01 AM



    Many thanks for that Iceland info – they have clearly put the building blocks in place and are reaping the rewards over last Euros and now the World Cup.



    I have a soft spot for them since my bhoy won a scholarship to play “soccer” in Florida and on his first training session he spotted a big guy wearing Celtic shorts. He thought “that’ll do for me” and introduced himself thinking the lad would be Scottish or Irish – naw, big Thor was from Iceland, loved Charlie & The Bhoys and they ended up sharing a flat together.



    He came over to surprise my bhoy for his 30th birthday a few weeks ago and he was telling me he was all set for the World Cup. By the end of the night he was up on a wall leading about 15 of us in the Viking Thunder-Clap.



    I told him all about Shuggie Edvaldsson – he knew of him since his Uncle played with him – but didn’t know about the Shuggie nickname.



    A great lad and he’s coming back this season to take in a game.

  23. Big Georges Fan Club – Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on 18th June 2018 12:10 pm



    New qualifying set up makes it a lot more difficult. There’s a prelim round to remove some of the smaller teams, then there’s four rounds, which we play in (hopefully all of them). The number of teams qualifying from the Champions route is also reduced from 5 to 4. Teams we have been playing in the final qualifier in recent years we can now meet in 2nd round (Hapoel Beer Sheeva, Rosenburg) or 3rd round (Malmo, Qarabag). 4th round could see Legia Warsaw, AEK Athens or Astana

  24. Boyata linked with a £15m move to Lazio by the Italian press



    Suppose that’s what happens when Italy don’t qualify for the WC and they have nothing better to do than make up stories.

  25. GARY67 on 18TH JUNE 2018 12:28 PM


    Boyata linked with a £15m move to Lazio by the Italian press





    After some consideration i think we should accept the offer, it seems fair.

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