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Looking At Scotland’s Positives (We Had A Few)

Date: 5th September 2021

It has been a tough couple of days being a Scotland fan, as out team haven’t been performing at their best during this international break. 

We were humbled in the first half in Copenhagen and although we beat Moldova it wasn’t a vintage performance at Hampden. 

That being said – we did have a few positives from our 1-0 victory last night

I liked Nathan Patterson on our righthand side.

Stephen O’Donnell will give his all in a Scotland jersey but he often gets caught out on the international scene. I believe Patterson will be our best option at right-back for years to come with Aberdeen’s Calvin Ramsey and possibly Celtic’s Anthony Ralston fighting him for that spot.

Patterson’s desire to win the ball, drive forward and having a go got us our goal last night. He wasn’t scared to charge at his opponent and he also has eagerness to get back and defend when needed. He’s still a bit raw around the edges and that showed last night but at times he really reminded me of the £9m Alan Hutton.

I also enjoyed Kevin Nisbet’s performance up-top.

The striker linked-up well with those around him, as seen in his layoff onto Patterson for Lyndon Dykes’ goal. He had no issues going deep or heading out onto the wing. His all-round performance was better than that of his strike partner and that’s why I’d see him play with Che Adams in our next game against The Austrians.

Kieran Tierney grew into the game and that was good to see as it gives us another dynamic. He is one player in our team that seems to show up more often than not. I’d still like to see us go to a back four, a back three is looking stale, but we need to find a place for Tierney in whatever formation we play.

Midfielder Billy Gilmour really seems to be a class act. The youngster always looks to get onto the ball and help teammates out if they need to pass it on. It was great to see him pushing forward a bit more in the Moldova game and he was unlucky not to score. He made 64 passes and had an 89% passing success rate.

The chances we created was both a plus and minus, if we are being honest. We did created a fair few chances again at Hampden but we again struggled to convert them. We should have been two or three up by half-time. It is getting a bit worrying that this is becoming a theme and it will cost us in bigger encounters.

Keeping a clean-sheet is another bonus but as the game went on we started inviting the Moldovan’s onto us and that didn’t feel right. We need to be on the front foot and go for the kill, rather than sit deep and cling on to a game like we did last night. 

The biggest positive for me was having such a big crowd back in the Hampden stands. Hearing our national anthem being belted out like that gave me goosebumps, I just wish the Tartan Army got to see a more entertaining performance. 

We still hold the key to second place in our own hands. Austria will be spinning after losing 5-2 to Israel but that could see them coming back at us like a wounded animal. If we can get a win there or even a draw then that should set us up to really push our old foes Israel for that second spot. 

The fans haven’t been excited by what they’ve seen so far this week. It is now up to the Scotland players and the management team to bring back that feel good factor by coming up with a bold performance and coming back from Vienna with a positive result.

Do that and people will soon forget the other bland outings! 

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