Where do Scotland go from here after Belgium battering?

Craig Turnbull
Craig Turnbull

On the face of it a 4-0 defeat to world number one side Belgium was hardly that surprising, but it was the manner and performance, which has prompted another bout of soul searching into our game and led to questions about youth development in this country.

Yes, we develop decent players but not ones that are seemingly good enough to get us to a major tournament and we are continuously short of defensive and striking options.

It’s been eight years since the SFA set up seven performance schools with Mark Wotte, the then-Performance Director – saying it would be 2020 before any progress could be measured. Well we are a year away from that target and still a long way to go. So is it working?

Although we have a small pool to choose from other countries with similar populations perform better with the likes of Croatia (pop 4m), Uruguay (3.4m), Belgium (11.3m), Denmark (5.7,m) all countries inside the top 20 of Fifa rankings, Scotland are 48th and on the evidence of the last two games miles behind it, even Ireland and Wales are doing better.

It seems like a crossroads for the country. Keep faith with what we are doing and hope that the eight years invested into schools pays off in the next few years or strip it back and look at an alternative model.

We keep being told that there are plenty of talented youngsters coming through so it would seem a bit of knee-jerk reaction to go for the latter. Maybe with a bit of luck our golden generation is just round the corner.

However, there are seemingly fundamental issues with football in Scotland that need to change. Everyone needs to put their own interests to the side and do what is best for the country going forward.