Graeme Souness launches a scathing attack at manager Steve Clarke in the analysis of Scotland after they lost 3-1 against Croatia.
The former footballer turned pundit criticised the national team for playing football “from another era” as they were knocked out of the Euros on Tuesday.
Nikola Vlasic put the Croats ahead only for Callum McGregor to reignite belief with an equaliser just before half time.
The stage was set for an historic comeback, however Scotland just couldn’t click as Luka Modric stole the show, striking the ball for a brilliant second before whipping in a corner which met Ivan Perisic’s head and into the net.
Souness has since hit out at Clarke for a lack of ideas and waiting too long to change things as the game slipped away from the Scots.
Kevin Nisbet was thrown on at 3-1 to try and grab a goal, yet at that point it was far too late.
“We had to have more of the ball,” Souness said. “We played second fiddle for a long time and it was more of the same but you can’t wait until the last ten minutes to make changes, it’s too late by then.
“When we scored it could have been the turning point and that was the time to change it.
“I’d like to have changed things in the second half. The plan in the first half clearly wasn’t working – they had 68 per cent possession.
“I’d have taken a striker off and tried to get a bit more possession in midfield and build from there.
“We went too long at times, we tried to hit Lyndon Dykes too often. It was tactics from the past, it made us look like a team from the past.
“I might be criticised for saying that but it’s true.
“The manager has a group of players and it’s up to the manager to come up with the ideas and a way of playing which he thinks will get the best out of that group of players but I would have liked him to change certain things in the second half.
“I would have had Nathan Patterson on earlier as Stephen O’Donnell had problems down his flank all night. The direction of his finish was superb but it was an avoidable goal.
“So I’m disappointed, but it’s not totally unexpected, because this Croatia team are a really good side when they get on the front foot.”
Souness took a little while to give his thoughts, but continued with his criticism of Scotland’s approach.
“These lads have done themselves proud getting to the Euros – it just wasn’t to be” 💬
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) June 22, 2021
He added: “OK you start with the same team for the second half. But if you’re struggling, you change it.
“It was more of the same and he didn’t change until 70 minutes.
“I don’t want to be down on my nation but I am disappointed after the England game.
“It was football from another age. You need to play football. Our defence was launching it, bypassing the midfield.
“We have to play more football if we’re going to progress.
“We were like a team from another era. Sorry if that hurts.
“We have to up our game.
“We have a country mile to catch up.”
Fans reacted as Graeme Souness launches a scathing attack at Steve Clarke in his Scotland analysis…
Souness telling it like it is:
“But tonight for me, we never played any football. We were like a team from another era. Sorry, and if that hurts, and I get criticism for saying that, that’s how I feel, that’s how I saw the game tonight.”
Only guy with balls to call out Clarke.
— Scott (@scottmcpherson1) June 22, 2021
@GavBrown13: Said it all along Kilmarnock tactics will get you no where at this level.
@scottmcpherson1: Totally agree. When you actually look back at Clarke’s Scotland record, I’ve no idea where the fanfare comes from.
@RikkiMiller_: Humping the ball up the pitch. Route one football. Like watching 90s Scottish football.
@BillFrazer4: Good to hear a bit of straight talking, thank you Mr Graeme Souness 👏
@chico45: Two up front was always the way to go against the Czechs. Fair play to Souness for calling it as it is tonight.
@jmilprint: Truth hurts!!
@GrahamPearson6: We have Some of the Best Young Players assembled, But we have a Crap, Defensive Minded Manager,
@Hazzybar: Totally agree with the comments from Souness. We’ve got some great young players, let’s not waste another 2 years or so, time for a change right now!!
@Beezty74: My thoughts entirely.
@alanwalters6: With a ‘football minded’ manager we will be good…we have decent players…formation doesnt work with the players selected…2 wing backs both must have pace…our RB doesn’t!! If you lump the ball forward 2 things have to happen…
1. Win the ball
2. If you dont, pick up scraps
@LauraBe36550188: Harsh but completely true. Everyone else is blowing smoke up Clarke’s arse for getting through but he got the tactics wrong twice.
@reid_zer: Have to agree with Souness for once. Should’ve changed tactics for the second half. Don’t see the use for Dykes apart from winning headers!
@nizzidenio: Saying exactly what we were all thinking…
@Andwoo74: Spot on. Big hoofs up the park constantly from the keeper
@snocher101: He is correct. I’ve always thought Clarke was one dimensional and struggles to change to chase a game. He is a good defensive coach but to be a coach you need to be able to change the system and that is something he’s never been strong at.
@ryan9RFC: Only sayin wit 50% of the country thought! Get him in as next manager
@RangersBanter17: Souness calling Clarke out, he’s bang on.
@adougl16: Clarke has no Plan B… just like his mentor José
@Redgauntlet1: Patterson would have done nothing much different to ODonnell and certainly not for 7 minutes. No wide players played from the start in any match. Long balls to 2 guys who couldn’t hit a barn door from 3 yards as well. Clarke has not improved us as a footballing side one iota.
@MoLaudrup: Souness the only one with the guts to question Clarke’s tactics
@fizzzzzzzzwizzz: Souness ripping into Steve Clarke here. About time someone said what we where all thinking.
@gmkelly1979: Souness nailed it, there were obvious mistakes individually and collectively, Clarke wasn’t proactive and it cost us any chance of progressing.
@JonnyLaidlaw: Souness absolutely nailed it on the head there! Scotland a country mile of being anywhere near able to compete at this level 😩 Clarke blew it as soon as the team was announced for the Czech game! #SCO #Scotland
@adidasler3: He’s spot on.
@PaulThomsonEK: Souness fair tearing into Clarke and the performance… It’s hard to disagree tbh.
@Couttsy88: Graeme Souness is the best of the best. I really hope Clarke and the boys listen to his analysis #SCOCRO
@actuallyyyyyy: He’s right. Long ball, hopeful hoofs into the box. Might get lucky that way in the English Championship or Kilmarnock. Would have preferred another midfielder like Turnbull or Fleck or creative forward like Forrest than Dykes who is not our best attacker.
@RossShirley1: Souness was 100% correct, the formation wasn’t working and needed changed…Clarke too slow to react and it cost us both home games
@Scmwell1: Main task v Croatia = man mark modric. Didn’t happen we paid the price.
@JPEGO5: ODonnell should’ve been off at half time with Patterson on, Dykes a f and Nisbet on, Clarke is a 🤡
Graeme Souness reckons Steve Clarke got it wrong against Croatia, says he needs to bring his tactics into the 21st century.
“We had to have more of the ball, we played second fiddle for a long time but you can’t wait until the last ten minutes to make changes, it’s too late.” pic.twitter.com/XueWR9gx20
— Rangers FC & Linfield FC (@bluesbrothers86) June 23, 2021