Alan Pattullo: Was Craig Levein ahead of his time to play with no strikers?

Return to Czech Republic ten years on is a time for reflection

Saturday, 5th September 2020, 7:30 am
Updated Saturday, 5th September 2020, 12:38 pm
Craig Levein's strikerless team in Prague in 2010. Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS
Craig Levein's strikerless team in Prague in 2010. Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS

Scotland’s trip to face Czech Republic on Monday almost demands reflection. Craig Levein is as aware of this as anyone, hence his admirable decision to open up about that game ten years ago next month to Moira Gordon in today’s Scotsman.

Now that the controversy is over, now that you’re older, it’s easy to care less about the gesture of playing 4-6-0. Reporting on the game at the time, I remember seething about Scotland – who were playing in a yellow change strip – “leaving a big yellow stain across the beautiful game” in Prague as they fell limply to a 1-0 defeat.

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There was a forward on the pitch – Jamie Mackie. It’s just he was playing at what he later recalled was effectively right back.

Of course, now it hardly seems notable at all to play with no strikers. Neil Lennon did it twice in a row recently.

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