Euro 2012 draw

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Postby HibeeJibee » Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:34 pm

For anyone interested the exhaustive list of dates available are as follows:

Wed 03 Mar ... Friendly (v Czech Rep)
Wed 11 Aug ... Friendly (allegedly v Sweden?)
Sat 04 Sep ... Qualifier
Tue 07 Sep ... Qualifier
Sat 09 Oct ... Qualifier
Tue 12 Oct ... Qualifier
Wed 17 Nov ... Friendly (v ?)
Wed 09 Feb ... Celtic Nations Cup
Sat 26 Mar ... Qualifier
Tue 29 Mar ... Qualifier
Wed 25 May ... Celtic Nations Cup
Sat 28 May ... Celtic Nations Cup
Sat 4 Jun ... Qualifier
Tue 7 Jun ... Qualifier
Wed 10 Aug ... Friendly (v ?)
Sat 03 Sep ... Qualifier
Tue 06 Sep ... Qualifier
Sat 08 Oct ... Qualifier
Tue 11 Oct ... Qualifier
Sat 12 Nov ... Play-off First Leg
Tue 15 Nov ... Play-off Second Leg
Wed 29 Feb ... Friendly (v ?) ... European Championships run 8 Jun - 1 Jul

Levein has said no ties this May / Saturday away qualifiers may be Friday.


I retired from using the P&B website a few weeks ago - but I returned to read some of the comments about the draw. You can see why Smith & Co cannot win: many supporters have not the faintest idea about how fixture allocations work at this level. For example - there seems a general, wide agreement we should start at home to Liechtenstein. But every nation will want that, bar perhaps Spain. Someone else suggests finishing with home and away games v Liechtenstein, then home to Lithuania. A few others go on about how we should be arranging 3 or 4 games before September, v a variety of nations, as preperation. Misinformation is a big problem here.

We are third seeds in this group. Spain and Czech Rep will be the agenda setters... ourselves and Lithuania can wriggle and bustle for concessions, but we won't be dictating what happens with the dates. If we do a Ukraine and call in UEFA, we could get a terrible run (and perhaps all home games on midweek, vis a vis in 2006 we got all home games on weekend). So it really is a bit of a long-shot to try and get a schedule we want. Additional problems involve weather and seasons i.e. do you want the order of ties, that gives you the top chance of putting together a "run" / or do you want games which optimise weather and season dates, but in a poorer order...?

The media and fans seem to demand... (1) home qualifier on weekends / (2) start with a home game, v a smaller side / (3) don't play on the June dates / (4) don't play teams when it is really hot / (5) don't play them at a time when our seasons mis-match to our disadvantage / (6) play Spain at the end when they've already qualifier. It's a huge amount to expect IMO.
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Postby scottish » Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:37 pm

Skyline Drifter wrote:The fact we had a phenomenal record prior to this century doesn't really detract from the fact the record this century is good.


But that’s the thing – I’d contend that it ISN’T a good record, certainly not when it comes to top opposition. Let’s ignore the Czechs and England by all means and look at this century, which was your starting point.

2002 World Cup – Home draws v top two in group, Belgium & Croatia. And one of those was against ten men after being two goals ahead. Bad results IMHO

2004 Euros – Home draw v Germans. Good result

Play-offs Home win over Holland. Great result. Pity about the return.

2006 World Cup – Draw v Italy. Good result. Defeats to Norway & Belarus - horrendous results, draw with Slovenia – poor result

2008 Euros Win v France – good result, defeat to Italy – predictable result, win v Ukraine – decent result.

2010 World Cup – defeat v Holland – poor result (they had little to play for), draw v Norway – poor result.

We’ve lost four home matches in the last three campaigns. That’s as many in four years as between 1954-1999

On another note entirely congratulations and best wishes for the forthcoming birth. If it's a boy you might be getting comps for Hampden in twenty or so years time.
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Postby scottish » Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:50 pm

HibeeJibee wrote:
We are third seeds in this group. Spain and Czech Rep will be the agenda setters... ourselves and Lithuania can wriggle and bustle for concessions, but we won't be dictating what happens with the dates.


True, which is why I'd put Levein's comments about October starts as a slip of the tongue rather than deliberate intent. However I maintain that with 12 dates and eight matches we have more leeway than in previous campaigns. There is no good reason why we should end up in a similar situation as last season v Norway.

Spain won't want September 2010 games as apart from their season starting later than most they are the only one in the group that will be in South Africa this year. Their reaction is that this is a good draw for them (surprise, surprise) though Del Bosque has made the usual platitudes about the opposition.

I don't think there's any harm in setting out what we would like to happen vis-a-vis fixtures. It's not as if we have anything more important to concern ourselves with. Though I agree that there does still seem to be a bit of a 'wha's like us' mentality which thinks we have some kind of divine right to get what we want.

I don't go along with the 'minnows at home first' idea. I don't think it is that important WHERE the opening game is (unlike the last, if we can't get Spain in September 2010 or 2011 then the last game of the group at Hampden would be ideal (provided we are still in with a chance by then). Most of our most successful qualifying campaigns have started away - 1974, 1978, 1982, 1990, 1996, 1998.
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Postby Skyline Drifter » Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:28 pm

scottish wrote:
Skyline Drifter wrote:The fact we had a phenomenal record prior to this century doesn't really detract from the fact the record this century is good.


But that’s the thing – I’d contend that it ISN’T a good record, certainly not when it comes to top opposition. Let’s ignore the Czechs and England by all means and look at this century, which was your starting point.

2002 World Cup – Home draws v top two in group, Belgium & Croatia. And one of those was against ten men after being two goals ahead. Bad results IMHO

2004 Euros – Home draw v Germans. Good result

Play-offs Home win over Holland. Great result. Pity about the return.

2006 World Cup – Draw v Italy. Good result. Defeats to Norway & Belarus - horrendous results, draw with Slovenia – poor result

2008 Euros Win v France – good result, defeat to Italy – predictable result, win v Ukraine – decent result.

2010 World Cup – defeat v Holland – poor result (they had little to play for), draw v Norway – poor result.

We’ve lost four home matches in the last three campaigns. That’s as many in four years as between 1954-1999

On another note entirely congratulations and best wishes for the forthcoming birth. If it's a boy you might be getting comps for Hampden in twenty or so years time.


Yes, but my point was that we are hard to beat at Hampden traditionally. Whilst many of those draws might well be considered poor results in the circumstances, and I wouldn't actually disagree with much of your assessment there, it was meant as a response to the suggestion that we'll obviously lose twice to Spain. Well we may well do, we certainly ought to do on the face of it, but there's enough in our past record to make me fairly optimistic that we can get a draw at least.

However, all that said, there's also no disputing your comment in bold either. And there's no arguing that the Norway and Belarus results were anything other than dreadful (I think the other two defeats can be mitigated though).

Thanks for the good wishes. The one year old (in a fortnight) is a boy so maybe 19 years then!
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Postby HibeeJibee » Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:02 pm

scottish wrote:True, which is why I'd put Levein's comments about October starts as a slip of the tongue rather than deliberate intent. However I maintain that with 12 dates and eight matches we have more leeway than in previous campaigns. There is no good reason why we should end up in a similar situation as last season v Norway.

Remember though that the last qualifying campaign was exactly the same situation: i.e. 12 dates and 8 games. But Smith (justifiably) refused to use either of the June dates... and acceeded to the demands of the Icelanders and Norwegians, with their summer seasons, not to use October 2009. So we were left with 8 dates for 8 games, but for whatever reason Smith and the rest were "unable to fit them all in"... hence, we played Norway on the August friendly date. Which the ended up a week even earlier - due to the revision for the UEFA club competition formats/dates. Hopefully Smith has learnt his lesson this time because that August game was 100% avoidable.

I've a lot of sympathy for Vogts... but one mistake he certainly did make, alongside Taylor, was arranging Slovenia (H) / Norway (H) / Moldova (A) as the first 3 games of 2006 qualifying. Aimed to get points on the board, and home victories against our rivals early doors - but it backfired with a catastrophic vengeance. For me balance of opponents is the major factor.

I'd certainly like to see us in Vaduz or Vilnius by Game 3 of 8 at the latest.
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Postby Skyline Drifter » Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:48 pm

scottish wrote:On another note entirely congratulations and best wishes for the forthcoming birth. If it's a boy you might be getting comps for Hampden in twenty or so years time.

T'was indeed a boy.

Steven John Lithgow was born this afternoon at 16:46 following a very long labour which has left his father knackered (though undoubtedly not as knackered as his mother!).
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Postby scottish » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:03 am

Congratulations on the new addition to your family and here's looking forward to the World Cup of 2028 or 2032.
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Postby bobby s » Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:31 am

Congratulations Skyline :D
It's the Hope I can't stand
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Postby Sat31March1928 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:32 am

2010
Friday 3rd September Lithuania Away
Tuesday 7th September Liechtenstein Home

Friday 8th October Czech Republic Away
Tuesday 12th October Spain Home

2011
Saturday 3rd September Czech Republic Home
Tuesday 6th September Lithuania Home

Saturday 8th October Liechtenstein Away
Tuesday 11th October Spain Away
Jackson; James; Jackson; James; Jackson
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Postby HibeeJibee » Fri Feb 19, 2010 2:04 pm

First of all congratulations to Skyline and I hope mother & boy (and dad!!) are doing well. Who were last brothers to play for Scotland at same time?

As regards the fixtures... a pretty decent negotiation - bearing in mind we are not one of the 2 effective 'agenda-setters' of the group. Interesting to see the decisions not to use the March dates (the June ones were always going to be discarded by us) and instead concentrate on Sep-Oct-Sep-Oct.

It is however easy to see how the campaign may be bordering on all over by this October. A draw in Vilnius, draw or defeat v Czechs in Prague, and a loss at home to Spain would likely see us on 4-5 points and chasing the Czechs from a position of weakness. At the same time, a win in Vilnius + 4 points from Czechs away/Spanish home would see us in an immensley strong position. I'll take something between the two as a compromise...!!
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Postby Skyline Drifter » Fri Feb 19, 2010 2:48 pm

HibeeJibee wrote:First of all congratulations to Skyline and I hope mother & boy (and dad!!) are doing well. Who were last brothers to play for Scotland at same time?

Caldwells against Norway fairly recently surely?

And thanks to you Scottish and Bobbby for the congratulations.
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Postby scottish » Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:34 pm

Good job in getting Spain away as the last match, working on the assumption that they won't need the points by then and if they do need them then they'll have declined pretty rapidly from where they are now.

Of course we might be out of it before then anyway. As HJ says the start is going to be crucial. That Czech/Spain double-header looks crucial. I'd happly settle for two draws right now.

Being optimistic we should to into those games with six points on the board and be top of the group (Spain & the Czechs will only have played one match by then). But defeat in Vilnius would be absolutely catastrophic and virtually impossible to recover from.

We also need to hope (again working on assumptions) that Spain don't qualify too soon. Their second last match is in Prague.

While the draw is big news in Scotland it's only a minor item here in Spain (eighth biggest football story) with this weekend's league games, last night's Europa League matches and latest Mourinho for Madrid rumour the top football stories. But they have published a full set of fixtures for the groupin Real Madrid's house journal Marca.

I couldn't find this on the BBC or the SFA.

Not much comment from Spanish fans on the draw either with most of those that have said something moaning about not qualifying automatically as champions though the interestingly monikered 'zombie 81' reckons Scotland are the most difficult opponents because we are similar to but better than Northern Ireland and they caused problems in the past.
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