Tuesday, September 4, 2018

If Scotland qualified for the World Cup 1970

Scotland in 1969

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index
Ireland/Northern Ireland combined team,
IrelandNorthern Ireland,
United Kingdom
Greater London
North East EnglandNorthWest England.
Black English players
Argentina World Cup 1946
Spain without Catalan players World Cup 2010
USA World Cup 2010
If Ronaldo and Messi played for Australia in 2006

In the late 60s and early 70s, Scottish football was considered a force to reckon with. Celtic won the European Cup in 1967 and Rangers the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972. The Scottish national defeated England in 1967, becoming the first team in the world to beat the World Cup holder.  However, they failed to qualify for the World Cup Finals in Mexico.  They finished behind West Germany in their qualifying group after a 3-2 defeat in Hamburg.  Scotland actually scored first goal on that match.

This is my selection of Scotland for the World Cup Finals in 1970. Only 22 players were on the official roster back then.
Scotland 1967 
GK: Jim Herriot (Birmingham City)
Herriot started with Dunferline Athletic before joining Birmingham City in 1965, where he played until 1971.  After that, he played in Durban City in South Africa.  Between 1971 and 1973, he played for Hibernian FC and then, another two seasons with St Mirren. From 1968 to 1969, he was capped 8 times for Scotland.  He was mainly used for the World Cup Qualifiers during that period.

GK: Tommy Lawrence (Liverpool)
From 1957 to 1970, Tommy Lawrence played for Liverpool FC. He was Liverpool's goalkeeper during the rise of the club in the early 1960's under Bill Shankly. He left the club in 1970 to make the way for Ray Clemence.  He then played for Tranmere Rovers between 1970 and 1973. He was capped three times in his career for Scotland between 1963 and 1969.  His second cap was against West Germany in the World Cup Qualifier in 1969.

GK: Ernie McGarr (Aberdeen)
Ernie McGarr made his name with Aberdeen.  Over there, he was locked up a battle for number one with Bobby Clark, who also represented Scotland in the 1970's. He later played for Dunferline Athletic, East Fife FC, Cowdenbeath, Airdrieonians and Berwick Rangers.  For international football, he played twice for Scotland.  He started against Austria in a World Cup Qualifier in 1969.

RB/LB: Tommy Gemmell (Celtic)
Tommy Gemmell was a legendary player with Celtic. He scored the opening goal for the Lisbon Lions in 1967 as Celtic became the first British club to win the European Cup trophy. He scored again at the European Cup Final in 1970 in a defeat to Feyenoord.  He also had a successful career with Nottingham Forest.  He also played for Miami Toros and Dundee. He was capped 18 times for Scotland between 1966 and 1971.
Tommy Gemmell
RB: Willie Callaghan (Dunfermline Athletic)
At the club level, Callaghan played for Dunfermline Athletic, Berwick Rangers, Cowdenbeath. His longest spell was with Dunfermline Athletic where he played from 1961 to 1972. For Scotland, he earned two caps.  His appearance against Wales in 1970 was the last time that a Dunfermline Athletic player represented Scotland until 200.

CB: Bobby Moncur (Newcastle United)
Bobby Moncur played a total of 296 times for Newcastle United, scoring three goals – all in the two-legged final of the 1969 Fairs Cup. He also played 16 times for Scotland between 1968 and 1972. In 1974 after Captaining Newcastle in the FA Cup final, he was transferred to Sunderland, moving again to Carlisle United in 1976, where he ended his playing career.

CB: Ronnie McKinnon (Glasglow Rangers)
Ronnie McKinnon played for Glasgow Rangers from 1960 and 1972. He was a part of the team that won the 1972 Cup Winners' Cup, but he was injured in the earlier round. In 1973, he moved to play for Durban United in South African. He was capped 28 times.  He played in the famous win over Italy in 1965 and then, the victory over England in 1967.

CB: Billy McNeill (Celtic) 
As the captain of "Lisbon Lions, Billy McNeill became the first British footballer to hold aloft the European Cup, when Celtic won the Cup in 1967. He also won nine Scottish League championships, seven Scottish Cups, and six Scottish League Cups. He was voted as Celtics' greatest captain.  He was capped 29 times for Scotland between 1961 and 1972.  He was SFWA Footballer of the Year for the 1964–65 season.

LB/CB/WH: John Greig (Glasglow Rangers)
Greig played his entire career with Rangers.  He was voted as the greatest Ranger ever by the fans in 1999.  He scored 120 goals for the club and won three domestic trebles. Greig actually started his career with Rangers as a forward, prior to being moved to defense. He won the 1971–72 European Cup Winners' Cup. He was capped 44 times.  He led Scotland in a famous victory over England, their first defeat as World Cup winner at Wembley. 
John Grieg
LB: Eddie McCreadie (Chelsea)
McCreadie joined Chelsea in 1962.  He scored a memorable winner in the League Cup final of 1965 in which he dribbled 80 yards up the pitch before slotting the ball past Leicester City goalkeeper Gordon Banks.  He also won the FA Cup with Chelsea in 1970. The side won the Cup Winners' Cup the following season, but McCreadie missed the final in Athens through injury. Earned 23 caps between 1965 and 1969.

DM: Pat Stanton (Hibernian)
Stanton was the great grand nephew of Michael Whelahan, the founder of Hibernian FC Whelahan, the founder of Hibernian FC.  He played for them from 1963 to 1976, where he would become their captain.  In 1976, he moved to play for Jock Stein's Celtic. An injury forced him to retire in 1978, despite having a great season there. From 1966 to 1974, he was capped for Scotland.

CM:  Billy Bremner (Leeds United)
Bremner was Leeds United's greatest ever player.  He was their captain when they dominated English football.  He was also named as the FWA Footballer of the Year in 1970. He was known for his rough play. He is a member of both the English Football Hall of Fame and Scottish Football Hall of Fame. He spent 1976 to 1978 at Hull City, before being appointed player-manager at Doncaster Rovers in November 1978. He was capped 50 times. He went to the WC finals in 1974.
Billy Bremner
CM: Bobby Murdoch (Celtic)
From 1962 to 1973, Murdoch played for Celtic.  He was one of the Lisbon Lions who won the European Cup in 1967. In 1973, he joined Jack Charlton's Middlesbrough, where he mentored a young Graeme Souness. He only gained 12 caps for Scotland, largely because of playing at the same time with Jim Baxter and Billy Bremner.  He scored the equalizer against Wesr Germany in 1969 in a World Cup Qualifier.

CM: Peter Cormack (Nottingham Forest)
Peter Cormack played for played for Hibernian, Toronto City, Nottingham Forest, Bristol City and Partick Thistle, but he was best remembered for his career with Liverpool between 1972 and 1976. His transfer fees marched Liverpool's record at the time.  In the 1972-1973 season, Liverpool won the League Cup/UEFA Cup Double.  In 1976, Liverpool won anther UEFA Cup, but he had a minor role. He went to the 1974 World Cup Finals.

RW: Willie Henderson (Glasglow Rangers)
He was also part of the Rangers team that got to the finals of the 1960–61 and 1966–67 Cup Winners Cup competitions, and was part of the Rangers campaign that won the trophy in the 1972 season, but he had left Rangers just prior to the Final against Dinamo Moscow. Waddell. Henderson signed for Sheffield Wednesday for the 1972–73 season and spent three years playing in Hong Kong. Capped 29 times.  He earned his first cap as a 18 years old.

RW: Jimmy Johnstone (Celtic)
Jimmy Johnstone played over 500 games for Celtic.  In 2002, he was voted as the greatest Cetlic players by the fans.  He played over 500 games for them.  He was one of the Lisbon Lions that won the European Cup for Celtic. He later played for the San Jose Earthquakes, Sheffield United, Dundee, Shelbourne and Elgin City.  He was capped 23 times.  He went to the WC Finals in 1974, but did not play.
Jimmy Johnstone
RW/LW: Charlie Cooke (Chelsea)
Cooke began his professional career with Aberdeen in 1960 and moved to Dundee in December 1964, where he was voted player of the year. He signed for Chelsea in 1966 for a then club record of £72,000 as part of manager Tommy Docherty's restructuring of the Chelsea side.  He also won the FA Cup with Chelsea in 1970. The side won the Cup Winners' Cup the following season.  He earned 16 caps.

LW: Eddie Gray (Leeds United)
Gray was an integral member of the legendary Leeds United team of the 1960s and 1970s, later twice becoming the club's manager. In 2000, Gray was voted as the third Greatest Leeds United player of all time, surpassed only by his club captain, Billy Bremner (No. 1) and John Charles (No. 2).  Gray played in 12 full international games for Scotland between 1969 and 1977. 

FW: Denis Law (Manchester United)
Law spent 11 years at Manchester United, where he scored 237 goals in 404 appearances. His goals tally places him third in the club's history, behind Bobby Charlton and Wayne Rooney. He partnered George Best and Bobby Charlton at Manchester United, which was considered to be most popular forward line in British history.  He was capped 55 times.  He managed to play in the 1974 WC Finals.
Denis Law
FW/LW: Bobby Lennox (Celtic)
With Celtic, Bobby Lennox won eleven League medals, eight Scottish Cup medals, and five League Cup medals (scoring 63 goals in the competition) and was a member of the 1967 European Cup winning Celtic team, known as the Lisbon Lions.  He also played in NASL for Houston Hurricane in 1978. He played 10 times for Scotland.

FW: Colin Stein (Glasgow Rangers)
Stein began his career with Armadale Thistle. He went on to play professionally for Hibernian and Glasglow Rangers.  He helped Rangers to win the 1972 Cup Winners' Cup.  He scored the opening goal in the Final. He also played for Coventry City.  For Scotland, he earned 21 caps.  He scored a hattrick against Cyprus in 1969, being the last player to do it for Scotland until 2015. 

ST: Alan Gilzean (Tottenham Hotspurs)
From 1954 to 1964, Gilzean played for Dundee in Scotland. From 1964 to 1974, he played for Tottenham Hotspurs. He first formed a famous partnership with along side Jimmy Greaves and followed another partnership with Martn Chivers.  He won the 1967 FA Cup and 1972 UEFA Cup. He then played briefly in South Africa for Highland Parks.  He played 22 times for Scotland between 1963 and 1973.
Alan Gilzean

Player Pool
Hugh Curran, Doug Fraser, Bobbie Hope, Jim McCalliog, John Hughes, Peter Lorimer, Frank McLintock, Bobby Clark, Billy Dickson

Squad Explanation
-- The team was reviewed in July, 2023.
-- The team was mainly based upon the number of appearances for Scotland between 1969 and 1970. However, there was a rumour that Celtic manager Jock Stein would encourage his players to not take part in non-competitive international matches.  Some Celtic players thought that they were not given as much of a chances.  Bobby Lennox accused Scotland of favoring Rangers' players.  The cap count was a flawed method in many ways, I admitted.
-- Bobby Brown managed Scotland from 1967 to 1971.  His best match in charge was a famous 3-2 victory over England.  It was England's first defeat after winning the World Cup.
-- Only 22 players went to the World Cup Finals in 1970.
-- In 1970, Scotland had not qualified for the World Cup Finals since 1958.  They would qualified the next four World Cup Finals after the 1970.
-- Denis Law, Jimmy Johnstone, Billy Bremner, Tommy Gemmell, Jim Greig and Billy McNeill are on my Scotland All-Time Team.
-- I selected 5 players from Celtic and 4 from Glasgow Rangers.  Three were selected from other Scottish clubs.  Ten other players were based in the English league.
-- All 5 players from Celtic were members of "Lisbon Lions" that won the European Cup in 1967.  That season, they also reached the Final of the European Cup before losing to Feyenoord.   In the semifinal, they met and eliminated Leeds United in the first ever all-British tie in the tournament history.  Billy Bremner described Jimmy Johnstone's performance in the series as "one of the greatest exhibitions I have ever seen".  Jimmy Johnstone whom I considered is one of the top five greatest ever right wingers in the history of British football was in top form.
-- Scotland qualified for the 1974 World Cup Finals.  Denis Law, Jimmy Johnstone, Billy Bremner and Peter Cormack from this 1970 projected team went to the 1974 Finals.  Scotland would qualify the next four tournaments as well.  
-- Scotland have never advanced beyond the first round of the World Cup Finals competition. They have missed out on progressing to the second round three times on goal difference: in 1974, when Brazil edged them out; in 1978, when the Netherlands progressed; and in 1982, when the Soviets qualified.
-- I also created an United Kingdom World Cup 1970 team.  I put Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton, George Best, Denis Law, Gordon Banks and Pat Jennings on the same team in their prime.
-- The last World Cup Qualifier between Austria and Scotland was a meaningless game since West Germany already qualified for the World Cup Finals by that point.  But I did use Scotland's lineup that day as a reference for this team.
-- Scotland used three goalkeepers Jim Herriot, Ernie McGarr and Tommy Lawrence in the World Cup Qualifiers. 
-- Jim Herriot was the starting goalkeeper.
Jim Herriot
-- Ernid McGarr's internatonal career consisted of just two matches both in 1969.  He left the field after only 35 minutes in his first match because of an injury.  On his second and last cap, he played against Austria in a meaningless game.  
-- Bobby Clark and Ernie McGarr were also teammates at the club level.  The pair battled for the number one at Aberdeen.  In 1968–69 season, McGarr replaced Clark, and Clark never regained his position.  For this team, McGarr edged out Clark because Scotland used him at a World Cup Qualifier against Austria in 1969. Clark was used in 1970 only once after the World Cup Qualifier.  
-- Tommy Lawrence had a legendary status in Liverpool as a sweeper-goalkeeper.  However, he lost his starting job to Ray Clemence on February, 1970 after Watford beat Liverpool in the quarterfinal of the FA Cup.  Nevertheless, I decided to stay with the three goalkeepers.
-- Ronnie Simpson did not arrive in Celtic until he was 33 years old. He received his first cap for Scotland at the age of 36, but he represented the United Kingdom in the 1948 Olympics. He was 39 years at the end of the World Cup Qualifiers. He was still with Celtic, but he did not play much that season.  An injury in 1969 forced him to retire at the end of the season.  He did not play in any the World Cup Qualifiers. 
-- Eddie McCreadie and Tommy Gemmell were obvious choices for fullbacks. Manager Bobby Brown moved Tommy Gemmell to the right side and played both McCreadie and Gemmell on the national team. With Gemmell, I did not need a second leftback.  John Greig played as a forward and then, a wing-half before finally establishing himself as a centreback.  He later played as a leftback, but in 1970, he had not switched his position.  So I was only looking at him as a central defender. Willie Callaghan only made one appearance for Scotland in 1970, but I needed a backup rightback.  So I chose him over Doug Frasier.   Sandy Jardine made his international debut in November, 1970 after the actual World Cup Finals. Danny McGrain did not even made his professional debut until August, 1970.  So I excluded them for the 1970 team.
-- John Greig and Ron McKinnon were the starting central defenders during the World Cup Qualifiers.  They were also teammates for Glasgow Rangers that year.  Billy McNeill was the captain of the Lisbon Lions. That year, Celtic also reached the European Cup Final again with him as a captain.  He also played in the World Cup Qualifiers in 1969.  The three players were sure in.
Billy Neill
-- The last centerback was more difficult to choose.  Bobby Moncur captained Newcastle United as they won Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in June 1969.  He was a top defender in England during the late 1960's.  He played once for Scotland against Ireland in 1969 before the critical World Cup Qualifier against West Germany.  After the failed World Cup Qualifiers, he became a regular on the national team for a few years,  I took him because he actually played over Frank McLintock for Scotland in this period.
-- Martin Buchan was the captain of Aberdeen as they won the Scottish FA Cup in 1970.  Later, he would became a legend with Manchester United, but he did not made his international debut until 1971.  Gordon McQueen just turned professional in 1970.  Both were not in contention for a place in 1970.
-- In the 1969-1970 season,  Arsenal suffered an injury crisis.  Manager Don Howe converted Frank McLintock into a central defender.  He then found successes over there and became their captain.  However, he did not play for Scotland between 1967 and May, 1970. Ian Ure left Arsenal roughy around the same time McLintock became a star central defender over there.  His last cap was in 1967.  So I tool Moncur over them.
-- Pat Stanton was the SFWA Footballer of the Year in 1970 while Billy Bremner was also named the FWA Footballer of the Year in 1970.  Stanton, however, only played once in the World Cup Qualifiers, which was the meaningless game against Austria. He only played three times for Scotland in the year of 1969, but all of them between May and November of that year.  Nevertheless, I took him as one of the midfielders.
-- Billy Bremner was asked to play in a more advanced role for Leeds United that season.  He won the FWA Footballer of the Year award, but it was not Leeds United's best season during that era.
-- Peter Cormack also did not feature much, but he started the important qualifier match against West Germany on October, 1969. I took him ahead of the others.  He was a two-way midfielder.  He played with Stanton in Hibernian F.C, which was then a top team in Scotland.  In 1967, they annihilated Napoli 5-0 in the Fairs Cup, with both of them on the field.
-- Bobby Murdoch was a starter for Scotland throughout 1969 during the World Cup Qualifiers.
-- Jim Baxter' returned to Rangers in the summer of 1969, but his career was almost finished in the 1969-1970 season. He retired in 1970 at the age of 31.  So I left him off.
-- I already mentioned Jimmy Johnstone's supreme performance against Leeds United in the 1970 European Cup semi-final.   In that era, Willie Henderson was comparable to Jimmy Johnstone.  The Rangers fan considered him better than Johnstone.  Johnstone's performance with Tartan Army was inferior to his performance at the club level.  So I gave one spot to Henderson. Willie Henderson played 3 times in 1969, but only one of them was a World Cup Qualifier. Charlie Cooke earned more caps during the year 1968 and 1969 than both Johnstone and Henderson.  He also shared the field with them.  I ranked him ahead of Lorimer who was more famous due to his career with Leeds United.  So I took Cooke even through I already had Johnstone and Henderson.  He could play on the left. Tommy McLean seldom used by Scotland in both 1969 and 1970.  He played once against Wales in May, 1969.  He would become a part of Rangers' triumph in 1972 Cup Winners Cup. Willie Morgan played his first international game in 1967.  He did not received his second cap until 1972.  
Willie Henderson
-- Peter Lorimer made his international debut for Scotland against Austria in November 1969.  It was a late World Cup Qualifier.  He did not play his second senior cap until May, 1971.  He had a good season for Leeds United, but I had Willie Henderson and Jimmy Johnstone ahead of him.  So I left him off.  He was a right winger with playmaking skills.  He could be an attack midfielder.
-- Eddie Gray became a starter after making his debut in 1969.  He played in the critical matches against West Germany and Austria in 1970.  He also scored a famous goal against Burnley for Leeds that season.  The goal was considered to be Leeds United's greatest ever goal.  Cooke could also play on the left.  
-- John Hughes' prime position was the left wing position, but he could be a striker.  He was a big player. He scored a header against Leeds United in the semifinal of the European Cup, but he missed a big chance in the Final.  But the other left wing spot went to Bobby Lennox who probably did not need much introduction.  He was only capped 10 times, but he played in most of the important matches in this period.  With Johnstone on the other side of the wing, Celtic won the 1968 European Cup.
-- Denis Law was injured for the 1969-1970 season.  Manchester United tried to sell him that season, but no one wanted him.  So he remained with Manchester United. He also did not play a single game for Scotland in 1970 and 1971.  He had two caps in 1969. Despite all of this, I still brought him to Mexico because he was still one part of the "United Trinity".  The idea of sending the trio to a World Cup Finals was too good to pass.  In the real world, some managers would take an injured or out of form star player to the World Cup Finals.  I was banking on Law to reach his potential in Mexico.
-- In Tottenham, Alan Gilzean and Jimmy Greaves were one of football's greatest duos, but an out of form Greaves left Tottenham in early 1970.  Then, he formed another striking partnership with Martin Chivers. 
-- Colin Stein scored 6 goals in the World Cup Qualifiers.  He was Scotland's top scorer. He was followed by Alan Gilzean.  He was also the Scottish league top scorer.
Colin Stein
-- With just three strikers, the team might need one more goal scorer.  i could drop Charlie Cooke for striker.  But I could not find better candidates.
-- Kenny Dalglish was still a teenager in 1970.  He had played for the first team with Celtic, but was mainly used in the reserves.  He made his national team debut in 1972.
-- Hugh Curran scored 20 goals in England that season, but he played once in the World Cup Qualifiers.  John O'Hara had a breakout season in the 1969-1970 season when Derby returned to the top flight.  Toward the end of the season, he was in form, which led to a call-up from Scotland.  But for this team, I could not find a spot for them.