Sport Letters: At least Scotland tried attacking

AS A loyal Scotland supporter, I was at Hampden to see the excellent Belgium give us a footballing display which was a delight to watch.

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan and his counterpart Marc Wilmots. Picture: Robert Perry

While there were a few positives on Scotland’s performance, the most worrying aspect must be the question of whether the initial enthusiasm for the appointment of Gordon Strachan to move our team forward from the despair of the Levein years was premature.

I felt sorry for Griffiths and later Rhodes as they were abandoned to play lone striker roles with the usual lost cause result. Not again! That was our downfall in the past. Let us have two strikers and test opposition. We have always been at our best when we go forward aggressively. Surely Mr Strachan will not let his country down against Macedonia and Croatia by playing the lone striker role which should be dumped for good. If we lose games, let it always be said we were an attacking and entertaining football side. The long-suffering Tartan Army deserve at least that.

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IAIN J MCCONNELL

Gifford

Speedybank

EAST LOTHIAN

Hard to see any evidence SFA is targeting Hearts

GIVEN their club’s continued fiscal travails, Hearts fans can perhaps be forgiven the occasional woe-is-me rant, although rational thought does appear to be in short supply from time to time, as evidenced by Ian McCallum (Letters, 2 September).

The suggestion that the SFA is apparently seeking to punish Hearts at every opportunity is, at best, highly questionable.

Interestingly, I did witness at close hand Hearts captain Jamie Hamill’s outrageously theatrical tumble to the turf, which led to the dismissal of Raith’s Dougie Hill during the recent League Cup clash between the sides at Stark’s Park.

Hamill blatantly conned the referee, and subsequently swung the balance of an exciting match away from the Kirkcaldy side (who had held the upper hand in great swathes of play up to that point) in favour of Hearts, who ultimately scraped through following penalties.

Hamill’s misdemeanour was clear to everyone who witnessed the incident, yet I discovered during the week that an SFA Judicial Panel dismissed Raith’s appeal against Hill’s red card.

The SFA out to get Hearts? We can only speculate as to whether those associated with Raith Rovers agree with that particular sentiment.

DONALD RAMSAY

Roseburn Drive

EDINBURGH

Returning to the scene of the financial ‘crimes’

LAST year, The Scotsman was good enough to publish a letter of mine in which I lambasted the then chairman of the Newco Rangers for boasting about how his club would end the season with a healthier balance sheet than any other Scottish club, due to the fact that they had dumped about £150 million of debt when Oldco Rangers went into liquidation.

At least Mr Green did not cause the misery. That was down to the previous board of Oldco Rangers who, according to Lord Nimmo Smith in a report for the SFA, also made Employee Benefit Trust payments which should have been declared to the authorities.

Given this, I was amazed to read (Rumour Mill, Scotsman 05/09) that two of the non-executive directors who presided over this shameful period are now making a bid to join the phoenix that arose from the toxic debt bonfire!

John McLelland and Paul Murray should have been guardians against the profligacy and sharp practice that eventually led to the liquidation of Rangers FC but did nothing and are now intent on strolling back on to the board of Newco Rangers as if nothing has happened. Have they no shame?

Tom Minogue

Victoria Terrace

DUNFERMLINE