Tom English: What did we learn? Only that Peat's lost his tongue

THERE WAS only one man worth listening to in the wake of what happened at the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama. It wasn't George Burley, for his relentless optimism even in the face of the ultimate 'blah!' football match can be grating, if wholly understandable. It wasn't any of the players either because there's only so many times you can hear that line about their being "lots of positives" before you lose the will to live.

No, The Man was George Peat. Where are you, George? You don't phone, you don't write, you don't say ridiculous things in print anymore. What's happened to you?

Having given an interview which, in his view, turned this match in Japan into some kind of dressing room referendum on George Burley's management, Peat has gone to ground.

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No comments on all the withdrawals from the squad, no reiteration of his earlier opinion that the player's faith in Burley will be determined by how many of the big guns travel to Yokohama. Well, very few of them did. Does Peat think that Burley has lost the dressing room, then? Is that how the president sees it? Does his silence mean he's standing by his assessment of a few weeks back?

What do you say, George? Anything? Anything at all?

With due respect to the players who made their debuts in Japan, this was every bit the non-event that everybody thought it would be and it would be every bit as brainless to read much into the performance and the result.

Was there anything meaningful in it? Well, until the goals went in late on, Scotland defended reasonably OK – against a second-string Japan attack. There was a positive for Gary Caldwell and Stephen McManus in that, for a change, it wasn't them who were left holding their head in their hands after a costly blunder, it was Christophe Berra. To be fair to Berra, he had to stretch for that ball, had to try and get something on it to divert it away. As far as own goals go, though, who cares? If you have to have one beside your name then this is the game to do it in.

It was a nice trip for the blazers and, God bless them, the Tartan Army will be coming home loaded down with so many trinkets that every small town in Scotland will have a lady in a Kimono in the coming week. It was also a cherished moment for the guys who got a cap. Some of them even got two caps – their first and their last. Good luck to them, but does anybody really think we're going to be seeing Don Cowie in a Scotland jersey again?

What did the game tell us? That the masses of noisy Japan fans in Yokohama are either the most admirable football supporters in the world, prepared to sing and dance through any old nonsense, or, perhaps, the saddest. It also told us that Scotland's C team isn't as good as Japan's B team, that Scotland's D-list midfielders are not capable of creating many scoring opportunities for Scotland's reserve strikers. There was one decent chance and it fell to Steven Fletcher. This was something else we discovered; Scotland can't score goals. Or maybe we knew all of this before. Maybe a trip of this length and at this time of the season wasn't wholly required in order to find this stuff out.

You could question Burley and his choice of striker in the starting line-up. Lee Miller is playing like a drain for Aberdeen, yet he got the nod. Derek Riordan is buzzing for Hibs, yet he had to content himself with an appearance off the bench. Riordan should have been given 90 minutes, just so we could add some more knowledge to the debate about whether he's good enough at this level or not.

As regards other worthwhile talking points? Well, you have to wonder now if Kawashima has done enough to displace Narazaki in goal for the World Cup build-up. And has Honda managed to put a little pressure on Tamada? As for the rivalry between Matsui and Ishikawa, it's up for grabs now, I think you'll agree. Burning questions all. If only Scotland had similar issues to ponder.

Well, there's one conundrum. Instead of traipsing across the world with a shadow team to play a match with precisely zero relevance to anything, why didn't Scotland have a get-together, a bonding session? Burley doesn't have a lot of time with his elite players, so why waste it in Japan?

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Why not get them all together in Scotland for a few days of light training and planning and (drink-free) fun? No doubt, that would be the way Burley would have done it, but his employers presented him with this fixture and he had to make the most of it.

It will go down as another defeat. And there will be some who will use it against the manager, either now or in the future, when his job security is looking troubled again. But, in truth, to call what happened in Japan yesterday a full international fixture would be stretching it. It was a pleasurable trip for Gordon Smith and chums, an exotic jaunt, a nice stamp on the passport. But a game of note, it was not. Isn't that right, Mr Peat?