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 Waiting for a Bus: Full backs
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Sun 14 Feb 19:53

No matter the country, very few footballers are ever selected to play at international level. I’ve seen interviews with Denis Law and Eddie Gray where they both said their proudest moment in football was pulling on the Scotland jersey- in fact Eddie claimed nothing surpassed doing this at schoolboy level. Even fewer players are capable of making a real impact on the international stage, so it is very frustrating when we produce two players capable of doing that who happen to play in the same position. Would Andy Robertson or Kieran Tierney make the England/French/ German/Spanish sides? I think they would, so we can only hope there might be a way to combine them in the same Scottish line up. Here’s a look at a few occasions when this has happened before with Scotland teams. I’ll start with full backs.

By 1970 it was accepted that every team needed at least one full back who could contribute in attack but in Scotland they seemed thin on the ground. The rampaging Tommy Gemmell had never convinced in a blue shirt and is best remembered for a thundering right foot drive up the backside of Helmut Haller. He scored twice at international level: a penalty against Cyprus to make the score 8-0 and an own goal for the USSR. Willie Callaghan was called on too late in his career whilst Doug Fraser, Francis Burns, Billy Dickson and John Hansen are long forgotten by most. Then three good quality right backs appeared around the same time.

SANDY JARDINE was already an established wing half with Rangers when he was moved to right back, making his Scotland debut as a substitute in November 1970 against Denmark before a paltry Hampden crowd of 20,000, many of whom had been barracking the man he replaced- Celtic’s Davie Hay. Despite a stiff running action, Jardine had pace aplenty and he used this well when running back to block shots and crosses. He was composed on the ball and rarely gave away possession even when involved in attacks near the opposition goal. In the 1974 World Cup he showed his mettle, especially in the draw with Brazil, and managed a game in 1978 as well, ending up with 38 caps.



JOHN BROWNLIE was only 19 and had barely played a full season for Hibs when he replaced Jardine as first choice against the USSR in June 1971. When Brownlie won a slide tackle it was so well timed he could often get to his feet with the ball under control. He cruised forward with an ability to drop his shoulder and lengthen his stride which took out an opponent, before placing an accurate ball into the penalty area. After 6 games a broken leg effectively ended what should have been a notable international career.



DANNY McGRAIN’s career was stalled due to a serious head injury so it was May 1973 when he first started in a match against Wales. Initially shifted to left back to accommodate Jardine, McGrain was an automatic choic

sammer
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 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Full backs
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Sun 14 Feb 19:57

Last part got whooshed.

DANNY McGRAIN’s career was stalled due to a serious head injury so it was May 1973 when he first started in a match against Wales. Initially shifted to left back to accommodate Jardine, McGrain was an automatic choice for the rest of the decade playing the 1974 World Cup, was badly missed through injury in 1978, and played a game in 1982. McGrain was a tough competitor with a tendency to dive into tackles but usually successfully. In attack he was as good as a winger with a give and go style that relentlessly tested the opponent’s defence and for a while McGrain was acknowledge as the best full back in the UK. He ended up with 62 caps.



Of the three, only McGrain really showed his ability at international level since Jardine played in his shadow and Brownlie was eased out. We’ve had decent full backs since, but none with that extra touch of quality until the arrival of Robertson and Tierney. I’ll do wing halves tomorrow.

sammer
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 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Full backs
Topic Originator: Buspasspar  
Date:   Sun 14 Feb 20:00

Good post sammer .....Danny McGrain.....what a player

We are forever shaped by the Children we once were
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 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Full backs
Topic Originator: twin par  
Date:   Sun 14 Feb 20:26

Was at a celtic game in the early 70s,against ajax.Courtesy of a free ticket. Ajax player, jasper Olsen,ripped Danny McGrain apart. Think it ended up a draw,never seen such skill.
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 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Full backs
Topic Originator: Buspasspar  
Date:   Sun 14 Feb 20:49

twin par if it was the game at Hampden that Celtic won 1-0 then I don`t think Danny played that night .... Jesper Olsen did not play for Ajax until the 1980`s



Post Edited (Sun 14 Feb 20:54)
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 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Full backs
Topic Originator: parathletic  
Date:   Sun 14 Feb 21:04

Must have been referring to this game but a decade out?

15/9/1982 Celtic 2 v Ajax 2

Teams
Celtic:
Bonner, McGrain, McAdam, Moyes, Reid, McStay, Burns (Sullivan 84), MacLeod, Provan, Nicholas, McGarvey Subs: Latchford Crainie McCluskey Sinclair
Celtic scorers: Nicholas (14 pen), McGarvey (27)

Ajax:
Galje, Molenaar, Van Veen, Molby, Boeve, Schoenaker, Ophof, Cryuff, Lerby, Olsen, Vanenburg Subs: Schrijvers, Silooy, Van Basten, Godee, Van T`Schip
Ajax scorers: Olsen (4), Lerby (18)

Referee: Fredriksson (Sweden)
Att: 56,229



Post Edited (Sun 14 Feb 21:04)
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 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Full backs
Topic Originator: Raymie the Legend  
Date:   Sun 14 Feb 21:52

Danny McGrain played on too long and near the end of his career was regularly taking down wingers who were too young and quick for him.
He was superb in the 70s and him and Jardine formed part of a very good Scotland side in 1974




It's bloody tough being a legend
Ron Atkinson - 1983
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 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Full backs
Topic Originator: twin par  
Date:   Sun 14 Feb 22:13

I stand corrected on date.Indeed it was 82.Thank you parathletic.Age,playing hell with my memory!

Post Edited (Sun 14 Feb 22:21)
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 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Full backs
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Sun 14 Feb 23:07

Agree with Raymie, in that the later Danny McGrain became a crude player in late career and often escaped bookings partly through his reputation. Balls played in behind him, which he had previously dealt with easily, became a problem as when he sold Alan Rough short against New Zealand in 1982.

I saw him McGrain at Celtic Park in 1977 before the foot injury that inhibited his play and he was an awesome player. In the first minute he had three attempts at goal and then ran non stop for 90 minutes.

sammer
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 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Full backs
Topic Originator: Parboiled  
Date:   Mon 15 Feb 14:56

The Daily Mirror was our paper when I was lad. My dad and all the neebs were WW2 incomers so most read it.
Cant recall much about Scottish football in it, but do recall Frank McGhee their Chief Sportswriter saying McGrain was the most complete footballer in Britain.

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 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Full backs
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Mon 15 Feb 15:05

Danny McGrain was undoubtedly the finest full back Scotland has ever produced and Raymie is correct in suggesting that he should perhaps have retired a couple of years earlier. It was really sad to see him trip up opponents who went past him, because he'd lost a yard of pace, when previously he would have dispossessed them and started a counter attack.



Not your average Sunday League player.
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 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Full backs
Topic Originator: Grant  
Date:   Mon 15 Feb 18:31

Quote:

GG Riva, Mon 15 Feb 15:05

Danny McGrain was undoubtedly the finest full back Scotland has ever produced .



Big shout that GG!
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 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Full backs
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Mon 15 Feb 20:28

Quote:

Grant, Mon 15 Feb 18:31

Quote:

GG Riva, Mon 15 Feb 15:05

Danny McGrain was undoubtedly the finest full back Scotland has ever produced .



Big shout that GG!


Care to put up a candidate, Grant? The silky John Greig wore the No 2 shirt and scored the only goal when Scotland beat Italy in a WC qualifier in '65. 🙂

Danny McGrain, at his peak, had it all.



Not your average Sunday League player.
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 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Full backs
Topic Originator: Grant  
Date:   Mon 15 Feb 21:40

Yer man Robertson isn't bad, champions league and Premier league title, been accepted as one of, if not the world's best left back the past couple of years.

His name must surely be in the discussion.
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 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Full backs
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Tue 16 Feb 07:29

Quote:

Grant, Mon 15 Feb 21:40

Yer man Robertson isn't bad, champions league and Premier league title, been accepted as one of, if not the world's best left back the past couple of years.

His name must surely be in the discussion.


Fine player though Robertson is, I don't think he's yet at the levels McGrain reached. He's probably more a wing back than a full back, very good going forward, with quality crosses into the box, but defensively, he's not as good as McGrain was. In short, McGrain was the finished article, Robertson is still a work in progress.



Not your average Sunday League player.
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