DAFC.net
Home 27 February 2021 
 Post Message  |  Top of Board  |  Go to Topic  |  Search  |  Twitter Updates  |  Log In   Forum Rules  |  Newer Topic  |  Older Topic  |  end 
[ please login to use the Like feature ]
 Waiting for a Bus: Wing Halves
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Mon 15 Feb 17:39

When Jim Baxter emerged as a stylish, attacking wing half the need for a more defensive player to cover him in the Scotland side was obvious. So was the answer: Dave Mackay, a driving, tough tackling midfielder who was at his peak and captaining Spurs during their glory years. When Slim Jim made his debut in November 1960 against Northern Ireland indeed it was Dave Mackay who partnered him in a 5-2 victory.


However choosing the Scotland team was quite a complex business back in the days of the old SFA Selection Committee, a body composed of chairmen from football hotspots like Stenhousemuir and Dumfries who often picked their own club team each Saturday and then told the manager to get on with it. At least they actually saw their own players perform. So-called ‘Anglos’ like Dave Mackay were off their radar and always vulnerable to replacement from a player in the Scottish League who was playing well, particularly when the Glasgow media demanded the inclusion of an Old Firm favourite. Amidst this horse trading, players were slotted into the rigid WM formation these men had known since their youth and since no substitutes were allowed, the end result occasionally confirmed the old adage that a camel is a horse designed by a committee.

So it came to pass that for the following season Baxter was partnered by Celtic’s Pat Crerand while Dave Mackay had to content himself winning the FA Cup and the Player of the Year award in England. On paper this looked like a mistake since Crerand was also an attacking wing half, a fine passer but not particularly mobile- surely too similar in style to Baxter himself? In the event it worked remarkably well with Crerand, a tough cookie raised in a rough area of Glasgow, lying deeper to protect the back three when Baxter went on his sallies upfield. In 1962 The Home Championship was won in style following our World Cup exit, a play-off where Crerand and Baxter exchanged punches over a bucket of water before extra time started. Mackay was restored by the time The Home Championship was retained in 1963 courtesy of a 2-1 win at Wembley. Crerand had left Celtic by then so his place had come under threat.



A Dave Mackay leg break in 1964 finished his international career and a leg break around the same time pretty much did the same for Jim Baxter who struggled to regain fitness. Crerand avoided injury, went on to win two League titles with Manchester United and a European Cup, but was discarded along with them. Three top players who had all won League titles, Cups and played in European Finals yet it seemed nobody on the SFA Selection Committee had considered playing all three in the same Scottish side. A young Jock Stein might have imagined Dave Mackay in a back four next to Billy McNeill , or Pat Crerand as sweeper, but by the time he took control in 1965 the moment had passed.
[IMG]https:

sammer
[IP address logged]
Report Abuse   Reply To This Message
 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Wing Halves
Topic Originator: Buspasspar  
Date:   Mon 15 Feb 18:04

Another fine post sammer .. I really enjoy reading them .. also helps my auld memory replenish and keeps me going .. well done keep them coming

We are forever shaped by the Children we once were
[IP address logged]
Report Abuse   Reply To This Message
 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Wing Halves
Topic Originator: LochgellyAlbert  
Date:   Mon 15 Feb 19:00

John White must surely get a mention , a player ahead of his time!
[IP address logged]
Report Abuse   Reply To This Message
 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Wing Halves
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Mon 15 Feb 21:23

1964 was a dark year for Scottish football. John White lost his life when struck by lightning on a golf course, then later in the year came leg breaks to Mackay and Baxter.
We did have Greig, McLintock, Bremner and Murdoch coming through which helped, but nobody came close to replacing John White`s style of play.

sammer
[IP address logged]
Report Abuse   Reply To This Message
 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Wing Halves
Topic Originator: Grant  
Date:   Mon 15 Feb 21:42

Is that MacKay who played under Clough? Ended up as a sweeper?
[IP address logged]
Report Abuse   Reply To This Message
 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Wing Halves
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Mon 15 Feb 22:33

Yes, the real Mackay had a long career. He helped to get Derby promoted and played at least a season in the top division alongside Roy McFarland. He`d been approached to take on a player-manager role at Hearts but was tempted by Clough to give it one last shot. There`s footage of him cracking in a free kick against Man Utd on MOTD around 1970.
By his own admission Mackay playing sweeper was not the force he had once been so it`s understandable his international career ended after a leg break aged 31. What`s harder to accept is how in his prime Mackay could be put in or left out of the side according to the whims of the SFA committee.

sammer
[IP address logged]
Report Abuse   Reply To This Message
 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Wing Halves
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Tue 16 Feb 07:32

Quote:

LochgellyAlbert, Mon 15 Feb 19:00

John White must surely get a mention , a player ahead of his time!


I don't want to be overly semantic, but the Ghost was an inside forward, not a wing half and you, LA, are old enough to know the difference.....🙂



Not your average Sunday League player.
[IP address logged]
Report Abuse   Reply To This Message
 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Wing Halves
Topic Originator: Grant  
Date:   Tue 16 Feb 07:50

Gough spoke highly of him in his autobiography, while not the force he may have been he was still seemed to play well.
[IP address logged]
Report Abuse   Reply To This Message
 Re: Waiting for a Bus: Wing Halves
Topic Originator: Parboiled  
Date:   Tue 16 Feb 08:37

Yes GG, John White should be in the next bus.

[IP address logged]
Report Abuse   Reply To This Message
 Top of Board  |  Forum List  |  Threaded View   Forum Rules  |  Newer Topic  |  Older Topic  |  end 


Rows: 0
 Forum List  |  Need a Login? Register Here 
 User Login
 User Name:
 Password:
 Remember my login:
   
 Forgot Your Password?
Enter your email address or user name below and a new password will be sent to the email address associated with your profile.
Security : type 'pars' in the box:
email:
© 2020 -- DAFC.net