As the pints are sunk, the punters rise to the challenge of the biggest away game of them all. Will Ferguson’s team go out in the first round repeating the failures of previous World Cup Finals or will they hang on, perhaps even to win? Kenny Mathieson and Graham Caldwell spoke to the referees of the bar rooms, the player managers who can do more than shoot their mouths off.
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PETER MARINELLO j
, points in the squad. but feels —
Peter Marinello was the kind of
fast-raiding, tricky winger we constantly miss in the game these days. He burst onto the Scottish scene as a teenager with Hibs, memorably destroying the Rangers defence in the rain at Ibrox, back when that was more of a feat'than of late. Hibs unseemly haste to cash in on their protége’ saw him leave for Arsenal shortly after. but his ﬂamboyant style was not to Don Howe's liking, and he moved on to Portsmouth. then to Motherwell, Fulham. Phoenix and finally back across Edinburgh to Hearts, as part of Alex MacDonald‘s rebuilding of the Tynecastle club.
Wooster’s is a bar that does most of its business in the late night session, something which somehow fits
. Peter‘s extrovert playing image. His
stint at Motherwell actually took him to Mexico on tour, and he recalls the difficulties of playing in the humidity and altitude of the Aztec Stadium. ‘Even at nine or ten at night it’s still a killer. There‘s no getting round the advantage the South American
teams will have — Uruguay are a bit of a mystery to the fans here. but . they are South American
champions, and that speaks for itself.
Peter recognises that the absence of Hansen and the inclusion of
i'rhc’Lis-i 30 May — 12 June
.. s . Wear.
Archibald are the major talking
surprise, surprise - that the serious
omission was that of Nevin. ‘Pat
should have to look for a player who
is willing to take full-backs on, to go I at them with the ball and wreak a bit
of havoc, as he did when he came on
at Wembley. Too many backs in the : modern game are made to look good
because they never actually have to face a winger — the likes of Sansom
; doesn’t look that clever when somebody like Pat really goes after
him. ‘Davie Cooper is a great player, but he’s not really that kind of
' winger. He doesn‘t base his game on i running at backs, taking them on, » getting to the by-line, although on
his day he can be brilliant. He is in a
category of his own, there‘s no one
else quite like him. but he doesn‘t
' attack players enough for my liking. Same with Bannon — I prefer to see I him trying to get to the line, rather
than coming back onto his right foot. I think they will probably play him and Strachan in preference to Cooper in the first game — Gordon
can get wide, and is brilliant on his day. But I still think Nevin could
have added an extra dimension to
Peter isn’t greatly impressed by my argument that this particular
, tournament has come too soon for ‘= the Chelsea man. ‘Experience is
important, but I’ve always believed
that if you are good enough you can play at any level. I think Nicholas would benefit from having a winger as well — Charlie made the same mistake as me and signed for Arsenal! At Parkhead he had Davie ; Provan providing the service. Davie i took everything wide and left the strikers room to play. That will be crucial against the kind of organised defences they will face in Mexico. ‘It’s ironic that we should find ourselves with'a well-organised side, but a wee bit short on the kind of players who might produce a touch of individual magic and turn a game — it has usually been the other way around. The rest of the group will get a great boost from Kenny not playing, but it’s maybe a reflection of our problem that we were relying so much on a 35 year-old in the first place — his successor hasn’t really broken through. I don’t think Archibald is the right kind of player for this tournament, too much of a . six-yard box ﬁnisher. We’ll need i someone who can break at speed and 3 take a bit of responsibility, like i McAvennie. ‘I’d also like to see Souness push ; forward a lot more. He's a class 3 player, but sits too tight on the back four— you could throw a blanket over him and the central defenders at times. You actually lose a player ; with him lying so deep. My only real worry in defence is that maybe Miller I and McLeish will lack a bit of pace against the likes of Laudrup and the Uruguyan boy Francescoli, who is . reputed to be the best attacker in
Peter is something of a betting man, so where would his money go this time? ‘Argentina, with Denmark and France for second and third. It’s very open, and Scotland couldn’t have a harder group, but we’re going with a good attitude. Nobody is expecting miracles, and if we qualify for the second stage, we’ll have done ourselves proud. As long as we’re seen to have a go, there won’t be any recriminations ifwe lose out. I just wonder ifour squad isn’t too familiar to our opponents — we maybe lack someone to pull a surprise, to be the unknown quantity that might catch other teams out. Nevin could just have been the wee box of tricks to do that. But our group could be the downfall of whoever eventually wins it — they’ll feel as if they’ve played three finals already.’
BOBBY LENNOX BOBBY’S BAR
Looking little different from his playing days. Bobby Lennox is looking forward to the World Cup from the landlord‘s side of Bobby‘s Bar in his hometown of Saltcoats. Like many other footballers‘ pubs. its walls display reminders of his career. a career which included such highlights as scoring in that famous Wembley fixture of 1967 when. in the company of Baxter. Law et al. he was one ofthe Scotland team which murdered England. then World Champions. 3—2. in the same year came that glorious night in Lisbon when Celtic became the first British team to lift the European (’up. He is modestly dismissive ofthis feat nowadays. saying that it is ‘all in the past‘. Always a supremely fit footballer. Lennox's playing career spanned the years between 1%] and 1980. and he is now reserve team
coach at Parkhead. even though he still looks able to go ()(l minutes with the best of them. He is looking forward to the World (.‘up. and is optimistic about Scotland’s chances. ‘I think they‘ll do quite well. The first game is the important one. if they can beat Denmark then they‘ve got a chance. Important players will be Miller and McLeish. and a lot will depend on how big Roy does. It's going to be a real team game. we have to play well together. Roy phoned me from Mexico and said that things are going well and they’re all looking forward to it.‘ Like most of us, he thinks losing Dalglish is a real blow and is just as curious to see who Ferguson will pick as his two
front men. ‘(‘harlie‘s looking sharp.