Worst XIs returns with a look at the worst team formed from Scottish internationals which will invoke horrible memories of George Burley, Craig Levein and *shudders* Berti Vogts…
Bryan Gunn – 6 caps
A Norwich legend, Gunn always struggled when he donned the Scotland strip. In his 6 international appearances he conceded 10 times and had about the same caps to clanger ratio as Scott Carson does for England. He never really got a chance despite his form for Norwich because of Jim Leighton and Andy Goram but he never helped his cause with performances like the one he put in in a friendly against Egpyt. Just weeks before the 1990 tournament was to start and Gunn handed the Egyptians two goals in their 3-1 win. Needless to say, he was third choice at the tournament. Gunn may have been an excellent goalkeeper in the Premier League but at international level, he sucked.
Graeme Murty – 4 caps
Born near Middlesbrough, Murty never actually played club football in Scotland yet qualified through a grandmother or something and was picked by Berti Vogts for some unknown reason in 2004. Let’s put this in perspective. Vogts was so desperate for a right back that he went and looked at the Championship and found one that played for a (at the time) mid-table side. Despite the number of right backs playing in the SPL, Murty was called up and played in the 4-0 humiliation at the Millenium Stadium against Wales. He played both games as Scotland won the prestigious Kirin Cup in 2006 against Bulgaria and Japan. Murty’s international career can best be summed up by his last appearance when he was a surprise starter in Georgia and helped Scotland lose 2-0. Thankfully, he never played for Scotland again.
Garry Kenneth – 2 caps
There are many unanswerable questions in life. What is the meaning of life? Does everything happen for a reason? And the most difficult of all – what in the f**k was Craig Levein thinking giving Garry Kenneth two games for Scotland? Not even going to beat about the bush here – Garry Kenneth is absolutely s**t. He is Scotland’s John Fashanu with the exact same international record and footballing ability. He’s clumsy, big and has no defensive ability at all. Yet, he was given 90 minutes against Sweden in a friendly. It hurts your head even thinking about it. And do you know who Garry Kenneth plays for now? Nobody because he was just released by third tier Brechin City. Yep. A Scotland international four years ago and he’s not good enough for Brechin. Sums up the Levein era.
Paul Ritchie – 7 caps, 1 goal
Rivaling Garry Kenneth in the useless stakes is Ritchie who was so crap that Rangers flogged him two months after buying him without even letting him play. He was so bad that he couldn’t even get into the Manchester City side in the early 2000s. Yet, he managed to steal 7 caps for Scotland and even scored a goal. He made his debut in 1999 while still viewed as an OK player at Hearts before everyone realised he was crap and he was dropped in 2000. What really sets Ritchie apart from the rest is that he was recalled in 2004 by that man Berti Vogts after some impressive games for… Walsall. He then played at the heart of the defence as Wales destroyed Scotland 4-0. And that was the end of his international career. To sum up how bad Ritchie was, a Dundee United fan specifically picked him out as an example of a player who was so utterly useless that he might as well have not been there.
Danny Fox – 4 caps
Danny Fox has a Scottish grandfather and played for Celtic for six months. Perfect for Scotland then. He also fit right in with the George Burley era as he was totally crap. He fouled everyone, got beat and provided nothing on the ball and was a total liability. He made his debut in an embarrassing loss in Wales (there are a few of those) in 2009 and that looked to have ended his international career. He was then recalled by none other than Craig Levein who gave him three more caps before realising he was bad when, again, Scotland lost to Wales. Fortunately, one of the few smart things Levein did during his time in charge was to never pick Fox again.
Gary Teale – 13 caps
Gary Teale won 13 caps for Scotland between 2006 and 2009 but does anyone actually remember him ever playing? What did Gary Teale contribute? Simply put: nothing! Teale was the sort of anonymous winger that nobody notices until someone points how little he does and then you still don’t know who he is. He’s played in the Premier League but nobody could tell you about anything he’s done. Gary Teale made up the numbers most of the time and he wasn’t even very good at doing that.
Nigel Quashie – 14 caps, 1 goal
Another Scottish grandfather story, Quashie was a favourite of Berti Vogts during the dreg ends of his time in charge which says a lot about how good Quashie was. He was a serviceable midfielder at best and he did once score a goal (against Trinidad and Tobago) but his entire Scotland career was brief, uninspiring and pointless. The only reason people ever remember him is because he has a Q in his name. That’s it.
Richard Hughes – 5 caps
At one point, Portsmouth could have fielded the deadly duo of Quashie and Hughes in the Premier League. The problem is that nobody ever remembered that Richard Hughes was actually a Portsmouth player. In fact, nobody knew who Richard Hughes even was. It looked like a joke when he was called up in 2004 and continued to look like a joke throughout his five appearances for Scotland. Except the joke was not funny and Hughes was not very useful. Or memorable.
Peter Canero – 1 cap
“Who?” I hear you asking. And that is a very good question because nobody is quite sure. He was apparently a useful player for Kilmarnock and played in the Premier League for a bit but he was never actually that good. Canero was a Berti Vogts call-up which, generally, were not great in any way, shape or form and he contributed very little in his one game against Denmark in 2004. Probably said a lot that he was never close to being considered ever again too.
Chris Iwelumo – 4 caps
The man himself. Never a great goalscorer (or player for that matter), Iwelumo had played himself into contention in 2008 and was given his debut by George Burley (dear lord) as a sub against Norway. The game was 0-0 and Iwelumo had an open goal, four yards out to become a hero on his debut. He then inexplicably missed causing himself massive embarrassment, Scotland two points and any fan who saw it go and get their eyes tested to be sure they actually saw it correctly. He became a national laughing stock, some kind of sick joke that Burley was playing on the country for some wrongs they had done to him. Sadly, Iwelumo made three more useless appearances before somebody realised he was rubbish and stopped picking him. But that miss will never be forgotten and for that, he is the captain of this side.
Lee Miller – 3 caps
While Iwelumo had at least enough talent to get in a position to miss a sitter, Lee Miller couldn’t even accomplish that. It would be very surprising to hear that Miller had actually attempted a shot during his international career in the same way that it is surprising when you hear Lee Miller has actually scored a goal for his club. Devoid of any ability with his feet or in the air, it begs the question – how lacking in strikers were Scotland when Miller was called up?
Not many managers can say they are worse than Craig Levein and George Burely but Berti Vogts can. You knew it was going to be bad when he lost his first game in charge 5-0 and embarrassing result after embarrassing result followed as piss poor players were given games and performances were so bad that Scotland dropped below Burkina Faso in the world rankings. In fairness to Vogts, he did guide Scotland to a play-off in qualifying for Euro 2004 and got a win over the Netherlands but then led them to a 6-0 gubbing in Amsterdam. He then resigned after a 1-1 draw in Moldova citing “disgraceful abuse” although many argued that he was guilty of disgracefully abusing Scotland fans’ eyes with some of the team’s performances.
That is Scotland’s Worst XI. Do you agree with these choices? If not, who would you include? Let us know in the comments or on social media (links on the left). Stay tuned for more content from The Long Ball very soon.