Scotland rise to 13th in FIFA World Rankings, could overtake England. But how many Scottish players would get into a combined England/Scotland XI?


24th, October 2007


76890491.jpgScotland have risen one place to 13th in FIFA’s world rankings, their highest position since the rankings were introduced in 1993. The Jocks are now just two spots behind England who dropped down to 11th on the back of that defeat in Russia.
Many Scottish fans – and no doubt some English fans too – would argue that Scotland are currently a better team than Stevie Mac’s beleaguered England. But how many of Scotland’s players would get into an England/Scotland combined XI?
As far as I can see, only one or two Scots would stand a chance: In goal, Craig Gordon would definitely get the nod ahead of Paul Robinson. Barry Ferguson might stand a chance of securing a spot in central midfield, but you have to remember that he didn’t make it at Blackburn, and he would have to be picked above the likes of Gerrard, Lampard, Hargreaves, Carrick and Barry. I’d put Ferguson on the bench, but not in the starting line-up. The only other players I’d take a look at would be Everton’s James McFadden and Alan Hutton of Rangers. McFadden’s not even a fixture in Everton’s first team, although I concede that his recent form for Scotland has been superb. Hutton has a great future, but I wouldn’t take him over Micah Richards. Both could make the subs’ bench though.

The honest truth is that you’d almost certainly select Craig Gordon plus ten English outfield players. However, that doesn’t mean I’d pick England to beat Scotland if the two teams were to meet right now. I think it would be very close; either way, it’s surely about time that Scotland were invited to the new Wembley.

Posted in Transfers & Rumours

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  1. Mjd says:

    Fair points. England have better players but Scots are currently playing more as a team.
    Gordon is a definite. Barry Ferguson did actually do well at Blackburn but missed home too much and would be a massive improvement on Gareth Barry, but perhaps not Hargreaves.
    Mcfadden would be a great addition on the left of the England midfield and I don’t think Stephen McManus is any worse than Terry or Rio and will only get better.
    The real Scotland star is Scott Brown though, this boy will be a world-beater in a year or two and would walk into the England team.
    Ash Cole

  2. nicko says:

    I can think of one other member of the Scotland team I would have in the england set up…. the manager.

  3. ian says:

    I think you watch too much football on TV where the england game and players are continually talked up and overrated. England’s performance aginst Estonia was poor and the goals all had a large element of good fortune about them. England will never have a really good team again untill an element of realism creeps in. The term ‘world class’ is too easily banded about and should be reserved for those who really are. there are currently no world class players in the England set up, just as there are none in the current Scotland team, but Scotland have a number of better players and are significantly better as a team.

  4. nicko says:

    Significantly better as a team I dont think I can really argue with… but as indervidual players (on their own respective merits)… nah.
    If they were better players, then why are they so often outclassed withing their clubs.
    It’s like greece when they won the european cup… they deserved to because they had a better team…. not better players.

  5. Ian says:

    I trhink this proves my point. Scotland’s second choice keeper is much better than Englands first choice (he’s probably better than Scotland’s too!). Huttton, McManus, Brown, Hartley, McFadden and McCulloch would claim a place against their English counterparts, and noone has a better scoring record than Kris Boyd who struggle sto get a regular game with both Rangers and Scotland. Scotland’s biggest problem is Ferguson and Fletcher, both hugely over rated largely by the media. They don’t posses the skill or physicality to dominate a midfield. I wouldn’t mind one or two of Englands good midfield!

  6. Colin Kazim-Richards says:

    I would indeed agree that Gordon waltzes into the England team, and also that Scotland have some good players. But if we were to analyse the performances of players like McFadden, Hartley and McCulloch against England squad players such as (the much maligned) Lampard, Andy Johnson and Hargreaves there is little comparison. Assuming that this fictional team was managed by a neutral coaching team I think the England players would come to the fore. It shouldn’t be underestimated how much weaker the SPL is compared to the Premier League. Admittedly the majority of the Scotland squad plays for the Old Firm, but how many times per season do they come up against quality opposition?

  7. ian says:

    Here we go again – I’m afraid that your interpretation of quality is somewhat warped. as I said before the quality of players, teams and national side in England is hugely over rated and currently over populated with foreign players. The same scenario occurred in Scotland years ago ans had a devastating effact on our game, which we are only now recovering from.

  8. marc says:

    Any member of the team would do a better job than Paul Robinson!! I’d have the whole Scotland team in first then see if could improve it with the English. If they cannot adapt to playing with a different set of players then they are no good, hence the position the English team are in. Id put Joe Cole in, he’s as close to Jimmy Johnstone as you’re gonna get… I know, not close at all, but he seems the most comfortable player the English have….
    Thats about it ….

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