Scotland were left to rue lapses earlier in their qualifying campaign as a 2-2 draw against Slovenia in their final outing saw them miss out on Russia 2018 by the narrowest of margins.
A victory in Ljublana would have seen the Scots enter into the play-offs as one of the eight best second-placed teams, but Slovakia’s 3-0 win over Malta elsewhere saw them edged down into third place (and out of the running) on goal difference.
In the wake of the result, manager Gordon Strachan formulated a top notch excuse, blaming the genetic make-up of the entire nation of Scotland for his side’s short-comings.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Strachan complained:
Genetically we are behind. In the last campaign, we were the second smallest, apart from Spain.
We had to pick a team to combat the height and strength at set-plays. Genetically we have to work at things, maybe we get big women and men together and see what we can do.
But it is a problem for us because we have to fight harder for every ball and jump higher than anyone else.
Nobody can tell me their (Slovenia’s) technique, apart from one player, is better than any of ours. But physically we have a problem.
We seem to be able to battle it and get through just with sheer determination and skill and work-rate, and that takes a lot out of you.
Scotland are failing on a molecular level? Well, it’s certainly original, we’ll give him that.
Other than the questionable team selection, unfaltering loyalty to under-performing players and a staunch refusal to give Leigh Griffiths – Scotland’s best natural goalscorer – an adequate amount of game time over the course of the campaign, we’re sure Scotland’s stocky limbs were the critical issue in missing out on yet another major tournament.
Something has to change, and we rather suspect it might be the wee bloke sat in the manager’s seat.