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20 other ways to rumble Ronaldo; UP FOR THE CUP: TIPS FOR DEFEATING BRAZIL ... STARS CHEER ON OUR TEAM ... AND THE LONELINESS OF SCOTLAND'S LONG-DISTANCE WORLD CUP WIVES.

Only An Excuse writer Phil Differ has devised some cunning tactics to help Scotland beat Brazil and silence the samba beat.

If confusing the opposition is half the battle, coach Craig Brown and skipper Colin Hendry might consider some of Differ's ploys. Here are his 20 alternative ways to rock Ronald and Co.

1 Play them on an ash park of the red or more lethal black variety. Let's see how they cope with a spot of gravel rash.

A big puddle in the goalmouth might just throw their 'keeper and the usual selection of broken bottles, half bricks and dogs' jobbies strewn about the pitch might just upset Brazil's rhythm. An old pram by the corner flag would add a nice authentic Scottish touch.

2 Rope a dope. No, I don't mean drug them. Take a leaf out of Muhammad Ali's book when he faced the awesome George Foreman.

Pack our goal-line, let them batter hell out of us, then hit them with a sucker punch.

Whether or not they have scored seven or eight goals before we hit them, will determine whether this plan has worked or not.

3 Build a replica of the Alamo on the 18-yard line and stage a Davy Crockett- style defiant defence. If they're out to lay siege to our goal, we should make it look authentic.

4 Threaten to play David Hopkin. If that doesn't scare the hell out them, nothing will.

5 Get friendly with the Brazilian players during the pre-match kickabout. Inquire as to the health and whereabouts of their wives/girlfriends. Ask if they've ever heard of Andy Goram. Ask if they know where Andy is at this moment.

6 Forget football strips. Wear kilts. The foreigners love this. This is what Scotsmen do when they're abroad. Dress up as Scotsmen. The English don't dress up as Morris dancers or Pearlies but they're not like us, they're stupid.

Offer the Brazilians handshakes, do Highland flings, let them swig from our cans of lager. In the tunnel, try to sell them macaroon bars and chewing gum. Lull them into a false sense of security as opposed to the GENUINE sense of security they're in.

7 Is it too late to switch games from football to shinty?

8 Use jackets for goalposts. If things are going badly, we can always lift the jackets and do a runner.

9 Apparently, some of the Brazilians don't like the new World Cup ball. Let's really screw them up by switching to a Mouldmaster. There's no doubting their ability but Brazil's masculinity has to be questioned.

These guys were raised playing with soft balls on Copacabana Beach. They have never experienced the scud of a "Mouldie" against a thigh on a frosty morn.

10 Ban them from using Viagra. When this miracle impotence-curing drug went on sale in Brazil, it sold out within the first day. If the players have been taking it, then we could be in for a right shafting.

11 I think I've come up with a way round the tackle-from-behind ban. Don't play from end to end. Play from side to side.

If we play across the pitch, then all our bone-crunching lunges will be tackles from the side as opposed to tackles from the back. Failing this, why don't we just clatter them from the back as normal and hope the referee understands the phrase "aw, come on ref, we didnae know".

12 It's a bit obvious this one, but where does it say in the rule book you can't play all three goalkeepers?

We could have Gould to go for the crosses, Sullivan to stop shots and Leighton to strike dramatic poses when the ball ends up in the net. He does a very impressive punching the air/kicking the post in frustration routine, too.

13 Bring back "The Mongoose." Denis Law must play. Okay, he's ancient, but his hairstyle is still young. The Lawman knows the game backwards -it often sounds like he's talking about it backwards, too.

14 The old adage about silencing the opposition fans has never been more crucial. We've got to shut up the sambas. How do we do it?

Plan A: Drown them out with bagpipes. Plan B: Drown them out with "we hate Jimmy Hill, he's a ****. Plan C: Take the samba drums off the Brazilian fans and smash them up (in a friendly way, of course). Plan D: All three.

15 Wind up Brazil's nuts Edmundo and Junior Baiano by remarking on their recent on and off field problems. If that doesn't work, revert to the traditional Scottish method of marking them -marking their shins, their ankles, their thighs, their chins...

16 Create a diversion. Something really big like a war, or convince Jock Brown to make a telly commentating comeback with summaries from Murdo MacLeod.

17 Evoke the spirit of 78. Get perms, stick on moustaches. The Brazilians will think they're playing against 11 Graeme Sounesses and won't want to go anywhere near our players.

18 Fire our lads up by showing them videos like Braveheart and Auchinleck Talbot v Cumnock.

19 Don't make a wall at free kicks. Deny Roberto Carlos the opportunity to show off by bending his shots round them into the back of the onion bag.

20 Scotland's second strip is virtually the same as Brazil's first strip. Why not wear it and cause utter confusion. They wouldn't be able to tell Bebeto from Booth, Leonardo from Lambert, Cafu from Calderwood.

You may laugh, but we could pull it off. Some of our players' third touch is easily as good as any Brazilian's first.
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Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 10, 1998
Words:938
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