Key was ‘CAN produce’…
Yip, we lost an entire generation of footballers in Scotland, maybe even more than a generation. Pretty much the same story in all other sports too. Andy Murray is probably the only world class sportsman we have produced since Monty. (Respect to Hoy and Obree etc, but that’s a rather narrow competitive field).
But I see a lot of youth football, and a lot of very talented youth footballers. The standard is increasing again, and I am hopeful that we are starting to see that come through now. Dundee Utd and Aberdeen have some cracking 16-18 year olds for instance. They need 1 from each year group to backfill and they’re getting there.
You want 5? I’ll say Fletcher, McGeady and McCarthy are all terrific players, Fletcher the best of his generation. McGregor is a talented keeper, so too Craig Gordon. Ooops that’s 6.
Now World Class is a little different. World Class is statistically one in a million (or thereabouts). Look at France. England. Spain and so on. You need a lot of kids born each year to find a real diamond. We have 25,000 boys born each year. France 250,000.
If France produces a World Class player every 2 years, (they don’t) we’ll get one every 20 using the same approaches.
Perhaps that’s what explains the 20-year gap between Monty and Murray. Numbers.
But for good, successful professionals, Scotland is starting to produce again. I’d say a ‘success’ professionally is an EPL or similar standard league contract, and there are an increasing number of Scots boys playing there.
The pity is, they’re not playing here beyond the age of 21.