2nd December 1965 – Italy v Scotland Preview #2


That was the word used in at least one newspaper to describe the situation at Largs where the Scots party for the match against Italy had gathered. In another, the circumstances were laid more bare;-

Scots Training at Largs Fades into Farce

‘The best laid schemes o’ mice and men gang aft a’gley’ just about sums up Scotland’s preparations for the Naples match. Yesterday, when it was hoped that a 19-strong squad of players would foregather at Largs to prepare, and plot, with the ultimate idea of pulverizing Italy next week, the dismal total of players available turned out to be 10.

So, with the best intentions in the world and having made every effort possible, it is difficult to see what good can come of it.


The players who had gathered at Largs were;

Greig, Provan, Forrest, Johnston, McKinnon (Rangers), Murdoch, Hughes (Celtic), Cooke (Dundee), Gilzean (Tottenham Hotspur) and Martin (Sunderland).

McNeill (Celtic), Henderson (Rangers), McCreadie (Chelsea), Bremner (Leeds) and Ferguson (Kilmarnock) are all due to report tomorrow; while Law (Manchester United), Stevenson (Liverpool), Baxter (Sunderland) and Brown (Tottenham Hotspur) will not report till the weekend, after having played in their club’s league fixtures.

Unfortunately, two of those already at Largs – Gilzean and Martin – would also have to return south before the weekend to join their clubs.

When we consider all that coming and going, ‘shambolic’ is not altogether a poor description.


Definitely Playing

Reading between the lines – which means that they did not have any real information from the manager – the views of the journalists were that Ronnie McKinnon would certainly play, as Billy McNeill would not be risked in view of his knee problem. And the other certain starter would be, in their opinion, Willie Henderson, who was not only responding well to treatment but was also the only outside-right in the party!


Night Out

On Friday evening, the Scots party will watch the ‘Old Firm’ Select play Moscow Dynamo at Hampden.


Arsenal win Re-Match

20 years after Moscow Dynamo had beaten Arsenal 4-3 in a friendly at Highbury, the Gunners got their revenge when they beat the Soviet Union stars 3-0 in North London.