What a run Stephen O’Donnell has had over the past year or so, starting off all the way back to November 2020 where he was part of the Scotland team to defeat Israel and Serbia, on penalties, to progress to an international tournament for the first time since 1998.
As 2020 ended and 2021 began, the right wingback position was up for constant debate between the Motherwell man and Nathan Patterson who looks to be the future for the position but hadn’t exactly done much at club level, only playing 7 games in the league for Rangers all season. Some thought this was enough to merit a start for young Patterson as Motherwell had an underwhelming season themselves.
As we know SOD played against the Czech Republic in the first game of Euro 2020 and was used as a scapegoat for what was a poor overall team performance. The draw with England must have been his highlight of 2021 as he managed to pocket “generational talent” Phil Foden and One Hundred Million pound left winger Jack Grealish for the full 90 minutes and giving the latter a few nippy challenges in the process.
We all know how the Croatia game went and we tumbled out of the tournament only scoring one goal but our chances of qualifying for the World Cup this year should make and Scot excited. After an eventful end to the group qualifying saw Scotland be drawn against Euro 2020 quarterfinalists Ukraine then either Austria or Wales if we progress.
This jersey comes from Scotland’s clash with Israel where Manchester United’s Scott McTominay scored a last minute winner to send Hampden into a frenzy. O’Donnell was dropped from this game but I would still expect Steve Clarke to continue putting his faith into the Motherwell captain’s ability and hopefully get him a trip to Qatar.
This post today comes from the hangover after a hard fought game from Scotland yesterday which gave a nation Hope to be able to qualify for the World Cup next year in Qatar.
My experience from the game started by getting the train to Mount Florida from Glasgow Central and what better way to hype yourself up for a Scotland game by listening to bagpipes and singing songs about John McGinn.
The buzz in the stadium was ripped out the hearts of the fans within the first five minutes which left me with the dread that it was going to be one of those games. A super strike from the main man John McGinn brought some hope back but some shocking defending was frustrating to watch as we conceded another making it a higher mountain to climb especially with our Aussie lad Lyndon Dykes missing a crucial penalty.
I can happily say the second half was a much better watch with Scotland pushing much higher up the pitch and playing much better football with Dykes redeeming himself and getting his goal. It was certainly an experience seeing VAR in use for the first time in the flesh. It was over after the longest two minutes of our lives and of course the goal was given as Israel were just seen to be cheating, again.
An 88th minute miss from McGinn made it seem that all was over but an added six minute of injury time was seen as a massive boost and our favourite Manc McTominay had us all chanting his name after his added time winner.
Suppose I can’t finish a blog without talking about what tops me and Lauren had on. I went with the new away top as I had just bought it in Edinburgh airport last Thursday and it is a belter but Lauren went a bit classier with JD’s Score Draw 96’ replica home top.
I think I can speak for everyone when I say we all had a boogie after full time and I hope everyone in the tartan army enjoy their night last night. Roll on the Faroe Islands Tuesday.
Signing from Wigan in 2015 for £200,000, with teammate Martyn Waghorn, Tavernier would start his Rangers career in the Scottish Championship. Scoring a free kick on his debut in a 6-2 victory against Hibernian in the first round of the Scottish Challenge Cup, Tav would also score his first league goal against Alloa Athletic in a 3-0 victory.
A free scoring right back who has racked up a very impressive 18 goals in 46 games while also assisting 11 last season (20/21). Not only an attacking threat but also a defensively sound player as he was part of the defence who conceded 13 goals in the league last season.
Also worth noting that he was the man to captain Rangers to their first league title since 2010/11 and stopping city rivals Celtic from winning the coveted 10 in a row.
This is the first kit made by British manufacturer Castore who signed a five year deal with the club. The first thing you notice is badge that features the five stars to symbolise their fifty league titles. The league badges on the sleeves also match up with the tops colours red, white and blue. A small message reading “follow follow” can be found behind the collar.
There is also faint diagonal lines running through the top in a darker blue to the royal blue that is used for the main body of the top.
It is also worth noting that Rangers re-released a special edition to mark their historic league win that featured a golden badge and Castore badge with some embroidery reading “Champions 55, 20/21”.
As Italy have just won the Euros, there is no better time to share this classic from a friendly game against Northern Ireland in the summer of 2003. Italy won the fixture 2-0 to no surprise as they had a squad filled with household names at the time such as Ballon D’or winner Fabio Cannavaro, Antonio Di Natalie and Alessandro Birindelli.
Birindelli origionally started his career as a right winger during his time at Empoli before dropping back into right back. It is with Empoli that Birirndelli would play almost 150 games, helping them get promoted back to back seasons from the Serie C1 to the Serie A.
The lifelong Juventus fan would eventually get his move to the star studded side that would bolster the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Edgar Davids, Allessandro Del Piero and Filipo Inzaghi. Birindelli would go on to win 3 Serie A titles and 3 Suppercoppa Italiana’s before Juventus’s relegation at the end of the 2005/06 season due to the Calciopoli match fixing scandal which saw Juventus, alongside Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio and Reggina be deducted points and fined but it was only Juventus who were to be relegated to Serie B. Juventus were also stripped of their 04/05 Serie A title.
Juventus won the Serie B with a six point gap above Napoli even after being given a 9 point deduction at the start of the season. This is no surprise as a handful of their star players stayed to help lift the super club back from the ashes. Players such as Birindelli, Trezeguet, Buffon, Chiellini, Nedved and Del Peiro all stayed loyal with Del Piero winning the golden boot for the season.
Birindelli would leave Juventus in 2008 after spending 11 years in Turin and moving to Pisa for a season then eventually retiring after a season with Valle del Giovenco. His son Samuele Birindelli currently plays centre half for Pisa and has made over 130 appearances since is debut in 2016.
This jersey was Puma’s first take on the Italian National Team and have managed to keep supplying belters ever since. A plain kit that looks very elegant with the blue tone that Italy have used for years plus the badge on this jersey is probably personal favourite of mine and agree that it should be used more often. The three stars above the puma badge on the sleeve is also a nice added feature.
Currently ranked 18th in the world, the Swedish Men’s National Team have been making a name for themselves recently as they have managed to qualify for both knockout rounds of the current Euro 2020 and the 2018 World Cup under head coach Janne Andersson who took over the blue and yellow in 2016 after they finished bottom of their group in Euro 2016.
Unfortunately Sweden never qualified for the 1998 World Cup and this kit was never displayed on the world stage, however they did wear it during their qualification for Euro 2000 which they did end up qualifying for. Two loses to Italy and Belgium and a draw against Turkey meant Sweden finished bottom of their group with the one point.
During this time, Sweden did have two soon to be world class talents in their squad with Henrik Larsson and Freddie Ljungberg being their two powerhouses. Larsson was just at the youth of his Celtic career while Ljungberg had just been signed by Arsenal. Over the years, both players were first team regulars with Larsson gaining 106 caps and Ljungberg gaining a respectable 75 caps.
Ljungberg would go on to lift two Premier League titles, one being Arsenal’s invincible season, and three FA Cups while totalling 241 Premier League appearances for Arsenal and West Ham. On the other hand, Henrik Larsson would lift four Scottish Premierships, with Celtic, and two La liga titles and a Champions League with FC Barcelona while claiming four Swedish Player of the Year awards from 2001-2004.
As for this top, the thing that stood out to me straight away was the collar. A nice open 90’s style collar that opens at the front showing a smaller badge on the blue underneath. Also you don’t find many tops nowadays that have laces on the chest which I think makes this look stunning.
Other details you will find on this jersey is faint lines traveling down the strip with the Sweden badge facing upwards and downwards. Also the Adidas three stripes travelling down the sleeves, around the collar and on the laces on the front.
In all I think the colour combination for Sweden kits are a delight and I am glad I managed to pick this one up from Classic football Shirts during my time in London. It really is the worlds biggest football shirt collection.
Current Serie B side Chievo Verona have usually been punching above their weight in the Serie A for a few years before eventually being relegated in 2019 and being unable to bounce back up.
Only playing their first season in the Serie A in 01/02, they were favourites to go back down after finishing 3rd to gain promotion. However, Chievo would shock everyone by finishing 5th and qualify for the UEFA Cup but would be eliminated in the first round to Red Star Belgrade.
After finishing 5th, the club would finish a respectable 7th and 9th then in 2006, the flying donkeys would be awarded a champions league spot due to the teams above them being involved in a scandal which would see them banned from European competition.
Getting eliminated from both Champions League and UEFA Cup in the qualifying rounds in the 06/07 season, Chievo would sack their manager in October and would be relegated on the last day of the season. In the 07/08 season they would win the Serie B, by a single point, and bounce back up into the Serie A.
Being established in the Serie A until the 18/19 season they would be put back down into the Serie B and are currently there after finishing a disappointing 8th finish in the season. Whereas rivals Hellas Verona currently sit 10th in the Serie A.
French midfielder Patrice Grillon would only play in Verona from December 2001 to July 2002 with this jersey coming in the pre season of the 02/03 season before Grillon left the club.
This away top comes from their second season in the Serie A when they finished 7th and were put out the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Cup.
This would also see the final season of Oliver Beirhoff’s career as he played one season scoring seven goals.
This shirt is simple as it is the one light blue throughout while using a darker blue for the sponsor, name, number and team name at the bottom. Also using this darker blue as a trim for the collar and the sleeves which helps to finish off the top.
Regular subscribers to The Kit Rail will know that we’ve already covered Willie Pettigrew with his stunning Dundee United 1981 Scottish Cup Final Jersey. For that reason we are covering Willie’s full Scotland international career, from the under 23’s through to his last full cap.
Scotland Under 23’s
He made his international debut for the under 23 side, at the age of 21, in a friendly match in Sweden that was played on the 16th of April 1975. Scotland won this fixture 2-1.
A European Championship clash in Romania would see Willie score his first international goal in another 2-1 win coming on the 31st of May 1975.
Next up would be a double header against Denmark with Scotland securing a crucial 1-0 win away, on the 2nd of September 1975, and adding yet another victory, this time beating the Danish 4-1 on the 28th of October 1975.
Pettigrew ended the international calendar year with another European Championship Victory, grabbing himself a brace in a 4-0 destruction of Romania at Brockville on the 16th of December 1975. This result saw Scotland top their group and continue through the tournament.
Willie’s sixth and penultimate under 23 cap would come against Wales at Wrexhams Racecourse Ground on the 4th of February. During this game, Willie would score another brace to secure a narrow 3-2 victory for the Scots. We covered this match when we featured the Joey Jones jersey not too long ago.
The last cap to come for Willie Pettigrew would be in the second leg of the Under 23 European Championship Quarter Finals as Scotland took on The Netherlands in front of an amazing 32,000 fans at Easter Road, home of Hibernian, on the 24th of March 1976. Scotland lost the first game 2-0 (a game that Willie missed due to injury). Scotland would win the second game 2-0 but would lose on penalties after a 2-2 aggregate score. You can find more details on this match as we covered it during the Jan Everse jersey.
In all Willie started 7 games at under 23 level winning all seven and grabbing himself five goals in the process.
Full International Career
2 weeks after his last under 23 cap, Willie would make his full international debut and what a debut it would be.
A home friendly versus Switzerland on the 7th of April 1976 would see Willie net his first goal after only 2 minutes. This would be the only goal of the game as Scotland would win the game 1-0. This game has also been covered as we featured Rene Hasler earlier this week.
Cap number two would again see Willie find the net, scoring the first goal in a 3-1 win over Wales at Hampden Park on the 6th of May 1976. You can see more of this game and jersey on Terry Yorath’s page on the The Kit Rail.
A few days later would come cap number three which would see Scotland beat Northern Ireland convincingly in a 3-0 win at Hampden Park with goals from Gemmill, Masson and Dalglish.
Willie would have to wait six months for cap number four which would be a world cup qualifier against Wales. We would see another victory for Scotland and Pettigrew as the Scots would beat Wales 1-0.
Willie’s fifth and final cap would come on the 27th of April 1977 and would see Scotland run out as winners in a 3-1 victory against Sweden with goals coming from Hartford, Dalglish and Joe Crag.
Willie would play five times for his country, scoring two goals in the process and would be in the winning team on all five occasions. If you add Willie’s under 23 appearances, you end up with an impressive 12 games representing Scotland, 12 victories and a highly commendable 7 goals.
Starting his career off at Kilmarnock in 2004, Naismith would make 71 appearances while scoring 24 goals that would help secure a move to Glasgow to join Rangers in 2007. After spending five years with the Gers’, winning three league titles, a Scottish Cup and two League Cups, Steven would make a move down south to Premier league outfit Everton. Three and a half years at the Toffee’s and 123 appearances later, Naismith would move to Norwich in a fight to keep them in the top division. Unfortunately his talents were not enough to help the fight and Norwich were relegated and after a full season in the English Championship, a move to Hearts on loan would help secure them a top six finish in the Scottish Premiership and a permanent move was made for just over one million pounds.
We will be having a look into his time at Everton and then diving deep into this jersey from Everton’s 15-16 campaign where Naismith made ten appearances before making the switch to Norwich in January 2016.
During the 15-16 campaign, Naismith’s three goals would all come in the same game as Everton overcame Chelsea 3-1 as Naismith came on as a substitute in the ninth minute due to an injury on Bosnian midfielder Muhamed Besic.
This top is very similar to most Everton kits around this time as most use the blue and white template and sport the synonymous Chang beer. However Umbro have placed a lot of small details to be found within it such as the Latin under the badge, ‘Nil Satis Nisi Optimum’, which translates to only the best is good enough. An NSNO can also be found on the back of the neck.
The top would not be complete without the Barclays Premier League patches on the sleeves and the lion on the Barclays lion on the bottom of each number.
September 2005 saw Scotland overcome Norway in the hope of qualifying for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, but unfortunately it would be Norway that would progress to a second round with Italy gaining automatic qualification. During the qualification phase, McFadden would score twice in wins against Moldova and Slovenia.
In this game against Norway, Kenny Miller would score a first half brace with McFadden assisting the first with a headed flick before Miller poked it home. McFadden would be substituted in the 72nd minute for striker Craig Beattie after being booked earlier in the game. Norway would score their only goal of the game in the 89th minute with a drive from the edge of the box leaving a nervous Scotland team to finish the game.
This Diadora jersey is simple but instantly recognisable as a Scotland top, mainly down to the colours used being light blue with a navy and white stripe. The spots on the top of the shoulder also matching the navy on the sleeve. The spots on the shoulder also changed colour as the players heated up during the game.
James would go on to play 48 times for Scotland over an eight year international career, with his first cap coming at the age of 19, against South Africa, while playing for his first club Motherwell. McFadden would become a regular in the Scotland set up scoring some vital goals, with the winner in both 1-0 wins over the Netherlands and France being his most notable.
After his retirement, James would become a coach for the national side where he would work under Alex McLeish from 2018 to 2019.