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[CM99 - FM16] We're on the march......Scotland through the CM / FM's

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Scotland's Euro and World Cup Dreams..........A journey through the Champ Man and Football Manager back catelogue


And so it begins.......

Aware there is already a superb Scotland thread on these forums, which i could not even hope to come close to matching.......but reading it, and a superb blog about someone going back to take Scotland to the world up in 2002 using an old Champ Man....i came up with this idea.

Firstly, a bit of background.


As a man of his mid 30s, i missed most of Scotland's "glory" (ahem) days of the 70s and 80s but luckily i am old enough to have seen us play in a few major tournaments. I remember the Costa Rica debacle of Italia 90, the utterly un-memorable Euro 92 (we beat CIS, a country which didn't technically ever exist.....). I remember Euro 96 more clearly, the jammy draw against Holland (clear hand ball on the line by John Collins), the heart break of Gazza and Gary Mac combining to condemn us to defeat against England.......then the horror of losing out by a single goal after David Seaman somehow let one through his legs when 4 v 0 ahead...... (to be fair, had we scored a second against Switzerland we were through...yet Brown refused to bring on an extra striker late!!)

Then came France 98. By this point i was able to enjoy a beer and watch Scotland (not technically legally....). We give it a good go against Brazil, robbed by Tom Boyd's unfortunate own goal. Then a credible draw against Norway left us with a chance. Beat Morocco, and we should be through. As long as Norway don't go and beat Brazil of course.

We fell apart against Morocco Scotland style. 3 nil defeat and a red card. Hope crushed once more. (NB - as it happened, it would not have mattered, Norway inexplicably beat Brazil, having been a goal down with 12mins to go!)

It was a disappointing end, but as a young fan i was not too upset. I had, for the first time, been able to properly have the "tartan army experience" (E.g. get pished, watch Scotland fail.....get more pished, blame everyone else......got home). I watched the rest of the world cup thinking "this is the game, a bit of this ever 2 years is not so bad, even just the 3 games"..........oh how wrong i was....

You see, i firmly believe that Scottish Football destiny was changed some 15 months after that Morocco defeat. This single moment right here, changed the course of our footballing history.


Scotland leading at Wembley 1 v 0. England battered, on the ropes (not a single shot on target in 90mins i believe). Corner comes in from the right. flicked on at the near post. Christian Dailly rises, heads it goalwards....surely.......no. Seaman with another heart breaking save.

Now, had that header gone in, no way England get back in the game. We would have won it before extra time. The spirit was gone, this was a Kevin Keegan side, not renowned for a strong spine....we would have been at Euro 2000.

And qualifying for that one might have prevented the horrific downward spiral that followed and included caps for Graeme Murty, Warren Cummings and Gareth Williams.....

What comes next? The Challenge

I shall not bore you with the details of what came after the Euro 2000 failure, forameuss thread does a brilliant job of filling that in :)

However, I do like to go back in time and see if i can change history.......and i thought i might be able to do it a bit differently. I have owned every single CM / FM game since inception, and still own the CD / DVD for everything from CM99 onwards......

So I decided i will do something a bit fun. I will go back and attempt to re-write history by taking on the task of getting Scotland firstly to qualify for Euro 2000, and then for each major tournament since. The catch is, I will try to do this using different versions of the game.

(Disclaimer - As a major tournament is every 2 years, i will skip a version each time. This means taking over midway through a qualifying group each time, but that is a minor issue!) .

My current plan is:

Euro 2000 qualifying / finals (if we make it) - Played on CM99/00

World cup 02 qualifying / finals (f we make it) - Played on CM 01/02

Euro 2004 qualifying / finals (if we make it) - Played on CM4 (03/04 edition)

World Cup 2006 qualifying / finals (if we make it) - Played on FM06

Euro 2008 qualifying / finals (if we make it) - Played on FM08

World Cup 2010 qualifying / finals (if we make it - Played on FM10

Euro 2012 qualifying / finals (if we make it) - Played on FM12

World Cup 2014 qualifying / finals (if we make it) - played on FM14

Euro 2016 qualifying / finals (if we make it) - Played on FM16

Technical Stuff

I know that CM99/00 runs fine on Windows 10, and i know that 01/02 has a huge online community so assume that works. CM4 might be more dicey but hopefully i can get it to work. FM06 and 08 are my current worry beads as i have them on CD / DVD....but a laptop with no optical drive. I have a backup laptop so might be able to use that somehow.

I have CM99/00 loaded up, shall start that one right away...........

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Part 1 - Euro 2000 Qualifying - State of the nation


So as the game starts, in July 1999 and we run up to our first CM99/00 qualifier, the table as it stands is a perfect reflection of how it was in real life, all the previous results are correctly programmed into the history, as you would expect


As we might recall, the Czech team of this generation were exceptional. The likes of Berger, Smicer, Nedved, Poborsky, Jan Koller were all mainstays and they positively swept the floor (IRL they went a perfect 10 for 10.....we will see how it pans out here).

So Scotland are in a dog fight for the playoff place. We have 4 games remaining, and there is little choose between us, Bosnia, Lithuania and even Estonia are not out of it. Our remaining fixtures include 2 against Bosnia and one each against both Lithuania and Estonia. It could go either way. On the plus side, we dont have to play the Czechs again. On the down side, we dont have the luxury of playing the Faroes either (Although in that campaign, it wasnt much of a luxury when we did play them!)


As we head towards the first fixture, i discover my first problem. CM99/00 crashes every time i try to confirm the Scotland squad for the first fixture :( I have run it for a few seasons in club saves and been fine. I holidayed past the squad day which worked, and i then played on quickly (holidaying matches) to make sure that i can select squads ok for future games. It seems fine, seems to just be the first squad confirmation that crashes.

I can work around it with the holiday, but the downside is the Ass Man then picks a squad which is rubbish! Luckily there is an exploit of types which i can use to fix this. When a player pulls out injured (always at least one), rather than just being able to call up a replacement, you can remove and add as many players as you need. Luckily for me, there is an injury just before we are due to play the first game and i can rejig the squad to match the one i originally would have selected.

On to the first game we go!

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Part 1 - Euro 2000 Qualifying - Bosnia v Scotland / Estonia v Scotland


So we start with a double header on the road. Bosnia were, in 1999, involved in Euro qualifiers for the first time (they gained Uefa membership after Euro 96). Estonia are hardly much more experienced, but could be difficult customers.

Squad Selection

So we select the squad for the double header (after the shenanigans noted in post 2!) A screenshot wont show the full 25 man squad, so here is the 18 selected to be stripped on the night for the first game:


As you can see, we have gone for the now common 4123 wide formation (i dont recall seeing it much back on CM99/00 though!).

In terms of squad selection decisions:

Goalkeeper - Not a golden age for Scottish keepers. Goram and Leighton, who were both arguably top class in 96 / 98 are both way past their best and on the downside. At this point, Neil Sullivan became one of a band of "mockneys" who used Scottish heritage to get onto the international scene. He will have to do. Behind him Rab Douglas has started to make a name for himself at Dundee, and will shortly move to Celtic, and the man he will look to replace, the experience John Gould can do as a 3rd keeper.

Defence - We have a pair of good quality fullbacks in Naysmith and MacNamara, but depth is a bit of a concern. For now we call up veteran Tom Boyd to give cover at both fullback positions, and both Davie Weir and Elvis can cover at RB in a pinch. In central defence, we are perhaps at our strongest. Hendry is 33 but still a huge physical presence and leader. David Weir has made his big money move to the premiership, Matt Elliot, another adopted Scot is another physical presence. Steven "Elvis" Pressley gets a first call up, as does Paul Ritchie of hearts, an outstanding young prospect. Christian Dailly can also play here.

Central Midfield - Again a position where we have good quality, if not depth. Paul Lambert at age 30 is near his best, having returned from wining the European cup with Dortmund. Gary McAllister was at this point in the dulldrums at Coventry, (before his dramatic revival at Liverpool) but there is quality still in John Collins (who misses this squad through injury) and the experieced and energetic Craig Burley is in there. Scott Gemmill is reliable, whilst Phil O'Donnell is trying to stay injury free and show is class. Stephen Glass is another making the move down south and looking to establish himself. Barry Ferguson is a big prospect, but was already locked into the U21s and will get a call up soon

Wingers - A strong Hearts connection with Allan "Magic" Johnston and Neil "Terry" McCann being our stand out options here. Glass can play wide, and Simon Donnelly also is available as another trying to make good on a mouth down south. Colin Cameron misses out through injury but will be in contention going forward. In terms of youth, Iain Anderson recently made the surprise move from Dundee to Toulouse (similar culture im sure....) and is only 22 and might have a good future in the game.

Strikers - The illusive search for a real goalscorer continues. Our biggest and best start, bid "Drunken" Duncan Ferguson will not play for the national team after a major fall out with the SFA. Don Hutchinson, another "non scot" represents possibly our best option here, but i decide to leave him out. Robbie Winters has 6 in 6 for Aberdeen to start the season and at 24 should be hitting his prime. His team mate Eoin Jess gets a call up, although i am not sure of his best position (which was the case through his career tbf) and the veteran Billy Dodds is in just to fill a space at the moment. I have my eyes on the U21s for both Mark Burchill, and an FM legend named Craig Dargo, who just moved to Notts Forrest.....

For comparison, here is the 18 actually selected for this match in 1999 by Craig Brown.....


Game 1 - Bosnia v Scotland

A turgid affair with a very typical Scotland away performance. 11mins in, we get a freekick for a foul on McCann and up steps Burley to curl one home. Ya Beauty!

The 90mins tick on, we make a few subs and from half time i opt to use the "counter attack" option (cant even recall how the ME worked back then!) with 15mins to go i move to "men behind the ball" and we hold on for a vital 3pts.


The match stats say we were a touch lucky, but we held our own. Exactly how i remember Scotland playing away from home to be fair!


And as for our player rating, other than the keeper, no one with a particularly good performance. Our tactics might not be spot on to be fair to them.


Game 2 - Estonia v Scotland

After a morale boosting win, we go in unchanged for the game in Tallin. As usual, we make a hard slog of it. We were always on top, but almost an hour had ticked past before we finally made the breakthrough. A goal from nothing from Scott Gemmill put us on top. We made a change up front, Winters had been ineffective and Eoin Jess came on and within 6mins he had scored from a cross from another sub Simon Donnelly (Smug managerial moment.....)


The match stats show how dominant we were in reality


And as for player ratings, both CMs excelled in their roles, Winters struggled and might not be our answer up top, McCann (in a moment of true realism......) was inconsistent but happy to have Donnelly to come on for him.



So a great 6pts from 2 games. In the real thing, Scotland took 4pts from this trip (we beat Bosnia but drew nil nil in Estonia). So we go onwards in a good position:


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Brilliant idea, will be interesting to see how the sides evolve through the versions. Will you be going 4-6-0 in Prague when it comes to it?

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Brilliant idea, will be interesting to see how the sides evolve through the versions. Will you be going 4-6-0 in Prague when it comes to it?

I think that seems somewhat unlikely :D

To be fair to Levien, he pointed out that Barca played 460 all the time in that era.......indeed. They played 460 with Busquets / Toure / Mascharano.......and then 5 attacking midfielders. We played 4 holders, Jamie Mackie and Steven Naismith......moderately different!

Enjoying the simplicity of CM99 actually. What will be amusing is how some players who were highly rated in one edition, drop off the face of the planet 2 years later!

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Part 1 - Euro 2000 Qualifying - Scotland v Bosnia / Scotland v Lithuania


So on we move, barely a month since the last fixtures and we have another double header to finish the group. There is still, i think, a very small chance that we could finish as best runner up and secure automatic qualification, but as it stands we sit plum bottom of the table of second place teams (i seem to recall it was worked out excluding games against the worst team in the group or something? Perhaps even excluding the bottom 2?)

Squad Selection

The squad shows minimal changes.

Colin Hendry misses out through injury, Dom Matteo, who missed out on a first call up last time due to injury, takes his place and will step right into the starting line up. Tom Boyd is also injured, but i feel well covered at the back so he is replaced by Barry Ferguson, who gets a first call up to the seniors. John Collins gives us a huge boost by coming back, and takes the place of Alex Rae, who i barely even noticed i had called up first time. The other change sees Billy Dodds drop out and Craig Dargo get the call. He is thrown right into the starting 11. In a moment of frightening managerial ineptitude, i fail to notice Lambert is suspended and dont even call up a second holding midfielder.....Collins can drop back there i hope!


Again, for comparison, the actual 18 for the opening game of the double header...


Game 3 - Scotland v Bosnia

We start on the front foot, and it takes a mere 6 mins for Craig Dargo to reward my faith with a debut goal. We continue to be easily on top, and just after HT Gary Naysmith steps up to take a free kick and smashes home (not having selected set piece takers isnt working out too badly!). We make a couple of changes late but we are cruising to victory, which confirms our place at least in the playoffs.


Match stats confirm we were in control, and probably should have scored more


And player ratings confirm a very good team performance. The 2 scorers and Burley stand out, but no one had a bad game. We manage to give Barry Ferguson 15mins at the end as well


Game 4 - Scotland v Lithuania

Davie Weir picks up an injury before the second part of this double header, and is replaced in squad terms by Christain Daily. Paul Ritchie will step in to the starting 11 to see if he can claim a place. Elsewhere the return of Lambert pushes Collins forward one, and the unfortunate Scott Gemmill drops to the bench. I resist the temptation to make changes, wanting to finish the group strong ahead of an almost certain playoff.

The game itself ended up a walk in the park. Dargo started us off, with his second in 2 starts, a lovely sounding solo goal. McCann put us firmly in the box seat soon after from a John Collins assist. Before half time, Magic had sealed the win for us with a goal from a through ball by Burley. We made 2 subs at HT to give some game time to others, and Lithuania lost the head late on. JC scored a penalty after their second red card in a few mins, and Barry Ferguson scored a debut goal at the end, from a Dargo assist.

Dominant performance from us


Match stats show just how dominant we were


And ratings show more pleasing performances through the side with Dargo again a stand out. This boy could take the Euros by storm if we can make it.....



So the campaign comes to an end, and we finish in second place with 2pts more than our real life counterparts, but we still end up in the playoffs.



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Part 1 - Euro 2000 Qualifying - Playoff - Scotland v Switzerland


So we are in the playoffs then......ah the draw does not quite replicate real life.......instead we are drawn against Switzerland. A tough gig, but not as tough as England perhaps.

Squad Selection

Injury continued to rule Colin Hendry out and Paul Ritchie also picked up a knock. This meant a debut call up for another FM legend who did hee haw in real life.....Alan Archibald, who Bolton signed from Partick. I make the bold move to throw him from the start after Dom Matteo is also rulled out. Elsewhere we add Mickey Cameron to the squad, but he does not make the 18. The midfield and front 3 remain unchanged, with all 6 being in great form.

(forgot to screenshot the 18, but the match related screenies show it anyway)

Game 5 - Scotland v Switzerland

So the vital first let and we are at home first. We need to avoid an away goal, and see if we can snatch a lead. The first half is a little more open than i would like, we create a few chances but take none. After the break i add more direct passing just because thats how Scotland roll.......it pays off. Dargo picks up a loose ball and rifles home. This boy is on fire. 3 starts, 3 goals for Scotland. We create some more chances but i am pleased enough with a single goal win. Gives us an edge and no away goal conceded


Match stats show we perhaps could have won by a greater margin, which is encouraging.


And the good old player ratings give me nothing to sniff at. McCann again inconsistent, and Donnelly couldnt make an impact off the bench but overall a good team showing.


So we head to Switzerland with our Euro 2000 destiny in our hands.

Game 6 - Switzerland v Scotland

We suffer a blow in the build up, when Jackie MacNamara is ruled out for a week and has to withdraw. In his place, Dom Matteo has recovered and will come in. I have a decision on my hands around who to start at DC now, and who can cover at RB. Tom Boyd is an option, Davie Weir could move out, and Pressley can play there.

We opt for Weir going to RB, and Matteo alongside Archibald in central defence. A bit of a gamble but seems the best option. Ahead of the defence, the same 6 again keep their place. No need to change.

Its a another pretty boring affair in the first half, which suits me fine, but its on a knife edge. We are actually on top but a goal at any minute puts us in trouble. As time ticks away, and we edge closer to a vital draw, that man Craig Dargo pops up again with a lovely volley from a Lambert through ball. VITAL. This means we only need to avoid conceding 3 in 12 minutes and we are on our way to the Euros! Even Scotland cant mess that up.......i make 3 subs to freshen up immediately, and change us to "men behind the ball" mode. We hold on easily.



Match stats show that actually, Switzerland really did barely threaten (although they had a disallowed goal at one point!)


The player ratings show it was not a vintage performance, but Dargo and Magic are going to be vital for us at the finals. Neil McCanns poor performances cause me some concern as we dont have a natural replacement. Stephen Glass can play there, but has averaged 6.25 in 16 games for his club so far....food for thought, but for now lets not dwell1



We have completed step 1. History is re-written and Scotland are indeed going to be represented in Holland / Belgium. Can we make an impact amongst the big boys? I would be delighted to make it out the group, but even that could be an aggressive target!

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Part 1 - Euro 2000 Finals - The Draw


So its time for the draw, and we are in it!

"We'r on the march with Tony's Army......we're goan to the river Rhine........an wull realy shake them up when we win the Euro cup.......coz Scotland are the greatest fitba team......"

The draw is not kind to us at all. We get reigning Euro champs Germany, a Czech who were perfect through the qualifiers, and Romania who are renowned for producing over rated players in the early CM days! Well, there are only 16 teams in there so we shouldnt expect anything easy.

The blazers at the SFA have seen fit to arrange just 2 games between us clinching qualification in November, the tournament starting in June. Friendlies against Portugal and Poland, both away.

Speaking of those tubes at the SFA, after my achievement, they are unhappy with my performance!!!



Meanwhile looking around to see which players might impress me ahead of the summer. Jermaine McSporran at Wycome has been banging them in and has electric pace. He might get a run out in one of the build up games. A youngster named Craig Callaghan (remember him? No? Me either.....) has managed an impressive 13 assists and 13 MOTM in 39 games down at Burnley, but at 18 is one more for the future. Ominusly, a certain Chris Iwelumo has scored 15 and assisted 10 over in the danish leaguue. I couldnt call him up? Could i? I mean that record is impressive........


Nah, not after THAT miss.......

On we head towards the Euros!

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Not directly related to my story, but i had to add this gem.....

Was sorting out the squad for the friendly against Portugal, and decided that at age 35 there is little point in having Andy "the goalie" Goram in the squad as third choice, went to remove him, noted he had a brilliant average rating at Motherwell.....then noted his future arranged transfer!!!


I can just imagine it now.....

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Part 1 - Euro 2000 Finals - The Build Up


So we have 2 friendlies, a month apart, to get ready......

Game 7 - Portugal v Scotland

A hell of a friendly this. Portugal are filled with class. Sa Pinto, Joao Pinto, Figo, Rui Costa......and so on. And we are away!

Squad selection

We decide to name a somewhat experimental squad, although not so much at the back where we have a wealth of experienced options available. Even without "mabawser" Ritchie, we still have good depth. In attempt to solve the left wing problem, i move Magic Johnston over to the left, and decide i will give a half each to both Iain Anderson and Mickey Cameron on the right. I also decide against starting McSporran with Dargo in such form, but resolve to give him the second half to prove himself.

The Match

It started badly, Sa Pinto was a complete CM legend and he scored a header to put us behind right away. We seemed to be on top the rest of the first half but didnt manage to score. At HT, i made the changes i intended, whilst also giving the veteran Billy Mckinlay 45mins to show he would be an option to back up Lambert at DM. Second half starts much the same way, we are giving as good as we get but not making a break through. With 17mins to go Rui Costa threads in Nuno Gomes who makes no mistake, and its game over.


In terms of match stats, they suggest we might actually have been the better side, which is at least encouraging.


On the player rating side, Iain Anderson certainly did not grab his chance and worse, Johnston did not perform well switching to the left. Off the bench, Glass did ok on the left, Cameron was at least better than Anderson on the right, and Billy McKinlay put in a good show.



A harsh lesson for us in just how ruthless the top sides can be. This isnt Bosnia and Lithuania now. This is the big boys table. Welcome to the NFL folks.......

Game 8 - Poland v Scotland

Next up, another tricky away game. Although Poland did not make the Euros, they have some quality.

Squad Selection

We go fairly strong again, with McCann coming back in (I suspect i might have found the root of the problem. I created this formation by dragging players around from a different one, and some of the instructions were mis-matched between players - he now has the same instructions as Johnston). Up front, we continue the open audtion and give Mark Burchill a start (he will get 55 - 60mins). In midfield, its hard to pick 2 from Burley / Collins / Ferguson, but i am leaning towards the latter 2 and will play them together tonight. Likewise i need to settle on my best DC partnership. Its likely 2 from Weir, Matteo and Hendry. Weir has had an awful season at Everton, but Hendry misses this with injury. Archibald has never let me down but doesnt quite look as good as the others.


The game

This is earily similar to the last game. We start ok, only to concede a goal via a penalty early on. We resume being on top but nothing happening in front of goal. Meantime we manage to give away a second goal, to Polands second shot on goal.....Various subs again at HT, and we resume being on top but cant score. It feels like we are going to rely heavily on Mr Dargo........

Not good prep for the finals :(


Match stats show that that we should not have lost this game. Although our finishing left much to be desired.


Player ratings are very disapointing again. Neither Burchill or McSporran making much case to go to the finals as back up to Dargo. Winters was tried out wide, in defence of him, and it did not suit him. Opposing keepers getting MOTM is becoming a theme.....



Very poor prep for the finals, and not much clearer in my mind around squad decisions. To be fair i think my first 11 is almost set, but we might need a squad over there, which is the worry........

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Part 1 - Euro 2000 Finals - Here We Go!



So here we go. Scotland fans, at a major final, which is partially based in Amsterdam........oh dear lord.

The squad selection

Some big decisions to make, with a squad of only 22 permitted.

First up, only 2 keepers so Rab Douglas misses out. The experienced Goram gets to come along as backup to Sully.

In defence, i opt for 7 defenders rather than 8. We have McNamara and Naysmith as the clear cut starting fullbacks, and i opt not to take a true backup fullback. David Weir will cover RB if needed, and Matteo will cover LB if needed. Colin Hendry will start at DC, initially alongside Matteo. Weir will get in if Matteo does not perform. Christian Dailly comes along as a 4th DC who can also play DM. The likes of Matt Elliot, and Steven Pressley miss out. Paul Ritchie is especially unlucky, having done very well at club level and ok when i put him in. I just opted for versatility.

In midfield we have been set for a while. McKinlay has come along late and established himself as a good back up to Lambert at DMC, Barry Ferguson, John Collins, Craig Burley and Scott Gemmill are a great balance of options at MC.

Out wide, we have our regulars. McCann and Johnston, with Stephen Glass and Colin Cameron as backups. I did have Robbie Winters as an extra option to cover both 3rd Striker and both wide positions, but he got injured at the last minute, opening the door for Iain Anderson. He was awful when given his chance, but his performances at Toulouse and his lightening speed mean i opt to call him up.

Up front, Dargo is clear first choice, and Eoin Jess comes along as the backup. He signed for Ranges mid season and had a nice run.


Euros Game 1 - Germany v Scotland

So here we go. We are in Belguim for our first game, and its our toughest. The reigning champs look strong. I am happy i have my strongest team, the only real question mark was Matteo or Weir, and Matteo gets the call.

We start this game on the backfoot, but Sully is in fine form. We are threatening somewhat on the break, but Germany have the best of it. Johnston misses what sounds a very good chance for us, but we end the half with Sully making a couple more great saves.

Second half is more of the same, we are plucky, still managing to threaten but we are on the back foot. I make a slight tweak, giving Lambert a backward arrow and removing the forward arrow on John Collins. It doesnt make much difference, Germany are still having most of the game but we are holding on. I make a couple of subs to freshen up and we actually hold on the last 10mins a bit more comfortable. A brilliant result for us, a draw against Germany exceeds all expectations


Match stats confirm that Germany had the upper hand, but did not totally steamroller us


Player ratings tell me that Sully was amazing, Hendry a rock, and Barry Ferguson cements his place as as starter. Johnston was poor, and i worry my wide men are not effective in this tactic (which i threw together to be fair!)


In the other game, Romania beat the Czechs in a bit of a surprise. Meanwhile Matteo picks up an injury which will keep him out for a week, and sends him home. We call up Paul Ritchie to replace him, and i will have another DC decision on my hands.

Euros Game 2 - Scotland v Romania

We remain in Belgium for what is now a huge game. I make a big call and insert the just arrived Paul Ritchie in place of Dom Matteo. Weir has just not performed at club level, and in 6 appearances for me at International level he has averaged 6.57. Not good enough. Ritchie or Archibald was a close call, but 2 the 2 footed Ritchie gets the nod (Perhaps my Jambo side showing.....)

We start on top, but Romania are countering and its a bit end to end. We are missing chances and towards the end of the half, Romania are back even. At HT i make a big decision. I am getting nothing from the wings again. I change tactic and go 4132, bringing on Jess up top, moving Magic to CM alongside Ferguson and Collins. It works a bit of a treat and we suddenly are swarming over them. But can we score? Not at all. Dargo's golden touch seems to have deserted him, and we are up against a super keeper in true CM terms! We end up with a second consecutive nil nil draw, which is not a bad result, means that we are still in it going into the last game.


Match stats show just how dominant we were. how on earth did we not score!


Oh yes, the player ratings show just why......a perfect 10 keeper :( On our side, Barry Ferguson was the stand out


Germany trounce the Czechs 3 v 0 in the other game, meaning Germany and Romania both have 4pts, we have 2pts and Czechs have nothing. If we beat Czech we have a great chance, although a draw in the other game could still send us out if we dont win by more than a single goal.

Euros Game 3 - Czech Republic v Scotland

So to the make or break game. Do we have it in us? After the tactical changed seemed to spark something, i have a huge decision to make now. Do i abandon the tactic i have used in all games other than 45mins.... No, i will tweak a couple of instructions but our setup it our setup. No changes to the starting 11 either. Go with the best we have, and if it is not good enough......c'est la vie.....

We start out flying out the traps, chances galore early doors but we are, as is the norm, not taking them. A flurry of corners comes to nothing. Then just as HT approaches, Johnston picks the ball up 30 yards out...brings it forward.....takes a pop..GOAL! MAGIC! We are on our way....

Second half is even more one way traffic in our favour,but no second goal keeps us nervy. Make a change up front, and also at RB where Jackie is booked. We cruise the last 20mins, never in doubt, but another goal would have been nice. Not to worry, as i check the score in the other game the Germans are losing.....Full time.



The match stats are incredible. Just from a couple of tactic instructions (added shorter passing and asked us to press more).


And on the match stats, Magic the hero. Another keeper against us has a great game! Jess off the bench was better than Dargo, who i was too bullish about it seems. I have a big decision now on who starts up front.



Well it was hardly explosive stuff, with one goal in 3 games, but we made history, and are out of a very tough looking group. We have a horror draw next though against France...the current world champs, Zidane, Henry et al. Oh well, it has been fun whilst it lasted!!


After this game Archibald has picked up a 2 week injury in training, and is sent home. In a rather strange situation, Dom Matteo who we sent home a week ago, is now fit, and is called back up (these rules........)

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Part 1 - Euro 2000 Finals (the Knockouts!) - Here We Go!



So this is uncharted territory for us Scots. Will any of our fans be at this game? Do they not all book return tickets for the day after the group stages ends these days............

Euros Game 4 - France v Scotland

First up, we have injury and suspension issues at the back. Jackie Mac has picked up 2 bookings so is banned. Davie Weir will have to come in at Right Back. In a huge blow, big Colin Hendry has a minor knock which keeps him out, meaning the recently re-arrived Matteo will partner Ritchie in the middle, with only Dailly available off the bench. Elsewhere, Dargo has not cut the mustard at this level. Eoin Jess deserves his chance to start.

We start off badly. Pires scored a screamer only 4mins and i was starting to fear the worst. But we started to fight back and had the next 2 chances, and we had France rattled. They pick up 3 bookings within the first 32mins. Then it happens, right on the stroke of half time we get a free kick which Eoin Jess takes, Ritchie wins it in the air above Didier Deschamps.....powers the header..GOAL!! Carnage (in my living room, if no where else.....).

Meanwhile, for reasons i dont fully understand, Zidane comes on for Trezeqeut on 45mins, right before we scored. Oh great, Zizi off the bench......We go in at HT having actually had marginally the better of the game. That cant last?

The second half is nervy. France have improved but are not dominating, we have a chance each but time is ticking on and not much is happening. I decide to bring on Stevie Glass for McCann on the left, and ponder taking off John Collins......I am decisive, and a legend though he is, its time for Craig Burley. France surge forward in the last 15mins, but only create one half chance. On 91mins we win a corner.....but no, cleared. Sheez, im not sure i can take this. Full time, we are off to extra time!!

I have one change left, and Jess is looking knackered but has played well. I will give him 15mins. We actually dominate the first half of ET, although give France a chance at the end. Jess is off, and on comes Dargo. Could he redeem himself? He had one chance, a nice run which was stopped by a foul. Ferguson hit the side netting with the freekick.

120mins on the clock. We are heading to Pens with the World Champsions are we not? 120mins.......We have a free kick. Paul Ritchie takes and it goes right to Viera......Viera brings it foward......no......no.........NO......slides it into Laslandes in the box.....Laslandes advances...NO........Strikes it........GOAL. Dream Over. Only Scotland could do that :(

Utterly deflated. We took the world champions to the last kick of the ball. Literally. There was no time to kick off. If i had made this entire thread up on my own, i could not have made it more typical Scotland.


Match stats suggest France were just about worthy of the win.


Player ratings, and Sully picks some time to have his first bad game for us.


Well, we did the nation proud. We scored only 2 goals the entire time, but we got to the last 8 and took the world champs all the way. We ended it our typical Glorious failure method. It was great fun though!

That brings to an end Part 1 of my adventure. I absolutely loved playing CM99/00 again. Real simplicity, quick and easy games, tactics are so basic! I will likely keep this save running in the background for my own interest......

Next up, Can we make it to Japan and South Korea? I will need to install CM01/02 in order to find out!

Holland won Euro 2000, beating Sweden in the final. England and France both losing semi's

Hope someone enjoyed reading this as much as i am enjoying playing it!

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Part 2 - World Cup 2002 Qualifying - State of the nation


So on we move to the World Cup of 2002, to be held in Japan and South Korea. I have installed and started up CM01/02 for this part of the challenge (I also tried to install the final Eidos patch which fixed a few bugs, but when i do that and start it up, there are no international fixtures scheduled. Works fine without the patch though).

Cast your mind back to the summer of 2001. I was a care free student drinking away my student loan, Labour had just won the General Election, Man U had just romped home in the premier league and then smashed the transfer record to sign Van Nistelrooy and Seba Veron........and Scotland were battling to qualify for a major tournament.

The qualifying draw had not been unkind to us. Croatia were a good side, but Suker was at the tail end of his career and whilst they had some great talents, such as Robert and Niko Kovac at Bayern, Igor Tudor at Juve, and Mario Stanic at Chelsea (remember him?), they were not a true top side. The same was true of Belgium. Marc Willmots was the wrong side of 30, and whilst much was expected of Emile Mpenza, ultimately he never delivered (ended up at Coventry, as i recall). Latvia were no threat, and San Marino nothing but cannon fodder.

I take over with 3 games remaining, and our hopes on a knife-edge. We are neck and neck with the Croatians (one goal behind on GD) and 3pts behind Belgium, with a game in hand. The remaining fixtures are make or break. We start with Croatia at home, then Belguim away only 4 days later (what clown at the SFA agreed that!!). We finish with Latvia at home, which could either be nervy or meaningless...

Here is the table as we commence....


So off we go, time to pick a very important squad!

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Part 2 - World Cup 2002 Qualifying - Scotland v Croatia / Belgium v Scotland


CM01/02 feels very similar to 99/00 in look and feel i must admit! I cant recall what the improvements were back then, but they seem minimal!

Squad Selection

So squad for my first game, here it is (Keepers are cut off, everyone else shown)


Goalkeepers - Rab Douglas is now established as Number 1 at Celtic, and with Sullivan now at Spurs we have 2 good keepers here. Gould makes it as the 3rd choice. We have a couple of good prospects, in Jamie Langfield and Paul Gallacher but neither make the squad at this point

Fullbacks - Same 2 as 2 years ago. Naysmith now establishing himself at Everton and Jackie Mac as reliable as ever. In terms of backup, Gary Hay at Killie has emerged as a good player and gets the call. At RB we will use DC's or DM to cover if we need.

Centre Backs - With Colin Hendry now 35 and playing out his days, we move on. There is a familiar feel however, with Davie Weir and Dom Matteo my starting pairing. Also returning is Paul Ritchie, now of Man City, and Alan Archibald who is probably not worthy of a place in hindsight. The other backup is Martyn Corrigan who has started the season very well at Motherwell, and brings versatility. He will cover RB and can cover DM if needed.

Central Midfield - With Paul Lambert and John Collins both retired from internationals (i dont think Lambert was IRL, but he is in game) we are short here. DM is a real area of concern. Christian Dailly will come in here, and Jamie Buchan of Dundee Utd is really in through a desperate lack of other options at DM. In CM, we will have Barry Ferguson as our mainstay. Craig Burley is also a carry over, whilst Charlie Miller is a maverick off to a great start at Dundee Utd. The last member of the CM is a bit of a CM legend...the one and only Mark Kerr, who Hibs have snapped up. Ferguson and Kerr will start

Wide Men - A familiar feel again. Magic Johnston and Terry McCann are our clear first choices. We lack depth badly here. Stephen Glass is struggling to establish himself down south but is in the squad as he is decent quality. Young Stevie Nicholas at Motherwell is another promising player who could cover AMR for us. Mickey Cameron is injured (as always) or he would be the backup AMR.

Strikers - So Craig Dargo never did pan out as hoped......Mark Burchill's career has started to veer off track a bit, but is still young and promising enough. Don Hutchison never lets us down and we lacked any real other stand out option here. Scott Booth looks poor, Robbie Winters never really kicked on, Maloney is young and raw and we wont even speak of Darren Jackson. Meanwhile young Steven Milne at Dundee gets a call up, but with a one striker formation is there to make up numbers unless an injury occurs.

Here is the starting 11 and subs - Keeping with the same system which got us to the last Euros.


For comparison, here is the 18 who were selected by Craig Brown for this game IRL


World Cup 2002 Qualifying Game 1 - Scotland v Croatia

We start badly, with the first shot of the game the veteran Alen Boksic puts us behind, McCann then misses a great chance to get us level and by the half hour mark the game is looking pretty even. Burchill then misses another good chance for us before half time, but we go in behind. Its looking grim. Burchill has been very poor and just before the hour mark we call for big Don Hutchison from the bench. Within seconds, Barry Ferguson has the ball in the net, but it is ruled out for offside. The tide has turned and we are pushing forward now. We get more chances but nothing is going in. With just over 15 to go, we throw on Glass and Burley for Kerr and McCann. We get more chances but the keeper for Croatia is in great form. As the minutes tick away, our world cup dreams look like they might end before they even begin! Then on 90mins, we get a free kick. Burley hits the wall, it breaks to Magic Johston who squared it for Don Hutchinson, super sub, who smashed home! Vital goal!

There is still time for us to miss not one but 2 chances from inside the area in injury time! Well, we really needed to win that. It now means that Belguim away is becoming a must win for us....


The Match stats confirm that we should really have had 3pts there.


In terms of ratings, Dailly and Johnston performed well, our DC partnership did not, and Burchill will certainly lose his place to big Don for the next tame.


World Cup 2002 Qualifying Game 2 -Belgium v Scotland

On to the second part of this double header. Hutchinson is in for Burchill, and i also make a change at the back. Weir has been brutal at club level and not done it for me at international level. Paul Ritchie comes in.

The game starts slowly, we have a long range shot on 5mins then nothing much at either end for another 10mins, belgium then muster 2 decent attempts, which Douglas saves. 21mins and Barry Ferguson finds the rampaging Gary Naysmith. He moves in on goal and slams it in! One nil. We have the advantage. Belgium try to hit back immediately and we trade a shot each before on 32mins Mpenza has it in the net but its offside. Thankfully! 4mins later we have a free kick which Dailly takes and suddenly McCann is in on goal....takes it in and curves it past the keeper! From nothing we lead 2 nil! Euphoria! Another 4mins and Naysmith crosses, Barry Ferguson controls it, takes it past Bart Goor, Shoots......Goal! Sweet jesus, we are 3 nil up and its not even HT. The last few mins play out.

Wow. Pause for breath. We have this game well under control, despite having only 4 shots to to Belgium's 5, we are almost out of sight!. Second half time. We start the second half on fire suddenly. 4 more shots in the first 8mins and Belgium dont know what has hit them. Strupar has an effort but easily saved, then Mark Kerr smashes one in, only to be denied by the offside trap. We seem comfortable. Time ticks past and we dont create much for 10mins, then suddenly Johnston moves forward with the ball, keeps going, shoots.......SCORES! 4 nil......!! I make a treble change, Burchill and Charlie Miller on for Hutchinson and Kerr, whilst Corrigan comes on for his debut in place of the booked Dailly. The game drifts on, Mpenza has another ruled out for offside, Burchill has an effort but wide. Then in the dying seconds, icing on the cake. McCann sets up Burchill who gets his goal. 5 freaking nil???


The match stats suggest we were not nearly as dominant as the scoreline suggests, just very deadly in front of goal.


And the player ratings show that everyone turned up tonight. Great performance all round.


Most pleasing of all, is the table now. With a game to go, its very much in our hands. We are above Croatia by 1 goal on goal difference (the H2H is identical). Belgium and Croatia play each other in the final game, so as long as we match any Croatia win (or even if we come one short of it) we are on our way to the World Cup, without even needing a playoff!!!


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Part 2 - World Cup 2002 Qualifying - Scotland v Latvia


So, here it is. One game, against a minnow, at home. All we need to do is one by at worst, one less goal than Croatia, who face a tough game at home to Belgium. What could possibly go wrong?

Squad selection

After the wonderful result in the last game, changes are minimal. Mickey Cameron is fit again, so he replaces Stevie Nicholas but is a bench player at best. That is the only change initially, until Christian Dailly picks up an injury just before the game. A big blow as we have zero depth at DM. Veteran Billy McKinlay gets the call, someone who has never let me down.

World Cup Qualifying Game 3 - Scotland v Latvia

Billy McKinlay comes right in from the start at DM, but otherwise we are unchanged from the Belgium win.

We start quickly and it takes only 3mins for Magic Johnston to score a solo goal and get us up and running! Just what we needed, an early nerve settler. 4mins later and we are starting to look at flight options to Toyko and Seoul. McCann picks up a pass and slams home to double our advantage. The very next bit of action has our fans looking up sushi recipes and researching Japanese beer......a wild 2 footed lunge by Troitsky gets him a red, us a pen and Don Hutchinson puts it away to give us a 3 nil lead in only 12mins! Cigars are being lit on the bench at this point. Match this if you can Croatia.......We continue to dominate but no more goals as we head towards the half hour, although not a single shot for 10 man Latvia. Then barry Ferguson finishes off what sounds a lovely passing move, and we are 4 nil up. In the same move Jackie Mac picks up an injury and has to go off. Corrigan comes on, although at this point we might just as well have sent on another striker....we show mercy though, and the rest of the half passes without incident.

The second half starts slowly and we seem content to sit back and plan for the holiday. As we hit the hour mark, still not a Latvian shot to be seen, but we have only had 6 to be fair. I go to the bench and give Mickey Cameron a bit of game time in place of Johnston, who has been excellent. Moments later, Paul Ritchie strides forward majestically and unleashes one from distance. BOOM. 5 nil. Not much more happens, i give Charlie Miller a few more mins and we see it out to book our place at the finals.


The Match stats show that for the second game in a row, we were ruthlessly efficient without totally bombarding. I can live with that.


The player ratings show another pretty good all round performance.



We did it!! Scotland are off to another world cup. We took 7pts from 9, after a very shaky first game we hit our stride. Now we have to see if we are strong enough to get out of a group at a world cup.


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Part 2 - World Cup 2002 Finals - The Build Up/U]



So the build up begins. Initially we have a friendly with Greece, at the time we might have been playing the playoff ( :D )

Squad Selection

This friendly gives me a good chance to look at some players and experiment. A number of our U21s are promoted - Jamie McCunnie at Right back, Stephen Crainie at LB and Phil McGuire at DC. Elsewhere Barry Nicholson gets a look at DMC where we are so light, and Kenny Miller comes in for a chance up top. Unfortunately Nicholson gets injured and has to pull out, another DMC problem. Scott Severin gets the call to replace him and see if he can perhaps play the holding role. Jamie Buchan is also out, so we are dredging and Ian Murray comes in for depth.

Friendly - Scotland v Greece

We name an experimental line up, with 3 of the back 4 winning first caps (Crainey, McCunnie and McGuire). Severin is also in for a debut as is Kenny Miller, who will get 45mins before Milne gets his chance. We keep our CM and wide men consistent but with an eye to subs later.

We start ok and have the early running, but not creating great chances. We lack a bit of fluency which is to be expected. As the half wears on, we get more and more dominant but the goal doesnt come. At HT we make a slew of changes incuding our front 3. As we reach the hour mark, we are totally on top with Greece only mustering a single shot. Just past the hour, an easy chance falls to sub Steven Milne inside the box and he makes no mistake, putting us ahead. We make a couple more changes, bringing on Charlie Miller and Craig Burley, as well as Davie Weir. Severin is performing very well in the holding role which is promising.

The second half wears on and we cant quite get that second goal. Milne hits the post, then has one disallowed for offside. Right at the death. Greece with their second shot of the game almost grab a draw, but the goal is chalked off.

A win, a good performance but not great in front of goal. In terms of learnings, the 3 U21s at the back didnt look out of place, Severin was great at DMC and Milne took his chance.


The match stats show we were always in control


The player ratings show impressive stuff by the back 4, and Severin.


With no more friendlies scheduled before the World Cup, i was a bit worried. Just after new year, the SFA finally got off their backsides and scheduled at least one.......against Greece!! Well, at least we are familiar.....

So for the second Greece friendly........

Squad Selection

Very few changes from the last friendly. Barry Nicholson is now fit and will get his chance to play at least 45mins. Up front. Stephen McPhee has banged in 25 in 40 games for Port Vale, and is pacey. Call him up, just getting the nod over Lee McCulloch who also has 25 in 40 for Wigan.

Friendly - Scotland v Greece

Its like de ja vu all over again...... I give McPhee a start up front, Cameron gets a start on the right and the rest of the team is unchanged from the last friendly, a second chance for some of these youngsters to convince me.

We start slowly, nothing happening but with our first attack on 12mins, McCann plays in McPhee and he smashes in a debut goal......nice start. We continue to press forward, Cameron and Ferguson having shots but nothing doing. Then Greece get a first shot on target.......and score :( Suddenly they are back in it and create 2 more chances before half time, whilst we have stopped creating. Half time and its level. I give Nicholson his chance at DM and Glass also replaces McCann at HT. McPhee will get another 10mins.

Second half and McPhee has 2 more chances in the first 8 mins but cant put them away. I give him 10 more mins, but before i can take him off, disaster. McCunnie gets a straight red for a professional foul, Greece were threatening more and more. Mark Kerr makes way for Weir, who goes in at RB and we go a man short in the middle. Milne now comes on for McPhee. With 10men we dont create much more and not giving away too many chances at least. The game peters out to a draw.

Not a great result, the sending off didnt help but overall we were not as good as in the previous friendly. Some interesting decisions now to be made around the finals squad....


Match stats suggest if we were a bit more deadly, we might still have had a win


Player ratings show McGuire again impressive, McCunnie let himself down and Severin was not as good this time. McPhee and McGuire have given me real food for thought for the finals now......


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Part 2 - World Cup 2002 Finals - The Draw / Squad Selection



So the draw for the World Cup. An exciting time to be a Scot!

I am not sure what i think of this draw. France are the current world and euro holders (not to mention those who broke my heart 2 years ago on CM99/00). Russia are a strong side but we might stand a chance. Costa Rica. It had to be didnt it. In theory we can beat them, but we all know about Scotland and Costa Rica.......shuddering memories of Italia 90....


Squad Selection

Always one of the hardest parts. The squad needs to be cut to 23 and i have some hard decisions.

We only take 2 keepers, so Gould misses out which is no problem. In defence, young Phil McGuire deserves to come after a great showing for his club, for the U21s and for taking his chance in the build up games. Stephen Crainie is also a bit of a surprise choice as i opt to take a 3rd fullback but again he has had a solid season for Celtic and did not let me down in the friendlies. Corrigan and Weir also come along as backups.

In midfield, i agonise over the backup DM space but in the end opt for the reliable Billy McKinlay. The rest of the midfield picks itself really. Out wide i spring a surprise. Stephen Glass has just been awful for club and country, so i jettison him and gamble on an uncapped Paul Di Giacamo. He has good looking attributes and played well for Killie all year. Likely he will not play but there for some experience.

Up top is probably the hardest choice, because no one stands out. Hutchinson scored a vital goal for us, but didnt do anything after that and was poor at West Ham. Burchill has never taken his chances, but did score 14 for Pompey. McPhee and Milne both did as asked in very limited chances, and both had great club season. In the end, i struggle and pick 3 strikers, which is likely a waste. McPhee, Milne and Burchill are all coming to the finals.

So here is the squad (keepers cut off but its Douglas and Sully)


No injuries in the build up, so we are off to the finals!

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Part 2 - World Cup 2002 Finals - The Finals!!



World Cup 2002 Finals - Game 1 - France v Scotland

So we are off. Dailly has a knock so Billy Mckinlay has to start. Elsewhere McPhee gets the nod up top to start with.


We get the first chance, Magic grazes the bare in the 6th minute. Then 3mins later, he is at it again, picking up a ball from Mark Kerr and trying one from distance.....GOAL!!! We are ahead!! We are flying, right from the kick off McPhee then magic both have chances saved. This is insane! We tick on to half hour and still France have not mustered a shot on our goal. We are bossing this game! Just after the half hour Guily has a piledriver which Rab turns round the post for a corner, the corner comes to nothing. France are starting to up their game. Matteo gets booked and Zidane hits the wall with a freekick. Then Trezeguet has it in the net, but its offside. We are relieved to hear the half time whistle in the end. Still a moment to savour, being ahead against the world and euro champs at half time.

RIght from the kick off we get that classic bit of commentary "McPhee must score"....of course he doesnt :D Good save by Barthez. We reach the hour and we have started the second half very well, with 2 chances and nothing more for France. They bring on Steve Marlet and William Gallas, a rather better bench than us. I stand pat for now. As we move towards the last 20mins France again start to put the foot down, a series of chances come and go, and a few dangerous free kicks. I bring Milne on for McPhee up top, and Barry Ferguson is not having a great game, so Craig Burley comes on to add experience. This is in 72mins, and they respond by sending on Anelka (similar level to my sub striker really......). On 77mins the unthinkable happens. Volley by Steven Milne.....GOAL!!! We are 2 nil up against the freaking world champions!! All over Glasgow and Edinburgh much beer is drunk. France try to hit back with a half chance, but we stay strong. With 4mins to go i bring off the booked McNamara and bring on Davie Weir, mainly to waste time. We exchange shots over the last 2mins but nothing happening at either end.



As i take a moment to let it sink in, the match stats actually show we are worthy winners.


And on the player ratings side, Magic clearly the key man. Milne off the bench with a goal is great. Our fullbacks had a tough game but no wonder against this side.


World Cup 2002 Finals - Game 2 - Scotland v Costa Rica

Now its on! If we can beat our old foes Costa Rica, we are in the next round with a game to spare. Costa Rica have a few good players. Paulo Wanchope of course, and the former CM "free transfer" gem that is Alonso Solis.

We bring back Dailly in place of McKinlay and Milne gets the nod over McPhee after his goal. We are off!

This time Costa Rica create the first chance with a run by Alonso Solis, but saved by Rab. 12mins in we get a dangerous free kick but Milne puts it over the bar. Jackie Mac then picks up a booking which will keep him out of the Russia game. Then on 15mins Wanchope picks it up, runs at us, shoots and SCORES. You are f'ing kidding me. Beat france, and we are losing to Cost ruddy Rica!! Wanchope then has 2 more chances before the half hour. We are unrecognisable from the side who beat France. Just before the half hour, William Sunsing picks up a pass and smashes home. 2 nil Costa Rica. You are absolutely kidding me. We are no where today. I make a change, moving to 442 and puting McCann up top. I have to try something. We push forward and have claims for a penalty. Not given. They break, chance for Soto........3 Nil. Rage is starting to set in now......We try to fight back with 2 chances before HT, but nothing happens. Raging doesnt even begin to cover it.

Completely Typical Scotland. Sticking with 442, i bring on Mcphee for Matteo, reshuffling things a bit but 2 natural strikers now, McCann back to the wing. We start the second half like we have had a proper kicking at HT, first 10mins we create 4 chances but cant take any of them. We needed an early goal to have any chance of a comeback :( 65mins in Magic Johnston does his thing, takes the ball for a run, plays in Mark Kerr, he controls, shoots, SCORES. 3 v 1. A glimmer of hope, nothing more. The game then hits a real lull, barely a shot beteen 65mins and 80mins as Costa Rica kill the game. We make 2 late subs, sending on McGuire and Cameron but its to no avail. We create 2 chances between 89 and 93 but the whilst goes.

What a humiliation for Scotland. Beaten by Costa Rica again.


Defiantly, the chant around the stadium is "WE'RE GONNA DEEP FRY YER COFFEE, WE'RE GONNA DEEP FRY YER COFFEE"

match stats suggest we were maybe unlucky, they were just deadly.


Player stats show the keeper had a mare, but Johnston and Milne were good, as was Naysmith


France thrash Russia 3 v 0 in the other game, so everyone is on 3pts going into the final game. We are above Russia on GD, so a draw could do it for us, as long as Brazil beat Costa Rica.

World Cup Finals 2002 - Game 3 - Scotland v Russia

These damn ruskies. A few changes are made. Jackie Mac is suspended, Davie Weir comes in to play RB. Dailly was so bad that he is dropped for McKinlay and up front we go back to McPhee over Milne.

It starts a bit end to end, a corner each, we get the only shot in the first 10mins. The yellow cards start to fly, 2 for them and one for us and the game gets bogged down. We reach the half hour point with just 1 shot from each team. A further booking for Russia gives us a free kick, but nothing doing. Then a long ball from Paul Ritchie puts Stephen McPhee in on goal.....SCORES!! YAS! A vital goal for us. Russia have one more shot before HT from Champ Man legend Victor Onopko but we reach HT in the lead.

France are already 4 v 1 up against 10 man Costa Rica, so this is really in our hands now. Please dont blow it lads.

Second half and Russia come out the blocks with good possession, but we hold firm, allowing just a shot by Smertin as we tick to the hour mark. We start to get a good foothold again, but the game is punctuated by lots of free kicks, many of which are for us but we cant take advantage. With 15 to go, Magic comes off and Cameron is on. We start to take more of an attacking role, McPhee with a couple of shots and a corner or two as the clock ticks down. Then as we are startnig to celebrate in the 90th minute, McPhee puts the icing on. Cross from Ferguson, and he rises to head home. GOAL! We are through!

The chant rings round the stadium "WE'RE GONNA DEEP FRY YER VODKA....WE'RE GONNA DEEP FRY YER VODKA"

The final whistle goes, and we are in the next round. History for Scotland at a world cup. Even better, we top the group as a result of our win over the French. Group winners!!!


Match stats say we just about deserved it


Player ratings highlight McPhee as the star and our midfield also doing well


And the final group table.


Off to the knockouts we go!

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Part 2 - World Cup 2002 Finals - The Finals Knockout Stage!



Winning the group gives us a relatively kind draw. We draw Denmark, who are now 10 years removed from the Euro winning glory but are still a team with some stars. The likes of Gronjaer, Martin Jorgenson, Ebbe Sand.

World Cup Finals 2002 - Knock Out - Scotland v Denmark

THe only change sees Jackie Mac return from suspension and replace Davie Weir, who did fine but Jackie is our first choice. Elsewhere, McKinlay and McPhee keep their places.

A breathless start as we get an early chance, then Denmark hit the woodwork, then only 6mins in McPhee smashed a free kick in, the keeper saved but McCann picks up the Rebound and scores!!! GOAL! Then the very next attack, McCann in space smashes in a shot, saved, but McCann is on the rebound again, slots home!! GOAL!! We are 2 nil up and its early! Denmark roar back, but we hold on, then 25mins in they have a long passing move which ends in Ebbe Sand finishing off. They are back in it at 2 v 1. Squeaky bum time. Denmark create one more shot, then we are back on the front foot. McPhee misses a chance, then Naysmith drives forward a long way, delivers a cross....McPhee rises.....GOAL!!! 3 v 1 up!! brilliant. The last minutes till HT pass uneventfully.

Denmark make a change soon after the break, and on 60mins with the first notable action of the half, they hit the bar. We then suffer a blow as Paul Ritchie goes off injured, and on comes Phil McGuire. McPhee then has a chance to seal it, but puts it over. Immediatelly though, he makes up for it. McCann wins the ball back, runs, crosses, McPhee slams home!! We are surely through now!!I take off Magic for Mickey to rest him a bit now and hope for a quiet ending. I pretty much get my wish, Denmark have another pop, we miss on the counter and late on they have a free kick after McGuire is booked but it comes to nothing! The full time whistle sounds and we are through!! More History!!

"WE'RE GONNA DEEP FRY YER BACON, WE'RE GONNA DEEP FRY YER BACON" is heard around the stadium.......We enjoy the glory


The match stats show our dominance. Seems like the team that played France showed up, not the one who lost to Costa Rica!


Player rating show that the 2 stars were McCann and McPhee. Jean Tigana named McPhee as one of the stars of the tournament in the press after!


The next round draw is not kind. The likes of Poland and Ireland remain in the draw, but we get the powerhouse of Italy.

World Cup Finals 2002 - Quarter Final - Scotland v Italy

Paul Ritchie's injury in the last game keeps him out, so McGuire is thrown in for a start in a huge game. Daily onto the bench. No other changes, why would we after that performance.

Italy kick off and immediately Totti is rampaging at us, letting fly from distance but over the bar. Then Tommasi has a header and we weather the storm a bit. We get some possession and a free kick but McKinlay fires over. Then McPhee heads one just over, before Rab Douglas has to make a great save to deny Totti. 22mins in and its end to end. Italy are now in control and pinning us back, but Rab Douglas is holding firm so far. They continue to batter us a bit as the half time whistle approaches but we hold on just.

Right from the whistle Italy have it in the net, but Fiore was offside. I tweek a couple of tactical instructions to try and stem the flow> it is not effective, and in 56mins a long Italy move ends with Stefano Fiore sweeping home from close range. Uphill battle now :( Seconds later Totti has it in the net again, but offside. I bring on Cameron for Kerr to give me a more attacking CM to see if we can salvage this. Time is running away, i send on Milne for McPhee to see if we can find a bit of magic. Ferguson fires just wide, then disaster. McKinlay gets booked for a challenge then immediately a second yellow for disent :( what an idiot! There ends our chances really. The last 8 mins pass with Italy coming closer to a second. Game over, we are going home :(

A final chant rings round the stadium "WE'RE GONNA DEEP FRY YER PASTA, WE'RE GONNA DEEP FRY YER PASTA" as the Scotland fans leave this world cup for the last time.


Match stats show Italy were worthy winners, a real quality side.


And player ratings, show that we didnt play badly, just came up against a group of better individuals.


So there we go, the world cup comes to an end, but amazing to make it to the quarter finals. The high of course being beating France. We are a solid team without a true star, but Alan Johnston was excellent throughout. With the good U21 side, this scotland team could go places.

Alas, i now move on to Euro 2004 and to another version of the Championship Manager series, the last one infact.

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Definitely a very engaging read. I know very little about Scotland's team, but I think the mid-2000s attempts will be very interesting. Can you win the Euros over Greece?

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Really interesting concept this one. Some pretty good results so far too, especially given you have to pick brand new everything every time.

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Beating France but losing to Costa Rica was very 'Scotland'.

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Part 3 - Euro 2004 Qualifying - State of the nation


So (after a bit of a hiatus whilst i was caught up in other projects) we move on to qualifying for the Euro's in 2004, to be held in Portugal. A wee trip to the Algarve lads? Would go down nicely would it now.

Ah 2004. The year of Arsenals "invincible" side, the year Roman Abramovic would change the stage of English football by commencing his spending spree. David Beckham became a Galactico. Elsewhere in the sports world, the Boston Red Sox win their first world series since 1918, finally breaking the curse of the bambino and Lance Armstrong wins an incedible 5th Tour De France (sort of......)

Outside of sports, the world was not in a good place. The madrid bombings, the much expected formal admission that the second gulf war was not based on any real evidence of WMD, the uncovering of what was going on in Abu Ghriab. Oh yeah and some website called Facebook goes live.......

Meanwhile, Scotland are, as always, locked in a battle to qualify. This time, we cannot really complain too much about the draw. Yes, we had a very strong German team to contend with. But Iceland should be beatable, and Lithuania and the Faroes should not worry any decent football team.....

As usual, we take over mid campaign. And as usual, we are in bother. 3 games remain, with Germany in charge at the top of the group (although not out of reach). Meanwhile Iceland are a point clear of Scotland with a slightly better goal difference. However the remaining fixtures should be in our favour. Iceland have a double header with Germany, where as we have only to play them once. We also have the Faroes at home, which is surely money in the bank.........Our final game is home to Lithuania which could be nerve jangling....

Be interesting to see how this goes. At this stage, Scotland should have a strong squad. We have McFadden and Naysmith at Everton, Darren Fletcher at Man U, Barry Ferguson at Blackburn and Neil McCann at Southampton. Colin Cameron and Mark Burchill are also in the premier league, so we have very good set of core players.

Tactically, some of you might remeber that CM03/04 was very exploitable. It was the time of scramjet and diablo. I shall endevour to keep away from any exploit tactics so as to keep it realistic!


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An interesting way of playing, and doing very well so far.

Thanks - it has been a really enjoyable trip down memory lane to try and play each of these old games. Hard not to get sucked into continuing one for longer!

Definitely a very engaging read. I know very little about Scotland's team, but I think the mid-2000s attempts will be very interesting. Can you win the Euros over Greece?

Glad you enjoyed thus far. Without scramjet / diablo, i would say absolutely no way i can win it! But, we do have a good squad this time so be interesting to see what we can do.

Really interesting concept this one. Some pretty good results so far too, especially given you have to pick brand new everything every time.

Yeah the challenge of starting with a new ME will bite harder as we go on i think. CM98 and CM02 were still fairly basic in ME / tactical terms but as they become more complex, the difficulty increases. I actually thought about doing something like this at club level, and that would be an absolute mare :D at least with Scotland its just a tactic and a set of players who i likely mostly remember anyway.

Beating France but losing to Costa Rica was very 'Scotland'.

You could certainly argue that "losing to Costa Rica" represents everything that it is to be a part of the Tartan Army!

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Part 3 - Euro 2004 Qualifying - The Qualifiers


So we head into qualifying, with the group closely balanced.

Time for the initial squad, and always when its the first one of a "Version", it gets interesting....my selections:

GK - Neil Sullivan has retired, so Rab Douglas will be the clear number 1 here. Gallacher and Alexander represent somewhat younger options but neither is exactly brilliant.

LB - Naysmith would be first choice but is injured. Stephen Crainie is starting to establish himself at Celtic, and young Hammell is a top performer at Motherwell

RB - Jackie Mac continues to be dependable, if now getting to the "veteran" stage. Graham Alexander has emerged as a solid type who is a good squad body

DC - Elvis Pressley is now really at his best, and with several older options out of form or retiring, its a mixed bag here. Webster is raw but promising, as is Wilkie. The Caldwell brothers are starting to look like international players (how did that work out for us IRL...) so Stephen gets the call

DM - Lambert is back from an international retirement (must admit, i dont recall this happening IRL!) but we are still short of depth. Brian Kerr of Livingston comes in (yes, really.....this is a bit like Berti's time)

MC - Barry Ferguson is probably our best player, and Darren Fletcher is young but emerging at Man U so can play this role

MR - Colin Cameron, if he can stay injury free, can be an asset for us. Paul Hartley has joined Hearts, and although IRL he would become an AMC, at the moment he is still a AMR

ML - James McFadden is our bright young star / hope and he is first choice. Behind him, Jamie Smith is a young player who can play either side and has promise.

ST - Neil McCann is best suited to AML but we dont have one, and Faddy is my ML. Neil can play up top i feel. Alongside him i have to pick between Burchill and Maloney. Kenny Miller, now of Wolves is injured so Paul Dickov is a bit of a desperation pick....


Qualifiers Game 1 - Scotland v Faroe Islands

So, the farmers at home. Surely a done deal. I decided to opt for a 4132 wide, but avoiding the diablo system with the attacking CM. I have no idea if this will work, but i wanted my wide men attacking. I am tempted to go 4231 but i dont recall that working much back in 2004!

Here is the starting formation and team for this game


Via the new fangled 2D pitch view i can actual watch as we start to dominate. Takes us 24mins to break through, and we make it interesting for a bit in true Scotland fashion when we give away an awful goal from a horrid square defensive pass, but in the end we take control and the goals start to fly in. Particularly pleasing to see wee Shaun Maloney get a hatrick. A youngster with much promise. In reality, we could have scored more but it was no more than we expected at home to the m innows.


Qualifiers game 2 - Germany v Scotland

Brutally hard game against the Germans. Naysmith is fit and returns, as does Kenny Miller at the expense of Dickov and Hammell. Naysmith starts but Miller is kept on the bench by the form of Maloney and McCann

Germany are strong and an early goal by Michael Ballack puts us in trouble. They continue to dominate and when Arne Friedrich adds a second after only 23mins we are in bother. I make a change to formation, going to 41221 with McCann going wide left and Faddy wide right, also making us more solid in the middle as Mickey Cameron slides over. It helps us stem the tide a little but we dont threaten much.

Into the second half and we create a couple of half chances, i bring on Kenny Miller and also Jamie Smith, and we do get one back through McCann with still plenty time left. The fighback is on! Or not so much, really German then dominate again and hit the woodwork twice. A desperation throw on of Mark Burchill brings nothing and we are defeated. No disgrace, given the quality of opposition.


Qualifiers Game 3 - Scotland v Lithuania

Here we go, we need a win here and Iceland not to beat Germany, and we are at least in the playoffs. The only squad chance is in goal, where backup Gallacher is injured and Alan McGregor gets the call to be 3rd choice.

I stick to the same formation, although i am uneasy with it. Figure its only Lithuania.....

In true scotland style, we manage to go behind. Playing awful. We managed to get back level but 1 v 1 at HT will not be good enough for us. I change tactics again, going 433 and bringing on Burchill and it pays off. A quick fire double from Faddy puts us in control, and Burchill adds a 4th just after we had managed to concede again to make it close. Jackie Mac gets sent off near the end which could impact our playoff chances :(

A bit of a mixed performance, and the tactic defo doesnt seem to be right, so will need to consider that for the playoff.


So on to the playoff next......some tough teams in the draw. Can we make it to Euro 2004.........

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So this is a pretty old thread, which i had grand ideas for but i ran into some problems running CM03/04 which is why it ground to a halt. I couldnt get round those problems, so i left things.

However i am now going to pick things back up. I still couldnt get 03/04 running smooth so i am skipping onto 06. Originally i  thought i would have an issue as although i have FM06 on disk, my current laptop has no optical drive, and there are reports that game does not work on Windows 10. Luckily I found an older laptop which not only has an optical drive but also still runs on Windows 7. Quick test seems to suggest it works :D 

So i will start again in the year 2006

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Just sat and read this, My town has a strong Scottish connection so I felt obliged to support you from the off! haha Look forward to it continuing!

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Amazing! Loving it! Have a look at Ian Macsween and Peter handyside In 03/04 were absolute class acts!!

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