FOOTBALL: YOU'LL DO AN OTTO ON ITALY; Brown: Berti's Boys Can Floor 'Em like Greece

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), July 6, 2004 | Go to article overview

FOOTBALL: YOU'LL DO AN OTTO ON ITALY; Brown: Berti's Boys Can Floor 'Em like Greece


Byline: By Hugh Keevins

CRAIG BROWN last night tipped under-fire Berti Vogts to do an Otto Rehhagel by dumping Italy and guiding Scotland to the World Cup finals.

Vogts is living game to game after splitting his SFA employers over the failure to take Scotland to Euro 2004.

But Brown, who occupied the hotseat before the German, swears that by steering Greece to Sunday night's triumph over European Championship hosts Portugal, Rehhagel has turned the international pecking order on its head.

He reckons the tide has turned against the superstars and prima donnas and is sweeping better organised teams to glory even if they are less glamorous.

Brown said: 'I went to the European finals and watched Italy twice.

'They looked a very ordinary side, apart from the goalkeeper, Gianluigi Bouffon, and their central defensive pairing of Alessandro Nesta and Fabio Canavarro.

'We are living in an age when the world superstars get frustrated if things aren't going their way, so they just walk away and contract out of doing anything to help their country.

'Greece won the European Championship and shocked the football world because they knew that however good the opposition might have been on paper, their world-renowned names could do nothing if they were man-marked.'

Brown is convinced Scotland can spring an ambush of Greek proportions on Italy when World Cup qualifying kicks off in September.

He said: 'Teams who play Italy have a Totti complex but if you mark him out of a game, you are well on the way to winning.

'That's why I believe Scotland will top their group.We have solid defenders such as Christian Dailly and Steven Pressley,aswell as reliable full-backs in Gary Naysmith and Jackie McNamara to help us on our way.

'But it would be impertinent of me to tell Berti how to go about his business.

'Remember, this man has already done a Rehhagel by winning Euro96with Germany.'

Brown boasts a record of only nine competitive losses in 71 games as Scotland manager.

But when he left the job three years ago his style of play was being slaughtered by the fans who insisted it was boring them rigid. …

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