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April fool's day comes early for Scotland Tactical mayhem sums up the miserable reign of Vogts

WHEN Scotland captain Christian Dailly had to come to the touchline to ask Tommy Burns just what formation the team were actually playing, you just knew there was trouble ahead.

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Dailly demanded the Scotland assistant manager tell him where Gary Caldwell was supposed to be playing. For the record, Christian, he was supposed to be sitting in front of the back three but the Scotland set-up was so disjointed it was a valid question. The fact the Scotland captain had to ask at all, and only 13 minutes into the game, was a sad reflection on yet another night of embarrassment for Berti Vogts. Tactically they were a mess and that wasn't for the first time, and as long as Vogts is in charge it most certainly won't be the last. No amount of pre-match hype, which included naming the Tartan Army as one of the Scotland substitutes and letting off fireworks on the pitch beforehand, could cover up the cracks in Vogts' game- plan. Confusion reigned. Clearly, there is a breakdown in communication between the players and the Scotland management over tactics. Even the worst amateur team in Scotland make things simple enough in the dressing room so the players can understand what is required of them over 90 minutes. With the Scotland national side, that doesn't seem to be happening. In 51 minutes and with his side 2-0 down, Vogts introduced his ''cheeky chappy'' as he nauseatingly calls James McFadden. The crowd-pleaser duly obliged with a goal, but it's unfair the Scotland coach is putting so much expectation on a young man who is only still a bit player at Everton. Ioan Ganea has a work permit to play football in England for Wolves but the brutality of his challenge on John Kennedy last night suggests he got it under false pretences, masquerading as a fair footballer. The Romanian striker came to fame after his late penalty knocked England out of Euro 2000 but that should be for-gotten by Scotland supporters after his challenge on the Celtic player. To see young Kennedy being stretchered off the park in obvious pain was sickening to see, especially after only 16 minutes into his Scotland debut. The injury to the Celtic player was the low point in a night of many moments to forget. Sadly, it ended his chance of making a big impact with Scotland in a similar way that he has with the Parkhead club. His performance against Barcelona showed he is a young man of great stature and to be the subject of a brutal two-footed tackle in a friendly was a disgraceful way to bring his international debut to an end. Kennedy was the latest young defender who Vogts had decided to try out with varying success. Maurice Ross, of Rangers was given his chance but was rejected and Stephen Crainey, a former Celtic player who is now at Southampton, was the substitute last night for Kennedy. Ironically, Kennedy's injury did lead to a more balanced tactical formation once Crainey had settled in but they still looked all at sea at crucial times. Vogts has always claimed his team play better against high-class opposition and Romania are most certainly that. After debacles against teams like New Zealand and Faroe Islands, his team did try hard to match the likes of Adrian Mutu. The fact they didn't simply was down to a lack of class. For a manager with the experience of Vogts to be out-thought tactically on his own patch by Romanian coach Anghel Iordanescu was inexcusable. There can be all the talk in the world about a lack of decent players but Vogts' game- plan does not seem to have improved since he took over as national manager. Until he gets that right, Scotland will struggle, regardless of the men he puts on the park. The sight of Dailly having to ask where one of his own men was supposed to be playing will be remembered as a sad but symbolic moment in the reign of Vogts as the Scotland manager. Scenes like these are unlikely to be tolerated for too much longer. Clearly April Fool's day had arrived early.

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