Alex Massie

Disappointment Deferred

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Scott Brown #6 of Scotland celebrates after scoring the opening goal, with team mates Kenny Miller and Darren Fletcher during the  2010 World Cup Qualifier match beteween Scotland and Macedonia at Hampden Park. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.

Oh dear. Scotland won a football match today. Ordinarily this is occasion for huzzahs and trebles all round. But, really, we all know that it's simply a matter of Delaying the Disappointment. To recap: for 50 minutes or so Scotland were dire. Against Macedonia. At home. Now all that's needed is victory over Holland on Wednesday, results elsewhere to fall into place and the trifling matter of a play-off against a better football team and we'll be joining England in South Africa next summer. And, hopefully, Northern Ireland too...

The disappointment, frankly, is easy to bear. It's the hope that gets you down. We're doomed but cling to the notion that miracles can happen. Then again, as a man once said... For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.

Stubborn things, dreams.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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