Blogs & Opinion


Gordon Strachan should go for it when Soctland host Wales, says Andy Walker

Wales - Andy Walker Posted 18th March 2013 view comments

Gordon Strachan takes charge of Scotland at Hampden for the first time on Friday in a World Cup qualifier against Wales live on Sky Sports.

It's a great pity for every Scotland fan that our chances of taking part in next year's World Cup in Brazil are all but gone but it's still important for the new manager to get back to winning ways and give the supporters hope for the future.

Strachan: 'nervous, emotional and excited' says Walker

Strachan: 'nervous, emotional and excited' says Walker

Strachan only had a few training sessions with his players before last month's friendly victory over Estonia at Pittodrie so it will be interesting to see how quickly he can make his own mark with a group of players who have under-achieved in the national jersey.

Being in charge of Scotland has clearly given Strachan a fresh impetus. It's not often you hear a manager with his playing and coaching experience speak so openly about how nervous, emotional and excited he was during his debut match.

We're not capable of playing like Spain or Brazil but with so many of the squad plying their trade in Scotland and England's top flight and a few with Champions League experience, I think the Tartan Army would appreciate a more attack-minded mentality against teams like Wales.

Andy Walker
Quotes of the week

Live on Sky Sports

Scotland v Wales
7.30pm, Fri, Sky Sports 2 HD

What it tells you is that Strachan certainly wants to give the fans some hope that we can improve.

My hope is that we'll be very attack-minded in front of a crowd desperate for something to cheer. We're not capable of playing like Spain or Brazil but with so many of the squad plying their trade in Scotland and England's top flight and a few with Champions League experience, I think the Tartan Army would appreciate a more attack-minded mentality against teams like Wales, especially at Hampden.

Under Craig Levein we were renowned for being overly cautious. A new era gives us a chance to establish a more exciting brand of football at home.

Mentality

Wales edged it 2-1 against us in Cardiff when Gareth Bale scored a stunning winner and he's one of a number of players capable of scoring a goal out of nothing.

Most of the players on view ply their trade in Britain so the mentality will be much the same and I don't expect to see a great difference in how both sides will play.

Like all sides, we need our top players to perform but Darren Fletcher and Scott Brown are both missing with injury and illness meaning some new names have come to the fore.

Liam Bridcutt plays as a holding midfield player for Brighton in the Championship and he's been given the recognition his play deserves. Gary Mackay-Steven is another who has excelled at Dundee United with the type of skill and ability that fans love.

Peterborough's George Boyd, on loan at Hull also gets into the squad. New faces like his are always a pleasant surprise and all must hope of a chance to play to kick-start their international careers.

Following the game against Wales, we travel to Serbia for a very difficult away fixture where we won't need to be so open and adventurous.

But a rousing debut performance from Gordon Strachan's men at Hampden will hopefully start with a victory to get the supporters believing that we can win games again.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Jamie Carragher

Carra: Utd transfers 'mismanaged'

Jamie Carragher has accused Manchester United of "mismanagement" over transfers after their 5-3 loss to Leicester....

Jamie Redknapp

Redknapp: No chance for Liverpool

Jamie Redknapp says Liverpool can't realistically hope to win the Premier League this season....

Football League Bloggers

Kevin Davies: My favourite footballers

Kevin Davies selects the five most influential footballers in his life, from childhood to the modern day....

Latest News RSS feeds

Sunday football live!

Follow our live blog for score updates, breaking team news, video and analysis from all today's matches.

Lampard haunts Chelsea

Frank Lampard stepped off the bench to score against his former club and salvage a 1-1 draw for Man City at home to Chelsea.

Leicester fightback stuns Utd

Leicester City produced a sensational comeback to leave big-spending Manchester United shell-shocked after a 5-3 win.

Morrison secures West Brom win

A second-half header from James Morrison secured West Brom’s first win of the season as they beat Tottenham 1-0.

Palace hit back to beat Everton

Crystal Palace came from behind to beat Everton 3-2 and pick up their first win of the Premier League campaign.

Features

Leicester City 5 Manchester United 3: What went wrong for Louis van Gaal’s defence in Premier League defeat?

Leicester City 5 Manchester United 3: What went wrong for Louis van Gaal’s defence in Premier League defeat?

After last weekend’s procession over Queens Park Rangers had been billed as a new dawn for Manchester United, Sunday’s shocking 5-3 defeat at Leicester City provided the ultimate reality check.

Mesut Ozil – Aston Villa 0 Arsenal 3: What did you think of German World Cup winner in Premier League win?

Mesut Ozil – Aston Villa 0 Arsenal 3: What did you think of German World Cup winner in Premier League win?

One minute and 19 seconds. That was the time it took for a transformation in the appraisals of Mesut Ozil.

Alan Pardew's future: Mike Ashley could rebel against fans' complaints, says Alan Curbishley

Alan Pardew's future: Mike Ashley could rebel against fans' complaints, says Alan Curbishley

Alan Curbishley says Newcastle owner Mike Ashley could continue to back under-fire manager Alan Pardew in spite of growing unrest from the club's fans.