Blogs & Opinion


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

Features - 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:

Guillem Balague

Balague: Barca training tough

Guillem Balague says Barcelona’s stars will suffer gruelling double sessions during their week at Burton....

Ray Wilkins

Wilkins: Rooney for captain

Ray Wilkins says Wayne Rooney is the "standout candidate" for the England captaincy....

Jamie Carragher

Carra: Gerrard hard to replace

Jamie Carragher says there’s no natural replacement for Steven Gerrard in the England team....

Latest News RSS feeds

Susi out of Sweden game

England Women’s boss Mark Sampson has been hit by two withdrawals from his squad ahead of Sunday's game against Sweden

Live transfer updates

Everton sign Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea for £28million, as Morgan Schneiderlin asks to leave Southampton.

Everton sign Lukaku for £28m

Everton had to overcome a late paperwork scare to finalise the signature of Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku.

Schneiderlin: Let me leave

Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin has handed in a transfer request, according to Sky sources.

Southampton secure Bertrand

Southampton fans finally have reason to cheer after signing Chelsea full-back Ryan Bertrand on a season-long loan.

Features

La Liga: A look at the best buys so far in Spain

La Liga: A look at the best buys so far in Spain

The top value signings of the summer might not necessarily involve the best players. Clearly, James Rodríguez and Luis Suárez are a cut above anyone recently recruited by Real Sociedad.

In part two of his Sky Sports Fantasy Football scout report, tipster Tim Clement looks at which young stars are set to shine this season

In part two of his Sky Sports Fantasy Football scout report, tipster Tim Clement looks at which young stars are set to shine this season

There’s nothing quite like spotting a young talent set to flourish and Sky Sports Fantasy Football managers will be especially desperate to discover the next young star set to shine.

Good Week/Bad Week: We take a look at the winners and losers from the last seven days

Good Week/Bad Week: We take a look at the winners and losers from the last seven days

So much can change in a week of sporting action and, sure enough, there have been plenty of highs and lows over the past seven days.