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:

Latest News RSS feeds

Redknapp: City must respond

Man City's players must show the character that made them champions at Chelsea, says Jamie Redknapp.

Cuadrado 'signs for Chelsea'

Chelsea have secured the services of Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado, according to Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella.

Cesar: Lampard return strange

Cesar Azpilicueta admits it will be strange to see Frank Lampard line up against Chelsea on Saturday Night Football.

Transfer Centre

Follow the latest news and gossip as Chelsea close in on Juan Cuadrado, and Scott Sinclair signs for Aston Villa.

Merson's predictions

With a full Premier League schedule this weekend, Paul Merson tips wins for Arsenal, Stoke and Southampton

Features

Jeff's stat pack

Jeff's stat pack

Struggling with your Soccer Saturday Super 6 predictions? Do not fear, Jeff Stelling is here with his stats and predictions for this weekend's featured matches.

Premier League questions: Who will win the crucial top-two clash? Can Arsenal end their February hoodoo? And will Sturridge reinvigorate Liverpool?

Premier League questions: Who will win the crucial top-two clash? Can Arsenal end their February hoodoo? And will Sturridge reinvigorate Liverpool?

With another huge round of Premier League contests ahead of us, we ponder 10 questions that could be answered by Sunday evening...

Premier League: A look at the key battles in Saturday's title showdown between Chelsea and Manchester City

Premier League: A look at the key battles in Saturday's title showdown between Chelsea and Manchester City

Who will emerge on top out of John Terry and Sergio Aguero? Eden Hazard and Pablo Zabaleta? Nemanja Matic v David Silva?