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

Making it for Messi

Barca and Real feature but Spain's best side isn't in the Copa del Rey final, says Guillem Balague....

Andy Walker

Second success

Andy Walker applauds Stuart McCall's work at Motherwell, as his re-built side challenges for second....

Latest News RSS feeds

Pellegrini: No Kompany regrets

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini insists he has no regrets about starting Vincent Kompany at Liverpool on Sunday.

'No United offer' for Kroos

Pep Guardiola remains keen to keep Toni Kroos at Bayern Munich following reports Manchester United had made an offer.

Mentality key for Martinez

Roberto Martinez believes Everton's strong mentality could be a crucial factor in the battle for fourth place.

De Gea's Europa League target

David de Gea says Man United are determined to ensure that they will be competing in European competition next season.

Everton v C Palace preview

Everton can move back into the top four on Wednesday with a positive result against another form side, Crystal Palace.

Features

Saluting Giroud

Saluting Giroud

Daniel Storey has praise for Olivier Giroud after a soldiering performance against West Ham.

Copa commitment

Copa commitment

Tim Stannard explains why the Copa Del Rey has become absolutely vital for a lacklustre Barcelona.

Liverpool was a city united on the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster

Liverpool was a city united on the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster

From early morning, a steady stream of visitors made their way to the Hillsborough Memorial on Anfield Road to pay their respects.