Blogs & Opinion


Scotland: Gordon Strachan's team showed quality at Wembley

Andy Walker - Andy Walker Posted 15th August 2013 view comments

Given the amount of mind-numbing friendlies that we see all too often, it was refreshing to see a highly-motivated Scotland side play at Wembley again after an absence of 14 years.

We may have lost out narrowly in the end but the biggest winners in my view were the Scotland fans who, once again, demonstrated the type of colour and joy that they could bring to a major tournament.

Strachan: has got Scotland buzzing, says Andy

Strachan: has got Scotland buzzing, says Andy

It looks as though we're heading in the right direction.

Scotland's performance at Wembley against an excellent England side gives us all hope that Gordon Strachan might just be able to lead us to the European Championships in 2016.

As soon as the fans lose their enthusiasm to travel all over the world and support the national team, we will be finished, but their support definitely helped bring an edge to the game and I thought we gave it everything for the entire 90 minutes.

What we're getting from Strachan in his relatively new reign as Scotland boss is a belief that we can compete with good sides and come away with positive results.

Andy Walker
Quotes of the week

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS

World Cup Qualifier
Scotland v Belgium
7.55pm, Friday, Sep 6

On top of that, it was a better performance from Scotland than the one we had in Croatia in June where we surprised everyone - maybe even ourselves - in coming away with a 1-0 victory.

Qualification for the World Cup in Brazil next year is dead and buried but the hope comes from the renewed spirit and controlled passing that we saw last night against some top-quality players.

In all honesty, I couldn't pick one Scot in Gordon Strachan's starting eleven that would improve England's side. They have experienced international players all over the pitch and the major criticism of England normally comes when they attempt to reach the latter stages of a major tournament.

Support

We would love to have that problem as being absent from the best Europe and the world has to offer since France 1998 gets more painful with every passing year.

Man for man, Roy Hodgson has the type of class players all over the pitch that we would love to call upon but what we saw last night was a Scottish team fighting for each other and driven on by a group of supporters second to none - but, more importantly, we played good football.

Having to deal with the pace of Theo Walcott and Danny Wellbeck up front and the craft and guile of Jack Wilshere, Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney supporting them, it was understandable we defended fairly deep and in numbers.

I thought Tom Cleverley produced the pass of the night when his delightful ball inside Steven Whittaker sent Walcott in for England's first equaliser.

We couldn't hold on to our lead but lessons will be learned from that and what we're getting from Gordon Strachan in his relatively new reign as Scotland boss is a belief that we can compete with good sides, upset them and come away with positive results.

What we have to do now is build on the level of performance and commitment that have been clearly evident away from home to both Croatia and England.

Next up are Belgium at Hampden on Friday, September 6. Here's hoping we can give a marvellous Scotland support some more encouragement.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

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....

Martin Tyler

Tyler: We need Stevie's values

Steven Gerrard can inspire the next generation of England stars even in retirement, says Martin Tyler....

Latest News RSS feeds

Live transfer updates

Frank Lampard to be unveiled in USA, Gylfi Sigurdsson moves to Swansea, while Spurs sign Ben Davies and Michel Vorm.

United hammer LA Galaxy

Wayne Rooney, Reece James and Ashley Young all scored twice as Manchester United beat LA Galaxy 7-0 in Pasadena.

Bale targets more trophies

Gareth Bale says Real Madrid are targeting an even bigger trophy haul this season.

Lampard to complete NY move

Frank Lampard’s move to New York City is expected to be confirmed on Thursday afternoon.

Spurs confirm double deal

Tottenham have signed Swansea duo Ben Davies and Michel Vorm, with Gylfi Sigurdsson moving in the opposite direction.

Features

Could new signing Cheikhou Kouyate from Anderlecht give West Ham the platform to play under Sam Allardyce?

Could new signing Cheikhou Kouyate from Anderlecht give West Ham the platform to play under Sam Allardyce?

Following a season that left some in the stands and the board room dissatisfied with West Ham’s efforts, the appointment of Teddy Sheringham as an attacking coach was seen as a symbol of a new era of intent. But the signs are that Sam Allardyce will continue to do things his way.

Why new signing Willy Caballero has the ability to usurp Joe Hart as Manchester City's first-choice goalkeeper

Why new signing Willy Caballero has the ability to usurp Joe Hart as Manchester City's first-choice goalkeeper

With Joe Hart celebrating title success with Manchester City after five consecutive wins to finish the season, it is easy to forget that for the second campaign in a row the England goalkeeper had struggled.

James Rodriguez is a Real Madrid player for £63million - now Carlo Ancelotti must work out how to fit him in

James Rodriguez is a Real Madrid player for £63million - now Carlo Ancelotti must work out how to fit him in

“Why put another layer of gold plate on the Bentley when you are losing the entire engine?”