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:

Latest News RSS feeds

Drogba: I want to stay

Didier Drogba has told Sky Sports News HQ that he wants to remain at Chelsea beyond the end of the season.

Live transfer updates

Live transfer updates, including the latest on deals involving Juan Cuadrado and Gabriel Paulista.

Cuadrado wants Chelsea move

Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado has made it clear he wants to join Chelsea, Sky sources understand.

Wenger: Gabriel deal imminent

Arsene Wenger expects Arsenal to complete the signing of Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista within the next 24 hours.

Paper Talk: Spurs want Ings

Tottenham are considering a £5m swoop for Burnley's Danny Ings, plus all the latest headlines from Monday's papers.

Features

Arsenal transfer target Gabriel Paulista: We profile Villarreal’s Brazilian defender

Arsenal transfer target Gabriel Paulista: We profile Villarreal’s Brazilian defender

Arsenal are in talks with Villarreal over a deal for defender Gabriel Paulista, but who exactly is the much talked-about Brazilian?

FA Cup fourth round: Where does Bradford's win over Chelsea rank? A look at the greatest ever FA Cup shocks

FA Cup fourth round: Where does Bradford's win over Chelsea rank? A look at the greatest ever FA Cup shocks

After Bradford’s heroics, we look at where it ranks among the greatest FA Cup giant-killings.

FA Cup fourth round: Five talking points

FA Cup fourth round: Five talking points

Shock home defeats for Chelsea and Manchester City took the headlines on Saturday as the underdogs had their day in the fourth round of the FA Cup.