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Deja vu for Scotland as their Euros journey ends with Steve Clarke's future in question - Euro 2024 hits and misses

Plus: Is Scotland boss Steve Clarke still the right man to lead the Tartan Army after their Euros group-stage exit; hosts Germany were given a timely reminder of how tough Euro 2024 glory will be after their last-gasp 1-1 draw against Switzerland, who will prove tough knockout opposition

Deja vu for Scotland as lack of attacking threat costs them

Scotland are heading home from Euro 2024
Image: Scotland are heading home from Euro 2024 after a last-gasp defeat to Hungary saw them finish bottom of Group A

Once again the Tartan Army believed and once again they were left in tears as another campaign ended at the group stages.

It was the same story at Euro 2020, the hope after a draw with England only to falter in their third game to exit.

Back-to-back tournaments after so long is to be commended, but Andy Robertson wanted them to leave Germany with no regrets. They are certain to have a few.

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Kris Boyd says he doesn't understand how Scotland were not awarded a penalty kick in their match against Hungary

Grant Hanley headed onto the post late in the draw with Switzerland, then came so close to a late goal against the Hungarians. What might have been.

There was little attacking threat. Two goals scored in this tournament, only one of them by a Scotland player.

Injuries did play a part, pre-tournament and in camp. but after such a convincing qualifying campaign the fans who brought such joy to the tournament probably deserved a little bit more.
Alison Conroy

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Is Clarke right man to lead Scotland?

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Scotland manager Steve Clarke was left questioning the point of VAR after Stuart Armstrong was not given a penalty during their 1-0 defeat to Hungary

Questions will now be asked about Steve Clarke and if he is the man to lead Scotland into another qualification campaign.

He has brought joy back to the nation with back-to-back Euros but the wins have dried up with just one in their last 11.

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The Mirror's Andy Dunn says that Scotland manager Steve Clarke has performed below par during the Euros

He set Scotland up in a most defensive fashion knowing it was a must-not-lose, but that meant the likes of Scott McTominay, who was top scorer in qualifying, was all but anonymous.

Also, is his loyalty to his detriment at times? Lawrence Shankland was the top scorer in the Scottish Premiership last season but started all three games on the bench as he opted to stick with Che Adams despite his poor goal return of late.
Alison Conroy

Germany reminded how tough Euro 2024 glory will be

Germany's Niclas Fullkrug celebrates at the end of a Group A match between Switzerland and Germany at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Frankfurt, Germany, Sunday, June 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Image: Germany striker Niclas Fullkrug was the hero for the hosts against Switzerland

Germany were given a timely reminder that Euro 2024 glory won't come easy - but Niclas Fullkrug delivered what might be a defining moment in their tournament.

Having cruised to victories over Scotland and Hungary, the hosts struggled to break down a resilient Switzerland, experts in reaching the knockout stages with this their sixth consecutive group stage success.

Manuel Akanji and Granit Xhaka led by example in soaking up Germany's attacks while Breel Embolo and Dan Ndoye were a constant threat on the counter-attack. It was so nearly the perfect performance to secure top spot in Group A.

That was until substitute Fullkrug rose in injury time to plant a textbook header into the top left corner and secure Germany what should be an easier path in the knockout stages.

Finishing second would have likely landed them Italy in the last 16. Instead, it should be Denmark, Slovenia or Serbia unless England slip up on Tuesday in Group C.
David Richardson

Wily Switzerland will prove tough knockout opposition

23 June 2024, Hesse, Frankfurt/M.: Soccer: European Championship, Switzerland - Germany, preliminary round, Group A, match day 3, Frankfurt Arena, Germany's Kai Havertz (l) cannot get past Switzerland's Manuel Akanji (M) and Switzerland's Granit Xhaka. Photo by: Christian Charisius/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Image: Manuel Akanji (centre) and Granit Xhaka (right) were impressive in Switzerland's draw against Germany

Switzerland proved a tough nut to crack for Germany - and England will be taking note, considering the Swiss could be potential quarter-final opponents.

If the Three Lions win Group C and then get through their last 16 game then they could well come up against Switzerland in the quarters, who face the runners-up of Group B, which will be one of Italy, Croatia and Albania.

Murat Yakin's side showed against Germany they are defensively resolute, well organised and are dangerous on the counter attack.

They have plenty of experience, with captain Granit Xhaka once again impressing as he picked up his second player of the match award at the tournament.

At the back, Manchester City defender Manuel Akanji was superb and key to keeping Germany at bay, until Niclas Fullkrug's heart-breaking 92nd-minute equaliser.

Nonetheless, Switzerland got the result they needed to progress from the group stages for a third successive Euros and they will now be tricky opponents for whoever they face in the knockout stages.
Declan Olley

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