The Jocks felt hard done by after leaving Wembley on the wrong end of the three, nil scoreline, but they should be happy as they’ve probably done England more harm than good.
Oh but didn’t they get misty eyed in the build up to the England vs Scotland World Cup qualifier. The country that keeps going on about England living in the past, were living in the past.
There with their Bannockburn flags singing about sending Edward II back home, you things that happened in 1314. Oh and Jim Baxter, “Slim” Jim Baxter playing keepie-uppie at Wembley in ’67 when they beat the World Champions. England not with a full XI fit on the park and well Baxter kept the ball up three times, even this modern Jock side could probably do that.
The interesting fact that came out of all this nostalgia was that the last Scottish born player to score against England in a competitive international was Ray Houghton. He did that playing for Ireland at Euro ’88.
Well there hasn’t been many competitive matches between the pair since. Don’t suppose the last Home International in ’89 counts, Euro ’96, Gazza and all that and then the play-off for Euro 2000.
That last one was of course a typical Scottish glorious defeat, winning at Wembley but not doing enough to overturn the two nil deficit from the first leg.
The only thing that kept this game competitive was England’s ineptness. As good as we kept being told the Jocks played they still weren’t good enough to beat an England side that cruised through this game.
No matter how hard those in white tried to gift those in shocking pink a goal they just weren’t up to it.
From Stones alternating between trying to play himself into trouble and trying to play others around him into trouble. To giving away stupid free-kicks in prime areas for the visitors only half-decent player, Snodgrass, to put in dangerous balls.
He did and those in his team were too rubbish to finish them off. Much like when he made a good run as the Jocks were two on two after Rooney had given the ball away, Griffiths could only offer a backpass to Hart instead of playing Snodgrass in.
Ironically Snodgrass could have got Scotland back in it but his shot was blocked by Stones, though look at the defender, he was trying to flinch out of the way. England went up the park and finished things off, with another headed goal.
Again from a Spurs fullback’s cross. first time it was Walker. I read that Sterling tore the Jocks apart and was instrumental in both goals. He didn’t, he ran into a few pink shirts and fell over and his shot that bounced well wide didn’t set up the first one. Walker’s cross hammered in just enough for the otherwise unseen Sturridge to just put his head on it and for it to deflect in.
The second Sterling played a very simple ball to Rose whose cutback found Lallana for him to guide the ball home. The third also came from a header, Cahill amazingly managing not to trip over his own feet, from Rooney’s corner. Was Rooney playing? That was the first he’d been seen. I don’t think anyone saw Henderson.
And that’s how even by losing the Jocks probably won this one. Because it would have taken “a disaster” to prevent Southgate getting the job. Some might say only beating this lot by only three goals is a bit of a disaster.
The usual stick here is, when it comes to tournaments and England are up against the very top quality opponents then the rubbish on show here will be found out, but as Euro ’16 showed it doesn’t even need to be the best of the best to show up England.
And so thanks to the Scots the F.A. have their natural heir to Ron Greenwood, Graham Taylor, Steve McClaren, Roy Hodsgon, Sam Allardyce etc.
They need Chruchill, they’ve got Duncan-Smith…