Strachan backs rivalry revival

Gordon Strachan is keen to see the return of regular clashes between Scotland and England.

Last Updated: 22/07/13 at 16:20 Post Comment

Gordon Strachan: Would welcome more Scotland vs. England games

Gordon Strachan: Would welcome more Scotland vs. England games

Gordon Strachan wants to see the return of regular clashes between Scotland and England - with the profits generated being reinvested in rearing young players north and south of the border.

The Dark Blues boss has named a 29-man squad to take on Roy Hodgson's Three Lions side at Wembley on August 14.

The match - which is being held to celebrate the Football Association's 150th anniversary - is the first staging of the world's oldest international fixture in 14 years.

Scotland have met their neighbours just three times since 1989 after a creaking fixture list and the rise of hooliganism prompted the abandonment of the annual meeting with the 'Auld Enemy'.

But Strachan says next month's game should signal a permanent revival of the contest.

Asked if he would like to see the game played more regularly, he said: "I think so and we could use the money it generates for grassroots football on both sides of the border.

"I think everyone would accept it - the players would love it, the fans would like it and I think grassroots football would benefit from it.

"A lot of people would like to see it happen more regularly, that's for sure."

Strachan took England on four times as a player but his sole victory came at Hampden in 1985.

However, his personal memories of a game won by a Richard Gough header stretch only to his own disappointing performance.

He does have happier recollections of the 1977 meetings of the teams, which saw the Wembley turf torn up and crossbar snapped by celebrating members of the Tartan Army after Gordon McQueen and Kenny Dalglish struck in a 2-1 win.

"It's a special occasion for everybody and, yeah, I'm going to enjoy it," said Strachan, the first Scotland boss to lead a team south since Craig Brown's side registered a 1-0 win in an ultimately unsuccessful Euro 2000 play-off campaign in 1999.

"I've enjoyed every game so far as a manager. It's been a great experience for me and I'm lucky. There's not too many that get to manage their national side down there at Wembley against England.

"I was there as a supporter in 1977 - I was there on my honeymoon actually.

"There's a bit of turf in some house in Broughty Ferry in Dundee that the [current owner] doesn't know comes from Wembley.

"I was invited on the pitch by a policeman, actually. Me, my wife and my best man were the only ones left stood on the terracing. He just looked at us and went 'On you go,' so we went on.

"I was there in 1996 and I was at the game in 1999 when Don Hutchison scored a header. I've enjoyed every occasion so far. I hope to enjoy this one too."

And Strachan, who will be backed by a 20,000-strong travelling support, added: "I remember having a real bad game here at Hampden in '85. I was taken off but we were 1-0 up at the time but I was poor. Richard Gough scored.

"I never won with Scotland at Wembley but I was part of the group that won in '77. Honestly, I felt part of it. When you are there as a supporter, you feel part of that win.

"You feel at one with the players. You are part of the victory, the occasion.

"I've done it all in these games - I've been a supporter, I've played and now I'll manage in it and I know fine well that it has to be a collective attack. But that's not a problem, we will be together as a group - supporters, players and staff.

"The players are not stupid, they know that this game is important.

"But everyone will enjoy it. Whether you are doing anything, playing table tennis even, playing against England is an occasion that we have to win."

Celtic skipper Scott Brown will return for the Wembley trip after missing last month's World Cup qualifying win in Croatia with a hip injury.

But the injured trio of skipper Darren Fletcher, defender Gary Caldwell and striker Steven Fletcher will all miss out.

Sunderland forward Steven Fletcher is nearing a return from ankle injury while his Manchester United namesake Darren is hopeful that the colitis that has plagued him for the last two years is nearly at a manageable state.

However, Strachan was reluctant to speculate on when he will be able to call up either player again.

"I'll leave it to the clubs to tell you what is going on rather than me," he said. "But they are top players and top blokes. They will be missed, that is for sure. The quicker they get back the better."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

Footer 365

'Win some medals', blasts Merson

Paul Merson challenged Andros Townsend to "win some medals" before calling him out after the Tottenham winger poked fun at him for questioning his England credentials.

Raheem Sterling will not resume Liverpool contract talks until the summer

Raheem Sterling has confirmed that he will not resume talks over a new contract with Liverpool until the summer.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane wants to play for England U21s at European Championship says Roy Hodgson

Harry Kane wants to "finish the job" and go to the European U21 Championship this summer, according to Roy Hodgson.

Mail Box

Is This The End Of Ex-Players As Managers?

Do massive wages and cushty TV numbers signal the end of the ex-high-profile player turned manager? Plus Liverpool fans don't actually say the 'next year' thing...

A Solution For The Premier League's 39th Game...

One morning Mailboxer solves the 39th game conundrum. Plus England were actually alright, Harry Kane is rubbish again and do Arsenal have the most embarrassing fans?

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company