Steve Clarke, the incumbent team manager of the Scottish national football team is confident that Scotland will have everyone’s respect at the UEFA Euro 2020. Clarke seeks to restore Scotland’s reputation as one of the best teams as they step up again on the international stage.
Clarke believes that the Scottish team has developed a lot of respect after they managed to be qualified to participate in their first major sporting event after 23 years since 1996.
The manager claims that they can deliver a good game in the European Championship finals by mimicking the teams that have delivered finishing jabs with the likes of Germany, Holland, Spain, and England.
A Few Victories
Scotland beat the Czech Republic before they faced off their long-time rival England in Euro 2000 qualifying playoffs and won in 1999 and defended their record from the World Cup runners-up Croatia.
Clarke believes that his team can pull off some surprising tricks from their sleeves at Euro 2020.
“I think our recent record in international matches is good and we should certainly get more respect,” he said in an interview.
“We want to get better, we want to improve and we want to go into these matches against the top teams in Europe and we want to be competitive.
“And we want to start doing what Scotland used to do many years ago, which always has a result up our sleeve which would upset one of the big guns. Hopefully, we can produce that in the tournament.”
Not Losing Hope
Scotland has finished victorious on their three face-offs against the Czechs and Clarke believed that the repeat methods can get them in a position to get out of the woods from the group stages for the first time but he ponders that the opening matches are often a bloodbath.
“Obviously a win would be massive in the first game. Anybody I have ever spoken to who has been to a tournament and worked in a tournament is always quite strong on the fact that you shouldn’t lose the first game.”
“If you look historically at a lot of World Cup games and European Championship games, a lot of the matches are draws, because both teams realize the value may be of getting something out of that first game.”
“It might be cagey, I don’t know. It might open up really quickly. But we will certainly be playing for the three points and I am sure the Czech Republic will be and normally, in recent tournaments, three points can almost guarantee you a place in the last 16, so that would be a great start.” Clarke said.
Scotland has qualified for the first time since 1998 in an international major tournament. They will face their long-time rival England in two matches. The Tartan Army is expected to cement its status on the Euro 2020 stage this summer.
In November 2020, a penalty shootout win against Serbia was a milestone in the history of the Scotland national team. Not only has it ended a long history of mediocrity and failures but also it is a cause for celebration for Scotland to be qualified to play for the first time in an international major tournament.
Props to the Team Manager
For the past 20 years, Scotland’s former managers tried their best to bring Scotland to be qualified in UEFA Euro Championships but they failed. Everything changed in May 2019 when Steve Clarke was appointed as the new team manager of the Tartan Army.
Clarke admitted that he inherited a squad with more Premier League players than any other team. His 26-man team seems to have strong points in some parts but inadequate when it comes to the other parts, especially the concerns with the center-back, front, and the goalie.
Nevertheless, Clarke managed to keep every inch of doubt aside and created a rapport within the group. His technique and tactical skills can be seen in Scotland’s progress in the Nations League. While in the Euro 2020 playoffs, Scotland managed to work their way to the qualifying round without a scratch. This is an indicator that Clarke is a no nonsense kind of boss that will never throw his team under the bus and will do his best to lead his squad to success.
Predictions for Scotland
The opening match against the Czech Republic is a perfect opportunity to kick-off Group D since they have beaten the same team last year.
Clarke will manage to keep the team in harmony and will vie for the champions title. The opening is a good start but they have a long way to go, as long as Clarke is in control there is nothing fans should be worried about.
The rematch against rival England is exciting albeit with underlying danger. However, Clarke’s tactics will smooth everything out.
Getting Out of the Woods
Scotland national bbc football legend James McFadden reminded us why Scotland can surprise us and stand a chance in UEFA Euro 2020. As James recounted his experiences from his career as a former football player and as a former assistant coach he realized many things.
He recounted that missed opportunity against Georgia and Italy where they could’ve won on those previous campaigns but those matches were just a result of poor performance and luck wasn’t on their side.
He said that this time it was different because even though it hasn’t been a good journey for them these past few years, Steve Clarke’s team has proven that they can have discipline, narrowly defeat teams, and score a goal.
He also adds that as a result of those small efforts, it ended a long history of almost getting through, faux hopes and failures.
“Everyone outside of the country expects us to go and mess it up. We have what it takes to prove them wrong. And I believe we will. Just wait and see. Our time is here. This is Scotland’s moment,” McFadden added.
Scotland is part of Group D in the group stage along with Croatia, England, and the Czech Republic. Watch on June 18 as they will face-off against their long-time rival England on the field.