‘Real hope for Scotland but a wake-up call for England’

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June 19, 2021
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    Euro 2020 on the BBC
    Dates: 11 June-11 July. Venues: Amsterdam, Baku, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome, Seville, St-Petersburg. Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC Radio 5 Live, iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for more details

    The sound of Flower Of Scotland echoing around one end of Wembley and loud jeers emanating from the other provided the snap verdict on the goalless Euro 2020 meeting between England and Scotland.

    This was the first time the old enemies had met in a one-off encounter at major men's tournament since Euro 96 and that famous day when Paul Gascoigne's wonderful goal – and the 'Dentist's Chair' celebration that followed – lit up a 2-0 England win.

    But no-one could be in any doubt about who was the happier this time around, on a night when the adversaries did battle amid a thunderous atmosphere despite the presence of only 22,500 fans inside a rain-swept Wembley.

    Scotland were more than good value for a point that keeps them in the race for a place in the knockout phase ahead of their final Group D game against Croatia at Hampden Park.

    And how Scotland's rain-soaked followers let them know it as they gave manager Steve Clarke and his players a heroes' reception when they went to the rain-soaked Tartan-clad hordes at the final whistle.

    England's supporters also let manager Gareth Southgate and his players know what they thought of a lacklustre display lacking in spark and threat – although the chorus of boos that greeted them at the conclusion did seem something of an overreaction.

    No-one, least of all Southgate, would be deluded enough to describe this as a good England display – in fact for large parts it was dull – but it must be placed in the context of what is still a very healthy position going into their closer against the Czech Republic, where victory will see them top the group.

    England's performance will give concerns looking further down the line but they are still well placed with four points from two games.

    • Scotland frustrate England at Wembley
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    As for Scotland, this was a superb response to their opening loss to the Czech Republic, Clarke showing once again what a smart operator he is and how this is a unified, talented band of players.

    This was an occasion that revived the old rivalries inside and outside Wembley, with Scotland fans gathering in their colourful droves hours before kick-off.

    Inside, England anthem Three Lions was less-than-well-received by the Tartan Army before they delivered a deafening version of The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond in response.

    Inevitably, there was mutual jeering of the respective national anthems but pretty much unanimous approval as players took the knee before kick-off, barely audible boos swiftly drowned out by loud applause.

    This is an international game that is like a local derby. Even team-mates can briefly fall out amid the combat, a fact clearly demonstrated by Chelsea pair Mason Mount and Billy Gilmour as they enjoyed a great running battle early on, the diminutive Scot making it clear he was not backing down in the physical challenges with his talented Stamford Bridge colleague.

    It was Gilmour's opening salvo on what was an outstanding first Scotland start. He was the best player on the pitch although the superb Kieran Kierney ran him close.

    The draw will satisfy Scotland more than England but it is hardly a result that will devastate Southgate, either.

    The difference came in the performances, the responses to those contrasting opening results for Southgate and Clarke.

    Clarke's gameplan worked to perfection, introducing Gilmour, using Manchester United's Scott McTominay as an impressive defender and benefiting from the return of the fit-again Tierney.

    Scotland knew exactly what they were about and no-one should run away with the idea this was a smash-and-grab point. Clarke's side were trying to win this right until the last minute.

    The Scots can take huge heart into their final game after giving themselves a shot at qualification. This is a performance to lift confidence and self-belief.

    England, on the other hand, were a let-down, although once the dust settles Southgate can gather his thoughts and reflect things are not quite as bad as that rough reception they received at the final whistle might suggest.

    Harry KaneHarry Kane had just 19 touches before he was replaced on 74 minutes

    Southgate's main concern has suddenly come from an unexpected source: a strangely lethargic England captain Harry Kane.

    Kane has not looked quite right in England's opening matches, lacking his usual sharpness and threat. It may be a surprise to some that he has been substituted in both but not to those who have watched him.

    He looked forlorn as he was replaced with 16 minutes left here but Southgate had to do something and Kane could have no complaints.

    It would be ludicrous to reach for the panic button over Kane. He is undisputedly world class and who would back against him playing and scoring against the Czech Republic?

    • Listen: Kane's feeling the pace – Waddle

    But Southgate and Kane must hope the spark fires up soon because in the wider context, he is arguably England's key figure if they wish to go deep into the tournament.

    And will Southgate now try something different and start Jack Grealish, the current England fans' favourite and such a creative force? It will be tempting given this toothless display.

    So it was scores even, honours mainly to Scotland, and work to do for England.

    And, to the satisfaction of both England and Scotland, still the opportunity to move out of Group D and into the knockout stage of Euro 2020. It was good to have this game back.

    • Check out the Euro 2020 scores and fixtures
    • Listen to the latest Daily Euros podcast from BBC Radio 5 Live

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    2101 commentsShowLatestOldestHighest RatedMost Replied

    • F

      Comment posted by FlyingScot, today at 10:39

      BBC headline – Scotland Frustrate England at Wembley – so condescending. Suggests that England dominated while plucky Scotland kept them at bay. However, Scotland had more chances, better chances and more shots on goal. I actually think that if any team was frustrated it was Scotland!43594

      • 4

        Reply posted by 405060, today at 10:43

        "BBC headline – Scotland Frustrate England at Wembley – so condescending. Suggests that England dominated while plucky Scotland kept them at bay. However, Scotland had more chances, better chances and more shots on goal. I actually think that if any team was frustrated it was Scotland!"405060 replied: Englad were the favourite to win and eery knows they went into the game with a better chance of winning, therefore the headline is reasonable.

        I am not being arroagant, I am stating facts.133188

      More replies (89)

    • D

      Comment posted by drama docu, today at 10:38

      I just want to watch one tournament where England play to win rather than set up not to lose, at least going out in the last 16 or quarters will be more enjoyable if they show some attacking intent rather than the inevitable going out with a whimper3287

      • V

        Reply posted by verdonhog, today at 11:21

        "I just want to watch one tournament where England play to win rather than set up not to lose, at least going out in the last 16 or quarters will be more enjoyable if they show some attacking intent rather than the inevitable going out with a whimper"verdonhog replied: Spot on well said.623

      More replies (27)

    • T

      Comment posted by Tom, today at 10:39

      Think Gareth Southgate needs to step aside after this tournament. We’ve got a once in a generation abundance of attacking talent in the squad and he doesn’t know how to use them.29830

      • D

        Reply posted by docco, today at 10:43

        "Think Gareth Southgate needs to step aside after this tournament. We’ve got a once in a generation abundance of attacking talent in the squad and he doesn’t know how to use them."docco replied: To be honest, your not as talented as the media make you out to be15155

      More replies (70)

    • W

      Comment posted by Woodman, today at 10:41

      Last night was absolutely shocking. If you can’t be motivated for England vs Scotland at Wembley in a cup competition then don’t bother turning up.

      Kane was beyond poor but had zero service as we can’t pass forwards it would seem.1856

      • S

        Reply posted by spagbol, today at 10:51

        "Last night was absolutely shocking. If you can’t be motivated for England vs Scotland at Wembley in a cup competition then don’t bother turning up.Kane was beyond poor but had zero service as we can’t pass forwards it would seem."spagbol replied: We’re really good at passing it back to the keeper1261

      More replies (16)

    • J

      Comment posted by jimbobslob, today at 10:38

      Southgates true strategic mind being laid bare now. People forget how easy we had it at the World Cup, Sweden, Columbia, Croatia and we still ballsed that up. If England were a premier league team we would be Newcastle Utd. Fairly poor with the odd half decent result againt Southampton and Villa.17712

      • S

        Reply posted by spagbol, today at 10:41

        "Southgates true strategic mind being laid bare now. People forget how easy we had it at the World Cup, Sweden, Columbia, Croatia and we still ballsed that up. If England were a premier league team we would be Newcastle Utd. Fairly poor with the odd half decent result againt Southampton and Villa."spagbol replied: The last decent England manager was Terry Venables lol – haven’t seen a bunch of players since Capello’s reign so afraid to play football13916

      More replies (31)

    • K

      Comment posted by kris, today at 10:38

      Southgate had five substitutes at his disposal. It’s one thing to pick the wrong team, quite another to display such ineptitude in trying to fix it.1666

      • Q

        Reply posted by QF1, today at 11:12

        "Southgate had five substitutes at his disposal. It’s one thing to pick the wrong team, quite another to display such ineptitude in trying to fix it."QF1 replied: Settled for the draw, thought he would make wholesale changes in the last 15mins but he bottled it. Talking up a poor performance and a point this morning sums him up813

      More replies (8)

    • S

      Comment posted by spagbol, today at 10:35

      Sterling couldn’t dribble past a fridge13914

      • A

        Reply posted by Alaric, today at 10:57

        "Sterling couldn’t dribble past a fridge"Alaric replied: He doesn’t ‘dribble’ he scampers.654

      More replies (15)

    • A

      Comment posted by Article1, today at 10:58

      Gilmour wanted the ball and bossed it. Fair play to Scotland and Clarke. I hope they can squeeze through as they deserve a chance based on last night. England lacked leadership, cohesion and drive. Something’s “not right” and it’s not just about Kane. Substituting Foden for Grealish says to me that Southgate is just too cautious.1317

      • D

        Reply posted by dave h, today at 11:01

        "Gilmour wanted the ball and bossed it. Fair play to Scotland and Clarke. I hope they can squeeze through as they deserve a chance based on last night. England lacked leadership, cohesion and drive. Something’s “not right” and it’s not just about Kane. Substituting Foden for Grealish says to me that Southgate is just too cautious."dave h replied: I couldn’t agree more372

      More replies (7)

    • G

      Comment posted by Gnu, today at 10:42

      Scotland have played their best game of the tournament and Englamd their worst. And it was still 0-0.14738

      • Removed comment

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    • O

      Comment posted by Orkneyboy, today at 10:36

      This game was the same as the first game and the same as we have been for a while. A pulsating opening 5 minutes where you think we are going to cruise it. Then a complete deflation, loss of energy and ambition. We played completely into Scotland’s hands. We don’t have the players to pass our way through a team, like Spain used to, so as soon as we were met with a Scottish player we wnt backwards1052

      • P

        Reply posted by ps, today at 11:07

        "This game was the same as the first game and the same as we have been for a while. A pulsating opening 5 minutes where you think we are going to cruise it. Then a complete deflation, loss of energy and ambition. We played completely into Scotland’s hands. We don’t have the players to pass our way through a team, like Spain used to, so as soon as we were met with a Scottish player we wnt backwards"ps replied: Agreed. And the result is that if we get to the knockout stages, we can’t score enough goals to win matches. Then we end up at penalties, and we all know how that turns out………440

      More replies (10)

    • S

      Comment posted by shufflingthepack, today at 10:56

      The problem is the management. Give this group of players to Pep Guardiola and you’d see different results. England teams in nearly all sports play with a fear that comes from old fashioned top heavy management, yes man-itis and an intrinsic fear of losing. Would you prefer to have Grealish, Foden, Mount and Sancho coming at you or an extra defensive mid? Will never understand Foden being subbed.975

      • F

        Reply posted by Forestfan, today at 11:01

        "The problem is the management. Give this group of players to Pep Guardiola and you’d see different results. England teams in nearly all sports play with a fear that comes from old fashioned top heavy management, yes man-itis and an intrinsic fear of losing. Would you prefer to have Grealish, Foden, Mount and Sancho coming at you or an extra defensive mid? Will never understand Foden being subbed."Forestfan replied: Absolutely spot on

        Has been same since Brian Clough didn’t get the top job.

        The fa stale n pale.497

      More replies (13)

    • W

      Comment posted by Windyspurs, today at 10:41

      Kane will never play well if we play like this as he has to come and look for the ball as the players never go far enough up the field to give him the ball842

      • S

        Reply posted by Sirrantsalot, today at 11:06

        "Kane will never play well if we play like this as he has to come and look for the ball as the players never go far enough up the field to give him the ball"Sirrantsalot replied: No one asked him to come looking for the ball. His job is to put the ball in the back of the net, not drop deep or wide to play meaningless sideways passes. If he has 1 touch but scores with it then he has done his job.

        He was up against a championship defender, a midfielder and someone coming back from injury. Should have had a field day last night.5710

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    • G

      Comment posted by groenemeyer, today at 10:32

      People are waxing lyrical about the Scottish team. But again they failed to score.12546

      • J

        Reply posted by JazzBass, today at 10:40

        "People are waxing lyrical about the Scottish team. But again they failed to score."JazzBass replied: So did England, so what? One goal in 2 games with the “best” striker in the world?10522

      More replies (28)

    • W

      Comment posted by waltoncherry, today at 10:36

      Can’t understand why Southgate only made two subs. It’s not working, multiple players average at best, options on the bench – can only be fear that changes could mean defeat. No hope of going far with that mindset.813

      • D

        Reply posted by Dave, today at 10:41

        "Can’t understand why Southgate only made two subs. It’s not working, multiple players average at best, options on the bench – can only be fear that changes could mean defeat. No hope of going far with that mindset."Dave replied: Southgate has trouble with subs because he can’t watch MOtD to find out what he should be thinking.573

      More replies (8)

    • T

      Comment posted by telemonster, today at 10:36

      Lack of a top class striker cost Scotland the win they deserved.8413

      • C

        Reply posted by Curtis, today at 11:28

        "Lack of a top class striker cost Scotland the win they deserved."Curtis replied: Which chance would a top class player score that the Scottish strikers missed? Pickford made one save, from a right back…Adams had a half chance, that was it…2712

      More replies (9)

    • C

      Comment posted by ChesterfieldWhite, today at 10:45

      Scotland need a goalscorer to go with their bucketloads of passion, endeavour and determination. We need passion, endeavour and determination to go with our abundance of attack minded players. Somewhere, there is a massive disconnect with England. My gut feeling is that it is called Gareth Southgate. Scotland, good luck against Croatia. England, try playing to win for a change. You never know….551

      • S

        Reply posted by spagbol, today at 10:50

        "Scotland need a goalscorer to go with their bucketloads of passion, endeavour and determination. We need passion, endeavour and determination to go with our abundance of attack minded players. Somewhere, there is a massive disconnect with England. My gut feeling is that it is called Gareth Southgate. Scotland, good luck against Croatia. England, try playing to win for a change. You never know…."spagbol replied: England need a goal scorer too … other than twinkle toes who never fails to trip over his own shoe laces215

      More replies (4)

    • S

      Comment posted by Samb088, today at 10:40

      An England Team being set up to play in a manner now totally alien to the pressing / wingback dominated game of the top teams in England.

      Not a chance that we beat France, Italy, Belgium or Portugal without overhauling this system.490

      • S

        Reply posted by shufflingthepack, today at 11:28

        "An England Team being set up to play in a manner now totally alien to the pressing / wingback dominated game of the top teams in England.Not a chance that we beat France, Italy, Belgium or Portugal without overhauling this system."shufflingthepack replied: Couldn’t agree more…I’m sorry but why don’t we see the manager careering up and down the touchline barking at his players to move the ball forward not side to side and back to the keeper. I would have been going mad. Gareth seems like a nice guy but he must be more proactive. When they’re not playing the right way they’ve got to be told! Or maybe that’s the way he wants them to play?182

      More replies (4)

    • H

      Comment posted by HansBeimler, today at 10:37

      Scotland decent players and some very good ones but need a goalscorer492

      • P

        Reply posted by Pete Barrett, today at 11:07

        "Scotland decent players and some very good ones but need a goalscorer"Pete Barrett replied: You could say the same about England, to be honest. Not surprising it was 0-0!141

      More replies (3)

    • M

      Comment posted by Michael , today at 10:36

      How is it a wake up call for England? What they won in last 50 years? But they do have world class players hahahahaahha. Xavi and Iniesta were world class. So if you ain’t at that level then please stop speaking please.5412

      • C

        Reply posted by Chris, today at 11:23

        "How is it a wake up call for England? What they won in last 50 years? But they do have world class players hahahahaahha. Xavi and Iniesta were world class. So if you ain’t at that level then please stop speaking please."Chris replied: England: We have Foden and Mount, we gonna win the tournament!

        France: Yeah, we have Griezmann Benzema and Mbappe so…294

      More replies (7)

    • D

      Comment posted by docco, today at 10:41

      Really gutted Scotland never won against a spirited , albeit limited England team416

      • T

        Reply posted by TC, today at 12:00

        "Really gutted Scotland never won against a spirited , albeit limited England team"TC replied: Goals win games not spirt. England a a centre forward playing on the wing at times, what is he supposed to do cross then run in and try and do something.32

      More replies (1)

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