England v Scotland: Glenn Hoddle and Gordon Strachan have their say

Gordon on England’s first game: England were not that good

“I don’t think England were that good. When I tuned in I thought ‘have I watched the wrong game here?’.

“It was just okay, and the only real bit of class was Kalvin Phillips.”

“I don’t think there was a wow factor. Some players played within themselves and it was a good performance rather than a wow performance.”

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Glenn on the Croatia game: The perfect start

“I think it was the perfect start. You don’t want a wow factor in the first game: the whole country gets carried away and everyone thinks we’re going to win it.

“It was the perfect scenario, three points on the board, nothing OTT but good enough that if we improve, we’ll have a chance.”

“Look at France against Germany, they weren’t sensational, but they held on and defended. England did what they had to do against an aging Croatia side. I didn’t want us to win 4-0 and getting the points was the main thing. If you win a tournament you’ve got to peak at the right times, and you can peak too early.”

Gordon on Scotland’s opener: We were unfortunate

“The first thing that hit me was the atmosphere, for 12,000 people it sounded very good. The game itself reminded me of the 80s, in a good way. The ball was going back to front, knock downs, crunching tackles in midfield, chances at both ends, without being wonderful moves.

“We all talk about how the game should be played, but what do we really want: chances, tackles, headers. Most fans can identify with that. I enjoyed the intensity of the game and sporadically nice bits of football appeared. Creating 19 chances isn’t bad.”

“I think we’ve seen the best goal of the tournament and the best headed goal of the tournament. Scotland were unfortunate that two moments of genius won the game. It’s encouraging for me because I still believe that the great players change games.”

Glenn on Scotland’s defeat: Poor finishing cost Auld Enemy

“The defeat was down to the finishing at the end of the day.

“To give an analogy, it’s like trying to win a major without putting well.”

“Your finishing in the Euros has to be spot on. They had the opportunities, obviously they didn’t convert them, whereas the Czechs were clinical, and their finishes were world class. The goalkeeper got caught out and he won’t be happy about that. He’ll learn from that and it was a tough one to take. The reason they lost was down to finishing and the quality of finishing from Czech Republic.

“I think it changes the dynamic of this England game. If they’d have won I’d have fancied Scotland to draw, but now they’ll have to take risks and I think England will win.”

Gordon’s memories of England v Scotland: We played best in a 3-0 defeat

“Our best performance [against England] we lost 3-0, but every coach that phoned me after said we couldn’t have done any more. It’s strange being a football manager. That’s the one time I felt for the players. In the 2-2 game, everyone was saying it was a great performance, but it wasn’t.

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“Three on target and three goals – those are ridiculous stats.

You can be happy with a 3-0 loss performance and unhappy with a 2-2 performance.

I just hope Steve Clarke gets some of the emotion of his team scoring a goal against England.

“It mostly comes down to concentration and ability at times as opposed to luck. If we said luck, everyone would say I’m making excuses. Take luck out of it – unless the ball is rolling in the net and a dog runs out of the crowd to stop it! I might take my own dog to Wembley with me, as a supporter.”

Glenn’s memories of England v Scotland: Wonderful game to win

“It’s wonderful beating Scotland. I had the pleasure of scoring the diving header when we beat them at Wembley. They were the games that were live on TV and they were massive.

“When we went up there to Hampden, they hated us. They would sing derogatory songs and we had to fight that and raise our game.”

“Wins were special because of the way I was brought up, it was a big occasion back then. I loved it when we beat Scotland.”

Gordon on Friday’s game: England will be wary

“Gareth [Southgate] and his team will be wary, just as they were of Croatia. Fans are different altogether. It’s not about football with fans, it’s about superiority.

England have got that superiority complex in basically everything.

“I don’t know if it adds an extra stride to the players. It will make for a good game.

“I imagine it will be heated, most likely the petulant screaming and shouting at the referee. Not to mention some meaty challenges. The crowd is affecting players and making them more emotional – that is when you have to get your yellow yards, to curb the emotion.”

Glenn on Friday’s game: It will be open

“In football terms we’ve got nothing since ’66 to blow our trumpet about. Let the country get carried away. Gareth is a very steadfast guy and he’ll have the team in that mode, too.

“The good thing for England is there’s more to come without a doubt.

“It’s going to be a tight game but the pressure’s on Scotland to open up a bit more. If they get a draw they’ll really be under pressure against Croatia in the last game. I think the game will be a little more open than if the result had gone the right way for the Scots.

“They created enough chances, they proved that against the Czechs. The game might be heated at times and I think they’ll give us even more of a test than Croatia.

“It could become quite feisty, certainly if there was 85,000 in the stadium. Against Croatia there was enough atmosphere and there was a release after the pandemic. Most fans aren’t from United and Arsenal and Chelsea, they’re from the lower leagues. It’s their chance to support Premier League players and I think there’s going to be a great atmosphere.

“It will get a bit feisty, if you’re playing tiddlywinks against Scotland it gets feisty, that’s the combative energy this fixture brings up.”

“The team that controls their emotion will end up playing better and winning.”

Match predictions…

Gordon Strachan: “Draw. A truly exciting and really enjoyable 0-0.”

Glenn Hoddle: “2-1 England.”

Key England player…

Gordon Strachan: “Jack Grealish will stand out, if he plays. I don’t want him to play for that reason.

“Harry Kane is the best number nine in the world, closely followed by Benzema. He can do everything. He is Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham rolled into one.”

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Glenn Hoddle: “If Grealish is playing I’d say him, but I don’t think he’ll start. I think he’ll have a big impact if he comes on from the bench.

“Scotland will be quite deep so we might need someone to run at people and draw fouls. If he plays, Jack’s the man.”

“They’re all dangerous, they’ve got some talent left, right and centre going forward. There’s a bit more to come from Phil Foden, he could be somebody that really comes alive on the day. It’s one of those scenarios where Grealish or Foden could have a big impact.”

Key Scotland player…

Gordon Strachan: “Whether they will change the shape remains to be seen, or will they swap out Liam Cooper, or move big Liam across. As long as Hanley and Tierney are there, that is good pace. Hanley has played against Kane a few times, so that will help. It would be good to play the three players who have played against Kane. Nothing against Jack Hendry, but Hanley, Cooper and Tierney have all faced Kane in the Premier League and they know the ins and outs of their games.”

Glenn Hoddle: “Their major asset is their team play, they haven’t got a Dalglish or a Nicholas.

“Scott McTominay, if he has a good game, could be vital for Scotland.”

“The game’s going to be won in that area. Rice and McTominay have got to dominate the ball, so that’s going to be a key battle in midfield. Scotland haven’t got anyone you really fear.”