If World Cup qualification was decided by atmosphere and vociferous fan support, then Scotland would have qualified for the World Cup comfortably. This is precisely the sort of comment which Scotland fans are sick of hearing. As it is, Scotland are bereft of the skill, endeavour and squad depth to match many stronger nations.
Gordon Strachan is the man tasked with leading the Scots to their first major tournament since 1998. Thanks to Strachan, positivity reigns for the first time since Alex McLeish’s James McFadden inspired side topped their Euro 2008 qualifying group. Strachan creates well organised side, built on team spirit and hard-work. He is the perfect man of the job; a charismatic leader that won’t underestimate his task.
Against Nigeria at Craven Cottage, Scotland played well during an open game with Ikechi Anya looking particularly impressive. Charlie Mulgrew’s inventive flick was soon cancelled out by a deflected drive from Uchebo. Scotland regained the lead after the break when Egwuekwe diverted an Alan Hutton cross into his own net. Scotland looked set to hold on for a memorable win, only for defensive lapse allowed Uche Nwofor to finish emphatically.
The Scottish build-up play was quick and incisive with the final ball lacking at times. Their Nigerian counterparts lacked any real cohesion but showed spirit to get a late equaliser. Scotland are likely to be battling Republic of Ireland and Poland for the runners-up spot behind Germany. On this evidence the Tartan Army may get what they deserve – a trip to Euro 2016.