The prospect of England and Scotland meeting in a Barberino Factory Outlet Prada play-off to decide which team enters the 2000 singapore European Championship has been greeted with a general enthusiasm that would appear to support Kevin Keegan’s suggestion that the world’s oldest international fixture be re-established on a regular basis.
It is to be hoped that the Football Association and the Scottish FA Are Prada Mens Shoes Worth It do not become so caught up with the hype surrounding the two matches that the idea gains official backing. For surely the last thing that the international ambitions of England and Scotland need is to resurrect an annual fixture which, when it was finally abandoned 10 years ago, had long outlived its relevance.
True, there was a time when the spring meeting at Hampden Park or Wembley was the highlight of the British international season. For players like Bicester Village Prada Bag Price England’s Tom Finney or Scotland’s George Young these matches were the proudest moments of their careers.
Memories were rich and plentiful. Bill Shankly would always remember the hiss of a header from Tommy Lawton as it struck the back of a rainsoaked net at Hampden.
For years Scottish supporters bathed in the warm afterglow of their team’s 5-1 victory at Wembley 1928 when Alan Morton, Alex James, Hughie Gallacher and Alex Jackson gave England lessons in passing and movement that were to be repeated by the Hungarians in 1953. The Wembley Authentic Prada Handbags Outlet Uk Wizards were the forerunners of the Magical Magyars.
Or as the Glasgow Herald put it: “The success of the Scots was primarily another demonstration that Scottish skill, science and trickery will still prevail against the less attractive and simpler methods of the English style in which speed is relied on as the main factor.” England’s present critics are saying much the same Authentic Prada Gauffre Bag thing.
Later England sides took their revenge, most notably with that 9-3 rout of the Scots in 1961 when poor Frank Haffey, the Celtic goalkeeper, unjustly took most of the blame when bizarre selection had sent out Bicester Village Prada Opening a team of midgets to cope with Bobby Smith, Jimmy Greaves, Johnny Haynes, Bobby Charlton and Bryan Douglas.
The fixture is best left with its memories: Jim Baxter scoring twice at Wembley in 1963 to win the game for a Scotland team reduced to 10 men by the loss of Eric Caldow after five minutes with a broken leg, then returning four years later to inspire the Scots to a 3-2 victory over the World Cup holders.
Keegan loved to play against Scotland and shared England’s 5-1 triumph over them under Don Revie in 1975. Yet it is hard to imagine the present England coach ever echoing Sir Alf Ramsey’s jingoistic antipathy to all things Scottish.
“Welcome to Scotland, Sir Alf,” cried a Scottish scribe as the England party arrived at Glasgow airport in 1968 for a home international that would also decide which team reached the quarter-finals of the European Nations Cup. “You must be fucking joking,” growled Ramsey.
Keegan, given the Authentic Prada Shoes Sale same circumstances next month, will hope for a great game that will be a great advertisement for British football.
It is an age since encounters between Scotland and England have been that. Admittedly the last meeting, at Wembley during the 1996 European Championship, was not the worst of its kind but the football did little to encourage the thought that either team was about to achieve and maintain the technical levels of mainstream Europe.
Even England’s joyful 4-1 win against Holland was quickly put into perspective by Spain, and though Terry Venables’s side came within a goalpost’s width of beating the Germans in the semi- finals the early departure of Glenn Hoddle’s team from the last World Bicester Village Prada Store Number Cup and the Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Shoes Uk present struggle to qualify for Euro 2000 does not suggest that a yearly renewal of ancient rivalries will do anything more than emphasise the shortcomings of both countries’ football.
This was Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Online Shop becoming apparent in the mid-80s when, the British Championship having been wound up for lack of interest, England and Scotland continued to play one another with the odd foreign team making up the numbers. Almost without exception the games were dreary affairs with tired players finding it hard to summon up the energy and the passions mainly confined to tabloid headlines and English troublemakers causing mayhem in the middle of Glasgow.
The Scottish FA’s reluctance to become caught up with the English hooligan problem and the debate on ID cards contributed to the abandonment of the fixture and neither football authority has since shown any noticeable enthusiasm for reviving it.
Even now the fervour with which the media have greeted the play-off is in sharp contrast to the cool response from the Glasgow constabulary, who have wasted no time insisting that the first leg at Hampden kicks off has an early start, at 2pm.
Better surely to enjoy what is certain to be an intriguing, if ingenuous, double confrontation a month from now and leave it there. Quite apart from anything else the newspapers will have exhausted their stock of Anglo-Scottish cliches by the time the second leg is over.
Bravehearts, Lionhearts, Auld Enemies they may be to the hacks, but we are only talking about two very ordinary football teams.