Skip to content
Home > Scotland Collapse In Amsterdam – Latest Reaction

Scotland Collapse In Amsterdam – Latest Reaction

The road to Euro 2024 starts in earnest tonight for Scotland at the Johan Cruyff Arena, who will be looking to end an iffy run of form in this friendly fixture.

In recent matches, they’ve lacked the verve, confidence and defensive tightness which saw them finish second in Group A on 17 points, memorably getting the better of Spain in a 2-0 game for the ages which had Hampden Park rocking.

They are without a win in five matches, losing to Spain 2-0 in the return fixture, being beaten by France and England in friendlies and drawing their final qualifiers against Georgia and Norway 2-2 and 3-3 respectively.

In yesterday’s pre-match press conference, Scotland manager Steve Clarke chose the word “informative” to characterise their sequence of form.

“The two results that I don’t like the most are the two draws in the competitive games,” he said. “If we want to continue to improve and get to where we want to be then those are matches we should win, so that’s something we can improve on. We want a positive result this week.”

Clarke saw an “extra edge” in their training this week as they gear up for the summer. Just as well because the Netherlands will offer a very stiff test. Ranked sixth in the world, we all know what Virgil van Dijk can do at the back and Donyell Malen and Xavi Simons are coming off the back of recent Bundesliga brilliance.

Centre-backs Grant Hanley and Scott McKenna are out injured, but Clarke indicated they should recover for the big one in the summer.

It’s a chance for several players on the brink of being handed a ticket to Germany to make sure of selection. Hearts striker Lawrence Shankland is in the squad, after scoring 20 goals in 29 league appearances this season.

And in terms of not-so-fresh faces, his 41-year-old clubmate Craig Gordon was selected for the first time since November 2022. Back from a leg break, if the venerable goalkeeper plays in Amsterdam tonight, he’ll become Scotland’s oldest international in history.