Why It’s Better Being Scottish And Not Supporting England


It’s easy to think its better being an English football fan when you look at the footballing history, the big tournament qualifications and the squads available.

In all of these attributes they beat Scotland hands down. But when you look past those factors it actually seems that it’s much better being a Tartan Army member than support England.

See with Scotland you get a huge commodity that you just don’t usually get with England and that is… Excitement.

Being British you cannot help but watch both sides fortunes.

Since 1990, when I took in my first World Cup, England have been pretty predictable. Especially in the last decade.

They tend to get easier groups and they usually qualify with ease. Strong at home and may at times drop a point or two against the slightly tougher opponents away from home.

They then go to the major finals. The expectation then grows as the days lead up the the tournament and as England progress before they get dumped out by a team with an even better pedigree or who are higher in the rankings.

No matter what the media say, in my lifetime only in 1990 and 1996 did England really stand any chance of winning a trophy.

In the past decade or so, England have also done better with pragmatic coaches who will lead a steady ship with sound tactics but lack real imagination to get the fans on the edge of their seats.

England are simply too predictable. We all know how they will play and how they’ll fare in the competitions and in qualifying campaigns.

As I’ve always said, I absolutely hate mechanical predictability in football. I wasn’t overly fussed with Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona and I’m not turned on by Pep’s Bayern. They are fantastic but the are predictably fantastic.

For me to enjoy football, I need that element of doubt.

That’s why I love Scotland.

Yes it’s frustrating to miss out on every tournament since France 98. Yes it’s frustrating when you have dull, incapable bosses like Craig Levein and George Burley.

But for every low moment we usually find rays of light like beating France home and away or running teams like Spain and Germany close.

We now savour every victory and don’t get too down with the defeats!

With Gordon Strachan we now have a squad capable of challenging for a qualifying berth and are more than holding their own against the likes of Germany, Poland, Ireland and Georgia.

With all the lows that you get watching Scotland, the highs become all the more important and frequent. Scoring away in Germany was a high as was beating the Irish last weekend.

When was the last time England had a proper high? Beating Argentina in 2002?

Even the Auld Enemy clash means very little to England. They expect to beat us, so a win is seen more as a good wind up rather than anything morale boosting.

It’s very telling that more people tuned into BBC’s Pointless quiz rather than sit and watch England’s qualifier against the Slovenians.

Whilst in Scotland, blocks of flats were cheering when Shaun Maloney scored his terrific strike against the Republic of Ireland.

Of course getting to a Euro’s or a World Cup is Scotland’s next main ambition and just think of the high that the nation will get when that eventually does happen again. Unlike the English fan-base we won’t take it for granted.

To be an English supporter it now seems to be an after thought and they seem void of excitement. They know like the rest of us that they will only go so far before losing out to one of the bigger teams.

So let’s hope that Scotland can get the victory tomorrow as we will get more out of it. (Pretty sure that’s not how it works unfortunately.)

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