Euro 2024: The Tartan Army In Full Voice As Scotland Are Back!
Scotland have never made it past the group stages of any international tournament. Although you might not be used to seeing them grace the international stage in recent years (apart from Euro 2020 of course), up until France 98’ they were regular attendees at the top events but could just never quite make it to the knockouts. Could that change this summer in Germany? Will the Tartan Army provide the colour and voice that spurs on the boys in blue to make it to the knockout stages for the first time? As you pick through your Euros cup predictor options, take a look at how Scotland are shaping up before committing to your choice.
The last time around
After years in the doldrums, Scotland finally qualified for a tournament again in Euro 2020 (played in 2021). Because of the nature of the tournament being held all over Europe and the Covid restrictions that led to half empty stadiums, this year probably feels like the first ‘proper’ tournament for the Tartan Army to get excited about since they qualified for the World Cup in France back in 1998. The team struggled at the last Euros, losing to both Croatia and Czechia at home and drawing 0-0 at Wembley against England to go out of the tournament with a whimper. They’ll want to at least put on a performance for the fans this time around.
Electric qualifying campaign
Steve Clarke and his assistant John Carver have overseen a dramatic turnaround in fortunes for Scotland over the last few years. Hampden is once again a place to be feared by opposition players, and you could see this in the spectacular qualifying campaign which on paper was a tough one. Scotland’s famous win over Spain set out their stall as a nation to be worried about, and over the course of the group Scotland only lost once (away in Spain), depriving the other big nation in the group, Norway, the chance to qualify. With Erling Haaland and Martin Ødegaard in their ranks, that was no mean task.
The Tartan Army impact
Scotland fans are collectively known as the Tartan Army, and first came to prominence during the 1970s, and especially the fervour with which they travelled to Argentina to support Scotland at the 1978 World Cup. There was a famous win over eventual finalists The Netherlands that time round, but as always, Scotland came up short and failed to get through the group stages. Since then, the Tartan Army have been recognised with fair play awards and prizes throughout the decades, for their sense of fair play and sporting spirit. It is truly a sight to behold when the Tartan Army are in town, and they will bring the party atmosphere to cities across Germany this summer.
Can this translate onto the pitch?
There is always a fighting chance. And the Scots are known for their fighting spirit, so you know they’ll run themselves into the ground for the cause, and that is the bare minimum. From there, anything could happen. When you sprinkle in top tier quality in the form of Andy Robertson (the best left back of the last 6/7 years in world football you could argue), John McGinn and his big bum and silky skills, and other premier league standard players in Tierney, McTominay, Gilmour, and more, there is a good chance Scotland finally do it this time. It could all ride on how they cope with the nerves of the opening night, playing a German side that have been beset with problems, have changed coaches quite recently, and have the pressure of hosting the tournament. If Scotland can upset the party on day one, they’ll take confidence into the games with a Switzerland side that always gets out of the groups and a tricky Hungary team.
Remember, 3rd place might be good enough to qualify, so Scotland have a better chance than ever before to make it to knockout football. Once you get there, it’s anybody’s game!
Scotland Euro 2024 Fixtures
Germany (June 14th opening game in Munich)
Hungary (June 23rd in Stuttgart)
Switzerland (June 19th in Cologne)
It is a tough group for Scotland, there is no denying that, but what an opening game to look forward to for the Tartan Army. They will be in Munich in their thousands and will give the hosts a good run for their money in terms of loudness and support. It’s hard to know what to expect from a Scotland that did so well in qualifying but who in the past have treated qualification as the prize. Add to that, two tough opponents in Hungary and Switzerland and an unknown for once in the hosts, Scotland could go through or finish bottom under the pressure and weight of expectation for a change. If you were looking at your Euros 2024 football predictor game right now, you’d give Scotland a chance of progressing to the knockout stages, but probably not as group winners. Expect them to maybe sneak into the last 16 where they’d face a winner from another group and probably bow out.