The Scotland team at present is packed with Premier League players – but Arsenal star Kieran Tierney is the pick of the bunch just now according to Andy Webster.
The 39-year-old enjoyed a 10-year international career between 2003-13, featuring 28 times for Scotland. Webster likes the look of the nation’s defence as we head into a first major tournament since 1998 at Euro 2020, players such as Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson captaining the side while Arsenal defender Tierney has won plaudits.
Ahead of the big kick-off against Czech Republic on June 14th, Webster tells NTOF that the Arsenal left-back – playing left-centre-back in Steve Clarke’s 3-5-2 system – is Scotland’s key man: “Kieran Tierney is the standout just now. This is the bit where you get the likes of John McGinn and Tierney showing their Scottish traits.
“When you hear Mikel Arteta (Arsenal manager) talk about Tierney, he talks like he’s an absolute machine. He works hard and is dedicated and boys like him are at a different level now. I played with the older clientele in the group, like Craig Gordon and David Marshall!
“When you look at the group now, you have people like Andy Robertson, who has won the Premier League and Champions League. Scott McTominay, Kieran Tierney and John McGinn all play at the highest level. They do that because they enjoy playing against the best. These boys will relish this opportunity.
“I have high expectations going into this. This group, technically, is the best group we have had for a long time. Billy Gilmour has won the Champions League, Nathan Patterson has just won the Scottish Premiership. Let’s see where it takes them.”
Scotland have prepared for the tournament’s opening group match against Czech Republic with two friendly matches, a 2-2 draw with Netherlands and a 1-0 win over Luxembourg. The draw with an impressive Holland side was achieved on the backdrop of a positive Covid-19 test for midfielder John Fleck.
The resilience shown by the Scotland squad impressed Webster, who is excited to watch the nation take to tournament football this summer: “I think the Netherlands game is a great way to lead into a major tournament, playing against world-class players.
“Everything that went with that game too, Flecky testing positive for Covid-19 and players self-isolating off the back of it, the group has done exceptionally well. I think everybody hopes its them at a major tournament. I think at first you just want to play international football and then you think about that experience and achievement.
“The standard of players they have in the group is really high and I think they will quietly have high expectations heading into the Euros. It has been a while so it’s great that it’s coming around now. The players will have access to the media and social media but all you focus on in that environment is bonding as a group.
“You can focus a bit more on yourself. Everyone wants them to do well and that’s the joy of the group doing well – it’s galvanized the nation.”
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