England v Scotland: Wayne Rooney ready to take out his Manchester United frustrations on the Auld Enemy

Alex Livesey

Wayne Rooney is fired up to release his summer of frustration on the Auld Enemy at Wembley.

Rooney is set to lead England’s attack – and the Manchester United striker is determined to slay Scotland, like Gazza at Euro 96.

That was the clear message from England captain Steven Gerrard, who says the striker is fit and desperate to prove his point.

He has endured a torturous summer after being left out of David Moyes’ pre-season preparations.

Gerrard grinned of his : “His hair has changed, but nothing else. He has trained well and has been scoring regularly in training.

“He is just itching to play a game. He has been frustrated to miss big chunks of pre-season and is desperate for these minutes under his belt because he wants to get match fit as soon as possible.

“The best thing for a player when there is a pressure on you is to be out on the pitch because it is a welcome release.

“I’ve been in situations where I’ve had issues going on and off the pitch and you just want to play.”

Gerrard admits he has been talking regularly to Rooney, having been through a similar ­situation himself when Chelsea tried to sign him during Euro 2004.

The Liverpool midfielder opted to stay at Anfield, but says Rooney’s love of the game was shown up by him coming out onto the training pitch nearly half an hour before his team- mates on Monday.

Gerrard added: “That’s Wayne Rooney. I remember watching DVDs of Gazza, and Bobby Robson talking about him always kicking a ball around the hotel and how he couldn’t wait to get on the training ground.

“Wayne is exactly the same.

“He is certainly looking forward to this game.”

 

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Newcastle must scare opponents again with greater goal threat says Pardew

Ian Walton

Alan Pardew has vowed to “get the fear factor back” into Newcastle this season.

Magpies boss Pardew has reviewed the mistakes and disappointments of last season and come up with his priorities for the new campaign that starts at Manchester City on Monday night.

They include producing a side which “threatens the goal more”, and also constructing a long cup run that can “energise” his club.

Pardew says his first priority is to get back on the radar as an attacking force – because last season they didn’t get enough goals, therefore handing the opposition an immediate confidence boost.

And he wants to blow away one of the main gripes from fans by making sure that the FA Cup and Carling Cup are given top priority.

Pardew, who is still waiting for another striker to be signed to bolster his options, said: “I think last year the bottom line was we were not threatening the goal enough.

“If you’re not threatening the goal enough, teams get a little bit more confidence, they score against you and start to believe that if they score, they will win.

“Therefore, not only are you suffering from a lack of confidence, you are suffering from an over-confident opposition, whereas the year before everyone was fearful of playing us because the results, home and away, were excellent.”

Newcastle managed only 45 league goals last season – relegated Wigan scored more – with top scorer Papiss Cisse managing only 13 in all competitions.

Pardew added: “We need to get the fear factor back and to do that you need to threaten the goal.

“There is no doubt in my mind we need to get a team out there that threatens the goal more. Forget 4-4-2 or 4-5-1, and the debate over our tactics, that’s what we have to do. We have to create more chances, score more goals.

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“Of course, I knew there was criticism. I knew there was a debate over the formation or system 4-4-2 or 4-3-3. It gets talked about until the cows come home.”

Pardew also got flak for Newcastle’s cup record – they fell at the first hurdle in both the Capital One Cup, albeit that was , and .

Since being appointed, Pardew has overseen cup defeats to Brighton (twice) and Stevenage.

He wants to put that right and create “a new history” for the success-starved Toon Army.

Pardew conceded: “I’ve been very disappointed in our record in cups – especially the cup I love the most, the FA Cup.

“It’s been great to me and although I have had two disappointments in the final, both times I have come very, very close to winning it. The experience of the quarter finals, semi-finals, they’re exceptional times.

“That’s the one competition this year, other than the Premier League, that we really will focus on. A good cup run can energise a football club.

“I think that for these fans, it’s no good to keep harping on about 1969 and that Fairs Cup. We need current history. We need new heroes and a new trophy to recognise.

“It’s a knock-on effect – when Manchester United won that first league title and had that game against Sheffield Wednesday with Steve Bruce’s two headers, that was a catalyst for a series of successes.

“At Chelsea, it was the same when Mourinho won the league.

“All teams are looking for that initial bit of success and then you really want to push on. You need that initial success though.”

Pardew also reaffirmed that – voted manager of the year by his peers and Daily Mirror readers during his time as Wimbledon boss – will have no say on the training ground.

Alison McDougall 

He added: “Joe absolutely does not interfere in my management of the team. Being a football manager of this sort of club and with Joe an ex-manager, there can be no crossover.

“There can be no clouding or greying of the issue. I’m the football manager. I make all the football decisions that evolve around the game that’s being played on a Saturday.

“In terms of the transfers, that’s a different story. He’s going to have an opinion. I don’t have a problem with that.”

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If Manchester United agree to transfer Wayne Rooney, Moyes will lose a great player.. and his credibility – Oliver Holt

John Peters

We reached the point some time ago where it was assumed that if a star player wants to leave a football club, he will leave it.

If he wants out, he’ll get out.

He may beg and plead.

He may say he needs to move closer to his family.

He may cite broken promises, gentleman’s agreements, contract clauses and masonic handshakes.

He may say he wants to play a better standard of football and test himself at a higher level.

He may say it is necessary that his talent graces the greatest stage of all, the Champions League.

He may say relationships have broken down, that he can never play for the manager again, that he has been persecuted or victimised.

Whatever, he will find a way.

He’ll do it by fair means or by foul but in the end he will always win.

So when David Moyes said categorically on Sunday afternoon , eyebrows were raised.

Most people in football know Rooney wants out.

Most people in football therefore assume Rooney will get out.

But Moyes was adamant.

No ifs, no buts, no qualifications. Just a statement of fact from the new Manchester United manager who is clearly exasperated by the speculation that has trailed the England forward all summer.

At the same time, there is no indication that Rooney’s desire to leave the club for Chelsea has diminished.

Bookmakers are offering odds that he makes his transfer plans clear in an interview after the England-Scotland game tonight.

Sky pundit and former England player Jamie Redknapp feels it is time Rooney forced the issue and left the club.

All that remains is to discover the details of his exit strategy.

Or whether this will be the transfer that bucks the trend, the one where the club is big enough and the manager stubborn enough to win the battle of wills.

We will find out a lot about Rooney in the few weeks that remain between now and the end of the transfer window.

And we will find out even more about where the balance of power lies between star players and big clubs in 2013.

Distil much of the analysis about where Rooney will be playing in the first week of September and it seems to come down to one issue.

How badly is he prepared to behave?

How far is he prepared to push it?

How desperate is he to get away?

Some former players laugh at the idea that United can ever win this battle (Click here for in situations like this).

Their take on it is that Rooney is the last kind of player a club should try to take on.

To them, his mixture of truculence and intransigence is something to be admired.

If they try to tell him he must abide by his contract, he will tell them to be damned, put his feet up and light up a cigarette, they say.

Their interpretation of the situation is that Rooney will basically down tools until he gets what he wants.

And that he has the power to make that work because do United really want their biggest asset wasting away in the reserves?

Do they want to see £30m sliding slowly down the drain while Rooney digs his heels in?

Their scenario goes like this: Nothing will happen until United and Chelsea play at Old Trafford on August 26.

After that, a deal for him to move to Stamford Bridge will be rushed through.

That’s the cynic’s view. That’s the view that says the player always gets his way.

It also disregards the fact that this is a World Cup year.

Does Rooney really want to be sitting on the sidelines, risking his participation in Brazil?

Does he want to exist without first team football? Does he want to make himself a pariah at Old Trafford?

And, critically, does he really believe that Moyes can be forced into letting it happen.

Does he really believe that a club as big as Manchester United will blink first.

Because if they do, they have an awful lot to lose.

England fixture still means more to Scotland despite their frequent tastes of deep-fried humble pie – Mike Walters

Getty

Leading his World Cup winners off the plane at Prestwick airport, Sir Alf Ramsey was greeted warmly at the foot of the steps.

“Welcome to Scotland, Sir Alf,” said a reporter. Ramsey gave his Caledonian reception an icy glance and hissed, in those famously embroidered Dagenham tones, “You must be f****** joking.”

England and Scotland have been trading such pleasantries for 141 years, since football’s oldest international rivalry was launched in 1872, with a goalless draw at the West of Scotland Cricket Club in Partick.

– the Football Association’s 150th anniversary celebrations were an expedient excuse to revive the fixture – is the first for 14 years, since England scraped home 2-1 on aggregate in a Euro 2000 play-off under Kevin Keegan.

Although England’s 45 wins to Scotland’s 41 is slender on paper, in truth the result has always meant more to our friends from north of the border.

Bobby Lennox, one of Celtic’s ‘Lions of Lisbon’ who became the first British club to win the European Cup in 1967 – a month after a famous Scottish win at Wembley – says: “Scotland fans used to start saving up for the next pilgrimage to Wembley as soon as the final whistle went in their last game against England.

“It’s sad that the game has not been played for a while, and perhaps it’s not ideal to play this game three days before a new Premier League season kicks off, but there is no such thing as a friendly between Scotland and England.

“They are not going to be kicking lumps out of each other, but it will be very competitive because we don’t know any other way.”

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How much does it hurt the Scots to lose against England?

Well, in 1950 they refused to compete at the World Cup finals in Brazil, despite qualifying, because they had finished runners-up to you-know-who in the Home International tournament and the Scottish Football Association insisted they would only attend as champions.

And when Ramsey’s wingless wonders lifted the sacred pot in 1966, Denis Law could not bring himself to watch on TV, taking refuge on the golf course and allegedly greeting England’s finest hour by cursing: “B*****ds!”

With only 12 wins in 48 meetings since the Second World War, the Scots have long been acquainted with deep-fried humble pie.

But among those dozen victories were some memorable, and notorious, triumphs.

That famous 3-2 win in 1967 was decorated by Jim Baxter’s outrageous game of keepie-uppie – a landmark tease which infuriated both opponents and team-mates alike.

And 10 years later, when the Tartan Army rearranged the goalposts at Wembley, they put the ‘loo’ into the Bakerloo Line on their exultant retreat.

But since the fixture was mothballed in 1989, with hooliganism and the end-of-season attrition becoming increasingly grim, England have enjoyed the bragging rights where they mattered.

At Euro 96, Scotland were thwarted only by David Seaman beating out Gary McAllister’s penalty before, moments later, Paul Gascoigne’s sublime juggle and volley settled all arguments.

 

Gazza’s premeditated celebration, revisiting the notoriety of England’s visit to the ‘dentist’s chair’ on their stopover in the Far East by way of preparation for the tournament, regrettably signposted his descent into a spiral of alcohol abuse.

Last time the Tartan Army marched on Wembley, nobody went home happy.

Don Hutchison’s towering header gave the Scots a deserved 1-0 win on the night, but England – with the cushion of of Paul Scholes’ two goals in the first leg at Hampden Park – advanced, apologetically, to Euro 2000.

So bankrupt was his team’s performance that night, Keegan banned them from taking a lap of honour.

And after 141 years, tonight’s ill-timed reprise of a famous fixture on the football calendar may not be worth an encore, either.

England have the Gerrard and Wilshere central axis Hodgson has been waiting for – now they must perform – Martin Lipton

Action Images

They sat together, the central axis of England, joined at the hip.

But now Roy Hodgson needs Steven Gerrard and Jack Wilshere to stay together throughout what skipper conceded could be his final year of ­international football.

Since Wilshere replaced Gerrard to make his debut eight minutes from time against Hungary in August 2010, he has played under seven hours, adding only six more caps.

At every stage, with every absence, his importance to the national team has only grown.

Wilshere, as much as Wayne Rooney, being seen as the oil the England engine needs for the machine to ­function.

Hodgson has not tried to deny his value, while was a signal of the esteem in which he is held.

Their performance on their one proper run-out in tandem, , merely added to the sense of loss when Wilshere missed .

Now, though, starting against Scotland this evening but, more importantly carrying England through the vital World Cup qualifiers next month and in October, it has to become something real, tangible, rather than an elusive dream.

“It’s not been good having to watch so many games,” admitted Wilshere. “I haven’t played in a World Cup qualifier yet and I’m anxious to do so.

“I’ve added it up and think I’ve missed about 25 caps. I feel I have to start making up for lost time.

“But this is the first time in two years I’ve had a proper pre-season under my belt. I feel ready.”

Gerrard revealed he realised just what a talent Wilshere was when he played against the youngster on his Arsenal Premier League debut, in the first game of Hodgson’s short-lived Anfield spell.

“I remember it was 1-1 and Joe Cole was sent off,” said Gerrard. “It was the first time we’d gone head to head but I could see his quality straight away. Of course I was thinking of England, not Arsenal!

“So it’s been very frustrating not to play more with Jack. He excites me, just as much as you guys, and I’m itching to get out there and show we can form a good partnership.

“For this team to move forward we need all our top players available. Even though he’s young, he’s one of the best players in the squad.”

Gerrard’s own experiences with injury – he only earned 15 caps in the three years after making his bow – but has now clocked up 102 indicates why he believes Wilshere has time to reach his England peak.

“I’ve been in a similar ­position,” said the skipper. “I missed a World Cup, many caps, so there’s nothing for him to worry about.

“It’s a long career ahead of him but I have to assume this is my last year.

“I’ve got to make the most of every single game, certainly this year, because it’s such an important year. I might be out of the picture next year.”

For both of them, at very different ends of their England careers, Wednesday night represents something new.

England’s last game against ­Scotland, won by Don ­Hutchison’s Wembley header, came 14 years ago.

Gerrard said: “We haven’t played them much over the years. Euro 96 was probably the stand-out one but as a player you want to make your own history and memories.

“It will probably be my last chance playing against ­Scotland so, if we get a win, it’s one I will remember for the rest of my life.”

And Wilshere, who revealed Arsene Wenger’s last words to him on Saturday were “come back fit”, added: “Of course I’m aware of what it means. I’m only young but I remember 1996 and 1999 as well. It’s a big rivalry and it’s going to be a big game.

“Playing for England is the pinnacle for every English player. Growing up it’s what every kid wants to do. You go out in the streets kicking a ball about and you want to be wearing that shirt.”

It is a shirt he has not worn enough. Now, England expects.

So, it is clear, does Gerrard.

This is the blend, the balance and the mix Hodgson has wanted all along.

England vs Scotland: History, Bond, monsters and snacks do battle in the REAL Battle of Britain – Iain Macintosh

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As England prepare to take on Scotland at , we asked mixed-race Iain Macintosh (Scottish family, English bred) to appraise the on an… erm… cultural basis.

Historical lessons

England When the Vikings launched a sneak attack in 878AD, King Alfred was forced to scarper. Fleeing the town of Chippenham, he darted out to the marshes in Somerset and took refuge in the house of a lowly swineherd. “Stay in my house? Of course you can!” said the swineherd’s wife. “Just keep an eye on those cakes on the fire, eh?” Alfred daydreamed, the cakes burned and a legend was born.

Scotland Robert the Bruce, beaten by the English, scarpered to where we know not, and hid in a cave.

There he watched a spider attempt to build a web in the wind, only to see it fail again and again.

Rather than trying to help by sheltering the spider from the wind, or by screaming and hiding because he didn’t like spiders, Robert sat and watched until the web was woven. Thanks. For. That. Said the spider.

VERDICT: Scotland, because cakes are nice, but if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Late night bites

England Behold, the awesome power of Teeside’s famous Parmo! Deep fried meat in breadcrumbs doused in litres of melted cheese, clogging your arteries like weasels in a drainpipe. Kebabs? Pah! We laugh at your kebabs. Curry? Look, how we giggle in the face of your curry. Show me a Parmo, loaded with chillis, drenched in dairy and bad intentions and I shall show you the world.

Scotland Oh, you may scoff at the Deep Fried Mars Bar, but do you know the science that goes into making such a delicious treat? No, I didn’t think so. Throw a flaccid Mars Bar into the mix and it will melt. Throw a frozen one down and it will crack like the hull of the Titanic. It’s all about the chill factor. Not that this makes it any healthier. But let’s be honest; you did not come here for healthy eating.

VERDICT: England, with the addition of chilli pepper.

James Bond

England Is anything smoother than Roger Moore? Anything on this earth? Ironed velvet slacks? A baby seal’s bottom? This is a man who can undo a woman’s bra with his eyebrow. He’s a weapon of mass seduction. He once had a fight with Lee Marvin, won and Marvin made it his mission to tell the world never to underestimate Moore in a scrap. To be honest, if Moore was up against anyone else here…

Rex

Scotland There’s no doubt about it, if you could be any man, you’d be Sean Connery. Or Pablo Zabaleta.

But mostly you’d be Sean Connery. He drinks, he bonks, he fights, he’s reassuringly hairy, he’s got THAT VOICE and even now, in his later years, he still goes drinking with Sir Alex Ferguson at the tennis and interrupts press conferences. We salute you, Sir Sean.

VERDICT: Scotland. Sorry, Sir Roger.

Football songs

England In 1996, David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and the Lightning Seeds provided England with an anthem so catchy that German supporters are still taunting them with it 17 years later. It had pathos, it had profundity, it had Nobby dancing. Points are deducted, however, for the attempt to repeat the joke two years later.

Scotland Del Amitri toyed with the idea of positivity in 1998, they really did, but they decided to give it a pass. Instead, with an eye on Scotland’s past endeavours, they came up with the mournful classic, “Don’t Come Home Too Soon,” which contained the first line, “So long, go on and do your best.” Like a sad mum waving her fat child off to Sports Day.

VERDICT: England, even if it is 47 years of hurt now.

Dr Who

England Written off with the headline, “Dr Who?” by one newspaper, Northampton-born Matt Smith confounded the doubters with a strong three-year stint on the show. He even managed to laugh off his quirkily androgynous looks with his first line, “Am I a girl?” And, if you didn’t feel sorry enough for the lad, he’s a Blackburn fan.

BBC/Mike Hogan

Scotland West Lothian’s David Tennant brought a roguish charm and manic energy to the Tardis, clattering around the multiverse for five years, giving the Daleks what for. He was good-looking, charming and witty. Plus, he very nearly had it away with space waitress Kylie Minogue, so thumbs up all round.

VERDICT: Scotland, especially with Peter Capaldi’s impending arrival.

Monsters

England The Beast of Bodmin, a sepulchral big cat with a taste for livestock, is believed to roam the West Country moors, according to local farmers. They tell of bright yellow eyes and a heart-stopping wail. Unfortunately, the only photographic evidence available to back any of this up appears to show, not a ferocious monster, but a slightly irked moggy.

Scotland The legend of the Loch Ness Monster stretches all the back to the sixth century and there have been innumerable attempts since to prove its existence. Is it a relic from the world of the dinosaurs, is it a new species, or is it just a funny looking log? Who knows, but it certainly keeps the tourists amused.

VERDICT: Scotland, because in a straight fight on land or sea, the Nessie always beats the cat.

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Football leagues

EnglandIt’s hardly the best league in the world, not without Ronaldo and Messi, but there’s a lot to be said for the Premier League. The attendances are strong, the fans are noisy, the games are bonkers, and the TV money is split on a basis logical enough to ensure that the gap between top and bottom never reaches La Liga proportions. Plus, there’s the theme tune. You’ve got to love the theme tune.

ScotlandCeltic can take a weekend off to play a meaningless friendly against Liverpool, tie their arms behind their backs, promise to only kick the ball with their left feet, and they’ll still seal the title before April is out. The Scottish Premier League might have a nice new lion-shaped logo, but they’ll need a lot more than that before anyone south of the border starts tuning in.

VERDICT: England. There was a time when Scottish teams were feared. That time has passed.

And if we’ve totted up the scores correctly, we make Scotland the winners in a thrilling 4-3. Let the pulling down of the Wembley cross bars begin!

Kenny Dalglish on England vs Scotland: My top five matches, goals (all ours) and toughest opponents – Kenny Dalglish

Mirrorpix

I loved playing in ­Scotland-England games. They were properly competitive and no quarter was given, but there was no hatred involved.

We had a lot of fun when we got back to our clubs, though. In one of my first training sessions after signing for Liverpool in 1977, one of the lads egged me on to remind Ray ­Clemence about my shot that went through his legs at Hampden the previous year.

I thought I might just leave it a little while…

Five favourite matches

1. April 1967 A 3-2 victory at Wembley the spring after England won the World Cup. Denis Law, Bobby Lennox and Jim McCalliog got the goals and we crowned ourselves world champions.

2. May 1974 We beat England 2-0 at Hampden and as I was running round the pitch with Danny McGrain after the match, someone stuck a trophy in my hand. It was the Sir Stanley Rous trophy. It was a good day and that night Marina and I had our engagement party.

3. May 1976 We beat England 2-1 and the game is partly remembered for my shot that went through Ray ­Clemence’s legs. He should never have tried to save it in the first place.

4. June 1977 We beat England again. I scored our second goal and I think it was the only time I won with Scotland at Wembley. After the win, the Scotland fans ran on to the pitch to celebrate.

5. May 1981 Liverpool’s Scottish and English players couldn’t play in the game that year because we were involved in the ­European Cup Final against Real Madrid in Paris a few days later. So we all watched the game in a bar in Liverpool called Rumours, owned by Sammy Lee. There was some great banter. There was me and big Alan Hansen cheering for Scotland and giving Phil Neal plenty of stick. When John Robertson won the game for Scotland with a penalty midway through the second half, we took the roof off the place.

Five most difficult opponents

1. Ray Clemence When I scored against him at Hampden in 1976, I didn’t feel the slightest tinge of sympathy. I didn’t know him then because I was still at Celtic but I knew what a great ­goalkeeper he was. He was outstanding when we played against England.

2. Peter Shilton It was impossible to split him and Clemence. I remember one shot heading for the top left-hand corner and thinking I’d scored only for Shilton somehow to tip it over the bar. He was capable of doing that over and over again.

3. Phil Thompson Bill Shankly used to say Thommo had spun a coin with a chicken for their legs and lost. He didn’t look like an athlete and wasn’t the quickest but he was a ­brilliant reader of the game. His anticipation was fantastic.

4. Colin Todd He was stronger than Thommo physically and could read the game, too. It was always a tough contest against him.

5. Emlyn Hughes He loved beating the Jocks, absolutely loved it. He used to say there was a headbutting championship in Scotland and we used to practise by headbutting the side of the team bus. He was a very combative opponent.

Five favourite Scotland goals

1. Denis Law was a great player for Scotland. I loved watching him play and he scored the first goal in Scotland’s famous victory over England at Wembley in 1967.

2. Jim McCalliog scored a terrific individual goal to seal victory over England at Wembley in 1967. You might be getting the idea that I was pretty pleased with that result..

 

3. Gordon McQueen struck with a thumping header to open the scoring in the Scotland win at Wembley in 1977.

4. John Robertson converted a penalty in 1981 for a Scotland win I particularly enjoyed because of the atmosphere among Liverpool players as we watched in Sammy Lee’s bar.

5. Don Hutchison’s terrific header at Wembley gave England some very anxious moments as Scotland played superbly in the second leg of their Euro 2000 qualification play-off.

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