Scots are hot for England – even in a pub at Wedding

Scots are hot for England - even in a pub at Wedding

Tensions are also rising in the Berlin district of Wedding. Fraser McCabe has been taking reservations for Friday nights for several days. By choice the Berliner originally comes from Dundee, but has been running “Hirsch und Hase”, a Scottish gastropub on Voltstrae for many years. Many Scots in Berlin will be watching from afar on Friday as their team takes on their hated and beloved rivals England in the second game of Group D (at 9 p.m., live on ZDF and Magenta TV).

“We are already fully booked and are expecting over 100 guests, which is plenty for us,” McCabe says. Whose phone has been ringing almost non-stop for the past few days. While most reservations are made by Scots, fans from England are also welcome. “After all, British money is as good as other people’s,” laughs, who has turned a 200-liter oil drum into a grill to add culinary delights along with the game. There should be a festive atmosphere. After all, it’s not every day that Scotland plays England in a major tournament.

Historic Couple at Wembley

Even in England, people look forward to a more peaceful and friendly environment when the Scots invaded London. Of the 22,500 spectators at Wembley Stadium, there will officially be only a few thousand fans coming from the north, but in reality there are likely to be many more – especially outside the stadium. On Wednesday itself, there were reports of fans taking a long trip to London in the Scottish media. Dressed in a kilt and a Balmoral cap, Mira ‘Tartan Army’ boarded the train to Glasgow for a ceremonial march on the old enemy from the south.

About 20,000 Scottish fans were expected to arrive in the English capital this week, despite official warnings against such travel. In the UK, the seven-day incidence is now just under 80 new infections per 100,000 people, and the extension of coronavirus restrictions for another month caused some disappointment this week. On Wednesday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan expressed concern that EM games could lead to a sharp spike in infections in the capital. “In an ideal world, I would welcome the Tartan Army to London with open arms, but with the numbers rising, that won’t happen this time. The best thing you can do is not come to London and enjoy the game at home instead.” “

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It is probably a holy wish. Because when England play Scotland it’s always something special for both fan camps: Delta version or not. The oldest rivalry in football was first played in 1870 at the “Oval”, a cricket stadium. A total of 114 encounters have taken place since then, some of which have become creative cultural experiences in the history of the nation. The famous 1996 European Championship group match at Wembley Stadium is considered by some to be the climax of a summer fairy tale of English football, the influence of which went far beyond football. Football had ushered in the Britpop era when Paul Gascoigne beat Scotland with a dream goal and made the nation laugh with his dentist’s cheers. A few months later, Tony Blair referred to the popular EM song ‘Three Lions’ in his speech at a Labor convention. “Labor is coming home,” said the man, who a year later, became the Labor Party’s first prime minister in two decades.

Scots want a new referendum

A quarter century later, England and Scotland meet again in a Eurogroup match at Wembley, but this time against a very different political background. The pleasant optimism of that time has long since evaporated, and relations between England and Scotland have also suffered greatly from the unrest of the past ten years. In 2014, Scotland voted narrowly against independence. Even today, the Scottish government is fighting fervently for a second referendum.

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Both football camps have recently tried to downplay the importance of the rivalry a bit. “My children and grandchildren are English,” Scotland manager Steve Clarke said in an interview with the Guardian ahead of the tournament. He enjoys the derby, but at the same time he tries to hide the “noise”. England’s Raheem Sterling also warned this week against “fighting the old battle”. Of course, there is history, the Manchester City attacker said, “but for me it is just a normal game”.

[Fußball-Europameisterschaft: Wissen, wer wann gegen wen spielt. Mit unserem EM-Spielplan 2021 als PDF zum Ausdrucken.]

Still, Friday evening will have a special atmosphere, as doubles on the pitch have become a rarity. Since the British Home Championship was abolished in the mid-1980s, the two rivals have played less and less of each other. They have only met six times since Euro 1996, with Scotland’s last two victories in 1981 and 1999, so Friday’s game is also a historic occasion for the visitors.

It has been more than 20 years since Scotland’s last win against England, but their rugby colleagues have shown it.
© Imago Images / NurPhoto

“A game against England is also an opportunity to show what we are capable of. There is a lot of respect for us now as we have qualified for a tournament, but that is not the respect we would all wish for, Scotland captain Andy Robertson told UK broadcaster Sky Sports this week. The Liverpool full-back also believes his team can get something in London. “England are one of the favorites for the title, but If our plan works, we can do it.”

For the Scots, the prestige duel is ultimately an all-or-nothing game with survival in Group D at stake. After a disappointing 2–0 loss to Czech Republic, Steve Clarke’s team need at least one point to maintain their chances of advancing, but they can count on one of their best players once again. Huh. Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney. The British, on the other hand, are in a good mood and without any pressure. Gareth Southgate’s team can already dream of reaching the last 16 after beating Croatia 1-0. With the return of defender Harry Maguire, the hosts are gaining experience and defensive stability.

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If the underdog can’t surprise Fraser McCabe, it’s no disaster. “At the end of the day it’s just a football game,” agrees the wedding host, who actually prefers to watch rugby than football. Still, he looks forward to the opportunity to celebrate another victory against the English. Because the Scottish national team has already defeated an old foe once earlier this year at Twickenham Stadium, home of English rugby. “If we beat them at Wembley too, we can brag about it,” Scott said.

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