Connect with us

Football

Euro 2024: ‘Key man’ – Ally McCoist says Scotland’s hopes pin on ‘most important player’ John McGinn – Eurosport

Published

on

Ally McCoist believes John McGinn will be integral to Scotland’s hopes of enjoying a successful UEFA Euro 2024 this summer.

The Tartan Army have never progressed from the group stage of a major tournament, and former Scotland striker McCoist believes the Aston Villa midfielder can lead a talented squad to new heights.

“I think Scotland’s most important player will be John McGinn,” McCoist told TNT Sports.

“We’ve got a far better standard of player than we’ve had in a long, long time.

“Obviously [Andrew] Robertson, [Kieran] Tierney, [Scott] McTominay’s been excellent, all those guys, as well as Callum McGregor.

“But I just feel John McGinn will be important with his energy, his leadership qualities, the way he plays, and hopefully, his goalscoring. I think he will be a key man.”

‘He’s got the whole lot!’ – Harry Kane has every kind of finish in his locker, says Ally McCoist

A total of 16 teams will progress from the 24 sides competing in the group stage – including the four-best third-place teams.

Former England midfielder Joe Cole believes that will work in Scotland’s favour, in what he expects to be a tight battle for second alongside Switzerland and Hungary behind expected group winners, Germany.

When asked if he agreed that Scotland will get out of the group, he said: “I agree, because you can still finish third and go through.

“It’s a shoot-out between Hungary, Switzerland and Scotland, but knowing Steve Clarke and how well organised they’ll be, I think they’ll struggle to score goals, but I think they’ll have enough to nick a win and a draw and go through.

“That’ll be great for the tournament.”

picture

‘To show that Paris is a city of sport’ – Mbappe on what Paris hosting an Olympic Games means

McCoist also explained that having four of the best third-place teams in the last 16 will work in Scotland’s favour, and spoke of his indignation that arguably more talented squads from previous years had not managed to qualify from a group at a major tournament.

“I’ve got to be critical of previous teams and our team included,” he explained.

“When you think of some of the teams we’ve had with the likes of [Kenny] Dalglish, [Graeme] Souness and [Billy] Bremner, Denis Law.

“There’s no doubt about it [Scotland had better players in past squads], but a combination of things with the four best third-place teams going through [works in Scotland’s favour].

“It’s a little bit of Sod’s law that three or four months ago, I thought Germany were a bit iffy, but recently they’ve looked tremendous, which isn’t great for us. But Switzerland and Hungary, we’ve got to say we’ll have a go against Switzerland and Hungary.

“I think, again, goalscoring has been and might continue to be a problem for us, but looking at boys like [Scott] McTominay and McGinn, they have got goals in them.”

picture

Rio Ferdinand believes The Tartan Army can play a key role at UEFA Euro 2024.

Image credit: Getty Images

Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand – who earned 81 caps for the Three Lions – feels that the support from Scotland’s Tartan Army supporters can give them the edge; much like the Wales team which made a stunning run to the Euro 2016 semi-finals.

“The Tartan Army is an extra point or two in the group stages; it’s the passion and the enthusiasm you’re going to see,” he added.

“The team must feed off that, and we saw it with Wales, with Gareth Bale, Ramsey and Ashley Williams in the Euros. It could be that type of scenario because of the fanfare, so I’m going to go agree that they get out of the group.”

Steve McManaman – who played at two European Championships for England in 1996 and 2000 – says Scotland will have a scrap on their hands to secure qualification for the last 16, and feels that their match against Switzerland on June 19 is key to their hopes.

“I think Scotland will come, unfortunately, third in the Euro group qualification,” he explained.

“I think Germany will win the group. Hungary are playing really well and they’re a bit of an unknown prospect to us in England, but I follow them and Dominik Szoboszlai, who plays for Liverpool, is their captain.

“I think they’ll finish second. I hope I’m very wrong, and I hope Scotland do qualify in second; I really do. But I think they’ll finish third in front of Switzerland.

“I think their best chance of victory will be Switzerland. I hope they beat them, and I hope they beat them comfortably. I hope they score lots of goals and maybe get into the next round as the best third-place team, or something like that.”

TNT Sports presents the premium live sports rights previously carried by BT Sport including the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Conference League, Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Investec Champions Cup, EPCR Challenge Cup, MotoGP, Cricket, UFC, Boxing, NBA and WWE. The streaming home for TNT Sports in the UK is discovery+, where fans can enjoy a subscription that includes TNT Sports, Eurosport and entertainment in one destination. You can also watch TNT Sports through BT, EE, Sky, and Virgin Media.
Continue Reading