Football: VOX POP: How was England's Euro 2000 qualification received around Europe?

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The Independent Online


England were very lucky to go through because Scotland played the better football over the two legs and at Wembley, they only had the Alan Shearer shot. But the finals are seven months away and they have some brilliant technical players and will still be one of the favourites. The worrying thing for them must be the way they lost the midfield battle - John Collins and Barry Ferguson were great there. I watched the match in Holland, and most people there (and the police) wanted the Scots to win as their fans never cause trouble.



I saw both games commentating for Danish TV. A draw was a fair result at Hampden and Scotland were the better side at Wembley, which should worry England because their side, on paper, are excellent. But I have seen every England home match for the last three years and I can't remember them playing a decent game. Now the pressure will really begin on the side, which is one of the main problems for English teams - as soon as you win a game, whether at cricket or football, you think you are world champions.



I wouldn't mind playing England if they performed like they did on Wednesday again. Our national team has found a way to play, a system. And it suits us well. We have players who are disciplined when the opposition have the ball, which they do a lot. Our job is to work hard and close their space down. I'm not saying that England don't work hard but you must have a system that the players keep to. Our style is simple and effective. It is based on us working hard for each other. England are not there yet.



With England there, all the best nations in Europe's football family have qualified for Euro 2000. But people wanting trouble are not welcome in either Holland or Belgium. All measures will be taken to avoid any problems. Of course, absolute security doesn't exist but we are ready and are sticking to our plans. The "Big Five" - England, Germany, Italy, France and Spain - will all be there. It will basically be like a World Cup without Brazil and Argentina. England's presence should enhance the event's profile.



A lot of people had said that Tony Adams was finished but as far as I am concerned, he is the reason England are going to the finals. I thought I was going to make it 2-0 late on at Wembley until he made that sliding tackle on me inside the box. I'd picked my spot but Tony read it. Look at the spirit and leadership he showed - you can't buy that. I'm better at 30 than I was at 23. Afterwards Tony shook hands with me and said "Wee man, you battered us". Having watched the video, he's right, we played England off the park.