Türchen 14 (von Ben)

Not long after I thought that Luka Jovic had broken my heart and denied Scotland their first major football championship since 1998, David Marshall saved the crucial penalty kick that sent the whole country into ecstasy! For the first time in recent memory, I was jubilant, confident that life was wonderful and would be forever. I leapt across the room before slamming on the brakes, realising that I couldn’t even high five my step-dad in our moment of glory. It seems fitting that Scotland will play in their first tournament in over 20 years amidst a global pandemic.

At the time of writing, I have just paid the deposit for accommodation in London at the time when Scotland will face England in the group stage of Euro 2020. I always hoped that this was something that would happen whilst I was young enough to make the most of it and, even if I am unable to attend, I will treasure every second of our (no-doubt) fleeting appearance. I think back to being in my local pub where tables were overturned and pints upended after a late winner against the mighty Cyprus and can only wonder how a winner against our greatest rivals would be celebrated. I pray that this is something I will be able to experience in person next summer.

Scotland’s feeble efforts to qualify for recent major tournaments draws a lot of similarities with Covid-19 – I find myself bored, depressed and wondering why we have these idiots in charge. Whilst I’ve managed to get behind Steve Clarke more than I have Boris Johnson, I do see light at the end of the tunnel in both regards. The vaccine that is being developed is cause for cautious optimism and, although just beaten by Slovakia and Israel, I have a funny feeling that Scotland might be able to slug it out with the Czech Republic and Croatia at Hampden. Home support will be required in both instances so I truly hope that the country, and Europe as a whole, can pull together to make 2021 a year for the ages!

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