England players will be shown video clips of previous clashes against Scotland in the build-up to Friday’s World Cup qualifier, including Paul Gascoigne’s memorable goal and equally unforgettable celebration at Euro 96.
Interim manager Gareth Southgate, who played in that ‘Gazza’ inspired 2-0 victory at Wembley 20 years ago, has asked the Football Association to compile some of the greatest moments from the world’s oldest international fixture.
“We should embrace the emotion of the occasion,” Southgate said in the build-up to the first competitive clash between England and Scotland since 1999.
“The clips are from previous Scotland games. We have some black and white stuff, that I’m not in, it’s been really nicely done.”
While the lustre of the fixture, once a yearly occasion, has faded in recent decades, the 113th meeting at Wembley on Friday will stir up old passions with tens of thousands of Scottish fans likely to descend on London.
Southgate has stressed the importance of emotional control but is unlikely to have to resort to the methods employed to calm down the irrepressible Gascoigne.
Speaking at a news conference he recalled how the hyper-active former Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and Lazio midfield maverick, then at Scottish giants Rangers, took to pretend fishing in the Wembley bath in 1996.
“Bryan (Robson) made him a fishing rod,” Southgate said, referring to England’s assistant coach. “They created something out of the medical skip and he was pretend fishing in the bath — God knows what he was actually fishing for.
“Fishing was the only time he ever relaxed. He used to go with (goalkeeper) David Seaman during the week in the afternoon just to get himself out of everybody’s hair.”
Gascoigne’s goal, flicking the ball over Scotland defender Colin Hendry’s head with his left foot before lashing a volley past keeper Andy Goram with his right, was the abiding memory of Euro 96 for England who lost on penalties to Germany in the semi-finals.
In celebration ‘Gazza’ laid down while teammates squirted water down his throat, recreating the infamous ‘dentist’s chair’ night during the build-up to the tournament when some England players were involved in a booze-fuelled session in Hong Kong.
Southgate “swerved” the Hong Kong controversy on the advice of team mate Stuart Pearce.
“He said, ‘In my experience of England if you go out for a drink it’s as if nobody had ever drunk before’. Sometimes advice like that is good,” Southgate said.
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