Brown on Scotland’s France 98 journey

Watch on Tuesday 8 June at 21:00 BST on BBC One Scotland

Warning: This article incorporates robust language which may trigger offence.

Colin Hendry stood proudly with a ball below an armpit and a pennant in hand, staring.

Monaco’s John Collins swaggered backwards and forwards together with his chiselled chest on present. Colin Calderwood roared like a caged lion. And on the again, Darren Jackson loitered, ready for everybody to depart.

Then there was Craig Brown.

Taking half in his third World Cup, the Scotland supervisor poked his head across the dressing room door. With 80,000 followers and a worldwide viewers ready, his facet’s yellow-clad opponents strode by, arms linked, able to defend their title.

Brown retreated inside for one final battle cry. “I went in and said ‘guys, I’ve just seen Brazil holding hands. They’re shitting themselves!'”

An eight-year hiatus from the sport’s greatest stage was at an finish, with the 1998 finals and a date with the world champions, Norway and Morocco to come back.

For the Scotland supervisor, it was the fruits of months of preparation that included lodge looking, completely different duvets, a disappearing Andy Goram, a coaching session with Rod Stewart and a telephone name from Sean Connery. What adopted wasn’t boring, both.

Goram, Rod & a name from James Bond

As nicely as a cooked breakfast, Brown had different issues on his plate one morning in May 1998.

Scotland had been in New Jersey for the ultimate leg of their preparations, with video games towards Colombia and the United States. Goalkeeper Goram needed a phrase. He was performed and was leaving the camp regardless of the supervisor’s finest makes an attempt to speak him spherical.

“To his credit, he spoke to me and sent me a lovely letter saying he had to go for personal reasons,” he says. “I nonetheless have it to this present day.

“It was an enormous story however we had been in America and had been going to a World Cup. We had been earlier than and it could possibly be a little bit of a star-studded affair. Two years earlier Rod Stewart invited us to his live performance at Madison Square Garden. About 5,000 outdoors could not get in, in the meantime our boys had been up on the stage.

“He visited us again and we had him take part in training, he coped admirably.”

Rod was not the one man to supply Brown and his staff their finest. “I remember getting a call from Sean Connery. The girls at the office would think it was a wind-up. My secretary would say, ‘That’s Ally McCoist on saying he’s Sean Connery’.”

Sean Connery having fun with himself at Scotland’s World Cup opener towards Brazil

Gyms, duvets & French with John Collins

With Jonathan Gould changing Goram and the injured Gary McAllister a part of the workers, Scotland flew to their plush camp in St Remy, a picturesque a part of southern France.

Brown says “you don’t just pick these hotels out of a brochure”, and gives an perception into the lengths that had been gone to to make sure the place was good.

“There was no gym, so we had to build one,” he remembers. “Guys like John Collins were obsessed with fitness, so we kitted out an annex to their requests. We even asked them about the weight of their quilt and the length of the bed they wanted. We went to every effort.”

A soccer staff descending on a city is one factor, however the world’s media following is one other. Brown declared Scotland’s lodge a no go for the press pack, with “around 200” journalists packing into the city corridor previous to the opener with Brazil.

“Andy Roxburgh got Italian lessons for himself and the staff at the World Cup in 1990. In France, I had John Collins,” defined Brown of the Monaco midfielder.

“I said to him, ‘Can you give me some French for my interviews?’ and he gave me a phrase that startled the French journalists. It was ‘victoire ou défaite, importe c’est la fete’ which translates to ‘victory or defeat, the most important thing is the fun’.”

The enjoyable was nearly to start.

Kilts, flannels & stopping Ronaldo

Scotland players in kilts
Scotland’s gamers take to the sphere sporting kilts previous to the World Cup opening recreation

The stage was set for the primary occasion, however first, the gown rehearsal.

Brown, ever a stickler for ensuring his gamers had been neat and tidy, led his staff off the bus on 10 June 1998 in St Denis sporting full kilts.

“It was a big hit,” says Brown, whose facet had been visited the evening earlier than by Prime Minister Tony Blair. “The SFA had given everyone a blazer and flannels but I knew if I’d asked Jim Farry [SFA chief executive] for kilts he’d have said no, so the players were told to keep it quiet.”

An much more tough process was at hand for Brown and his staff – stopping the perfect striker within the phrase. Brazil had been star studded, however none shone brighter than Inter Milan’s Ronaldo. But the Scotland supervisor had a plan.

“I spoke to Bobby Robson, who had Ronaldo at PSV,” he explains. “I asked how we stop him, and he said ‘you don’t, just don’t let him get the ball’. Most of his passes came from Cafu at right-back, so I told Christian Dailly, ‘If Cafu crosses the halfway line and passes to Ronaldo, you’ll be sitting beside me on the bench’.”

While Ronaldo was stored on a leash, Scotland had been powerless to cease Cesar Sampaio crashing in a front-post header after 5 minutes. Brown curses the curtailed preparations because of the “pageantry” of the opening ceremony, however his facet would quickly heat up.

By half-time, Collins had levelled from the penalty spot earlier than a gut-wrenching Tom Boyd personal purpose 16 minutes from time gave a relieved Brazil victory. “They did everything asked of them,” stated Brown. “It gave us belief for what lay ahead.”

Covert coaching & intelligence

Norway, who drew with Morocco 2-2 of their opener, had been subsequent. Scotland dominated in Bordeaux however went in goalless at half-time.

Ever one for particulars, Brown insists each Scotland participant was within the dressing room by the point the primary Norwegian had left the pitch – an everyday instruction. But inside a minute of the restart, free defending allowed Havard Flo to nod in at Jim Leighton’s again put up.

Scotland continued to pour ahead and, with 25 minutes to go, Davie Weir launched Craig Burley, who lobbed within the leveller. “It was a pass from intelligence,” says Brown of Weir’s flighted ball. “Being a bright guy, Davie played it as instructed between Stig Bjornebye and Henning Berg. It was perfect.”

As positive a purpose because it was, it could solely safe a degree for the Scots, who would now need to beat Morocco to face an opportunity of progressing.

Scotland score against Norway
Davie Weir, proper, celebrates after Craig Burley scores from his lengthy cross

‘We had been condemned’

“We hadn’t ever lost three goals in a game other than a Netherlands friendly, and that was a scratch team. To lose three against Morocco, we were condemned,” remembers Brown ruefully.

Scotland’s marketing campaign got here to its finish in St Etienne. Salaheddine Bassir’s purpose halfway by the primary half was the primary hammer blow for Brown’s dominant facet.

A minute into the second half, Abdeljalil Hadda doubled the lead and the Scots’ destiny was sealed quickly after as “big daft Burley” – with a brand new hanging bleached haircut – was proven a pink card for a reckless problem.

“Nobody could say we were humiliated. Every stat apart from goals, was in our favour,” stated Brown, whose facet had extra photographs on purpose, extra corners and extra possession. “We had 10 men, but we were still bombing forward.”

As it transpired, Norway shocked Brazil 2-1 to make sure their development, rendering the result of Scotland’s recreation moot.

Regardless, Brown knew a backlash was coming even earlier than receiving a name from the lodge supervisor saying photographers had been on the way in which.

“He said they didn’t want the team, they just wanted to take pictures,” Brown remembers. “I told him no as I knew what they were going to do. One of the papers did ‘We gave them this’ as a headline with photos of the plush hotel and then the other page said ‘and they gave us this’ with the three goals going in.

“It was heart-breaking, notably for the followers. To suppose a few of them misplaced their jobs to go over and observe us. You are fairly unhappy you’ve got not given them extra to take pleasure in however we gave it a proper good go.”

Goalkeepers: Leighton (Aberdeen), Sullivan (Wimbledon), Gould (Celtic); Defenders: Boyd (Celtic), Calderwood (Tottenham), Hendry (Blackburn Rovers), McKinlay (Celtic), Weir (Hearts), Elliott (Leicester City), Whyte (Aberdeen), Dailly (Derby), McNamara (Celtic); Midfielders: Burley (Celtic), Collins (Monaco), Lambert (Celtic), Gemmill (Nottingham Forest), McKinlay (Blackburn Rovers); Forwards: Gallacher (Blackburn Rovers), Durie (Rangers), Jackson (Celtic), Donnelly (Celtic), Booth (Utrecth)

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *