A Scott McTominay brace saw Scotland claim one of the biggest wins in their history as they defeated Spain 2-0 at Hampden Park in their Euro 2024 qualifier to make it victories wins from two in Group A.
Scotland fully merited their victory with a commanding performance in Glasgow but it led to a few strops from their opponents. Spain midfielder Rodri, world-class defensive midfielder of Manchester City, was quick to complain about the hosts’ style of play, highlighting time wasting as he sprinkled on more salt than Salt Bae.
He told Viaplay: "It's the way they play. It's a bit rubbish because they are always wasting time. They provoke you. They always fall and for me this is not football."
How many times does it need to be said in football that you don’t have to be the most aesthetically-pleasing side on the pitch to have an effective game plan and win matches? Steve Clarke and his Scotland players conjured up an effective game plan to stump the Spaniards and no one can take anything away from their performance.
And in relation to his comments regarding time wasting and theatrics, every team in the history of the sport has done it at some point. We see it all the time when a match is slipping away from a team as they try and take the sting out of the game.
Rodri is throwing his toys out of the pram because Spain were expected to come away from Hampden with three points, not to be humbled in the way they were. He can certainly have no complaints about Scotland’s style of play considering that the club he joined Manchester City from was Atletico Madrid... Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid.
"It's the way they play...for me it's a bit rubbish. Because it's always wasting time. They provoke you. They always fall. For me, this is not football." 🗣️👀
#EURO2024 | #SCOESP
You know, the team that everyone around the world knows as being incredibly dull to watch because of its attack stemming from a lot of defensive work. Rodri was a part of that culture for a year as a player himself. Atletico Madrid are one of those teams that Rodri cannot stand. They like to take their time when the game stops for throw-ins, fouls or corners and don’t forget the theatrics that come from the players either feigning injury or starting a mass coming together.
Rodri certainly wouldn’t have had any complaints for any of the methods the team used when he was there as he lifted the UEFA Super Cup, finished second in La Liga, while reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League. If anything he should be more understanding of teams who are not going to dominate possession doing what they must to get a result.
The Spaniard was trying to insinuate that Scotland were playing ‘hoofball’ but the truth is that the hosts were creative when they had the ball and Spain were punished because of it. Spain can have no complaints with Scotland’s spirited performance, they just need to learn from it and move on. After all, the qualifying campaign is still in its infancy. By Rodri’s reaction you got the sense that La Roja were just denied a place at next summer’s tournament in Germany.
He wasn’t the only player to come up with excuses for the defeat. Versatile Spanish star David Garcia blamed the grass on the pitch for being too long. These excuses are quite ridiculous and it just screams of snobbery from Spain.
They need to spend less time thinking of things to blame when things go wrong - we’ve had enough of that from Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp over the years. Club football is returning at a good time for these Spanish players and for Rodri in particular he needs to turn his attention to winning the Premier League and Champions League because no one is going to agree with his take on Scotland’s methods. We all saw the match and Spain were second best in every department. Better luck next time.