As a Scotsman i have become used to my nations non-appearance at the major tournaments.

France 1998 was the last time I saw them compete at the highest level and in truth it is going to be few more tournaments until they reappear. Scotland never impressed at the major tournaments and usually returned home before the postcards but at least we used to regularly qualify. We (the Tartan Army) never knew how good we had it when we qualified for ever World Cup from 1974-1990 and two Euro’s in 1992 and 1996, although at the time the regular bouts of “glorious failure” and ritual embarrassment were hard to bear. I am old enough to remember Gordon Strachan’s goal against West Germany in 1986, Ally McCoist’s strike versus Switzerland in 1996 and Stuart McCall’s winner against Sweden in 1990. However for every ephemeral flash of bliss there is at least two moments of deep depression and despair. Peru, Costa Rica and Morocco are just few of Scotland’s underwhelming victors while Tom Boyd, Ally McLeod and Jim Leighton have contributed to the major “head in the hands” occasions.

So, now as Euro 2012 approaches I will reposition my alliance to England. Not likely, and not for any pseudo-national or quasi-racist reason. Not because of the terrible trauma of 400 years ago or some perceived persecution since. No, simply because in football terms England are the enemy. I have no true malice or hatred towards England (apart from John Terry aka the most odious man in football) and don’t wish them any ill-will but I would hate to see them win the tournament. Thankfully this nightmare is a very slim possibility despite the pretensions of the English media and their “under-playing” of the three lion’s chances. England will not triumph in Poland/Ukraine and I will be cheering for their ignominious defeat and elimination and this has nothing to do with the English nation, people, parliament or politics, just football. When Andy Murray professed to not supporting England in the World Cup in South Africa the assorted hacks and journalist were up in arms calling him a traitor and undeserving of the British public’s support. But they ignored the fact that he captains the Davis Cup and competes as a British tennis player on tour competitions and in majors. He like I views the English national team as the enemy and wishes to see them fail.

When the Great British athletes compete in this summer’s Olympics, I alike the majority of my countrymen and women will be routing for their success, just not in the football. When an English golfer competes in the Masters or Open championship or when Carl Froch or Amir Khan fight for titles I am their biggest supporter and roaring them to success but in the World Cup or Euro’s, sorry no way.

Even when the English club team compete in the Champions League I will favour their success rather than Germans, Italian, French or Spanish (Barcelona and Napoli excluded) but when the players form and don their famous white shirt everything changes. Many English fans will view this as petty nationalism and I would to agree as it goes no further than petty. I have been lucky enough to work around the world in the last 10 years and I have watched most of the major tournaments in various bars and clubs in most of the continents. Usually, beside me is a grumbling English man bemoaning his team’s lack of inventiveness and skill. And does he

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