England may be where he lives and works, but Scotland attacker Robert Snodgrass clearly has no concerns about suffering an Andy Murray-style backlash in setting out his stance on his homeland’s rivalry with its neighbour.
The ABE – anyone but England – josh by Murray ten years ago when stating who he would support at the World Cup featured this very week in the comments section of the BBC’s article on his remarkable ascent to world tennis No 1. Snodgrass, who has made a miraculous recovery from injury to put himself in contention for Friday’s Wembley meeting of the ancient adversaries, considers the enmity between the two a fact of life.
When asked by a journalist from south of the Border whether he “enjoyed” watching England lose, Snodgrass’s response was serious and straight to the point. “I think the full country does, to be honest. That’s just the way we were brought up,” he said “I speak to English people and I don’t think they want England to do well because it’s the same old story all the time. That’s sad, actually, when you think about it, when everyone up here is rooting for you being Scottish and wanting the country to do well. It’s a different mentality. We want to get to tournaments, and for England it’s ‘we want to win it’.”
Snodgrass was also asked was if was a “laugh” to watch England’s latest failure in a major finals – the Euro 2016 exit to Iceland. “I wouldn’t say it’s a laugh, no. But you want every team to beat England, it’s simple.”
Nothing else about Scotland’s attempt to do an Iceland is a laugh for a man who is the patriot’s patriot.
“Sometimes you need big game players and there is no bigger game than this,” Snodgrass said.
“So you puff your chest out and be ready for it, knowing that a full nation is behind you.”