Scotland’s defeat to the Czech Republic in their Euro 2020 opener reaffirmed an old English view.
Indeed, talkSPORT’s Jamie O’Hara recently compared them to a Championship team, while back in March, Simon Jordan said England’s Under-21s would have a good chance of beating the Scots.
Maybe it’s the standard of the Scottish Premiership, or those decades without reaching a major tournament until now, but it’s about time that narrative changed.
That’s what Liverpool’s Andy Robertson and Aston Villa’s John McGinn think, anyway.
“I think we’re probably respected more now because we’ve qualified for a tournament but we’re still not as respected as much as we would all like,” Scotland skipper Robertson said.
“A chance to play against England is a chance to show people that doubt Scottish football what we can do. We gave them a tough game in 2017 and we’ll need the same performance levels as that night.”
Ahead of the group stage clash between England and Scotland at Wembley – live on talkSPORT on Friday – McGinn insists the gap isn’t as big as many suggest.
“We compete against these guys week in, week out in the Premier League,” the Scotland midfielder said.
“It’s about passing that message on to the guys based in Scotland, that we can more than compete.
‘They’re an excellent team, but if we play to our capabilities we will cause England a lot of problems.
“They’ve got strength in depth, but for the first time in a long time so have we. It’s about focusing on us and giving England something to think about. We will not be fazed going down there, not one bit.
“When I looked at the record between Scotland and England, I was surprised at how tight the results were.
“The English media would have you believe that the gap is humongous. They’ve got world superstars throughout their squad, but we’ve got a few wee superstars in our team as well. It’s up to us to prove that. The game can’t come quick enough.”
It’s true, while few would argue England still have a better squad on paper, most of Scotland’s starting XI have been going toe-to-toe with them in the Premier League all season.
Robertson and Kieran Tierney are up there with the very best defenders in the league, while McGinn, Stuart Armstrong, Billy Gilmour and Scott McTominay are all highly-rated top-flight stars.
Many would say it’s the best Scotland team since the eighties, when they had Alan Hansen, Graeme Souness, Gordon Strachan, Kenny Dalglish – plus our very own Alan Brazil.
Even the 1996 lot weren’t bad – and would’ve got a result against England’s superstars if not for Gary McAllister’s penalty miss.
But still, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who isn’t Scottish and expects anything but a comfortable England victory on Friday.
Jack Grealish, a teammate of McGinn at Villa, insists the Three Lions are not making the same mistake.
He told talkSPORT: “Ginny is a player we need to watch out for, he’s so talented. But so many of their players are so talented.
“Tierney is one of Arsenal’s best players, Robertson is one of Liverpool’s best players, there is John McGinn, Billy Gilmour, Stuart Armstrong has had a good season for Southampton and so has Che Adams.
“They have so much threat and I said to Ginny, they are going to do something similar to Wales at Euro 2016 (when they reached the semi-finals) because they have that much of a talented squad.
“It would be an unbelievable game to be involved in. Friday night at Wembley against Scotland at the Euros – it will be unbelievable.”