YOU can say what you like about the latest Scotland strip, and at £90 a pop numerous fans have had made some far from complimentary comments in recent days, but Andy Robertson and his team mates looked like a million dollars when they took to the field at Hampden today.

The simple dark blue shirt, released this week as part of the SFA’s 150th anniversary celebrations, draws inspiration from the “uniform” worn by the players who represented this country in the first ever international match against England in 1872.

The classic design proved to be to the liking of Steve Clarke’s men, if not the cash-strapped supporters who were cheering them on from the stands, as they got their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign underway with a neat and tidy 3-0 triumph over Cyprus.

Did Scotland’s brand new goalkeeper cut a dash between the sticks as well as he made his first appearance?

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Angus Gunn, who took over from the injured Craig Gordon in the important position, hardly had a grass stain on his bright yellow top when the final whistle blew. He had next to nothing to do during the course of the 90 minutes.

Still, the clean sheet will buoy the Norwich City man, who was preferred to both Zander Clark of Hearts and Liam Kelly of Motherwell after being persuaded to pledge his allegiances to his adopted homeland by Clarke earlier this year, no end.

He is likely to be far busier in the Group A match against Spain on Tuesday evening. Luis de la Fuente can field Alvaro Morata and Dani Olmo up front after all. The 6ft 5in 27-year-old, though, can go into that difficult outing with confidence despite his lack of experience at this level after an assured, if uneventful, start.

The Herald:

Gunn, the son of former Aberdeen, Norwich and Scotland keeper Bryan, played age-group football for England, where he was born and brought up, and declined an invitation to turn out for Scotland previously after being approached by Alex McLeish because he was keen to play for Gareth Southgate.

Clarke, though, was confident the Tartan Army would back him if he performed well and he was proved right. The new boy had a no difficulty holding a weak shot Grigoris Kastanos in the first-half and recovered well after slipping in his penalty box as Ioannis Pittas chased down the ball. He was cool under pressure and his distribution, too, was decent throughout.

His biggest moment undoubtedly came with just five minutes of regulation time remaining when, with Cyprus on the attack and tension around the ground growing palpably, he held an awkward deflected attempt by Andronikos Kakoulli. Substitute Scott McTominay wrapped up the three points two minutes later when he netted the second and his first. But it was an important save.

As Gunn made his first appearance for Scotland, midfielder Callum McGregor made his 50th.

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Gordon Strachan’s unwillingness to move to Oriam outside Edinburgh when the £33m national performance centre opened in 2016 was this week cited as the reason he was replaced as Scotland manager.

Who knew? Most people thought that after three failed qualifying campaigns and four-and-a-half years in charge the SFA, along with the vast majority of supporters and media commentators, felt that it was time for a change.

Would Strachan have survived if he had, as he was being urged to do by thousands of his compatriots in the final days of his tenure, given McGregor some game time in his last match against Slovenia? The Celtic man was a raw talent at that time and Darren Fletcher and James McArthur probably offered more. 

But he has certainly firmly established himself since being handed his debut by caretaker manager Malky Mackay in a friendly against the Netherlands at Pittodrie in 2017. He formed a partnership with Ryan Jack of Rangers in the centre of the park today and performed with all of his usual aggression, energy and intelligence.  

The Herald:

It was a strangely subdued and unnecessarily edgy encounter. The hosts passed up several opportunities to kill their rivals off, not least in the second-half. That said, they contained Temuri Ketsbaia’s charges effectively. The man in the middle of the park had much to do with that. He was a worthy winner of the Man of the Match award at the end of proceedings.  

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John Carver, the Scotland assistant manager who had caused a bit of stooshie this week with his critical comments about the condition of the pitches at Oriam, lauded McGregor as a “coach on the field” in the build-up to this Euro 2024 qualifier and stated that he hoped to be present when he won his 100th cap.

If he steers clear of serious injury and continues to acquit himself with such aplomb it could very well happen.