Considering I am an Anglo-Scot, doing the Player Ratings for the England team v Scotland game at Wembley tonight should be no worries for me in terms of impartiality.
First things first, England should invite their northern neighbours down more often. Best atmosphere at an England game at the new Wembley so far? I think so.
And Scotland raised their game for a competitive international friendly.
However, a fairytale goal for Rickie Lambert, along with Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck strikes, was enough to earn England a 3-2 win in a game where James Morrison and Kenny Miller scored for the Tartan Army.
Joe Hart: 4
It seems that every time I do my England player ratings, in particular at Wembley, I find myself ripping into Joe Hart.
He had nothing difficult to do the entire game – yet made an absolute hash of a basic save from James Morrison.
Phil Jagielka: 5
The Everton defender struggled if you ask me, and I am an Everton fan.
He lost the high ball on occasions and his sloppy play led to the Scotland second.
Must improve if he is to hold off the challenge of Phil Jones
Gary Cahill: 6
Cahill had a decent game overall, but being suckered by a 34-year-old MLS striker loses him his seven.
Leighton Baines: 9
I thought Baines was outstanding down the left side for England.
He dominated that flank leaving James Forrest and Alan Hutton as impotent as an elderly panda – and he even got an assist to his name.
Could Ashley Cole be about to lose his place.
Kyle Walker: 6
The Spurs player had an incredible ding-dong, in particular aerially, with Robert Snodgrass.
He got forward well on occasions, but that final ball needs to improve.
Jack Wilshere: 6
The Arsenal man started like firecracker, but his lack of action was evident.
He began to give away the ball and his decision making was questionable.
However, some sparks of life in those dodgy ankles yet, and hopefully the start of an extended time in the England line-up.
Tom Cleverley: 6
I almost gave the Manchester United man a seven simply for his excellent through ball to Walcott for England’s opener.
But for the majority of the game he was missing in action – so a harsh six is his reward.
Steven Gerrard: 8
The Liverpool captain is beginning to know his limitations, and is adapting his game thusly.
His delivery for the Welbeck goal was text-book Stevie G and he put in an excellent shift.
Danny Welbeck: 9
MAN OF THE MATCH
Another sterling performance in an England shirt from the Manchester United player.
He drifted in and out from the left, with some cute touches and a deft header giving him the goal he deserved.
As ever, he was his usual industrious self to boot – and must be one of the first names on the team sheet at the moment.
Theo Walcott: 7
Walcott seems to be the only person on the planet who doesn’t appreciate just how fast he is.
If he just knocked the ball past his man on occasion he would be lethal, as Steven Whittaker found out for Walcott’s goal, he is impossible to catch in full flow.
But perhaps I am nit-picking.
Wayne Rooney: 6
On my little notebook I had jotted down after 25 minutes, next to the United strikers name, just one word – abysmal.
Then things picked up, and an extraordinary offside decision denied him a goal.
Look, it wasn’t the best performance, but hopefully the start of a recovery for both club and country.
Frank Lampard: 7
I really feel Lampard steadied the ship when he entered the fray.
He also had a worthy pop from afar and gave away a necessary yellow card – getting better with age.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 6
Did nothing wrong, but nothing memorable – unlike his impact against Brazil earlier in the summer.
Rickie Lambert: 8
What can we say about the Southampton striker?
I watched the game with my Saints supporting old man, and the reaction to Lambert’s expertly placed header was incredible.
He looked like Alan Shearer in his pomp as he got between Scott Brown and Grant Hanley before bulleting a header into the bottom corner.
Should have scored another, but we will let him off.
Super Rickie Lambert!
James Milner: 5
I am giving Milner a five almost exclusively for the worst ever short corner attempt I have ever laid my eyes on. Cringworthy.
Wilfried Zaha: 6
That end product needs work, but he manages to get free out-wide so much that eventually one will come good – it is the law of averages.
But despite his platter worthy delivery to Lambert, when it comes to an aerial cross, Zaha is more Kieran Dyer then David Beckham – work needed on this rough diamond.
Phil Jones: N/A
Barely touched the ball in his late cameo.
What were your ratings for the game?
image: © whereareyousimon