The Newcastle United coaches past and present at the heart of the England-Scotland Euro 2020 clash at Wembley
The last time England met Scotland in the European Championship finals, Alan Shearer was front and centre with the Three Lions on his chest.
Shearer scored in a 2-0 Euro 96 win at the old Wembley which will forever be remembered for a stunning goal from another Tynesider, Paul Gascoigne.
The club also will also have a presence on the England bench following the appointment of coach Graeme Jones to Gareth Southgate’s backroom team.
Jones brought “fresh ideas” to Newcastle in January – and helped the club end an 11-game winless run. Jones’s work on the training pitch helped turn the club’s campaign around.
This week we got a glimpse of the 51-year-old at work with England ahead of tonight’s game at the rebuilt Wembley.
The links don’t end there, as Scotland manager Steve Clarke is assisted by former Newcastle coach and manager John Carver.
Carver – who had previously worked with Clarke at United during Ruud Gullit’s time in charge at St James’s Park – had a tough spell in charge of his boyhood club in 2015 following the mid-season departure of manager Alan Pardew.
Carver left Newcastle after the club secured it’s Premier League status thanks to a Jonas Gutierrez-inspired win over West Ham United on the final day of the season.
He had been scarred by a bruising few months in sole charge. Carver motivated himself by telling himself he was the “best coach in the Premier League”, but he said that in a press conference – and the quote was used without the proper context.
“For me, what went before that day wasn't nice,” Carver told the Daily Mail. “But for that moment when Jonas scored, it was all worth it. I don't think I could have coped with being relegated – I didn’t want that on my head. The emotion was more relief than euphoria.”
Carver, an Englishman who was by Sir Bobby Robson’s side during his memorable time at Newcastle, will be full of emotions when both national anthems will be played tonight.
But let’s hope that it's England’s bench which will be euphoric at the final whistle.