Motherwell FC's Stephen O'Donnell produces fine display for Scotland at Wembley to confound his critics
After being maliciously targeted online by several trolls following his disappointing display in Scotland’s 2-0 defeat against the Czech Republic, Motherwell ace Stephen O’Donnell was back to his best in the hugely encouraging 0-0 draw against England at Wembley on Friday night.
The result in London – which meant that Scotland would qualify for the last 16 of Euro 2020 with a Hampden win over Croatia after we went to press on Tuesday night – featured a strong display from 29-year-old wing back ‘Sods’, who had a fine first half shot brilliantly saved by England keeper Jordan Pickford as the Scots matched one of the favourites to win the tournament.
The game also saw O’Donnell pick up a yellow card for a late challenge on Jack Grealish
O’Donnell told Scotland HQ post match: “I think I was just starting to get a wee bit fed up.
“He had just come on and normally when the fresh wingers come on and you’re a wee bit tired you’re just thinking, ‘I need to hit him here’.
“I was getting fed up with him trying to take the mickey so I gave him a wee hit!”
O’Donnell revealed he took some advice from team-mate John McGinn as to how to get in the midfielder’s head.
Grealish is a team-mate of McGinn's at Aston Villa and it provided some amusing anecdotes from his meeting with O’Donnell during the clash at Wembley which gave Scotland's chances of qualification a huge boost.
“He said if (Grealish) comes on I had to get nibbling in his ear,” O’Donnelly said. “But don’t be critical, be complimentary.
"So the full time he was on I was telling him how good looking he was and that I loved his calves!
“I was asking him how he gets his hair like that.
"John said that if you tell him he was hopeless or to kick him really, really hard he gets up and gets back at you.
"So maybe that was the advantage against Jack Grealish the other night.
“I also noticed he doesn’t shave his calves. Most boys shave their legs as it’s good for the masseurs but Jack’s got massive calves and he doesn’t shave them.
“So I said to him they must be so big the fact that he doesn’t shave them and they still get spoken about!”
O’Donnell is reportedly a target for English Championship clubs.