Anthony Ralston must use Scotland injustice to keep Celtic spot

By David Walton

September 6, 2021

As we all know by now, Anthony Ralston was again snubbed by Scotland boss Steve Clarke for tomorrow night’s game in Austria.

After failing to make the initial squad despite a fine start to the season, a right-back spot opened up again after Nathan Patterson withdrew through injury. However, once again, Ralston was to be left unselected as Hibernian’s Paul McGinn was given the call.

McGinn has yet to be capped by Scotland just like Ralston. However, he was selected back in October 2020 for a previous camp under Clarke. The Scotland boss stated last week that he wants to see the Celtic man sustain his form for an extended period before he receives a call-up [PLZ Soccer].

However, whilst that is understandable, it doesn’t explain why Patterson was initially called up despite not playing regularly with Rangers.

More likely it could be the case that Clarke doesn’t want to bring in someone he hasn’t yet worked with for one big game. But isn’t the point of international football to keep playing the players who are in form and deserve a shot?

Ralston falls into that category, yet he’s missing out on a massive game for his country for reasons unbeknownst to the Scotland support.

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Anthony Ralston must refocus from Scotland talk to Celtic situation

It’s a bummer for Ralston. It’s likely something that’s disappointed him over the last few days, and today was another fresh slap in the face.

However, he has bigger fish to fry at Celtic between now and the October international break. Croatian international Josip Juranovic is here to take his spot, and he shone at Ibrox in his debut before putting in some fine performances for his country.

Juranovic provides serious competition for Ralston. Whilst Ange Postecoglou will tell you it isn’t about players replacing each other, try telling that to the two players vying for the right-back spot.

Ralston has done nothing to lose his place. In fact, he’s improved massively over the last several months in particular. However, Juranovic is a step up in class and it could simply be a case of natural progression. What it won’t do, however, is any favours for Ralston’s call-up hopes next month. Not when Clarke is effectively asking him to fend off the challenge of Josip.

Even so, Celtic fans haven’t been best pleased with the Scotland boss for snubbing Ralston once again. Here’s a look at how the support reacted to the news of McGinn’s call-up:

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