Celtic attacker James Forrest left on the bench as Scotland toil to disappointing defeat

By Euan Davidson

June 22, 2021

And so, it’s the hope that kills you; Scotland were knocked out of Euro 2020 by Croatia.

All the momentum, all the hope, all the Celtic players in the squad; all put on the shelf for another year. And when Scotland were needing goals and some pace on the wings, James Forrest was nowhere to be seen.

It was a very disappointing night all round. Although Celtic star Callum McGregor set the Scotland fans alight with his 42nd minute strike, the quality in Croatia’s side showed. Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic deflated the Tartan Army’s hopes with two second half goals.

Steve Clarke’s decisions were baffling throughout. Stuart Armstrong struggled, yet no David Turnbull. Ryan Fraser was brought on instead of Forrest, and Scott McKenna’s introduction saw him booked almost immediately. It was glorious failure yet again for the Tartan Army, and even though we scored, our wait to progress beyond the group stage of a major tournament will wait for another year.

Still, when Scotland started to look leggy, particularly the largely blameless Stephen O’Donnell, it’s a mystery as to why Clarke didn’t bring Forrest on. His output for Celtic has been phenomenal, albeit 20-21 aside, having picked up a long-term injury. But he’s able to show, even in short bursts, some real attacking threat with his shooting and crossing.

It was mystifying, in truth. The occasion seemed to get to Clarke, and as the minutes wore on, it seemed inevitable the the World Cup finalists’ class would show against a plucky Scotland side. But isn’t that always the way?

James Forrest: could’ve been useful / (Photo by Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

“The disrespect”; Scotland fans can’t understand why Celtic man James Forrest saw no minutes

Scotland fans had their say on James Forrest’s absence from a game that could’ve absolutely used him.

In general, it was not a warm response:

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