Former Scotland manager Craig Brown has bemoaned the lack of leaders in Scotland’s national team, and denied any suggestions that Celtic vice-captain Callum McGregor is one.

McGregor has 19 caps for Scotland and has been a regular at the heart of the midfield (Scottish FA). However, Andy Robertson has been the captain in recent years with the Scots failing time after time to deliver on the big stage.

However, with Celtic, it couldn’t be more different. McGregor is the club’s vice-captain and always takes the armband when Scott Brown is out for whatever reason. He’s had several experiences in the past when he’s been our on-field leader, and it hasn’t led to a dip in performance-levels either.


Callum McGregor takes his penalty against St Mirren

Callum McGregor takes his penalty against St Mirren (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Yet, speaking in the Scottish Sun, famous Scotland icon Brown said that McGregor was no Barry Ferguson in a bizarre claim.

“No, I don’t think there are leaders (in the Scotland squad). Callum is a super player in midfield, but he’s not a leader.

“He’s not a Barry Ferguson, who was 20 or 21 when we beat England at Wembley. He was the best player on the park that day. He ran the game as a young guy and he was a leader.

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“I know Ryan (Christie) well because he was at Aberdeen. They’re very good players, but not leaders in that way. I wouldn’t fault them because they have Scott Brown there at Celtic and he’s their leader, the dominant guy. They’re well led by Brown.”

McGregor has the traits and experience to captain Scotland

It’s difficult to know what Brown thinks a leader should have in his arsenal.

McGregor is always helping to direct things on the pitch which you can generally see with some of his pointing and advice given to other team-mates. He also has over five years of constant first-team experience at Celtic under his belt.

If Brown is looking for someone to grab a team-mate by the throat or start kicking lumps out of the opposition, then no that’s not McGregor’s game. But it’s baseless to say that he isn’t a leader.

McGregor in action for Scotland

McGregor in action for Scotland (Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)

If he lacked leadership traits then you can bet he wouldn’t be anywhere near Celtic’s vice-captaincy role. The fact that Neil Lennon and co trust him to wear the armband is a strong sign that he can indeed direct others on the pitch if need be.

Comparing him to Ferguson is totally unfair. Ferguson was a much more aggressive player and liked a challenge more than McGregor. It’s a lot easier to look at that aggression and pretend as though it’s a key trait for a captain.

McGregor can lead just fine, as he’s shown during his time at Parkhead. It’s unlikely he’ll be given that same chance by Scotland anytime soon, but it’s baseless to say he can’t be a captain.

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