It’s been the story everyone’s talking about, but Leigh Griffiths’ Scotland situation has a familiar feel to it.
Celtic’s predator of a striker has been in the news for dropping out of Alex McLeish’s Scotland squad. Big matches are coming up in the next week against Israel and Portugal. A victory against the former will keep Scotland on track for qualification to Euro 2020.
It’s a huge game and perhaps bigger than people realise, so Griffiths’ drop-out is a big surprise to everyone.
The Hoops striker has stated that he’s looking to concentrate on building up his fitness. Meanwhile, McLeish has said that there are no guarantees he’ll get back in. There should be considering he’s Scotland’s best striker, but that’s another story.
It’s difficult not to compare both the Griffiths situation with Steven Fletcher’s back in 2012 under Craig Levein. The then Scotland number one striker refused to play for his country after consistently being overlooked by Levein. The likes of Jamie Mackie were being called up ahead of the in-form former Hibs striker, and Fletcher had had enough.
The kiss and make-up period
That’s not to say, however, that the situation didn’t improve between the pair. Levein’s struggles led to him desperately calling Fletcher back up and getting him involved. In the end, however, it helped little as he got the sack in November 2012.
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This situation between Griffiths and McLeish has a similar feel to it. The in-form Celtic striker was disappointed at playing second-fiddle to Steven Naismith. Subsequently, McLeish claimed that Scotland didn’t have a number one striker at this moment in time. For Griffiths, that must’ve been a kick in the teeth.
Despite the fact the Hoops forward has done wonders for his country, he’s consistently having to prove himself. Therefore, it appears the former Hibs man has had enough of it for the time being.
Many will claim that players just can’t pick and choose when to play for their country, and they would be right. But everyone can understand why Griffiths is fed up of having to answer critics only to be ignored. He’s produced for Celtic and Scotland in recent months, but still gets questioned.
As it stands, Griffiths seems to have had enough, just like Fletcher did back in 2012.