The Leigh Griffiths report last night proves that Scotland made a big error over the last week.
The Scottish Sun has claimed that Griffiths is ready to tell Steve Clarke that he’s prepared to get back into the international reckoning. The Scots have another double-header next month against Russia and San Marino respectively. Our man apparently wants to be there.
Griffiths was left out of the squad that lost to the Russians and Belgium at Hampden over the last seven days. Scotland boss Clarke stated that it was because he didn’t feel Griff was “ready” to return yet (The Scotsman). You could see why he would think that, but he’s still played more football than Steven Naismith this season, who coincidentally did make the squad.
But if the Celtic striker is suddenly indeed ready to tell Clarke he can come back in, it’s evident he was available to do so this time around too.
Oli McBurnie and Matt Phillips both started for Scotland in the previous two matches. They have just one international goal between them. Griffiths, meanwhile, has four to his name.
Getting Griffiths ready for the Nations League is essential
For Scottish Celtic fans, it’s a continuous frustration when Griff doesn’t make the Scotland team. He’s by far the best Scottish striker we have. Even if he isn’t starting week-in, week-out for Celtic, he still offers more than anyone else in the squad.
Thankfully, all is not lost as it stands. Scotland still have a further four games remaining in their Euro 2020 qualifying group. If Griffiths stays injury-free, he should be featuring in every single one of them. It will help him get used to the other players in the side ahead of March.
Scotland have a glorious chance to make Euro 2020 via the back-door of the Nations League. Clarke will know he has to get Griff in amongst it. He won’t win matches on his own, but he’ll add a cutting edge to our forward play.
The report from the Sun proves that he was ready to go over the last week. Even if Clarke consulted with Neil Lennon, he made it clear it was his decision to omit Griff. Therefore, it’s clear he made the wrong choice.
All eyes will now be on whether Griffiths can bag some form over the next month to build up his case for an international return. It wouldn’t be surprising if he featured at New Douglas Park given Odsonne Edouard played twice for France under-21s over the past week.
And, if he can net a goal or two there, it will be a fine answer to his omission from international duty this time around.