Steve Clarke feels Leigh Griffiths is not quite ready for Scotland action

By John McGinley

August 27, 2019

Celtic star Leigh Griffiths has not been selected for Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad, with the manager explaining his decision to journalists earlier today, STV report.

Scotland face Russia and Belgium in Euro 2020 qualifying next month and the Tartan Army boss isn’t exactly blessed with attacking options right now.

The omission of Griffiths raised a few eyebrows then, especially considering he’s had a decent start to the season. He’s scored three goals already this season despite feature primarily from the bench.

However, it’s important to remember he is only just returning to action after more than six months out of the game.

Clarke feels he just needs a little more time reintegrating back into the Celtic set-up before returning to the Scotland fold.

As quoted by STV, he said: “I just look at him just now and he’s come a long way in a short space of time after a very difficult spell in his life.

“I feel we should just give him a little more time to settle into the role again at Celtic and get himself fully fit and firing. And a fully fit and firing, sharp Leigh Griffiths will always be good for us.

“But at the moment I just feel it’s a little bit too early to push him.”

(Photo by Frank Abbeloos/Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images)

The right call?

The player could probably do with the minutes under his belt.

However, the Scotland boss and Neil Lennon are obviously much closer to the striker and are well placed to decide if he’s ready to handle the pressures of international football.

Ultimately the decision has been made with Griffiths’ best interests at heart, so it would be churlish to criticise Clarke too much.

The 29-year-old will now have a couple of weeks break to focus on breaking into the Celtic side on a more regular basis.

That could boost his chances of getting matches ahead of Vakoun Bayo, with Odsonne Edouard obviously installed as our number on striker.

In turn, that will likely lead to a greater chance of Scotland caps in the future.