Steve Clarke finally gives Celtic duo opportunities after frustrating summer

By John McGinley

June 14, 2022

Celtic duo Greg Taylor and David Turnbull finally managed to get minutes for Scotland tonight after a frustrating summer on the sidelines.

Both players had been absent from Scotland’s previous three games against Ukraine, Armenia and Republic of Ireland, with Steve Clarke either leaving them on the bench or not even naming them in match squads.

However, Taylor managed to start tonight in the second Nations League fixture against Armenia, away from home, winning his seventh cap. Turnbull meanwhile came off the bench in the 64th minute to pick up his fifth cap.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Anthony Ralston also featured, this time coming off the bench in the second half after his previous two starts this month.

Celtic captain Callum McGregor continued his consistent run in the team, starting his fourth match of the international window and again playing all 90 minutes. He is closing in on the 50 cap milestone for his country, having now earned 45.

It was a must-win encounter for the Scottish side after Saturday’s horror show in Dublin and despite finding themselves with a goal deficit early, Clarke’s men rallied to pick up a 4-1 win.

Armenia did go down to ten men in the first half but it was still a morale-boosting performance with goals coming from Stuart Armstrong, Che Adams and John McGinn.

Former Celtic midfielder Armstrong was the specific spark that got Scotland back into the game, scoring to make it 1-1 and 2-1.

It’s difficult for both Taylor and Turnbull to get regular minutes under Clarke. There are valid reasons for that.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Taylor is behind the likes of Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney, while Turnbull is competing with McGregor, McGinn, Armstrong and Billy Gilmour.

However, it would have been nice to see the Scotland manager utilise the extent of his squad more over the four matches, rather than so late on away to Armenia.

Both players will be hoping to kick on with Celtic domestically and in Europe next season. Champions League performances could be the key to earning more trust from Clarke.

In other news, Premier Sports announce live broadcasts of 3 summer Celtic matches.