Tam McManus would have selected Celtic's Leigh Griffiths for Scotland squad

By John Reid

October 9, 2020

Football pundit Tam McManus has disclosed on Twitter that he would have selected Celtic’s Leigh Griffiths for the Scotland squad for the Euro 2020 play-off against Israel despite his lack of playing time.

Griffiths has only just returned to the Hoops side after being out since March. He marked his comeback with a goal, scoring in the 2-0 win over St Johnstone last Sunday.

Even though he has played only 14 minutes of football in six months, McManus would have given Griffiths a chance for the national after watching Scotland struggle to break down Israel.

“The match winner”

“I would have called him up. Even give him 10 to minutes he could have been the match winner. Natural goal scorer we (are) crying out for” McManus said on Twitter.

Happily for Scotland, despite failing to create many chances against Israel, Steve Clarke’s side managed to get through to next month’s Euro 2020 play-off final with Serbia after beating Israel 5-3 on penalties.

Leigh Griffiths celebrates scoring for Scotland vs England (PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

You can see where McManus is coming from regarding Griffiths. He has that predatory strikers instinct that the current Scotland side is lacking. Indeed, Griffiths showed that against St Johnstone with his movement for his goal.

Too much of a gamble to feature player

However, it would have been far too much of a gamble to play Griffiths against Israel. He needs more football. Neil Lennon would not have wanted the player to be given a call-up. The situation might change for the Serbia game though.

Celtic and Scotland striker Leigh Griffiths (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Griffiths will be desperate to play in that game, which is arguably the biggest that Scotland have had in more than a decade.

If he is on form he could fire Scotland to Euro 2020. For that to happen though, Griffiths will have to be playing for Celtic. Therefore, he will be desperate to be in Neil Lennon’s side to ensure that he is in the Scotland squad.

That could be a good thing for Celtic, as Griffiths will want to play well enough to get in the national team squad. Only time will tell, but it could be a very memorable season for Griffiths for both Celtic and Scotland.

In other news, Nir Bitton’s recovery from injury must give him a chance of playing in the Glasgow derby.