Is it time now for Scotland squad changes? Has the Scotland squad passed it’s own sell by date? Gary Smith gives his opinion.
If there was a prize for failure and embarrassment then Gordon Strachan and his Scotland squad would be top seeds.
Another qualifying campaign is over and another exclusion from a major finals. This is getting beyond a joke and the rest of the world are laughing at us.
While the other home nations will be buttering their croissants and packing their berets for France in EURO2016 we are left holding the fort all alone,again.
In what was a must win game against Georgia we bottled it and the manager and players must hold their hands up and admit discrepancies.
The fatal blow came in the penultimate game at home when a late Lewandowski goal, bundled with a unforeseen Republic of Ireland victory over the world champions, was enough to kill another dream.
It’s an all to familiar case of de ja vu which has an air of nausea about it yet again. It’s a case of one step forward and two steps back. It also looks likely that Strachan will stay put.
Good choice or bad? You make up your mind. Ultimately he is the best we have at the moment, and I feel the only other name you could dig up is a certain former Manchester Utd boss. Want a clue?…its not the Real Sociedad manager I’m talking about.
Maybe Sir Alex may take the role on if Gordon does decide to step back however I feel that may be wishful thinking on my part.
You can pull all the positive points out of this group you want, however at the end of the day it all boils down to one thing. We still havent qualified for a major finals since France 98.
I do believe however we have a better squad of Scottish players now than at any time for two decades. So what needs to change?
Firstly we have to sort out the management issue and Strachan needs to decide now if he is to continue with the squad as we attempt to reach Russia in 2018.
Then there is the issue of deadwood in the squad and a few players who I feel are simply too old and not good enough.
Scotland Squad Changes Required
Alan Hutton, Steven Whittaker and Steven Fletcher are three names who spring to mind.
Hutton is a player I always admired a few years ago when he was playing for Rangers and Tottenham. Injuries have blighted his career somewhat and he has spent the past few seasons in unsuccesful loan deals at various clubs and not being able to nail down a place at Aston Villa.
Like Hutton, another player who will be mid thirties is Steven Whittaker and unlike his defensive partner I feel simply that Whittaker isn’t strong enough to be in the Scotland squad at the moment and will be too old come the qualifying campaign for the World Cup.
He bottles out of too many tackles and in my opinion his passing is slack. We cannot go down the road Craig Brown travelled in playing the Colin Hendry’s and Tom Boyd’s of the world. Surely there are better young Scottish defenders who can be given a chance such as young Andy Robertson who is well touted down south.
As for up front, why Leigh Griffifths has constantly been on the edge of the first team squad yet never given the nod ahead of Sunderland Strkker Steven Fletcher is beyond me.
During this campaign everyone seems to have been raving about Fletcher and for what? Two hat tricks against Gibraltar. Lets be honest your granny could have scored a hattrick against the minnows of european football.
Other than his goal against Poland I cannot see why Strachan has stuck with him and hopefully come next year we will be seeing a more promising mode of attack in the form of Jordan Rhodes or Leigh Griffifths.
The next qualifying campaign is going to be much tougher than this group was so we need to get up off our backsides and get to work in eradicating these errors which have cost us dearly since the late 90s.
The loyal band of Tartan Army foot soldiers would march to the ends of the world for this nation, so its time the team did the same and gave the fans some much relieved joy. Please, before we are talking about euro 2020.
By Gary Smith @Gstar21986
Some controversial assertions there by Gary Smith. Do you agree with his comments about the Scotlabd Squad changes being required? Feel free to comment at the end of the post.