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Scotland’s Midfield Need To Start Stepping Up And Bossing Games

Date: 31st October 2019

Scotland have issues with parts of their squad. Haven’t we always? 

We’ve struggled in defence for a long time now, we could really do with a couple of strong and capable centre-halves. 

The Tartan Army could also do with having an established number nine, a real focal point to the team’s attack. We have potential there but it still needs to be realised. 

In central midfield, Scotland have actually got some very talented players who are in form. 

We’ve got John McGinn, Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie, Scott McTominay, John Fleck, Kenny McLean and Ryan Jack. These are all players that are doing well in the Scottish and English top flights. 

Then you’ve got Barry Bannan and Tom Cairney consistently performing well in the English Championship. Graeme Shinnie is starting to find his feet at Derby County. Plus Stuart Armstrong is still there to be called up too. Then there’s the hugely talented Billy Gilmour, an eighteen year old who is starting to get a few first team appearances at Chelsea. 

Yet Scotland boss Steve Clarke is still trying to get the most from this talented bunch. 

John McGinn is a driving force in the Aston Villa team but he hasn’t hit the same heights in a Scotland jersey. McTominay has probably been Manchester United’s best player this term, yet he can’t offer that same consistency for Scotland. Callum McGregor is a superb player for Celtic and he can do a sterling job in various departments in his club’s midfield but he still can’t dictate things for Clarke’s men. 

In our Euros group our midfielders should be dictating things against every other team save Belgium and maybe Russia in Moscow. Any other game and we should have been winning the midfield battle, and that hasn’t really happened. 

We’ve got to fix that. 

Maybe it’s a case of taking a few players out the starting line-up and giving them a kick up the backside to perform better.

John Fleck seemed to relish his defensive duties in our loss to Russia. As others crumbled, Fleck was still trying to get around the park and do his thing. So maybe he should stay in. 

Then you’ve got Ryan Jack who has been a top performer for Rangers this season, both in the Scottish Premiership and in the Europa League. He’s another one that could offer us more defensive discipline in the engine room. 

Ryan Christie has had a great year with Celtic and he’s added goals to his game. He could be the player that gives us someone that can finally link up with a striker and give them support in the final third. 

Scotland face Cyprus and Kazakstan in November. We know that we can’t qualify from our Euro qualifying group but we still can via the Nations League play-offs. The games against Cyprus and Kazakstan are ideal ties to help us prepare for those all important play-off fixtures. 

Steve Clarke needs to either get more from those that he’s started with in the past or he needs to find another midfield trio that suits his game plan. We do have the players there, we just need to find the best blend to get the best results! 

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