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Ryan Christie Shows The Benefits Of Scottish Call-offs

Date: 18th November 2018

             Copyright – Scottish FA

Scottish football loves a good conspiracy theory. When nine players drop out of a Scotland squad, then there must be more to it and we are once again in the doldrums. 

Obviously it’s not ideal to have so many call offs but it can work in our favour and we proved that last night as the team beat Albania 4-0 in Shkodër

I think Scotland often perform when the pressure is off of us or when we’ve been written off.It can also force managers to play a certain way and with certain players. 

Instead of questioning why someone has dropped out, we need to embrace the talent that turns up. 

Callum McGregor moved into a deeper position and he shone as the holding midfielder, David Bates had an impressive debut at the back and exciting duo Ryan Fraser and James Forrest were able to express themselves on the wings. 

Yet for me, Ryan Christie showed us why it’s about taking your chances when they come along in international level. 

Had manager Alex McLeish had a full squad to choose from then maybe someone like John McGinn could have started ahead of Christie. That wasn’t the case and Christie managed to bring his Celtic form onto the international stage. 

In the last few months, Ryan has broken into Brendan Rodgers’ side and he’s been fantastic. We all knew that he was a good player after his loan spells at Aberdeen but question marks still surrounded him regarding his performances at a higher level. 

Those question marks have disappeared as he’s scored and created plenty of assists, helping the Scottish Premiership regain their top form. He was also excellent for The Hoops as they beat RB Leipzig in the Europa League

In that European encounter, Christie showed that he could flourish in midfield and that he could win tackles in the engine room. No player on the park made more tackles than Christie’s ten and he won all of those challenges too!

He works brilliant alongside, Callum McGregor and we saw that again last night. 

Against Albania, Ryan created two assists and made more key passes (4) that anyone else. He also won 67% of his aerial duels and made three successful tackles out of four.He was a real midfield dynamo that helped Scotland, many a time, when we needed to get the ball and keep it. The Celtic middle-man made fifty-one passes and was successful 92% of the time.

The Inverness native is also an extremely intelligent runner, he picks the right time to burst forward and he always seems to find enough space to become an attractive outlet. 

It might have only been Ryan’s fourth cap but the twenty-three year old looked composed and a natural in a Scotland jersey.  

Ryan Christie is a patriotic Scot and you know he just gets it:

“For any big Scotland games my family would make a party of it and we had loads of folk round at the house to watch,”

“There is a big Scotland following from the north and I could see that for real when I was called up because of the number of calls and messages I received.”

It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster supporting Scotland recently. I don’t buy the conspiracy theories. I also don’t think we should concentrate on the negative, we should look on the bright side. 

Here’s hoping we can get a few more committed performers like Ryan Christie in our pool and finally reach a major tournament again. 

By Scott Johnston (

Posted in: Latest News