We congratulate our Nathan Patterson on his first Scotland cap last night, but it didn’t half feel like a kick in the teeth from Steve Clarke who pointlessly brought on his best RB as an almost token gesture with no real conviction behind it.
Patterson, proud to get his first cap, was brought on at 83 minutes for Stephen O’Donnell, and produced a far better performance in 7 minutes than his predecessor had in the rest of the match.
Patterson, in those barely 10 minutes, equalled SoD’s tackle total, and managed an 87% passing level, compared with the mediocre 76% from SoD.
And then there’s David Turnbull – very much Celtic’s most impressive creative midfielder last season, the young Scot was completely ignored for this tournament, the dinosaur of a boss much preferring the absolute rubbish that was Stuart Armstrong for this one, who was so poor he got hooked off on 69 minutes.
No, Scotland could have used some playmaking of an enthusiastic nature, and while we don’t claim Turnbull is of the class of Gilmour, he’s energetic and composed, and would have been a hell of lot more engaging than Armstrong.
And he and Patterson, and frankly Gilmours’ exile from this tournament sums up everything wrong with Dinosaur Clarke.
He has a jobs for the boys mentality, where he sticks with his favourites, regardless of their appropriateness, and spent so much time praising SoD post-England and not Gilmour that it’s evident his loyalty is with his own pals, and not the best players he has.
He is not in the best interests of Scotland, and never has been.
And forget the hates Rangers thing, as true as that is. As we say, Turnbull never got a look in either, and only one Celtic player was even involved last night.
Clarke seems to have an obsession with his own mates, those he’s managed, and not doing the right stuff for the team.
Scotland played this tournament like Killie – blunt football with no precision or intelligence, bar that midfield display from Gilmour.
Aside that? Turgid – troglodyte would sum Clarke up, and while there actually is a promising young core of a few decent Scottish players, under this manager they’ll never bloom.
Because he prefers his mates not his nation.