Scotland withdrawal puts Rangers’ star on major alert

Scotland withdrawal puts Rangers’ star on major alert
DUMBARTON, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 20: John Souttar of Rangers is seen prior to the Dumbarton v Rangers - Scottish Cup match at Dumbarton Football Stadium on January 20, 2024 in Dumbarton, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Rangers’ star defender John Souttar is now ‘more’ likely to play in the international break after two defensive withdrawals from Steve Clarke’s Scotland side left Scotland down to just four main defenders.

Grant Hanley and Scott McKenna both withdrew in recent days and reduced the national side’s defensive pool to just four stoppers, and with Clarke generally playing a 3 at the back, Ibrox man Souttar’s likelihood of featuring rose notably.

But there is a huge catch:

Clarke is quite cliquey too, not unlike that English counterpart of his in Gareth Southgate, so knowing his jobs for the boys mentality the three at the back, which is his preferred setup, will be Jack Hendry, Liam Cooper and Ryan Porteous, or left back Kieran Tierney who often gets deployed on the left of the 3. This would see Souttar benched, but most Rangers fans would probably be happy with that meaning he doesn’t get injured.

But that said, Souttar is literally the best CH defender Scotland has, and that was before Hanley and McKenna withdrew, with only the on-loan Copenhagen defender McKenna probably staking a claim to an argument there.

And as such Rangers star Souttar clearly should be a regular starter for his national team, but again, like the argument for Southgate, it’s hard to whine at Clarke when Scotland, frankly, are in the best place these days that they have been probably since Walter Smith’s brilliant Scotland were so cruelly denied a place in Czechia 2008.

That team hit 16th spot in the world rankings-wise, Clarke’s is still a very healthy 34 and given the quality he’s got, particularly in midfield, it’s hard to really complain at anything football-wise from the national boss.

But that said, Souttar can consider himself, like fellow Rangers man Jack Butland, distinctly aggrieved if/when he doesn’t play because his form certainly merits it.

These are only friendlies, but Souttar has earned a place for sure.

We just don’t think Clarke will see it the same way.

No posts to display