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  • Writer's pictureGordon Sheach

The Squad

Back in November, in the wee hours after the echo of the Belgrade Boogie had faded, I was compelled to write about our squad and what they had just achieved. I wrote about why I loved every one of them.

Tonight, I feel the same. What a likable group of players that are about to carry out hopes and dreams into a Major Finals.

Steve Clarke has managed to select a squad of 26 equally built for the summer and the future.

Ladies and gentlemen, Scotland’s Euro 2020 Squad.

Steve Clarke (57) – The Manager

First, the man in charge.

Berti Vogts couldn’t. Walter Smith couldn’t. Alex McLeish couldn’t. George Burley couldn’t. Craig Levein couldn’t. Gordon Strachan couldn’t. Alex McLeish couldn’t again.

Steve Clarke did. Legend forever.

David Marshall (36) Derby County – 43 Caps

Eran Zahavi, Aleksandar Mitrović… Harry Kane? Who will be next to fall at the altar of Marshall’s penalty spot?

Craig Gordon (38) Hearts – 56 Caps

The great survivor of this Scotland side. Made his Scotland debut when Nathan Patterson was two years old.

Jon McLaughlin (33) Rangers – 2 Caps

McLaughlin has been a regular in Clarke’s squads and, for continuity and existing relationships, has earned his place.

Andy Robertson (27) Liverpool – 43 Caps

Andy’s played almost every minute for Liverpool this season. He’s made excellence look normal.

Greg Taylor (23) Celtic – 4 Caps

Two assists in four caps, He’s had a lowkey productive Scotland career so far.

Kieran Tierney (23) Arsenal – 19 Caps

Left back. Right back. Centre back. Kieran hasn’t found a position he can’t excel in yet. Got a hat trick of assists in March from LCB.

Liam Cooper (29) Leeds United – 5 Caps

Marcelo Bielsa loves him, making him captain of Leeds United. That’s enough for me.

Grant Hanley (29) Norwich City – 32 Caps

The comeback king. Almost four years between competitive caps, strolls back like it’s nothing – scoring a great header against Austria. He arrives at the Euros with the EFL Championship trophy in his back pocket. Norwich captain, another leader.

Declan Gallagher (30) Motherwell – 7 Caps

Rumour has it he’s still got Aleksandar Mitrović tucked in his back pocket.

Jack Hendry (26) Oostende – 5 Caps

Another comeback story. Didn’t work out at Celtic. Injured in Australia, now bossing Belgium. The Space Cadet flies even higher.

Scott McKenna (24) Nottingham Forest – 19 Caps

Another leader at the back. Built like he’s hewn from granite. I’d like to see Harry Kane challenge for a header with him.

Stephen O’Donnell (29) Motherwell – 18 Caps

What a journey he’s had for Scotland. Cried tears of pride in Peru after his debut, he’s arguably grown in confidence and stature with every subsequent appearance. Has more than earned the starting jersey at Euro 2020.

Nathan Patterson (19) Rangers – 0 Caps

A vision of the future. A really exciting prospect, a performance school graduate. What a future this young man has ahead of him.

John McGinn (26) Aston Villa – 32 Caps

He’s hit ten goals for Scotland in the last year and a half. He’s one away from Joe Jordan. He’s the first name on the team-sheet. He’s a fan on the pitch. It’s time for Europe to get Meatball Mania.

Callum McGregor (27) Celtic – 29 Caps

Played his finest game in a Scotland shirt in Belgrade. A big game player, we’ve got three massive ones coming up.

Stuart Armstrong (29) Southampton – 24 Caps

He’s been growing in influence for Southampton, linking up well with a certain striker…

Scott McTominay (24) Manchester United – 22 Caps

What a player. Whether in defence, midfield or running a 5k, this young man gives everything. It is my ambition to get the Lion King inspired chant going this summer.

John Fleck (29) Sheffield United – 5 Caps

For every door that closes, another opens. Ryan Jack’s injury likely opened the door for Fleck’s inclusion. He’s had a tough season, let’s end it on a high.

Billy Gilmour (19) Chelsea – 0 Caps

He’s shown he can do it for Chelsea. If he’s good enough, he’s old enough. I can’t wait to see him play for Scotland.

David Turnbull (21) Celtic – 0 Caps

Six months ago he was riding the bench for Celtic with little to no chance of inclusion. Today, he’s been Celtic’s bright spot this season, a PFA Young Player of the Year and deservedly sits in Steve Clarke’s squad.

James Forrest (29) Celtic – 35 Caps

Mr ‘Money in the Bank’ – despite his injury worries this season, Forrest offers width in the squad and brings so much experience for Celtic and Scotland.

Ryan Christie (26) Celtic – 18 Caps

Scored in Belgrade. Blubbed after. Deserves his place on those alone.

Ryan Fraser (27) Newcastle United – 16 Caps

He’s managed to time his spells of fitness with international windows this season. Speaks so highly of the manager, he’d run through brick walls to get in the squad.

Lyndon Dykes (25) QPR – 10 Caps

Didn’t score in March but with his link-up play and driving runs was able to punch holes in defences for team-mates to take advantage of. Our Giroud? Not for me to say (but yes).

Kevin Nisbet (24) Hibernian – 1 Cap

He’s played in all four leagues in Scotland and hasn’t found one he can’t score in yet. Next stop international football. Don’t bet against him.

Ché Adams (24) Southampton – 3 Caps

Showed in March that he has all the technical ability, work-rate and desire to be an absolute star for Scotland.

For many of us, we’re entering uncharted territory.

I couldn’t be more excited.

Eyes on The Tartan Scarf as we get closer to Euro 2020.


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