The dust may have settled and defeats to Slovakia and Israel may have given us all a reality check, but nothing can change the fact that Scotland are going to the Euros.

Yes, Scotland are going to the Euros.

Plenty has changed since we last took a look at the squad. A couple have re-emerged from the cold, perhaps with one eye on the summer’s championship, while others have gone off the boil to such an extent that even playing a part in getting Scotland to where they are now is not enough to save their skin.

Here is December’s edition of Scotland’s Euro 2020 squad rankings.

Once a Premier League player with Swansea, Kingsley was drafted in by Hull to replace Andy Robertson of all people, but a succession of serious injuries hamstrung his spell in Yorkshire.

He’s steadily rebuilding his career with Hearts in the Scottish Championship, however, and scored one and assisted another against Celtic in the Scottish Cup final.

With one Scotland cap to his name so far, he’ll fancy another couple in 2021.

McLaughlin got a European run-out against Lech Poznan | ADAM JASTRZEBOWSKI/Getty Images

Third-choice keeper. Done little to hurt his prospects since the last list but movement elsewhere nudges him down a spot or three.

Ryan Porteous
Porteous has been in the squad before but is yet to be capped | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Were the squad to be picked tomorrow, defensive injuries would have Steve Clarke scratching his head. Scott McKenna and Liam Cooper are unavailable. but luckily enough there are a few gems bubbling just above the surface in Scotland.

21-year-old Porteous looks long overdue for a cap and has played every minute for a strong Hibs team this season.

Callum Paterson
Paterson’s versatility keeps him in the frame | George Wood/Getty Images

I guess there should be another striker capable of holding the ball up in the event of a Lyndon Dykes injury. Paterson once again finds himself typecast in that role.

His ludicrous versatility is an added bonus though he will likely have to start scoring goals again if he still wants to be in contention come the summer.

Lewis Ferguson
Ferguson nets from the spot against Celtic | Scott Baxter/Getty Images

More impressive SPFL youngsters you say? Go on, why not?

With Ryan Jack still recovering from a hamstring issue, it’s Aberdeen starlet Ferguson’s time to shine. He rarely grabs the headlines for the Dons but is one of Scottish football’s most consistent, all-round performers, and will be a staple of the team in the years ahead.

Billy Gilmour may feel hard done by but it’s just a little too soon after his return to the Chelsea fold. Ask again in a month.

Andrew Considine
Scotland’s unlikely hero continues his rise to the top of European football | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Scottish football’s resident boogier strengthens his place, partially due to injuries elsewhere, partially due to never missing a beat for Aberdeen, and partially due to just being Andy Considine.

Liam Palmer
Palmer is a safe pair of hands | Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Another who makes the grade purely on the merit of being the best available backup to a specialist position. Well, that and never really putting a foot wrong for Scotland.

Serbia v Scotland - UEFA EURO 2020 Play-Off Finals
Griffiths netted a penalty against Serbia | Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

We were on the fence about including Griffiths at all last time out but his form in recent weeks makes him an absolute stick-on.

He may be Scotland’s best natural goalscorer and has netted three times in his last three appearances for Celtic. His cool head in the big moments, and legendary ability to score free kicks, could be invaluable in the summer.

David Turnbull
Turnbull gets a nice hug from his Celtic team-mate | Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

It’s been a slow start to life at Celtic for Motherwell alumnus Turnbull, so much so that he was nowhere near contention a month ago.

He’s been central to the champions’ recent revival, though, and can provide genuine, line-breaking creativity from deep – something the Scotland squad lacks otherwise.

Kevin Nisbet
Nisbet hit the back of the net against Celtic | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

You wonder what this guy needs to do to win a Scotland cap. He’s been the most consistent goalscorer in the Scottish Premiership (other than the freak of nature that is James Tavernier) and cannot keep being overlooked for long.

He is yet to go three games without scoring this season and looks like the signing of the season for Hibs.

Craig Gordon
He may be 37 but Gordon has a first major finals in him | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Steady, reliable backup keeper who somehow keeps getting more handsome.

A season of regular football with Hearts should keep him sharp for the summer.

Kenny McLean, Jayden Onen
McLean in action for Championship leaders Norwich | Warren Little/Getty Images

McLean is by no means an automatic starter for Scotland but scored winning penalties against both Israel and Serbia; unless his form tails off dramatically (it hasn’t) then he deserves to travel just for that.

Harrison Reed, Stuart Armstrong
Armstrong races away from Harrison Reed | Clive Rose/Getty Images

It says a lot about how far Scotland have come that Armstrong has quietly become one of the most important players to a side pushing for Europe in the Premier League yet still has his work cut out for him to start for his country.

Still, he’s playing too consistently and at too high a level to even consider leaving out.

Steve Clarke, Stephen O'Donnell
O’Donnell is a favourite of Clarke’s | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

He may be technically limited in comparison to his mates on the opposite side of the pitch but you know you’ll get a shift out of O’Donnell every time he enters the fray.

His rise to international prominence has been one of the most charming stories about the current Scotland group and, injuries aside, he has already earned his place in the squad.

Callum McGregor, Ciaran McKenna
McGregor is still a fixture of the Celtic team | Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

McGregor is normally one of the first names on the Scotland team sheet, but with Celtic’s title challenge falling to pieces since the last time we did this, his standing has taken a hit.

His performances for Scotland do tend to underwhelm but he never misses a game, ever, no matter the circumstances. Let’s face it, he’ll be on the plane.

Just like McGregor, Christie’s standing has dipped alongside Celtic’s, but his unique skillset keeps him comfortably safe.

He scored the goal that set Scotland up for the win against Serbia and reminded us all what he can do with a screamer in last weekend’s Scottish Cup final.

Declan Gallagher, Kemar Roofe
Gallagher goes up against Kemar Roofe | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The rock at the heart of the back three, the only time the Motherwell captain has missed a game this season is when he’s been away with Scotland. Even if his team have collapsed in on themselves, he remains central to everything his country do – especially while Liam Cooper and Scott McKenna are out injured.

Scott McTominay
There’s nothing this man can’t do | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

McTominay can do everything. When he’s not strolling it in Clarke’s back three, he’s charging out of midfield to score for Manchester United, and he’s far, far too good to even consider leaving at home.

John McGinn
McGinn doing McGinn things | Pool/Getty Images

This season, Aston Villa have gone from ‘really good’ to ‘not that good’ to ‘actually, wait, they’re really good again.’ And the one constant through it all has been John McGinn.

He’s Scotland’s most gifted midfielder, he can hold onto the ball like it’s no-one’s business, and he’s third in line to the captaincy. What’s not to love?

Dusan Tadic, Kieran Tierney
Tierney impressed at wing-back against Israel | Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

The left-back so good that Clarke had to build his entire system around somehow fitting him and Andy Robertson into the same team.

Tierney has been one of a handful of bright sparks in a dismal season for Arsenal and is a fixture on the left of the back three, while also capable of filling in for Robertson if the captain misses out.

David Marshall
Marshall doesn’t have as much fun playing for Derby as he does for Scotland | Jacques Feeney/Getty Images

Some players have been criticised for prioritising club over country in recent months, but for Marshall, it’s the exact opposite. He must be absolutely choking to get away on international duty.

He’s a national hero and only injury can threaten his chances of starting when the championships come around.

Serbia v Scotland - UEFA EURO 2020 Play-Off Finals
Jusrt Dykes taking a boot to the head | Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

The most wonderfully unique player available to Clarke, the fitness of QPR’s Dykes is absolutely central to any aspirations Scotland hold of getting out of a tricky group.

His work rate and hold-up play far exceed his modest strike rate, and the prospect of seeing him line up against Harry Maguire has Scotland fans salivating.

Andy RobertsonPedro Neto
Robertson has been one of Liverpool’s best players this season | Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Well, yeah. He’s the captain, and the best player by an absolute mile. If he’s off top spot in any of these rankings between now and June then something has gone very dramatically wrong.


Source link

Comments are closed.