Levein calls up a Third Division midfielder for Scotland’s friendly against Oz


Craig Levein’s tenure as Scotland manager has been hit with embarrassing decisions – primarily the 4-6-0 tactic against the Czech Republic – failure to reach another major championship not to mention excluding arguably Scotland’s best striker at this moment in time, Steven Fletcher – who has recently been linked with a £12 million move to Sunderland.

The Scottish FA announced today that James Forrest, Jamie Mackie, Phil Bardsley and Graham Dorrans have all pulled out of Wednesday’s friendly with Australia at Easter Road. Because of that, the Scotland manager has called up Rangers’ Ian Black and Leeds United striker Ross McCormack – another player who had been frozen out by Levein since the Carling Nations Cup – for unknown reasons. A striker who had a better scoring record in the Championship than Kenny Miller and Craig Mackail Smith.

Now if Ian Black was ruled good enough to take his place in the Scotland squad why not team-mate Lee Wallace? Certainly one of Scotland’s best full backs excluded from this friendly – in favour of Southampton’s Danny Fox? Why? Levein’s credibility as Scotland manager is surely taking a battering even more so now.

On the 6th August, Levein said of Wallace’s exclusion: “Lee Wallace is a good example and I wouldn’t close the door on him at all. The best scenario is for players to be playing at the top-level to play international football. It makes it so much easier to step from one to the other.”

“It is very difficult for anyone playing in the Third Division in Scotland to be up to the speed of an international match. No way am I closing the door at all I just think it is more difficult for Lee to get in now than it was previously.”

So again why has Black been called up then and Wallace not? Two players from a Third Division side which has failed to light the heather in a league and early round of competitions that they are supposed to be romping away with.

If Scotland are to have any hope in hell of qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil 2014, then our best players MUST be playing for the country whatever level they are at and personal feelings or grudges should be put on the backburner for the greater good of the nation’s qualification.

I have never been a Craig Levein ‘as Scotland manager’ fan and since he took over in December 2009, he has done nothing to show me that I have been wrong in that opinion. Will he prove me wrong in the World Cup qualifiers? I hope so, but I doubt he will.


About Author


Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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