FORMER Celtic and Scotland winger Davie Provan insists Steve Clarke’s omission of Leigh Griffiths from his Euro 2020 squad “made no sense”.

The ex-Hoops star also admitted he does NOT rate Kilmarnock defender Stephen O’Donnell, linked with the Hoops this summer, or Oli McBurnie, who cost Sheffield United £20million from Swansea in July, as international material.

The full-back endured a torrid time against Russia and was unfortunate enough to divert a right-wing cross behind David Marshall for the visitors’ winning goal in the 2-1 triumph at Hampden on Friday night.

McBurnie spent the 90 minutes chasing hopeful long balls while rarely threatening the opposition.

OH, NO! O’DONNELL OWN GOAL…Scotland defender Stephen O’Donnell knocks Russia’s winner past David Marshall.

Provan, 63, who made 10 appearances for his country – most famously the 1-0 win over England at Wembley in 1981 – made the scathing comments in his column in the Sun on Sunday, saying: “The omission of Griffiths made no sense.

“Steve Clarke said he was giving Griff time to get back up to speed — but he picked Steven Naismith, who has played less football this season than the Celtic striker.

“And when Scotland got that late free-kick on the edge of the box against Russia, was there anyone who wouldn’t have wanted Griffiths over the ball?”

Provan turned his attention to the Killie player and said: “Stephen O’Donnell is ill-equipped at this level.

“In an era where full-backs have so much influence on the game, the defender’s use of the ball isn’t good enough.

“Phil Bardsley might be 34 and playing irregularly for Burnley, but Clarke should be trying to talk him into a comeback until we find a long-term solution.”

HEAD BOWED…Oli McBurnie comes off Hampden after the loss.

The media pundit looked at the frontline and said: “Friday was just another re-run of the same movie with a different cast.

“Where it was once Kenny Miller, Steven Fletcher and Leigh Griffiths on mission impossible, it’s now Oli McBurnie.

“Argue all you like about his worth — and I’m among those who think he’s well short at international level — but the Sheffield United striker was wasting his time against Russia.”

Provan added: “There’s no chance of Scotland making it out of Group I.

“I just can’t see the improvement in Scotland so many of us expected.”

The Scots take on Belgium at Hampden tomorrow night as they desperately attempt to prevent three consecutive defeats in the section.

OLD FIRM loan kids Jack Aitchison and Jake Hastie made striking debuts for Forest Green Rovers and Rotherham yesterday.

Celtic’s 19-year-old frontman Aitchison netted the only goal 10 minutes after coming on as a substitute in the English League Two encounter against Cambridge United.

The youngster, who has also had stints with Alloa and Dumbarton, agreed a season-long deal with the club just before last Monday’s transfer deadline.

Ibrox winger Jake Hastie, who joined the club from Motherwell as a free agent in the summer, got his campaign at Rotherham off to a flying start with a free-kick strike against Doncaster Rovers in the South Yorkshire derby.

Unfortunately, for the flanker the home side fought back to take the points in a 2-1 victory.

OOPS! HOOPS SWOOP…keeper Joel Pereira  is beaten by a deflection by team-mate Christophe Berra for Celtic’s first goal in Hearts’ 3-1 loss.

JOEL PEREIRA, Hearts’ on-loan keeper from Manchester United, is struggling to face Motherwell at Tynecastle at Tynecastle.

The Swiss-born Portuguese Under-21 international shotstopper has been suffering from a torn thigh muscle after playing the full 90 minutes in the 3-1 loss to Celtic at Parkhead.

Pereira has returned to the Old Trafford outfit for treatment and scans have cast doubt if he will be fit for the visit of the Fir Parkers.

Veteran Colin Doyle, who played in the 2-2 draw with Hamilton Accies last week, is on stand-by.

* SCOTZINE has had a new look as the magazine is determined to deliver the up-to-date news, comments, opinions and features Scottish football fans deserve. That’s our promise. Thank you for your support.



About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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