Club-v-country has never been so acute as Celtic-Scotland right now


These pages have seen Gordon Strachan written off many times since those four days in August 2005 when Celtic conceded nine goals to Artmedia and Motherwell. Last night, as Scotland manager, he got the breaks. First, at the most ridiculous dive for a penalty ever perpetrated by a player on a yellow card (and I have seen Steven Naismith), then, when tired defensive limbs contrived to concede a late winner for Scotland.

If he gets a result away to Slovenia on Sunday, he will have earned whatever grudging appreciation goes his way. A generation of adults have never seen Scotland at an international tournament. They don’t know the joys of losing 3-0 to Morocco, watching a defensive wall shirk at a free kick, or celebrating as an Iranian scored an own goal to deliver a point. It’s time they learned.

Little about Scotland’s success is good news for Celtic. Should we win the league, our first qualification round will start two weeks after the tournament kicks off. Although that round is unlikely to provide a particularly stiff challenge, consider what happened to Newco when they arrived unprepared against Luxembourg semi-professionals.

Even if Scotland don’t reach the finals in Russia, a second place finish in the group for Scotland would see the players face two play-off games in the middle of our Champions League group games, and the possibility of a League Cup final.

Brendan Rodgers will wish his players every success, but he would surely not be too distressed to share hard luck stories with them when they return to training next week. The club-v-country debate has kicked around for decades, but I doubt if any club/country combo has seen it as acute as it is for Celtic and Scotland right now.

Catch up with this CQN Podcast from last month when we interviewed Celtic star from the Centenary season, full back Chris Morris. It’s a great listen…


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  1. P67,



    Even if we win on Sunday…..there’s no guarantee that a generation will see Scotland at a major finals ;-))




  2. Always defended WGS when he was our manager, for the results he achieved. But watching Scotland last night, how I thank Ghod we have Brendan. We had to win last night and against 10 men we play a safety first 11. Very odd.



    I do wish Scotland well but it looks at the moment that that has to be at the expense of Celtic. So I too hope it’s all hard luck stories from here on in.

  3. Scotland lost 3-1 to Morocco at 1998 WC in St Etienne. Lost 3-0 to Egypt in a friendly at Pittodrie.

  4. It’s not a big issue. Gordon is a goalkeeper so no real issue for him . KT is young and will take it in his stride. Forrest isn’t first choice for us anyway and Brown and Armstrong are having a rest just now. So as long as Moussa is fit and up to speed Griff can have the odd rest here and there. Overall the players will benefit from the big game experience.

  5. When I logged on and saw there were 18 posts I thought great, some lunchtime fitba blether. Logging off this place to surf elsewhere. People ask why the post counts down on here?????

  6. PCS,



    Against 10 men for most of the game….stick to 1 up front….then take off our most creative player in JF…..then 2 substitutions later….no Calmac….WGS was playing for a point….and hoping for the best….




  7. Posters are bemoaning the demands made on our international players. They also bemoan the lack of caps awarded to Celts down the decades. Maybe the SFAs bitterness and bigotry in picking inferior huns was a factor in the Lions’ successes. Tin hat on!

  8. —–



    So A Win For Scotland…



    Despite The Curmudgeonly WGS Refusing To Bring On CalMac..



    Against A Ten-Man Slovakia..



    He’s Riding His Luck.



    Still….Better Than Having A Hun As Scotland Manager





    SOUTH OF TUNIS on 6TH OCTOBER 2017 11:23 AM



    Hampden ?




    A cultural experience .-2 examples




    Eintracht Frankfurt v Real Madrid . Standing next to local chaps urging the German team to get stuck into -” These Dagoes ”




    Bayern Munich V St Etienne —————-Standing next to local chaps urging the German team to get stuck into ” These fenians”





    Spawny git. My Dad was at the 7-3 game too.






    How many CQNers were at the greatest CL final ever?





    Aye. That’s why so many Celts got a game at Wembley for a change just before Lisbon.

  11. I’m sure Jock Stein withdrew Bobby Murdoch regularly, as Bobbhy was so important to the team. Bobby carried not just weight buit an ankle injury for much of his career.



    Personally, I doubt playing so many games by so many of our squad(and not just the Scottish ones, of course) must result in overtiredness. Players need proper rest. We already play 20 odd games more than the most of the Premier League, without Internationals. That is bound to have a deleterious effect, imo.

  12. thomthethim for Oscar OK on




    If I may, I am reposting my effort from last night post match.



    I don’t blame you for missing it,as everyone else on the blog missed it also!!







    Strachan proved right with his subs, although I would have had Callum on at half time, for the reasons mentioned by others.




    I think tonight showed that Kieran needs a rest.




    If Scotland get to Russia, it will prove to be the ultimate club v country dilemma.




    Under UEFA’s ridiculous qualification rules, how would we be able to properly prepare?

  13. Tim Malone Will Tell on




    I don’t think it’s a valid conclusion – although I can understand why people might make that connection.



    In the 1960’s International fitba’ was still a novelty – Scotland playing a handful of games a year fairly spread out. We weren’t making the finals of any tournaments back then either – so nobody was getting inconvenienced too much.



    I think that Celtic 2017 find ourselves in a fairly unique and unusual time – we have plenty of ‘first picks’ for Scotland in our squad – preferred even over alternatives plying their trade in the English Premier League and Championship. It’s a worry…

  14. No-one is holding a gun to the head of any of our players to pull on a Scottish Jersey.


    They’ll all know what that commitment involves, and make an informed choice as to what they feel able to do.



    Some of my Aberdeen supporting colleagues here were accusing our Captain of picking and choosing which games he plays, but they know who our best players are, and which club they play for – and none of them play up here. Without our players, the national team wouldn’t be in a position where they still have a chance to qualify.


    As a Celtic fan, I’d like to see them all withdraw from the squad for the play-offs – if they get there – as a Scotland ( not SFA ) fan, I want the best players available in the team. Difficult position to be in, but if pushed, Celtic will always be my first choice. Always.



  15. THETIMREAPER @ 12:31 PM,



    Well said, some shrewd uncommon sense there.



    All big successful Clubs deal with this; PSG, Barca, Juve, Bayern, Chelsea etc etc all have this issue.



    Good Players Take Internationals in Their Stride. Makes them better players.



    Sure, we all need to recharge – professional Sportsmen more than most but it’s a challenge that comes from success.



    I’d rather be Celtic with European, Cup and International games for many of our first team players than Sevco… whose squad get time to Chillax…



    Success like Failure brings it’s challenges, I know which type I like to Face.



    BTW: There top teams in the Benelux Countries seem to be at a peer level to the Glasgow “Giants”. Us: Bene Dem: Lux



    Hail Hail

  16. Stealing VFR’s word of the day:



    Deleterious….a result that could be injurious to one’s Scotland managerial career ;-))




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