I don’t think I have ever known an international manager to admit that one of his players has blanked him and not returned phone calls, but Alex McLeish confirmed this is his status with Leigh Griffiths. Leigh was dropped for Scotland’s last internationals.
McLeigh asked the player proves himself, but Leigh has nothing to prove at this level. He is without doubt the most complete Scottish striker in the business right now. It suits Celtic fine if he is allowed to rest during international breaks, as those times apart, he is likely to plan two games a week until the middle of December.
Celtic greats have sat on the Scotland substitutes bench, while lesser players are honoured, for the best part of a century. This reached a depressing peak in 1976 when Scotland manager Willie Ormond dropped Celtic’s Kenny Dalglish to the bench for the Home International against Wales. Had Kenny played, he would have matched the Scottish record for consecutive games played, then and forever held by former Rangers player, George Young, but a Celtic player was never going to be allowed that honour.
That was the only game in his entire Scotland tenure that Ormond did not use a substitute. Dalglish was needed for the next game against England, where he scored in a Scotland win. The matter is not acknowledged at the Hampden Museum.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Great Scottish Run appeal for the Celtic FC Foundation. It was a great event and an honour to wear the Foundation badge.