The first reaction to the international break is never positive: “How many players do we have away and what condition will we get them back in?” The team which stopped the ten had more representatives at the 1998 World Cup than any other side (a remarkable achievement), but we caught a cold from these exploits the following season.
Leigh Griffiths would no doubt be delighted to start for Scotland this week. Representing your country is one of the things footballers look back on in their later years, so for his own sake, I hope Leigh gets the call, but for Celtic’s I’d be quite happy for him to have a quiet couple of weeks.
Griffiths, Scott Brown and Nir Bitton are precious commodities to Celtic right now, we can’t afford international mishaps for any of them. There’s better cover for the others who will be on international duty, but Stefan Johansen in particular looks like could do with a break.
You’ll know Packie Bonner’s autobiography, The Last Line, launches this month. Packie has a night at Walkabout in Glasgow on 29th October, where the big man will speak about his career, and many other things, past and contemporary. Tickets are available here.