Today, on the morning of a massive game, Alex McLeish is deliberately trying to unsettle one of our players.
Hard as that is to believe it’s also true. What other reason could he have for choosing this moment to tell Leigh Griffiths, through the media, that he won’t be selected for Scotland unless he is playing regularly for Celtic? It is a shameful intervention.
“Leigh is better when he plays,” he said. “He needs to be playing, keeping sharp and scoring goals. We want him to play to the same level every week. There is no way I can tell managers what to do and how to run their teams,” he said, before intimating that he intends to do just that. “I will see Brendan at the end of this week to have a chat.”
A chat about what exactly?
I might be crazy, but it does sound an awful lot like he intends to tell our manager who he should select.
His public comments are a disgrace. The SFA should be taking him to task for them.
The threat is also an empty one. Griffiths is far and away the best striker Scotland has, fit or half fit, playing every week or sitting on the bench. McLeish was not a universally popular choice for the job, so he cannot afford to alienate fans by leaving an international stalwart like Leigh out of the squad. Griffiths will be available for selection and since McLeish needs our players more than our players need him the decision will be forced on him.
He knows that. Everyone knows that. So can this be anything other than what it looks like; the national coach pressuring one of our players and trying to stir trouble in the Celtic dressing room?
The intent is to make Griffiths believe his international future is at stake here, and to have him banging on the manager’s door for games … the media has tried to do this a few times, but I cannot remember a national coach ever quite so brazenly sticking his nose into a domestic manager’s business in this shoddy fashion, and especially not with so much at stake.
McLeish is no friend of ours.
His appointment is going exactly as many of us suspected that it would.
He is playing games here.
Our manager should tell him where to go.