Tony Ralston Deserved His Scotland Call Up. His Celtic Turn Around Has Been Amazing.

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As we head into international week – normally a nightmare, but welcome this time as it’s the only football we’ve got – one of the most eagerly anticipated things, for me, will be to see whether Tony Ralston plays for Scotland. I hope that he does.

It is hard for me to overstate my admiration for our right back.

He has earned every bit of praise he’s been given over the last 12 months, and he has earned all the rewards that have come his way. Utterly written off by the media, our previous manager and the vast, vast majority of the fans, Ralston was assumed to have no future at Celtic at all.

We played him because we had to. That was the common refrain. He was in the team because we had no other choice. He got up every morning and read that and heard it everywhere he turned.

All through the summer he read about who we were going to sign so that we no longer had to endure his presence in the squad.

Think on that.

That’s a type of pressure that would have crushed a less assured footballer.

Not only did it not, but he understood what the manager wanted of him and quickly made himself an indispensable part of the squad. His new contract was more than earned.

Goals and assists followed, some of them, such as the late winner at Ross County, absolutely crucial to the title race. His renaissance at Celtic has been extraordinary, and it was a matter of time before he was granted the respect of a place in the Scotland team.

Steve Clarke took his time on this one; in fact, his decision to delay it this long has been nearly inexplicable. But Ralston has been as patient in waiting for this chance as he was about getting into the Celtic team, and it’s another feather in his cap that he’s gotten it.

Not only has he earned the chance, but I expect him to seize it.

I expect Ralston to be a Scottish international regular for years to come. Once he gets into that spot I expect that he will make it his own. He has all the qualities – mentally, physically and otherwise – to justify it.

I have never seen such a complete turnaround. I expect that he will seal it when he pulls that Scotland shirt on.

It will take a special player to get take it from him.

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  • DaViEbh0Y Celtic says:

    Of course Rastoninho deserves his place in the Scotland side on merit of performance which is the way it should be, but as we know.
    The SFA is a den of vipers and pressures from within *wink wink, nudge nudge, shuffle of a knuckle* will no doubt mean that Patterson by virtue of his ‘meteoric rise’, his friends in low places, JD sponsorship and all plus teachers pet O’Donnell on sentimentality and also the fact he doesn’t play for ”them”[us] will no doubt feature in the majority of the next weeks games with a 5 minute cameo for the guy who’s out performed both men all season.

  • Paul says:

    That crap right back from motherwell will get picked before if , so will the injured Patterson.
    Hope Ukraine smash Scotland, that will be 1 less game for McGregor

  • john clarke says:

    A big Hampden crowd, from near and far, will give the Ukrainian team a rousing
    friendly welcome. We all are saddened by their plight at the hands of Putin and his indoctrinated murderous sycophantic followers. All evil men; and I include Putin’s Rasputin, Kirill.
    Link to second Ukrainian National Anthem. Hope the link is correct.

  • Iljas Baker says:

    Well said James. I hope Scotland beat Ukraine convincingly. I hope Tony Ralston gets sufficient game time and does well. I hope he scores or assists a goalscorer. He’s earned his chance.

  • SSMPM says:

    Ralston’s story has been that of remarkable resilience, patience and a never say die attitude. Just got to admire what he has done and its made me think again about Dembele but not for long. Ralston is the exception here and in my view Steve Clarke has shown a lack of judgement and objectivity by leaving Ralston’s inclusion until now probably to late for the full inclusion in the team that he has truly merited.
    Though I despise the purely independent loyalist SFA and think Clarke’s a right plamph whose only good fortune is to have a talented group of players that his predecessors did not have, I think I still want Scotland to win. I hope Ralston comes on and scores the winner but my fear is its Clarke that would get the adulation not the bhoy

  • Jack says:

    Tony Ralston is a true Celtic man and more than deserves to be where is now. His goal at Ross County sums up the man’s attitude to never say die. Celtic will always be champions with men like him in the team.

  • LadyGreybush says:

    But, but, but, Patterson is a world beater! Sure, he couldn’t get a game for the huns, and now can’t get a game at Everton, but he’s the best RB since KT had to play a few games on that side! He went for 16 billion Dembele Dollars!

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