When Callum McGregor was shown the red card at the weekend, I sighed with relief. After the full time whistle, mind you, but for that incident and its consequences.
Those consequences aren’t as bad as they might at first appear to be.
Callum needs a break. I’m not worried about how he gets it.
A match sitting in the stands will do him good, and it will do this team good.
We need the captain firing on all cylinders. We are burning that guy out by putting him out on the pitch every week. It’s not as if he’s complaining, but his body might be and if it’s not it’s going to be at some point.
Captains give everything to clubs, but it’s not fair to ask this guy to risk his long term health by having him play 50 games a campaign. Nobody can take that kind of punishment, it’s just impossible to do.
He got very little pre-season rest because of stupid internationals. He will get no rest during the World Cup although Scotland won’t be there, because we’re taking him out to Australia where he’ll be expected to represent us in the friendlies.
Ange wants to keep him in the team, I get it.
Other managers did the same with Scott Brown although he was several years older than Callum is right now.
And whilst players can continue their careers far longer than they’ve been able to before, that’s not a good enough reason for never giving this guy a rest. We have a squad which we can rotate.
It seems only right that every player benefit from that, and that includes our leader.
I think we should take this one on the chin and give the guy a break. It’s not fair, but neither is playing him every week without a rest. Ange has options, and we should be utilising those.
No player in this team is immune to exhaustion and we have so many games in such a short space of time that we should be squeezing every bit out of this squad that we can.
Callum deserves the break. The club should see this as an opportunity to give him one, and although it shouldn’t take a ban to bring that about I suspect he’ll take it either way.