Scotland national team were majorly disappointed for crashing out on yet another opportunity to qualify for a major tournament when they failed the progress through their group in the lead up to Russia 2018.
The Scots’ failure to qualify for the World Cup competition this summer means Scotland have not participated in a major tournament since France 1998; a very hard time for the nation.
Despite this disappointed, their efforts in the latter half of the qualifying season left the Tartan Army with some positive feelings.
After years of poor performances, the team finally looked to be taking shape under Gordon Strachan, with a new generation of players seemingly inspiring the team to better results and stronger, collective team efforts. There ratings as per WhoScored is so impressive and falls nothing below 6.50.
With Alex McLeish now taking over the reins of the national team from Strachan, the 59-year-old former Scotland boss seemed to have the best options in terms of squad selection of any Scotland manager in the last decade.
The three individuals are as follows as highlighted by Football Weeks:
Andrew Robertson – Liverpool
The 23-year-old earned a move to Liverpool in the summer and has gone from strength to strength since he joined the Premier League giants from Hull City in a reported £10m last summer. It is so typical of Scotland that the team have been longing for a young figurehead to lead the way for the new generation, only for two to emerge at the same time, both playing in the same position.
Despite having to wait for his chance, Robertson has thrived since earning the chance under Jurgen Klopp to play ahead of Alberto Moreno and his dedicated performances have quickly led him to be a massive hit with the Anfield faithful. In 1,335 minutes played for Liverpoool, Robertson ratings according to WhoScored sits at 6.89.
Plying his trade at a top Premier League, since the days former Manchester United winger Darren Fletcher have Scotland had a regular starter for a team in the top six, and his exposure to this level of football can only improve for his national team.
Kieran Tierney – Celtic
Kieran Tierney represent a new generation of footballer for Scotland. The youngster has captained both his club and country by the tender age of 20 and continues to impress week in, week as one of the club’s finest performers in his position.
This impressive performances has also attracted notable attentions from Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea with report claiming a £10 million bid from Arsenal was rejected last summer because he felt his time at the Scottish champions was anything but over.
He said as quoted by The Evening Times:
“The manager came in and I had been told already there was a big bid there. It’s always flattering to hear other clubs are interested but I had no doubt in my mind I wanted to stay.
There’s obviously more money in England but it was down to me and I felt I made the right decision to stay at Celtic. Most people probably would have jumped at the chance.
The money factor is what a lot of people care about. But all I was working towards was earning a new deal at Celtic. I wasn’t looking to get myself a move somewhere else. Luckily that came about.
It was a dream season for me last year individually and the manager said he wanted to convince me to stay and sign a deal. But as soon as I trained under him, there was no convincing needed. I was going to stay at Celtic anyway.”
With over 100 appearances and nine caps for Scotland, Tierney without any doubt, is one of Europe’s finest young players and the left-back has not failed to impress in the Champions League either, despite often being part of a Celtic side suffering heavy defeats. Despite Celtic crashing out of UEFA Champions League so early, Tierney ratings as collated by WhoScored was stands at 6.78.
To accommodate both Tierney and Robertson into Scotland side, the former coach Gordon Strachan decided to deploy the Celtic youngster on the right, which is testament to his versatility and clear quality. The two-time PFA Scotland Young Player of Year looks like the perfect mould for a future Scotland captain.
Scott McTominay – Manchester United
Despite having never been capped by Scotland, the Lancaster born Scott McTominay’s desire to play for the Scotland national team will be a good new to the ears of the Tartan Army.
This season, McTominay has begun to break the through the ranks at Manchester United and is clearly one for the future having been given to nod to start ahead of the likes Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Michael Carrick earning six Premier League appearances, four Champions League appearances, three appearances in the EFL and with two appearances in the FA Cup under Jose Mourinho. Standing at 6ft 4in, the youngster is a massive presence in central-midfield. His physical presence around the park is something Scotland has been missing in recent years and, with Scott Brown second retirement announcement on Monday, McTominay will likely have a huge role to play for the Scots in the coming years.
Training alongside the and learning from the likes of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic at the Old Trafford will only help his game, and he will surely have his heart set on emulating a certain figure like Fletcher, who captained both club and country on plenty of occasions.
McTominay has proved himself to be the new man to replace Scott Brown on several having showed impressive performers against top side in the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and EFL with the most of his recent impressive performance which was against Chelsea at the Old Trafford. Here’s a selection of his performers has provided on Youtube.