Them’s the international breaks

The international break can throw up some strange occasions.

Scotland lost a game that they shouldn’t have played in and Kieran Tierney scored an OG.

For the avoidance of doubt, NO ONE should be playing against Israel.


Last month the Six Counties played a friendly match against that Apartheid state.

Insert your own jokes here.

Tonight my boys in green have a tough test against Denmark.

Thankfully the visitors will be without the mercurial Christian Eriksen.

Last November he demolished Ireland in a World Cup playoff.

However, it will still be a big ask against the highly competent Scandinavian side.

Because the lads are away on international break it doesn’t mean that things grind to a halt at club level.

Brendan Rodgers did have a couple of days R&R, but some important work was done as well.

I’m told that he has been given the ok from above to have a busy January window.

If it all goes to plan then as many as eight players could be leaving Lennoxtown and three could be joining the club.

The man from Antrim was open and honest in a recent high-level sit-down and owned the fact that his own choices in the last January window had not been good.

In Marvin Compper and Charly Musonda Brendan got his men.

Both cost Celtic a lot of money and delivered very little.

It would surprise no one if the ex-RB Leipzig defender is one of those leaving the club in January.

Of course, the summer shambles was mainly down to Heated Driveway Hubris and that cannot be allowed to flare up again.

Brendan Rodgers would be forgiven for cursing the timing of this international break in particular.

His men finally hit their rhythm in the match in Perth and slickly moved through the gears in the final third.

Forrest and Rogic proved to be an unplayable duo that day.

Their one-touch interplay had the St Johnstone players looking at one another in bemusement as goal after goal was scored in the first half.

Four of them came from James Forrest, but he wasn’t deemed to be good enough for his national side a few days later!

Moreover, Rogic will probably play in a friendly in Kuwait on Monday before the Antrim man sees him again at Lennoxtown.

It was heartening to see the Scotland players come out in public and back their teammate Kieran Tierney.

An own goal is an occupational hazard for any defender.

I do hope that the national manager Mr Alexander McLeish EBT is of the same mind as his players.

That is because I heard worrying things in the aftermath of the four-nil drubbing handed out by Belgium in the friendly last September.

A Lennoxtown source told me that Leigh Griffiths came back “distraught” after being with the national team.

What emerged when he was back with his club was that in the debrief after the Belgium game he had been handed his character by the Scotland manager.

Some players react well to that and push back, but others can crumble.

Of course, that is only from one source and even if true it might have no bearing on the Celtic striker deciding that he would be better off at Lennoxtown during this international break.

However, I’m quite happy for some intrepid stenographer to take up the issue with Mr McLeish EBT at the next presser.

While they’re at it they can get his views on his role at Rangers during a decade of industrial level cheating with side letters and “imperfectly registered” players.

Of course, dear reader that is what a journalist would do given the opportunity.

Therefore, I don’t think that particular EBT recipient has much to worry about on that score…

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