Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Scotland: Levein Looks To The Future

Like a scientist scarred by an exploding test tube Craig Levein has abandoned the experiment that ended in tears in Sweden and gone back to the tried and tested for the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Lithuania and Liechtenstein.

That means David Weir returns to the squad at the age of 40 and is joined by 33 year old Paul Hartley.

Levein spoke glowingly of Weir's ability to turn in top class performances week after week. But the reality is there's not much else there. Garry Kenneth was given a chance in Sweden and failed.

The Realpolitik of the manager's situation is that a bad start in Lithuania will knock the stuffing out of the qualifying campaign. It's not a place to take risks so it may become a country for old men.

Elsewhere Blackpool goalkeeper Matt Gilks makes his first squad courtesy of his Scottish grandmother. That is international football these days. Still, a first call up is fine reward for conceding six goals last weekend.

The full squad:

Goalkeepers: Marshall (Cardiff), McGregor (Rangers), Gilks (Blackpool)

Defenders: Hutton (Tottenham), Berra (Wolves), Broadfoot (Rangers), McManus (Middlesbrough), Weir (Rangers) McCulloch (Rangers), Wallace (Hearts), Webster (Rangers), Whittaker (Rangers), McNaughton (Cardiff)

Midfielders: Adam (Blackpool), Brown (Celtic), Dorrans (West Brom), Fletcher (Man Utd), Morrison (West Brom), Robson (Middlesbrough), Hartley (Aberdeen)

Strikers: Boyd (Middlesbrough),Fletcher (Wolves), Iwelumo (Burnley), McFadden (Birmingham), Miller (Rangers) Naismith (Rangers)