Building Our Scotland Team Around John McGinn

We now know Scotland’s squad for this summers’ Euros.

I’m pretty excited by the inclusions of youngsters Billy Gilmour, David Turnbull and Nathan Patterson.

Steve Clarke may have surprised me with those call-ups but one thing was guaranteed and that was the inclusion of John McGinn.

Personally, I feel we should build our starting eleven around the Aston Villa man as he seems to be Scotland’s new talismanic figure.

In his thirty-two caps for Scotland, McGinn has managed to grab ten goals. All of those strikes have come in the last two years, so his ten goals have actually all come in his last nineteen international appearances.

It should also be noted that all of the twenty-six year old’s goals for his national team have come in qualifiers. This again shows how vital he has become for us in the bigger games!

Looking at the twenty-six players Clarke has selected for the tournament, John is our leading scorer.

Now the midfield dynamo can play in various positions within the engine-room.

At Villa this season, he has mainly been deployed in a deeper role. He can obviously play centrally and he can feature further forward too.

I’d like to see him in that role closer to our attack in June or in a three man midfield but with licence to make plenty of runs into the opposition’s penalty area.

Scotland often find themselves under pressure and McGinn could be an important source to relive some pressure by getting hold of the ball and venturing into the opposition’s half.

It would be great if during at least one of our friendlies leading into the tournament, if we could see McGinn ahead of or alongside Scott McTominay and Billy Gilmour. That might give us a nicely balanced midfield and allow John McGinn to flourish.

The Glasgow native is at his best when the ball arrives at his feet on a half turn and he can then drive forward. That keeps the opposition on the back foot and it also draws in fouls.

He also has bundles of energy. That can see him cover every blade of grass and use disciplined aggression to put opponents under constant pressure. The midfielder’s passing is also often crisp (if sometimes erratic) and those legs can get back and make recoveries too!

It should be really encouraging for The Tartan Army that John McGinn’s season looks to be peaking just in time for the Euros.

The player has been sublime form recently for Aston Villa. He scored a wonderfully taken goal in a loss to Crystal Palace and he bossed things in his side’s away win over Tottenham Hotspur (BBC Match Report).

After scoring for Villa against Premier League champions Manchester City in April, McGinn’s club boss Dean Smith was full of praise:

“I was really pleased for McGinn to get the goal. He’s one of our unsung heroes at times; his work-rate and what he gives to the team is exceptional.

“He’ll be the first to admit at times that his passing could be better but he gives us everything. He deserves that goal. He’s been playing a little bit deeper at times this year and doing fantastically well. He’s the envy of a lot of the Premier League managers whenever we play against them.”

Via Birmingham Mail

John McGinn may be a bit of unsung hero in the Midlands but he’s the heroic performer that Scotland fans and their manager cherish.

His drive, his energy and his nose for important goals could be extremely vital for us this summer!

We need to have the midfielder in a role that sees him pushing forward at every possible opportunity.

The Big Yin is a huge local hero in Glasgow, let’s hope this summer our new hero John McGinn can be the man that leads us to our first ever knockout stage.

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