Scotland’s Strachan Should Be Applauded For Lewis Macleod Inclusion


Gordon Strachan has called up Rangers midfielder Lewis Macleod for Scotland’s national squad to face Ireland and England, later on this month. The twenty-year olds inclusion has certainly raised a few eyebrows, with certain members of the media and fans questioning the motives and merits in calling up a Scottish Championship player.

But for me, Strachan has got this one spot on.

The Scotland manager likes to bring in younger players to have a closer look at them and see how well they integrate with the senior players.

He has done it recently with Ryan Gauld, Stuart Armstrong and Callum McGregor. These players seem to have fantastic futures in front of them. It’s worth noting that none of them managed to get a run out for the national team. They were there for the experience. It’s surely just competent for Gordon and his staff to get to know these players sooner rather than later, in a relaxed atmosphere without too much pressure. Its far from the Berti Vogts era of just giving everyone eligible to play for Scotland a cap.

Strachan explain his reasoning for selecting the younger players as he announced his recent squad, he said…

“It is beneficial for them because they are enthusiastic and add to the squad and I want to find out if they work with the system.”

Plus lets not forget that Andrew Robertson, now seen as a senior side regular, is only a few months older than Lewis and was also playing in Scotland’s bottom tier in 2012/13. Obviously Robertson is now plying his trade in the English Premier League and doing extremely well at Hull City but his rise to international starter will be seen as an example for all the other young Scots to follow.

Lewis Macleod has been a shining light for the Rangers this term and has impressed with his performances in the Championship this term. Not only that, but he’s also done well in the League Cup where he managed to grab winning goals against Premiership sides Inverness Caley Thistle and St Johnstone.

The creative midfielder has a keen eye for a pass and a decent turn of pace. Playing week in and week out with the Ibrox outfit has seen him blossom into a very fine player indeed. So far in this campaign he has seven goals in fourteen appearances for his club, not a bad return at all.

Fellow Gers star and Scottish internationalist forward Kris Boyd was full of praise for the youngster when discussing him last weekend…

“He’s a fantastic young kid with a bright future, but the most important thing for him is to keep doing the right things,” 

“But, when you see him on a field, he’s a joy to watch and you feel that every time he picks up the ball something is going to happen.”

Macleod also has plenty of experience with the younger Scotland set-ups. He has represented his country from the under 16s all the way to the Under 21s. So far, he’s made eight appearances for the Under 21 side scoring twice.

So he hasn’t just appeared out of nowhere. With Gordon’s strategy of taking a look a promising young starlets, it makes sense that Lewis would now get his chance to show what he can do in training alongside more experienced talent like Scott Brown, Darren Fletcher and James Morrison.

When you have a twenty-seven man squad it makes sense to freshen it up with a good younger player, so you can see what they can do and what type of person they are.

Chances are that Lewis Macleod won’t get his first cap this month but let’s hope he impresses Gordon Strachan and his coaching staff and in time we see squads that regularly include the likes of Macleod, Gauld, Armstrong, McGregor, Robertson and even more players who will hopefully go on and reach their full potentials!

These players will only benefit from these surprise inclusions and we should thank Strachan for his long term thinking. Scotland has been calling out for that kind of strategy for generations now. Let’s appreciate it instead of mocking it!

2 Responses to “Scotland’s Strachan Should Be Applauded For Lewis Macleod Inclusion”

  1. Hi Scott,
    You need to be applauded for such an honest article, in your applause for Gordon Strachan bringing Lewis MacLeod into the Scotland squad.
    I am a Ranger supporter and trust me, the past 30 months or so has been dreadful, but the one shining light has been the development of Lewis MacLeod.
    From the first time I saw him play I got goose bumps. Some of his touches were raw, misplaced and somewhat ‘fish-out-of-water’, but I saw in hime what he was about. His touch, passing and vision, I felt, and this is a personal opinion, were to ahead of others in the team.
    Last season his illness might have put the lad back a bit, but I don’t think its affected him in any way at all. He has muscled up a bit, is a bit harder to push off the ball, his vision improving and technical ability is also developing well.
    I discuss with others and ask, who does he remind you of?
    Some say Ian Durrant, some say a young Jim Baxter, others say Barry Ferguson and a few Ian Ferguson (He’d need to toughen up a bit to be like him) although Ian Ferguson was a superb passer of the ball.
    I think, all things going well for him, he might end up like Lewis MacLeod.

  2. Thanks Alan. He certainly looks a great prospect. Yeah I’m not great with comparisons but if he can be as good as any of those suggested then he’ll be doing well.

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