CRAIG GORDON set to feature for Scotland in Auld Enemy clash; Robbie Keane blasts Martin O’Neill after Scotland loss; Charlie Smith reveals “resentment” towards Walter Smith, plus the rest of today’s football news and gossip
Craig Gordon is set to earn his first senior cap in four years when Scotland face England on Tuesday evening.
The 31-year-old Celtic goalkeeper made the last of his 40 international appearances on 16 November 2010, in a friendly win against the Faroe Islands. After that, a two-year period out of the game due to knee problems left many wondering if Gordon would ever play again, never mind represent his country.
Now, after sparkling form in his comeback season both in domestic and European competition, Gordon is set to play for the first time under Gordon Strachan at the keeper’s home ground of Celtic Park in two days’ time. (Scotland on Sunday)
Robbie Keane blast at Republic of Ireland snub
Robbie Keane has revealed his fury at being left out of the starting line-up for the Republic of Ireland against Scotland. Ireland’s record goalscorer was dropped for the first time in 13 years for the Euro 2016 qualifier - and the Irishman held little back in his verdict of the team’s tactics
“If the manager wants to play with one up front, I’m not f***ing Niall Quinn or Shane Long - they are better at that than I am. If you play two up front and want to score goals, that’s my game. I would prefer to speak about the team rather than an individual making a big deal out of someone else starting.
“The boss made a decision and you have to respect that. Playing one up front doesn’t suit me. I think that’s fairly obvious. I’m 5’10”, so it’s not my game.”
He added: “The game was not the greatest in the world. It was a bit sloppy. It was the same as the Old Firm derby when I came up here - no quality. It was just people trying to kick each other. (The Sun on Sunday)
Gordon Strachan’s side may have been the toast of Scotland’s football fraternity following their victory over the Republic of Ireland, but there was no clinking of glasses when the squad returned to their Mar Hall base late Friday evening.
The cultural shift that Strachan has effected across his near two years in charge isn’t restricted to a demand for a certain fizz on the field, even if it must be acknowledged that the win over Martin O’Neill’s men flowed from football more of the strong ale than champagne variety. What is understood implicitly by all those serving their country now is that complete sobriety is a standard measure.
“They don’t even attempt that,” Strachan says of the traditional “few scoops” wind down. “They are in a routine now and it is just no.” (Scotsman)
Ally McCoist: We deserve to be jeered
Ally McCoist has admitted that his Rangers side deserve to be jeered after a draw with visitors Alloa dented their Scottish Championship title challenge. Rangers blew an opportunity to close the gap on table-topping Hearts after the game against Barry Smith’s side finished 1-1 at Ibrox.
McCoist said: “I’m disappointed. The boys have had praise for winning the last eight games but they have to take the criticism on the chin because we didn’t play well. I understand the fans being unhappy. It is not something new, fans showing their displeasure here when they feel the team isn’t doing well enough. That said, we should still be winning matches.” (Sunday Mail)
Charlie Miller reveals ‘resentment’ towards Walter Smith
Charlie Miller has revealed that he felt former Rangers manager Walter Smith could have treated him better during his time at the club, and harboured a degree of “resentment” from their time together at Ibrox.
He also revealed how he found out that, after leaving the club, Smith and Archie Knox would tell young Everton players not to waste their talent - using Miller as an example of someone who had.
He said: “I feel he could have handled me better as a kid at Ibrox. I think he could have guided me more. People will say that guiding myself was my responsibility and maybe they’re right. But, in my opinion, Walter could have been more of a father figure to me during my time at Rangers.” (Mail on Sunday)