Steve Clarke Scotland decision branded 'utterly farcical' by Scots politician as Rangers man returns

Steve Clarke’s decision to drop Zander Clark from the Scotland squad had been dubbed “utterly farcical” by a Scottish politician.

St Johnstone goalkeeper Zander Clark found himself dropped from the latest Scotland squad. Picture: SNS
St Johnstone goalkeeper Zander Clark found himself dropped from the latest Scotland squad. Picture: SNS

The national team head coach named his squad on Tuesday afternoon for the upcoming World Cup qualifier double-header against Israel and the Faroe Islands.

There weren’t too many surprises in store for Tartan Army fans, though with the return of certain players from injury and illness, some had to miss out.

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One of those was St Johnstone goalkeeper Zander Clark. The 29-year-old earned a call-up for the previous squad after Rangers keeper Jon McLaughlin missed out, while former No.1 David Marshall, who started all three games at Euro 2021, was dropped due to a lack of first-team opportunities at Derby County.

However, with McLaughlin now available, Clark has been left out with Motherwell’s Liam Kelly – also included in the last squad – given a call-up instead.

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This incensed Gavin Newlands, the SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North. He believed players like Clark were being unfairly judged because they played for St Johnstone.

He wrote on Twitter: "Utterly farcical decision. Not only is @Zanderr1 a better keeper than both Kelly & McLaughlin, he's playing regularly & in top form which u can't say about Liam & Jon. How are clubs like St Johnstone supposed to keep our best players if they must move to get Scotland recognition?”

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Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon is expected to keep his place in the team after starting the last three qualifiers against Denmark, Moldova and Austria.

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