Steve Clarke surprised at idea of Robert Snodgrass ending Scotland exile

‘It’s not that long ago Snoddy phoned me and said he didn’t want to be selected,’ says manager

Robert Snodgrass, left, in action for Scotland against England in 2017 has hinted that he would welcome a return to international football. Picture: Michael Gillen.
Robert Snodgrass, left, in action for Scotland against England in 2017 has hinted that he would welcome a return to international football. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Steve Clarke has scoffed at the suggestion he might make contact with Robert Snodgrass after the West Ham United midfielder indicated he would be prepared to come out of international retirement once again to play for Scotland.

The Scotland manager was more surprised than anyone to hear that Snodgrass had claimed in a podcast that he could “never say no to Scotland” and that he would welcome a call from Clarke.

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“It’s not that long ago that Snoddy phoned me up and said he didn’t want to be selected!” said the Scotland manager.

Snodgrass left the camp midway through a double-header against Russia and Scotland in October and called an end to his international career shortly afterwards after seven goals and 28 caps stretched over nine years.

“It is now the right time for me to step aside,” he explained in an Instagam post.

He had already phoned Clarke to explain that he wanted to concentrate on his club career.

The Scotland manager seemed surprised by the apparently quick change of heart. Snodgrass was also left out of several squads during Alex McLeish’s second spell as manager amid suggestions this was the player’s own preference.

Clarke added: “I read a really good article Robert did just before the lockdown where he was saying he had made the right decision to step aside because he was back in the West Ham team scoring goals and the Scottish national team had done really well

“Ryan Christie and James Forrest had done well in the games, so I am not sure that one is a goer.”

Clarke was also asked the recurring question about Scott Brown potentially being coaxed out of international retirement again after leading Celtic to a ninth successive title. Brown has already come back once to help then boss Gordon Strachan.

“We have spoken since I became national team manager and Scott is really happy doing what he is doing just now,” said Clarke.

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