Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Scotland fan view: Steve Clarke only had himself to blame for defensive headache

Scotland head coach Steve Clarke at full-time after the defeat to Denmark.
Scotland head coach Steve Clarke at full-time after the defeat to Denmark.

Steve Clarke, in his day, was no mean right-back himself. Even if, after a decade playing second fiddle to the likes of Stewart McKimmie and Richard Gough, his international career realised a mere half-dozen caps.

There may have been moments, as he pondered a straitened travelling party stripped of all obvious choices at the position, when he wondered whether it was not too late for a seventh.

Frankly, it was self-imposed.

In a time when unprecedently vast swathes of a side can be knocked out of contention at the twist of a swab, it was careless to select only two players with any experience of such a specialist role. Reckless, even, given one of those two was actively battling Covid as the squad was named.

Scotland captain Andy Robertson.
Scotland captain Andy Robertson was deployed at right back.

It was not for want of options. Though talk at home focused on the three Rs – future star Ramsay, cup hero Rooney and pan-flashing Ralston – it would only have needed an educated guess by Clarke to avoid two very recent Scotland right-backs sitting redundant in Sheffield this Wednesday: Liam Palmer and Callum Paterson, the latter of whom, by potentially providing cover at both ends of the pitch, would have been a particularly useful patch to have in the kitbag.

One cannot, of course, cover all eventualities. But with Stephen O’Donnell questionable in advance, and in the knowledge that no late replacement could cross Denmark’s border, it is regrettable that the most clearly foreseeable leak was not reinforced before it could spring and cause a shambolic rejig of Scotland’s defence.

With the pre-match chat all about Scotland’s wing backs, if it was a coincidence that the quickfire goals were scored behind them by both of Denmark’s then it was a particularly unfortunate one. Full strength Scotland may well have lost anyway, but they didn’t help themselves.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]