The more competition for places the better. I think the fact that he knows he isn't a shoo in for a place in the squad says how stronger the squad is now. Just a few years ago fans were begging for him to start matches for us. Another option who is scoring is May at St Johnston.
Best of luck to him and hope he makes a good recovery. But, he will be 30 going on 31 before he is able to make another competitive appearance for Scotland. I know that's not old but I'm not sure if he is going to manage to add too many to his 61 caps. Maybe Euro 2016 will be his swansong?
Well I wouldn't bank on that.
Now I know there are lots of ifs and buts and maybes here but if Darren Fletcher is over his illness and can regain full match fitness and not have any relapses he may be one of those that can carry on playing into his mid-thirties. Remember he has had lengthy lay-offs so he doesn't have so many miles on the clock so to speak and look how well Giggs is doing at the age of 39.
To be fair, not many people were upset at the appointment of Burley. He was certainly someone I'd thought would be a good manger for Scotland. He had a bit of success at club level and his short spell at Hearts was excellent.
For a number of reasons it just didn't work out for him but I'm not sure the SFA can take too much blame for it.
The big difference in between Smith, McLeish & Strachan and Burley and Levein, my opinion, it that they all had a good amount of experience at winning things as a manger AND experience of managing a team in the Champions League. I expect that that experience has been vital to being relatively successful as an international manager.
Yes there is that. Also I feel that they tend to exude confidence far more than Levein and Burley did. Levein, especially, made a point of bemoaning the lack of talent in our squad and in hindsight now that just strikes me as someone who was looking to create excuses when the inevitable failure came along. On the other hand Strachan came in and yes he pointed out where we needed to improve but also showed confidence in his players.
To me it is all about the manager for Scotland. Sure we rarely produce world class players that go on to become legends but our squad is decent enough but needs the right management. In recent times this is clear as Eck had a proven record and managed at the highest level and got eye-opening results out of the squad and the same can now be said of Strachan. Those two bookend a period of depression where we had two managers not up to the job but basically the same set of players and results and confidence in return was awful. The SFA should be taking this on board for future appointments. Go for the cheap unproven option next time around and we lapse back into mediocrity but get us a competent and tried and trusted experienced manager and we will continue to put in acceptable sets of performances and results.