Unsung Hero Calmac is Scotland’s Mini-Modric reckons Roughie

The Scotland side that thrashed Ukraine 3-0 in midweek was packed with players with strong Celtic connections with Craig Gordon, having an admittedly quiet evening in goals, that must have reminded him of his time playing for Celtic, Kieran Tierney was there too as was Jack Hendry, Stuart Armstrong and Ryan Christie while another former Celt, Academy star Aaaron Hickey came off the bench early in the match after the injury to the Everton defender Nathan Patterson.

The only current Celtic player in the starting eleven in midweek was the Celtic captain Callum McGregor and for anyone watching closely he was the outstanding player on the park, a real unsung hero in this Scotland side that will take on Ireland this evening at Hampden looking to avenge the 3-0 thrashing handed out by the Irish in Dublin in June.

The other Celtic players in the squad, Greg Taylor and Anthony Ralston were both on the bench with Taylor getting some game-time after replacing Tierney late on and David Turnbull whose ankle knock at Paisley on Sunday failed to respond to treatment and he was sent back to Lennoxtown by the Scoltand medical staff.

If Callum McGregor’s outstanding performance against Ukraine went under the radar in the mainstream media’s reporting of the 3-0 Scotland victory, the former Scotland goalkeeper Alan Rough certainly noticed how well the Celtic captain performed on the night.

Roughie was speaking on the  PLZ Soccer show yesterday afternoon and he reckons that McGregor is just about Scotland’s answer to Croatia legend Luka Modric.

“I’m going to single out Callum McGregor,” Roughie said as he looked back on an impressive Scltland shwoing against the side that ended our World Cup ambitions in the play-offs earlier this year. “I think year on year he is turning into a right good international player. I know he’s not a Luka Modric, I think he’s a mini Modric.

“He’s beginning to control the game, he’s beginning to bring people into the game. I just think on an international stage he’s beginning to stamp his authority on the game and make good passes bringing people in, getting forward, just controlling the game. I remember Barry Ferguson used to do it when he played for Scotland.

“We all know what Callum can do at club level but I think at international level he’s really come on leaps and bounds.”

Scotland v Ireland kicks off at 7.45pm this evening and you’d expect Callum McGregor will be running the show yet again. Here are the Celts and former Celtic stars at Hampden on Wednesday night on Scotland duty…

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

1 Comment

  1. You know who really impressed me last night, albeit in a cameo sub appearance; Haksabanovic!

    This guy gets more impressive every time i see him play.

    He played at Left midfield in a 4 man midfield when coming on and turned an opponent inside out on the wing, raced into space and played an excellent outside of the right boot pass to a teammate in the box similar to move he tried for Celtic recently, only this time pulling it off but his teammate didn’t connect properly.

    Then as Montenegro were pushing for an equaliser he drifted more central to right midfield into a playmaker role, much like the role you often see Modric play, though perhaps a little deeper midfield, and worked his magic there starting almost every Montenegro attack.

    I can’t wait to see this guy fully fit playing for Celtic now, has the makings of a star