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I don't think there is a thread or much love out there for John Fleck, but from what I've seen of him he has been steady for us without lighting up any game which I'd say is hard to do when playing as part of a team where the central midfield is frequently bypassed. Not sure there is that much in it between Fleck and McGregor

  • Good passer, he doesn't give the ball away much and although he is no doubt labelled as a sideways passer has made a few key passes in his limited playing time (e.g. 3rd goal against Kazakhstan).
  • He has five caps to date: 4 of which we won (Kazakhstan, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Faroe Islands) and 1 defeat (Russia)
  • His normal role is left sided central midfielder which is the position he normally plays for Sheffield United, but has filled in for Ryan Jack as the right sided central midfielder.
  • He has been struggling with a back injury since the Scotland - Slovakia game which has affected his form for Sheffield United.

 

Edited by 2426255

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Thanks for this John, very informative. I hope you have a good tournament x

Edited by Scotty Tunbridge

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Thanks for this John, very informative. I hope you have a good tournament x
"highly intelligent, has massive cock" etc

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I think he's quite underrated too, probably because he has the skills of most of our midfielders without being as good at any them as the others (except maybe set-pieces). Wouldn't have him starting but he should definitely be in the squads, although he might be phased out with McLean essentially replacing him in the Premier League and Gilmour hopefully here to stay.

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21 minutes ago, accies1874 said:

I think he's quite underrated too, probably because he has the skills of most of our midfielders without being as good at any them as the others (except maybe set-pieces). Wouldn't have him starting but he should definitely be in the squads, although he might be phased out with McLean essentially replacing him in the Premier League and Gilmour hopefully here to stay.

He's an honest professional, but basically fairly average and certainly a distance behind our best midfielders.  

We often have this problem, 27-30-year-old midfielders with half a dozen caps and no opportunity to become stalwarts in the team.  By the time they have any significant experience in the international team, they're over the hill.

Most of the time it's a failure of consecutive management teams to give experience to players who are clearly good enough - it's the reason why Armstrong, McGregor, Jack, and McLean all have substantially fewer caps than they should at their respective ages.  That noted, Fleck spent much of his career at the likes of Coventry, so the fact he's going to a tournament would not have been predicted a few years ago.

The most positive aspect of recent call ups at least suggests we're not going to repeat that failure (albeit Gauld should have had a call up long before now).  Gilmour, Paterson, and Turnbull will be capped this year, all around the time that most countries would have done so.

McTominay on 22 caps at 24 also suggests the last couple of years haven't gone the way of the last couple of decades.

Edited by HuttonDressedAsLahm

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17 minutes ago, HuttonDressedAsLahm said:

He's an honest professional, but basically fairly average and certainly a distance behind our best midfielders.  

We often have this problem, 27-30-year-old midfielders with half a dozen caps and no opportunity to become stalwarts in the team.  By the time they have any significant experience in the international team, they're over the hill.

Most of the time it's a failure of consecutive management teams to give experience to players who are clearly good enough - it's the reason why Armstrong, McGregor, Jack, and McLean all have substantially fewer caps than they should at their respective ages.  That noted, Fleck spent much of his career at the likes of Coventry, so the fact he's going to a tournament would not have been predicted a few years ago.

The most positive aspect of recent call ups at least suggests we're not going to repeat that failure (albeit Gauld should have had a call up long before now).  Gilmour, Paterson, and Turnbull will be capped this year, all around the time that most countries would have done so.

McTominay on 22 caps at 24 also suggests the last couple of years haven't gone the way of the last couple of decades.

Would disagree with all those examples tbh. Armstrong was quite inconsistent for us (Celtic) which is why he got left out at times under Deila and Rodgers and a player who struggled to have a defined role until latterly in his time at Southampton. Mcgregor is a player I have always liked but never really kicked on until Rodgers came in. Jack stagnated for about 5 years as a player until Gerrard got ahold of him. McLean looked incredibly off the pace in his early inclusions of the squad and needed about a season down south to aid his international development.

None of these really showed that they were going to be certs at being consistent high level players. Perhaps they should have had more chances instead of Bannan  but considering how few games you get at international level it would be hard to push out the likes of Brown/Fletcher out the team so they could get more game time.

 

Edited by gannonball

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50 minutes ago, gannonball said:

Would disagree with all those examples tbh. Armstrong was quite inconsistent for us (Celtic) which is why he got left out at times under Deila and Rodgers and a player who struggled to have a defined role until latterly in his time at Southampton. Mcgregor is a player I have always liked but never really kicked on until Rodgers came in. Jack stagnated for about 5 years as a player until Gerrard got ahold of him. McLean looked incredibly off the pace in his early inclusions of the squad and needed about a season down south to aid his international development.

None of these really showed that they were going to be certs at being consistent high level players. Perhaps they should have had more chances instead of Bannan  but considering how few games you get at international level it would be hard to push out the likes of Brown/Fletcher out the team so they could get more game time.

 

It's not an unfair point you make, but Armstrong didn't get his first cap until 2017, and McGregor didn't get his second until 2018.  Both were established Premier League players, experienced in European football (McGregor had played 25 games in Europe at that point).

It probably points towards the dim view our management teams took of Scottish football over that period, preferring English Championship journeymen.  You can draw a straight line from those decisions to Griffiths scoring 40 in a season to warm the bench.

I agree re your points about Fletcher and Brown, and at least they got a decent number of caps (but still far fewer than they might have).  The period of disarray comes about as those two retired and we had nothing to replace them with through a total lack of succession planning.

If nothing else, I'd like to think we've learned from that mistake.  McTominay will likely finish the year with more caps than McArthur got in his entire career (McGregor and McGinn will also, at the ages of 27 and 28, have ~ the same as Maloney and Morrison retired with).

Edited by HuttonDressedAsLahm

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2 minutes ago, HuttonDressedAsLahm said:

It's not an unfair point you make, but Armstrong didn't get his first cap until 2017, and McGregor didn't get his second until 2018.  Both were established Premier League players, experienced in European football (McGregor had played 25 games in Europe at that point).

It probably points towards the dim view our management teams took of Scottish football over that period, preferring English Championship journeymen.  You can draw a straight line from those decisions to Griffiths scoring 40 in a season to warm the bench.

I agree re your points about Fletcher and Brown, and at least they got a decent number of caps (but still far fewer than they might have).  The period of disarray comes about as those two retired and we had nothing to replace them with through a total lack of succession planning.

Yeah admittedly I can remember Mcgregor playing out his skin and Strachan not playing him, think that was more to do with Strachan being stubborn when the media were questioning picking the same players that weren’t even doing it domestically. I must admit Clarke picking the extra 3 as uncapped players was something I wasn’t exactly in favour of but it does give a freshness to it all.

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Just now, gannonball said:

Yeah admittedly I can remember Mcgregor playing out his skin and Strachan not playing him, think that was more to do with Strachan being stubborn when the media were questioning picking the same players that weren’t even doing it domestically. I must admit Clarke picking the extra 3 as uncapped players was something I wasn’t exactly in favour of but it does give a freshness to it all.

Well, in fairness to Clarke (who can also be rather stubborn), there isn't much in the way of alternatives in those positions which wouldn't simply just fill a shirt (Burke, Paterson etc.)

If nothing else, it points towards development.  We're massively behind Wales and England (and somewhat behind in NI) in blooding youngsters.  Up until now, we have had zero players 21 or younger capped in the last couple of years, whilst Wales have over 50 (I think it was 70 last time I checked, but I can't be sure).

There's no way I'll be convinced that Wales' youth offers more than ours.

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On 23/05/2021 at 23:05, 2426255 said:

 

  • Good passer

 

Hopefully he doesn’t pass on the virus

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That was lucky he had no contact with any other player, must’ve trained, roomed and ate alone. Handy.  
So he tested positive few days ago and has been isolating. Strange to think he wouldn't have had any other player contact?

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9 hours ago, 2426255 said:

Tested + for Covid, seems to be the only player to test positive.

John, which supermarket are you going to get to deliver to you during isolation?

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6 hours ago, Drew Brees said:

That was lucky he had no contact with any other player, must’ve trained, roomed and ate alone. Handy.  

 

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1 hour ago, Drew Brees said:

Not sure how it differs from the last case, but obviously it does, unless my post was correct

 

 

DBED222F-8EED-481D-84AA-76F9E7F84427.jpeg

That was while they were in Scotland and had track and trace telling them to isolate. I’m not up to date on the rules in Spain but it’s possible they don’t give as much of a hoot about a group of people living in a bubble and getting tested twice a week.

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Not sure how it differs from the last case, but obviously it does, unless my post was correct
 
 
DBED222F-8EED-481D-84AA-76F9E7F84427.thumb.jpeg.87c8d84527032813473c2f7c32151685.jpeg
B*stard! I glanced at that headline and thought it was breaking news!

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