3 St. Johnstone Players in Contention for a Scotland Call-up Tomorrow

Steve Clarke announces his Scotland squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday afternoon. This is the first national team outing since the Euros as his side aim to build on an average start to the qualification campaign for Qatar 2022 which began earlier this year.

[McGregor celebrates scoring against Croatia]


No St. Johnstone player has played for Scotland since Murray Davidson's solitary cap in 2012 and despite the era of success at McDiarmid Park built on majority Scottish players manager after manager has neglected the Perth side for selection.


After winning the double and playing in Europe, Saints must feel confident to get at least one player into the upcoming squad.


These are the 3 players who I think should be in contention for tomorrow's squad:


Zander Clark


The obvious candidate for most people is St. Johnstone's goalkeeper Zander Clark. The 29 year-old has always been a solid keeper but has come on leaps and bounds in the last 12 months. His form since April time has been out of this world and many were shocked that he didn't make the Scotland squad for the Euros.


Clark's excellent form has gained attention from fans across Scotland with his last minute "assist" against Rangers in the Scottish Cup quarter-final and subsequent double save in the shootout resulting in plenty of recognition.

[Clark celebrates Saints' 120th minute equaliser]


He has been amazing so far this season, with standout performances against Motherwell, Galatasaray and LASK already just to name a few.


How Would he Fit in the Current Scotland Set Up?


Scotland's 3 goalkeepers who were brought to the European Championships were David Marshall (36), Craig Gordon (38) and Jon McLaughlin (33). The trio have a combined age of 107 and whilst they are all good keepers they aren't the future which is one certainty.


David Marshall is now 3rd choice at struggling Derby County and Jon McLaughlin is currently carrying a knock and isn't Rangers starting keeper. Craig Gordon has been on great form for Hearts this season and will likely be Scotland's number 1 but he is 38 now and will likely be hanging his international gloves up in the near future.

[Clark makes a diving save]


His biggest competition for the squad will be Motherwell's Liam Kelly who has also had a good start to the season and will feel like he is in with a chance of making the squad.


Clark could easily go in as either 2nd or 3rd choice and is certainly no worse than the options already there. He is definitely worth a shot and on current form is one of the top keepers in Scotland.


Jason Kerr


Club captain Jason Kerr has excelled under Callum Davidson and looks right at home in the back 3 which last season's success was largely built upon. The 24 year old looks right at home on the right hand side of the defence, his marauding runs down the line combined with his powerful defending have been a joy to watch.

[Kerr converts his penalty against Galatasaray]


He is strong, quick and excellent on the ball. He might be a centre back but he could easily play on the right wing, he loves to run with the ball at pace and is just as important in attack as he is at the back.


Kerr lifted both the Scottish Cup and the League Cup last campaign as Callum Davidson's St. Johnstone celebrated a historic double, with few players as important as Kerr in that success.


How Would he Fit in the Current Scotland Set Up?


Steve Clarke brought Declan Gallagher, Grant Hanley, Liam Cooper, Jack Hendry and Scott Mckenna to the Euro's with Tierney and McTominay also dropping into the centre back slots.


McTominay is our best midfielder and looked much more at home in the middle of the park so it is likely that he will move back into midfielder, Tierney is a guaranteed to play on the left of the back 3 and it will likely be Grant Hanley in the middle.


This means that Kerr's direct competition for the right centre back role (one that he plays at club level) would be Jack Hendry and Liam Cooper. In my personal opinion neither of those two are good enough to be starting for Scotland and they are both poor with the ball at their feet.

[Kerr celebrates St. Johnstone's equaliser at home to Galatasaray]

Kerr is probably the best of the bunch regards to playing in a back 3 and is much better at bringing the ball out from the back. He is on great form, is still quite young and should certainly be in with a shout to make the squad.


Shaun Rooney


Shaun Rooney is a St. Johnstone club legend. He may have only been in Perth for little over a year but his winning goals in both the League Cup and Scottish Cup finals have immortalised him in Saints folklore for the rest of time.

[Rooney celebrates with the Betfred Cup]

He had a brilliant second half to last season as the flying wing back became one of our biggest attacking threats from set pieces, back post crosses and even driving with the ball himself down the flank.


He is tall, quick, powerful and surprisingly skilful with the ball at his feet. He has been at the heart of St. Johnstone's recent success and had played a large part in our upturn of form in 2021.


How Would he Fit in the Current Scotland Set Up?


Scotland's squad for the European championship's had Stephen O'Donnell and Nathan Patterson in the right back spots.


Patterson has certainly showed plenty of potential but has barely played at club level and I don't think he is ready to be a starter at national level just yet. He has only played once for Rangers this season and is still inexperienced.


Stephen O'Donnell simply isn't good enough. He was excellent against England but had poor performances against the Czech Republic and Croatia in the Summer did little to convince many fans of his credentials to be the country's main man at right back.

[O'Donnell gives a penalty away against Hibernian]


His recent horror show at McDiarmid Park and his general performance levels over the last year and a half haven't been good enough. He certainly isn't as good as Shaun Rooney in any area. What can he do that Rooney can't?

[Rooney celebrates his Scottish Cup final winner]


Young Calvin Ramsey at Aberdeen will be Rooney's main competition as the teenager has started this season on incredible form however, I think that he needs a little bit more experience before he is called up.


Steve Clarke is good mates with O'Donnell but hopefully he opens his eyes and sees the talent Shaun Rooney has and picks him tomorrow.


Do I Think Clarke Will Pick a St. Johnstone Player?


Honest answer? No


I am hopeful that Clarke will surprise me and choose a player from the double winners but I am so used to Saints players being overlooked that I just don't see the good form of the Perth side being rewarded.


All 3 of the players I have suggested have looked comfortable playing in Europe and will definitely feel like they deserve to be called up. Stranger things have happened.


If a St. Johnstone player can get in I'll be over the moon.






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