Leigh Griffiths can feel slightly hard done by after being left on the bench for both of Scotland’s recent World Cup qualifiers by Gordon Strachan, says John Robertson.
Robertson, who himself accrued 16 caps for Scotland during his career, was speaking after Strachan said he preferred taller players in his team so they could fulfill certain roles at set-pieces. Griffiths, at 5ft 8in, does not fit that profile, 90min can confirm.
Griffiths, who changed his Twitter name to #Shorty in the wake of Strachan’s comments, finds himself further down the pecking order to Chris Martin and Steven Fletcher, two more physically imposing strikers, and Robertson – who himself believes only earned 16 caps because of his 5ft 7in stature – feels smaller footballers see their opportunities limited at international level.
“I think there’s a definite a way of thinking that there’s two types of football,” said Robertson.
“There’s your domestic football where you’re playing against guys who are maybe tall at the back and not as quick, or smaller and quicker centre-halves.
“But, when you play international football, defenders tend to be all very big and all very quick because they are the best of the best. Unless you are blindingly quick, or big and physical, your opportunities are going to be limited.”
“If it was just a height issue thing, Lee Wallace would be playing instead of Andrew Robertson and Kieran Tierney at left-back because he is bigger, stronger and potentially quicker,” he said.
“If you are at Hampden and have the majority of the ball and want to create chances then Leigh Griffiths would be a no-brainer. Away from home, you might need to have a different look at it.”