A quick look at the Rangers players involved in International duty, and some discussion surrounding Scotland.

There’s really not much to talk about in terms of the former! Lee Hodson played 45 minutes against Germany. Bruno Alves wasn’t used by Portugal. And at U21 level, Ross McCrorie and Ryan Hardie made substitute appearances against Latvia. With so few players involved, the impact upon the squad has been minimal.

The cancellation of the Benfica friendly in Canada has meant the plans Caixinha had for the squad were changed. It’s been a week of training, and a closed doors match against Morton. Whether all of this is of benefit or not will become apparent in the next few matches.

With regards Scotland, there’s been a fair bit of fallout from the draw with Slovenia. A lot of people want Strachan to go, many others seem to be backing him. I’m personally undecided, purely because I don’t think the campaign was an utter failure. One bad result cost us in the end. Before a ball was kicked, I wouldn’t have expected much joy from the away games, but the Lithuania home draw was poor. We could find someone better than Strachan, but I suspect they’d have to be paid handsomely and really wouldn’t improve things very much.

Strachan has managed to take all of the blame and criticism by mentioning genetics. It is fair to say that overall, Scottish players look smaller and weaker than most other teams. It’s ludicrous to suggest that’s why we went out, though. Leigh Griffiths wasn’t played in early games because he wasn’t good at defending corners – that’s a very questionable reason to not play a striker. It’s also farcical to say we’re not big enough yet have Bannan play wide instead of Snodgrass.

If Pedro Caixinha had came out with anything close to that sort of statement, the reaction would be huge. In fairness, many have made fun of Strachan for this, and he deserves it. What the reaction shows, as it often does in Scotland, is that most of the media here don’t want to discuss anything deeper.

The genetics argument is poor, but rather than just poke fun, why not discuss Strachan’s tactics in more detail? Exactly where did he go wrong, what was done well? Where is the discussion around why we’re not producing players of sufficient quality, regardless of their size? There’s a lot of superficial stuff being said, and not enough serious discussion. It’s far too easy to say “he got his tactics wrong”, then not justify that statement.

That happens a lot when Caixinha has his statements twisted by an eager media as well. Scottish football desperately need progressive thinking and serious questions raised. The reaction to articles or the likes discussing tactics, or youth development, which go into detail is always pretty positive. The fans are showing the demand, so it’s baffling that the media seem to be all too happy to continue with the formula that’s leading to their slow demise.

For the fans, it’s a welcome end to yet another international break, and the focus is on the games this weekend. Keep an eye out for our preview of Friday’s match – I suspect we’ll have a lot to discuss!