Steven Naismith has found himself in the middle of a media storm, despite not really doing anything wrong. In fact, quite the opposite.
Naismith’s good form for Hearts saw him invited back into the Scotland fold. When the 32-year-old was given a chance against Albania, he took it with both hands. Naismith nabbed a double.
Yet in doing so he upset one of Scotland’s most consistently petulant players. Celtic’s Leigh Griffiths.
Griffiths McLeish fall out means Naismith is number one
If there was any doubt before the match, there certainly isn’t now. McLeish said Naismith will keep his place if he keeps up his form for Hearts. He has.
Griffiths has now pulled out of the squad, citing fitness issues. He was however liking not so pleasant comments about McLeish on Twitter not long after doing so. Cue controversy.
McLeish has now said he isn’t guaranteed a place in his squad and hinted the player is at the level required at the moment.
Silently, the Scottish Premiership’s top goalscorer, Hearts’ five-goal Naismith, has come out the best in this.
But would he ever be welcome back at Ibrox?
Steven Naismith was resoundly booed every time the feisty striker even came close to the ball. He is not a popular man at Ibrox.
What makes him different from Allan MGregor or Kyle Lafferty? Naismith once said his “”loyalty was with Rangers. I’ve never met anyone from Sevco”, suggesting it was a new club.
Steven Naismith describes it as his biggest regret.
He might be Scotland number one, but it’s very unlikely he’ll ever be that at Ibrox again.
But even though the diehard Bluenose tarnished his legacy that day, you can never say never in football.