As Scotland struggled to scrape by Cyprus last night, there was one evident problem. Steve Clarke’s side haven’t got a striker to fit the system the new boss is trying to play. For the qualifiers in September, Clarke can fix that problem with Sheffield Wednesday’s Steven Fletcher.
Eamonn Brophy was put up top against Cyprus, and despite his best efforts, he couldn’t make a dent in the Cypriot armour.
Clarke’s strategy of getting balls into the box won’t work with someone like Brophy. If it’s going to be the same tactics going forward, then Steven Fletcher has to be in his next squad.
Cyprus tussle was crying out for Fletcher
He isn’t the best striker to watch, but it is undisputed how effective Fletcher can be. He is horrible to play against, with his physical presence a big part of his game.
When Andy Robertson and Ryan Fraser were leading the attacking charge with an onslaught of crosses down the left, most of the time, they hit nobody. It’s not Brophy’s fault he’s not a big target man.
If Fletcher was playing, Scotland would have had more shots on goals and more on target. Not only is he good in the air, but the-ex Hibs frontman brings people into the game with his hold-up play.
Perhaps even playing him up top with a Brophy or a Leigh Griffiths type striker would work. The Owls forward could win things in the air and become a poacher in the box, whilst his strike partner presses and harries the backline into making mistakes.
That’s not an option Clarke will have for Tuesday’s match away to Belgium, but come September, Fletcher has to be involved. Playing one up top doesn’t work with a striker like Brophy, it would with Fletcher. The option of two up front, however, sounds more appealing.
Hopefully the Owls forward makes his return to the national setup in September.