Michael Stewart has delivered a blunt assessment of what he thought about Sheffield United hitman Oli McBurnie’s Scotland performance against Russia.
After the match, his performance hasn’t been deemed good enough, despite being nowhere near the worst player for Steve Clarke on the night of the 2-1 loss.
Now Stewart has weighed in on what he thought about the Blades forward’s performance.
He wrote in his Scottish Sun column: “For a £20million striker he can’t run, he can’t hold up the ball, he doesn’t link well, he doesn’t shoot.
“He’s simply not strong enough to play that role. It’s not an easy position for anyone to play at times, I accept that. It can be a thankless task.
“We’re at the stage where we have to try to find a solution, because McBurnie is not the answer.”
McBurnie is the best option Scotland have
The criticism McBurnie has faced has largely stemmed from the video that’ll no doubt follow him throughout his international career. For some of the Tartan Army, no matter what he does, he’ll never be good enough now.
Stewart points out that he shouldn’t start against Belgium based on his Russia performance. Whilst that’s a fair comment, Scotland don’t have any other natural strikers in the squad.
McBurnie is a good striker at club level, netting 22 times in the Championship last season. The problem is not the striker, but the way he is currently utilised.
Because he is tall, Scotland are sending long balls to him. He isn’t a targetman type player, McBurnie loves coming short for the ball before spinning off into the box. Scotland aren’t playing to his strengths right now.
Stewart has been blunt in his assessment of the Blades forward. If he does get the nod against Belgium, McBurnie will be playing with a point to prove amidst recent criticism.