Boyd says Strachan is wrong to overlook Griffiths for Scotland

first_imgFormer Scotland international Tom Boyd believes Gordon Strachan is wrong to overlook Leigh Griffiths for a starting berth and claims the striker can be as lethal as Henrik Larsson.The Scotland boss was quoted in various Sunday newspapers suggesting the Celtic forward’s height when defending set-plays was a selection factor for the recent double-header.However the Scottish FA insists Strachan’s comments have been misinterpreted.Strachan, who has come under fire over recent results against Lithuania and Slovakia, spoke to Sunday newspapers about the attacker, who is 5ft 8in. Steven Fletcher and Chris Martin, who are both 6ft 1in, have been preferred in recent matches during Strachan’s tenure.Speaking about his striker selections for the recent double-header, Strachan is quoted as saying: “In the 51 games in the Euro Championships the first 19 goals were scored from set-plays. That means you have to have a certain amount of height to defend corner kicks.“I’ll give you an example. The team was a lot smaller at 2-0 than it was at 0-0 [in Slovakia] and the first corner kick we get after that, they score with a header.“Does that help you with the certain amount of height that you have to have in my team? There’s absolutely no doubt about it.” He added: “People can argue the toss and debate it. But that is fact. You need to have a certain amount of height in international football teams to defend set plays.“It’s not just Leigh Griffiths. You’ve got to try and get the balance. I could pick a huge team but there would be a problem passing the ball.“I could pick the smallest team and they could pass the ball better. But what we’ve struggled with is physical combat in the middle of the park and set plays.“I’ve got to try to get a balance between height and strength and ability. If you’ve got the whole package then that’s a real bonus. Unfortunately we didn’t have too many with the whole package.”In the wake of Scotland manager’s comments, Griffiths changed his Twitter name to #Shorty. And Boyd believes the forward’s ability in the air is an underrated part of his game.The former Celtic captain said: “It’s a strange one in that Leigh Griffiths has probably got the best spring at the football club.“I’m probably just as surprised as any Scotland fan over why a player in his form isn’t getting a lot of game time. “In terms of headers, I’ve likened some of the goals he’s scored with Celtic to Henrik Larsson in terms of his aerial ability inside the box.“Leigh is brilliant in the air inside the box but Gordon obviously sees fit to play either Chris Martin or Steven Fletcher, maybe more physical players.”last_img