Almost a year has passed since Steven Fletcher texted Scotland boss Craig Levein, informing him that he did not want to be considered for International selection after being left out of the squad for the matches against the Czech Republic and the European and World champions, Spain. Since the incident, the rumpus has continued with neither of the men involved willing to resolve the issue.  Perhaps his omission from the squad was not entirely missed, but the 24 year old Wolves striker is in fine goal-scoring form at the moment, and it is time that we realise why we need this man back in the Scotland squad.

Firstly, there is the point mentioned above – Fletcher’s current form.  So far this season Fletcher has scored 9 goals from 13 starts, including goals against the bigger sides such as Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. Fletcher is clearly a man on fire right now, consistently scoring goals in one of the biggest leagues in the world, against some of the best players in the world. His clinical nature leads me on to my next point.

Kenny Miller is not getting any younger, and relies on his pace and fitness to annoy defences and try and force mistakes which will lead to him getting chances. Miller’s finishing has never been a huge strong point, but he seems to be a lot more comfortable in goal-scoring situations than he used to. Miller has been a fantastic servant for his national team, but at the age of 32, it is only a matter of time before the attributes that make him the player that he is deteriorate, and Fletcher is the clinical striker that Scotland could be crying out for. Although a completely different player from Miller, Fletcher is hard-working and determined, and the current Scotland, squad and perhaps the future one, could be more successful with Fletcher leading the line.

Our current squad features many creative midfielders, such as the ‘Hollywood pass’ playing Charlie Adam, Steven Naismith (who will hopefully return from injury as strong a player as he has been), James Morrison and of course our captain, Darren Fletcher. Of course, Darren Fletcher is unavailable due to his horrific career threatening problems, but with the creativity of Scotland’s other stars, as well as the ever improving youngsters such as Scott Allan and James Forrest, the future of our side looks bright. This creativity would suit Fletcher, with chances being created for him left, right and centre.  However, would he be more comfortable playing alongside a partner, rather than playing in the typical lone striker role which Scotland employ? This leads on to my next point.

Yeah, any excuse for me to talk about Jordan Rhodes. A youngster with massive potential, and another goal-scoring machine, Rhodes is grabbing a lot of headlines down in England. With Fletcher and Rhodes being 6ft 1” and 6ft 2” respectively, Scotland could have a future front-line which is feared. With two huge, goal-scoring strikers supported by a creative midfield, our future Scotland squad could enjoy success which we have not seen since 1998.

Levein wants Fletcher to make the first move

The problem that we have is the stubborn nature of the two parties involved.  Levein has claimed that if Fletcher wants to play for Scotland again, “he just has to make me aware by the same means he bowed out”. Furthermore, Wolves boss Mick McCarthy claimed in November that Fletcher “wants to play for Scotland”. Ultimately, what we have here is Fletcher having too much pride to ask for his place in the team, feeling that Levein should come to him, realising that he needs him. On the other hand, Levein is the manager, and cannot be seen to ‘fold’ to the players. His authority over the team is crucial, and I agree that Fletcher should be seen as the one in the wrong, as you should never turn your back on your country in the manner that he did. However, it is time to end all of this nonsense.

Fletcher has a big future ahead of him, which can only be helped by playing at international level. As well as this, Scotland seems to have a good crop of youngsters coming through, in addition with the current talent of our squad, and it can only be improved by forgiving Fletcher, and welcoming him back into the squad with minimal fuss. Both men want each other to make the first move, but it is evident that both Levein and Fletcher must speak soon for the good of Scotland, and our chances of qualifying for Brazil 2014.

By Steven Lamb

Follow him on twitter @StevenLamb57

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