It is now an eternity since Gordon Strachan ‘failed’ to pick Lee Wallace for Scotland’s friendlies against the Czech Republic and Denmark on 24 and 29 March respectively.
As even yet-to-be discovered bacteria on Mars probably know, Sevco and parts of the Scottish sports media have had a terrible time dealing with the fact that Strachan did not select a single Sevco player for either fixture.
The fact that WGS is the most single-minded and stubborn person or object in the entire history of the universe seems to have passed his critics by, and I fear they are in for some long-term disappointment if they expect their bleating to make any difference whatsoever.
But that hasn’t stopped the Scottish Daily Mail and Evening Shark-Jump (amongst others) from prolonging the saga of Wallace’s non-selection into truly record-breaking territory.
Here is the back page of today’s Scottish Daily Mail:
Yes, the headline says he “gladly sacrifices caps” in the interests of standing by Sevco. Which makes it sound like he has willingly surrendered the opportunity to play for Scotland, when the simple truth is that he wasn’t selected to play because WGS viewed him as surplus to requirements.
Before we have a look at the main points of the article, let us reflect that Wallace is a defender, and Scotland (with thanks to a great goalkeeping display by Allan McGregor) managed to win the first of those two friendly fixtures by one goal to nil against the Czech Republic.
Yes, that’s right, Scotland won and kept a clean sheet. Which suggests that WGS wasn’t being a complete idiot when he selected his squad for that particular game.
“Wallace, though, remains adamant that his sole focus is on matters at Ibrox. While numerous other international players exited after the financial meltdown of 2012, he chose to stay as Rangers were placed in the third division.”
“Placed” sounds so much better than “started life in…” doesn’t it?
And don’t you agree that “financial meltdown” sounds infinitely preferable to “died humiliatingly at their own hand”?
But let’s continue…
“‘I was asked before if I thought international football would be sacrificed due to my decision to stay at Rangers,’ he said. ‘And I said if that is the case then it’s a fair sacrifice for me. I can look myself in the mirror and happily agree with that. There hasn’t been a moment’s regret from the minute I chose to stay here. It was all part of a plan and that’s going in the right direction.
If the other side of the football isn’t going to come back into my career and that’s because I’ve stayed here, then I accept that. I’ve not been involved in the (Scotland) squads for the whole campaign that just passed, so I wasn’t expecting to be in it. So there’s no point in me talking about a squad I haven’t been in for a long time.
It’s more relevant for me to talk about Rangers, a team I train with every day and a squad I’m involved with. That’s the best way for me to channel any of my thoughts. I just concentrate solely on Rangers and that’s the way it’s probably going to have to be from here on in. I’m 28 now and would happily finish my career here, that’s something I’ve thought about a lot,’ he admitted.
‘If I am performing and doing well enough that the manager deems me good enough to stay, then great. And you don’t need to look any further than David Weir and how he prolonged his career from being a top professional.’”
So there you have it. When you actually study Wallace’s comments, he seems to be quite happy with his lot. He is generally content with the decision he took to go to Sevco in 2012, and didn’t really expect to be picked for the most recent Scotland squads. His attitude appears to be that if Scotland comes calling then that’s great, but he won’t lose any sleep over it either way.
Assuming that this genuinely is Wallace’s view (and I have no reason to disbelieve him), then you can only say “fair play” to him.
But you do have to wonder (AGAIN!) quite why certain parts of the media are continuing to make a song and dance about his non-selection for Scotland. I have previously ventured to suggest that it might have been prompted by a sense of entitlement which is either genuinely felt, or simply expressed on behalf of some Sevco fans.
But one thing I do know, is that the leaky Sevco defence of which Wallace is a key part has shipped 6 second-tier goals in its last two fixtures. A 2-3 defeat at Falkirk eight days ago, and a 4-3 win at home to Queen of the South today.
The STV report of the latter game had this to say about Wallace:
“The vocal home support were silenced just 10 minutes later when Russell was scythed down inside the box by Rangers’ skipper Lee Wallace.”
If you don’t believe STV, the Clumpany has managed to get an exclusive picture of lower league-hardened, 28 year-old Lee Wallace administering the fateful tackle against the Doonhammers today:
In conclusion, it could simply be the case that Lee Wallace hasn’t been selected for Scotland because he has been playing in football of a modest standard for several years. In competitions that aren’t particularly battle-hardening on a week-to-week basis.
But why let that get in the way of an Olympic-standard whinge on the part of some of our wonderful sports media, eh?
After all, there are 500 million Blue Pound-wielding Sevco fans out there for them to appease! 😉