Gothenburg Great Alex McLeish thinks Aberdeen’s “fantastic servant” Andy Considine is “one that got away” for the national team.
Considine, 33, has made more than 500 appearances for the Dons, but has never been called up for Scotland.
Before coronavirus decimated the football calendar across the world, injuries to the likes of his Reds team-mate Scott McKenna and Hearts’ John Souttar meant the Pittodrie youth product had been tipped to finally feature for his country in the Dark Blues’ Euro 2020 play-offs campaign.
March’s semi-final against Israel at Hampden has been shifted to the Autumn, by which time Considine’s chances of being handed a cap by boss Steve Clarke will likely be gone.
Clarke’s predecessor McLeish, who has twice managed Scotland and played for the national team 77 times, revealed on our Northern Goal podcast Considine had also come close when he selected his squad for friendlies with Peru and Mexico in 2018.
He said: “He’s certainly been there or thereabouts, Andy, and been a fantastic servant to Aberdeen.
“Whether it’s the fact the Dons weren’t a title or trophy-winning team, which made it a little bit more difficult to get into the national team – that’s always a starter for 10. With successful teams, a lot of their players get picked for their countries.
“How old is Andy now, 33?
“He’s possibly missed the boat.
“When I took the guys on the South American trip to Peru and Mexico, we mentioned him round about then, but we decided to take the younger guys because it was a bit more of an experimental phase of Scotland’s history.
“We decided to take young Scott McKenna, who has done not too bad in the jersey.
“Andy’s probably one that got away.”
McKenna captained Scotland against Mexico in the famous Azteca and McLeish believes the return of exciting talents like the Dons centre-half, Aston Villa’s John McGinn and Manchester United’s Scott McTominay from injury for the Dark Blues’ attempt to reach the Euros – now taking place next summer – is a positive consequence of the Covid-19 disruption.
Should Scotland beat Israel, they will then have to win in Norway or Serbia to end their 20-year-plus Championship drought.
McLeish said: “I think it may be a blessing because one or two of the guys were injured, John McGinn and (Scott) McTominay.
“These guys are growing in stature with every game the play. The reason for that is they’ve been playing at a very high level, consistently.
“These are bonuses for Steve. The stronger the squad, the stronger the player we have, the more chance we have of qualification.
“They’ll be two very difficult games and, if you got these players, you’ve got a better chance.”
In this week’s episode of Northern Goal, McLeish, who was one half of Scottish football’s greatest central defensive partnership alongside Willie Miller, and won 12 trophies over his 692 appearances with the Dons, opens up on his Pittodrie career.
During an hour-long interview, the Aberdeen Hall of Fame member reflects on scoring one of the club’s best goals in the 1982 Scottish Cup final, going from Gothenburg pass-back nightmare to European Cup Winners’ Cup euphoria and reflects on the Reds’ Premier Division title heartbreak at Ibrox in 1991.
McLeish also explains why he feels Scottish football’s perilous finances mean a way should have been found to keep Hearts in the top-flight.
Search for Northern Goal on your favourite podcast app.