While the Scottish national team isn’t blessed with a huge amount of quality, the left side of the Tartan Army really is something to shout about. Indeed, while that doesn’t go as far as to make up for the distinct lack of class in other positions, Alex McLeish has a luxury on that side.
Both Kieran Tierney and Andrew Robertson are amongst the best full-backs in Britain though they clearly can’t both play that role for Scotland. ‘Big Eck’ has found a system to incorporate them both, deploying Tierney in a central role on the left of a defensive three, though that doesn’t really show the Celtic star off in all his glory.
Robertson, meanwhile, has been appointed the Scottish captain after a meteoric rise to fame with Liverpool and his all-action style is certainly a major weapon in Scotland’s arsenal.
So, we’re going to pit the two against each other.
The Celtic star will have to bide his time to play in his natural position at international level, though certainly continues to thrill at club level. While many will point to the fact that the Bhoys aren’t always overly tested defensively in domestic competition, few would doubt the fact that Tierney is probably the best full-back in the league.
A player capable of carrying the emotional weight that comes with being a boyhood Bhoy, Tierney has also shown the kind of mentality that could see him reach the very top. Indeed, if his Champions League exploits for Celtic are anything to go by, he’ll be a fixture of European football for most of his career.
While he’s clearly happy at Celtic and suggestions he will one day leave must be getting tiresome for supporters, Tierney’s ceiling is sky high.
TT Grade – A
Andrew Robertson will never get better and that is not a criticism. Indeed, it’s also not to suggest that he won’t continue this kind of form across the campaign and potentially onto next year, though he’s clearly playing out of his skin under Jurgen Klopp and perfectly suits the system at Anfield.
However, it’s hard to see how he develops even further from here, so both Liverpool and the Tartan Army should enjoy him while this lasts. Hopefully for them, he can mark the greatest period of his career with a trophy or success in the UEFA Nations League, while continuing to endear himself to supporters all over the world.
TT Grade – B*
Robertson is a better player in a better system right now but Tierney has the potential to get far better than the Liverpool ace. Perhaps the Reds should consider raiding Celtic in the coming years if Robertson does begin to burn out, though it’ll surely take some doing, considering the former’s affection for the Hoops.
Tierney wins this one, as good as Roberston has been over the past 9 months or so.
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