David Turnbull: Ex-Motherwell boss Craig Brown assesses midfielder's Scotland squad omission

David Turnbull celebrates one of his 15 goals for Motherwell last season (Pic by Ian McFadyen)
David Turnbull celebrates one of his 15 goals for Motherwell last season (Pic by Ian McFadyen)

New Scotland manager Steve Clarke raised a few eyebrows by not picking Scottish Football Writers Young Player of the Year David Turnbull in his first international squad, writes Craig Goldthorp.

Clarke didn’t select the Motherwell starlet – who scored a whopping 15 goals from midfield last season – yet did include four players who served him at Kilmarnock last season as the Ayrshire side clinched third place in the Scottish Premiership.

Stephen O’Donnell, Greg Taylor, Stuart Findlay and Eamonn Brophy got the nod, while Turnbull – linked with a club record £3 million move away from Fir Park this summer – wasn’t picked for the Euro 2020 Group I double header against Cyprus and Belgium.

Ex-Scotland and Motherwell manager Craig Brown told the Times and Speaker: “I didn’t like it when I was Scotland manager and other managers were saying to me: ‘Why are you picking this one yet not picking that one?’

“My answer to these managers was always: ‘Have you seen the other guy play?’

“I have seen Turnbull play once in the flesh.

“He is a very, very good player.

“I’m a Motherwell fan, so I want to see Motherwell players in the Scotland team.

“I can’t tell you whether Turnbull is better than Scott McTominay because I haven’t seen enough of him.

“People say it is hard for players to get picked for international football if they are not with a fashionable club.

“I don’t want to say anything against Motherwell, but it would be interesting to see whether or not Turnbull was selected if he joins Celtic and plays as well as he was playing at Motherwell.

“Steve Clarke is a quality manager and if he thinks Turnbull is good enough then he’ll pick him in future.”

Minus Turnbull, Clarke’s Scotland reign got off to a positive start on Saturday evening when they started their Group I campaign with a 2-1 home win over Cyprus thanks to a stunning Andy Robertson strike and a last gasp winner by Oliver Burke.

The Scots’ campaign was continuing away to section favourites Belgium after we went to press on Tuesday.