Kev-in The Scotland Squad

By Stand Free Ed
Last updated : 11 November 2004
Normally any Dons player being picked for Scotland would be cause of much chest-swelling in pride in the the cms1903 household, if not outright celebration. However, when the selection of Kevin McNaughton was announced, alongside Russell Anderson (who must surely now be a regular), in the squad for the upcoming Sweden friendly, the pride was replaced with a quiet bewilderment.

Firstly, the Scotland squad is not necessarily something that I particularly want Aberdeen players to be associated with at the moment. They are a shambles, and in an intermediate stage of an intermediate stage - managerless, while in the process of refurbishment. Perhaps this is not the best time for someone described as "nervous" famously by the previous incumbent of the Scotland manager's shiny tracksuit.

Secondly, and most importantly as a Scotland supporter and Aberdeen regular, Super Kev has not been playing well this season. He started the season in right midfield against Rangers, and looked incapable of performing the role. He was shifted to right-back for the Hearts and Dunfermline games that followed, and looked alarmingly inept defensively, while showing occasional flashes of promise going forward without actually causing any real danger to the opposition.

Since then, Jimmy Calderwood has generally played Kev at left-back, mainly due to the form of Michael Hart at right-back. In this position, Kev has started to regularly perform adequately enough, while still being the main defensive weak link and only rarely providing the attacking flair we know he is capable of.

To me, this is not Scotland form. So why has Tommy Burns picked him? Burns said at the press conference "[McNaughton] is back to his best and was outstanding against Celtic. I spoke to Jimmy Calderwood and he said that was how he had been playing all season." This defence of his own players is to be expected from Calderwood, so it seems that Burns has picked Kev on the basis of one game (against Burns' very own first love, Cellicfootballclub). Most Aberdeen fans I have spoken to that were present at Parkhead for the 3-2 victory have said that it was not Kev's best game either.

It could be that Burns is wishing to let it be known that he is not picking the same players as Berti Vogts. What better way to do that than to include the player that Berti very publicly denounced? Overall, it is a good thing that Aberdeen have two players in the Scotland squad (and Scotty Severin on standby), but the choice of Kevin McNaughton, and perhaps the motivation behind the selection, is quite perplexing.

Aberdeen Match Reports

Scottish Premiership Sat 18th November 15:00

Aberdeen 0 - 2 Motherwell

Last game - Match Centre


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