This weekend’s International schedule has halted any league fixtures involving Sheffield United. The Blades have seen a number of call-ups for players to their National Team but we cannot help but question why John Fleck hasn’t been called up to the Scotland side.
Our Northern neighbours have scheduled two fixtures against Belgium and Albania. Alex McLeish’s side host Word Cup 2018 Third Place side Belgium tonight in a Friendly before hosting Albania on Monday, 10th September in the UEFA Nations League.
A notable exclusion from the called up squad is Sheffield United’s John Fleck who must be wondering what he has to do to be called up. Since signing on a free transfer in July 2016, the Scot helped the Blades win promotion back to the Championship and last season was a strong physical presence as they finished mid table.
He has arguably been one of the better midfielders in the Championship and with the vast majority of the pool of players available for Scotland playing outside the top leagues in Scotland and England; we cannot understand why our midfielder hasn’t been selected.
To date the 27 year-old hasn’t played for the Scotland National Team but has played 17 times at Youth level for the Tartan Army. In September 2006 he capped the Under-16’s side which beat Jersey 11-0, with the midfielder netting an hat-trick.
McLeish has included Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn, who was skilfully uphanded in the middle of the park last Saturday as Mark Duffy charged onto score the Blades second goal in their 4-1 win. Former Blades Kevin McDonald (Fulham) and Matt Phillips (WBA) have also been included.
The full call-up selection was posted on their National Teams twitter account;
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) August 27, 2018
In an online article in October 2017, Scottish newspaper the Daily Record reported that Fleck would make an ideal replacement for Celtic’s Scott Brown. And only last week the Sheffield Star posed the same question!
In the past he has been kept out of the National squad by Sheffield Wednesday’s Barry Bannan, but he too hasn’t been selected this time around.
Considering he plays in England and has almost chalked up a century of appearances for Sheffield United we cannot understand why he hasn’t been selected. Having said that Fleck is a prominent figure in the side, and is noticeable when he is absent. United have three tough fixtures ahead of them with an away tie at Bristol City next Saturday. Chris Wilder will be keen to keep a fully fit and fresh squad at Ashton Gate and in the forthcoming fixtures to follow. With Fleck not playing for his Country it would reduce the risk of him being injured and being absent for these games!