With the news that Scotland’s star of the moment, Billy Gilmour, has tested positive for Covid-19, it brings back into the sharpest of focus how important it is for Steven Gerrard and his team to remain vigilant when they return for pre-season training in the coming weeks.
The former Gers academy graduate, who is linked with a return to Ibrox, was hugely impressive against England and would have been one of the first names on the team-sheet for the crucial winner-might-take-all against Croatia on Tuesday evening – bring back the days of everyone knowing that the finishing in the top two was all that mattered.
Steve Clarke’s game plan will be far from up in the air but he will need to make changes, the obvious one being to bring John Fleck into midfield, he might not be on Gilmour’s level but he is closest in terms of style of play without having to make too many changes elsewhere.
It’s a stark reminder though that Covid-19 is far from finished with interfering in elite sport despite all the precautions that are being taken and with us already having to cope without Leon Balogun, Glen Kamara, Kemar Roofe and probably Ryan Jack for the Champions League qualifiers, the last thing we would want is to have additional squad members miss out given that there is a £40million bounty for reaching the group stages – the difference between having to sell one or two key players.
We have already aborted plans to travel abroad for pre-season training, using the common sense lacked by our city rivals last winter, making fresh reminders to players about adhering to protocols before they report back to the club really could be the difference when our biggest games in a decade get underway later in the summer to avoid the fate suffered by Gilmour who will now miss Scotland’s biggest game in 23 years.