Buddie Banter: John McGinn’s super Scotland goal tally shows talent is undoubted

While the song that has followed him from club to club suggests that no-one else quite understands just how good ‘Super’ John McGinn is, it’s fair to say the entire country is now starting to sit up and take notice of the former St Mirren star.

Even while he wasn’t at his best in Scotland’s opening two World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Israel, he still managed to pull off a world-class overhead kick to grab what could prove to be a vital point against the former.

And on Wednesday night his clinical brace ensured there was no slip up against the Faroe Islands in a 4-0 thrashing that keeps the Tartan Army’s dream of back-to-back major tournament appearances alive.

The swashbuckling midfielder has always won fans over who watch him week in, week out.

Saints fans saw the talented teenager lift the League Cup in 2013.

Hibs supporters saw him power the club towards the Scottish Cup in 2016.

Aston Villa fans saw him pick up a man-of-the-match performance in their crucial play-off final to return to the Premier League in 2019.

His undoubted brilliance, however, has not always been picked up on at national level.

Even before Wednesday night’s clash at Hampden there were some on social media calling for him to be dropped.

Thank goodness Steve Clarke knows a superstar in the making when he sees one, as McGinn put in a superb all-round performance capped with two finishes that a potent striker would have been proud of.

Impressively the brace takes McGinn to ten international goals in just 32 appearances.

That is simply an incredible return for a midfielder, especially in a Scotland team that has historically struggled for goals in recent years.

Not a single one has come from the penalty spot either, with his wand of a left foot firing past many different goalkeepers over the last few years.

His tally already sees him sitting level with strikers Steven Fletcher and Steven Naismith, and just one behind legendary Leeds and Manchester United striker Joe Jordan.

He is also just three behind Scotland icon James McFadden, and at the age of just 26 even the records of Kenny Miller (18) and Ally McCoist (19) are not out of reach for the ex-Buddie.

With the Euros fast approaching, McGinn is one of Scotland’s brightest hopes for a summer to remember, and every St Mirren fan and staff member who helped support and raise him should be proud to see him shine on the international stage.

Likewise Kenny McLean, who picked up his 18th cap on Wednesday night, looks likely to make Clarke’s Euro 2020 squad that will enjoy two home matches at Hampden Park in the group stages.

I recently spoke to former St Mirren defender Marc McAusland about the club’s 2013 League Cup success.

When the topic of McGinn came up he was honest in saying that he couldn’t have foreseen the incredible rise of his former teammate.

And in fairness no-one really could.

There are so many talented youngsters that fall by the wayside as they try to carve out a career in football.

Injuries, the wrong move at the wrong time and confidence knocks can all play their part.

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But when you make the right moves, as McGinn has, get the right coaching and support, as McGinn has, and have a burning desire to improve, as McGinn has, then sometimes everything comes together and you become the international star you were aiming to become.

As McGinn has.

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