It takes courage to come out to the press and admit that your form at club level has been disappointing, yet this is exactly what Stuart Armstrong has done.
The Southampton midfielder admitted recently in an interview with The Courier that although the club’s form had been promising as a collective, Armstrong believes his performances haven’t been up to par in the Premier League.
The former Celtic star said: “(My form has been) pretty poor. I wasn’t involved in the first game of the season then came back in and played parts in the next three.
“It had been difficult because in the summer I came away here (with Scotland) and got injured so I missed a bit of the pre-season at Southampton. Then I had a bit of an illness so it was a combination of bad luck and bad timing that I missed a chunk of pre-season with the team.
Indeed, Armstrong’s performances this season have been poor, yet there is a reason to believe that these showings on the pitch can significantly improve if the midfielder is given the chance to impress with Scotland in the upcoming international fixtures.
With Steve Clarke’s optimistic Scotland side taking on the likes of Russia and Belgium, it will be a big opportunity for a handful of Scottish players to make the step-up in these important games as the home nation hopes to qualify for EURO 2020, and Armstrong will be hoping to be involved.
The 27-year-old has played twice this year for the Scottish national team, yet his inclusion in the squad for this slate of fixtures seems to indicate that Clarke is keen on using the former Celtic midfielder for the upcoming games, and the Southampton man should be making the most of this opportunity.
Delivering on the international stage can translate to improved form at club level, and for Armstrong, the Southampton man will need to step up his game for Scotland if he wants to regain his form in the Premier League if the Saints are to continue their promising start to the season.