Steven will be 29 on September 14th and hasn’t he marked the celebration well, with a hat-trick against Chelsea on Saturday there (GIRFUY Jose Mourinho).
Steven’s Scotland career began as a Kilmarnock player in 6th June 2007 under Alex McLeish coming on as a sub against Faroe Islands in a Euro Qualifier replacing his old Killie teammate Kris Boyd. Shaun Maloney and Garry O’Connor had already completed the scoring as Scotland won 2 nil.
His next cap would see him start against the Netherlands in September 2009 at Hampden, this would be during George Burley’s reign. Steven had also changed clubs and become a Rangers player by then. Scotland were narrowly defeated but Naismith had an eventful evening with having a goal disallowed and also hitting the post. The Dutch scored the winner in the 82nd minute and Scotland hopes of qualifying for the World Cup were dashed . . . once more.
Cap number four came in September 2010 as Scotland played out a nil nil draw in Kaunas v Lithuania under Craig Levein at the start of the 2012 Euro qualifier. Naismith would also play in that infamous game where Levein in his shit wisdom decided to play a formation of 6-4-0 against a very poor Czech Republic team. Scotland lost one nil with the Czechs scoring a goal that was apparently not part of the plan; as for the Scots we weren’t supposed to score and that plan was followed to a T (or is it a tee?).
Of course a few days after a piss poor performance, Scotland faced the World Champions at Hampden and lost 3-2. Sounds oh too familiar doesn’t it? Steven scored his first Scotland goal that night coming a few minutes after the Spanish had gone 2 nil up and then Pique was to put the ball into his own net shortly after and we dreamed; oh how we dreamed until a further Spanish goal dashed our hopes . . . once more.
Steven would score his next goal against Lithuania in the same qualifying series in September 2011 but again the damage had been done a few days before when the Czechs came to town and were given a penalty that never was and so we sloped out of the 2012 qualifiers.
By this time Steven had become a regular in the side sitting in behind the lone striker and when Levein was thankfully given the heave ho and followed by WGS, he became one of the first names on the teamsheet. He had also moved from Rangers to Everton by this time too.
Goal number 3 came in the World Cup Qualifier against Croatia at Hampden in October 2013 when he saved Barry Bannan’s blushes by netting the rebound from a woefully taken penalty. Robert Snodgrass had already scored in the first half as Scotland beat Croatia 2 nil but again it was too little too late and we were on our way to Benidorm rather than Rio for our holidays.
Steven has managed to score two goals in the current Euro campaign, scoring our second in Poland in the 2 all draw and fitting one in against Gibraltar in between Messrs. Maloney and Fletcher in our 6-1 win. It should be said that Steven has not had the greatest of campaigns despite some good performances he has let a few chances go a begging at times too. However, we are still not out of it yet and maybe with the boost of an EPL hat-trick Steven will find his scoring form in his fortieth Scotland game and give us something to cheer against Poland.
Happy Birthday Steven.
First posted on Facebook September 14th, 2015