David Marshall will be 31 today. It’s slightly ironic that it has been Gordon Strachan that has promoted David as his first choice goalkeeper after all it was Gordon that demoted him as Celtic’s number one.
David had come to prominence in March 2004, as he deputised for the suspended Rab Douglas as Celtic faced Barcelona in the U.E.F.A Cup in a 4th round, second leg tie. Celtic had won the first game 1-0 previously, when David was thrust into the lion’s den that is the Bernabeu for the second leg and he gave a world class performance including a penalty save from Ronaldinho.
Soon after this Berti Vogts gave David his debut for Scotland in August 2004. Many is the player who dreams of scoring on their debut for the National team; not so much for a goalkeeper though. Like in a lot of Berti’s friendlies, Scotland were pumped; this time 3-0 by Hungary at Hampden. The third goal being a bit of personal calamity for David as a low cross was swung into the area David tried to intercept it and missed, an onrushing Steven Pressley tried to clear it and it off Marshall’s back and into the net.
By November 1st, Berti had resigned and Tommy Burns was put in temporary in charge for the next game; another disastrous friendly that Berti had pre-arranged saw Scotland lose 4-1 at Easter Road to Sweden.
The next few years would see David lose his place at Celtic as Gordon Strachan brought in Artur Boruc and he would move to Norwich initially on loan but then full time.
It would take five years before David would return and he would now be a Cardiff City player. George Burley picked him for a World Cup Qualifier against Norway in August, 2009, in Oslo. Captain Gary Caldwell was sent off in 34 minutes and by minute 35 Norway had the ball in the back of the net. This was followed by 3 more without reply; meaning David had conceded 11 goals in his first 3 internationals.
Come September and David was once more in goals to face Netherlands, although Scotland had a slim chance of reaching the play offs if they beat the Dutch it was not to be and although they had their chances a sucker punch of a goal in the 82nd minute by Elia saw Scotland fail to progress.
David had one more game under Burley at his home ground of the Cardiff City Stadium where Scotland lost 3-0 in a friendly to Wales in November, 2009.
Once more David waited in the wings with Allan McGregor wresting control of the goalkeeping spot from Craig Gordon and so another four years passed by until Gordon Strachan rescued him from the International wilderness, although he had been involved in squads from time to time. This was Gordon’s third game in charge and took place in Novi Sad in Serbia on March, 26th, 2013. Scotland lost two nil.
David would first be part of a victorious Scottish side in his 8th game as goals from Ikechi Anya and Shaun Maloney would see Scotland win 2-1 in Macedonia. However, if truth be told David went off at half time and was replaced rather ably by Matt Gilks, before any of the goals in the 2-1 victory were scored.
It wasn’t until the start of the campaign for the 2016 Euros began that David became first choice goalkeeper. At the start of the campaign, he had amassed 11 caps and by the end of it David had a haul of 22 having played in every Qualifier except the last against Gibraltar in Portugal. Overall David had performed soundly throughout Scotland’s games but with Craig Gordon and Allan McGregor in the wings he knows any below par performances could see him lose his place. Despite his recent exploits with Cardiff City in the Premiership it is a bit worrying that no one took the opportunity to sign David this season and he is still playing in England’s second flight in the meantime.
Happy Birthday, David and all the best.
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David Stuart