From Middlesbrough’s team in each of their five English Premier League games this season, there has been one notable absentee, Jordan Rhodes.
The 25-year-old striker played an important role for Middlesbrough as they were promoted from the Championship last season, whereby after joining the club from Blackburn Rovers in January he scored six goals in 18 appearances.
Despite that, so far this campaign Rhodes has yet to make a competitive appearance in any competition, since as well as being unused in the Premier League, he remained an unused substitute in Middlesbrough 2-1 English League Cup defeat to Fulham.
Karanka overlooking Rhodes
As such after scoring so prolifically for Huddersfield and Blackburn in the English Football League, whilst initially settling well into Middlesbrough’s team, Rhodes faces a difficult task to re-establish himself in that, following the summer arrival at the club of Alvaro Negredo.
The 31-year-old, formerly of Seville and Manchester City has displaced Rhodes as manager Aitor Karanka’s first choice striker.
Furthermore Karanka is also currently overlooking Rhodes in favour of David Nugent, as it is he that the 43-year-old Spaniard has chosen to introduce as a substitute when seeking to refresh his frontline during games this season.
Of even greater disappointment to Rhodes, was that his complete omission from Middlesbrough’s squad for their 3-1 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park.
Snodgrass influential for club and country
Whilst Rhodes continues to endure a frustrating start to the season, his fellow Scottish internationalist Robert Snodgrass is performing excellently for Hull City, after helping the club win promotion to the Premier League last season.
In order to do so the 29-year-old bravely recovered from a dislocated kneecap which he sustained as Hull opened their 2014-2015 English Premier League campaign with a 1-0 win against Queens Park Rangers.
As a result of that injury, Snodgrass spent 15 months on the side lines. Nevertheless that ended last December, as the former Leeds United and Norwich City winger scored 5 goals in 29 Hull appearances, whilst also earning a recall to Gordon Strachan’s Scotland squad.
Subsequently, an ever present in Mike Phelan’s Hull side this season, Snodgrass has delivered a series of diligent displays, characterised by awareness, intelligence and skill, to help his team collect seven points from their opening five Premier League games and reach the third round of the League Cup.
Although only a consolation, Snodgrass scored for the fourth time this season by confidently converting a penalty in Hull’s 4-1 home defeat to Arsenal, as his fine run of form whereby he has now been directly involved in six goals in his last nine league appearances for Hull – scoring four and providing assists for two others.
As a further indication of the rich vein of form Snodgrass is currently in, he scored a hat-trick for Scotland to help his country to a 5-1 win in their opening 2018 World Cup qualification game against Malta.
A tale of two talented Scotsmen experiencing markedly different fortunes
Therefore at present whereas Snodgrass is shining for both Hull and Scotland, in stark contrast his countryman Rhodes, who has scored prolifically at club level for the last eight successive seasons, appears resigned to remaining on the side lines.
There ends the current tale of two Scotsmen, who after being influential in their respective clubs winning promotion to the Premier League last season are experiencing markedly different fortunes this term.
Nevertheless the duo share the quality of being extremely talented, although at present only Snodgrass is receiving the opportunity to showcase that in the Premier League.
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