THERE was something about the abruptness of Robert Snodgrass’ withdrawal from Scotland duty on the morning of the meeting with San Marino which suggested there might be more to it.

So it proved this morning when the 32-year-old called time on his international career entirely, doing so via an emotional Instagram post in which he stated that he was stepping aside to ”let the boys and younger players take my place and hopefully push the squad forward”.

In a way, this was classic Snodgrass – a dramatic end to a Scotland career through the age groups which has contained highs and lows. There are a number of reasons why Snodgrass only won a total of 28 caps for his country – not least serious injury and differences of opinion with managers – but a lack of technical ability wasn’t one of them.

A gallus throwback to an earlier age from the East End of Glasgow, Snodgrass was in the Livingston team at an early age and marked his international territory as a young man when he was part of the group which had Scotland in a European Under-19 Championship final in Poland back in 2006, a team which locked horns with Gerrard Pique and Juan Mata in the final. From there it was off to a generally catastrophic Under-20 World Cup in Canada, but it was only a matter of time before he made an impact at full international level.

Originally called up under George Burley back in 2009, that big moment came under Craig Levein in August 2011, with a headed winner in a friendly against Denmark on his first start for his country. Gordon Strachan, too, was an admirer – Snodgrass notched a couple of famous goals in back to back wins against a much-vaunted Croatia side.

But a horrific knee-cap injury kept him sidelined for long periods and it was too little too late when he popped up with an 88th minute equaliser in Ljubljana against Slovenia in a match where a win would have seen us reach the playoffs for the 2018 World Cup.

Snodgrass took umbrage at his usage in the brief Alex McLeish era, not least when reporting for international duty amid a period of family tragedy only to watch the entire match against Israel from the stands. While he has now made himself unavailable for the national team, he resists the notion that he ever did so during that period.

A man who wears his heart on his sleeve, Snodgrass was back in the fold under Steve Clarke and given the full 90 minutes in the mauling in Moscow by Russia.

While a big personality amongst the group, who has been in-form at West Ham, and retires with seven goals to his name, his analysis of the situation is perhaps correct: it is probably time for a younger generation of player to step in.

While his ability to keep the ball is always something to be treasured at international level, with the likes of Ryan Christie, James Forrest and Ryan Fraser champing at the bit for game time in the wider areas, Snodgrass was hardly guaranteed a first team spot anyway.

Clarke will do things his way and as the way he left Charlie Mulgrew out of his central defence against San Marino shows, he will be ruthless when it comes to building his own team and putting his own stamp on it. The Scotland manager wants everyone in the tent but will be his own man.

Robert Snodgrass simply decided yesterday that wasn’t for him. He served his country well on the 28 occasions when he appeared for it and calling time on it now can prolong his club career in the Premier League in England. While he never made it to a major finals with the full Scotland team, there is no crime in that when you consider some of the others who didn’t make it either.