CIES study debunks Gordon Strachan's theory that height equates to success in football
Having left his post as national team manager just four days after Scotland failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Gordon Strachan bizarrely stated his team's shortcomings were in part due to the height of his players.
"Genetically, we are behind – in the last campaign, we were the second smallest, apart from Spain," Strachan noted (forgetting that 2010 World Cup winners Spain are actually quite handy).
A recent study, however, has provided proof that this is nothing more than a myth. The CIES Football Observatory found that of the 20 Premier League sides, current league leader Manchester City have the smallest squad, with West Brom and Huddersfield the tallest.
West Brom have the seventh-tallest side among teams in the 36 European leagues they surveyed; Manchester City the 11th-shortest.
Image: CIES Football Observatory
On top of that, the likes of Barcelona, Lyon, Nice, Sevilla and Real Madrid all currently have squads under the average height of 182.1cm (5ft 10in).
Although the survey did state that players who are well below this average will struggle to establish themselves among Europe's elite, it's safe to say Strachan's odd excuse for failure has been well and truly dismissed.