The Celtic winger reported for international duty on the back of scoring four goals against St Johnstone but didn’t see any action in Israel until it was a lost cause.
McLeish’s decision to play Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney in the same side meant that there was only one slot available on the right with the more defensive option of Stephen O’Donnell preferred.
Switching to a 4-4-2 would have allowed Forrest and O’Donnell to combine down the right but the Scotland boss had better ideas.
After discussing the Leigh Griffiths situation Sutton told the Daily Record: “Then there is the ridiculous decision not to pick James Forrest, which I can’t get my head around.
“Forrest was up for Scotland’s Player of the Year last season and while he might not have hit the heights early on this term, he’s shown signs of getting back to his best.
“He scored four goals at the weekend and would have been bursting with confidence. To leave him out again was strange to say the least.”
Forrest is likely to play from the start when Scotland face Portugal in a friendly at Hampden that brings a new meaning to the phrase meaningless.
McLeish is under growing pressure after being outplayed by the 94th best team in the world with the Robertson and Tierney situation the biggest issue to be addressed.
With the Liverpool man named as his skipper it seems certain that Tierney will miss out unless Robertson discovers a convenient injury.