SCOTLAND will kick-off their first Nations League campaign with a home clash with Albania in September – but could do so without a permanent manager in charge …
Gordon Strachan’s Exit
Former Scots boss Gordon Strachan was relieved of his duties back in October after failing to guide his troops to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. But the bungling Scottish Football Association have so far failed to appoint a successor.
Strachan’s accomplishments as manager left a lot to be desired as he was in the role for four years but delivered very little in terms of success. Significant success, that is.
His win percentage comes in at just under 50% – a decent record that is only bettered by a handful of former managers. But it was his failure to deliver the Scots to a major tournament that irked those of a Scottish persuasion and the SFA moved quickly to get rid.
Unfortunately for fans, that’s where the quickness of the SFA’s actions stopped as it has been three months since he was shown the door – with no imminent plans to replace him.
The Michael O’Neill Tragedy
It was viewed as a disaster when first-choice replacement Michael O’Neill KO’d an offer in favour of remaining with Northern Ireland. And it truly was a disaster. Not necessarily because the offer was rejected, but because it had become common knowledge that O’Neill was the man they wanted – but seemingly weren’t prepared to stump up the cash for.
The SFA were embarrassed – and rightfully so. Their main target refusing to succeed their previous boss and everyone in the world knew it.
Who Will Lead Scotland to the Nations League?
With the country taking part in their very first Nations League competition, Scotland need to make sure they have the right man in charge when it rolls around.
It’s not the most prestigious of tournaments by any stretch of the imagination. It’s no World Cup, no European Championship. But it is a potential stepping-stone for qualification to the Euros in 2020 that Scotland cannot afford to pass up. The very fact that four fixtures in that tournament will be played at Hampden would make Scotland’s failure to qualify another humiliation. Scotland simply must qualify.
That’s why it’s imperative to get it right. Here at Bonus Code Bets, we took a look at four managers who could make themselves available to take over at Scotland in the future – and hopefully in plenty of time for the Nations League.
A former Celtic boss, like Strachan, Neil Lennon has a significant pedigree in the game. As a manager he has proved to be a fiery character who has worked with talented players and big egos in his short time in the dugout.
Currently at Scottish Premiership outfit Hibernian, Lennon boasts an impressive CV that has seen him beat Catalan giants Barcelona. He helped Celts to three league titles and two Scottish cups. He guided Hibs to the Championship title in his first attempt. He is still young and could have the steel to make Scotland a force to be reckoned with.
McLeish knows the job. He has been there before. His win percentage sits at an imposing 70% and he helped Scotland to a famous 1-0 win over France at Parc des Princes back in 2007. With an exciting new brand of talent coming through the ranks for Scotland, an experienced boss with traditional views on how the game should be played may well suit everyone.
He has already made his interest known and could very well be in the mix for the big job.
The suggestion that Gemmill could be ready for the job has already split opinion in his homeland. Some are furious at the mere notion that he could make the step-up from the under-21’s outfit while others would offer him the job immediately after finding out ‘Scot’ is short for Scotland.
Has done a decent job with the under-21’s and would give youngsters an opportunity in the first-team – but his lack of experience proves he may be just too much of a gamble for the SFA to take, considering they need a win.
West Ham got rid of the Croat following a string of bad results in the English Premier League. But the fact that he’s been plying his trade in arguably the biggest league in the world for a number of years is not to be scoffed at.
The least the SFA could do would be to ask the question and, if he wasn’t interested, it’s no harm, no foul. However, if the Hammers legend did decide to take the reins at Hampden, there’s little doubt he would bring a passion that Scots have not seen in years.
Only time will tell.