Scotland National Team News and Views

Blue Touchpaper

So the worst kept secret in football is now public news, Gordon Strachan is the latest man bestowed with the somewhat ominous task of leading Scotland back in from the international wilderness.

The managerial fortunes of the fifty capped former Aberdeen and Manchester United player has been a mixed bag but his appointment has been greeted favourably by the mass ranks of the Tartan Army as well as the pundits who are in unison that Strachan is the right man for the job.

Okay there may not have been a large queue of top class candidates barging down the door of the SFA headquarters requesting an interview for the post of the Scottish national team boss but Strachan’s name stood out from the rest with the reasoning behind his appointment not difficult to find.

He has a proven track record in management, keeping lowly Coventry City in the Premiership, guiding unfancied Southampton to a FA Cup Final, three successive titles with Celtic as well as two noteworthy Champions League runs culminating in the Hoops reaching the last 16.

Then there is his ability to inspire players who will surely find the prospect of working alongside someone with a proven reputation of performing at the highest level for both club and country as an exciting prospect.

Throw in the facts that Strachan carries with him an aura and personality which appeals to the long suffering supporters and that he was unattached to any club when the SFA made their move then the decision to offer him the post as Craig Levein’s successor makes total sense.
 
 

However it is only fair and rational to take on board the views of those who feel that the SFA have taken the wrong decision in awarding the job to this ginger haired diminutive son of Edinburgh.

Whilst he did indeed manage to steer Coventry away from relegation for two years in his third season the battle to keep the Sky Blues in the English top flight was lost and the Midlands club have failed to recover in subsequent years.

At Celtic for all the trophies there was the embarrassment of humiliating defeats to Artmedia Bratislava and Clyde and his tenure at Middlesbrough was an unmitigated disaster which resulted in him leaving Teeside after only twelve months.

But the head honchos at Hampden have made their decision and Strachan is the man faced with inheriting a dispirited bunch of players who have failed to make any positive impression on our World Cup qualifying group.

The dreams of reaching Brazil have all but already been ruined following a disastrous start which sees the national side sitting rock bottom of our group with a measly two points.

Gaining respectability must then be the initial target for Strachan’s Scotland with the quest of reaching Euro 2016 in France a must, especially as UEFA in their infinite wisdom have taken the decision to increase the competing nations from 16 to 24.

It will also be fascinating to see what kind of team Scotland will become during Strachan’s tenure.

Much criticised for his teams playing style while Celtic boss Strachan is not renowned for sending out sides packed with flair and creativity but when you consider the relatively mediocre squad of players at his disposal a stubborn, difficult to break down physical team may be what the Tartan Army will be forced to watch until we see the fruits of SFA Performance Director Mark Wotte’s labours.

Gordon Strachan will also find that his witty, cheeky and sometimes abrasive character will come under the microscope from the nations hacks who will not hesitate to stick the knife in if there are no signs of progress.

Watching Strachan take on the mantle as the country’s new savour is going to be fascinating viewing, I just hope he can make us proud to be a nation again.

 

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