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Time to go Steve Clarke


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Remember when wanting to get Michael O'Neill in was seen as a genuinely decent shout but the general feeling is that he wouldn't give up the Northern Ireland job and if he did, it would be for a job in the English Championship?

lol

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1 hour ago, Donathan said:

It’s mental to think that as poor as Strachan was, he’s probably above average in terms of our managers in the 21st century 

 

3. Alex McLeish (Good wins over France and Ukraine in his first spell and of course he won us a Nations League group, but Georgia 2007 and Kazakhstan 2018 take him below Smith for me)

 

They were poor results, but Smith's 1-0 defeat at home to Belarus was woeful as well.

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1 hour ago, Donathan said:

It’s mental to think that as poor as Strachan was, he’s probably above average in terms of our managers in the 21st century 

 

 

1. Steve Clarke (Certified Demi god. Got us to the euros and league A of the UNL)

 

2. Walter Smith (We’d have surely qualified for Euro 2008 if he hadn’t left)

 

3. Alex McLeish (Good wins over France and Ukraine in his first spell and of course he won us a Nations League group, but Georgia 2007 and Kazakhstan 2018 take him below Smith for me)

 

4. Gordon Strachan (Best of the bad bunch)

 

5. Craig Levein (The 2014 World Cup qualifiers were horrendous, but he at least came close to Euro 2012. We were a last minute dodgy penalty to the Czechs away from a winnable playoff against Montenegro)

 

6. Craig Brown (Only taking into account the 2002 qualifiers. I mark him down for sticking with dad’s army and giving his successor an impossible job)

 

7. Berti Vogts (Horrendous, but as mentioned, following Levein and revamping the squad was a very tough job. I do give him a small amount of credit for building the nucleus of the side that Smith and McLeish went on to have some success with)

 

8. George Burley (Total disaster) 

I don't think you can fairly disconnect Paw Broon's tenure. I know we are looking at his performance from 2000 onward but given what he achieved before, in no way should he be behind Levein, Strachan, McLeish or even Smith on a subjective list ie not one assessed by win ratios.

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23 minutes ago, KingRocketman II said:

I don't think you can fairly disconnect Paw Broon's tenure. I know we are looking at his performance from 2000 onward but given what he achieved before, in no way should he be behind Levein, Strachan, McLeish or even Smith on a subjective list ie not one assessed by win ratios.

For me, Brown would be 2nd behind Clarke for the 93-99 part of his reign. The 98 World Cup qualifying campaign in particular was great to watch.  Some brilliant football was played in those games.

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6 hours ago, Donathan said:

5. Craig Levein (The 2014 World Cup qualifiers were horrendous, but he at least came close to Euro 2012. We were a last minute dodgy penalty to the Czechs away from a winnable playoff against Montenegro)

4-6-0 casts such a cloud it obscures most memories of Levein's reign. But I was absolutely fuming after that game, the ref was a disgrace 😠

 

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Just now, Lurkst said:

4-6-0 casts such a cloud it obscures most memories of Levein's reign. But I was absolutely fuming after that game, the ref was a disgrace 😠

 

I always remember Leveins attempted justifucation after the game.

Rubin Kazan had played the same formation against Barcelona and had stink fested a victory.

That Barcelona team reads like a whos who of football at that time, just unbelievable. And he compares that to us playing the Czechs.

He was an utter wally

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Brown qualified us for two championships in a row, and came very close to taking us to a third. For that alone he's above Clarke. I love Clarke, but it's a nonsense to put Brown below anyone on that list based purely on his last campaign. 

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Brown qualified us for two championships in a row, and came very close to taking us to a third. For that alone he's above Clarke. I love Clarke, but it's a nonsense to put Brown below anyone on that list based purely on his last campaign. 
Yep, a travesty.
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Congratulations to Clarke for the most recent result. He's a complete rollercoaster of a manager. And the last two summers have been horrific but everytime he is under pressure he comes up with a big result. And round and round we go. At least mctominay is back in midfield and he's changed away from that awful formation 

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51 minutes ago, Donathan said:

The list is based on 2000 onwards. It’s a 21st century exercise. Brown’s achievements in the 90s aren’t relevant here. 

Aye I've made a bit of an arse of that.

 

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14 hours ago, edinabear said:

Congratulations to Clarke for the most recent result. He's a complete rollercoaster of a manager. And the last two summers have been horrific but everytime he is under pressure he comes up with a big result. And round and round we go. At least mctominay is back in midfield and he's changed away from that awful formation 

The last 2 Summers have been disappointing, not horrific. At least we were in the position for them to be disappointing with our last qualification in 1998 and our last play off in 2003. 
 

 

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2 minutes ago, stuart87 said:

The last 2 Summers have been disappointing, not horrific. At least we were in the position for them to be disappointing with our last qualification in 1998 and our last play off in 2003.

After scraping through the Nations League play-offs to qualify, we did as well as expected at the Euros in 2021; the only folk who thought we should do better were Scots. It was a bit disappointing, but the only way we'd have been considered to have underperformed would've been if we'd been battered, Eire 2012 style.

The World Cup performance against Ukraine was disappointing, but has context after the games that followed - we were one of the nations who were badly out of form for whatever reason during that window. Eire was genuinely horrific; maybe as bad as Kazakhstan. However, despite being awful, the team somehow staggered through the Armenia games with full points, and gave themselves a realistic chance to make amends. It was bad, but they deserve some sort of credit for not losing the heid and flinging away more points, like Armenia did in Yerevan.

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3 consecutive play-offs isn't the job requirement according to Steve Clarke's contract, but it's still a good achievement. In order to get an automatic extension he has to reach Euro 2024 so maybe it's helpful to have his job on the line. There is also a risk he could move on of course. Would anyone object to him getting an extension beyond Euro 2024 now? 

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4 hours ago, 2426255 said:

3 consecutive play-offs isn't the job requirement according to Steve Clarke's contract, but it's still a good achievement. In order to get an automatic extension he has to reach Euro 2024 so maybe it's helpful to have his job on the line. There is also a risk he could move on of course. Would anyone object to him getting an extension beyond Euro 2024 now? 

On your last point, I think it really depends on the draw we get & subsequent results. 
I think he’s doing a fantastic job & don’t doubt his man-management skills in the least, everyone wants to play for him, which hasn’t always been the case under previous incumbents, we had a couple of poor results in the summer, but I think he’s realised that his normal tactics won’t work in every situation & he’s adapted now. 
In short, I’ve persuaded myself to give him a ten year contract. Never felt so good about a Scotland squad . 

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Strachan improved Scotland but had a ceiling. Stupidly, much of that was self imposed by how stubborn he was about everything, from refusing to play certain players to refusing to drive the team forward after gaining monentum. The draw in Ireland, against a pretty rank Ireland team, really sticks out. Folk say that Ireland beat Germany in that campaign, but so what? We can't control what other teams do. Had we won in Ireland, their win against Germany would have been irrelevant. Instead, Strachan absolutely shat it in Dublin.

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On 01/10/2022 at 19:11, DA Baracus said:

Strachan improved Scotland but had a ceiling. Stupidly, much of that was self imposed by how stubborn he was about everything, from refusing to play certain players to refusing to drive the team forward after gaining monentum. The draw in Ireland, against a pretty rank Ireland team, really sticks out. Folk say that Ireland beat Germany in that campaign, but so what? We can't control what other teams do. Had we won in Ireland, their win against Germany would have been irrelevant. Instead, Strachan absolutely shat it in Dublin.

It was weird with Strachan.  They probably should have got rid of him after the campaign you spoke of.  We didn't really look like we were going anywhere, and like you say we'd thrown away probably the best chance we'd ever had to qualify (that was the first year of the expanded Euros I believe).  Although having Poland and Germany in the group was tough, there was absolutely no reason why we shouldn't have finished 3rd.  He shat it in Dublin, and Ireland did enough.  After that I seem to remember it was a pretty popular decision for him to GTF, but they kept him on.  Then the 2018 campaign was arguably better.  Started horrendously with four points from four games, but we finished so, so strongly and came up just short.  At that point he was probably in a stronger position than 2 years previously, and maybe could feel slightly hard done by to go.  Still, on balance the right decision, although at a slightly unfair time.

On 01/10/2022 at 13:47, 2426255 said:

3 consecutive play-offs isn't the job requirement according to Steve Clarke's contract, but it's still a good achievement. In order to get an automatic extension he has to reach Euro 2024 so maybe it's helpful to have his job on the line. There is also a risk he could move on of course. Would anyone object to him getting an extension beyond Euro 2024 now? 

I'd be very keen for our managers to just be given contracts that end after each tournament summer, so just the two and a bit years.  Not to say that if we don't qualify it's a firing, but we should have a list of targets each candidate needs to meet, and if they don't meet those we shouldn't be hanging around to limit the potential of the next guy.  For Clarke and the next two years though, if he doesn't reach Euro 2024, it's going to take a very brave and patient board not to let him go.  If we don't make it, we'll have fucked a pot 2 spot in a qualifying group AND a playoff.  That's unlikely at this stage, but that doesn't mean it's impossible, and we shouldn't just be handing out extensions when it could still go horribly wrong.

If we hit the end of next year and we've qualified automatically, by all means talk about an extension.  Or if we get there via the playoffs the next March, go for it.  We've been too guilty in the past of handing out weird extensions at weird times, and hanging onto failing managers too long.  Let's be a bit more ruthless and make our managers earn their next go at it if they want it.

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I've liked the way the National team manager's contract has been handled generally. I suspect that's largely because Steve Clarke has been fairly successful so there hasn't been any difficult decision to make. I remember there were a lot of questions/complaints when his contract was extended in September '21 after the defeat in Denmark off the back of Euro 2020 even although that was an automatic consequence of reaching the Euros. 

It's in the grey area where the contract will be interesting: So If Steve Clarke is dealt a difficult Euro 2024 draw, finish 3rd and then we ultimately don't make it through the Euro '24 play-offs or alternatively if we have a shocking start to Euro 2024 qualifying will he be allowed to stay the length of his contract - how will things play out then? Context hasn't really needed to be considered. In black and white he's failed once and succeeded once on his primary objective and only effectively has one life left (reaching Euro 2024).

He hasn't really been tipped for other managerial jobs lately but you'd think a few people have been interested along the way as he has done pretty well across various different measures. That said, I don't think there is a massive risk associated with him leaving to take a job elsewhere so from that point of view I can see why people might want to adopt a wait and see approach.

If the SFA choose to extend his contract before the outcome of Euro 2024 qualifying is known I wouldn't be up in arms about it but the SFA will be opening themselves up to criticism should things not go to plan so I think they'll wait and see what happens. 

Edited by Loominous
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I would argue that contractually requiring a Scotland manager to make tournaments, especially World Cups, is a terrible idea for that reason. Even with the expansion of the World Cup, there are only 16 spaces available for Europe and I don't think it's some national disgrace if we, say, lose out in a play-off to another similarly strong opponent.

Similarly, I wouldn't say bumbling to a Euros despite a poor qualifying campaign, and then losing every game 5-0 in a winnable group, would mean that the manager has to be kept on for the next campaign.

I'd hope there's a bit more nuance to the selection process than that.

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