Scotland: Standard Strachan, Predictable SFA & Unwanted Mackay

I thought I’d leave all the Scotland stuff for a week and let the Slovenia result sink in. Obviously a lot has happened since that poor second half performance in Ljubljana.

Most notably has been the departure of Scotland manager Gordon Strachan and we aren’t going to the World Cup next summer.

Many a fan and many a pundit seemed to either love or hate Strachan.

For me? Well I always had mixed feelings about him. He did some things really well and got some fantastic results against the likes of Slovakia, Ireland and Croatia. He eventually got the best out of Leigh Griffiths up-top. The boss would also take the blame for poor results and deflect anything away from his players, which is admirable.

You also have to remember that during his tenure, at no time did Strachan have an international class centre-back to put into his squad or first eleven. So he did have a tough task on his hands.

But on the other hand Gordon would make some bizarre team and squad selections and he also made comments that would leave you scratching your head. Poor results against Lithuania and Georgia cost the Scots big time in two qualifying campaigns.

His excuses, like the genetics one last week, were dire and didn’t hold up when you look at countries like Spain and Portugal who had similar sized players. We weren’t good enough and we didn’t have the right mentality in certain games and that ultimately let us down.

The time is right for Gordon to step aside and let a new voice come in and try something different with the pool of players available to us. Strachan wasn’t great but he also wasn’t terrible, he was average and we need to search for an improvement.

The SFA in their wisdom have decided to stick Performance Director Malky Mackay in charge for the friendly against the Netherlands next month.

I absolutely hate this appointment. Make no mistake, this is an audition for Malky and he’d drop the performance director role in a heartbeat to take the top job for the national team.

He supposedly has an important job already and he shouldn’t get distracted with a return to the dugout. Usually in these cases a coach (like Tommy Burns previously) or the Under 21 gaffer (like Gareth Southgate did with England) takes the job on an interim basis. Not sure why you go for someone who has essentially been in football administration for the last eleven months.

Then we have the obvious when it comes to Malky Mackay.

The forty-five year old was fired from Cardiff City for making sexist, racist and bigoted comments. There was evidence that proved it and the man admitted to certain charges that were aimed at him.

The SFA have sacked personnel in the past for making similar ‘jokes/comments’ in the past. Now they have placed a man who has admitted to making racial slurs as their national team boss, even if it’s just in a temporary basis, and that’s become a very controversial decision.

We need the fans to get behind the national team, I seriously doubt having Mackay anywhere near it will keep the Tartan Army happy.

Scotland’s Football Association should be doing everything in it’s power to attract all fans to Hampden. They should want to see more kids, more females and people from every ethnic background in the stands singing Flower of Scotland. Will that happen with Malky in charge? I doubt it.

Malky’s career as a manager isn’t actually that good to be honest. His best stint as a number one came at Cardiff and we know how that ended. He did Ok before that at Watford but was woeful at Wigan Athletic. He certainly hasn’t got a CV that suggests he should be an international boss.

The SFA don’t really care about the fans though, or that’s certainly how it comes across. They charge us premium prices for tickets, strips and even our games are all on subscription TV channels. Yet our men’s national team hasn’t qualified for a major tournament since 1998.

Plus even though we haven’t progressed in recent years, we still have the same Chief Executive in Stewart Regan. Surely that’s unusual. Especially when you consider the amount of negative press that the SFA have received in those years and yet he seems completely oblivious to any sort of recrimination.

The SFA has always had that old boys club vibe to it and unfortunately it still does. Don’t get me wrong they have some fantastic staff at Hampden but the higher up you go the longer they’ve been there and the less connection they have with the average punter.

At the moment supporting Scotland is a tough task and it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier any time soon.

By the way, David Moyes you can get lost. The Scotland job should be something you aspire to get, not something you accept because there’s nothing else out there for you.


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