You’d have thought that the SFA would struggle to get applicants for the now-vacant Scotland manager’s job given the pitiful state of Scottish international football. Celtic may be good enough to beat Barcelona in the Champions League but the national side is set to plunge to an all-time low in the FIFA rankings after picking up just two points from their opening four World Cup qualifiers. They even managed to lose to a Wales side in similar dire straits and it was no surprise that Craig Levein was given the boot earlier this week.
So what next for the Tartan Army? Given that the SFA is hardly the most wealthy association in Europe, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to compensate a club to pinch the man in charge but there seems to be an awful lot of natives, ex-players and managers, who are currently seeking employment. Very much favourite with the bookmakers is Gordon Strachan. The 55-year-old former Celtic, Leeds and Manchester United star has been out of management since leaving Middlesbrough more than two years ago but has already said he would be honoured to take the Scotland job and supporters may be prepared to give him time to turn things around, though Brazil in two years’ time might as well be on another planet as far as their World Cup aspirations are concerned. Strachan is no bigger than 4/11 with BetVictor and Ladbrokes to get the job.
Owen Coyle, recently sacked by Bolton, is another to have thrown his hat into the ring. He’s 10/1 with BetVictor but Alex McLeish has shown no interest in taking over the post again, stating that he prefers the day-to-day involvement at club level. It’s 18/1 with bet365 and Paddy Power that the SFA will be inclined to make him change his mind. Joe Jordan is surprisingly prominent in the betting given that he’s spent most of his career on the touchline as number two to Harry Redknapp. He was a bit of a legend when playing – but would the powers-that-be take a gamble on his lack of managerial experience? Jordan is a general 12/1 while Kenny Dalglish is 33/1 with Paddy Power and Ally McCoist a general 66/1 to leave the job of rebuilding Rangers to someone else. Sir Alex Ferguson is 100/1 in most places but, I ask, is this really a job for pensioner?