So there we have it folks, the big wigs over at the Scottish Football Association have finally acted on the national shame that was Craig Levein’s tenure as Scotland boss and shown him the door. This act of basic competence – albeit belated – has led to the question of who will replace Levein as manager. With the doubtless talent at the disposal of the new manager, whoever that may be, this week I will dedicate my column to the potential candidates for the role and the chances of each of them of landing the top job.
Former Scotland International Gordon Strachan has received the most high profile media attention and has been installed by every bookmaker as favourite. For this reason he is highly uninteresting to talk about, because everyone else is talking about him. He’s ginger, fairly short, and has a good track record as a manager. Also famed for his bizarre, nonsensical responses to fairly valid questions from the press, so at least that would be interesting to watch. On a more serious note, his spell in charge of Celtic would be enough to convince the majority of the Tartan Army that he’s the right candidate to move the side forward.
Compton’s Odds: A logical choice, and bizarrely, a logical choice that the SFA may actually take. I see him as strong favourite and with good reason too. However, his disappointing spell at Middlesbrough may raise a few eyebrows. 1/5.
Having achieved moderate success in his previous spell as Scotland boss, Walter Smith comes with all the pedigree that anyone could possibly ask for. Having been touted for the job by Smith’s assitant at Rangers and Scotland, now Rangers manager Ally McCoist, his name has been thrust into consideration. A stellar managerial career with two excellent spells at Rangers, a vastly underrated spell in charge of Everton, and a very impressive job in the role previously. This appointment would be controversial however, as Smith left the Scotland job in unfavourably circumstances, resigning in order to return to Rangers in the wake of Paul LeGuen’s sacking, prompting legal action from the SFA.
Compton’s Odds: It goes without saying that Smith has one of the more accomplished CV’s of all the likely candidates for this role. However, his potential commitment to the role may hinder his chances. His resignation from the role previously for greener pastures and his hinting towards retirement when leaving Rangers may call into question the longevity any spell as Scotland boss would have. It’s also unlikely that the Tartan Army, or indeed the SFA themselves, have forgiven Smith for leaving the role previously. 16/1.
Was too old to be a footballer, and is too young to be a manager, so I guess you get the best of both Worlds. Always read the game superbly, but has no managerial experience. He is currently a youth and reserve team coach at Everton, but there’s no way of knowing how well he’s doing, seeing as he’s a coach, and we never really know what they’re up to. A scholar of the game with a great footballing mind.
Compton’s Odds: It’s a long shot, to say the least, and as respected as he is as a player, including his achievements as former Scotland captain, Weir may need to make the step up to management somewhere else for some experience if he’s ever likely to hold the national team top job. Then again, everyone said he was too old when he signed for Rangers, so he’s used to overcoming the odds. 66/1.
What a farcical appointment this would be.
Rightfully considered a legend of Scottish football, and one of the finest players ever produced by this nation, Dalglish deserves much praise, respect and his position in Scottish Football’s Hall of Fame. His managerial career however, has been nothing short of a train wreck. Yes, his spells in charge of Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers were successful, but they were also in the eighties and early nineties, and everything since there has been shamefully poor. When in charge of Newcastle United he lost nearly as often as he won, and his spells at Celtic and Liverpool were uninspiring to say the least. As much as the “Dalglish Factor” seems to work for the first few weeks in charge, his managerial nous has never been proven, and I for one don’t believe that he has what it takes to be a successful manager in the modern game, and his sporadic gaps from managing suggests his commitment to improving his record is lacking.
Compton’s Odds: A big name boss, but the disappointing spell at Liverpool recently will probably see the SFA avoid what would likely prove an expensive mistake. 33/1.
What a wonderful, wonderful appointment this would be. A sterling reputation within the footballing world thanks to a fantastic spell in charge of Fleetwood, culminating in promotion to the Premier League and FA Cup success in the 2018-19 season. Compton is the shining beacon through the otherwise foggy set of potential appointments. His tactical wizardry, hands-on approach, and legendary ability to manage his players effectively there is little doubt that the trademark cheeky grin and charming quip to the media would be a reflection of the undeniable success he would bring to the role.
Compton’s Odds: Easily the most qualified and desirable candidate. The only concern over this would the fact that the SFA are most likely looking for a long-term project from their next manager, and holding onto Compton and fighting off the advances of some of the World’s most desirable football jobs may prove too off-putting for the authorities to take the chance on. Wages would also be a major issue, although he would certainly be worth every penny. Finally, there may be concerns that as valid as all of his achievements are, they were all achieved on Football Manager. 5/1.