And it has to be seen as a new dawn for the national team as they look to build for a new European Championship qualifying campaign next season.
They won’t be at the World Cup after finishing behind England and Slovakia in their qualifying group – an outcome that led to Strachan’s exit from Hampden.
But Malky Mackay is in charge on an interim basis now and will look to usher in a new era of players.
That starts with Thursday’s game at Pittodrie. With eight uncapped players included in the squad, there will be a new look about the team.
Here we discuss five players Scotland fans should be really excited to see against Holland:
We can’t be the only ones who thought Cooper had an outside chance of playing a part in the last qualifying campaign? He’s Leeds United captain now and has been an influential player as they’ve challenged in the top half of the English Championship over the last season and a half so we’d be shocked if he doesn’t play some part on Thursday. If he plays well, maybe we’ve found a proper centre back, playing at a good level, that we could rely on going forward?
Paterson already has five Scotland caps so fans are aware of what he has to offer. But he’s been out of action for the last 10 months due to a serious knee injury and it’ll be interesting to see what kind of player he’s returned as. Scotland’s right back issues were masked by Kieran Tierney coping admirably while playing there, but an out-and-out full back on the right would be better long term and Paterson could be the man to sort that out.
Despite his quality form for Celtic over the last two seasons, McGregor is yet to win a full Scotland cap – but that will change on Thursday. He’s bang in form and we’d fancy him to play from the start as he attempts to lay down a marker for the rest of his international career. A strong showing against Netherlands would show Strachan was wrong to leave him out throughout the previous qualifying campaign.
While Shinnie may not be a starting option for Scotland right now, he could be in the future. All it would take, you imagine, is a move to a higher level from Aberdeen to persuade the national team manager to use him alongside the other midfield options and Thursday’s game could show exactly what he’s got to offer at international level. There’s no doubt he’s a quality player who makes Aberdeen better. Now he needs to translate that form to the national side.
Is Christie the only real, pure Scottish number 10 right now? It’s a big year for the attacker given he’s performing superbly well for Aberdeen and fully deserving of his call-up. That said, he’ll be returning to Celtic next summer and any progress made on Thursday could be reversed if he ends up on the Hoops bench. Of all the potential debutants, Christie is the one who excites us most.