Alex McLeish’s time as Scotland manager is set to come to an end, according to reports.
The Tartan Army boss has been under increasing pressure throughout his short time in the job and that reached its peak after last week’s 3-0 defeat to Kazakhstan.
A turgid 2-0 win over San Marino followed, but that did nothing to cool frustration towards McLeish, his squad and the SFA.
And now it appears the ill-feeling towards McLeish has reached Hampden – and the axe is set to fall on the manager at some point over the coming days.
Now, attention has to turn to who can salvage this Euro 2020 campaign and restore some pride to the national team.
Here are five contenders:
Derek McInnesEmbed from Getty Images
We can’t create this list without including arguably the most talented Scottish manager currently working in Scotland. You may have your reservations about McInnes, but he’s been outstanding for Aberdeen over his six years there. He’s won 56% of his 290 games in charge of the Dons, helping them win one League Cup and finish second four years on the bounce. If that doesn’t have him among the contenders then we’re not quite sure what McInnes has to do. He’s at the right age and plays effective football that Scotland need.
Steve ClarkeEmbed from Getty Images
Like McInnes, Clarke is also arguably the best Scottish manager working in Scotland at the moment. At Kilmarnock, he’s transformed the team from one scrapping to stay in the Premiership to one competing for Europe. Under Clarke, Killie get results in games they really shouldn’t and have consistently been a threat to both Celtic and Rangers during his time in charge at Rugby Park. Imagine a manager like Clarke in charge of Scotland who could put a game plan in place to get results against much bigger teams? That’s what we need.
Jack RossEmbed from Getty Images
Ross doesn’t have the experience of McInnes or Clarke yet, but his start to life as a manager suggests he will at some point. He was a hero at Alloa and then St Mirren, leading the former to the brink of promotion before returning the latter to the Premiership. At Sunderland now, he sits fourth in League One and still has a real chance of getting them back to the Championship. And while Ross may feel that he still has plenty to do as a club manager, his dream is to manage Scotland and we’d be shocked if he were to knock that back if the offer came. Ross is a bright, exciting manager and that’s the sort of appointment the SFA should be looking to make after years of gaffers at the end of their career.
David WagnerEmbed from Getty Images
Wagner may find himself in the conversation to become permanent Celtic manager in the summer so that may impact his appeal to Scotland. However, if he isn’t then Scotland would be doing very well to make him manager. At Huddersfield, he took the club from being a mid-table Championship side to a Premier League battler – achieving safety in his first season before struggling in his second. He departed the Terriers with the thought that he’d taken them as far as he could and will now be waiting on the right opportunity to continue his promising career. He speaks English, would have an alternative take on the game and would excite the Scottish support. Let’s just hope he’d be better than the last German to manage Scotland though.
Sam AllardyceEmbed from Getty Images
We’ve added Big Sam at the end of this list because it’s a flyer. For many, he’d be a no-go due to the one solitary game he had in charge of England back in 2016. That ended due to off-field controversy, but Allardyce has got over that with spells in charge of Crystal Palace and Everton. Now you have to wonder where his next job is going to come from – so Scotland may appeal. It’s an international job and one which would allow him to get some revenge on England after his sacking. Like McInnes and Clarke, he plays effective football and is the sort of manager who could get this squad performing.
Don’t agree? Who would you have in charge?