Who Can We Turn To?

C:WindowsTempphpC2C9.tmpNow that Walter Smith has turned down the opportunity to return as manager of the Scottish National Team, following discussions with the leaderless SFA, just who will take on the job? That is now targets number one and two who have said 'thanks but no' just how good will the next in line feel when they get the call from the ruling body?  Many would be grateful for the call, with Malky Mackay now also in the running for the post following the departure of chief executive Stewart Regan who pointedly said that the performance director would not be considered for the role.  Just what was going on behind the scenes at Hampden that one man (Regan apparently) can decide who is best for the post?  I thought there was a committee to decide such things made up of football people.

It is a thankless job as you will be lauded as the saviour of the game when you take the job but will be harried out if you have a run of draws or losses. The national manager gets to work with his chosen few at the whim of their clubs who pay big money to have them fit for the challenges the domestic game throws up.  No matter how much a players professes their desire to play, their club always will have the final say if they get to join the squad.  Just who out there will have the clout to withstand the pressures from the SFA; the clubs and the fans levels of expectation and be given the time to put their plans into place.  Time is not their friend but it is something that they really deserve.  Squad gatherings allow teams to gel and messages get across, and not always on the training field as down time can provide receptive periods.

There has been mention of a double act taking up the reins; elder statesman alongside a Padawan to learn and take over in due course.  National managers have to be politicians as well as tacticians.  They are drawn into the politics of the ruling body and
have to tread carefully as they make their way forward.  Then they have to persuade managers to release their players knowing what it was like to be on the other side of the call.

It would also help if they were willing to work for an organisation not known for their largesse when it comes to salary.  Now just where is this paragon and why are they not in a job already?
Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)

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