CaughtOffside writer Craig kicks off our weekly coverage of the Scottish Premiership with a look at the impact Walter Smith’s decision to join Rangers is having on the country’s football.
Search for a new Scotland manager.
Following Walter Smithâ€™s betrayal, the national team are on the look out for a new manager. The list of candidates is less than inspiring but at least the SFA have decided on an all-Scottish shortlist which means weâ€™ll have a rubbish Scottish manager instead of a rubbish foreigner. The favourite is Alex McLeish who was partly responsible for the worst Rangers team in history but could be a good selection as national manager having played 78 times for his country and having won a few trophies at Ibrox.
Other options include Tommy Burns, who never achieved anything as a manager and was involved in the shambolic era of Berti Vogts. His only advantage is that he would provide continuity having been assistant to Walter Smith. Or what about Craig â€˜neck-acheâ€™ Levein, a long ball merchant who failed at Leicester and whose Dundee Utd team have conceded 10 in their last 2 games. OK, so heâ€™s improved Dundee Utdâ€™s form since taking over, but who wouldnâ€™t have after Craig Brewster who won 2 games in almost a year in charge. Gary McAllister would be an interesting choice but doesnâ€™t have the experience and the same problem would face John Hughes or Colin Calderwood all of whom I would like to see. My choice would be Billy Davies but he might not want to leave club football, and may not have enough knowledge of the Scottish game having been down in England for a few years.
But the SFA have a history of getting these kind of decisions wrong, so I wonâ€™t hold my breath â€“ who knows, Mr Eriksson might get taken off your hands after all!!!
The Walter Smith Revolution
Having taken the best of the young players Berti Vogts produced, and added all Craig Brownâ€™s experienced players and stifling any other young talents, Walter Smith made a good, if slightly defensive team and wasnâ€™t slow in taking credit for it. But now heâ€™s decided that Rangers is a bigger job, and having decided contracts are no longer de rigeur, he signed without negotiating a release from the SFA first. When the SFA decided to sue him, and Rangers, quite correctly, Smith decided that the SFA should actually have been thankful for all he did for us (does that include playing 5 at the back and losing 1-0 at home to Belarus?) and should have simply let him do his dream job.
More hypocrisy but his old friends in the Scottish media managed to cover up the story the just 2 weeks earlier he had told Scott Brown and Kevin Thomson that they had to honour their contracts.
On the pitch, heâ€™s decided to try to re-assemble his Scotland team, having already signed Andy Webster and David Weir on loan from Wigan and Everton respectively. Moves for Paul Hartley, Lee McCulloch and Denis Law are already underway… ok I made the last one up. Anyway, heâ€™ll have a hard job, because itâ€™ll take more than 36 year old Weir to sort out Rangersâ€™ woeful defence.
And just to set the record straight, Iâ€™m not a Celtic fan, Iâ€™m a Kilmarnock and – more importantly in this case â€“ Scotland fan.