AFTER another failed qualifying campaign Scotland find themselves in a period of transition once again.
When next year’s World Cup comes round, the Tartan Army will once more be watching on from home having been firmly left out of the party for the tenth consecutive tournament in a row.
Manager Gordon Strachan was sacked following last Sunday’s draw with Slovenia which was a must win match if Scotland were to reach the play offs for Russia 2018.
During his tenure the former Celtic boss won 19 of his 40 matches – which is a reasonable record. More impressive is the fact he’s unbeaten in his last six competitive games – guiding his side to 14 out of the last possible 18 points.
Strachan’s downfall was his start to the group – where a 1-1 draw with Lithuania has been pinpointed as the result that scuppered our hopes and dreams.
The 60-year old was criticised for his team selection – often sticking with more experienced players rather than giving youth a chance.
Scotland fan, Martin Carrigan, believes that Strachan’s stubbornness ultimately led to his sacking: “I think the reason the manager is gone is down to the fact that he opted not to freshen up the squad and play youngsters.
“You’ve got Callum McGregor at Celtic who’s been on brilliant form – yet hasn’t been given his chance,” said Carrigan, who works for the NHS.
This opinion is echoed by Jake Johnstone, a sport development student, who said: “I thought John McGinn should have played against Slovenia. He and McGregor should take over from Scott Brown and Darren Fletcher in the midfield – they’re both past it.
“Ross McCrorie at Rangers and John Souttar from Hearts should be getting experience in future squads to try and make them the defensive partnership for years to come.”
When talking to supporters the same names came up time and time again. There’s a clear appetite to get the likes of John Souttar, Graham Dorrans, Callum McGregor and John McGinn.
I conducted a poll using Twitter to try and see who fans felt would be the most crucial acquisition to the squad for the next campaign:
It’s clear that change is needed within the ranks of Scotland national team. Time will hopefully act as a healer for both players and fans alike when we take to the field for yet another campaign next year.
Twenty years is a long time but perhaps with the correct team selections and ultimately a bit of luck, Scotland can find themselves back in the big time after two agonising decades.