Ewan Mur­ray

The Guardian - Sport - - Football -

It would seem rea­son­able to as­sume that cri­te­ria in the job de­scrip­tion for the post of Scot­land man­ager should in­clude men­tion of a magic wand. By the time the team be­gin what on face value ap­pears an un­ap­peal­ing at­tempt to reach Euro 2020 – via the newly formed Na­tions League – they will be seek­ing to end a wait to reach a ma­jor fi­nals of 22 years. On 23 June 1998 a Scot­land side in­clud­ing Jim Leighton, Gor­don Durie and Colin Hendry slumped to a 3-0 World Cup loss against Morocco. It was to prove an omen for things to come.

Yet in this in­stance it would be short­sighted to at­tach poi­soned chal­ice analo­gies. Gor­don Stra­chan’s suc­ces­sor will ac­tu­ally be the best-placed to lift Scot­land back to­wards in­ter­na­tional rel­e­vance. In do­ing so, they must heed the lessons of Stra­chan’s demise.

It is per­fectly rou­tine for the Scot­tish Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion to as­sume the po­si­tion of whip­ping boy for vir­tu­ally ev­ery­thing as­so­ci­ated with what has been un­avoid­able de­cline in the coun­try’s na­tional sport. None­the­less

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