IAN Maxwell is right when he says that Steve Clarke is still the man to lead Scotland.
But the SFA is the chief. Wrong To suggest that he is doing “really good” as a national boss.
I think Clark is a top manager, I really do. Strategically, he’s there with the best of them.
But I only see this group. Scotland Players think they should get it. More By them.
This World Cup campaign feels very grounded. You are a little stunned by it.
We were all very excited about the euro.
It’s still a great achievement and Clark deserves all the credit for getting us there after the efforts and failures of others.
But below the surface, we all knew we got there in a way that had never been open before.
And yet we won by winning two penalty shootouts.
The thing is, we have good attacking players – but we don’t seem to be able to allow them to express themselves.
Are you telling me that Billy Glamor, Colm McGregor and David Turner can’t get on the ball and play football?
It just feels like we’re not getting the best of the best players we have.
And my problem is that I can’t see what we’re working on. Round holes have too many square pegs.
Does it feel progressive when you look at Scotland? Are we getting better, or are we messing up?
Now, I’m nowhere near the stage where I think Clark’s time is up, or something like that.
But I can’t agree with some of their decisions.
I would really like to sit with him and explain to him why we are doing this.
Because I don’t think a guy I have a lot of respect for can’t see that it’s not working. It is as if fear were holding us back.
There seems to be a mentality where if we don’t have a back three we are in a difficult position defensively.
I’m not buying this. Clarke is a great manager, he can set up Scotland in a way where we can still be strong defensively.
But even in this system, which is according to its players, because what we are using now is not according to them.
The team we had the other night in Copenhagen was the head secretary, it really was.
I know we were losing weight but it still didn’t look right off the bat.
Still, with a little adaptation here and there, it could have been just fine. And, in fact, there is a team that could have started in Denmark.
They may still have lost the game but I can assure you that the players will feel much more comfortable with their jobs.
I would have Craig Gordon, and my right back – with lots of outs – Jack Hendry.
Here is a guy who came from nowhere and joined the team for Euro.
But since then it has been dropped like a hot potato and has not been seen since.
Next up was Grant Hanley – who has been a standout – then Karen Terni and Andy Robertson.
In midfield, I would have Glamor and McGregor, number 10 with Turnbull.
And upstairs, Ryan Fraser on the right, Ryan Christie on the left, and any of the strikers.
The only option you can discuss is Hendry, and I will go back on that.
But everyone else was in a position where they were completely relieved.
Denmark is a good thing. They hit the ball really well, their movement is excellent.
He tried to push our midfield forward and force us to engage with him.
But when you do, they take a large man behind you to the place you just left.
Our defense was very strong, so midfielders were being asked to cover everyone.
Which, by the way, was exactly the same problem that Scotland had when we played Croatia in the Euros.
So we needed to simplify things with two banks of four, closing the space between the lines.
And I can’t understand for the rest of my life why we didn’t try to do that.
Now we have to beat Moldova. And Austria It’s that easy. By hook or by bully.
But my concern is that we have very little confidence in doing so inside the camp.
The returning players will help, of course they will, and give us the refreshments we need.
So I just hope that the shackles in Hampden will come a little farther and we will go after Moldova.
And we make a display that sends us to Austria feeling more optimistic than we all feel right now.