How the Bookies See it
|Next Scotland Manager||
Malky Mackay has enjoyed a mixed career since taking the reins at Watford in 2008. The 45-year-old spent two seasons with the Hornets before being poached by Cardiff City in 2011. A League Cup final appearance and promotion to the Premier League followed, but disputes with the club’s chairman led to the former Scotland international’s departure. Since then, Mackay has endured a car-crash four-and-a-half months with Wigan and a spell as performance director at the Scottish FA, a role he still holds to this day.
Paul Lambert has plenty of experience as a manager having started his time in the dugout in 2005 with Livingston. The 48-year-old European Cup winner went on to occupy roles at Wycombe Wanderers and Colchester United, before guiding Norwich City to back-to-back promotions in 2009 and 2010. However, disappoint has dogged Lambert’s career of late, with abysmal performances at Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers and Wolves leaving the former midfielder currently without a club.
As you would expect, there are plenty of names in the mix to take over the vacant Scotland post. Hibernian manager Neil Lennon has really made a name for himself in Scottish football, but the former Celtic boss has suggested he is too ‘young’ and ‘handsome’ for the role. Lennon is joined on the shortlist by current Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill, national treasures Stuart McCall and Ally McCoist and Alex McLeish, a man whose past dealings in international football make him a real contender. Sam Allardyce is another name being mentioned, but would the Scots warm to a man who has previously coached the Auld Enemy?
Scotland have failed to reach a major international tournament since 1998 and those years of exile are leading to deep rooted anger and frustration developing in both the players and the fans. Strachan suggested that genetics were to blame for the Tartan Army’s failings, but his claims were widely mocked, especially as some of the world’s best players, most notably Lionel Messi, come in at under 6 foot.
If Scotland are to succeed in reaching Euro 2020, they need a manager who can inspire the team with confidence and grind out results in impossible situations. While Malky Mackay and Paul Lambert may be tipped by the bookies, Scotland’s best hope could lie with Neil Lennon, a man who has galvanised Celtic and Hibs (less so Bolton), however, the former Leicester City hard-man appears to have laughed off any interest from the Scottish FA. Instead, Alex McLeish, who has said an offer would be “hard to turn down”, may be worth a flutter, with the ex-Rangers boss able to boast a 70 percent win rate during his time in change of Scotland in 2007.
Sports.net’s Top Tip
|Next Scotland Manager||
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.