After another disappointing week for Scotland, two defeats against Wales and Belgium leaving our campaign in ruins, it leaves us asking what next for our national side and, in particular, Craig Levein?
By Nicky Boyle
The writing has been on the wall for Levein for some time. After the stuttering start we’ve made to the current qualifying campaign, the fans and media alike, have been scathing in their attacks on the manager. The loss to Wales last week only served to increase the pressure and it now looks like his position has become untenable.
Before Levein took the job as national team manager, I actually quite liked him, as did many other Scottish fans. He seemed clever and tactically astute – the outstanding candidate for the job. He built a very good side at Dundee United, bringing through young players such as Danny Swanson, David Goodwillie and Paul Dixon. But, for whatever reason, he has struggled to replicate the joy he had at United in a Scotland tracksuit and the fans have quickly turned on him.
He did not help himself with his tactics away to the Czech Republic in the Euro 2012 qualifiers, when he played without a striker, and since then the fans have been against him. Add to this his fallout with Steven Fletcher and it has made for a tough few months for Levein. Three wins in twelve matches makes for dismal reading and even the most loyal Levein fans will be undermined by his pitiful record.
Had he chose to bury the hatchet with Fletcher earlier, it could have made all the difference in the opening two matches. We lacked a real cutting edge up front and someone who could score goals. He eventually succumbed to media and fan pressure, drafting Fletcher in for the last two games, albeit too little too late.
I envisage Craig Levein resigning or being sacked by the SFA in the near future. He has lost the backing of the majority of fans and a change of direction is definitely needed. It is now 18 years since Scotland last graced a major finals – too long for a nation who had before been used to playing on the big stage consistently.
So, what next for Scotland? Is it time Levein went? Tweet @bbopshakur or comment below.