Can Strachan be Scotland’s Savour?

Scotland have announced the appointment of former Southampton, Celtic and Middlesborough manager Gordon Strachan as the man to replace Craig Levein.

The SFA will be hoping that the former Scotland international who was capped 50 times during his career can be the man to guide Scotland to their first major international finals since France 1998.

Since then it’s only been down the international rankings for Scotland as they’ve failed time and time again to qualify for an international tournament.

They came close to getting to Euro 2000 only to be denied in the playoffs by England. Since then they’ve had the disastrous reign of Berti Vogts and have been trying to recover ever since.

There was ambition and hope that they might make the Euro 2008 finals after beating France away in Paris 1-0 due to a James McFadden wonder strike.

However wasn’t to be, although the Scots did look stronger than ever under the reign of the two former Rangers managers Walter Smith, who left to return to the Ibrox hot seat and Alex McLeish who left to become manager of Birmingham City.

It was during this period that the Scottish national side seemed to be rekindled in their efforts to reach the highest possible level, after the poor showing under Berti Vogts who left in 2004, Walter Smith came in and seemed to get the side firing.

There was the 3rd placed finish in their World Cup 2006 group, which had been completely unexpected which was then of course followed by the Euro 2008 qualification campaign, which although Smith left half way through, Scotland were top at the time he left.

McLeish came in and performed well but they were still unable to qualify. Since his departure in 2008 the side has gone backwards again.

With the stewardship of Burley and Levein the side has failed to progress, and with the side currently bottom of their World Cup 2014 group, it seems it will be yet another tournament without Scotland present.

Strachan however has been given a contract until 2016 with the hope he can get Scotland to the Euro 2016 finals, ironically in France, the last place Scotland competed in a major tournament.

Strachan brings with him the experience of representing Scotland in major finals as he did in 1982 and 1986.

Managerial does he have the tactical awareness to guide Scotland to a international finals?

One of the problems will be getting players back onside, but with him being a former international himself and having success as a manager, especially with Celtic winning three league titles in a row.

Players like Allan McGregor and Steven Fletcher fell out with previous managers and could really make the difference.

Also there is Craig Gordon and Alan Hutton who were great under Smith and McLeish but who’s career seemed to have stagnated since who Strachan will hope to revitalise.

Finally for Strachan there are the youngsters coming through, like Matty Phillips, Jordan Rhodes, Barry Bannan and James Forrest who Strachan could mould in with the likes of Graham Dorrans, Charlie Adam, Christophe Berra and Darren Fletcher to set up a great squad that could definitely challenge to play in international tournaments.

Strachan could be the man to sort out this mess for Scotland, which has seen them absent from international tournaments for too long now.

He’ll have to use the experience gained whilst working at Coventry when he managed one youngster, Robbie Keane particularly well, Celtic were he was able to manage pros who expected to at the top and was able to get the best out of them too.

Most importantly though his experiences at Southampton could be vital, he was able to take a side of honest pros who had been fighting relegation for years and turn them into a side capable of overachieving and was able to reach the FA Cup final in 2003.

Strachan has a tough job on his hands with Scotland but seems like the correct man for the job as he is keen to prove himself due to what happened at Middlesborough were he had an immense amount of pressure on him due to the amount of signings he’d made.

However with Scotland he has a great chance, with them bottom of their World Cup 2014 qualification group, which means he can build a side with no pressure and fill the side with confidence in hope they can reach France 2016.

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