Another one bites the dust, another one bites the dust, and another one gone another gone, another bites the dust. Scotland are again without a manager after Craig Levein joined the legion of middle aged Scottish managers who couldn’t work their magic on the national scene. Two points from the first four games in qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup is simply not good enough for the Tartan Army, so who should it be? There have been numerous calls for different managers but I am going for one of the more ‘out there’ candidates and a man who featured in the last Scotland squad to play at an International tournament, the midfield maestro, John Collins.
Featuring over 50 times for his country, Collins is one of the most celebrated midfielders in recent history to play for Scotland. My first memory of football was his penalty against Brazil in the FIFA World Cup in France ’98. Maybe that’s why I want him to get the nod, as he brought me into this world of football and that haircut was always immaculate.
When Collins’ career came to an end he made the natural progression into management, after completing his coaching badges in Monaco, where he had spent a couple of seasons as a player, he joined forces with the Moustached supremo that is Rod Petrie and became manager of Hibernian FC.
Now, although this is probably the highlight of Collins’ managerial career to date, he had numerous issues with the club over financial incidents and such like but he did manage to guide Hibs to their first piece of silverware in over a decade with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Kilmarnock in the final of the Scottish League Cup. To win any final in such a manner has to be admired and although that is where his list of honours as a manager comes to an end, I feel that he certainly has a lot to offer.
After a brief stint in Belgium, Collins is now in the position of Director of Football and Scottish First Division club, Livingston. His knowledge of the game and the youth system is clear and this is where we have to look in order to take the national team forward. Although many have said that we have to look abroad to create and kind of shockwaves in international football, I believe that Mr. Collins is exactly what we could be looking for, a young, energetic and a man who knows what it is like to lead a team. There is no rule which says you have to have experience at an international level in order to take a team and maybe a foreign manager with a proven record on the international scene would be a sensible place to go, I just don’t see this happening. It is the Scottish way of thinking that we have a divine right to qualify for tournaments and that simply isn’t the case.
We need to invest in the infrastructure and create a youth system to match that of Holland or Belgium that will show results for many years to come and we need someone with experience in this field to lead the team.
You may argue that Levein should have held a Director of Football position for Scotland rather than diving straight into management and it is my belief that he will still be heavily involved with the way the national team is moving forward.
It is always my belief that our national manager should be Scottish and I hope if that isn’t the case then whoever is chosen to take on the thankless task of trying to get Scotland to an international competition does a good job, and it won’t be difficult to follow in Levien’s footsteps. Surely.