IT MUST be hell to be a modern day Scotland supporter.
On Monday evening the Scottish FA said enough was enough and decided to show national manager and sunglasses model Craig Levein the door.
An understandable move with the Scots rooted to the bottom of their qualifying group for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but you have to ask the question will the next incumbent be able to do any better?
Gordon Strachan, Joe Jordan, Alex McLeish and Owen Coyle are names already in the frame, but whatever their individual talents it is the individual players they have to work with that are the problem – which is a really sad turn of events.
Having lived north of the border for a year or more when aged 10, even then I could feel the passion for football was all consuming for the Scots – and that was just going to watch the Sons Of The Rock each week.
There was a great slang term used in Scotland for talented players – they were always tagged ‘gallus’.
A dialect word, it apparently originally meant someone who was wild or a rascal and was heading for the gallows, but in its modern form denotes someone who is ‘self-confident, daring, cheeky, stylish or impressive’.
In the early 1970s, in my Dumbarton following days, for the Boghead Park faithful this applied to someone like Sons’ inside forward Charlie Gallagher.
In a wider sense players like Denis Law, Charlie Cook, ‘Jinky’ Jimmy Johnstone, ‘Wee’ Willie Henderson, Jim McCalliog, Eddie Gray and in later years the likes of Kenny Dalglish and Archie Gemmill were all ‘gallus’ – but the king of ‘gallus’ had to be Jim Baxter.
Strangely Baxter was one of the few who found it hard to settle in England, but in that era every top English club had at least one if not two or more top class Scottish players – for example Leeds United against Spurs would see Billy Bremner, Peter Lorimer and Eddie Gray pitted against Dave Mackay and Alan Gilzean.
These days you struggle to find Scottish players in the Premier League, let alone players who can be deemed their club’s star turn which many Scots were in the 1970s.
How the rot set in after the 1980s is hard to determine, but the pattern does not look set to change any time soon.
So good luck to the next man in the Hampden hotseat – he is going to need it.