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We’re crap

I’ve met Craig Levein, Scotland’s national football team manager, a few times. He’s a nice guy, and very bright, but not even he can make bricks without straw. Yes, he has a tendency to be too loyal to his trusties, but he has no strength in depth in his squad and his midfield is second division class without Darren Fletcher. The Tartan Army, Scotland’s core support, has acquired a fine reputation on its travels abroad. Unfortunately it is cursed with a collective belief that we have a divine right to win at home against all but half a dozen of the world’s best teams. Against them, a draw at Hampden will do. It will certainly not do, the fans believe, against the likes of Serbia or Macedonia, and when the side turned in  those two results during the last five days, the mob turned viciously on the manager. Time  they all grew up and faced the facts; we are no longer at the races against even mediocre European opposition. We have the desire, tradition and inherent ability to succeed, but getting there will be a long job and will involve trust in the guy in charge when times are darkest.

Back in the late eighties, another Scottish football manager was under similar pressure, but his fans and his employers kept the faith. He’s still around; unless you’re from very far away, say Venus, I don’t need to tell you his name.

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