What next for the Scotland football team?
A new dawn for the Scotland Football Association
It has been almost 20 years since the last major competition for the Scottish national team, as far back as the World Cup in 1998 to be specific. The departure of Gordon Strachan, by "mutual consent", this week following the failure to qualify for the World Cup 2018, to be held in Russia, has left a space at the helm of the team.
Yet, who would fit the bill when it comes to leading the team onwards to Euro qualifiers for 2020? David Moyes, Paul Lambert and a possible return for old boy Alex Mcleish have been but a few names thrown around the press boxes since Strachan's term ended.
It is altogether too likely that the big name to head up the team, at this stage, matters very little in the grand scheme of things. Strachan's odd remarks over the physical height of the Scottish population seems to convey the lack of consideration of the nation's genetic defects as it were.
Strange justifications aside, the fact of the matter is that Scotland were simply not good enough to qualify. Even in the last few games when performances had improved dramatically, the signs for a lack of quality were on show for everyone to see.
The difficulty they experienced in getting a goal in against a 10 man Slovakia side, who often looked capable of taking the game themselves, illustrates the difficulties the side have faced throughout the qualifiers.
A very late goal from the world-class Harry Kane in the game against the old enemy England may be touted as a qualification defining moment, in what was an incredible game to watch. But all the excuses do is disguise the fact that the team is not strong enough yet to compete on a world stage.
The up and coming youth show genuine promise and the incredible performances put in by the prolific Celtic, this season and last, further the fact that the future may hold brighter days.
Kieran Tierney and Andrew Robertson look destined to be great players in the years to come, even young lad Ryan Gauld who is currently plying his trade at Sporting Lisbon could come into the fold. Recently signed Ollie Burke has moved to West Brom and the more the number of players that can break into the big league down south the better.
Moyes is a name that I was in some ways unprepared for when possible candidates emerged following the parting of ways on Thursday. Disappointing spells at Sunderland and Manchester United seem to have overshadowed the Scots' time at Everton, which while unremarkable still showed the signs of being a great manager.
Sir Alex Ferguson is the only name I would pounce on, yet, we can hardly expect the old lad to bounce out of retirement for a further four years of probable disappointment. With Moyes selected personally as his successor at United though, will the SFA place its faith in another local chief? Or will they decide to break the current mould and scout out a candidate from overseas?
Whatever the case we can only hope that the opportunity to reach a big competition in the new decade will prove motivation enough for every player and coach within the Scottish Football Association.