There’s no denying Steve Clarke was one of the best managers Kilmarnock had ever had – he literally made the club the third best in Scotland before the NT snapped him up.
That took a lot. The squad worked hard for him, defending brilliantly, and were organised tightly.
But his NT regime has been completely rubbish by comparison.
Now we all can look and say he got us to the Euros, but no, he didn’t – UEFA did, like they did with North Macedonia.
The backdoor of the friendly tournament the Nations League gave Scotland a second chance to get there, and even then Clarke nearly blew it against Israel then Serbia.
Sorry, this isn’t a manager we can thank for getting us to the Euros, given his managerial record is no better than any of his predecessors and he used a UEFA loophole to have another way in.
But really his problem? He isn’t managing Kilmarnock but acts like he is.
We recall some numptie once argued for Stephen O’Donnell over Nathan Patterson because O’Donnell was far more experienced at defensive football and Scotland were ‘similar’ to Killie. Well, that worked out well didn’t it…
And this is the problem – Clarke manages Scotland like he’s still managing Killie, but this is a major championship and playing for a draw, (Supposedly) defending for your life and exploiting a plastic pitch ain’t gonna work.
No, Clarke might have surpassed expectations getting Scotland to the Euros but he’s living up to them now with his performances as coach since arriving.
The selection v Czechs was loyal to Celtic and Killie – as one punter pointed out, not only did he ignore Rangers, he ignored St Johnstone too.
Clarke’s own bias and cowardice of that is his undoing.
And Scotland will suffer for it.