Steve Clarke and his Scotland miracle

Steve Clarke and his Scotland miracle
LARNACA, CYPRUS - SEPTEMBER 08: Stephen Clarke, Head Coach of Scotland looks on prior to the UEFA EURO 2024 European qualifier match between Cyprus and Scotland at AEK Arena on September 08, 2023 in Larnaca, Cyprus. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

We must admit despite our former feelings on Steve Clarke here at Ibrox Noise, one has to doff one’s very blue cap to the man for the staggering job he’s done with Scotland, taking it into the realm of Walter and Eck levels.

In both their Nations League and European Qualification groups, Clarke has his side top having lost a single match in among fixtures including Ukraine, Spain and Norway.

Kris Boyd is today arguing Clarke is up there with some of the better managers in the Premier League such as Klopp and De Zerbi, although he wisely stops short of name-dropping Pep in there too.

But do we give this credence?

There is no doubt Clarke made Killie absolutely outstanding – Rangers basically couldn’t beat them, and they were effectively third best in Scotland under him.

For Scotland? He’s taken a shambolic regime and turned Scotland into a serious national side, and the depth of player we’re seeing at this level now is among the strongest we think we’ve ever had – it’s up there with Walter and Eck’s marvellous squads.

The curious thing is it barely touches Rangers and Celtic. Rangers have Souttar and Jack, but they don’t play that much, Celtic have McGregor and he’s a guaranteed starter. But that’s it. Just three Old Firm players and the rest are basically Premiership, Premier League and Championship, with some overseas in there too.

What does this say? We’re not sure, and we’re not going to go there either, all we can say is Clarke’s work with Scotland has taken it from the uncertainty of the start of his spell, and his rather pathetic and cowardly performance at Euro 2020 into a completely different sphere, where a strong and convincing Scotland with a good quality squad is now expected to win matches.

Of course, there’s a few rumblings now for Clarke for Rangers, and we’re not going to get into that one either for now, but we acknowledge this guy is a much better manager than we originally gave him credit for with the national team.

He’s taken a mess and turned it into a football team that wins, and that Scotland are now expected to be at Euro 24 and not just hoping shows the incredible turnaround here.

No major championship for practically 25 years and now Scotland are going to make two in 3 years. It’s impressive alright.

Almost makes you support Scotland again…

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  1. I was anti Clark for obvious reasons he hates the Famous and has shown and sounded that out at every opportunity. However I too reluctantly have to say well done on this recent status and performance. The downside is that everyone SNP and SFA will flout and mouth it around as if they had something to do with it..which they haven’t ever. Our youth development and growth of any football in Scotland is none to absolutely fucking disgraceful. I hope they do well but to think this is a turning point or a rebirth is delusional.

    • Tbf Bill even great Scotland teams of the past were filled with PL players – Souness, Hansen, Law, Dalglish – there’s no ‘rebirth’ per se of any youth system because we never really had one.

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