Where to even start. Possibly the fact Kazakhstan registered their fourth win of this decade? What about Scotland losing to a nation ranked 117th in the world by three goals? Whatever way you swing it, it’s all equally embarrassing for Scotland boss Alex McLeish and the SFA.
Everyone involved with the defeat to lowly Kazakhstan should hang their heads in shame. To say a Scotland performance is spineless takes a lot considering how bad the team has been in recent years. They’ve hit a new low, something that didn’t seem possible after embarrassments against the Faroe Islands, Macedonia and even a victory against Lichtenstein.
The players need held to account. The likes of Graeme Shinnie, Scott McKenna and John McGinn were shadows of the players they are at club level. The Dons captain especially was left exposed for two of the three goals, proving he can’t do a job in defence at international level.
McLeish’s playing squad more worryingly looked so disinterested. The passion and pride of playing for the national team is gone with players more interested in domestic matters.
That being said, Alex McLeish is the one responsible for this defeat, with the SFA running him very close for the prize. It was a shambolic performance even by his standards, one that has left the rest of Europe laughing at us.
The players were bad, McLeish’s tenure has been worse
The Aberdeen boys in defence perhaps received the most player criticism and rightly so. It was an absolute nightmare for both of them. McKenna looked a far cry away from the millions Derek McInnes has rejected for him. The less said about Shinnie the better.
They will face scathing criticism but this result has been bubbling ever since McLeish took over the reigns. When Scotland were beaten by Israel, people said it couldn’t get any worse but that was only the start of things.
The Nations League massively papered over the very apparent cracks in this Scotland side. Results against Albania and Israel are not massive victories, they are expected wins. These games are hardly successes over Europe’s elite.
McLeish was lucky that players like James Forrest turned up for these games. They didn’t show up in Nursultan though and the Scotland boss was left exposed.
His team were passive and naive with no real game plan. When his team went two goals down, no changes were made, he looked on and watched a dismantlement of his side occur. Some performances from his team have been shocking, sounding the alarm for the future of our national team, not just the Euro 2020 campaign. That’s already out the window.
After gaining a Euro play-off spot, people were going to give McLeish one more chance to try and reinvigorate this team. In 10 minutes that sentiment was out the window and a wave of hostility shifted towards the Scotland boss.
Second prize for the SFA
With the chance of automatic qualification pretty much non existent after defeat in Nursultan, McLeish has to go. It’s one of the worst results in Scottish football history and it’s only going to get worse. The fact a defeat to the minnows of San Marino is thinkable provides a scary thought and McLeish must be sacked to avoid any further embarrassment.
The SFA deserve criticism for hiring him. He clearly wasn’t up to the job from the get go. He was poor in his first spell, what was going to change in another period under McLeish?
There are bigger things they deserves criticism for. The coaching in this country just isn’t good enough, something we are at the forefront of if the SFA is to believed. It seems like all these must have coaching badges are just smoke and mirrors to cover the fact our coaching system in this country is broken with no apparent fix.
In Scotland coaches refuse to take on players because they are too small or aren’t the manager’s friend. Even at grassroots level they fail, with many talented young players slipping through the net on a yearly basis due to the lack of proper coaching. That is the SFA’s problem.
So what can we take away from the Kazakhstan embarrassment? Nothing positive and in reality nothing will change. The national team has been on the decline for years and a bad defeat is just the tip of the iceberg in regards to football problems in this country.
Alex McLeish has to go and some people within the SFA should follow. Collectively they’ve put Scottish football in the dirt and we’re unlikely to get back up any time soon.