Next Scotland Manager: Who Could Replace Steve Clarke?

  • Scotland was eliminated from Euro 2024 during the group stage
  • It has failed to make it through the early rounds in 12 straight international tourneys
  • Fans are wondering if Steve Clarke's managerial job is at risk
  • If Clark gets the boot, there are plenty of qualified candidates available
Steve Clarke
With Scotland’s early ouster from Euro 2024, could Steve Clarke’s job be in jeopardy? [Image:]

Euro 2024 disappointment for Scotland

It’s been a disappointing Euro 2024 for Scotland, which exited at the group stage once more – the 12th consecutive time they’ve fallen at the first hurdle at a major international tournament.

many fans are now wondering whether a change will be required

Most of the blame from Scotland fans has been directed at the manager, Steve Clarke, who may find his position coming under increased scrutiny. The former Reading boss ended a 22-year streak of Scotland failing to qualify for international tournaments when he qualified for Euro 2020. Yet despite two successful qualifying campaigns, many fans are now wondering whether a change will be required to progress in the tournaments themselves.

Clarke safe for now

For now, there’s no immediate suggestion from the Scottish Football Association that Clarke’s job is under threat. Scottish pundits have come out to defend the under-fire boss, with former striker Kris Boyd saying: “We’ve got to dust ourselves down and go again. There will be a lot of questions to answer for Steve Clarke but, whatever happens, I hope he’s the man to lead us into the Nations League and qualifying for the World Cup.”

“He’s shown he can get us there and he knows this squad.”

However, with plenty of viable contenders for the job waiting in the wings, his bosses may be tempted to make a move before the next World Cup qualifying campaign. Here are a few of the potential candidates to keep an eye on if Clarke does move on from the role.

Next Scotland manager: The Contenders

David Moyes

Moyes was on punditry duty for Scotland’s defeat to Hungary, and looked like a man giving a job interview. The experienced boss has a solid track record of success at most of his clubs, and has just finished a successful spell at West Ham, where he even managed to win a European trophy. There’s no doubting his caliber and that he’d be a major upgrade on Clarke, although some fans may find his pragmatic style of football too close to the current setup.

Derek McInnes

A long-term candidate for bigger jobs, Derek McInnes ended a long and relatively successful spell at Aberdeen by joining Kilmarnock, where he guided them to a 4th-place finish last season. However, there are still doubts remaining about his ability in big games – he’s never had a great track record against the Old Firm, and some fans may question the idea of replacing Clarke with another manager so similar.

Alex Neil

The experienced boss was recently linked to the Birmingham City post, but could now be a contender to manage his country. A spell of jobs in the English championship mean he’s relatively untested at the highest level, but his solid track record makes him worthy of consideration.

Hervé Renard

It could be a leftfield shot, but Renard is actively looking for work and is an enormously experienced international manager. One of the most well-traveled coaches in football, Renard has usually been seen in more exotic locales on the African continent, but Scotland may be an intriguing option.

Russell Martin

The English-born Martin qualified to play for Scotland through his father, and has had a very promising start to his managerial career. So far, his only spell in football north of the border has been an ill-fated spell at Glasgow Rangers, but his possession-based style of play could be perfect for players like Billy Gilmour and Callum McGregor. However, he may be unlikely to be tempted away from the Premier League for the international stage.

Rafael Benitez

After leaving Celta Vigo, Benitez is another experienced coach out of work who Scotland may consider. The former Liverpool boss has never managed internationally, but there’s no denying his significant experience, even if his last foray into English football at Everton saw him leave under a cloud after a disastrous run of results.

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