ALAN STUBBS admitted that he was surprised that Gordon Strachan choose to overlook Callum McGregor of Celtic and Hibs star John McGinn for the final two World Cup qualifiers.
Strachan had lost his skipper Scott Brown and his midfield partner Stuart Armstrong for the two must win matches against Slovakia at Hampden and Slovenia away. The former Hibs manager, like many other people, believed that in-form pair of McGregor and McGinn were the ideal replacements.
Strachan thought otherwise and Scotland’s campaign ended after a second half fightback in Slovenia say a pitiful Scotland eliminated and days later Scotland looking for a new manager.
Speakings on behalf of BT Sport, Alan Stubbs told the CQN Podcast, “Yes, I was surprised, looking from the outside looking in, but Gordon (Strachan) had done a really good job up to that last game Personally I actually watched that game rather than the watch England because I wanted Scotland to qualify. I think it is a much better World Cup or European Championships if Scotland are part of it.
“If anything I wanted all the home nations to be there.
“Qualifying would have been the icing on the cake for Gordon. He picked the team up and they seemed to have really responded. I think that the Lithuania result was the big one that stopped them qualifying.
“I was gutted for Scotland, the fans, the players as well as Gordon, that they never made it.
And as a manager himself, Stubbs didn’t think that Strachan’s comments about the genetics of the Scots as a nation was particularly helpful, especially at that time.
“I don’t think that his comments after the Slovenia game on genetics helped. All managers and coaches and anyone who has got an element of football common sense would know exactly what he was trying to say but I do think that it got distorted and got completely blown out of proportion what he was trying to allude to,” Stubbs said.
“If anything I think it as maybe the timing of the comments that probably didn’t help.”
With Strachan exit confirmed Scotland must look to the next campaign and the vital decision that has to be made is who is best placed to manager the side to get us to a major tournament for the first time this century.
“It is question for the SFA to gather a short list of who they think the right applicants are for the role. I am always a believer that it should be someone who is Scottish or has an understanding of the game here. The ones that spring to mind and have already been mentioned are David Moyes and Paul Lambert,” said the former Hibs boss.
“Importantly, you have got to have some who wants the job, not someone saying ‘if they want to speak to me they can. They have got to want the job.
“David Moyes has come out and said he’d be happy to speak to them.
“I don’t know what Paul (Lambert) has said. I think he would probably prefer to stay in club football right now, I don’t know.
“It doesn’t leave a lot of candidates. Alex (McLeish) has said he would be interested in it if they wanted ti speak to him, so it is going to be interesting to see what line the SFA Board go down in terms of credentials that they are looking for in this individual to take the role.”
You can listen to the full interview with Alan Stubbs at the start of the CQN Podcast, the link is below.
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