It is a widely known fact that the Scotland managers’ job is a death trap. With a cycle which will follow the same suit for each manager. To start there will be a little bit of success, followed by a draw to a country with a population smaller than real Manchester United fans. After that, an unexpected draw against one of the world’s best footballing nations. Finally, Scotland fail to win their must-win game against some fake Russian country and go tumbling out of yet another competition.
However, not all is lost. there is a secret weapon Scotland have yet to unleash. A man known for his tactical prowess, his elegantly worded speeches and the ability to relegate two different teams in consecutive seasons. At his former club, he was likened to Superman (no joke). I am of course talking about Gary ‘bomb scare’ Caldwell.
That’s right, after retiring from an impressive playing career full with more silverware than Spurs, big Gazza C was hoping to transfer his success into managing. His first job was at recently relegated League One side Wigan Athletic, his last team before retirement. Caldwell’s job for the first season was simple: gain promotion back into the Championship. A job so easy his lesser talented brother Stephen could have done it.
Caldwell has taken charge of only 100 games across spells at Wigan and Chesterfield. What a rollercoaster of emotions it has been. He has gained one promotion, two relegations and has been sacked from both clubs he has managed. It’s these kinds of statistics that make him perfect for the job. Being a Scotland manager is all about giving the country hope before you take it away.
It’s not all bad though. Caldwell brought a style of play which emulates the first manager he shadowed, Roberto Martinez. He enjoys playing football the right way. Passing the ball out from the back with slick one-touch football and if you can do that then it doesn’t matter how tall you are (cough cough Gordan ‘wee man’ Strachan’ cough cough).
The 35-year-old told BBC Scotland: “If I didn’t believe I could make an impact then I wouldn’t put myself forward. I don’t think that having vast experience is going to give you that much of a difference.”
“International football in the past used to be that somebody had a career [in management] and it was one of their later jobs. Nowadays, it’s a job for younger people. A new, fresher approach is going to give you more benefit”.
Caldwell earned 55 caps for Scotland and famously helped us beat the then World Cup winner France 1-0. That basically means the SFA owes him one.
Beggars can’t be choosers, but still, Scotland has slim pickings when it comes to choosing a new manager. Of course, you have the likes of Owen Coyle, Malky Mackay, Billy Davies and George Burley, but they’re all the same. They float from club to club and get sacked without fail. The answer is simple: give someone new a chance or be prepared to repeat the cycle which inevitably ends in failure. But this time we will have to deal with the scandal that surrounds Mackay or even worse, we will have to bear witness to Owen Coyle dressed in shorts. Trust me, it’s not a pretty sight.