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lbb
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The Scotland post

Post by lbb » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:06 am

Are interviews an 'insult'? Billy Davies thinks so. It's testimony to the curious arrogance that afflicts football personnel that they believe they should be awarded a £400,000 a year post on the basis of their appearances as a pundit on The Full SPL - this explaining everything there is to know about them. Stranger still is that Davies didn't just want to be Scotland Team Manager, he wanted to oversee the entire football operation at the SFA 'down to grass roots level'. Seemingly, though, the SFA were to take him on trust on this rather than ask for a meeting with him to explain his opinions and how he would run the operation. The cheek!

I can't imagine many industries will award such a salary and such a key position without using an interview process so I think the SFA are perfectly entitled to do so. No-one wants a Fergus McCann/Wim Jansen scenario where the manager has to compile monthly reports for the board over how the 'football department' is performing but some business approach is necessary. It can't be enough to appoint someone on gut instinct. If this is a problem for Davies then, tough. If Tommy Burns' precious ego is wounded because he was overlooked last time then, tough. I get the impression these guys think they're doing the SFA a favour by going for the job! With eight months to our next competitive match, it might be time for the SFA to sit back and reconsider the short list as none of the candidates on the existing list have impressed with their public statements.

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Post by Scottish » Tue Jan 22, 2008 4:27 pm

Yes, I find the reported attitude of both Billy Davies and Tommy Burns quite astonishing. It is also disrespectful of those candidates who HAVE attended an interview. As for timescale the SFA indicated an appointment would be made by the end of January and that seems about right. Getting it right is more important than making it quick but at the same time the process shouldn't be dragged out for too long especially as some of the candidates have their present club to consider.Also with the forthcoming match v Croatia in March the suggested timetable allows a new boss adequate time to prepare for the fixture.

I don't think there's any outstanding candidates as all the contender have various pluses and minuses to their records. Davies has a confidence and self-belief that usually belongs to those with a more successful track record. Burns has plenty of experience of the Scotland set-up but hasn't managed a club for nine years and has turned down at least two club jobs in that time.

But Davies' regard of his own abilities is nothing compared to that of Graeme Souness though to be fair Souness has a substantial record of achievement to his name. Mark McGhee has an excellent recent record but his fair share of disappointments in the past. George Burley has a long and mainly successful time in management behind him but his best spell was ended before it was properly tested.

It would appear that of the other names mentioned that there is now little hope of Craig Levein being appointed, given his elevation to the boardroom at Tannadice while recent results appear to have put paid to Jim Jefferies' hopes.

I'm disappointed that Joe Jordan appears not to have made the final shortlist and the wild rumours of Collins to Parkhead, Strachan to Hampden seem to be just that - wild rumours.

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Post by Scottish » Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:59 pm

The BBC are reporting that George Burley will be appointed. Today's Herald claimed it will be Tommy Burns. We'll find out soon enough.

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Post by Gersman » Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:06 am

scottish wrote:The BBC are reporting that George Burley will be appointed. Today's Herald claimed it will be Tommy Burns. We'll find out soon enough.
Come on. The Herald story was a Darryl Broadfoot "exclusive" and even Chico is more accurate than him.
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Post by lbb » Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:02 pm

The candidates were a pick 'n' mix bunch. I was surprised to hear, even amongst Rangers fans, very little respect for Graeme Souness. I thought he he was a very good Rangers manager (better than Smith in lots of ways) but the consensus seemed to be he's done nothing since leaving Ibrox. Winning promotion with Blackburn, taking them into Europe and winning the League Cup counting for very little, it seems.

George Burley is an 'interesting' choice - it wouldn't have been mine. I think he's competent though. With Davies and Burns variously ruling themselves out or shooting themselves in the foot, that left only Souness, McGhee and Burley. Interesting comment by Davie Weir along the lines of 'we shouldn't go for someone who has only been successful for a few months'. I assumed it was aimed at McGhee but he might have been talking about Burley at Hearts. As ever, the first couple of squads will reveal a lot.

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Post by the hibLOG » Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:18 pm

Souness hasn't been without his successes post-Rangers, but they've been patchy and not of the highest order, nor has he shown that he can build a truly successful team without resources which hugely dwarf those of his rivals.

Burley will do ok I would think, but if he does you can only imagine the Walter/Eck situation arising again in the not too distant future.
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Post by lbb » Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:03 pm

That may well be true, Fraser, but I didn't see anything that set Souness so apart from the rest of the candidates. Those that haven't spent a decent amount of money haven't created truly successful teams either, imo.

At best, Burley will only commit to seeing the team through the 2010 qualifiers, I think. Increasingly, 'keeping my options open' will become commonplace.

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Post by Scottish » Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:54 pm

lbb wrote:At best, Burley will only commit to seeing the team through the 2010 qualifiers, I think. Increasingly, 'keeping my options open' will become commonplace.
I think that's true of all the contenders. None of them are quite ready for pipe and slippers just yet. Souness is the oldest at 54, Burley and Burns are both 51 and McGhee 50. Davies is 43. Possibly given Burns' antipathy to club management he might have been seen as safer bet for the long term but I think his reluctance to re-enter club management is more to do with the jobs offered than anything else. Make a fist of the Scotland job and the Premiership beckons. On the face of it Souness might be a 'done it all, bought the t-shirt' guy but he'll be 57 just before the 2010 World Cup and might fancy a last hurrah in club management.

That's why I would have considered Joe Jordan (56 now) or George Graham (63). I'm not suggesting there shouldn't be a manager with his eyes on other prizes - it seems to work well enough in other countries. But if we're looking for long-term stability then the Scotland manager's salary will never be big enough to fend of determined predators from elsewhere.

BTW given Burley's age and birthplace I'm sure I must have played schools football against him. Unless, that is, he wasn't good enough to make the team :twisted:

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Post by the hibLOG » Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:15 am

I see Terry Butcher is in line for one of the assistant's jobs. Nice one.

Also Gordon Smith letting the hacks have it over their criticism of the interview process. Patullo in the Scotsman particularly peeved at this, feigning bemusement at Smith's retaliation. Honestly, what a pathetic bunch of little excrement journalists are. They like to dish it out but when they get it back they're up there like cheating footballers waving imaginary cards at the ref.
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Post by lbb » Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:46 am

Butcher is a strange choice but I hope any criticism of him sticks to his credentials rather than his nationality.

One of the comments to Patullo's petulant article contains a link to a Daily Record audio file with Hugh Keevins, Gary Ralston and Keith Jackson talking about Burley's appointment. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/videos-pic ... rts-audio/

They sound like they're in a toilet cubicle at the Daily Record offices. Jackson has 'serious misgivings' - has Burley just wandered in off the street or something? I do agree with his view that Souness was the best candidate but I hardly think Burley was an inexperienced ('10 good games with Hearts') choice.

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Post by the hibLOG » Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:22 pm

lbb wrote:Butcher is a strange choice but I hope any criticism of him sticks to his credentials rather than his nationality.
Absolutely. I rather warmed to Butcher during his time as a co-commentator on Channel 5.
One of the comments to Patullo's petulant article contains a link to a Daily Record audio file with Hugh Keevins, Gary Ralston and Keith Jackson talking about Burley's appointment. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/videos-pic ... rts-audio/

They sound like they're in a toilet cubicle at the Daily Record offices. Jackson has 'serious misgivings' - has Burley just wandered in off the street or something? I do agree with his view that Souness was the best candidate but I hardly think Burley was an inexperienced ('10 good games with Hearts') choice.
What a ghastly trio of utter fannies. Does Keevins have his nose bunged up with bog-roll, or is it just his brains leaking out? Some absolute peaches in there:

'I'm deeply underwhelmed and have serious misgivings. Which is not to say I won't give him 100% support. But I do have very serious misgivings...' Very supportive Keith, almost 100% but not quite. :roll:

'Remember Wim Jansen, came here from Hiroshima - you can imagine the headlines, well there were the headlines...' Yes, you guys wrote them you two-faced septic-tank!

Grotesquely patronising from beginning to end. They come across like three know-it-all fans gabbing in the pub who can't see beyond big names like Souness and Jordan because it's as far as their pitifully limited knowledge of football can stretch. People like that make me despair for the soul of Scotland.[/quote]
Fraser

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Post by lbb » Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:26 pm

Fraser, to be fair to Keevins, he wasn't behind the 'Wim who?' headlines. In fact, he had spent the entire summer of 1997 claiming Artur Jorge was to be appointed as manager of Celtic - even claiming at one point that his man was in the very bowels of Celtic Park signing his contract. A humiliation that cost him his job at The Scotsman. His smug remembrance of days gone past is therefore, as you say, inappropriate.

I found the arguments put forward by the intrepid trio on behalf of Tommy Burns and Mark McGhee to be incoherent. If Burley's best days are behind him then what about Burns? When all is said and done, Burns has held 3 management jobs, the last one being 9 years ago and he was sacked from his last 2 appointments. How does this make him a better candidate than Burley? Jackson at least acknowledges that McGhee's career has had similar peaks, troughs and spells in the wilderness as Burley but the clincher that 'he's done it for 6 months at Motherwell, rather than just 10 games' is frankly moronic. To think Jackson is talking about suing John Collins (over his Kevin Thomson comments) for 'damaging his credibility' - you don't have any, son.

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Post by Scottish » Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:54 pm

I think this whole 'Burley had ten good games at Hearts' business is myopic in the extreme. Burley won the League Managers Association Manager of the Year award in England in 2001. That award is decided by fellow managers and in order to win it you have to beat Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger. In other words it's quite an achievement.

I take the view that anyone not prepared to be interviewed couldn't really have wanted the job.

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