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It's Gordon for me

IF you ask me if Craig Levein is going to lose his job as Scotland manager then I would have to say yes.

Gordon Strachan seems to be the fans' choice to replace Craig Levein    Photograph: Stewart Attwood
Gordon Strachan seems to be the fans' choice to replace Craig Levein Photograph: Stewart Attwood

But if you ask me if he was a good enough coach to do that job in the first place I would answer that in the affirmative as well.

Under Berti Vogts, the players were leaking things out that it was chaos when he was in charge, that he wasn't a good enough coach, wasn't good tactically or that things were rubbish on the training field.

That is not the case with Craig. He clearly knows what's what but he has found himself being forced into rash decisions and going from one error of judgment to another. It has been a snowball effect.

I don't think there is any way back in the World Cup qualifying campaign now. Sometimes there is an opportunity if you win this one or that one, but we are bottom of the group and with the games we have to come it could become embarrassing.

If you only miss qualifying by the skin of your teeth, the Tartan Army will let you off with that, but this campaign has been a disaster on and off the pitch.

When Craig got the job, there weren't too many other candidates out there. One of the problems he has now is that there are some very good possible replacements about: Alex McLeish, Walter Smith, Gordon Strachan and even Owen Coyle. Of these, Strachan is the one for me. He played 4-4-2 at Celtic and I used to love watching his teams play. He also seems to be what Scotland fans want.

If Craig could turn the clock back and start this campaign again I am sure he would do a lot of things differently. He would have sorted out his differences with Steven Fletcher before the qualifiers began. He would have had Kris Commons in his squads and maybe brought him on as a sub against good teams. Craig could also have taken the games in a different order, then he could have attacked more at home, and people would have understood his cautious approach in Wales and Belgium.

We all said it at the start of this campaign it could be a brilliant chance to get to our first finals in years or simply an unmitigated disaster, as most of the teams in the group seemed relatively evenly matched. It has definitely turned out the second way for Scotland.

The players clearly like Craig but that is not enough. I don't know quite what went wrong. Sometimes when his back has been against the wall, it has seemed like his head was swimming, like he needed to take some time out and regain his focus.

He has been forced into some bad decisions, or has gone with the flow in a way which is not like him. And to say he has got a strained relationship with the press is an understatement.

Thanks to the SFA, the 2016 European Championship finals in France will be expanded to 24 teams. It is clearly a good chance to qualify but you can't tell me we wouldn't have taken a group with Serbia, Wales, Croatia, Macedonia and Belgium, with second place offering qualification for a play-off to get to the World Cup. The way things are going, we might not get many better chances than this one was.

AS for SFA performance director Mark Wotte, and his comments about burgers and Buckfast in Scotland, I don't think it is appropriate for him to take our money and then criticise our culture like that.

I feel his comments were too extreme – and I bet McDonald's wouldn't have been too happy with them, as they are one of the SFA's main sponsors.

I know he says his job is "ring-fenced" but he should concentrate on what he is supposed to be doing or he might find himself following Craig out of the door.

CELTIC have been brilliant in the Champ-ions League so far. The opposition goes up a notch this midweek when they visit the Camp Nou, but because they have done so well in their other games the pressure is off.

People always want you to press good teams high up the pitch – that is how Real Madrid have had their success against Barcelona – but I don't think Scotland could have done that against Belgium and I don't think Celtic can do it in this game.

It is going to be one of those nights where you have to sit in as a unit and be organised. I will be interested to see if Neil Lennon picks Kris Commons for an away match against a hugely difficult opponent. If he does, I think Kris will play in behind a front man and take defensive responsibilities away from him, rather than out wide.

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