IF by "genetics" Gordon Strachan actually meant we just don't have enough footballers who, from birth,were well fed, well behaved, disciplined and motivated I think he is spot on ("Manager defiant as post mortems begin", Herald Sport, October 10). The problems of Scottish football are a metaphor for Scotland in general.

Our education system is in crisis: 40 per cent of our teachers wanting to leave the profession and citing pupil and parent behaviour as a big reason, and no wonder when were 600 attacks by pupils on school staff in the North East last year.

Our health, and health system, is in crisis: we have one of the highest obesity rates in the world and five times as many people – 250,000 – with type 2 diabetes than 50 years ago. This is almost totally down to poor nutrition.

We have a mental health crisis, especially in the young. Recently Hibs manager Neil Lennon described many young footballers as "snowflakes".

And we have a skills crisis: our politicians (where the biggest lack of skills exists), just like our football managers, are desperate to bring in foreign workers because the local workforce doesn't want the jobs or isn't skilled enough.

Things 50 years ago were arguably worse: we smoked a lot more, diets were more frugal, and we were poorer. But we had an education system that was the envy of the world and in 1967 Celtic won the European Cup, Rangers lost in the final of the Cup Winners Cup, Kilmarnock were in the semi-final of the Fairs Cup and Scotland famously destroyed world champions England. These teams were full of young men from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The current squad has a lot of good players, big and small, well brought up, and they and their manager did their best. Our society has a lot of good, skilled people. But to produce a Baxter, Law, Johnstone, Bremner, Logie Baird, Clerk-Maxwell or Watson-Watt requires a bigger pool of talent.

Politicians refuse to face reality for fear of alienating voters. Two years ago Nicola Sturgeon could walk on water. If she had spelled out the need for better diet, parenting and work ethic and copied policies from around the world we might be getting somewhere .

The demise of Scottish football is the demise of Scotland. We have gone soft and no-one is prepared to say it. The big difference between Scottish players and genetically similar Germans, Lithuanians or Slovenians is not their size it's their lifestyle, self-discipline and the confidence that gives.

Allan Sutherland,

1 Willow Row, Stonehaven.

SHOULD Gordon Strachan decide that he has had enough and vacates the Scotland manager's position, then I suggest Tam McManus (“Strachan failed to utilise players properly – his time has to be up”, Herald Sport, October 10) gets the job because my goodness, he knows all the answers (Monday morning quarterbacking as they call it in American football).

Bill Rutherford,

30 Halliburton Place, Galashiels.

SADLY, a large section of sports writers and commentators condemn Gordon Strachan as being the catalyst of Scotland's failure. Predictably a clutch of famous former players (almost exclusively failed managers) are listed as possible replacements for the beleaguered manager.

Surely it would be more appropriate to recruit a person currently managing a club rather than consider also-rans from times past.

Allan C Steele,

22 Forres Avenue, Giffnock.

YOU state in an article about Sam Allardyce (“Big Sam steers round talk of Scotland job”, Herald Sport, October 10) that, were he to replace Gordon Strachan as Scotland manager, he would become “only the second non-Scot” to take charge of our national side (Berti Vogts having been the first).

True, the man who lasted one match as England manager before being sacked in contentious circumstances, was born south of the Border. Yet it is understood both his parents hailed from this side of it, while his older sister was born here.

Hence the man known affectionately as Big Sam has rather more Scottish blood coursing through his veins than several of the players who featured in Scotland's eventually scuppered quest to qualify for the World Cup play-offs.

It remains to be seen whether the SFA invite Strachan to continue in charge after the abject consequence of Sunday's drawn match in Slovenia. If they don't, they could do far worse than consider Allardyce as his replacement.

He is widely recognised as a serious student of the game, with an impressive CV at club level. Oh, and given his family background, this bluff Englishman might well be imbued with sufficient, if hitherto untapped, patriotic fervour to win the approval of the Tartan Army.

Brian Scott,

20 Hawthorn Avenue, Lenzie.