Every team at the Euros (well, except one) dies, not every team truly lives, to paraphrase something that William Wallace almost certainly never said. For all the flaws in Braveheart as a film of historical record, that line though does rather neatly sum up the European Championships from the perspective of the Tartan Army.

There are those, no doubt, who would have Steve Clarke tarred and feathered after that crushing disappointment. To have been brought out in stocks in the Hampden centre circle for the Tartan Army to pelt with week-old sauerkraut every time that Georgia, Slovakia or Romania came out and attacked with freedom and thrilling abandon.

This bloodlust for blame to be assigned to the Scotland manager for his team’s insipid exit from the tournament in Germany ignores the fact that he got the country to the party in the first place, and that it was the second time he had led us to the Euros in succession.

That has to be acknowledged. But so too does the fact that on both occasions Clarke has led the nation to the brink of the promised land (or as other countries call it, the knockout stages of a major tournament), the national team has fallen flat on its face.

The Scotland support is used to their country banging their heads off that particular glass ceiling, but it was the manner of their exit this time around that really jarred. That stuck in the collective craw. And Clarke is firmly in the crosshairs for sticking too rigidly to his cautious instincts, particularly against Hungary. There is no guarantee that a bolder approach would have led to history being made, but at least we wouldn’t have died wondering.

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These are issues that have been chewed over for over a week now. But still, they gnaw away at the nation’s shared psyche. Scotland needs closure, but can only get it from Clarke, and the manager is nowhere to be seen.

In fairness, he too will be licking his wounds. For all that holes can be picked in his tactics and his approach, there can be no questioning his own passion for his country, and how desperately he wanted to succeed in Germany.

He too, will be hurting badly, as much as any member of the Tartan Army. That is why, in my book, some allowances can be made for his immediate post-Hungary comments (to a point), which badly misread the room, and the mood of the nation.

Going after the officials for their refusal to award Scotland a penalty was one thing. The fans were more upset about their team’s performance than that particular incident though, and you would be hard pushed to find a Scotland fan who thought the national side had been robbed by the referee.

Going after him for his nationality was another thing entirely, and I’m sure Clarke will regret those words in hindsight.

Almost as disappointing from a supporter’s perspective though was Clarke’s refusal to answer questions on his side’s lack of attacking ambition, and complete absence of goal threat, because he was - in his own words – ‘sad’.

We were all sad, Steve. But we aren’t all paid handsomely to lead the national team, and to be held accountable in such moments. He ducked the question, failed to offer any sort of explanation for his team’s lacklustre displays to a devastated nation, and as a result, ducked his responsibilities to the supporters.

The stench of this failure will likely haunt Clarke and his side for some time to come. But it needn’t be the final chapter in what has largely been a success story. If he wants the nation to move on, he must now address some pretty significant elephants that still sit in the room.

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Why, for example, did he not let the handbrake off a little in that final game, instead opting to flip from caution to kamikaze in those chaotic, calamitous last few minutes of stoppage time? Why did he persist with Anthony Ralston at right wing-back and leave the greater attacking threat of James Forrest on the bench? What exactly were those lessons he said he had learned from the previous Euros? If he still believes he is the man to take this team to the next level, how exactly is he going to achieve it?

Not unreasonable queries. The Tartan Army don’t want to hear hard luck stories about penalties or foreign refs, they want an explanation for just how a team we know can perform so much better than they managed – the team that Clarke himself built – looked so frozen, so petrified on the big stage.

The numbers don’t lie. Scotland might have had the best fans at the tournament, but we were comfortably the worst team. The country are generally proud of their side, but these performances (save for the draw against Switzerland, perhaps, which at least showed heart) were an embarrassment to us all – manager, coaches, players and fans alike.

For his part in it, Clarke doesn’t deserve to be hung, drawn and quartered. But the fans do deserve some sort of explanation for how it all unfolded in the way it did. He should hold his hands up and take his share of the blame. And he should explain how he will do things differently going forward.

Only then can we all move on. And be sure that Clarke is indeed still the best man for the job.