GORDON McQueen believes Tartan Army icon Joe Jordan would accept an offer to join the England coaching staff if bookies’ favourite Harry Redknapp lands the manager’s job this year.
The prospect of Jordan, who scored in three different World Cup finals tournaments for Scotland, wearing the three lions on his tracksuit top is a source of dread for many who revered the swashbuckling striker.
But McQueen, a team-mate of Jordan at Leeds United, Manchester United and in the dark blue of their country, has no doubts his close friend would follow Redknapp from Tottenham if the call comes from the English FA.
“Yes, I think Joe would go there with Harry,” said McQueen. “He’d get a wage rise for a start! Do you know Joe? Seriously, I actually mentioned it to him the other day. I’d still give him pelters if he did it, but I can see it happening.
“About 20 years ago, people would be saying you couldn’t possibly have a Scot as part of the England management set-up. But we’ve had John Gorman as England assistant manager since then.
“Joe is a very professional guy, he always has been ultra professional in any job he does. He would put the same into working for England as he would for Scotland.
“The same thought and effort. It was just timing for Joe that he never got offered the Scotland job. He worked up here for Hearts and Celtic. Some great Scottish players have not got the job, like Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness and Joe. It doesn’t always work out. Joe would definitely have taken the Scotland job if offered.
“I’m a bit of a traditionalist. I don’t like it personally, guys from other countries becoming involved with another international team. I feel the whole set up should be Scottish, English, Irish, Welsh or whatever, in terms of both management and players. But Scotland and England have both had foreign managers. We’ve also had big Terry Butcher, a former England captain, as Scotland assistant manager. So it doesn’t really matter anymore.
“I do like Harry Redknapp. Any time I’ve been down to Tottenham, they have always looked after me. He is very approachable. A lot of these managers, and even players, just won’t talk to you nowadays.
“You guys in the media will find that as well. They are guarded and watch what they are saying. But I like Harry. He is an open guy who speaks his mind. So I’d maybe want England to do reasonably well if he was manager. Just not in my lifetime!”
The cross-pollination of international football among the home nations has been extended by the grandparent eligibility ruling which saw no fewer than seven English-born players in Craig Levein’s most recent Scotland squad. It is a development which saddens the fiercely patriotic McQueen, although he accepts the pragmatism involved on Levein’s part. “A lot of the players in our squad now are English, which I don’t like,” he said.
“They are all in the Scotland squad because they are not good enough to play for England, let’s not kid ourselves that it’s for anything different.
“I think when you sign your first professional contract as a player, you should have to declare which country you would play for if selected and have to stick with it.
“But every other nation has done it, so Craig Levein is probably doing the right thing. I just don’t agree with it.”