Former Scotland manager Berti Vogts has expressed his sympathy with Craig Levein and warned that a change of manager alone will not cure the country’s recent struggles.
The German coach, who guided his homeland to the Euro 96 title, held the Scotland job between 2002 and 2004 but endured a fractious relationship with fans and media before resigning.
Levein’s tenure ended in similarly disappointing fashion when he was dismissed earlier this month and the Scottish Football Association are currently assessing potential successors.
But Vogts, currently in charge of Azerbaijan and speaking ahead of his side’s World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland, believes that the problems run deeper than the manager’s office.
“I heard about Craig Levein only yesterday. I know how he feels,” said Vogts. “When you take over Scotland you have to live with certain things, with the Scottish media and a lot of poor players. I understand, yes.
“Expectations are too high, always. They do not invest many pounds in youth and you have to do that.
“When I took over I brought in over 12 youngsters. I brought in a young Darren Fletcher after I saw him in a youth tournament. He was 17 years of age and the journalists attacked me and said he was too young but he is an excellent player.”
Asked to pass comment on who might get the job next, he added: “Who will it be? Maybe Joe Jordan or Gordon Strachan. Maybe they should do it together.”
Despite the negativity that surrounded his reign as Scotland boss, Vogts would not rule out a return to British football at some stage and praised the Scottish players for their work ethic.
“Maybe [I will return],” he said. “I have a contract for one year but I had a very good time in Scotland.
“The mentality of the players was fantastic. They are very professional, they know exactly what to do to prepare and to teach themselves.
“In Azerbaijan, the boys come too late to football at 16 or 17 and you have to teach them. In Great Britain you play right from school.”