Alan Pattullo: Jordan with three lions on his chest would be hard to swallow

ON THE whole, Scots have reacted quite calmly to news of another implosion involving the England national football team. Typical, seems to be the majority view.

But that is until the possible consequences are examined. The assumption is that Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham Hotspur manager, will be offered the chance to succeed Fabio Capello. Again, fair enough. Nothing to get too worked up about there.

Yet hang on. Who is Harry’s first-team coach, the man who he once said he could trust his life with? That’ll be Joe Jordan, long-time hero to the Tartan Army and a fearsome striker who, literally, gave his front teeth to play for Scotland. Redknapp isn’t likely to want to begin his England reign without his right-hand man beside him. Jaws in an England tracky, cheering on the boys with three lions on their shirt? Now that is a prospect worth getting het up about.

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True, it has long been acceptable to switch sides in international football. John Gorman, from Winchburgh in West Lothian, assisted Glenn Hoddle when he was England manager. No offence to Gorman, but he didn’t stretch every sinew to score a header to take Scotland to the World Cup finals for the first time in 16 years, as Jordan did against Czechoslovakia at Hampden Park in 1973.

Then there is Terry Butcher, whose decision to become assistant manager of Scotland must have been a sore one for many English fans to take. It was certainly hard for the man known as Psycho to stomach.

After being inducted into the Scottish hall of fame, something else which is bound to have left Stuart Pearce shaking his head, Butcher recounted a story about meeting his old England team-mate at a game at Wolves, shortly after being named George Burley’s assistant. “Next time you’re there, big man, take a look in the mirror,” Pearce growled in his ear. “How’s your conscience?”

Butcher is probably the closest thing England have to a Joe Jordan. The pair are iconic figures. If Butcher felt able to cross the great divide, then Jordan might too. Yet, still. Say it ain’t so, Joe.