David Weir adamant SFA should appoint a Scot as next national manager
Gordon Strachan remains the favourite to take over from Craig Levein, but Iceland coach Lars Lagerback has also been linked with the vacancy, raising the possibility that a second foreigner after Berti Vogts would be given the top job.
Weir, who retired from international duty under Vogts in 2002 before returning two years later when Walter Smith had taken over, does not think there should be a blanket rule that a Scot must take charge of Scotland. But he is sure that at this time it is vital to appoint someone who already knows how football here works.
“A Scottish appointment is the best way to go,” Weir said yesterday. “It doesn’t always work out, but in an ideal world you would have a Scotsman managing the national side.
“I played under Berti and then the likes of Walter and Alex [McLeish]. It was different, but then every regime is different. I just think it is harder for someone from a different culture to come in and understand the nuances of the Scotland national side. Somebody who appreciates that would make the transition that bit easier.”
At Hampden to be awarded his Pro Licence coaching certificate at the end of a two-year course, Weir agreed that Strachan would be an excellent choice for the post. But he refused to commit himself when asked if that meant the former Celtic boss would be the best candidate. “I think he’d definitely be up there,” he said. “But there are a lot of great candidates. Working with Walter and seeing what he has done, I think he’s a great candidate. He’s been over the distance before. Alex McLeish is similar, although he’s taken a job now.
“For me, Billy Stark is another great candidate. He’s been extremely successful with the under-21s, he knows the ins and outs of the SFA and how it works.
“Gordon Strachan has the pedigree and success as a manager and you have the likes of Joe Jordan too. There are several great candidates, but the SFA are taking their time. They want to get it right and hopefully that’s the case.
“We produce a lot of good Scottish managers, so I think it’s fair to believe we should have one in charge of the national side. People think of Scottish managers as being the best in the business.
“There were six Scottish managers in the Premier League last season and we had them up speaking to us at a coaching conference last year. We definitely produce good coaches and the SFA need to take a lot of credit, because the vast majority have been through the course up here.”
One of those Scots in the top flight in England is David Moyes, the manager at Everton, where Weir is currently working as a reserve-team coach. Moyes has also been named as a potential target for the SFA, but Weir said the timing would be wrong for him on this occasion.
“Probably he won’t be interested at this stage of his career, primarily because I know how much he enjoys working day-to-day with his players. I know how much importance he places on that.
“With Scotland you don’t get the opportunity to go out and work every day. I can’t put words into his mouth, but I’m sure that’s a big part of it for him.
“I’m sure he would love to manage the national team. Who wouldn’t? It’s just not right for him at this stage of his career. Definitely he would be the ideal person. Whether circumstances are right ten years or so down the line, who knows?”
Jurgen Klinsmann with Germany and Marco van Basten of the Netherlands are examples of two star players who were given charge of their national team at the start of their management careers, and a left-field option would be for the SFA to do something similar. However, Weir suggested that it was far too early for them to consider offering the job to him.
“I don’t think it’s for me, to be honest. You look about and there are people far more qualified than me.
“If you look at who is available and who would want it, it’s not for me quite yet.”