Scotland’s faint hopes of direct qualification to the European Championships ended with a humiliating 4-0 defeat in Russia tonight.
Three successive defeats leave Steve Clarke’s side in fifth place in Group I with Russia, Cyprus and Kazakhistan all above the Scots.
Callum McGregor was the only player from the Treble Treble winners to be selected for the starting XI as players like John Fleck, Robert Snodgrass and Liam Palmer were handed blue jerseys.
Under Alex McLeish the campaign started with the humiliation of a 3-0 defeat to Kazakhistan with the former Birmingham City boss ditched soon after a 2-0 win away to San Marino.
Three goals in 17 minutes and Scotland are out of it in Moscow
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) October 10, 2019
Kazakhstan and Cyprus ahead of Scotland… that is shameful…
— Chris Sutton (@chris_sutton73) October 10, 2019
While Clarke will be slaughtered for tonight’s result lurking in the background is President Rod Petrie and chief executive Ian Maxwell, masters in failure.
Petrie has spent almost 20 years working through the committee structures while Hibs change managers on average every 18 months.
Maxwell, despite the windfall of investment from lottery winner Colin Weir, left Partick Thistle being relegated from the Premiership just as he took up the best paid job inside Hampden.
Scotland went in level at half time tonight, the second half collapse was no surprise on the back of another 4-0 defeat at home to Belgium next month.
In the spring Scotland will take part in the Nations League play offs with the chance of earning a place in the European Championships through the back door, on the back of four successive defeats and a goal difference 13-2 it might be an act of mercy if Petrie, Maxwell and the other serial failures are left out of the spotlight. Only six teams in Europe have a worse goal difference than Scotland’s of 16-4 after seven matches.
Tickets are still available for Sunday’s home match against San Marino.