Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill snubs Scotland job and Kyle believes had the process been completed quicker the powers that be in Scottish Football may just have got their man.
Embarrassment, all the eggs in the one basket, or going to the next candidate with your tail between your legs? Call it what you will but the SFA’s pursuit of Michael O’Neill has not delivered the desired outcome.
Scotland decided not to renew the contract of former national gaffer Gordon Strachan in October after his failure to qualify for this summer’s World Cup.
The Scottish Football Association then started their search to find ex Celtic boss Strachan’s replacement and quickly identified Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill as their first choice to lead the country to Euro 2020.
48 year old O’Neill, who guided Northern Ireland to their first ever European Championships in 2016, held talks with SFA but decided not to take the job despite a compensation deal being agreed for the former Hibs and Dundee United midfielder.
Now the wait to find a new, permanent head coach will continue to go on but the problem is that no matter who gets the gig on a full time basis, is going to know that they were second choice at best.
The talk about O’Neill and the position has been a regular topic of discussion ever since the post became vacant.
I, however, think that if the deal was thrashed out quicker, Michael O’Neill and Hearts assistant Austin MacPhee, who is also currently number 2 to O’Neill with Northern Ireland, would be looking forward to taking charge of Scotland for the first time in the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica on March 23.
So what happens next in this saga? Well as for Michael O’Neill, that idea is dead in the water. As for the vacant Scotland managers’ job? I genuinely do not have a clue. All the other candidates bar one I can think of, who I will talk about in another article, are all currently in employment.