David Moyes and Alex McLeish are both out of work as the Scottish FA begins looking for a new Scotland manager

Former Scotland boss Alex McLeish says it would be “hard to turn your country down” if the Scottish FA approached him about the national team vacancy.

McLeish was previously in charge of Scotland for 10 months in 2007 before returning to club management.

Former Scotland international Pat Nevin says David Moyes would be the ideal successor to Gordon Strachan, though.

“If you get the call from your country then it’s hard to turn that one down. You never know,” McLeish said.

“If they wanted to come and get you they would make the call. I don’t like to go phoning around, saying ‘get me an interview’.”

McLeish has been out of work since a three-month spell in charge of Egyptian side Zamalek in 2016. After leaving Scotland for Birmingham City, he suffered relegation, immediate promotion back to the Premier League, before victory over Arsenal in the 2011 League Cup final.

There followed spells at Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Genk before the brief spell in Egypt, while McLeish was also considered for Rangers’ managerial vacancy in March before the Ibrox club appointed Pedro Caixinha.

‘I know all the trends’

“I’ve been out of the game for about a year now, out of the dugout that is, but I’ve kept in touch with top football here in England,” McLeish said.

“I live in London and go to a lot of Premier League games, so it’s not as if I’ve lost touch with football.

“I know what’s going on, all the trends and modern ways. [Antonio] Conte’s playing three at the back – I was playing that 10, 15 years ago and everybody thinks Antonio invented it.”

Pat Nevin made 28 appearances for Scotland, scoring five goals

Nevin’s choice to succeed Strachan would be the former Manchester United and Everton manager, Moyes, although he concedes that may not be a popular choice with the majority of the Tartan Army.

The former Scotland winger believes Moyes may prefer his next job to be in club management.

“If it was my choice I would go straight for David Moyes right now,” Nevin told BBC 5 live.

“However I’m not convinced that in Scotland he is seen in that light at the moment because of the difficulties he’s had in his last two jobs.

“His star has slightly fallen and if you ask people in Scotland, a lot of people say he wouldn’t be their first choice.”

After a successful 11 years in charge of Everton, Moyes moved to Manchester United to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson. He lasted less than one full season before being sacked, then spent a year in Spain managing Real Sociedad.

‘Will they get anyone better than Strachan? Doubt it’

On his return to British football, Moyes was appointed manager of Sunderland in July 2016, but went on to suffer the only relegation of his managerial career and left after 11 months.

“He would be my first choice,” Nevin added. “But I don’t know if David would even take it right now, because he wants to get his star rising on the domestic front first.

“Will they get anyone as good as Gordon Strachan? Maybe. Will they get anyone better? I would doubt it. The very best ones aren’t going to take that job.

“It’s getting on 20 years, we’ve had managers such as Walter Smith, Alex McLeish and now Gordon and others and no-one’s managed to get Scotland to [major] finals. You get the feeling after a while that it might not be the manager.”


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