TODAY is the day when we find out whether or not Scottish football is going to change for the better.

The decision on whether Gordon Strachan continues as manager of the national team will be crucial in indicating the attitude of the governing body towards the part of their task that they are not good at – producing a decent squad to represent Scotland.

All the indications are that Strachan himself will be allowed to decide his own fate. You might think that is only fair since the national team did improve in the second half of the qualifying campaign and we would be in the play-offs had Scotland not conceded that late equaliser against England at Hampden.

Loading article content

The fact is that we would probably not be going to Russia anyway given the calibre of the teams that we would likely have met in the play offs. But failure is failure and Strachan failed.

The mistakes he made early in the campaign plus the changed tactics and choice of personnel for the match against Slovenia should at least see him subject to the greatest scrutiny by the SFA Board.

He also came out with the strangest of excuses, blaming the genetics of Scottish footballers for the current poor quality in the squad. That is just a nonsense, because genetics does not decide how well you pass a ball or how hard you compete in a match, and your genes do not decide whether you can acquire the necessary skills to be an internationalist.

Yes, physical strength and a skilful aptitude can be imbued from your mammy and your daddy, but DNA does not decide whether a footballer has the correct mental approach to his profession.

Dedication, commitment and hard work – these are the qualities needed above all and they are mostly gained by nurture, not nature. It is these qualities which not enough Scottish footballers have shown in recent years, and that’s not down to genes.

There is only one reason why Strachan has not already been fired and that is the lack of an obvious successor. What is needed is a new manager with fresh eye on all aspects of Scottish and world football, though he has little time to change things round before the new Euro 2020 qualification campaign starts in early 2019.

The SFA won’t sack themselves, but Strachan should go if another decent candidate can be found. There must be change of some sort at the highest level or else our twenty years of failure to qualify for major finals will continue and we will miss out on Euro 2020.

That would be disastrous, for 24 of the 55 national teams in Europe will qualify for Euro 2020, designed by former Uefa President Michel Platini before he was disgraced.

Glasgow will be a host city for a group stage and one of the round of 16 matches, as will Dublin, while Wembley will host the semi-finals and final.

We really never will have a better chance of making a Finals for the first time since 1998, and the manager, whoever he is, should be set one task – qualify.