Scotland v Russia: Steve Clarke on managers, Mourinho & making amends

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From Tom English
BBC Scotland
Situated in the Hall of Fame room in the Hampden museum, Steve Clarke includes a six-foot cardboard cut-out of Kenny Dalglish standing behind him and a different six-foot cardboard cut-out of Alex Ferguson in front of him. He puffs his lips out and scans the walls. Busby, Stein Greig, On and about the icons move. “Some sum of leaders within this place, eh?” He states. “Scary.”
This location is his soccer home the irony not lost on him. When he thinks about the different life is these days during his unforgettable bout at Kilmarnock it provides him a chuckle. “I even get a little badge to wear,” he cried. “I can go through each of the doors. I think of the staircase and I do not need to have my short to fight an SFA charge. I go down the staircase after and I am not walking out using a ban. It’s terrific.”
Clarke is just two matches into his Scotland predominate, a win against Cyprus followed with now and a 3-0 loss in Belgium a house double-header against Belgium and Russia that has the feeling of foreboding on it. He can not give up on qualifying from this team, however in the actual world the months ahead would be all about acquiring his principles established along with his team settled in time for the Nations League play-offs year.
The manager was hoping to instil some continuity in his defence because of all these matches. That idea took when McKenna was invalided out of the squad although he wanted to go again with all the Charlie Mulgrew-Scott McKenna centre-back partnership. He went, although the next in line was Stuart Findlay. After Findlay had been Grant Hanley, however, he withdrew hurt.
Add from the absent John Souttar and you are talking about a state with a lack of centre-halves losing four of those they do have before enjoying the side that knocked Spain out of the last World Cup. And then a couple of days after playing the nation that eliminated Brazil from the same tournament, who’ve scored seven goals in their last two encounters together with Scotland and, oh , are currently ranked number one on the planet.
Clarke needed a challenge – and here it is, with bells on. He is in his infancy in the job, but he is adjusting to the scene. “People who know me understand that I am really determined, but I’m not one that goes around crying about it. I keep all. I’m a silent individual, which is why this task is a bit of a challenge since you want to come outside, you need to do more press, you will need to speak to more individuals.
“It is not me. I’m a guy who likes his boots , his neck rounds and likely some coaching notes. That is what I am most comfortable doing. The media side, the corporate entity, going into the boardroom earlier matches – it is a small bit strange to me, however I’m going to be the very best that I could be.”
As a coach, a player and a manager, resilience was Clarke’s watchword. As a right-back at Chelsea he had been the sort of personality who watched Dan Petrescu arrive at a fanfare and took advantage from the challenge. Petrescu, we are reminded by him ended up playing right. He smiles at the memory of the this. A glamour player seen off. Again.
“I wanted to remain in the group no matter how many big names arrived . Where in this group didn’t matter. Anywhere. Not a lot of people recall this but if Chelsea won the FA Cup I played as a central refuge. I was never a flamboyant player, never went searching for headlines. I only wanted to go outside and do my own job. People like me are quite important to managers”
His journey to Hampden started away back at Newcastle when he watched that the then-manager Ruud Gullit writing some notes following a reduction to Sunderland and realised the next day that what the Dutchman was his resignation letter. Clarke is place by that to coaching on the road. In at the deep end. Why not?
He picked up bits along the way from everyone. He learned about man administration. Nobody greater than Bobby. “He knew players, he understood that the way they think. Do not lie to them. They see through lies all day long. I tell my players that my door is always open, come and have a chat but be prepared to hear things you might rather not hear. That will be accepted by Individuals, provided that you are honest. Try to pull the wool over their eyes try to be overly clever and you start to lose them”
At Chelsea, where his bond together with Jose Mourinho was as strong as it was successful, he learned about organisation and intensity, about preparation of training and gameplans. Mourinho had charisma. Clarke would go into his news conferences and stand in the back of the room to find that a master communicator (also manipulator) at work.
“I haven’t spoken to Jose for a couple of decades now. It’s normal in soccer, you move down messages and the text different avenues tidy and you float apart. We’ll always be friends, although He’s his life, I’ve my entire life. I saw a quotation from him recently about how he might have to change his manner of direction a bit, that perhaps the contemporary player doesn’t respond quite as well to that driven means of hisor her He is a prize winner. He’ll be back”
Back in June 2012, Clarke became manager of West Brom. He discovered many things there which he does not understand where to start. That first season was Kilmarnock-like in texture. West Brom beat Liverpool (double ), both Everton and Chelsea and drew 5-5 with Manchester United in Ferguson’s farewell game as manager. In his breakthrough season, a hat-trick was scored by Romelu Lukaku. Lukaku has said that he owes his livelihood Clarke.
West Brom completed eighth, an all-time large from the Premier League. Five months into his second time, he had been sacked. “Brutal,” he states. And in case you missed it,” he says it . “Absolutely brutal.”
Clarke fell and down the axe had dropped four in a row at the build-up to Christmas. “This was a shock at the time, but I didn’t moan about it. It is similar to what I said about learning from Jose and Bobby. I learned a great deal. A lesson is don’t drop four. Or react.
“Perhaps I had been feeling the level of the circumstance. Perhaps I did not conduct myself with the perfect ability to demonstrate that I was in control. Maybe I panicked a bit. I don’t understand. I didn’t notice any shift in my demeanour, however, the board must have noticed something. They say that you merely turn into a supervisor once you get the sack. Well, I became a supervisor December 2013.
“it is a very peculiar career, this. A terrific profession, but really brutal, especially today where what’s transient and instantaneous. I moved on afterwards. I have always been good at moving on, from good and bad. Folks ask me about Kilmarnock, however I am one of these guys that if I sell a home I don’t go back and look to find out if they have changed the curtains or dug on the grass. I go. They have a manager with different ideas and a method of enjoying and they have to move on with me, although my time with Kilmarnock was very enjoyable. For me to continue sticking my oar in there could be incorrect. It is not my job ”
Clarke is a beast in that there was near-unanimous approval when he had been appointed as director of the national team that he acknowledges and appreciates while realising that there’s a time limit on these things. He knows all about the”apathy” which exists out there for the Scotland team at this time. He understands that everybody has been ground down by 20 years of failure.
He listen to it, for himself, and could see it if Cyprus equalised late in the role in his debut match. “Resigned disappointment” is the way he describes the atmosphere at Hampden in 1-1. “To the fans, this equaliser was another kick in which it really hurts. But we got the winner and you could truly feel the power. The fans will return when we get it right. They’ll definitely return.”
He will not lie. He does not understand how much time it will take to get items to start working. “I’m softly impressed with the group of gamers. They are positive. They have realised that they’ve made things difficult with all the reduction in Kazakhstan but they’re determined to make amends. Whether we progress gradually or quickly is something that you can’t predict but that this group has the capability.
“The fans are a little bit down, but that I can not say that it’s likely to be a fast fix. I don’t think you get quick fixes. Kilmarnock wasn’t a fix. It may have seemed like that, but it was not. The strength at Kilmarnock wasn’t the player, it was the team, everybody working together with a means of playing that they appreciated. It took lots of difficult work.
“They bought into it and they enjoyed ruffling a few feathers. They appreciated picking up things against groups that they were not supposed to pick up points against. Hopefully that’s something we can put here, a team which believes itself, considers it can get results, believes it could upset the so-called larger countries.”
Also as his trophy-laden Celtic players – he calls Ryan Christie”electric” and may grin when recalling how Christie”absolutely destroyed my Kilmarnock team last season” – Clarke has an higher variety of actors from the Premier League to pick from. Andy Robertson at Liverpool, Kieran Tierney (when fit) at Arsenal,” Scott McTominay at Manchester United, Kenny McLean in Norwich, Ryan Fraser in Bournemouth, Robert Snodgrass in West Ham, John McGinn at Aston Villa, Stuart Armstrong in Southampton, Oli McBurnie – the #20m striker – along with John Fleck at Sheffield United.
Appearances may, obviously, be deceptive. These boys are in a league that is glamorous but not all are starters. Armstrong has not begun a game for his club this season. McLean has been on the bench in recent matches. McBurnie is being eased into it. Snodgrass is currently now in and out. Clarke says they get a chance to impress Belgium and Russia, as he hunts for this cohesion that produced Kilmarnock powerful.
If Tierney and Robertson are both fit, what does Clarke do? “Get them at the team. Do not ask me how, but we will find a way when you have good players you need to discover a way. It’s a puzzle, it is not a issue. Having two excellent left-backs is not a problem. Getting them inside the group is something that to if the moment comes I want to discover the solution. I won’t lose any sleep about it. The absolute most important thing for Kieran is he excels in at Arsenal and we’ll see him if he’s ready.”
Three times 15, ready or not, Scotland and Russia are playing on Friday and Belgium. When Scotland are all that they could be at the evening, An effect against the Russians is get-able. Belgium, you fancy, will soon be another forlorn evening hoping to handle the assorted brilliance at the visiting positions. Hampden will find that it’s voice again, no doubt about it, In case Clarke gets anything in the game.
“The Tartan Army have been through a lot, however they wish to appreciate this group. You’re able to observe that. {You can {feel|sen

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