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

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By Tom English
BBC Scotland
Sitting in the Hall of Fame room at the Hampden museum, Steve Clarke includes a six-foot cardboard cut-out of Kenny Dalglish standing and a different six-foot cardboard loaf of Alex Ferguson in front of him. He puffs his cheeks out and moves the walls. Busby, Stein, McNeill, Greig, On and about the icons go. “Some sum of leaders within this area, eh?” He states. “Scary.”
This location is his football home today, that the irony not lost on him. It provides him a chuckle when he believes about how life is nowadays during his memorable bout in Kilmarnock after all the verbal conflicts with the authorities. “I get a small badge to put on,” he cried. “I can go through each of the doorways. I come up the stairs and that I don’t need to have my short with me to fight an SFA charge. I go down the staircase later and I’m not walking out with a ban. It is great.”
Clarke is two matches into his Scotland reign, a win against Cyprus accompanied with and a 3-0 loss in Belgium a home double-header from Belgium and Russia that has the feeling of foreboding on it. He can not give up on qualifying from this team, but in the actual world the months ahead are about getting his principles established along with his team settled in time to get your Nations League play-offs next year.
The director hoped to instil some goodwill in his defence because of these matches. He wanted to go with the Charlie Mulgrew-Scott McKenna partnership when McKenna was invalided from the squad but that idea took. He went down as well, although the second in line was Stuart Findlay. He also withdrew, although Following Findlay was Grant Hanley hurt.
Insert from the absent John Souttar and you’re talking about a state with a shortage of centre-halves losing four of those they do have before playing the aspect that knocked Spain from their last World Cup. And a couple of days later playing with the nation that removed Brazil from the identical championship, who have scored seven goals in their last two meetings together with Scotland and, oh yes, are currently ranked number one on the planet.
Clarke needed a struggle – and that it is, with bells on. He is adjusting to the scene, although he is in his infancy at work. “People who know me understand that I am really determined, but I am not one that goes around crying about it. I keep everything to myself. I’m a silent person, which explains the reason this task is a bit of a challenge as you need to come out, you will need to do more media, you have to speak to more folks.
“It is not me. I’m a guy who enjoys his boots on, tracksuit whistle around his neck and some training notes. That is what I am most comfortable performing. The other hand, the corporate entity, moving into the boardroom earlier games – it’s a tiny bit strange to me, however I’m likely to be the best that I can be.”
As a director, a coach and a player, resilience was Clarke’s watchword. As a right-back at Chelsea he had been the kind of personality who watched Dan Petrescu arrive at a fanfare and took advantage. Petrescu, he reminds usended up playing right. He almost smiles at the memory of this. A glamour player seen off. Again.
“I wished to remain in the team however many big names came . Where in the group, Do not matter. Anywhere. Not a great deal of people recall this but I played a central refuge, when Chelsea won the FA Cup in 1997. I was never a player, never. Do my job and I only wanted to go outside. People like me are extremely valuable to managers”
His journey to Hampden started back in Newcastle when he watched that the then-manager Ruud Gullit writing a few notes following a reduction to Sunderland and realised the next day that what the Dutchman was scribbling was his resignation letter. That place Clarke on the path. In at the deep end. Why not?
He picked up bits from everyone. He learned about man management. Nobody greater than Bobby. “He understood players, he knew the way they think. Don’t lie . They see through lies all day . I tell my players that my door is always open, come and have a conversation but be ready to hear things you may rather not hear. It will be accepted by people, as long as you’re honest. Attempt and pull the wool over their eyes try to be overly smart and you begin to lose them”
In Chelsea, in which his bond with Jose Mourinho was as strong as it was powerful, he learned about intensity and organisation, about planning of training and gameplans. Mourinho had such charisma. Clarke would go into his news conferences and just stand at the rear of the room to see a master communicator (and manipulator) at the office.
“I haven’t talked to Jose for a couple of years now. It’s normal in soccer, you go down messages and gradually the text different paths tidy and eventually you drift. He’s his life, I have my entire life, but we will always be friends. I saw a quote from him lately about the way he may have to change his style of direction a bit, that perhaps the contemporary player does not respond quite as well to that driven means of his. He is a prize winner. He’ll be back”
In June 2012, Clarke became manager of West Brom. He discovered so many things there which he does not know where to start. That season was Kilmarnock-like in feel. West Brom beat Liverpool (double ), Everton and Chelsea and drew 5-5 with Manchester United at Ferguson’s farewell game as manager. In his breakthrough period, Romelu Lukaku scored a hat-trick. Lukaku has said that he owes his livelihood.
West Brom completed eighth, an all-time high in the Premier League. Five weeks into his second time, he had been sacked. “Brutal,” he says. And in case you missed it, then he says it again. “Absolutely barbarous.”
Clarke fell and also the axe had lost four in a row at the. “This was a shock at the moment, but I did not moan about it. It is like what I said about learning from Bobby and Jose. I heard a great deal at West Brom. A fantastic lesson is do not drop four. Or react.
“Maybe I was feeling the intensity of the situation. I didn’t conduct myself with the ability to show I was still in control. Perhaps I simply panicked a little bit. I really don’t understand. I didn’t notice any shift in my demeanour, however, the board needs to have discovered something. It is said as soon as you have the sack that you simply become a supervisor. I became a supervisor afterward, December 2013.
“It’s a very strange profession, this. A wonderful profession, but very, very brutal, especially now where what’s transient and more instant. I simply moved on afterwards. I’ve always been great at moving , from poor and good. People today ask me about Kilmarnock, but I am one of these guys that when I sell a house I don’t go back and look to see whether they have changed the drapes or dug the bud. I only go. My time with Kilmarnock was enjoyable, but they’ve a new manager with ideas and another way of playing and they have to move on without me. I would like to stay sticking my oar in there might be incorrect. It is not my job ”
Clarke is a beast in that there was acceptance when he was appointed as manager of the group he acknowledges and enjoys while realising that there is a time limit on those things. He knows all about the”apathy” which is out there for the Scotland team right now. He knows that everybody was ground down by twenty decades of failure.
If Cyprus equalised in the part in his debut game, he can see this, and hear it, for himself. “Resigned disappointment” is how he describes the atmosphere at Hampden at 1-1. “To the fans, that equaliser was another kick in which it actually hurts. But we got the winner and you could truly feel the power. The fans will come back if we get it directly. They’ll definitely come back.”
He will not lie. He does not understand how much time it will take for things to start working. “I am softly impressed with the number of players. They’re positive. They’re determined to make amends although they’ve realised that they’ve made things difficult with all the loss in Kazakhstan. Whether we advance slowly or quickly is something you can’t predict but this group has the capability to improve a lot.
“The fans are a little bit down, but that I can not say that it is likely to be a fast fix. I really don’t think you get fast fixes. Kilmarnock wasn’t a quick fix. It wasn’t, although it might have seemed like this. The power at Kilmarnock was not the player, it was the group, everyone. It took lots of work.
“They bought into it and they enjoyed ruffling a few feathers. They enjoyed picking up points against teams they were not supposed to pick up points against. Hopefully that’s something we could put here, a team which believes in itself, considers it can get results, believes it can upset the so-called bigger states.”
As well as his trophy-laden Celtic players – that predicts Ryan Christie”electrical” and may grin when recalling how Christie”completely shattered my Kilmarnock team last year” – Clarke has an greater number of performers from the Premier League to pick from. Andy Robertson in Liverpool, Kieran Tierney (when match ) at Arsenal, Scott McTominay at Manchester United, Kenny McLean in Norwich, Ryan Fraser in Bournemouth, Robert Snodgrass in West Ham, John McGinn in Aston Villa, Stuart Armstrong at Southampton, Oli McBurnie – the Number 20m striker – and John Fleck at Sheffield United.
Appearances can, obviously, be deceptive. These boys are in a league although not all are starters. Armstrong has not begun a game for his club this season. McLean has been around on the bench in recent matches. McBurnie is being eased into it. Snodgrass is out and also in. As he searches for this cohesion that created Kilmarnock so successful, Clarke says they get a opportunity.
If Robertson and Tierney are both match, what exactly does Clarke do? “Get them in the group. Don’t ask me how, but we will find a way, Listen, whenever you have players that are great you have to discover a way. It is a puzzle, it is not a problem. Having two is not an issue. Getting them is something which I need to find the solution to when the time comes. I will not lose any sleep about it yet. The absolute most crucial thing for Kieran is he settles in at Arsenal and we’re going to see him if he’s ready.”
Three days 15, ready or not, Scotland and Russia are enjoying on Belgium and Friday. There is from the Russians An effect get-able when Scotland are all that they can be at the evening. Belgium, you fancy, will soon be another evening hoping to deal with the brilliance at the positions. Hampden will find the voice of it , no doubt about that if Clarke gets anything from the game.
“The Tartan Army are through a good deal, but they want to appreciate this group. It is possible to see that. {It is possible to {feel|sen

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