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Steve Clarke - in/out/general discussion


2426255

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I thought we could start a new thread on Steve Clarke that I hope (but don't expect) won't turn into a knee jerk Steve Clarke out thread if a handful of results don't go the way we want them to. In any case, I saw an article discussing him based on an interview with Alex Dyer which I thought some on here might be interested to read and there didn't seem anywhere obvious to put it.  

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After leaving Huddersfield, I was out of work for a period of time so I went back to working at an SEN school which was demanding but fulfilling. Then, out of the blue, I received a call from Steve Clarke telling me that he was going to become manager of Kilmarnock and that he wanted me to be his assistant manager. I jumped at the chance and the rest is history as they say (laughs).

Steve is the best man-manager that I have worked with. He knows how to handle his players. He is fair with them and family always comes first in his eyes. He is also a great coach and someone who is good around the place at any football club. He trusts his staff and will delegate tasks to you as well. He has an aura about him and he has a big personality which he does not often show to the media. He is a meticulous planner and you have to be fully organised and prepared to work for him. He holds the highest of standards and demands 100% for everyone around him although, he also allows you and encourages you to be yourself. We are different characters but he never said to me that I had to change who I am or my manner as long as I worked hard.

He was brilliant with Scotland when I was with him and he has continued to achieve success since I’ve left too. When we went into Scotland, we had to change the culture around the national team. We made it very clear from the get-go that coming with Scotland was a time where there would be no messing around. I think in the past, some players viewed going away with Scotland as just a little break away from their club sides. I am not saying that they did not try or anything of that sort but did it hurt enough if they lost? I am not sure. Under Steve, that was never the case. The discipline of coming with Scotland to win and to work as a team in unison was established from our first meeting. We would accept nothing less.

Steve had a plan to improve Scotland and mould a strong team. He meant business and you can see that now in everything that he does. Defeating Spain was no fluke. You can see an organised team who knows what their roles are and how play for one another. I loved my time as part of the Scotland staff and I only left because I wanted to become the manager of Kilmarnock.

Alex Dyer on Steve Clarke

https://worldfootballindex.com/2023/05/alex-dyer-on-kilmarnock-scotland-and-working-alongside-steve-clarke/

I liked the bit about family coming first and we have seen signs of that with Zander Clark and Liam Cooper being excused International duty in Jun-22 mid-camp to get married etc. 

Edited by Bully Wee Villa
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I was at the A View From the Terrace live event last night where Stephen O'Donnell was a guest. He spoke about the Euros, and how much he was hurting after the Czech game, and he got very emotional when he was talking about how grateful he was that Clarke had backed him to go out and do it again at Wembley a few days later. If he gets the rest of the players feeling like that for him then you can see why he has been successful.

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Clarke is absolutely the best Scotland manager this century and probably a lot longer than that tbh. We had good results under Walter Smith and the first Alex McLeish reign, but it always felt like they were the result of some top class shithousery and a decent dollop of fortune. Under Clarke we have deservedly beaten Denmark and Spain at home, won our nations league group to get up to league A, performed decently in the groups for the World Cup qualifying, and of course qualified for our first major championship in over two decades.

 

There are a few blots of course, namely the performances at the euros in our own back yard, blowing the 2020-21 UNL group from a very strong position, and the playoff semi final against Ukraine, but there’s been a lot more good than bad.

 

Just as important as the famous wins is the fact that I now enter games against teams we “should” beat feeling pretty confident that Clarke will get the job done. Take Cyprus back in March for example. It wasn’t a vintage performance by any means and there were a few nervous moments in the second half at 1-0, but I always felt Clarke had the tactical know how to take care of business in a way that previous managers would probably have dropped points.

 

Clarke is well on his way to establishing us as a top 16-20 European nation which is a realistic best goal for a nation of our size. Going forward, we should be aiming to qualify for the World Cup, but Euros qualification should be seen as a minimum standard and we should really be looking to get out of the group in Germany next summer (16 teams go through altogether and I see no reason why we can’t be the 16th best side in Europe)

 

I love Steve Clarke tbh. 

Edited by Donathan
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You only have to look at Hampden every game to see the impact the man has had.

Ive been critical of certain aspects of his approach and his selections. But a large part of that comes down to the raised expectations he has created and the fact we have a really good core group of players.

I didnt get as much joy out of the Spain result as a lot of people because i almost expected it. I told people the day before i genuinely thought we would win. That belief and that expectation is down to Clarke.

Long may it continue.

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8 hours ago, craigkillie said:

I was at the A View From the Terrace live event last night where Stephen O'Donnell was a guest. He spoke about the Euros, and how much he was hurting after the Czech game, and he got very emotional when he was talking about how grateful he was that Clarke had backed him to go out and do it again at Wembley a few days later. If he gets the rest of the players feeling like that for him then you can see why he has been successful.

He's clearly a completely different person behind the scenes compared to what we see on camera which is why it's always tedious when folk/Rangers fans try and judge him on the latter. 

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15 hours ago, Donathan said:

It wasn’t a vintage performance by any means and there were a few nervous moments in the second half at 1-0, but I always felt Clarke had the tactical know how to take care of business in a way that previous managers would probably have dropped points.

I think there's more of a focus on tactical changes, in-game management or use of substitutions when we lose a game and less when we win. 

To your point, the Cyprus game provided example of changes while the match was in progress that affected the course of the game in a positive way. On 67 minutes, Steve Clarke tweaked the system while also bringing on Scott McTominay and Ryan Christie which in combination with Cyprus opening up to find an equaliser helped us get over the line. 

https://streamable.com/79s7u1   

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Scotland are usually absolute torture to watch.

The start of Steve Clarke’s Scotland tenure was poor and the football was as bad as anything I’d seen under Levein.

The change since he managed to get us to qualify for Euro 2020 (in 2021) has been massive. Yes, there have been bumps in the road, most recently Ukraine at Hampden in the play-off and that humping in Dublin, but there have also been moment of exquisite football.

The night in Belgrade, where Scotland managed to win away against a decent Serbia side was the start of the feel-good factor returning. That was an excellent night. Set against the backdrop of Covid lockdowns, we managed to qualify for the Euros. Our first major tournament since ‘98. Since then we’ve had the sublime performances against Denmark and Spain, where we played some great football against decent opposition and won, and we’ve won our Nations League group.

I’d imagine another bump in the road is just around the corner, but Clarke is doing okay.

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, the snudge said:

I've got the fear he goes to Celtic

Can't see it. Just signed a new deal, in the midst of some key games with a good team and he's not very...Celticy.

Football's a strange old place though, I'd be greeting. 

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Other than for personal financial reasons or if managing Celtic achieves a personal boyhood dream (not sure of SC’s personal leanings), the Celtic job seems like a poisoned chalice to me

 

Winning a domestic treble is literally par for the course. Apart from that one trophyless season in the pandemic and a cup semi final defeat to Rangers in 2022, Celtic have won every single trophy since 2016. 17 of the last 21 trophies have ended up at Celtic park. 
 

The only way to make yourself stand out as a Celtic manager is either to make it past the group stages of the champions league (which we’ve not seen for a decade), or literally win one of the other European competitions. Both of those are ridiculously hard to do.

 

Basically that Celtic job is easy to fail at and ridiculously hard to succeed at. Really tough to differentiate yourself when the minimum starting point for success is to win the treble. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 28/05/2023 at 01:41, Jacky1990 said:

You only have to look at Hampden every game to see the impact the man has had.

Absolutely cannot wait to walk in to Hampden with my wee boy these days. Goosebumps at the thought of it. It's phenomenal and the place is always rocking. 

I reckon Tues will be fucking electric. 

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The Spain game was fucking fantastic. It'll go down as one of Scotland's best performances.

Tonight was obviously a different type of win, but to be successful we need to find different ways to win matches.

A dominant, convincing victory over Georgia would be really good for this squad right now. I'd take a flukey win, but can't help but feel handing out a doing could really set us up to do extremely well in the future.

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4 hours ago, Darren said:

The Spain game was fucking fantastic. It'll go down as one of Scotland's best performances.

Tonight was obviously a different type of win, but to be successful we need to find different ways to win matches.

I thought how it panned out was different with us coming from behind, but I thought our overall game plan was similar to our strategy against Spain up until Haaland scored. Steve Clarke was reasonably sharp in making changes to help us get back into the game. As a manager and in terms of his personality he is a good fit for the Scotland National Team.

Edited by 2426255
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10 minutes ago, 2426255 said:

I thought how it panned out was different with us coming from behind, but I thought our overall game plan was similar to our strategy against Spain up until Haaland scored. Steve Clarke was reasonably sharp in making changes to help us get back into the game. As a manager and in terms of his personality he is a good fit for the Scotland National Team.

At the time, I thought the Cooper sub was a waste which was proven correct when he just brought off Porteous shortly after. Getting some width, McGinn more central and Gilmour in the buildup were all good moves though. 

In the first half I thought we were just trying to stay in the game in horrible conditions before going for it in the last half an hour or whatever, but conceding bang on the hour means we'll never know.

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56 minutes ago, accies1874 said:

At the time, I thought the Cooper sub was a waste which was proven correct when he just brought off Porteous shortly after. 

Steve Clarke stated his reasoning for that. Up to you if you believe that or not, I personally think it's a fair enough explanation.

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After losing the goal, I felt it was better just to stay in the fight for a little bit to make sure the game didn't run away from us. After that, we had to chase the game, it was pretty logical - you are going to take off a defender and push John McGinn a little bit further forward.

Steve Clarke

https://www.skysports.com/football/news/36621/12904481/steve-clarke-hails-scotland-character-after-norway-comeback-win-andrew-robertson-we-have-to-qualify-for-euro-2024-now

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7 hours ago, Kevin Finnerty said:

For the stat fans: last night's win against Norway brings Clarke's win rate as Scotland manager up to a nice clean 50.0% (for competitive games it's 53.8% if my maths are right.)

No idea if your maths are right, but your arithmetic certainly is 🤓

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