Have Scotland already ruled themselves out of Brazil 2014?

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And so the road to Rio has been removed from Scotland and the path to Paris can begin.

The Scots may be just two points off the group leaders Serbia, but let’s not beat about the bush: Scotland are simply not good enough to qualify for World Cup 2014.

Two home victories were required from our opening two matches, but the Tartan Army trooped out of Hampden disillusioned and downbeat following the 1-1 draw with Macedonia, which leaves Scotland with an uphill battle of making a real dent in the group.

So the inquest begins, why could we not win any of our first two games? Why did the team produce lacklustre displays? Why did our top players fail to produce? And what does the future hold for Craig Levein?

In the clashes with both the Serbs and Macedonians, Scotland looked very ordinary, unable to dominate for substantial periods and unable to make their presence felt by their opponents.

We looked to the likes of Kenny Miller, Steven Naismith, Charlie Adam, James Morrison and Shaun Maloney to provide inspiration, but sadly, they failed to reach the level required and as a result we can kiss goodbye to our dreams of qualification for Brazil.

Credit must go to Macedonia though, Pandev and co can consider themselves unfortunate to be leaving Glasgow with just the one point. They played with vigour, creativity and panache, attributes which Scotland could just not replicate.

Yet again the Hampden crowd, a disappointing (but not unexpected) 32,430 strong, watched on as another international side contained two footed players, who could control the ball, play themselves out of danger and show real vision in creating space, dominated a lacklustre Scotland side.

Now for as long as I have been watching football, I have been told there is no problem with coaching in our country. The much lauded Largs Academy system is continually being praised, whilst it is said our young players are as skilled as their continental counterparts.

Well if this is the case, why on earth have Scotland failed to reach a major finals in 14 years?

Sadly for Craig Levein though, the problems of us no longer producing Baxters and Laws will not be of immediate concern for the Tartan Army, but it is the manager’s abilities which are now being seriously scrutinised and questioned.

He has never been a fan favourite and with only three wins in twelve competitive matches, Levein is under some serious pressure. After inheriting the mess that George Burley left him, it was always going to be a big job for Levein to do. But, three years on from his appointment, it is fair to say that the national team has not progressed under his stewardship.

Tactically he is failing to deliver a system which can open up opponents, whilst making us difficult to break down. Packing the midfield and leaving just the one player up front for two home matches in which six points were a must, is simply not sufficient enough to give us confidence that Levein is the man to take us forward.

And so it is onto Cardiff and then Brussels for Levein’s sorry Scotland. I fear these matches could provide the final nail in Levein’s coffin and our hopes of joining the biggest footballing show on earth in 2014.

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