Scotland fans waking up today would have been hoping that the shambolic 3-0 defeat to Kazakhstan last night was just a horrific nightmare.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
The abject display, against a country that had previously won only four competitive games in 10 years, has been lambasted as the “worst 90 minutes” in Scotland’s international history, but while that’s open to debate, there’s absolutely no doubt that it was a simply inexcusable performance that could have already significantly punctured their Euro 2020 hopes, and we’re only one game in.
Belgium and Russia are the two favourites to bag the automatic spots in Group I, and it now looks like Scotland, who would have struggled to usurp the aforementioned teams anyway, face a fight to even finish above the likes of Cyprus and Kazakhstan.
“I’m pretty good at bouncing back,” said manager Alex McLeish in the aftermath of the game, as the Scot admitted that the defeat "possibly puts more pressure on me."
If McLeish fails to orchestrate a comprehensive victory over minnows San Marino on Sunday then he’ll be toast after 13 months in charge of the national team, although he could be heading for the exit door regardless of the result in Serravalle.
McLeish’s record now stands at four wins and seven defeats from 11 games in his second stint in charge of his country, which equates to a 36.4% win rate. The victories have been against Albania, Israel (twice), and Hungary, so nothing to write home about.
Bookmakers have priced up Gordon Strachan as the favourite to replace McLeish should he be axed. The former Scotland boss quit his post back in October 2017 and has since remained out of work.
Kilmarnock’s Steve Clarke, Aberdeen’s Derek McInnes, and the Scottish FA’s performance director Malky Mackay also feature in the betting, although it’s difficult to envision Clarke and McInnes leaving their club posts, while Mackay isn’t a long-term option.
Instead, it’s David Moyes who represents the most intriguing prospect at 5/1, behind frontrunner Strachan.
It’s been nearly a year since Moyes was ditched by West Ham. Many thought it was a harsh decision at the time, while it was hard not to feel a shred of sympathy for the Scot after his Hammers replacement, Manuel Pellegrini, was handed a gargantuan sum in excess of £100million to splash out on new recruits.
Moyes has since been linked with a variety of jobs, but at the time of writing has yet to make his return to the dugout. In fact, this is his longest spell in the Job Centre during his 21-year managerial career.
Could now be the time for the 55-year-old to venture into the international managerial arena?
Well, Moyes has previously stated his intent to manage The Tartan Army.
"Definitely,” said Moyes when asked on talkSPORT if he would welcome the chance to become Scotland manager in the future, back in 2018.
"I think if you look at the Scotland players who have come through the years and just to say you were involved with it and I would love to get the opportunity through time.”
Prior to that, the former Everton boss had told BBC Radio 5 live:
"I don't think anyone ever turns down their national team opportunity, but I think it has to be at the right time.
“If Scotland want to talk somewhere along the line, I'd be happy to help or speak with them and see what they've got to say.
"They know where I am if they want to speak to me."
Well, Moyes should keep his phone close to his side, as he may soon be getting the call. He is undoubtedly the stand-out contender of the out-of-work managers, and should the opportunity arise he could well be tempted to oversee a revitalisation of sorts.