Gordon Strachan has inevitably been relieved of his duties as Scotland manager following the disappointing 2-2 draw with Slovenia in Ljubljana five days ago.
That result ended any hopes of a second placed finish in Group F and a playoff berth, with the 2018 Russia World Cup now a mere pipe dream, one that will mark twenty years since the nation last qualified for international football’s premier tournament.
Plenty of names have been linked with the now vacant post, and Mikey Mumford, a Football Trader for Sky Bet, has given SBC the rundown on the race for the managerial position and who customers are backing: “Malky Mackay has been overtaken as favourite, such is the support for David Moyes, and punters feel Scotland may give him the platform to repair his reputation following unsuccessful stints at Old Trafford and in Spain.
“Punters are focusing on half a dozen potential replacements – Moyes, Lambert, Mackay, Allardyce, O’Neill and former Scotland boss ‘Big Eck’ who has attracted a little bit of interest to make a Hampden Park return.
“We released the market following Scotland’s failure to qualify after the Slovenia fixture and we’ve laid a fairly decent spread of business since.
“Six potential candidates have been well supported since news of Strachan’s departure broke, notably Sam Allardyce and David Moyes who account for almost half of the number of bets we have seen.
“Allardyce was available at 20/1 immediately after the Tartan Army’s 2-2 draw in Ljubljana but has since shortened into 6/1 behind David Moyes and Paul Lambert.
“The former was installed as the early 5/1 market leader and has since hardened into half the price at 5/2 and is still proving popular, while Lambert is looking to get back in after a brief spell at Wolves and he’s now rated a 7/2 chance from 12/1.”
Away from the favourites, are any of the outsiders perking any interest? And is there anyone in particular who Mumford himself is backing, he added: “As mentioned previously stakes have been concentrated on those half dozen, we’ve seen bits and pieces for Alex Neil at 14/1 who has started the campaign very well at Preston North End.
“Typically Sir Alex always gets backed for the job at 33/1, but perhaps more interesting is current Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes at 8/1, who has a very impressive win rate at the Dons since taking over in 2013.
“We pitched the former Bristol City chief in at 6/1 on Saturday and despite drifting to 14/1 over the course of the weekend, a steady stream of business has forced his price back nearer to our original show. He’s at a decent age and looks a solid contender at this very early stage.”