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After a poor start to the 2014 World Cup qualification campaign, Craig Levein has been sacked as Scotland manager - Willie Duncan considers who will become his successor

After much deliberation, the Scottish Football Association opted to bring Craig Levein’s tenure as Scotland manager to an end.

The decision to terminate Levein’s contract came in the wake of a string of dismal results which have left the Scots rooted to the bottom of World Cup qualifying Group A and qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil now seems beyond the Scots.

The search of Levein’s replacement, of course, is underway with much fevered speculation as to who will become Scotland’s sixth permanent manager in eight years.

Next Scotland manager

Odds from Paddy Power
Gordon Strachan 7/4
Walter Smith 9/1
Joe Jordan 11/1
Alex McLeish 12/1
Owen Coyle 14/1
Harry Redknapp 25/1
Paddy Power have opened a book on who will replace the former Dundee United, Leicester City and Heart of Midlothian manager in the Hampden hot seat and the market is headed up by Gordon Strachan.

Strachan, who has been out of the game since leaving Middlesbrough in 2010, would be a popular appointment with the Tartan Army, some of whom displayed a banner which read “Strachan SOS” during Scotland’s match in Belgium last month.

The former Celtic boss is likely to be receptive to a possible approach and, subsequently, is chalked up as Paddy Power’s 7/4 (2.75) favourite to answer the call and become the next Scotland manager.

Walter Smith is rated as second favourite at 9/1 (10.0) with Paddy Power but Smith, who left his position as Scotland boss to take up the managerial reins at Rangers for a second spell in 2007, may find the offer of a position in the boardroom at Ibrox more appealing than the prospect of leading his country again.

Joe Jordan is chalked up at 11/1 (12.0) and there is no doubt that the man who won 52 caps for his country is a lively outsider.

Jordan set up a youth development programme in 1991 during his spell as Heart of Midlothian manager, and the former Tottenham Hotspur assistant manager’s commitment to developing grassroots football is sure to hold sway with key figures within the Scottish Football Association.

Another former Scotland manager, Alex McLeish, is rated as a 12/1 (13.0) shot to return to the post that he briefly held in 2007 before leaving to take charge of Birmingham City.

McLeish won seven of his 10 matches in charge of the Scottish national team but is understood to be keen to get back into club football and so may rebuff any approach while former Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle is priced up at 14/1 (15.0) with Paddy Power to take over the reins at Hampden.

There is no doubt that Gordon Strachan is a warm favourite for the post but his price is too short and dark horse Joe Jordan could pip him to the post. For that reason, former Scotland striker Jordan is worth taking a chance on at a chunky 11/1 (12.0) with Paddy Power.

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Joe Jordan as next Scotland manager at 11/1 (12.0) with Paddy Power

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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter

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