SCOTLAND might need another German boss like a hole in the head but last night a former team-mate of Berti Vogts touted himself as saviour to our national game. Winnie Schafer, currently in charge of Cameroon, admitted he would love the Scotland job. And he’s serious. Schafer and Vogts shared a dressing room at Borussia Moenchengladbach for six years in the 70s although that’s where the similarities end.
Indeed, while Vogts is humourless, undignified and deluded Schafer is one of the most colourful and interesting characters in world football.
He accepts it’s highly improbable the SFA will appoint another foreigner, particularly another German, in the wake of Vogts’ disastrous 33-month spell in charge and he understands the clamour for Walter Smith to be installed as quickly as possible.
But the man dubbed The Lion King due to his mullet hairstyle insists he would be more than happy to answer an SOS from the SFA if they don’t convince Smith to succeed Vogts.
Schafer is also certain he would make a better fist of the post than Herr Berti, who bowed out gracelessly blaming everyone but himself.
He said: ‘I like the mentality of the Scottish and English players.
‘Cameroon have a very good team andsome great players but sometimes there are too many politics.
‘The Scotland job is something I would be interested in. It would be a dream to work in Britain.
‘Last year I spoke with Fulham about becoming manager after Jean Tigana but it didn’t happen. Brighton also wanted me but I didn’t think that was the right club.
‘I could do a better job than Berti but he is a good coach and I hoped he would make it to the World Cup.’
Schafer, who led Cameroon to the last World Cup finals and took them to the semi-finals of the African Nations Cup, has his own ideas on how the beautiful game should be played.
And he is confident, given time, he could emulate Euro 2004 winners Greece, who triumphed in Portugal under German coach Otto Rehhagel.
He said: ‘Scottish football needs a big change. At present there are no character players like before, such as Souness, Strachan or Dalglish.
‘The 4-4-2 system that is played almost nationwide at club level should be abolished because it hinders that kind of player to make his way through.
‘They should be more daring and not buy key players but breed them. There is such a lot of talent but it has to be allowed to break through.
‘And for this to happen Scotland would have to step back in order to go forward.Why is Arsenal so successful in England? Because they don’t stick to a 4-4-2 system ‘Scotland do have good players and in two years I think I could have all the youngsters playing for me. We could do what Otto Rehhagel did with Greece. He was my coach at Kickers so I know how he works.’
Before taking up his post in Africa three years ago Schafer enjoyed spells at Stuttgart and Karlsruhe where he discovered Oliver Khan.
But he has competition – top Italian coach Nevio Scala reckons he has the right credentials.
The former Parma, Dortmund, Shahktar Donetsk and Besiktas boss was interviewed for the Scots hotseat by SFA chiefs but missed out to Vogts.
He said: ‘I’d like to speak to the SFA – they have my number.’
Scala also coached Vicenza, Reggina and Perugia. He’s won the UEFA Cup, Cup-Winners’ Cup, Super Cup and the Italian Cup.
He added: ‘I always have the same philosophy. We play as a team and there are no stars – all players get treated the same.
‘Scotland have not started their World Cup campaign well but it is not an impossible situation.’
By Colin Duncan, Daily record