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Chick Young's view

Chick Young
By Chick Young
BBC Scotland football correspondent

The SFA's indecision on this could be final, you know.

It would surprise me not at all if there is an article of association, sub section 13, paragraph 42, etched in Latin that decrees there is no need at all for the association to announce any decision on the future of their team manager.

And George Burley will toddle gloriously on with not so much as a black mark on his jotter.

Honestly, I am convinced now that he is going to survive this.

Scotland manager George Burley
Something clicked for Burley after the 4-0 hammering in Oslo

It is a curious state of affairs. By giving him the legendary vote of confidence, the hierarchy would be acknowledging that there is a problem. A sacking confirms it.

But to do nothing at all and plough merrily onwards - what a wheeze.

George was a drowning man after the game in Norway, going down for the third time after defeats in Skopje and Amsterdam. But 135 minutes of football may have saved his soul.

The second half of the Macedonia match and the attitude of the team against the Netherlands had us chin-stroking, trying to work out why on earth we hadn't seen the likes in previous encounters.

Had you arrived from Mars at around four o'clock a couple of Saturdays back, you would have wondered what all the fuss was about. Surely the bloke's a football genius?

Me? I would give the man an even break.

For much of the campaign, I feared Burley was in the wrong movie; we had cast Julian Clarey as Braveheart.

Bevvygate and Boydgate. There were so many gates, he could have built a corral.

His spin was so wrong at times. He tried to point the finger at Kris Boyd for being a traitor to his country when the Rangers striker actually said it was the manager for whom he did not want to perform.

The handling of the boozing session at Loch Lomond would have driven you to, well, drink actually. And, when I learned his team selection for the match in Oslo, my heart went down like the Titanic.

But late - admittedly too late - in the campaign, something clicked.

I saw a change in Burley somewhere after Norway. It was as if he suddenly got the gag.

He has been battered from pillar to post in his 18 months, some of it his own making, some of it cast down upon him. But it seems to have brushed up his street wisdom.

Some things take time. It took Vera Lynn 70 years to have a number-one hit, for heaven's sake. Give George a chance.

Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor
Ferguson and McGregor's antics didn't help Burley in his managerial role

To be fair, this is a huge gamble either way and, in stating the case for his survival, I reserve the right to round up the lynch mob a couple of games into the European Championship campaign if it all starts to point southward again.

But that's a long time coming. We don't have another competitive fixture for a year, by which time, ominously for poor George, Walter Smith might be fed up with the golf after leaving Rangers. But that is for another day.

Right now, the bookies are making him odds-on favourite for his P45, but I'm not in their gang.

We go to Japan next month and I will be astonished if he is still not in charge. We're looking at sake, not the sack.

Meanwhile, Burley is quoted as calling the delay in the decision over his future as "ridiculous", but no news could be good news, George.

My tip is that he should just keep turning up for work until someone says: "What the hell are you doing here?"



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see also
Burley keen to learn Scots fate
13 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Scots to consider Burley future
10 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Should Burley stay or go?
10 Sep 09 |  Internationals
End in sight for brave Burley
10 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Chick Young's view
07 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Scotland 0-1 Netherlands
09 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Burley keen to stay as Scots boss
09 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Snelders points the way for Scots
07 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Pick your Scotland XI
10 Nov 05 |  Internationals


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