IT was inevitable really.

But now the gunsmoke has cleared and Craig Levein has gone it is time to find the man capable of dragging the international team forward.

Easier said than done, though.

The SFA find themselves looking to appoint their sixth manager in just 10 years after finally calling time on Levein's time at the helm as the so-called Road to Rio crumbled beneath us pretty much from the first steps.

Under Levein's leadership, a European Championship qualifying campaign came and went and the current World Cup qualifying campaign is dead in the water only four games into the qualifying campaign.

Having only managed back-to-back draws in the opening two home matches against Serbia and Macedonia, and then lost the next two matches on the road against Wales and Belgium, the writing was on the wall.

Football is, of course, a result driven business and Levein's competitive record of just three wins from 12 matches, with four draws and five defeats, was simply not good enough.

In truth, there wasn't really any way back for him after the Tartan Army also lost faith.

Looking at the bigger picture though, what expectations should be placed on the next manager of Scotland?

Because if we are going to pull the trigger on every manager who fails to qualify for a major competition then seven managers in ten years is going to become 14 in 20 years.

Maybe this is the time for a reality check. One of the biggest mistakes Levein made was to repeatedly highlight the quality within his squad.

He was wrong. The so-called quality quite simply isn't there. The last four games more than prove that.

He was also wrong to go without any kind of striker in the game against the Czech Republic and, as much as his reasons for not resolving the Steven Fletcher situation were correct morally, he wasn't in a position not to find a resolution for as long as he did.

But enough of errors made in the past, it is now time to look forward. But the SFA need to get the right man if progress is to be made.

The favourites, of course, to take over include Gordon Strachan, Walter Smith and Alex McLeish, the latter two having previously managed the national team and at least coming close to reaching a major competition.

Strachan, though, may just be the most intriguing. Known to be at his happiest on the training ground, would the lack of day-to-day involvement prove difficult for him? Also, would any of them be willing to risk their reputations on a job that has ruined so many?

Smith decided to quit Scotland to answer the call of his beloved Rangers last time around, so would his appoint be universally popular with Scotland fans?

Or would they accept his experience and ability to organise a team is worth forgiving and forgetting?

Maybe it is time for the SFA to think outside the box? What about another foreign gaffer?

Berti Vogts was a disaster but does that means it is a job only for Scottish managers? Time, of course, will tell but the SFA like to go with what they perceive to be a safe option.

As expected, news of Levein's dismissal didn't exactly go down well with many of his players. Charlie Adam vented his spleen at the decision and blamed the press.

While some of the criticism was aimed in Levein's direction became personal, which was most certainly wrong, it is a decision that will be popular with the Tartan Army and also one which the seven-man SFA board believed was right.

Rather than spout such rubbish, Adam would be better to reflect on the laziness that allowed Gareth Bale to pass him with as much ease as he did in Cardiff to score the winning goal for Wales which contributed to Levein being axed.

It might be until the Scottish game produces a better quality of player that a manager manages to lead the country to a major competition. It is, at this moment in time, difficult to see progress being made regardless of who is at the helm.