MUCH to my mother’s disappointment, I was never likely to be doctor material. As well as lacking the required academic aptitude, I once fainted after cutting my finger in first-year science class. And while dissecting a delicate little flower too, ironically enough.

So, I am not qualified to make any sort of medical diagnosis, and despite what a quick search of Alex McLeish’s name on Twitter might lead you to believe, neither are the majority of football supporters currently speculating about the health of the Scotland manager.

Scottish football is a small pond, and it doesn’t take much more than the odd nudge here and there to send ripples cascading across the game. That has become a tsunami around the Scotland boss, but the only way that anyone should be judging him is in matters of fact.

In any normal time, the days after a calamitous international double-header such as the one just past would be the time for the SFA to circle the wagons. But if they want to protect their manager, that is the last thing they should be doing.

If there is a vacuum, it will be filled by rumour and innuendo. It is unpalatable, and if there is one thing that a legend of the Scottish game like Alex McLeish does not deserve, it is to have his merits as national team manager debated on anything other than footballing terms.

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McLeish the player is secure in the Scottish Football Hall of Fame, his 77 caps and his various honours for Aberdeen giving him worthy status as a great. As a manager, quite apart from his club achievements, he had a hugely successful spell as Scotland boss first time around with the highest win percentage in history at 70 percent.

The way that he left the post for Birmingham City just a year after taking over has left many members of the Tartan Army unable to forgive and forget, and do you know what? He probably wouldn’t blame them for that. At least that judgement would be based on football.

The problem for McLeish is that purely on a football basis, the evidence is mounting that he is not the man to take the nation forward. Many people, myself included, put forward such a view at the time of his appointment a little over a year ago, but it will give no one any pleasure to have been proven right.

You have to caveat any criticism of McLeish by factoring in the cards he was dealt. A horrendous run of friendly fixtures that players were avoiding like an after-match mixed zone was hardly the ideal way to get his second reign off on the front foot. And the appalling result and performance in Israel in the Nations League group can be caveated by the way Scotland turned it around to finish top with the wins over Albania and then Israel at Hampden.

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There was also some truth in what former Scotland manager Gordon Strachan was saying this week about the level of player available to McLeish these days, and the bigger picture of youth development in this country. But there is a massive hole in the argument that Scotland’s level of player had anything to do with the performances over this international break, and that is the level of the opposition.

Any lingering notion that Kazakhstan were better than their lowly ranking suggested were blown away as they were mauled by Russia on home soil just days after dishing out the 3-0 hounding of Scotland, and what was most troubling about that defeat was the lack of reaction from the players. There was just nothing there.

You will never be able to convince me that the level of player McLeish has at his disposal doesn’t have greater ability than the Kazakhs, or that they should be toiling to beat a San Marino side who are the lowest-ranked team in international football. Yes, they managed to repeat the same scoreline that every other Scotland side has eked out when visiting Serravalle, winning two-nil, but it was the laborious nature of it that had the Tartan Army - those notorious rabble-rousing dissenters - screaming for the heads of everyone from Alan McRae to Rod Petrie, Ian Maxwell and McLeish to Hampden Roary the flipping Lion.

When the fans turn, there is very rarely any way back. As regrettable as it is, there are plenty of footballing reasons for a parting of the ways between Scotland and their manager.