With his attention to detail and ability to cope with the media, the former Celtic manager is the right man to replace Craig Levein
Whisper it, but the Scottish Football Association can emerge with credit for its successful and quiet pursuit of Gordon Strachan. From the moment Craig Levein was sacked, Strachan was the overwhelming favourite to succeed him. And more than that, the perfectly sensible choice as soon as it became privately known that Strachan would be willing to step into international management.
To give the governing body its due, it has coaxed the 55-year-old back north with a minimum of fuss and without courting any publicity, let alone of the negative variety. It recognised Strachan as the outstanding candidate for the role and duly got its man, in time for Scotland's friendly with Estonia early next month.
After a wounding time at Middlesbrough, Strachan had been privately adamant that he would only return to a management job which offered him excitement. His options in England were limited but Strachan has the hunger to meet this challenge.
He also retains the key coaching commodity that Scotland need. That is, he can generate the very best from a relatively mediocre group of players. Such talent was illustrated at Celtic, who were guided to the knockout stages of the Champions League and afforded routine success under Strachan's guidance, despite the manager agreeing to cut costs. That Celtic team which lost narrowly to Barcelona in the Champions League's last 16 of 2008 included Mark Wilson, Gary Caldwell, Stephen McManus and Lee Naylor; hardly players accustomed to performing in such illustrious surroundings.
Those who have worked with Strachan largely appreciated his attention to detail, ability to make a side difficult to beat and his strong training-ground presence, all useful commodities on the international scene. He also has obvious character, something which actually rubs off on those working with him rather than translates as the irksome and chirpy persona the former Aberdeen midfielder has been laden with.
The manager himself benefitted from the pressure and media intensity that working at Celtic provides, thereby ensuring he will not be shocked by the level of scrutiny afforded to his new position. George Burley, Berti Vogts and Levein can all testify to things turning somewhat unpleasant if things begin to unravel. The flip side is that there is an opportunity to earn hero status if Strachan can pull Scotland out of a slump some have already described as terminal.
The Scots' key failing under Levein, for all they lack the personnel which may place them in the upper echelons of international football, is that they consistently performed below their capabilities. It would be a genuine surprise if that is repeated with Strachan in charge. Or, indeed, if the team lack respect for a man with 50 caps who represented his country in major finals.
Strachan can also count on public support. For whatever reason, and often unfairly, Levein was never fully embraced by Scotland fans due to his supposedly unimaginative approach. This time, the overwhelming sense is that Strachan is the correct man to try and improve their desperate fortunes at international level.
He has a fighting chance of doing exactly that; both on account of the time he has to rebuild a team during the remainder of this doomed World Cup qualifying campaign and because of the expansion of the European Championship format for 2016.
This is clearly Strachan's Scotland time. As the nation longs for a manager who can deliver, this could be a mutually rewarding partnership.