Dons legend Willem van der Ark has backed former team-mate Alex McLeish to be the next Scotland manager.
The Scots face Holland at Pittodrie tomorrow night with SFA technical director Malky Mackay in interim charge of the national team.
The SFA have said they will take their time before appointing Gordon Strachan’s permanent successor with the qualifiers for the European Championship in 2020 not starting until next September.
Aberdeen legend McLeish is one of the names in the frame having previously held the job in 2007, during the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.
Ahead of the dark blues’ meeting with his country in the Granite City, van der Ark – who was at Pittodrie from January 1989 to January 1992 – has backed Gothenburg Great McLeish to turn around the fortunes of the national team.
The Dutchman said: “I think Alex is a good candidate.
“It would be great for Alex but also for the national team. He is very experienced as a player and a manager.
“He has done the job before and I think he would give young players a chance as well.”
Van der Ark, 53, is pleased to see that three Aberdeen players in Graeme Shinnie, Kenny McLean and Ryan Christie have been named in the squad for the friendly.
The six-foot-five-inch striker is also happy the game is being played at Pittodrie.
But he doesn’t expect the home fans to have too much to cheer about – even though the Netherlands also failed to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Russia.
He said of Shinnie, McLean and Christie: “That’s good that they are in the squad.
“I follow football in Scotland and it was about time some Aberdeen players were picked.
“Celtic, being in the Champions League, are also a good side.
“I expect Holland to be the better team, but you never know with it being a friendly.
“But it’s very nice it is being played at Pittodrie. That gives me a special feeling because I played there myself.
“I think for a friendly there is a different atmosphere so it is better to play it at Pittodrie than in Glasgow.
“I hope it will be a full house or close to a full house.”
While the Tartan Army have had to become used to Scotland’s failure to reach major tournaments, the Dutch are far less used to it.
Next year’s World Cup is the second in a row they have failed to reach after also not making it to last year’s Euros in France. Van der Ark, who now works as an estate agent in his homeland, believes a lack of quality players is what stopped the Dutch from qualifying.
He said: “The mood is terrible (in Dutch football). It’s been a big disaster for four years now.
“Different things are to do with the disaster. I think we lack quality players like we had before.
“It’s more or less all average players we have now.
“The only quality player we had in this campaign was Arjen Robben (who is now retired), and Virgil Van Dijk is another one playing at a high level with Southampton.
“He is a quality player but he was injured for a long time so didn’t play too much.
“We don’t have a good striker at this moment. Vincent Janssen didn’t play for Spurs so he went to Turkey (on loan to Fenerbache).
“I hope he will play more games now, I think Bas Dost is doing well in Portugal (with Sporting Lisbon) just now, but he is never in the starting line-up.
“I don’t know why that is.
“We have had a lot of changes with managers. It started with Guus Hiddink a few years ago, then Danny Blind came and then Dick Advocaat.
“It’s a disaster that they didn’t qualify.
“The level of competition in the Dutch league has gone down a bit in the last few years as well.
“If you see the Dutch players who go abroad they have difficulties adapting to the highest level.
“Especially when they go to England, France or Spain the players have difficulties adapting to the level.
“You see it with Davy Klassen at Everton, he is never in the squad and he was a really quality player here with Ajax.
“It’s still hard to do well abroad, but the level in the league has gone down, I think – and that’s what everyone says in Holland.
“That’s the reason why the national team are not doing so well at the moment.”
Holland’s struggles are a far cry from finishing third at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil under Louis Van Gaal and being finalists in 2010 in South Africa.
During those campaigns they could call on the likes of Robben, Klass Jan-Huntelaar, Robin Van Persie, Rafael van der Vaart, Nigel de Jong and Mark Van Bommel. Van der Ark added: “There has been a big difference in the last few years (since the 2014 World Cup).
“Things will be better in a few years. New young players are coming through so it should be better in a few years.
“We had the same period in the 1980s where we didn’t qualify either.
“Everyone is surprised when a country like Holland doesn’t qualify.
“When Scotland doesn’t qualify not many people are surprised, but when Holland don’t qualify everyone is surprised.
“Another problem is that they change too many players as well. Every time it is a different squad and a different team.”
While critical of his nation, van der Ark is confident they will reach the European Championships in 2020.
Advocaat remains in charge for tomorrow’s friendly but it is expected the Dutch FA will appoint a new manager for the next qualifying campaign.
After being sacked by Everton, Ronald Koeman is one of the favourites and van der Ark believes he is the man to take the Netherlands back to major finals.
He said: “Holland should reach the Euros for sure. They still need to get a new manager.
“I think Ronald Koeman is favourite for the job now after being sacked by Everton.
“Together with his brother Erwin I think he is a very good candidate.
“Then they should qualify again and it shouldn’t be a problem.
“Consistency is very important in not changing a lot of players for every game.”
However, van der Ark is not too hopeful that Scotland’s major tournament drought will end in 2020.
He added: “I hope to see them reach the Euros and it would be very good for Scottish football.
“But I’m not as certain about the new young players coming through.”