There are signs things are changing but Scottish football still has a tendency to return to type.
Younger managers have become more prevalent in our game in recent years, at clubs big and small.
Nine of the 40 managers currently appointed in the SPFL are 40 or under. It’s not a bad ratio. A further 10 are 45 or under.
However, the norm is still for clubs to go down the tried and tested route.
Elder statesman Dick Campbell (67) at Arbroath is proof that approach can work.
In the same breath, good coaches that they are, 57-year-olds Brian Rice and Tommy Wright hardly had the best seasons, suffering relegation from the Premiership with Hamilton and Kilmarnock respectively.
What I glean from that is age doesn’t matter, it’s about having the right experiences for the club you’re with.
So why is frontrunner for the vacant Dundee United job, Tam Courts, getting so much stick from fans?
The Arabs need only look over the road to see a 36-year-old James McPake, three years Courts’ junior, doing a sterling job at Dundee.
Robbie Neilson (40) has won the Championship at United and Hearts in each of the last two seasons.
There’s Jim Goodwin (39) at St Mirren delivering the Buddies’ best top-flight season in over 30 years.
Too, you could argue, Ian Murray (40) had a successful season in League One with Airdrie.
The difference between them and Courts? McPake, Neilson, Goodwin and Murray are “football men”.
They come from backgrounds of playing in the top-flight, representing their county at international level and carry with them names and reputations from their playing careers.
Did any of the four of them have as much experience of first-team management as Courts, five years boss at Kelty Hearts, upon starting out at their respective first senior clubs, however?
No, is the simple answer.
What Courts is suffering from right now is prejudice and that must be put to one side if he is to get the gaffer’s job at Tannadice.
In terms of being the right man for the club and the direction it wants to go in terms of youth development, it’s hard to argue against the appointment.
Courts has been by academy director Andy Goldie’s side since he took the reins of the Terrors youth set-up in 2019.
He’s earned his stripes and knows his stuff.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m under no illusions – and Courts will be the same – about the task at hand facing him if appointed.
It’ll be a very steep learning curve, at times he will struggle, receive criticism, rightly, but from day one, at least, he deserves support and the same treatment as someone more conventional.
Am I going as far to endorse Courts? No. However, I can see the virtues of his being a candidate and, like any other boss, should be given time.
Courtesy of enjoying some time off last week, I’ve not had the chance to formally congratulate Dundee on their promotion to the Premiership.
That’s how I’d like to start.
Boss James McPake, his players, staff, the board, the fans and all those behind the scenes at Dens – a very, very well done.
Becoming only the third team to win the dreaded play-offs is a marvellous achievement and they did it in some style.
They swatted aside Killie with minimal fuss and, with the rich vein of form their on and the new season only just around the corner, you wouldn’t bet against them doing it to many a top-flight side next time out.
They certainly have the tools to kick on next term and have a strong campaign.
In the likes of Charlie Adam, Jason Cummings, Paul McGowan and Shaun Byrne there is proven Premiership talent.
In fact, I suspect there will be plenty top-tier managers looking on enviously at what McPake has at his disposal.
Indeed, whoever comes in as boss at city rivals United will count amongst that cohort.
At this stage, the Dark Blues already look in better nick than the Tangerines, strengthening their squad with new signings and extending deals.
Where the two Dundee clubs finish up next season will certainly be an interesting sub-plot.
Wednesday night’s 2-2 draw with Holland had many Scotland fans declaring: ‘We’re going to win the whole bloody thing!’
Especially before Memphis Depay’s free-kick bagged the Dutch a controversial late equaliser and Steve Clarke’s men were 2-1 up.
Of course, we can safely assume most of those cries dreaming of success at the Euros were in jest.
In the past, notably for the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, however, Scotland teams have had the weight of an expectant nation on their shoulders.
This time out, it’s a party and that suits us.
Nothing to lose and everything to gain. . .