* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only. † Appearances (Goals).
Daniel Morrison McLennan (5 May 1925 – 11 May 2004) was a Scottishfootball player and coach. As a player, he was a Scottish League Cup winner with East Fife. His extensive coaching career took him all around the world and spanned a period of forty years, during which he managed ten national teams.
Born in Stirling, Scotland, the young Daniel McLennan was a talented inside left representing his country at Schoolboy level before being snapped up by Rangers as a 17 year-old apprentice. McLennan moved onto play for Dundee and East Fife, where he had his most successful spell as a player.
McLennan was coach of Iraq for only a year dubbed by many as the ‘golden era of Iraqi football’, that changed the face of football in the Middle East. McLennan took over as coach of Iraq in 1975 and put together one of the best sides fans had seen. The Scottish coach had an eye for talent and introduced a number of relatively unknown players to the national team and made them household names, these players included young striker Kadhim Waal, left back Adil Khudhair, forward Ahmed Subhi not to mention Hadi Ahmed and Falah Hassan who he moved from midfield to play up-front with great results. At the 1976 Gulf Cup in Doha under coach McLennan’s instructions the Iraqi team attacked from the opening seconds of matches hoping to kill-off the game by half-time; this tactic worked as they trashed the United Arab Emirates (4-0), Bahrain (4-1), Oman (4-0) and Saudi Arabia with a historic 7-1 victory with Kadhim Waal, a 24 year-old striker the Scotsman had handed his international debut a year earlier, netting in the first 90 seconds of the match.
In the last match against Iraq’s closest rivals Kuwait, the Iraqi team continued with the ‘early all-attack tactic’ and were 2-0 up after only four minutes of the second half however with the Iraqis looking for the killer third goal – Kuwait scored two goals in two minutes, as the game ended in a 2-2 draw. The result put both teams on the same number of points and meant Iraq had to play Kuwait in a play-off for the Gulf Cup – which Iraq lost 4-2 thanks to a hat-trick from Kuwaiti striker Abdul-Aziz Al-Anbari. A few weeks later the Iraq FA upset by the way the team had been defeated by Kuwait and how the tournament had ended replaced McLennan with Yugoslav coach Lenko Grčić known as “Gaga” or “Kaka” as Iraqi newspapers wrote his name (Kaka is Kurdish for brother).
However McLennan’s tactics and playing style left a lasting impression and legacy in the region which changed the face of football in the Gulf, as the Football Associations of several nations in the Gulf States moved from employing Brazilian coaches to British coaches the most high-profile being Don Revie who left his job as England coach to manage the UAE, this was all partly to coach McLennan and his Iraqi team which had impressed every influential Sheikh heading their teams delegation in the Gulf Cup in Doha. The Saudi Arabian FA had such a poor tournament that the sport rulers of the country decided that the only way forward was to completely revolutionse the game in the Kingdom - passing on the running of football which had previously been controlled by the Youth and Sports Ministry to the World Sports Academy whose president Englishman Jimmy Hill, the former player, coach, referee, chairman, commentator and pundit employed to change the face of Saudi football. The organisation with $50 million at their disposal brought in British coaches to manage Saudi clubs, while also improving other aspects of the game in the Kingdom from grass or ‘sand’ roots to the highest level. The results took nearly a decade to bear fruit with the Saudi national team winning the 1984, 1988 & 1996 Asian Cup and qualifying for the World Cup on four consecutive occasions from 1994 to 2006.
His last job was at the Indian club side Churchill Brothers SC, where he had two spells the last coming in 1998.