Scotland's dream of featuring in a first major tournament since 1998 is in danger of fading and George Burley is getting the blame for his side's failings.
Scotland's World Cup qualification campaign has never really got going and their struggles seem set to culminate in Burley's reign as boss of the Tartan Army coming to an end.
Burley's side were placed in a comparatively easy group but, with the Netherlands having already secured their place in South Africa next summer, Scotland should have been in line to finish as runners-up.
But even winning a play-off place in Europe's Group Nine is proving difficult for the Scots.
Before Saturday's game against FYR Macedonia both countries had seven points are were joint second in the group, although the visitors to Glasgow had a superior goal difference.
However, the door remains ajar for Norway to gatecrash the race for the top two particularly after they thrashed Scotland 4-0 last month.
Scotland can take heart from the fact that Holland have already qualified and are not in need of a win when they meet on Wednesday.
But they have won all seven of their group games to date and have an abundance of talent waiting in the wings to press their claims for a starting place in South Africa next year.
Holland are heavily fancied and plenty of sportsbook activity will surround how many goals they can score at Hampden Park.
Burley himself has been hauled into the spotlight since his side crumbled in Norway when defeat heightened the pressure on him to deliver a second-place finish in the group.
The former Hearts and Southampton manager has claimed that his future is not an issue, insisting that he is not concerned about what may happen to him after a turbulent few months.
"My future doesn't matter, it's about Scotland," he said in the build-up to his side's crucial double-header. "Will I keep my job? Who knows. Managers come and go."
What doesn't come and go too often is the chance to secure a place in the World Cup finals.
The opportunity hasn't presented itself north of the border since the last century so there is bound to be drama aplenty at Hampden Park on Wednesday.