Hello and welcome to the forum.
I don't know if I'd say Wim Jansen was a better manager than Smith - for all his good work, the run-in to the 1997-98 title saw both teams stumbling and could have gone either way - but Smith's overall Champions League record of 5 wins in 30 group games is without argument. He has never coped well with the unexpected and generally his ideas and preparation are predictable and outdated.
I'm not convinced a return to Scotland would work either. For some reason, Smith enjoyed a good first 18 months at Rangers until 1993. He repeated this for the first 12 months or so in his second spell at Rangers. Whatever strengths he has seem to work quite well initially but problems soon set in and are never addressed. Smith did a competent job at Scotland first time round but if he went back I would expect a marked deterioration.
There is an excellent Everton fanzine article which sums up Smith and could be applied at any stage of his career.
* Everton were playing utterly awful football with little spirit or creativity.
* Despite injuries, the available players appeared to be poorly prepared for each match.
* The 4-5-1 experiment had mostly been a complete disaster.
* The policy of buying aging injured players had backfired badly.
When he was appointed, Rangers fans were invited to comment on their knowledge of him:
* Good motivator
* Gets team playing together
* Determined and competitive
* Unlikely to publicly criticise players – but murders them in private, if necessary
* Carries a grudge to the grave
* Will NEVER change his mind or admit he's wrong
* Usually good at basic organisation and team structure
* Tactically clueless
* Needs a strong control over his spending
* Buys players on reports and videos without seeing them himself
* Very poor relationship with young players
* Attempts to establish a steady regular team selection
The similarities between Rangers-Smith and Everton-Smith were frightening... but they should come as no surprise: people do not change; the old dog was not receptive to learning any new tricks. In his third season at Goodison, his inadequacies only become even more glaring:
* He could not decide on a formation and basic system of playing.
* He failed to play most of the players in their best position.
* He could not ensure that each player understood the team plan and his particular role within it.
* He was blatantly incapable of getting the players fit.
The list for Season 1999-2000 was just as long and puzzling:
# Relying on the efforts of 38-year-old Richard Gough in defence, which crumbles when he gets injured
# Michael Branch introduced from nowhere in the Anfield derby – to disastrous effect.
# David Unsworth played in midfield!!!
# Defenders playing deep to protect a slow defence, creating virtually nothing as a result.
# Everton taking the field with 5 centre-halfs, or 7 defenders!!!
# Reputed dire words to the young players for their every mistake.
Walter had clearly lost all his enthusiasm by the end of that season. If he'd gone after ensuring our survival, he could have kept some dignity. By the end, nearly all the fans were fed up of him, while the know-nothing pundits and journalists were defending him almost to a man.