I like Gordon Strachan. I took to him when he was picked upon at Celtic, pretty much in the same way Fergus McCann was earlier. What he achieve in the Champions League put his more celebrated predecessor in the shade, but by then expectations, although not comparative resources, had increased beyond what was achievable.
He leaves Scotland in vastly better shape than it was when he took the job, there will certainly be more applicants to replace him than there was when he was appointed five years ago.
Still, the notion persists that Scotland’s resurgence over the last year has as much to do with Celtic’s correspondingly elevated performances than anything else. Gordon is now selecting Leigh Griffiths, universally acknowledged as our Most Valuable Player, as well as Stuart Armstrong, Kieran Tierney, Craig Gordon and James Forrest, players who struggled to get on the team sheet in earlier times.
He is not alone is missing the talent inherent in Armstrong, Forrest or Gordon. The latter was even dropped by Celtic last autumn. But it is the manager’s job to find and select the best talent, not yours or mine.
Do not get too animated about court representations yesterday that Dave King was Impecunious (def: penniless, in penury, indigent, destitute). I am sure he could buy and sell most of us. King’s QC informed Lord Bannatyne that he did not have the wherewithal to offer the £11m or so to buy the remaining shares in Newco, as instructed by the Takeover Board.
Before unseating the previous board, King also said he would invest tens of millions into the club, if necessary. I have no idea if King has the money to comply with the Takeover Board instruction, or to make funds available to the club, but what is clear is that he will say either, if it suits his purpose.
James Forrest’s National Famine Memorial shirt
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