In accepting the post of Scotland manager, Gordon Strachan has reached surely the pinnacle of the game; the most prestigious role that any manager (or ageing player) could dream of.
January 15th, 2013
We could celebrate Strachan’s very highly distinguished career to date; his time at Aberdeen where he swept the domestic and European honours; his FA Cup win at Man United in ’85; moving to Leeds where he captained the Yorkshire side to promotion and subsequent English league title glory only two years after.
We could mention that all his time spent studying the managerial side of the game as his career progressed has finally paid off as Scotland manager; being touted as Ron Atkinson’s successor at Coventry, the unfortunate blow of relegation and move to Southampton, where he steered a relegation-threatened club not only to survival, but prosperity, an FA Cup runners-up medal and a European adventure.
We could then talk about his move to Celtic; their League Cup and league title clinched with six games to spare in Scottish record time; or his shrewd signings; a one-time 17-point lead in the league; consecutive titles and European last-16 adventures; his brave move to Middlesbrough and then the classy act of tearing up the contract so as not to be owed money when it didn’t work out.
We could talk about how, in the past 30 years, he has been there and done that. But we won’t, because you’re all here for the Gordon Strachan quotes. Take it away, gaffer:
(Mock-sobbing to teammates when Alex Ferguson took the Man United job two years after Strachan had left him and Aberdeen) – “I never thought he’d follow me this far south!”
“If a Frenchman goes on about seagulls, trawlers and sardines, he’s called a philosopher; I’d just be called a short Scottish bum talking crap.”
Reporter: Welcome to Southampton Football Club. Do you think you are the right man to turn things around?
Strachan: No. I was asked if I thought I was the right man for the job and I said: ‘No, I think they should have got George Graham because I’m useless.’
Reporter: This might sound like a daft question, but you’ll be happy to get your first win under your belt, won’t you?
Strachan: You’re right. It is a daft question. I’m not even going to bother answering that one. It is a daft question, you’re spot on there.
Reporter: Is that your best start to a season?
Strachan: Well I’ve still got a job so it’s far better than the Coventry one, that’s for sure.
Reporter: In what areas do you think Middlesbrough were better than you today?
Strachan: What areas? Mainly that big green one out there.
Reporter: Gordon, can we have a quick word please?
Strachan: “Velocity.” [keeps walking]