Betfair blogger Gareth Freeman reflects on Gordon Strachan’s appointment at Middlesbrough.
Seeing Gordon Strachan back in management is great news. I’m sure the majority of Boro fans are happy with the appointment (David O’Leary? No thanks. Kevin Keegan? No thanks and no chance. Alan Curbishley? Fair play, maybe a decent choice but he gets linked with every job) but you can’t please everyone all the time.
Strachan has had a decent career as a manager. Three successive SPL titles at Celtic, an FA Cup final with Southampton and European football – as well as an eight place finish in the Premier League. Even in his first forays into management at Coventry he kept them in the top-flight against all the odds before they were eventually relegated later and he was sacked – for the only time in his career so far.
Will he be a success at the Riverside? Only time will tell but Boro have a decent squad and are very capable of emerging from the Championship at the first time of asking. Players like Adam Johnson, Gary O’Neil and David Wheater they have some of the most exciting talent in the country outside of the top flight. Hanging onto those players in January will be crucial, but Strachan is a manager who can inspire players and if it looks as if they’re heading straight back up they may just stick around.
You may have already guessed I’ve got quite a lot of time for Gordon Strachan. Another bonus for Boro is they can just give him all Southgate’s old training gear with the initials GS on them. Anyway, one of the reasons I like Strachan is the guy is really quotable, here are a few of my favourites:
When asked whether he could bounce back after seeing an unbeaten run ended….
“No, I’m just going to crumble like a wreck. I’ll go home, become an alcoholic and maybe jump of a bridge. Umm, I think I can take it, yeah.”
On a young Wayne Rooney bursting onto the scene….
“It’s an incredible rise to stardom, at 17 you’re more likely to get a call from Michael Jackson than Sven Goran Eriksson”
On Eric Cantona….
“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.”
Problems with Political correctness…
“At Falkirk the other week, the police were asked to speak to me about smiling at the crowd. Someone reported me for smiling in his direction. Obviously it’s not the best smile in the world. I can see a lot better smiles, but I never knew my smile could be offensive – but there you go. That’s the world we live in just now.”
On the media….
“Fans can be easily manipulated by you, you can start wars you people, never mind going for managers ”