Celtic coach Gavin Strachan has had a stressful time.
With Neil Lennon and John Kennedy forced to self-isolate, Strachan has taken on an unenviable task. He led an incredibly youthful team against Hibs on Monday (BBC), with Celtic cruelly denied three points by another defensive lapse.
Since then, he’s had to field all kinds of questions as the club lurch from scandal to scandal. However, the son of ex-Celtic manager Gordon Strachan seems to be taking it all in his stride.
In today’s press conference (Celtic FC/YouTube), Strachan Jr looked calm and composed as he fielded questions from assorted members of the press. When specifically asked about goal celebrations, he showed shades of his father with his response.
“We will spell out that message to the players.
“Having been there and… not scored that many goals, I know the feeling when you do score a goal, sometimes the adrenaline takes over a little bit. But they will be reminded of their responsibilities.
“It will be something that’s mentioned to them before the game. It’s not easy but we’re not in easy times. I think the players are aware that certain sacrifices have got to be made.
“I’ll be chuffed if we score a couple anyway, I’ll be delighted!”
For Celtic fans, Gavin Strachan offers refreshing demeanour
Strachan is a name that divides Celtic supporters. Certainly, Gordon’s record of 3 league titles, 2 league cups and a Scottish Cup is impressive. That said, the vertically-challenged Aberdeen legend fell out of favour in the latter spell of his time at Celtic, with fans unimpressed by his team’s play.
For Strachan Jr, most of the attention has been on his laptop. Gavin seems to be a fan of using live statistical analysis during games. But with Celtic underperforming in 20-21, the coach and his technology have become an easy target of ire.
Nevertheless, he carries himself well in press conferences. After the tiring earnestness of Brendan Rodgers and the steely demeanour of Neil Lennon, Strachan’s lighter touch is a welcome change of pace. He seems comfortable in front of the camera, and he’s willing to make himself the butt of a joke about goal celebrations.
Footballers have been the subject of much needless criticism in recent days. Julian Knight MP, who has voted to repeal the Human Rights Act, criticised Manchester City players for celebrating a goal in a statement yesterday.
Knight said (Guardian):
“Some of the scenes we have seen have been brainless and give out an awful message.”
Yet, elite sport is allowed to continue, where players can go shoulder-to-shoulder to win the ball, jostle for position at set pieces and make tackles. How goal celebrations are worse than that is a mystery.