Ex-Rangers boss claims Celtic need 'talisman' to turn season around

By Euan Davidson

December 10, 2020

In a strange non-sequitur, former Rangers boss Alex McLeish has claimed that Celtic need a “talisman”.

McLeish, who had two spells as Scotland manager, spoke vaguely about Celtic’s transfer market musts. In an interview, he said that French striker Odsonne Edouard needs experienced support up front.

In quotes attributed to Football Insider, McLeish explained:

“I think for sure they need a talisman of sorts, whether that’s a big name or a new kid in the block who can be a real game-changer.

“I always felt through my own managerial career that a top striker was the key, you can organise the defence but a top striker was key. I had Ronald De Boer back in the day, Michael Mols, Dado Prso and then later on we found it hard to bring in top strikers.

“When I say a talisman, I’m talking, probably, a very experienced player who knows where the back of the net is who I’m not saying will replace Edouard but will come in and help him.”


Alex McLeish / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Right, thanks Alex.

Well, ok. McLeish raises a good point in a sense; beyond Edouard and Ajeti, Celtic’s strikers have misfired this season. Patryk Klimala has scored three times for the Bhoys, while Griffiths has managed 2 so far.

That said, it’s still a small sample size. We’re only in December, during a very strange 20-21 campaign.

Celtic have accumulated a number of injuries in attacking areas. But it’s not really scoring goals that’s the issue.

If anything, we could use a “talisman” in defence. A strong, experienced leader who can help the players around him. That was meant to be Shane Duffy, but it hasn’t worked out for him.

Even if scoring was the issue, vague notions of a “talisman” hardly constitute a transfer policy. A “talisman” could be anyone from Lionel Messi to Peter Crouch. It doesn’t mean anything in real terms.

However, it feels like McLeish is using Celtic to talk about the strikers he signed. And we all know how Rangers attracted big names back when he was manager (BBC).

Obviously, Celtic wouldn’t exactly be hindered by having “an experienced player who knows where the back of the net is”. Thing is, though, we have Leigh Griffiths. He fits that description to a T. He just needs fitness and consistency.

It’s hard to know what ‘Big Eck’ is trying to tell us here. If he’s not willing to name names, even something pie in the sky, then it’s hard to know what he expects. File this under: bit odd.