Take it easy, Gordon: former Celtic boss lays into players after mishap

By Euan Davidson

February 27, 2021

Former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan has laid into Odsonne Edouard and Ismaila Soro.

The ex-Scotland, Middlesbrough and Bhoys boss wasn’t happy with scenes at full time. Working as an analyst for Celtic TV, Strachan blasted his son’s colleagues, claiming their attitude wasn’t appropriate.

Soro had made a lung-busting run to support Edouard, who could’ve laid the ball off to the midfielder in the 91st minute. Instead, Eddy tried to double his tally for the day, and ballooned it wide. Rather than being angry, Soro was smiling and laughing with the French striker after the 1-0 win was wrapped up.

Really, though, it should’ve been two. While we described the incident as “wholesome”, Strachan saw it rather differently.

The Aberdeen legend said [Glasgow Live]:

“You know, talking about team spirit and being close together, I wouldn’t have been happy if I was a manager and had seen those two laughing [Soro and Edouard] at something like that,”

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“I would be saying to them I’ve made a 50-yard run, boost me in, we win 2-0 and then we celebrate. Then the guy who has made a mistake can take it. That’s more together than saying ‘oh here, that was unlucky, that was fine, big smiles’.

“No. A manager has resigned this week. How can you smile after that, an opportunity to lay somebody in, pass and score, 2-0, rather than go yourself. That would be my concern.”

A Very Serious Man / (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Does former Celtic boss have a point, here?

It would be incredibly hypocritical of this writer to suggest that Strachan is right here. Less than an hour ago, I wrote a piece explaining that it was all in good fun. Ultimately, it didn’t matter, and it was good to see players smiling again. To suggest otherwise would be rank treachery, and I’ll never do it.

That said…

It’s all about context, isn’t it? Sure, it was annoying that Eddy didn’t lay it off to Soro. Unless the Ivorian completely lost his footing, it would’ve been 2-0, probably a fairer reflection of the game. It would’ve added to Soro’s tally, which already includes a screamer against Dundee United [SPFL/YouTube]. Honestly, that goal is the screensaver playing in my head.

Was it an act of complacency? I’m not so sure. Edouard obviously thought he was going to score. He’s a striker, and a good one, too. He doesn’t really shoot unless he thinks it has a realistic chance of being a goal. Hi, and welcome to Very Basic Football 101.

What does Strachan want? A Street Fighter style showdown after 90 minutes? Or stoney silence with both players trudging off the field? Maybe something akin to a Christmas episode of Eastenders, who knows.

More to the point, it’s interesting that Strachan was questioning the players’ attitudes. He’s an employee of Dundee FC, yet he wasn’t present for their trip to Greenock today [Sports Mole]. Bit hypocritical, no?

Yes, Lennon had to resign this week, but that doesn’t mean the Celtic players have to wear black armbands for the rest of the season. Lenny wasn’t performing well enough all throughout 20-21. We lost 10IAR.

If Celtic players and fans can gleam even the slightest bit of patter from this season, then so be it, I say.

READ MORE: an incredibly premature look at John Kennedy’s Celtic.