The question marks surrounding Gavin Strachan at Celtic
See if you were Celtic coach Gavin Strachan, what would you be thinking?
Beyond “I need to update my Antivirus”, I mean? Or “one more game of Minesweeper”? Because it’s still unclear whether Gavin Strachan, he of the infamous laptop, is still at Celtic, but Neil Lennon is not.
It’s suggested that Neil Lennon never got his own guys in. Johan Mjällby, for example, would’ve been a shoo-in to return to Celtic under Lennon if he had any say in matters. Instead, Lennon was given a skeleton staff of John Kennedy, Gavin Strachan and Stevie Woods.
That was it, those were the men he got. If you’ve ever visited Celtic Park, you’ll notice the dugout can fit far more bodies in it than that. Maybe that was a big factor in Lennon’s inability to seal the 10; we won’t ever know for sure.
Gavin “Windows Vista” Strachan, though, has been kept on, and that points to the notion that the board were appointing Lennon’s staff for him. Seemingly a performance analyst as well as a coach, the son of former manager Gordon is sticking around for the next chapter. Or is he?
Under John Kennedy, on an interim basis, Strachan will be helping to provide continuity. But what has he done to deserve a prolonged spell? And is the ire directed at him unfair?
Gavin Strachan and his Celtic deck were loaded from the start
Given that Gavin Strachan was brought into replace Damien Duff, his chances of winning fans over were dicey from day one. Duff is, and remains, a popular figure in the Celtic support. Heralded in ways that John Kennedy never has been, the former Chelsea and Fulham hero left a mark during his time at the club.
Maybe it’s just a PR thing, but it’s hard to know where Duff excelled and Strachan doesn’t. For all supporters want the club to be more modern-looking, there’s little tolerance for Strachan and his computer. For whatever reason, he and Kennedy take a lot of the flak, to the extent that it was as if they were trying to undermine the manager.
That’s nonsense, obviously, but what does it mean for his Celtic future? Few in the support, myself included, could adequately summarise Strachan’s remit. Yet, there would be fanfare if he left.
So, does Strachan’s Celtic stay survive a new manager? Arguably, there’s more to suggest it would. Clearly, his father is still popular at Celtic Park, especially with the hierarchy. Strachan has earned the chance in his own right, however much it looks like a “job for the boys” scenario. Having enjoyed spells at Doncaster Rovers and Peterborough United to decent acclaim, he was a smart get, regardless of who his Dad is.
You can envision Strachan staying on in some capacity. If the club is to modernise, then data analysis has to improve. Strachan is clearly a coach who values data and numbers. When substitutions are being made, you can see the coach and his device, giving instructions presumably for specific areas on the pitch.
So, he might not stay on as a first-team coach in a new regime. But don’t expect him to disappear entirely. The club needs to look forward, and Strachan’s outlook might be a big part of that.