Alex McLeish, who should have taken his dismissal as Scotland boss as a chance for reflection, and a realisation that his time in football is up, has resurfaced today, and if you believe The Daily Record he did so to take a cheap shot at Celtic by urging Tierney to move to “a more important club.”
When I read that I Thought, “he would never have dared make such a statement as national coach”; now that neither he nor the country is burdened by that any longer, has the old McLeish come roaring back to the surface?
The answer is actually no; this was a piece of Daily Record point scoring instead, and it is as pathetic as anything in the latter part of McLeish’s career.
He may be a joke figure amongst football fans in this country now, but The Record still found ways of making him look a bigger mug and at the same time clearly considers him collateral damage as they take shots at us.
McLeish did not urge Tierney to move to “a more important club” as The Record headline of last night was screaming.
He said “a club at a higher level” which even accounting for a mistranslation is a pretty big leap.
(He was talking to an Italian radio station but I suspect he spoke in English, so it’s hard to see how this is any kind of excuse.)
The headline is so jarring, and the quote so ridiculous, that Chris Sutton slammed it on Twitter, calling it a “poor choice of words” – which would have been a generous assessment had McLeish actually used them.
No other newspaper has bothered to repeat them, with The Record’s main rival publishing an entirely different quote, the actual one.
“Tierney is ready to make that big step and play for a club at a higher level than Celtic,” he said. And he wasn’t even talking about Arsenal, but about Napoli.
This is The Record’s version of the same.
“Tierney is ready for the big jump and to go to a more important club than Celtic.”
The difference in the language in the first part is subtle, but the second requires a major jump in intent and in meaning.
It’s hard not to conclude that they’ve tried to create a controversy where there wasn’t one.
I do not like Alex McLeish, and this website was banging the drum for his sacking from the moment he was announced as Scotland boss … but fair’s fair and I try to play with a straight bat and if The Record is claiming that’s the quote they are full of it.
This appears to be an entirely confected story, a wee bit of controversy and stirring the soup, a chance to have a cheap shot at Celtic, by putting words in someone else’s mouth.
How low can you go?