I have always had the most tremendous respect for what Gordon Strachan did for Celtic in his first three campaigns as manager.
He was, in some ways, a bigger success story than Martin O’Neill, because he was the first of our modern bosses forced to “do more with less” and he made a pretty good go of it.
His Champions League record was stellar.
But I never warmed to Strachan The Man at all, and I never will, because there is a bristling arrogance there, a condescension, that was out of place in a Celtic boss, and an open contempt not just for our fans but football fans in general that has never sat right with me.
Strachan was also a petty tyrant, and I always thought it obvious that he played favourites.
The story, by Aiden McGeady, in the papers today about how Strachan took a dislike to him and even let that personality clash become a problem for our club, is not in the least bit surprising.
It’s exactly the sort of story I find easy to believe about Strachan, and one of the reasons that I would not want him near Celtic Park again in any capacity.
McGeady was a Celtic youth academy player …he could have gone on to be a proper legend.
Over the years a lot of us thought of him as having been disloyal to the club; in fact, I think now that the whole Strachan episode just sickened him, and his lack of backing from the club hierarchy, who took Strachan’s side and remain Strachan fans to this day, was probably one of the reasons why his form dipped and he decided to leave during the Mowbray season.
If McGeady’s version is accurate – and we have every reason to believe it, as he has never said a bad word about the club and although outspoken he has never been a liar or shit-stirrer – then Strachan singled him out for unfair abuse, even of a personal nature, and acted like the worst kind of bully.
But anyone knowing McGeady would be aware that he wasn’t the sort who would simply sit and swallow that, and it’s pretty clear he didn’t.
Even those Celtic fans who liked Strachan as a manager never quite got all the way to loving him.
He, too, never says a bad word about our club – on the contrary, he is one of its most vocal partisans in the media – but there is a kind of icy reserve amongst our supporters when his name comes up in conversation, and part of it is that he never really got on with us, as fans, and expressed his open contempt for a lot of us in ways that made the relationship tough.
It sounds like it would have been far tougher to sit in a dressing room which he commanded.
It’s not for nothing that many of us think of him as a football dinosaur from a bygone age where that sort of thing would fly.