Gordon Strachan Is Dead Wrong. Tavernier Wouldn’t Get Near This Celtic Team.

Image for Gordon Strachan Is Dead Wrong. Tavernier Wouldn’t Get Near This Celtic Team.

Gordon Strachan has a good claim to being one of the best Celtic bosses of the modern era. He won three titles in a row, which is more than Martin O’Neill did. And whilst he didn’t get us to a European final, he did get us out of two Champions League Groups into the knockout stages. Which is a momentous achievement, one no-one has managed since.

Yet for all that, I’ve always wondered at some of what comes out of his mouth and that’s especially true with the headline story which is doing the rounds today which is about how James Tavernier would probably get into a Celtic-Ibrox XI.

To be frank, he’s talking through the hole in his bum.

There are circumstances in which Tavernier might be able to “have an impact” in this Celtic squad, but they only apply in the case that football adopted some of the rules from its distant relative in the US. Since we don’t have the ability to bring designated free kick takers and penalty “experts” on and off the pitch at will it seems like a stupid argument to be having.

Tavernier is good at dead balls. Nobody disputes that. They get enough of them in games, especially from the penalty spot. Other than that, sorry, but not even close. He would not get near this Celtic team ahead of either Ralston or Johnston, both excellent defenders which would be the foremost consideration. He is and has always been abysmal at that.

I really don’t care who it is making this nonsensical point. The Record seems to believe that because it’s Strachan that it carries some weight but it really doesn’t. The idea, on top of that, that John Lundstram would get into the team – which Strachan also reckons – is even more bizarre and I’m pretty glad that the guy we have in the dugout now has better judgement than that on what makes a good footballer. Even Ibrox fans are sick of Lundstram.

Honestly, these sorts of debates are pretty ridiculous even at the best of times. But we have a 13-point lead over this lot and anyone who watched them at the weekend would have seen Tavernier at his finest, making mistakes, stray passes and being caught out of position. And he looked like a football master of the universe next to Lundstram.

The one thing I’ll say is that he never did actually get asked to name a so called Glasgow XI because it would have been very interesting indeed to see who he picked for it and how he justified those choices. Cause he also thinks Tillman might have got in it … I’d love to know which of Jota, Abada or Maeda he was dropping for him.

In the end, this stuff is subjective and not always objective. He thinks that if Tavernier didn’t play for the Ibrox club we would acknowledge he was a good player. On the contrary, if he was anywhere but Ibrox we wouldn’t even know who he was … and that tells you what kind of player he is right away and where he fits in the pantheon of talents.

Strachan has been out of the game at the sharp end a long time. But although I acknowledge his success at Parkhead there was something distinctly “old school” about him even then and that’s why most people breathed a big sigh of relief when he left … we might have breathed a little less easily had we known what direction we’d go in, but that’s for another day.

He’s a dinosaur, and we all know that.

A throwback to football’s bygone era, and it was nice whilst it lasted.

I expect this kind of daftness from him from time to time … but in the idea that Tavernier has something to offer us when we don’t play American football and need a guy whose job it is simply to kick a static ball he appears to have become Ted Lasso without the charm. That never was his strong suit though.

Share this article


  • john mc guire says:

    tony ralston go and have a word with yourself James the guys a tube .

  • Captain Swing says:

    Strachan is great for a soundbite to the hacks but bear in mind this: some of his signings at fullback…

    Lee Naylor
    Danny Fox
    Paul Telfer
    Mo Camara
    Mark Wilson
    Jean-Joel Perrier-Doumbe

    As well as playing loads of others out of position at full back when those signings bombed. And he let Charlie Mulgrew go.

    If Jock could be said to be a poor judge of goalkeepers, Strachan’s comparable Achilles Heel might be full backs!

  • Johnno says:

    Very surprised that the wee man would put his name to such nonsense, so maybe health issues with him need to be considered.
    There is not 1 player within that scum squad who could get a game for this celtic team, no one.
    As for tavpen, maybe I could be a bit old fashioned that the main job for a defender is to be able to defend, and tavpen is brutal at doing so.
    Yes the modern full back needs far more to his game, especially with a possession based team as celtic have become so successfully with the arrival of Ange.
    AJ fits in perfectly with how he wants this celtic team set up and with the added advantage that Ange could opt to a 3 man defence with still an AJ within in comfortable enough if he wanted to with CL football in mind, could you make the same claim about tavpen?
    Tavpen remains a very limited footballer still and it’s of no surprise that he remains captain of a bunch of serial losers still.

  • Johnny Green says:

    Wee Gordy usually talks sense, but not this time, I will leave it at that as I don’t want to criticise a man that I respect.

  • Michael McCartney says:

    Tony Ralston is a very good full back, not great ,but very good. What kind of Celtic fan comes on to a Celtic site and calls a Celtic player “a tube”.
    McGuire you’re a disgrace.

    • john mc guire says:

      so am no entitled to have any opinion on any celtic player dont tell me ange has made him some player try taken off the green glasses or is he to have 2 good games and your impressed .

      • Michael McCartney says:

        Constructive criticism okay, but calling a wholehearted pretty good Celtic player a tube isn’t on.

  • Jimmy R says:

    Isn’t it funny how the press like to promote a controversial angle, just to stimulate some interest and debate. However, a combined Glasgow XI containing players only from Celtic is just a step too far and would never make it as far as the presses.
    Your analysis of Tavernier’s shortcomings is spot on. Lundstrum gets the bears moaning about how he slows down every attack. Can you imagine the response if he was asked to play Angeball? Tillman might be a decent player someday. Right now he is too erratic, but even if he develops some consistency, he will never be stellar player they try to make him out to be.
    The thing is, if these are the best of the bunch, then the bunch isn’t up to much.

  • jrm63 says:

    The first thing to say about Tavernier is why is he still at Rangers given his goals/assists record. He must have been very closely scrutinized by EPL clubs. Anthony Stokes showed why. Having said that, he scored 2 goals at Parkhead and should have had a third. He is a much better player than Taylor.

    • Michael McCartney says:

      Attack wise better than Taylor, defensively not.

      • woodyiom says:

        But is he any worse defensively than Taylor? Possibly but not by a lot – Taylor has undoubtedly improved under Ange and always gives his all and has a great engine but he is a very limited footballer and should only be the understudy LB. If Taylor is the answer to LB then goodness knows what the question is!

  • SSMPM says:

    Strachan doesn’t always get the credit he deserves for his achievements when Celtic manager, but every now and again he does come out with some bizarre statements and this is most definitely one them so I’m not surprised.
    Then again for a person whom I assume calls himself a Celtic fan to come on this blog calling Tony Ralston a tube is astounding. I respect everyone’s right to an opinion but that ‘s not the same as respecting the content of it. That commands no respect.

Comments are closed.