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Gordon Strachan - Quotes
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The Wit and Wisdom of "Wee" Gordon StrachanWGS is legendary for his interviews, funny but easily irritable (due to his self-admitted sensitivity), his comments were usually witty and amusing but equally at times were taken by some of the Celtic support on occasion to being disdainful towards the perceived intelligence level of other people. However there is often a lot of intelligence in what he says at many times, and that at least puts him on a pedestal above many of his peers.
- Full interview BBC Scotland "2 on1"
- Response from WGS: Letter to Cranston Pickle
- Radio Clyde one interview (Dec 08) [Highly recommended listening]
Pre-Celtic manager QuotesReporter: Welcome to Southampton Football Club. Do you think you are the right man to turn things around?
Strachan: No. I was asked if I thought I was the right man for the job and I said, "No, I think they should have got George Graham because I'm useless."
Reporter: Is that your best start to a season?
Strachan: Well I've still got a job so it's far better than the Coventry one, that's for sure.
Reporter: Are you getting where you want to be with this team?
Strachan: We're not doing bad. What do you expect us to be like? We were eighth in the league last year, in the cup final and we got into Europe. I don't know where you expect me to get to. Do you expect us to win the Champions League?
Reporter: Gordon, you must be delighted with that result?
Strachan: You're spot on! You can read me like a book.
Strachan: I've got more important things to think about. I've got a yogurt to finish by today, the expiry date is today. That can be my priority rather than Agustin Delgado.
Reporter: This might sound like a daft question, but you'll be happy to get your first win under your belt, won't you?
Strachan: You're right. It is a daft question. I'm not even going to bother answering that one. It is a daft question, you're spot on there.
Reporter: Bang, there goes your unbeaten run. Can you take it?
Strachan: No, I'm just going to crumble like a wreck. I'll go home, become an alcoholic and maybe jump off a bridge. Umm, I think I can take it, yeah.
Reporter: There's no negative vibes or negative feelings here?
Strachan: Apart from yourself, we're all quite positive round here. I'm going to whack you over the head with a big stick, down negative man, down.
Reporter: Where will Marion Pahars fit into the team line-up?
Strachan: Not telling you! It's a secret.
Reporter: You don't take losing lightly, do you Gordon?
Strachan: I don't take stupid comments lightly either.
Reporter: So, Gordon, in what areas do you think Middlesbrough were better than you today?
Strachan: What areas? Mainly that big green one out there...
Reporter: Gordon, Do you think James Beattie deserves to be in the England squad?
Strachan: I don't care, I'm Scottish.
Reporter: "Gordon, can we have a quick word please?"
Strachan: "Velocity" [walks off]
Reporter: Gordon, if you were English, what formation would you play?
Strachan: If I was English I'd kill myself! ...
On Chatshow with impressionist Alistair McGowan
Strachan: "If you can do Thierry Henry, I'll give you a game on Saturday."
"If a Frenchman goes on about seagulls, trawlers and sardines, he’s called a philosopher. I’d just be called a short Scottish bum talking crap."
Gordon Strachan in response to Cantona's famous "seagulls" quote following the 1995 Crystal Palace-Simmons incident.
"Its an incredible rise to stardom, at 17 you're more likely to get a call from Michael Jackson than Sven Goran Eriksson"
WGS on Wayne Rooney
"My bum has been through every temperature known to man."
Gordon Strachan (On heat treatment and ice-packs, 1993)
On Claus Lundekvam (Southampton)
Saints boss Gordon Strachan paid this glowing tribute to the one-paced Scandinavian in 2003:
“He was carried off at Leicester and someone asked me if he was unconscious. I didn’t have a clue. That’s what he’s always like.”
Strachan was on Sky on one Sunday morning(season 2005-06). He saw John Terry's goal and said he was impressed that Terry goes up expecting to score. He contrasted this to Claus Lundekvam the Saints central defender who goes up for every dead ball and never ever looks remotely like scoring. He said if there was a dead body lying in the penalty area the ball would hit it on the head several times a season which he said is more than Lundekvam can manage. He said referees should book Lundekvam for timewasting every time he goes up for a corner. When the co-commentator said if Lundekvam was watching Strachan was only joking. Strachan assured him he was deadly serious.
Strachan on Sky One(season 2005-06)
Although Strachan says he is first and foremost a coach, he hates the idea of a European-style system where players would be signed above his head. That happened during his tenure at Southampton when Rupert Lowe, below, the chairman, signed Antti Niemi against Strachan's wishes. Strachan recalled that Lowe backed up his view that managers were not the best judges of players by pointing out that farmer friends deemed him a good judge of cows and bulls.
Strachan's response? "If we need a couple of cows to play up front for us, you are the man to see, eh?"
Times Newspaper (Oct 2006)
'The highlight for me, though, was when we got a roasting from Alex (Ferguson). There's a wee window in the dressing room - which is now in the toilet but used to be part of the main changing area.
'We lost a late goal and Alex went berserk. He was kicking tables, sending sandwiches everywhere and, after his rant, there was a minute of quiet while we let him calm down.
'Then, through that wee window a face appeared and it was Alex McLeish's wee brother. He stuck his nose to the glass and shouted: "Alex, mum's asking are you coming home tonight or are you going back to Aberdeen on the bus?''
'Fergie raced at him and booted the window. That's the funniest story I have from Love Street.'
It's a measure of how little Love Street has changed down the years that the window still exists. Even if, now, it serves a rather different function.
'That window is part of the toilet now - people can look in on you.
'You won't get stories like that in the future'
WGS on Love Street (St Mirren's old stadium, Dec 2008)
WGS at Celtic (and Celtic related) - Quotes
Pre-CelticIt's always great fun getting attacked. One of the highlights of my career. He got fined £100 for that but they had a whip-round in the pub and he got £200
Celtic manager Gordon Strachan on being attacked by a Celtic fan while playing for Aberdeen at Parkhead in 1980.
2006-07"We even competed for the acne cream when we were younger. Obviously, I won that one."
Strachan on Rangers manager and former Aberdeen team-mate Alex McLeish.
"24's on. Jack Bauer, he's some man. Widnae mind him in the back four!"
Gordon Strachan, on the day Celtic
pick up the SPL silverware, after being asked what he was going to do that night. (May 2006)
"Going out drinking doesn't help team spirit. When you drink you just tell lies and talk rubbish."
Celtic manager Gordon Strachan. (2006)
Reporter: "I know you have gone for a lie down, and a shower and everything else as you couldn't believe that you were through tonight when you were looking at the table and everything..."
Strachan: "You look like an honest man, but a just couldnae believe ye. I've known you for a few years but you are a journalist so i have keep on my toes!!!"
(later just at end of the interview walking away from reporter)
Strachan: "I hope you're right or else i've made a right arse of maself!"
(WGS in the post -match interview after we beat Man U 1-0 in Champs Lge to go thru to the knock-out phase for the first time in our history 21 Nov 2006)
"So it's not easy. If I put Riordan in instead of Nakamura, you're off your head; take Aiden out, you're off your head; leave Maciej out, you're off your head. So basically, I'm off my head."
WGS on Riordan situation as fans/media asking why he is not playing ahead of some of the numpties we have in attack, April 2007
Interviewer: "Gordon tell us how your feeling winning back to back title here today"
WGS: "Sorry I cannae describe my position to anybody.... I'd love tae but.... I've never taken drugs but I wonder if it's a bit like this!"
On winning the Scottish Premier League and winning game in 92nd minute of game v Killie (Apr 2007)
"You are really going mental when you are having arguments with people who are not even here."
On (false) accusations that he had a fallout with ex-Celtic player Paul Telfer who had left the club a month ago. (Apr 2007) Source
"Maybe I scored a goal against his favourite team 30 years ago."
Strachan on Ref Dougal over the weekend after being sent to the stands for next to nothing (May 2007)
Remark after the following picture appeared in "The Sun" of Jiri Jarosik (Celtic Midfielder) [Picture]
"Sure, there are problems elsewhere with it - you just need to pick up the tabloids every day and some player of mine is messing about somewhere. At least they are still eating properly - taking their bananas and proteins. Total professionals."
2007-08"If you get a lot of chances and miss them then there is nothing you can do. It's human error. There's no way I can come in at the end of the game and stick bamboo shoots up the fingernails for missing chances."
WGS on the players after drawing the first game of the season 0-0 at home v Kilmarnock (Aug 07)
"You talk about that question (of pressure) but that shouldn't be asked now because I think I've proved that. What you should ask is who is posing the question? Not an intelligent person, that's for sure.
"It's someone who's sitting with his tracksuit on, his devil dug at his side and a can of Kestrel in his hand, maybe coked up to his eyeballs, shouting down the phone.
"I'm not answering to that. I'm not answering a question from Mr Ned."
WGS on stress before the Champions League qualifiers (Aug 07)
Asked if changing the shape of the team was the one way in which he could surprise Spartak, he offered a characteristically sharp response:
"Well, not if you and I keep talking about it."
WGS on tactics before the Champions League qualifiers (Aug 07)
"Fans can be easily manipulated by you,(press) You can start wars you people , never mind going for managers "
In reference to the press (Aug 07)
When asked about the challenge from Rangers, a question seldom heard after August,
“I might start panicking tonight, take a drink and become an alcoholic, but the TV is alright tonight, so we should be OK.”
WGS in Celtic Press Conference (24 Aug 07)
"At Falkirk the other week, the police were asked to speak to me about smiling at the crowd," he said. "Someone reported me for smiling in his direction. Obviously it's not the best smile in the world. "I can see a lot better smiles, but I never knew my smile could be offensive - but there you go. That's the world we live in just now."
WGS on over-sensitive muppet fans (Aug 07)
"I don't know if there is another big club where the supporters have a love like the supporters have a love for this club."
WGS on the Celtic fans (quote taken from "Celtic Minded 2" (book), 2006)
"The transfer list thing went out in the 1970s, it doesn"t happen here so it"s a mysterious one," he said. "I was having a cup of tea and a rhubarb tart when I saw it and I nearly spluttered. Nobody is on the transfer list and we don"t want to see anyone going out the door. We love our squad the way it is. I hope Kenny is still here on Saturday morning. I like Kenny, he"s done very well for us."
WGS on rumour transers that Kenny Miller was for the off (Aug 07)
"I've had some good nights but that is one that I'll remember when I'm sitting in my golf club 25 years from now. I'm sure everyone enjoyed it and will remember it. It had everything. I don't think I've won a shootout before as a manager."
WGS on win over Spartak Moscow to get through to the Champions Lge (Aug 07) Link
Interviewer: "How does it feel to be back managing where it all began all those years ago?"
WGS just before the Dundee v Celtic cup tie (he began his playing days at Dundee as a player) (Sep 07)
Strachan said: "We [him and Boruc] passed each other in training, laughed at each other and walked on. He's an absolutely fantastic character.
Someone said to me after the match, 'Will you drop him for the next game?'.
"I was laughing but realised he was serious and then he actually said, 'Are you going to take sanctions?'.
"I didn't know he was a country or was President of Iran. Now we have to stop food parcels getting through to his house!
"There won't be any sanctions against Artur."
WGS on Artur Boruc after a poor game v Hibs (Sep 07)
Gordon Strachan, the Celtic manager, refused to comment, claiming that he had a poor view of the incident:
"I never see anything, I'm like the fourth official, I never see anything at any time."
WGS after the Celtic 2-1 AC Milan Game when questioned about a fan "invading" the pitch (Oct 07)
"Really? The boy who played today then was better than Artur Boruc. What a great place this new training academy is: we are cloning players now. Now that we have two, maybe I can sell one and keep the other."
WGS after one television reporter's "information" that the Polish goalkeeper did not train with the squad at Lennoxtown. (Oct 07)
"Last week I was told of the headline that I wished I had David Weir. No way at any time did I say that I wished I had David Weir.
"You people [The Scottish Press] sometimes are like those serial killers you see in films who send out these horrible messages.
"The serial killer who cuts out the words 'I am going to get you' or 'your wife is next'. You are the very same.
"In the 20 minutes that I sat there I'm sure that 'David Weir' and 'wish' may have been said but at no time did it ever, ever come together.
"That's my opinion on it. Whether you like it or not it doesn't matter but that is what it's like here."
WGS in Press Conference on the press talking shampoo! (Oct 07)
"People say kids are getting too much football.That's not right. They're getting too little football, but what they are getting is too much pressurised football. They play with their schools and clubs and have adults screaming at them from the sidelines. They only play in front of parents and coaches and don't play on their own where they can learn from their own mistakes. If you're dribbling and get kicked on the shins you say to yourself it's about time I passed now, or your team mates will say 'Oi, greedy guts, give us a pass.' That's the way to learn."
WGS on training kids in Football (taken from http://www.giveusbackourgame.co.uk)
"It's embarrassing, I'm not proud of it. I can't even make myself anything to eat. I had to phone her and she said, 'I've left something to put in the microwave'.
"An hour later and I'm asking, 'Where's the microwave?'"
WGS on his cooking ability (Dec 07)
..asked if that's why so many of his players were booked (9 Celts in first Old Firm of 2007-08 season) he said: "I don't think that has anything to do with it. Have a look at the game, nobody's injured. I bet nobody in the Rangers team went for treatment. Too much spice: McCurry struggles to keep control at Ibrox in a match that saw him book 11 players "When they were celebrating goals they seemed to be leaping about all over the place without any injuries.
"But to get nine bookings? I think there's only one man to ask about that.
"That's when we start singing that song, isn't it - 'That's why we're paranoid'."
WGS on first Old Firm game in 2007-08 when 9 Celtic players got booked (Dec 07)
"Am I enjoying it? The Celtic job has to be the best job in the world. I love it."
WGS on the Celtic manager job. (Dec 07)
"Phil's second club was probably Celtic friends-wise and the reaction, when the news came through the other day, you knew he had a lot of close friends here, that's for sure. "I don't think I've seen a reaction like that in football. We are all trying to get our heads round the fact he has got four kids and a young wife."It's been hard to take in. The whole weekend has become a kind of a numb feeling.
"WGS on the premature death of Phil O'Donnell and the impact on the club (Dec 07)
"I say things and I say them tongue-in-cheek, I don't have a problem with people having opinions as long as it's done in a respectful manner. I just like good manners."
WGS on interviews (Dec 07)
"Managers like to give themselves a pat on the back and say, ‘We have overachieved’.That’s a nonsense. If you can achieve it, that means you can do it."
WGS on about being in the Champions League KO rounds a few days before playing Barcelona at home (Feb 08)
Chick Young: "Gordon, a clean sheet...it's been a while since you managed to say that?"
Gordon Strachan: "Aye...I was about fifteen."
WGS sarcastically to Chick Young after we finally went through a game without conceding a goal away from home (2008)
“If people don’t want to come here, win titles and play with good players at the highest level in Europe in front of 60,000 fans with a chance of becoming a legendary figure that’s fine by me, If you can get that elsewhere, then fair enough.”
WGS commenting on Anthony Stokes going to Sunderland rather than Celtic
Strachan revealed he even banned a transfer target from taking in a recent Scottish match during negotiations as he feared the fare would have put the player off signing.
The Celtic boss added: "We had a player over here and we tried to sign him.
"John Park [Celtic's football development manager] was going to take him to a game. I asked him which one and when he told me I said, 'Don't even think about it'. I don't think it would have helped."
WGS on Scottish Football (Mar 08)
"[Evander] Sno is 20, Aiden McGeady's 21, Brown is about the same and Samaras is 22. Scott [McDonald] is 24 and has never been in a situation like this. It's a very young side ... I can't put them into a time machine and push them forward ten years, let them collect ten years' experience, and drive them back here. It has to be learnt along the line."
WGS on his young squad (Mar 08)
After the game the Poland international, nicknamed the 'Holy Goalie' by the Celtic fans, took his goalkeeping shirt off to show the t-shirt with a picture of the Pope and accompanying slogan.
But Strachan joked: "He's not a bad lad, to be fair (the Pope).
"If it was 'God bless Myra Hindley', I might have a problem."
WGS after 3-2 win v Rangers on Artur Boruc and his t-shirt (Apr 08)
Interviewer:"And what about Rangers getting to the Uefa Cup Final?"
WGS: "I have no problem, we couldn't get the chance to beat them. We weren't in their competition!"
WGS on Rangers reaching UEFA Cup Final (May 08)
"Tommy was simply one of the best friends anyone could ever hope to have. I can only consider myself fortunate not only to have worked with him on a daily basis for the past three years, but to have been able to count on him as a friend in that time. His bravery throughout his illness was an inspiration, and right to the end he was checking everyone else was OK, never giving a thought for himself or his situation. The fact that he has now gone will take a long time to sink in, and my thoughts are with Rosemary and his family."
Gordon Strachan (Celtic Manager) on the announcement of Tommy Burns Death (15th May 2008)
"Coming here he made me understand what Glasgow was about. If I didn't have him i'd have gone off my head!"
Gordon Strachan (Celtic Manager) on the announcement of Tommy Burns Death (15th May 2008)
"The media coverage for Tommy [Burns] over the last few days has been fantastic, even the half-wit on Real Radio was quite good...."
WGS on his love for Radio presenters (in this case Ewen Cameron) (21 May 2008)
"Its been one of the most memorable seasons i've ever had in my life. I throughly enjoyed the challenge. We've achieved what we set out at the beginning of the season what to do. Now i'm away to.... its only fair that i go now and be with people who supported and believed in us for the whole season."
WGS on the three-in-a-row league win, with a usual thinly veiled jibe at the press amongst others (May 2008)
2008-09“I just needed a [summer] break. Like I said I don’t have a problem with the players speaking, but I’d imagine that most newspaper guys needed a break from me as well!”
WGS on summer breaks for himself and others (talking to the Celtic View) (July 08)
"There is no problem with Nakamura. You just have to look at his performance at Kilmarnock on Sunday. I've seen Nakamura and had a laugh about it. I peek round the corner when he's doing his weights and sing, 'Cheerio, Cheerio'. No one has actually spoken to me about anything other than him playing football for Celtic."
WGS on stories that Naka's former club Yokohama Marinos want to take him home to Japan in January 09 (Sep 08)
"It's not a love affair, it's just that I still remember playing with great players like Bryan Robson, Gary McAllister, Graeme Souness and Kenny Dalglish. He is terrific. He has got a strong mind and nothing upsets him. He will go down as the most-kicked player in the SPL by a million miles and nothing fazes him."
WGS on Nakamura (Sep 08)
"Paul told me that's the first one he's missed, which I find VERY surprising having seen that"
WGS on Paul Hartley after he missed a penalty v Hearts (a very bad one also!) (Nov 08)
"I didn't see his goal I was writing something down but I heard it wisnae bad".
WGS on Maloney goal v Hearts (Nov 08)
"You cannot play like that if you are not men. We should never be called 'boys', that's for sure, because boys don't fight like that."
WGS takes a jibe at critics after we restored some pride with a 1-1 draw with Man U [comes after being branded as "like boys" after our trouncing in the away game v Man U by Paul Ince] (Nov 08)
“I said to Steven (Steve Bruce), that if you ever ever get a chance to become the Celtic Manager, you should GRAB IT! Its one of the best best jobs you can ever get!”
WGS on the Celtic job in Radio Scotland interview (Dec 08)
"I am sensitive, i don't like getting criticised... At least i'm honest to say that I am rather sensitive as I believe I do work hard and I would take it to heart if I really felt about the criticism."
WGS (Radio Scotland interview, Dec 08)
Interviewer: "Can you understand the anxiety of the Celtic fans?"
WGS: "Not really. I think the Celtic fans want to see a championship winning side, that's all they want to see, and that's going to happen for the next hundred years!"
WGS on the Celtic fans (Radio Clyde One interview, Dec 08)
"Some people just know me as Strachan. Kids come up to me and say 'Strachan...etc' and i say 'Were you at school me with me? No, then its Gordon'. But if you were a bully at school then you can still call me Strachan!"
WGS joking on the Glasgow aspect of calling people by their surnames (Radio Clyde One interview, Dec 08)
"That day I saw another side of Glasgow. The humane side, the caring side."
WGS on the day of Tommy Burn's funeral (Radio Clyde One interview, Dec 08)
"Whatever I say, I feel like I'm the Commandant in "The Great Escape" and you're Steve McQueen. You're always trying to escape, but I'm always try to bring you back!"
WGS jokingly on trying to control the character that is Artur Boruc (Radio Clyde One interview, Dec 08)
Interviewer: "Is he the best goalkeeper you've worked with?"
WGS: "I've played with some good one who are my friends, but I'd say yeah!"
WGS praises Boruc (Radio Clyde One interview, Dec 08)
"Scott McDonald, the most intelligent man in the world, Stephen Hawkings him [the Phyics legend]. He knows everything. Every time you tell him something he knows it done it, seen it, been it, that's why we call him Stephen Hawkings. That man can do anything!"
WGS jokingly (all in humour) on his Aussie front-man Scott McDonald (Radio Clyde One interview, Dec 08)
"If they play like that for the rest of the season, I will be happy. If they defend like that at set-plays, I will be a worried man!"
WGS after Celtic lost 4-2 to Aberdeen (Jan 09)
"I can't tell you about the pressures managers are under, because you will never understand unless you have been a manager yourself. It's like childbirth, you can't know what it's like unless you have experienced it. I really can't explain it to you and I'm not going to waste my time trying. We (managers) have a club and we keep it to ourselves."
WGS after Celtic lost 1-0 to St Mirren in the Scottish Cup (Mar 09)
"One or two 'voices of football' - I've been told - said that we played 4-5-1. That was terrific to work out because I never worked that out. You must be better geniuses than me. I must be really ordinary because I sent out a 4-4-2. If you saw something else then that was fantastic. I was wasting my time getting my badges - I should have just joined a radio station."
WGS after the League Cup Final (which we won!) (Mar 09)
"If anyone can find a negative - and I'm sure they will - then they are warped!"
WGS after Dundee Utd game where we drew 2-2 (charming man!) (Mar 09)
"There's so much ice in the dressing-room, it's like the dining-room of the Titanic."
WGS joking on the injuries & knocks in the squad after the Hearts game (Apr 09)
"It's good to see Shaun [Maloney] and John [Kennedy] back training. It's fantastic they both got back on the same week because it means they don't have to split up at any time whatsoever. Now they're called the Twins, after the film with Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger."
WGS on returning players from injury (Apr 09)
"As I have said before, Celtic is a special club, with special supporters.There is no club like it and it has been an absolute honour and privilege to be the club’s manager for the past four years."
WGS in seriousness on announcing his resignation (May 09)
"I wasn't going to pretend I came here as a Celtic supporter. I don't believe in kissing badges to get your support. I didn't know the words of [Fields of ]Athenry. But I now know what it's like to be a Celtic supporter, because I am one now."
Gordon Strachan from his leaving speech at the Tommy Burns' tribute match (May 2009)
Post-Celtic“I don't care what games are on that night, in the world- the atmosphere at Celtic Park will be the best.”
Gordon Strachan on upcoming Celtic v Barcelona match (2012)
"Make no mistake when Celtic play teams they raise game & treat it like a war!"
WGS when asked about lack of SPL quality opposition
Others on Gordon Strachan"There's nobody fitter at his age, except maybe Raquel Welch."
Ron Atkinson, then Coventry Manager, on Strachan's form (Aug 1995)
"I wouldn't want to expose my back to him in a hurry."
Sir Alex Ferguson on Gordon Strachan (1999)
"Best coach I have ever worked with, and the boys will all tell you the same. He is great on the training ground and a lot of fun to work with. I don't understand all the stick he is taking from the fans. maybe its the way he comes across, but as far as the players are concerned he is great with us, ask any of the boys"
Mark Wilson, Celtic Player (Apr 2008)
"After a year in charge, we had not improved one iota - the football was average, away results were abysmal, the worst league position in 20 years and he still doesn't know his best team. It wasn't just on the field that Strachan let himself down, off the field during post-match interviews he became an embarrassment to himself, the club and the fans. He was arrogant, obnoxious, sarcastic, cutting and rude. He came across to me like a man who was on the borderline of insanity. "
Bernie Slavin (Middlesborough legend) on Strachan's brief stint as manager of Middlesborough (Oct 2010)
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