Rab Douglas: Why I’ve changed my mind on Gordon Strachan

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Gordon Strachan.

I must admit, I’ve changed my mind.

The way Scotland’s World Cup qualifying group was panning out, I couldn’t see Gordon Strachan surviving as manager at the end of it.

Now? I think he should stay.

Don’t get me wrong, he has made mistakes. There was the time he took to pick Leigh Griffiths and the reliance on the old guard when there were guys like John McGinn and Callum McGregor who should have been given a chance.

I also think he was wrong to play Kieran Tierney at right-back. It had to be either him or Andy Robertson and, for me, Tierney should have been our left-back.

Overall, though, I do think we’re in quite a strong position to build on for the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

I don’t think it’s worth gambling with that when you don’t know if you can do better.

People have talked about Michael O’Neill but he’s on a good long-term contract with Northern Ireland. And if it’s a Scot you want, I don’t think Davie Moyes is an upgrade.

On balance, I’m happy for Strachan to keep going.

Plenty seem to think that he’ll walk away but I’m not so sure.

The job suits him, he’s thick-skinned enough to take the flak that comes his way and he still has the players behind him.

I expect him to carry on.

 

* Unfortunately, when it comes to speaking about Craig Gordon, I’m repeating what I wrote in my column after the England game.

I said then that deep down he would know that he should have come to claim Raheem Sterling’s cross, and he’ll now know deep down that he should have done the same for Slovenia’s first on Sunday.

You have to look at his starting position. If Craig was a yard further off his line he would have been able to take that. Even if he didn’t get there he would have had a chance of putting off the guy heading the ball. Like with Harry Kane, it was made too easy.

If I lost a goal inside the six yard box I knew it was my fault. That’s the bottom line for a goalkeeper.

 

* Dave Mackay’s testimonial last week was great fun.

As is traditional, there was a penalty for the main man and it wouldn’t have gone down well if I’d saved it.

I told Dave I was going left and he said to me “so am I!”

We were struggling to sort out whose left it was but thankfully he got it in just off the post. It made up for the sitter he missed earlier when I was diving out of the way!

 

* It’s brilliant that Argentina have made the World Cup. It wouldn’t have been the same without Lionel Messi.

For me, he’s the greatest I’ve ever seen.

The difference between Messi and Ronaldo? One is all about the team and the other is all about himself.

 

* Dundee will be trying to end a long run without beating Celtic at the weekend.

The barren spell goes back to 2001 and I was a Celtic player by then. We’d won the league and Jonathan Gould was given a game after we came back from Marbella.

Maybe Dundee would have won by more if I’d been playing!

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