Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Time for McGeady to move on from Strachan and Celtic

There will always be battles, disagreements & personality clashes within any team set-up and Strachan has had his fair share of those over the last three years at Celtic, for example when he got rid of the nucleus of the O’Neill team, Chris Sutton, Petrov, Alan Thompson etc….

But the McGeady episode feels different, it feels personal rather than team related. Sutton, Thompson etc.. were all senior, mature players who had a strong influence within the dressing room and Strachan felt he had to make changes to take control of the dressing room and mould his own team, which is perfectly understandable.

I just don’t get why he seems to have a real dislike for the young player. Even last season, when McGeady had a terrific year and won almost every player of the year award available in Scotland, Strachan was always lukewarm in his praise for McGeady, and while he certainly recognised his ability, he was never animated in his conversations regarding his player.

Although, he was open enough in a BBC interview, prior to his appointment as Celtic boss, when he called McGeady a “traitor” and said he should be “hung, drawn and quartered” over his decision to represent Ireland rather than Scotland.

The poor McGeady/Strachan relationship has bubbled away over the last three years and it it’s said that Tommy Burns was the ‘referee’ who stopped it boiling over during that time and perhaps the sad passing of Tommy Burns has simply allowed Strachan the chance to force McGeady’s hand. Although perhaps it is only now that Strachan feels he has enough control to engineer the end of McGeady’s time at Celtic Park.

McGeady was obviously wrong to shout abuse at the manager after the Hearts game, even if he did feel he was being unfairly singled out (as was the case earlier in the season, when Strachan banned him from the room during the post match talk after the Rangers defeat).

To be honest, I don’t really care if Celtic win,lose or draw every week and I am more concerned that Irish players are playing regularly, progressing and thus improving our chances on the international stage, and for McGeady, just like Darren O’Dea, their international prospects would be better served, if they are far away from Parkhead.

I don’t think McGeady will ever be a superstar, but at 22 and with a wealth of experience behind him, the right team and manager could mould him into a very important player for Ireland in the future.

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