Strachan will not have to remind his players that it was Motherwell who beat the Hoops 2-1 in the last game of the season to effectively take the premier title away from the ‘Bhoys.’
After Motherwell, Celtic has back-to-back home games while arch-rivals Rangers are away twice.
It is a very small advantage very early on over the Old Firm rival but these Strachan will use any opportunity to gain an edge on Alex McLeish’s defending champions.
For now, rebuilding is on hold as it’s all about game preparation at Parkhead.
Still, It’s unlikely that Cetlic fans will exercise much patience with their new manager. Results are to be expected right off the bat.
What a tough task the fiery Scot has. Long term plans are not the issue here. Getting the title back from Rangers is. But once the hype settles in a few games, Strachan is planning to scout and recruit across the waters in untapped territory.
On top of all, what a tough act Martin O’Neill is to follow. Look what happened to Leicester City when O’Neill left Filbert Street! They went downhill rapidly.
O’Neill was one of the most popular managers at Celtic since the Jock Stein days.
In his time at Parkhead, silverware and European growth were not a problem. But let’s not forget O’Neill had the service of a one Henrik Larsson for some of those years.
The task for Strachan is indeed to get the title back never mind European football.
When O’Neill took the reins there was much expectancy — and he delivered. It’s not the case with Strachan’s arrival.
The biggest problem Celtic managers have had in the past was getting more money to buy better players. Not even reaching the UEFA Cup final convinced the board that Celtic could go to the next level, i.e. beyond group stage of the Champions League.
There is never enough money, so the club must improve its scouting system, according to Strachan. Even though O’Neill covered significant ground in his recruiting, Strachan thinks more needs to be done.
Obviously Strachan knows he has to get past the preliminary qualifiers in the Champions League and reach group stage to make some faster money.
However, it doesn’t make sense that Strachan should put too much emphasis on long-term plans with scouting. Nevertheless, he wants to tap in to untouched areas where he can buy a good player for less money – a million or so these days.
It will be a help that Strachan is not too caught up in the academy end of things. He believes that a nucleus must come out of the academy, and then make it on a first team that wins.
“Only then,” Strachan claims, “can you say the academy is producing players.”
The native Scot is on the money here because such production is rare. Strachan prefers to look beyond the club’s boundaries
“There are players out there,” he claims. “You have to saturate it. There are places like Lithuania and Belarus opening up so we need to get in there too.” Still, it’s very likely we will not see any Strachan signings for over