BBC Sportsound pundit Tam McManus has torn into Celtic supporters after Scotland’s 1-0 loss to Costa Rica on Friday night, claiming that they would rather see the national team fail under Alex McLeish rather than qualify for a major tournament.
It was not a popular choice when the Scottish FA appointed McLeish to replace Gordon Strachan in charge of the Tartan Army and the former Rangers manager got off to a poor start at Hampden Park by losing to Costa Rica, who are preparing for the World Cup in Russia.
McLeish named an experimental squad for the friendly, choosing to select a bunch of players with little or no international experience.
That did not pay off on the night though and that led to a lot of criticism being aimed at the former Aston Villa and Birmingham man.
Ex-Hibernian striker McManus believes that it is totally down to the fact that McLeish once managed Rangers and the EBT payments to players and staff during his time at Ibrox.
“Because it’s true. Large majority of Celtic fans who are also Scotland fans/born in Scotland would rather Scotland/McLeish failed than him get us qualified for a major tournament simply because he is an ex Rangers manager and EBT’s. I find that incredibly sad to be honest,” he said on his personal Twitter account.
Football Insider verdict
Scotland fans need to realise that friendlies mean absolutely nothing in the long-term and this one was against a team preparing for the World Cup with a squad of players that have barely ever played together. Just look south of the border for a good example. England have won against Germany, Portugal and France in friendlies over the past couple of years – will they win the World Cup this summer? No, they will not come close, but those three teams they beat probably will. Friendlies mean nothing and judgement on McLeish must be reserved until the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign is underway.
In other Celtic news, Henrik Larsson has been left drooling over this Bhoys mainstay.