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By ESPN Staff
May 25, 2009

Smith pays tribute to departing Strachan

Walter Smith has paid tribute to Gordon Strachan for doing an excellent job at Celtic over the last four years.

• McGarvey: Strachan lacked respect

Strachan quit the Parkhead club after failing in his quest to win a fourth successive championship.

During his time in the east end of Glasgow, Strachan guided the Hoops to three consecutive league titles and the last 16 of the Champions League twice.

And, despite pipping him to the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title at the weekend, Smith believes the former Celtic boss deserved more credit.

He said: ''I've been on record as saying that I find it very difficult the criticism that Gordon takes.

''A football manager has to be successful and I think Celtic have been extremely successful, not just in domestic circumstances but also in European games.

''I don't think that Scottish teams in recent years have had the credit for how they do.

''Rangers and Celtic get criticised for their European performances but we don't compete on the same field as a lot of the teams who are involved in the Champions League financially.

''We do so domestically and when we win the league, people make allowances for all the other clubs who can't challenge us.

''But they don't make allowances for us when we are unable to challenge in the Champions League.

''I think Gordon Strachan has done an excellent job at Celtic over the last few years.''

  • McGarvey: Strachan lacked respect

    Celtic legend Frank McGarvey believes a lack of respect for Parkhead fans left Gordon Strachan's position at Parkhead ultimately untenable.

    The day after Rangers took the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title back to Ibrox for the first time in four years, Strachan announced on the Celtic website that he was standing down as manager.

    McGarvey, who played for the club from 1980 until 1985, told PA Sport: ''I think he was going no matter if they won the league or not.

    ''In any other country, winning three titles out of four would be deemed as a huge success but a lot of fans didn't take to him.

    ''That, and the style of football that was being played, was the reason why he had to go.

    ''I don't think he showed fans respect, even in the little things like not telling them why he played Shaun Maloney instead of Aiden McGeady in the last Old Firm game at Ibrox.

    ''He has not been a failure, he won three out of four but the team is not going forward.

    ''I know a lot of Celtic fans who are not going to renew their season tickets. So I think it was time for him to go.''

    McGarvey insists David Moyes of Everton, a former Celtic player, is the only replacement for Strachan.

    He said: ''My number one choice is David Moyes.

    ''If Celtic want to be serious and ambitious, then it has to be Moyes.

    ''People might say that they cant afford him but I believe they can't afford not to have him.''

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