Brendan should make keeper decision early, and public


This Champions League malarkey is becoming about as self-important as sport can get, but Celtic and Barcelona produced two incredible football games in the modest Uefa Cup in 2004.

Barcelona were on the cusp of the greatness which followed. After five years without a league or cup win, they won nine consecutive games, then a club record, before travelling to Celtic Park. Starting the following year, they won eight of the 12 La Liga titles available since, collecting four Champions Leagues along the way.

Celtic won the game 1-0 thanks to an Alan Thompson goal on 59 minutes, but this tells little of the drama which unfolded that night.

Two players were sent off as the teams walked up the tunnel at halftime, Celtic goalkeeper, Rab Douglas, who was by all accounts trying to break-up a fight, and Barcelona’s Motta. Suggestions are that Bobo Balde was the Celtic player involved, but the referee didn’t have the wherewithal to face down Bobo.

At the game, we knew something had happened, but none of us had any details. Then 19-year-old David Marshall emerged for the second half in the goalkeeper’s jersey, a player who had only made one previous professional appearance, in the Scottish Cup against then-lower league St Johnstone.

Four minutes into the second half Saviola was red carded, leaving us with a 10-9 game on a pitch which Barca legend, Hristo Stoichkov referred to as a potato field (it has been a very wet winter).

We have seen many great players at Celtic Park, more than a few from Barcelona, but none have performed as well as Ronaldinho did that night. He put on a performance which was utterly sublime, but despite carving Celtic open repeatedly, neither he nor his team-mates could find a way past the teenage keeper.

A confident performance even saw Marshall leave his area to chip an opponent to find a team-mate with a pass.

Rab was suspended for the return so Martin O’Neill took the opportunity to give David Marshall some game time before heading to the Camp Nou with his novice keeper, hoping to defend a one goal lead. I remember Martin saying “I’ve every confidence David Marshall will be up to the job” at a media conference. “Based on what?”, I thought.

30 seconds into the return leg Marshall dived full length to stop a shot creeping inside the post, as Celtic fans braced themselves for what was clearly going to be 90 minutes of tension.

If Marshall’s first leg performance was full of remarkable calmness and maturity, his performance in the Camp Nou was one of the finest displays by any player in a Celtic shirt. Ever. He simply would not be beaten. Barcelona threw everything in their considerably armoury at him from first to last, to be met by a series of remarkable saves.

Everything we know about football suggests David Marshall’s performances against Barcelona shouldn’t have happened. He was completely unprepared to walk onto Celtic Park at halftime in the first leg, and had little chance to acclimatise for the rigors of Ronaldinho and Co. at the Camp Nou two weeks later, but the episode is now a chapter in our illustrious European history.

So what’s the contemporary relevance for this tale? A week from tonight Brendan Rodgers will choose between Craig Gordon and Dorus de Vries to play at the Camp Nou against three of the finest strikers in modern times, de Vries having played one game for the club, Gordon performing below the peak he achieved when he broke into the team two years ago.

This will be Brendan’s biggest call in the months ahead. It’s not an ideal situation, but he should call it early. Just as Martin did 12 years ago, tell the world that whoever is getting the nod he’s going to be perfectly at home at the Camp Nou.



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    LUCKY CODY. 1050PM




    “I stopped buying The Herald and even talked my dentist into cancelling.”




    How did you manage that?




    I struggle at the best of times to formulate a decent argument-I’m a genius at starting one,mind!-but I canny string two mmmggfesyh mmmggfesyh together wi a mouthful of fingers and implements.

  2. thetimreaper - Lord Nimmo Smith enquiry was a sham never forget it on



    LUCKY CODY. 1050PM





    “I stopped buying The Herald and even talked my dentist into cancelling.”





    Yeah me too, it was like pulling teeth but i got there in the end.

  3. Imagine mistaking Rab Douglas for big Bobo….surely Rab wasn’t wearing a hooped jersey that night


    Eejit,posted on wrong article!







    I honestly thought that DM should have been given a lot of game time before the events you reference. I’d heard about him,and tbh was no fan of RD.



    It was indeed an amazing display. The Alamo,in fact.



    Not only David’s finest hour-and he still has time to match it-but also,sadly,that of John Kennedy.



    Another young goalie thrown into the fray was Stuart Kerr. His career stuttered and eventually stalled through injury in his mid-twenties.



    But he’ll always have my gratitude to standing up to baboon-arse-heid Hately.



    We will need some of that on Saturday.

  5. I don’t care about how good Forster and Boruc were



    We should have kept with David Marshall and he would have stayed with us. He’s a fine keeper.

  6. The difference is Paul, because Douglas was ineligible, Martin O’Niell didn’t have a decision to make, so how could he have made a decision early?

  7. So is Willie Golum then.No chance we can say he is a bigot,but like I said earlier this morning,we can say he is bloody useless.At least the powers that be,who are bigots and cowards,have reverted to their cowardly side and not put the useless Thompson in charge.

  8. Can anyone advise as to why the Albania game was abandoned last night? Can’t find any reference to it anywhere.

  9. Thanks for the info regarding Lisbons estadio



    Any other info or tips on the city would be welcome.. Especially where to watch the game on Saturday.

  10. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Not sure Brendan would have played De Vries v Aberdeen if he was going to go back to Gordon, but could be wrong.


    Kind of wished we had made a go for getting Marshall back.

  11. Can’t believe the Nanc Derby is clashing on TV – anyone abroad ( like me) will have next to no chance of seeing the whole game and there will be a few ‘Irish Bars’ given a litmus test.

  12. a think mr rodgers did make his decision early he made it against the sheep when he played big doris

  13. embramike says "the Huns are Deid" on

    AULD TAM on 6TH SEPTEMBER 2016 12:09 PM


    Can anyone enlighten me as to why the Albania match was abandoned last night?



    Albania 1-1 FYR Macedonia – abandoned in 76th minute, resumes 14CEST Tuesday


    (from UEFA.com)



    The last 14 minutes of this fixture will be played on Tuesday after the match was abandoned due to adverse weather conditions. Armando Sadiku’s early goal for Albania had been cancelled out in the 51st minute by Egzijan Alioski.

  14. AULD TAM .@ 12 09



    Quick Google -Italia .



    “Game was abandoned after 76 minutes in consequence of torrential rain . The remaining time is scheduled to be played out on Tuesday afternoon . Game position is 1-1 “

  15. They couldn’t move Celtic v The Rangers to Sunday because of Barcelona v Celtic on Tuesday. Friday night would not by allowed by Police Scotland and Liverpool are at home Saturday evening and the cops wouldn’t sanction that either.



    Can’t see that there is an alternative scheduling option.

  16. MICKBHOY1888 on 6TH SEPTEMBER 2016 12:30 PM


    Don’t think Manchester Derby will be given any priority in Santa Ponsa



    H,mmm,only if you have a load of Celtic fans in the boozers.


    Dubs,would likely want to watch the Manchester game.Only what I have witnessed over the years.




    Thanks for that.



    Very unusual for an abandoned game to resume on another date, as opposed to being replayed in its entirety.



    Another rule change? On paper it makes sense, but what about allowing spectators into a stadium for a 15 minute “game”?



    Changed days.

  18. Alasdair MacLean on

    Posted on the other thread….weather forecast for Celtic Park is a cloudless 14 degree day…



    In other words perfect weather conditions for a football match.



    Perfect for who though?

  19. The the Albania game


    I’m sure there used to be a rule that if a game reached the 75th minute before being abandoned then the result stood.

  20. Hi Fellow Tims,



    Desperately looking for a ticket for the game Saturday. I’m trying to get a hold of one now as with the game being a Saturday kick off I won’t have much time to ask around when I get over there late on the Friday night. Any help greatly appreciated!

  21. So Gollum it is then!



    Arguably the most useless and clueless ref in Christendom.



    And possibly outside Christendom as well.