Cruyff silenced in 82 after dismissive comment


When tickets went on sale for Saturday’s game against Kilmarnock the hope of many was that this would be the game 8-in-a-row would be tied up.  What could have been a party will instead be a day we gather to respect the memory of our greatest ever captain.

Many, especially the older generation, will just want to be at Celtic Park on Saturday, to sit among friends and recall times of joy and angst.

Memories of Vojvodina, Cruyff – three times, 10 men, standing nose-to-nose with a referee on the touchline.  Of the utter joy that was the Centenary Season, the glory and celebrations of a lifetime at the top of the game.  Other fields bestowed greater prizes on Billy, but Celtic Park was home.  I’m glad we will gather there this weekend.

I loved Cruyff, but he had an edge to him.  He twice got the better of Billy in the early 70s, those encounters leaving an aftertaste that lasted until the 1982 European Cup meeting between Celtic and Ajax, when Billy was manager and Johan back as a player at Ajax.  After a first leg draw at Celtic Park Johan made a dismissive comment that loosely translated as ‘getting the better of McNeill as a manager, as well as a player’.  The Dutchman was silenced in Amsterdam two weeks later.

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  1. morning bhoys from a cold cloudy Cheshire, as bada has said, young harper looks a good player.hh.

  2. Our kids will get stronger and bigger as they become men. We do not need they to be physically developed at 16 or 17 years old despite the fact it will win youth games the now.



    Wee dembele did not show great physical ability but he was by far the best footballers on show. His touch, vision, link up play, games intellegance, passing and dribbling and the decision making was there for all to see.



    Others looked better physically and used that traits to good effect. As someone who has watch my fair share of youth football the one thing that is true smaller kids will physically developed and those bigger stronger kids wont looked so good when they meet their match.



    The footballers will have no such problem so stand a better chance of success. its youth football you need to look at it from a development point of view not a mans game view i.e. winning

  3. Chilled morning in the Chilterns…



    Wonderful out pouring for Billy McNeill and his family. Great anecdotes about the Great man.



    STEPHBHOY @ 12:21 AM,



    Well there is no doubt we have some talent in that U18 team. Harper for me was the standout and I can see him becoming the No9 Celtic crave, of course a few seasons short of regular first team action though.



    KD always impresses me but certainly some aspects of his game and his physicality have a ways to go. Granted in the first half he was targetted by Rangers YD Co and the referee should have been brandishing cards yet he’ll need to be able to impose himself to bring his A-game to the match.



    Oko-flex looked different class but was often isolated, his decision making didn’t help that and his contributions were far too infrequent.



    Yet the fact is Rangers Youth Development were the better side, the were well organised, direct and strong in defence… apart from being asleep at the start of the second half.



    Often I’m a bit of a coward watching football matches and half way through the first half I was tempted to turn the thing off, at that time a rout would not have surprised me.



    Still, the bhoys responded well in the second half and made a game of it. I was pleased for SMcM who seemed to me to have the engagement and focus needed.



    Celtic reserves were beaten 2-0 By Sevco Rangers reserves recently…



    It seems to me they’ve got their act together at Auchenhowie and that we are still “playing” at Academies…



    Barcelona have fielded a first team of La Masia graduates.



    We can see what Ajax Academy is doing.



    The fact is we aren’t at the races even in Scotland. As always I hope I’m wrong but; the players, technique, formations, tactics were all a struggle for the young team, so not seeing it myself:(



    Hail Hail

  4. In what could be perceived as a black mark against him, I’m not so sure Neil Lennon was wise hinting that Karamoko Dembele may play for the 1st team this season.


    I appreciate that Neil Lennon is merely keeping an open mind to the possibility.



    However there is a proportion of our fan base, and I would guess it is the younger fans, that get all too giddy and excitable about the prospect of seeing the next big thing.



    Reality is, Dembele was only 15 years old , just 2 months ago.


    Let the young lad develop properly. The race to see him get first team minutes is ludicrous.


    Any first team jersey needs to be earned. They don’t get handed out like confetti.



    Leave the lad be, and maybe revisit his progress next January.

  5. Neil Lennon has many more things to contend himself with.



    Than appeasing any fanfare to play a young lad in the first team.



    How about working out how to get the current first team squad operating in a effective and convincing manner.

  6. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    RUGGYGMAN on 26TH APRIL 2019 8:57 AM


    Any first team jersey needs to be earned. They don’t get handed out like confetti.


    Leave the lad be, and maybe revisit his progress next January.






    Hi RUGGYMAN – agree with that. That tube Liam McLeod was gibbering on like a wee thrilled schoolgirl when he saw the ‘senior’ ‘Rangers’ playes in attendance – twittering on about some of their positions being under threat from the ‘talented Rangers youngsters’ on the pich.






    Certainly from our perspectives, everone on the pitch in a Celtic shirt – including wee Dembele – looked as if they had a lot of physical development to go through before getting near the first team. Closest seemed to be the young boy up front that a few have mentioned already – Canadian I think (sorry – can’t recall his name).



    Let them carry on with their development without too much pressure – the best ones will get their chance when the time is right.






  7. Got to say I thought the sevco guys were better than our youths yesterday . Coupled with the reserves also being beaten by them , it looks like sevco have upped there game . My brothers also commented on the size of the sevco players , nearly all big boys . Sorry to say I wasn’t too impressed with our bhoys except for a few exceptions and like the first team had trouble finding a hooped jersey with a pass . But there just kids and will fill out and toughen up .

  8. I don’t think we will be bringing through many defenders from that team. Could have ended 5-4.



    That said, Oko-Flex was the main disappointment. I’m not an expert but it seemed to me that positioning (possibly down to his coach) was the issue. He was often hugging the touchline and failing to link up with teammates in the same way Dembele did.



    Harper up front was exciting though.

  9. CHAIRBHOY on 26TH APRIL 2019 8:41 AM



    It seems to me they’ve got their act together at Auchenhowie and that we are still “playing” at Academies…



    The fact is we aren’t at the races even in Scotland. As always I hope I’m wrong but; the players, technique, formations, tactics were all a struggle for the young team, so not seeing it myself:(






    If you get a couple of players out of an age group into the first team then thats a massive success. If for example, Harper and Dembele become first team stars like Tierney and McGregor then who cares about the other 10/12 boys who couldn’t defend a set piece and will probably not make it as professional footballers.



    We have Mikey Johnston, Tony Ralston, Ewan Henderson to try and promote as well.

  10. Youth team : Remember we let Andy Robertson go for being too small at this level.



    Development in boys can be slow.



    HH to all.



    PS : Just seen footage the the linesman made the correct decision for our disallowed goal. The whole ball was over the line, unfortunately.

  11. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    Do Lenny’s comments re. including young Karamoko Dembele in the first team this season have anything to do with his potential monetary value if we lose him within two years?


    Genuine question.


    Bottomlineboard CSC



  12. The Battered Bunnet on

    Fag packet stuff, but…



    A footballer’s career, from 2nd professional contract (the 1st pro contract is apprenticeship) to retirement is around 15 years, from say age 20 to 35 years old.



    Allow a first team squad of 30 players (a little high perhaps, but makes the arithmetic easier).



    From this, we can see that each year on average, two players retire, creating two vacancies in the ‘average’ first team squad.



    That’s the size of the opportunity for kids in youth development – of the 20 or so kids in a given club’s ‘reserve’ team, 2 will get a second pro contract at a senior club, whether their current club, or another at the same/similar level.



    For Celtic, the challenge is heightened by the higher quality bar; we need players who can compete in European competition, not merely sustain a career with an SPFL (or similar) club.



    If Celtic’s YD system produces one player per year at that standard, they’ve exceeded expectation. There is no other purpose in YD than to develop players of that standard, and no amount of trophies and cups won at age-level changes either the purpose, or the outcome. Indeed, team success at age-level is no influence on the outcome, either for the club, or for the players.



    Added to which, the development of boys at 17 into men at 25 years old, physically, emotionally and psychologically, is so haphazard that all the cleverness in the world has yet to find an algorithm that can distinguish between a Virgil van Dijk and a Milan Misun at 17 years old, let alone predict which will enjoy the more productive career.

  13. Youths were completely out muscled and played off park.. Tried far too manytouches and didn’t pass with purpose. However th young ‘Rangers’ ref looks ready to step up efore any of the players. Dembele was used like a punch bag for kick boxers.

  14. jimbob71 & little Miss jimbob on

    This Tuesday night is the Glasgow Cup Final at Celtic Park.



    Celtic v The Rangers.



    Under 20’s I believe competed this year.

  15. THE BATTERED BUNNET on 26TH APRIL 2019 10:50 AM



    the world has yet to find an algorithm that can distinguish between a Virgil van Dijk and a Milan Misun at 17 years old, let alone predict which will enjoy the more productive career









    We give our own youth system a hard time but the reality is there are big clubs who just hoover up players of all nationalities and hope to win the lottery.

  16. Scottish Cup final Ticket Information



    By: Newsroom Staff on 26 Apr, 2019 11:01



    IT has been announced that Celtic are to receive a 50% allocation of tickets for the forthcoming Scottish Cup final against Hearts at Hamden on May 25, 2019.



    As always, Celtic endeavoured to secure more tickets for the match. However, we were informed by the SFA that these arrangements are to be put in place. 



    Tickets for the match will be balloted amongst those Celtic season ticket holders who are part of our Home Cup Ticket Scheme and who purchased tickets for the Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen (April 14), and whose payment was taken via the Scheme for the home cup matches versus Airdrie (January 19) and St Johnstone (February 10).



    Everyone who qualifies on this basis will be entered into the random ballot on an individual basis to ensure that each supporter has an equal opportunity of securing a ticket.



    We will update the club website with sales arrangements for this match early next week.

  17. TIMALOY29 @ 10:11 AM,



    That’s certainly true, I made the point a little while ago that that our Lennoxtown Academy are doing no better than we’ve done at Barrowfield.



    Stephbhoy made a few points (constructive) on my comments and informed me that the majority of the youth development is still done at Barrowfield.



    So that’s mean the Academy hasn’t changed very much in my lifetime (babe in arms, some of the Lions came through, then augmented by the quality street gang to usher a golden age.



    We’ve done ok since then, maybe a bit of a low around the turn of the Millennium as the obsession with bought and foreign players came around. But regularly we have 4,5,6 Celtic youth products around our first team.



    So the reality is we really don’t have an Academy as such, we have a youth development program. The Rangers Youth Development had a leetle local difficulty when the Clumpany went pop…



    …They relaunched for the 2015/16 season and they’re already kicking oor butt.



    Jimtim, Greenpinata, TBB and others…



    The vagaries of athletic, physical and emotional development is of course as huge as it is unpredictable.



    Youth Development, bringing forth a “Celtic Class” first team player every couple of years in that respect is of course good going.



    Yet an Academy should be brining us so much more -with modern training and coaching and good scouting, then innovative thinking we should be excelling at bring quality through in numbers on a regular basis.



    I see little issue in identifying and having an individual positive development program for all our players including late developers. All players need to work on athletism, physicality, technique, formations, tactics, sport’s science, that takes years, Yes, sometimes into manhood.



    Why can’t someone like Andy Robertson not be given the chance to develop?



    We dont do this, or at least we don’t do it well. That’s why we should either properly support and develop an Academy or give up the highfalutin nonsense and get with the youth program.



    Because this is what we’ve been doing on and off, better or worse since Cesar was a lad and before…



    Let’s take three different levels of player development… apologies for naming names, not judging but I think it’s necessary to illustrate the point.



    The KT… exceeds expectations gives the first team a few Seasons of good service and we cash in.



    The Calmac… Great first team footballer an asset to the Club and team, have several seasons from him, he may stay a one Club man, we cash in, or he fancies other challenges.



    The O’Dea… Good player, gives Celtic squad good service but ultimately doesn’t develop sufficiently to be a Celtic first team regular so finds pastures new and succeeds in the game as a good pro.



    So for that read, Kenny Dalglish, Danny Mcgrain, Brian McLaughlin.



    Now we need to hit this level more regularly and we can do this with an Academy. It could give us an income stream and “Celtic Class” players for the first team on an on going basis.



    Hail Hail

  18. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    I think historically, that is to say over the last decade or so, our youth development programme has been very successful. In the current team, when everyone is fit, amongst the first picks would be James Forrest, Calum McGregor, and Kieran Tierney. That’s over 25% of our top team. In fact those three could be described as our “star players”. How much would those three players cost us if we wanted to buy them, in the current market? I don’t know, but I know that Celtic would never spend the kind of transfer fees involved.


    Currently a certain starter is also Kris Ajer, who although not here all of his life, is a product of our Youth System. In recent seasons Ewan and Liam Henderson, Anthony Ralston, Mikey Johnston, Calvin Miller and Jack Aitchison have all featured in our first team. Liam Henderson looks like a terrific prospect to me, and Ralston and Johnston may yet carve out a career at Celtic.


    Looking further back, Aiden McGeady was a terrific player for us, and secured a transfer fee of around £10m. Shaun Maloney and Steven McManus played many games for the club. Tony Watt scored the most famous goal in our modern history. We also have had useful contributions from Dylan McGeogh, Niall McGinn and Charlie Mulgrew, John Kennedy, and Darnel Fisher. There are others I am sure.


    It seems like a successful programme to me.



  19. prestonpans bhoys on




    This is just plain wrong:



    “Everyone who qualifies on this basis will be entered into the random ballot on an individual basis to ensure that each supporter has an equal opportunity of securing a ticket.”



    They should have a system which offers tickets to those on the HTS the longest. So someone who joined last year now has equal status as someone who has their bank account hit since 2007. !!!

  20. My initial selection (Captain Chaos) is a non runner, so;



    15:35 Sandown



    Joe Farrell




  21. CQN Saturday Naps Competition : WEEK 35 results (Apr 20th)






    16 roads (Isotope) @7/1


    Fastbhoy (Mahlermade) @11/2


    green T (Copper West) @5/1






    21-5-79 (Tim Rocco)


    BMCUWP (No Selection)


    Bull67 (Amomentofmadness)


    Cathal (No Selection)


    Cosy Corner Bhoy (No Selection)


    fleagle1888 (Lucky Deal)


    GFTB (Royal Brave)


    Graffitionthewall (No Selection)


    Gweedore Celt (Line of Reason)


    leftclicktic (Perceived)


    Nye Bevans RS (Mokaatil)


    Onemalloy (Line of Reason)


    Rockon (Bumblekite)


    Som mes que un club (No Selection)


    twists n turns (Graystown)


    voguepunter (Riviera Nights)


    Zihuatanejo (No Selection)



    Hyperlink to Week 35 selections:





    Cheers, fleagle1888

  22. CQN Saturday Naps Competition : Week 35 standings (Apr 20th)



    Naps Table – Week 35:



    +30.88 > twists n turns (8)


    +4.50 > Som mes que un club (5)


    +0.06 > Fastbhoy (10)



    -1.50 > Rockon (6)


    -2.00 > Gweedore Celt (6)


    -2.88 > green T (7)


    -4.30 > fleagle1888 (5)


    -5.63 > Bull67 (5)


    -10.00 > leftclicktic (5)


    -12.67 > voguepunter (4)


    -14 .00> 21-5-79 (2)


    -14.00 > Cathal (2)


    -15.00 > Zihuatanejo (2)


    -20.00 > Nye Bevans RS (2)


    -22.00 > 16 roads (2)


    -24.00 > Graffitionthewall (1)


    -29.59 > BMCUWP (2)


    -30.00 > Onemalloy (1)


    -35.00 > Cosy Corner Bhoy (0)


    -35.00 > GFTB (0)



    Cheers, fleagle1888