Filling the need for an alpha-male role model


We’re close enough to the English psyche to intimately understand their hopes and fears ahead of a tournament like the World Cup, but the M74 provides enough space for those of us based within a short distance of Celtic Park to have the kind of perspective that’s not possible for most fans immersed in the moment.

For long enough, England, along with Spain and France, were the perennial underachievers of European international football, which was dominated by “skilful” Italians and “efficient” Germans, while even the Dutch and Czechs have managed vastly more major final appearances than England.

France, then Spain, got the monkey off their backs, but England still relive their regular tournament nightmare, although this time it looks likely they will bow out before troubling any of their players in a penalty kick competition.

So cut England open and what bleeds out?  After the game last night Danny Murphy on BBC Radio 5Live tried to offer objective resistance to the idea that England lacked passion from a tidal wave of calls, asking “Where is the Terry Butcher with a blood soaked bandage around his head?”, “Where is the crying Gascoigne?”

Fans often confuse sporting defeat with a lack of will to win.  This notion was expressed last August when Celtic lost to Shakhter Karagandy, aided and abetted by an ITV commentator who proposed the notion during live broadcast.  I’m pretty sure upwards of 95% of us have played the game at some level, but time seems to remove the memories of what it’s like to be losing in a team sport, and importantly, just how difficult it can be to reverse momentum.

Suggesting professional footballers don’t try during some of the most important games of their season is an embarrassing failure to think from another’s perspective.

Listening to the radio last night and again this morning, there was no dispute to the claim that what England needed was a manager who could lose his temper in the dressing room.

Even Murphy didn’t feel comfortable enough to take on the nation on this one, instead assuring listeners that Roy Hodgson was capable of losing his temper.  This was mean to be supportive.  It was surely viewed as such by many. This morning, Kevin Phillips trotted out the hoary old “lacked passion” line.

Is there any other field of human endeavour where losing control of your emotions is viewed as an attribute?  Football managers exist in a highly competitive, technically exacting environment.  At the top level they have to communicate subtle instructions to highly skilled professionals who have heard it all before from lippy managers. By the 30th rant they are all immune and it’s highly unlikely that intimidation led to an increase in performance first time out.

Despite this, managers are supposed to demonstrate a primitive human weakness to an audience who can often scarcely tell the difference between a football match and a pantomime.

We have to be different.  We have to be cleverer; let the rest satisfy their need for an alpha-male role model – because make no mistake about it – this is what they’re really craving, while Celtic show uncompromising adherence to getting the best people for the job. On a side, note, can you imagine what appointing Roy Keane would have said about our strategy?

Roy Hodgson has done enough in the game to prove he’s a good manager but he’s more Euro-sophisticate than an archetypal alpha-male.  Best of luck to him.

The Celtic Graves Society are having a fundraising raffle to generate funds. 50% will go towards their excellent work and 50% will go to the Northern Ireland Childrens’ Hospice, who looked after Wee Oscar recently. For the cost of a £5 raffle ticket, you can win a singed boot from Scott Brown or from Virgil van Dijk.

To buy your ticket go to Paypal and send £5 to donate@celticgraves.com

Don’t worry if you don’t have a Paypal account, you can still work through Paypal with a debit or credit card. Please add the phrase “Boots Raffle” to the Paypal subject line, and they have asked if you could alert them to which site you picked the message up from, so “CQN” will do.

Good luck

Visit the CQN Bookstore to get Tommy Gemmell to sign your personal copy of his book, All the Best.

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    I clicked on yer link to the Tim wi the flag and had to log back in!

  2. The team with the only world class player in it won last night. Horrible wee person but a genius with the ball.

  3. Don’t normally repost but this one just has to be… Should I laugh or greet?




    Think I’ll just stick with WTF!









    02:09 on 20 June, 2014


    Blessing yourself is now illegal in Scotland.



    Antifa says no.



    Nationalism is an evil thing, and it nearly always leads to mass graves, look at what happened in nazi germany, a Yes Vote is indeed a vote for the mass deaths and murders of English people and non white non protestant or atheist peoples. Telling us a million times you are voting yes doesnt make any one else more likely to vote the same way. Your vote is no more important than any one elses MWD, the people, not yourself will decided if we want a progressive left wing Scotland under a labour government within the union or if we want a hostile far right Scotland that says no to catholics and English people under an SNP government. I know which version is more in line with the internationale.






    Loonies and asylums come to mind!!! Double WTF WTF!!!



    MWD says AYE plus a wee extra AYE for those in need of medication. Just WOW! WOW! WOW!

  4. I saw the big fat 0 and then couldn’t remember my password – dumbkopf!



    Hail Hail

  5. leftclicktic We are all Neil Lennon on



    Thats what friends are for:))))


    Off to ML4





    Antifa is the product of someone’s poisoned imagination.



    If you go back to about two years ago when he first started posting,he couldnae string two sentences together,his spelling was all over the place,etc.



    Make your own mind up but see if you can locate his early stuff.



    About August 2012.



    Only reason I remember is that I was due home for the first time in over a year and offered to give him a book which might educate him a little.



    I should,of course,have read it myself instead!








    Enjoy yer time wi yer Mum,mate.



    Even if she is concerned about all these strange people you know.



    Mothers are always right,btw!

  8. My friends in Celtic,



    If we say the English league is not the best in the world, but the best marketed, then are we saying the best league is in Spain. ( CL finalists etc. )


    The German league may attract big crowds but IMO the quality of most teams is inferior to the Spanish.



    The Spanish squad is predominately players who play in Spain.



    All the dugs in the street know that.








    Aye,bud. Pintathepyoooor,five for a tenner.



    Good stuff too. Pity I’m on another naughty shift tonight.



    But I’m not on Monday. Or Sunday,c


    Or Sunday,come to that.



    Bloody iphone wi it’s buttons too close for my dainty fingers.

  11. Big Nan


    10:37 on


    20 June, 2014





    I’m booked in the Forth View Thurs/Fri, dinner booked for Thursday night. Thanks for the Trip Advisor input :-)

  12. Friesdorfer


    11:57 on


    20 June, 2014


    I saw the big fat 0 and then couldn’t remember my password – dumbkopf!



    Hail Hail



    Is dumbkopf! really your password?


    Whit’s yer maws maiden name?

  13. Did anyone hear Chris Waddle ripping the English players, management and media a new one this morning?



    It was brilliant!



    Can anyone post a link please?



    I heard it on BBC Scotland sports news on the car radio about 8:20 this morning.

  14. Delaneys Dunky on




    Enjoy bud. Just finished graft for the week. Off to a Bankie beer garden soon. :)

  15. Greenpinata


    12:03 on


    20 June, 2014


    My friends in Celtic,



    If we say the English league is not the best in the world, but the best marketed, then are we saying the best league is in Spain. ( CL finalists etc.




    Surely the best league in the world is the one just below the Scottish Premiership?


    Well that`s what we`ll be getting drummed into us over the coming months.

  16. BMCUWP



    Yeah. I remember him from days of yore. I’d suggest some form of assistance from a government instituation is required. Doesn’t matter whether that instituation is UK or Scottish funded. It is a basic requirement for this fellow.



    BTW – do your neighbours know you are going to kill the day after Scotland gets Independence if it so does get it? You better warn them now because the day after it will be too late. Your hatred will obviously consume you.



    MWD says AYE

  17. MWD



    My own opinion is that DD wanted Keane as manager. PL spoke to Keane and set out the conditions, finances and structure under which he would be rquired to work.



    Nothing wrong with that, if they thought that he was the man for the job then it’s all about opinions.



    However, Keane then walked away because he wouldn’t work within the club strategy.



    Celtic then, thankfully, had to look elsewhere to replace NL and along came Ronny.



    That’s all fine but I’m not buying this theory that it was Celtic who knocked back Keane.

  18. My friends in Celtic,



    Paul 67’s article mentions players not trying.



    I have to ask the question did the Manchester Utd players “bust a gut” for David Moyes ?



    Could they have given more ?



    Even the dugs in the street can answer that question.




  19. Craigellachie10 on

    I hope the singed boot isn’t the result of a microwave related incident. Leave that kind of thing to players of the deid club.

  20. leftclicktic We are all Neil Lennon



    11:45 on 20 June, 2014



    Before I go


    Heard Ray wilkins say on SSN Innngerluuuuund players should have targeted & tested how strong LS knee was with a few challenges”within the rules of the game” to see how it stood up.









    Under ol’ 90s Sunday League rules the ball would have been ignored from kick-of funtil Luis’ knee had been properly tested under combat conditions.



    Why none of Englandshire’s lumbering slow-witted centre backs tried it was baffling. Terry Butcher would have been on him with an axe and a scalpel.



    It can actually be considered a lack of professionalism – a very costly one – to have treated him with kid gloves.



    Anyway,Ghod bless Luis Suarez – a born winner; sorry, ‘cheat’, as some call him because he put national cause before sentiment for plucky Ghana last World Cup…

  21. My friends in Celtic,



    In an independent Scotland “Rangers will be back to their rightful place and where they belong”



    Even the dugs in the street can foresee that.



    HH and No thanks.

  22. Just catching up on the last few day’ news. I see that our opening league game has been postponed – is that a good thing with lots of early fixtures, or a bad thing as we have one less chance to play under the new manager in the lead up to our qualifiers?



    Still, we have a Ne’erday Derby against Glasgow’s second club to look forward to.

  23. We can all think we are football experts and armchair coaches but we are not. We are merely pundits who have an opinion on the game and spout as much garbage at times as the highly paid former players/managers, current players/managers and journos.


    Watching the world cup has been a joy. No pressures of supporting any particular team and just wanting there to be rakes of goals which there have been in most of the games.


    I still don’t see an outstanding team so far but the Germans, Dutch, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Italy, Columbia & Uruguay look very good and strong when they have their first 11 fit.


    It is as wide open a world cup as I remember but there is really some dross there. In fairness to Australia they are not the best team in there but they have had a go and scored some goals. People will remember them. I spent 45 mins watching Japan v Greece last night and that is 45 mins I won’t get back. Totally brutal.


    I watched the England matches with interest. It is all we hear about in the coverage so I take more than an interest in their games.


    They never learn do they? Italy completed over 90% of their passes against England. The highest amount ever recorded in the world cup since records began in 1966. England have some very good players but they give away the ball way too much. Why play two players who are hot and cold like welbeck who would not even make my squad and Sterling who is a kid and an impact player. Why put your most potent goal threat and probably best player on the wing? No other team in the world cup would do that. Can you imagine Pirlo being asked to play wide right to accomodate a young player who the media fancy as a player? No chance. You play your best players in their best positions and fit the rest around them. Every other team in the competition does this except England. They always do it. They will play a veteran whose best days may be behind him but has experience and know how which is vital at these tournaments. There are players in teams who don;t play regular for their clubs and have flopped at English teams who are performing very well. The commentator will say things like ‘He had a short unseuccesful spell at Charlton, Watford, Swansea, etc). Now they are performing at the world cup and don;t look out of place.


    England are fixated on young players with some flair. What they need is Gerrard and Lampard to play in the middle and hold the ball. Pass the ball to death between themselves and the back 4 and then hit the runners and get a shot off. England had too many players bombing forward and when they do get a chance they snatch at it because the area in and around the box is too congested. It’s a bygone era of kick and rush football similar to watching schoolboys who have set up ther own game and all bomb forward when the ‘best player’ gets the ball. This in turn leaves the team wide open at the back and so far they have lost 3 goals in this manner in 2 games. 2 last night and one against Italy. England are prone to lose goals when they are in the ascendancy and when they are looking like scoring because their players don’t have any tactical discpline and ball watch while their team attack. Watch the 3 goals they lose their defence are standing watching the play rather than anticipating where the striker may go and where the ball may go.


    It’s tactically naive but in the main it is just lazy. England captain is Gerrard. Who is next in line? Rooney?


    Look at most international sides they have at least 3 recognised club captains on the pitch and the team play as one. England are a team of individuals thrown together and forced to bond when it looks clear that even for the sake of their country most of them can;t stand to be around each other. Nations that are doing well at this tournament have displayed an incredible togetherness and a national pride that England just don’t possess.


    I would wager that most players don’t really care and the ones that do are frustrated by the ones who don’t.


    If I were manager last night I would have played a 4-4-1-1.


    Rooney would have played off Sturridge and Sterling would not have ben near the starting 11. Lampard would be a certain starter. You do not take a fully fit experienced pro like Lampard and not play him. Totally pointless. I would assume other managers are puzzled at that decision. 3 players who should be in the squad whether the manager the fans or the media like them are Rio Ferdinand, Terry and Cole. Experience is vital. If I were boss I would put Rio and Terry on the spot. Get on with this not for each other but for the nation. Put the ball in their court. I can not understand any player being OK with not being selected for the world cup in Brazil for their country. That speaks volumes for what is wrong in England. Rio Ferdinand has the audacity to sit in the studio and pass comment on his team and what it means to play for England when he refused to play for them. The modern English player right there. John Terry for all his faults is the best English centre half and captain since Tony Adams. He is a wily player who gets away with lots of fouls and gets offsides for his team. He is more importantly a leader. He is a good captain. England need to sort out their players attitudes and their in fighting. John Terry was charged with racisim and the fall out from it has affected the England team. Stand up and apologise shake hands and move on. We all make mistakes and as much as I hate racists he is human. No other team at the world cup would not pick one of their top players for similar reasons. Not one! Maybe England should be praised for that? Who knows? They have sacrificed their world cup chances on principals. Fair play to them if that is the case but I doubt it. They are terrified of the media reaction who will ultimately slate them anyway and then write articles similar to what I am saying about who they should have taken and most of the time it is players they have said beforehand shouldn’t go.


    England need to sort their game top to bottom but they won’t because the obssession in England from players, coaches, managers, clubs and even to fans is money. Regardless of what their team wins everyone is concerned with how much they will get. Whether it is bonuses or cash to spend. They have no thouughts on the development of their game. Much like our old friends across the city they think building a super training ground will grow new players. It is the attitude in their game that is wrong. They expect to win. They think all their young players are the new Gazza. They do not encourage good habits. What England should do in their friendlies going forward is keep the ball. Play 90 mins against a team who are way below them and forget about how many goals they score go for over 70 percent possession and complete a rake of passes. The more they pass the ball the more tired the opposition will become and they can then through on their youthful players. To me looking in it looks easy. It doesn’t look difficult surely you look at the English players and pick the best ones. You then put your best 11 together you don;t pick them becase they are young. You put the players in their correct positions because they are the best in their position in the country. You fill the spine with experience and keep the bright hopes on the bench and let them have 30-10 mins near the end of the game to make an impact.


    It amazes me tournament after tournament they make the same mistakes. It’s amusing to a point as the media really go to town on them after praising them to the rafters beforehand but they surely need to realise that they have the players to have a decent tournament but not if they are not in the squad.




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