From David Marshall to Tony Watt


Just days after The Beating of Barca in 2004 the youthful Celtic chief executive, Peter Lawwell presented teenage sensation, David Marshall, with a new contract, reward for his incredible goalkeeping performances against the Catalans.  Having made only a single first team appearance, in a cup game against (then) lower league opponents, David played the second half of the first leg against Ronaldinho & Co, then all of the second leg, without conceding a goal.

It Camp Nou performance was the most remarkable I’ve seen from a keeper.  After years looking for a solid performer to make the position his own, it looked like we had a new star.

A year later David had, if anything, regressed.  He remained first choice until after the start of season 2005-06 but Artur Boruc, for a while the genuine article, soon replaced him.  David was shipped out to Norwich before eventually settling at Cardiff City, where he has built a solid career, but his star never shone as brightly as we expected it to.  His Scottish contemporaries, Allan McGregor and Craig Gordon, both overtook him.

It is incredibly hard for a youth player to break into a team like Celtic in a position like goalkeeper, or striker, the pressure to deliver – every time – is so high, we are a whole lot more likely to introduce wingers.  The parallels between David Marshall and Tony Watt are remarkable, so far.

From the outside it’s hard to guess what went wrong for David at Celtic.  He lost his place at Celtic when he was just 20 and the trajectory of his career was never the same but 20 is still remarkably young for a keeper working at Champions League level.  Tony Watt is two years younger than David and he is in the considerably better position of being able to come on as substitute for sections of games, or to drop away for a few weeks, if necessary.

We should expect more fantastic splurges of form from the player but there will be frustrations and dips in form too.  He has the skill, speed and strength to make it.  With hard work and patience he stands an excellent chance.

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  1. Top of the morning to you all from a sunny Fife.







    10:22 on 16 November, 2012



    The BBC is an Israeli probaganda tool. Oh for an impartial news service.





    It is but is no worse than all of the other media outlets. I am constantly amused by the subtle bias which without fail attributes Israeli bombing/assassinations as targeted killings which are always in response to Palestinian actions.



    Similarly Israel don’t invade countries they make incursions.



    Israeli spokespersons are always treated with deference whilst any Arab commentators get the wrath of the west for daring to oppose their jailers in the Gaza ghetto.



    What else can we expect when half of our politicians are in the “Friends of Israel” movement. Can you imagine the media frenzy if they were “Friends of Palestine”?



    I would like to see a secure Israel but it can’t be achieved with the same old, same old.

  2. Vmhan






    Remember the good times I’m sure there are many



    Strength in testing times




  3. Most great keepers seem to be a bit mad ,a bit arrogant and generally appear to blame their defenders ( vocally) for every goal that is conceded ( to deflect responsibility from themselves )


    Their confidence perhaps comes with generally being amongst the older group within the team.



    I always thought David Marshall was very quiet in goal , and the complete opposite of the characteristics described above



    On one occasion I remember Jackie MacNamara visibly and vocally chastising him for a first half goal for which the defence was about 75% responsible.


    ( I was very annoyed at Jackie at the time as he was captain and DM was a very young player)


    Keepers such as the Holy Goalie would have ripped his head off , David Marshall looked forlorn and dejected.



    Tony Watt appears to have bundles of confidence on the pitch and a nice guy off it



    The perfect combination



    The Onlooker

  4. saltires en sevilla10:10 on 16 November, 2012




    thanks for the heads up.




    testicles, spectacles,wallet and watch.


    good to go.



  5. vmhan sincerest condolences on the passing of your dad. He obviously had a great love for your family and the Celtic family. Some great memories you have and that will always stay with you mate. They never die those that live in the hearts of the one’s they leave behind.


    Stay strong and keep the faith.




  6. KevJungle – Murdo 78/87 – 97/98 = Cheerio 10 in a row :o)



    Kev, you will of course explain that the dead rangers were registered at companies house just like Sevco 2012.


    The rangers fc club are dead, well as far as the legal community are concerned,oh yes and also Uefa are interested to know if the old dead club are still ….. erm”active”, because they will have to apply the same penalties to the sevco 2012 if they riot during pre season in Europe 2013, apologies as of course they will be dead by that time.



    Zombie dot com

  7. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on



    10:42 on 16 November, 2012



    Celtic diamond.


    No you,Vinnie.


    Yer auld man.



    Your family in Celtic is with you.


    God bless.





    Treasure your memores,buddy,they will ease your grief.



    RIP and God bless.

  9. Onlooker



    I agree re GK’s



    Being a bit shy and quiet is my only concern for big FF



    Maybe Jimmy McGuinness will get him to appreciate that he’s a giant and that most of the players on the pitch are terrified of him

  10. PL: ‘Five-six years ago we made a bold decision to divert money from first-team into long-term.



    Built Lxtown. Invested in recruitment, scouting, process, technology, people, academy, sports science & performance analysis.

  11. Tony Watt reminds me in some ways of Willie Wallace.



    Not so much in his play, which is similar but in his general demeanour.



    The way he carries himself on the field says to me “here I am, I’m the equal of anyone on here”. This was exemplified with his goal against Barca and his genuine surprise that we were surprised by him scoring. “It’s what I get paid for” sort of thing.



    That was like Wispy who was no shrinking violet, but not a thug either.

  12. PL on rejecting Rangers’ application: Fundamental to us that integrity of game upheld. To do anything else would comprise that. ‘Had to stand up what we believe in at this club.’

  13. Vmhan



    Sincere condolences mate, I was unaware of your bereavement.



    Chin up mate, the future needs you and your kin.

  14. PL: ‘Committed to SPL but nothing stays the same. Understand initiatives in Europe where UEFA opening mind to some regional leagues.

  15. PL: ‘Neil and management team, doing a magnificent job. Neil has progressed magnificently. ‘Club progressing, team is progressing and looking forward to hopefully exciting future.’

  16. Vmhan



    Very sorry to hear the news. I hope you and your family will find the strenght in these difficult times. Take care. Prayers and thoughts.

  17. NL: ‘(Winning league) Gave me a huge shot of confidence. A vindication of board’s decision to give me a job.’


    ‘Couldn’t really call myself a Celtic manager until I had it sitting in the cabinet again. More comfortable in role now.’

  18. NL: ‘Definitely made more of a conscious effort to stay away from controversial issues. Don’t want to be sitting in stand.


    However, certainly in the past, I did feel there was an unfair press on my own persona.’

  19. Vmhan – lovely post. I was going to say “stay strong” and then saw your post to Kevjungle and realised that you already have. Best wishes mate.

  20. Vmhan



    10:50 on 16 November, 2012




    Other fellow Tim’s tore the sevconian a new one – so to speak.


    But…I’ll believe that they are finally gone when – ibrokes


    is a pile of dust.



    On a more serious note…I’m so sorry to here the news about yer Father.


    Remember the good times always !


    Very sad news.


    Prayers and Thoughts


    God Bless.

  21. saltires en sevilla on

    gordon_j backing neil lennon



    10:23 on


    16 November, 2012


    Tony Watt has a big future. Good to see him committed to the club and I look forward to watching him for many years to come.



    And early first team opportunities for one 18 year old will also encourage other talented youngsters.






    Good point about encouraging youngsters to join/stay



    I was hoping Lenny would play more of the youngsters after one of the CL matches.



    Maybe he will be tempted to play our youngest ever team at a suitable time this season

  22. ‘This Resolution disapplies the pre-emption rights contained within the Companies Act 2006, subject to a specified limit’

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