From Jinky to Georgios


Usually we head straight home, but that day we stood around the front door of Hampden Park, waiting to see the players emerge with the trophy.  It was big Billy’s last game, it also provided an enduring memory of Paul Wilson, but it was the unused Jimmy Johnstone who engaged the fans most.  In the days which followed Jock Stein had ‘the chat’ with Jinky.  Celtic’s greatest ever player, still only 30-years-old, was released from the only club he’d ever been at.

Jinky later acknowledged he expected the news.  Jock had been using him increasingly sparingly, and mostly as substitute, and these were the days before clubs supported large squads.  It was the end of an era, a sad time all round, but this is football, and football is ruthlessly harsh to everyone eventually.

Georgios Samaras has come through the wringer at Celtic, often target of the boo boys and denied the support and encouragement he needed to flourish.  His languid style implied a lack of urgency, for some, but Georgios stuck to his beliefs on how the game should be played and had a late spell in the sun during the last two years.

He was instrumental in the incredible league win in 2008 but the Champions League campaign of 2012 will be his most memorable contribution to the club.  Goals away from home against Benfica, Barcelona and the last minute winner against Spartak Moscow, for our first away win in the tournament, are his hallmark goals.

It wasn’t just the goals during that campaign, Celtic were fourth seed, up against three considerably stronger teams.  Neil Lennon set out to defend and used Samaras physical attributes, as well as his natural desire to hold the ball, as his first stage in building attacks.

Celtic tried the same in this season’s Champions League but, not surprisingly, Sami more often than not, found three defenders around him whenever the ball approached.  He was ineffective, as was Celtic.

In domestic football, Georgios, our main Champions League attacking weapon, was often regarded as a blunt instrument.  Scottish teams defend deeply against the champions, who would, therefore, never ask Samaras to hold the ball up and bring others into the team.  On these occasions his languid style frustrates those wanting a more urgent approach to their football.

The lack of an offer from Celtic will be a blow to Georgios, but I’m sure Peter Lawwell can more than stand the ‘blame’ for this one.

Very best wishes, Georgios.  I hope you have a great World Cup and have your choice of next destinations.

The Celtic FC Foundation badge sellers had enormous fun before yesterday’s game.  Many thanks to all who joined in, and who bought a badge.  It was an easy way to feel part of this great club’s reason for being.

Issue 20 of CQN Magazine, CQLisboN, is out and enjoying great reviews. Click here to read for FREE.

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  1. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Sky U.K. “understands” that Fraser is Brazil bound.


    Bloody marvellous.

  2. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    I hope Giorgios has a great WC, not just because I think he deserves it but also because it’ll keep the chunterers on here happy over the long summer days.

  3. bournesouprecipe on




    Good shout, last post in last thread



    It’s amazing how Celtic supporters can disagree with Celtic, when they don’t have the ole facts, let alone the budget figures, or indeed contract demands.



    They’d rather blindly blame Celtic, *except of course for the Victors*

  4. Oscar positive thoughts unionbearBhind on

    Forster has been rewarded for his consistency, called up for England squad, best of luck big man, you didn’t need to leave Scotland either?




  5. traditionalist88 on

    winning captains


    12:28 on


    12 May, 2014


    Keep your eye on Allardyce situation at West Ham.





    Do you believe Lenny is for the off?



    Really hope he stays, he is the calibre of man who should be in the Celtic job and has taken us back to the big stage.



    If he does go, please no Owen Coyle.




  6. sydneytim



    12:21 on 12 May, 2014


    So saying 1m for Derk plus 2.3 for pukki( a failed 500k shalke project ) and 1.2 for blade Plus 1m for Griffiths. That’s basically the money we received for hooper


    With Virgil being swap for Wilson ( great business). Err that leaves Vic 12.5m that went where??? Big Vic transfer was purely done for AGM balance sheet nothing else



    No more balance sheet transfers. Give Neil the Vic money and let’s concentrate on what happens on the field and not the AGM day



    ST says no more balance sheet transfers



    And good luck to Sammi. He is one of us but maybe not suited to the day to day domestic football

  7. Losing Sammi is bad news. Lenny keeps talking about the CL, but for the CL you need players with something extra.



    Our defence has shown that it can cope at that level. In midfield and attack we lack guile and pace. It is an illusion to think that Commons, Stokes and Griffiths are good enough for the CL, however well they perform in the SPL. None of them are good at holding on to the ball and the first two are too slow.



    We are miles ahead of every other club in Scotland and miles behind the top teams in Europe. We can ill afford to lose a player like Georgios, one of our few players who has shown he can perform at the highest level.

  8. I am sad to see Sammy go, he was effective in Europe, he was a big game palyer.


    Inconsistent? I have to concede that, never the less he will be well remembered by Celtic supporters, CowieBhoy apart, but we cant account for roasters cane we?;-)



    He got Celtic and loved the club, anyone doubting that should simply watch his reation when play resumed after he had scored yesterday, it was his last goal for us, he knew it and it choked him.



    Tims in Ohio, Miss Doc and I met him coming out of hospitality on Flag day last season, a Ghent, took time to get pictures taken, just the usual stuff, but no bother.



    I wish him the very best wherever he goes(until we meet his new team in the CL of course).





    Looking into the MIH accounts,there appears to be a pattern of sales at “distressed” levels to companies controlled by…



    David Murray.



    I point this out without comment or prejudice.

  10. Field of dreams. There was no Seville money. We got there by going into debt. It was good but not sustainable


    We were not in debt when vic was sold

  11. I’m delighted if Fraser is indeed going to Brazil, as seems likely. A real feather in his cap and a reward for both his excellent form and his loyalty in not seeking a move back to England.



    Wonder what Gary Hooper is thinking today? He did move back to England to try to play himself into the squad – and I haven’t heard his name even mentioned as a possibility, England din’t exactly have brilliant striking options either.



    We will never know what might have happened – but had he stayed and scored a lot of goals he might just have been in contention.

  12. Frank Ryan's Whiskey on

    Frank Ryan’s Whiskey


    12:33 on


    12 May, 2014


    Really unhappy that our Greek Ghod is leaving. Mrs FRW has just informed me that with our Sammi’s departure the ratio of handsome Celtic hero to ‘pig ugly man in a Celtic top’ ,her words, is taking a severe hammering in fact it is at an all time low, according to ‘she who must be obeyed’. Sammi’s leaving combined with the imminent departure of Johan the handsome will mean we are no longer able to sing have you seen a handsome sevcoite without the evil dead saying ‘really have youse lot seen LG, FF, CM etc etc etc’. Sad state of affairs that the PLC has allowed our standards to drop so far. Enough of this signing ugly players PL get your act together. As a guide Mrs FRW says that a only those with an uncanny resemblance to a young Stan Petrov or Johan M should be considered worthy of wearing the hoops. As usual I just agree with her!

  13. winning captains



    West Ham is the one I would worry about. Fat Sam will get the bullet, they not only need to stay in EPL to have a chance of filling their new stadium, but they need to be playing half decent football and have the support on board. That won’t happen with Allardyce. What NL has done in Europe on a shoestring budget will appeal to Del Boy & Rodney that own that club.

  14. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Sammi v the Celtic Board



    Having heard only the case for the prosecution,the jury leaves to consider it`s verdict.



    Celtic Board guilty as charged,m`lud.

  15. When you hear what Sammy had to say I am yet again disgusted with how the board have conducted themselves. It is clear Neil wanted him to stay and for all his hot a cold remember how he drove us on v Karagandy in the final qualifier. Without him I don’t think we’d have had Champions league this season. Who will do the driving forward in Murrayfield this July if we’re in the s*** on a pitch that’s alien to us? As things stand I am also worried that the club will shaft Kris Commons too and flog him in January like Ledley. You only have to look at Twitter and YouTube to see what type of men these are and how decent they’ve been to fans.

  16. Bobby – From last blog – I’m on the same page fella. I was responding to accusations of said conspiracy from Ernie.



    Loved the big man but there is logic in letting him go for all the reasons that have been quoted – does put extra pressure on the summer. I’d love to see our stable defence complemented with more guile and artistry in midfield (another Naka) and there is every chance Pukki can fill in for Kris Commons if he kicks on (big if).



    Don’t see a footballer in Balde but he was a risk and we need to kiss a lot of frogs in our position – have a look at Ricky Van Wolfswinkel at Norwich for the definition of expensive dud – a guy a lot of our home grown agents plugged for previously.

  17. Recent practice indicates that Celtic often sign players for 4 years. (Sometimes 3 plus a 1 year option to the Club).



    People need to understand the quite massive elf between what we can pay, compared to the likes of Villa, Norwich, Fulham and the like. Even after they get relegated.



    So, any time we sign a ‘very good’ player (Victor, Virgil, Hooper, Ledley, Foster), it is VERY unlikely that the player will agree to sign a 2nd contract with us.



    As soon as they have a successful first year, these players realize that they can get 4 or 5 times our wages in the epl.



    As soon as they tell us they won’t be extending, then Celtic must decide how and when the inevitable sale takes place. Sometimes, players and agents will string us along. They will want to ‘focus on playing’. They will often say that they wanted to stay. (Joe Ledley). Sometimes, they will be up front and tell us it isn’t going to happen. (Victor).



    In either case, they sign or they don’t, and we need to decide what is best for Celtic.



    Players will often ‘want to stay’. Managers will rarely say anything other than ‘X is a good player, would have loved to have kept him’. Fans, well Celtic fans, will say ‘Peter Lawell is just doing it for his bonus’.



    And life goes on.



    So, get ready for 2 or 3 main players leaving every summer. Fraser and Virgil this summer. Mathews next summer, etc, etc.



    I think we need to understand this part of the equation. It is what it is.



    It is the OTHER part of the equation that needs attention.



    Rasmusson, Pukki, Balde, etc, etc, etc. We MUST do better at spending our money.



    Just my 12 million dollars worth….:)

  18. Weeron – Excellent summation but at the moment common sense and reality are not on the blog’s invitation list so let’s get back to the norm…



    Sack the board. Sack ra lot of them……

  19. 79caps…………………Spot on mate. Losing Sammy is a huge blow to our CL asperations. There is not another at the club even near the talent that we are letting go for nowt.



    Bad business Celtic.

  20. Geordie Munro on

    Is big fraz a definite for the squad just because ruddy is ruled out!?



    Butland and foster could be 2 and 3.



    Notcountingmychooks csc

  21. A cheap Sammi replacement, with little risk, could be Ciftci of DU. We know he’s good enough at SPFL level, he can play as lone striker or off the left flank, he appears to have a bit of attitude and looks as if he a pal of VVD by the looks of them on the field at full time yesterday.


    Looks a far better player than Balde and offers more than Pukki who appears to be in a permanent huff!!


    He would give the alternative to Griffiths/Stokes that Sammi does/did.

  22. Big, big sigh from me when anyone leaves Celtic and clearly doesn’t want to leave.



    Some players come and go after kissing badges and what have you.



    Georgios actually got what Celtic are about and for that we love him.



    The camera loves him and he’ll get some great exposure in Brazil, even if he doesn’t find the net.



    Good Luck Georgios and you are welcome back anytime.



    (Sure mark of a Celtic hero that, just ask Stan and Big John)




  23. Oscar positive thoughts unionbearBhind on

    Sorry to see big Sammi go, will Celtic still get the £50,000 from fifa for world cup, pity we don’t have wage sponsorship of players even if it was a year at a time, as he has come up with the goals needed in CL qualifiers as well as main event, he is a big occasion player and has paid his way in European cash generator. A lot of big names find it hard in these games, just look at Carlos Tévez at juve?

  24. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    winning captains 12:28


    Keep your eye on Allardyce situation at West Ham.




    He’ll be gone, for sure. Didn’t the odds on Poyet getting the job come crashing down?

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