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. Philbhoy



    “5 Cub Scout Badges”?



    Sorry to break this to you, but in this day and age that simply won’t cut the mustard. One of my daughters is in the scouts (I know, modren life gone daft!), and she comes home with about 4 new badges each week. Given the complete lack of sewing skills within the Clash household I think we’ll need to call time on her scouting activities pretty soon.

  2. How does one go about cancelling celtic tv ?



    Went onto site and it mentions about going to another website etc seems like a whole handling as we say in derry

  3. thomthethim for Oscar OK on




    Another view is that, as we know, NL has had two recent meetings with DD and PL, discussing last season and plans for next,



    I think it is reasonable to assume that, Neil was given the go ahead to plan for next season.



    If so, then it is also reasonable to assume that he was required to state his commitment to the club.



    However, there is no harm in him testing the water,to see what interest in him, if any, is out there.



    Personally, I think he is Championship level at the moment, though his stock will rise if he maintains the level of performance and style that he produced in the latter half of the season.

  4. TET



    so we are built on ash and clay






    Wish we had the Moonbeams and pipe-dreams Ipox has holding it up.

  5. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Mr Johnny Clash – 4 new badges every week?



    That must be a new world record.



    Have the Scouts gone Sevconian?

  6. Lenny wont get a top 6 team in epl unless he takes us beyond groups stages in europe a few teams.



    I wouldnt be too surprised thou if someone like newcastle offer him a job.. There similar to us. Sell there best and buy cheaper projects. Lennon has decent record in this .

  7. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    TomTheThim. I hope D.D.and PL. left Lennie with the clear message he must do better.H.H.

  8. thezombieslayer



    09:12 on 13 May, 2014



    In the history of Celtic sammy Is a average player and certainly no great he was rewarded well for the job he done and moves on with my best wishes to what ever club he steps down to .We have let much better players go in the past . I liked sammy as a person but strigfle to see him as a GREAT ??









    Sammi’s stats in top-level European competition ar eunrivalled since the King of Kings.



    That’s what we’re blindly letting go – modern greatness. A huge mistake.

  9. Geordie Munro on







    I’d take him should lenny leave seeing as he’s one of us ;)

  10. Gary67 (formerly Kayal33) on

    NL is 14/1 for West Brom job, 6/1 for Norwich and 4/1 for Fulham.


    Safe to say he’ll be staying!!

  11. Sometimes I wonder whether various posters live in the real world. Lenny is on a rolling one year contract he has his terms and conditions reviewed annually. He is hardly going to say I have no ambition to Manage anywhere else” ahead of this review”. Lenny is no fool, apart from the very rare breed of the likes of Ferguson & Wenger, a Manager’s life cycle is a short one. Lenny is already a “long serving Manager” by present average standards. My guess is that he will stay another year to lead us to 4 in a row and will then perhaps advise his agent to put the word out in the right places that he is open to offers.

  12. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma


    09:52 on


    13 May, 2014


    Once upon a time there was a five year old boy — who was, to be fair, only one of a long line of 5 year old boys.



    It doesn’t matter where he grew up or what colour of hair he had at the time, he was just a 5 year old boy and like many other such boys he dreamed of being a footballer.






    This was a tremendous post written with great clarity.







  13. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Some serious rewriting of history here.


    Comparisons are odious and comparing big John Hughes with anybody is odious.imho.


    Big Yogi was unique.A sensation when he first burst onto the scene,he remained so for several years.


    He was an absolute hero for young Tims of that era.Post 7-1.Pre Jock.


    Who else had a song dedicated to him? Blow up ” life size ” balloons of Yogi bear.


    Big John was the hero of his day.


    Accolades to big Billy and wee Jinky came later.

  14. macjay 1,



    I was a youngster at the time. I feel you’re the one rewriting history. The only real class footballer was Paddy Crerand. Yogi, to my mind, was always inconsistent. Maybe because he was thrust too quickly in to a first team, which was chosen at the whim of Sir Robert Kelly.

  15. Carrigan


    10:41 on


    13 May, 2014


    We seem to be in a bit of a turmoil at the moment.



    Big Johan gone,Sammy gone,Lenny openly saying that he wants EPL chance.



    We could be making room for RS with Sammy leaving but i have a nasty feeling that we have started to downsize even more from max25k to circa 15k. will be interesting when Broony’s contract comes up.



    One thing is for sure this team will have big problems in the UCLQ stage, nightmare if we get Malmö in the first round.






    I want Malmö because it’s less than an hours drive. From a footballing perspective though they are a decent outfit.

  16. Carrigan


    10:56 on


    13 May, 2014





    I read somewhere that we can meet the Swedish champions in the first round, if heaven forbid we get knocked out , then it is goodbye Europe.



    We will be playing away from home (Murrayfield) that in itself is a disadvantage.






    It’s up to all us to adopt Murrayfield in our hearts as our home for those nights. I think it’ll look pretty awesome in a sea of green and white. ;)