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. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon, supporting WEE OSCAR..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    Our financial strategy now rightly includes not retaining players we will not get a return on, unless they are truly exceptional…..!!

  2. Josimar is Neil Lennon on

    glad to have helped out selling the badges yesterday.


    missed the first 30mins of the game.


    I would like to think the players were just waiting for us to get seated before they started to raise the tempo and score a few goals

  3. ernie lynch



    13:10 on 12 May, 2014



    In all honesty neither you, nor I, know the “circumstances” of Sammi’s departure. We have read Sammi’s side of things. We haven’t seen anything from the club.



    This is what one daily paper had as a headline:


    “Georgios Samaras claims his Celtic exit is due to chairman Peter Lawwell not offering him a new Parkhead deal”



    It must be true that Chairman Lawell did this as it is in the papers.



    What we do know is that Celtic honoured Sammi’s contract and will continue to pay him until it ends. We also know that Sammi honoured the contract. That’s how it should be.



    Sammi and his agent must have an idea what they think he is worth. If Celtic thought this value was a good deal for the club (actual cost versus forecast benefits) then he would have been offered a new deal. If the actual cost is too high or the forecast benefits too low, then it is correct that the club do not re-sign him.



    As we have seen over the years, even on this small blog, the supporters’ views on Sammi’s worth varies. You and many others obviously think he had a key part to play in European games. I and others feel he was ineffective in this season’s CL group stage.



    His skill and strength was nullified. That is not a criticism of George. I am merely pointing out that teams had learned how to counter Celtic’s strength. It is now up to the manager to come up with a new strength; a new way of playing in Europe; something that will get us into the group stage and ensure we can compete throughout the following six matches.



    I hope George has a great world cup and gets a deal with a good club that offers him a contract that meets his valuation. He has a good 5 or 6 years ahead of him. He gave us a good 6 years.

  4. Steinreignedsupreme on

    bournesouprecipe 13:26 on 12 May, 2014



    “Speculation about our manager is best left to the ole de tractor boys.”



    It’s the time of the year sure. When all the body language experts come on and tell us ‘Lenny’s looks like he’s leaving’.



    Only five weeks to go before the ole panic sets in over meaningless pre-season results and people come on with the ole ‘Celtic should refund the fans that paid good money to travel to the game’ routine.

  5. ernie lynch



    11:52 on 12 May, 2014


    big wavy



    11:29 on 12 May, 2014



    There is something to see here.



    And the something isn’t pleasant.



    That’s why you’re in denial.



    big wavy



    11:54 on 12 May, 2014


    Alright Ernie, I know I’ll probably regret this but what’s the plot I’m missing from what looks like a prioritisation / budgetary issue at the club ?






    11:55 on 12 May, 2014


    ernie lynch



    Could you explain that, or are you just trying to trouble the blog as usual?






    You never did provide an explaination for your comment, could you expand on what there is to see or are you as bournesouprecipie states being your usual troublesome self?

  6. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on

    Afternoon ghents



    Great days out Saturday and Sunday …suffering now



    Wonderful to meet so many new faces…no idea who you are now tho






    many thanks for the BP…i made it home with it intact








    I shelled out a fair few quid for the Brentford match and Celtic put out the development squad!



    Had a great day,a refund never crossed my mind.



    And watching our future was a joy.

  8. martybhoy59



    13:46 on 12 May, 2014



    I’m just being troublesome.



    Everything in the garden’s lovely and there’s no cause for concern about anything.

  9. Is Sammi Gone Yet?



    If/When he Diz.. will he Be Missed?



    Na… Of Course, he wullnae!



    So… whit is awe the Fuss aboot?



    Ah say Promote.. the Kid. He wull soon mak us Forget .. The Greek.



    Which Wan?



    Ah thought Ye wid Nevah ask…



    Paul McMullan.



    Yep.. this Kid is Ready..



    He wull Light up oor LEFT WING..or oor Right Wan..



    He kin Run like a Linty, Cross a Delectable Ba’.. Take oan a Man or Two or Three …



    Forsooth.. He Kin.



    Gie the Kid a Break .. Promote him.. Neil.. Ah Dare Ye!





    Still, Laughin’





    Dirty stop-out….



    Cheers for getting Billy along. Great do.

  11. F.A.B. Virgil on

    Really sad to see the big man go for 3 reasons:



    1. My daughter hisnay stopped greetin since yesterday’s confirmation


    2. We no longer have a CL outball that can be held up to bring others into the game


    3. A player that wanted to play for our club



    On the Fergie scale though this is what he did very successfully. Moved people at their peak. See Becham, Ince etc. However, he always had the replacement lined up BEFORE he moved someone.



    For me that’s the missing bit in our approach.



    If Neil is exploring his options then he should put a big line through West Ham. It is a club going backwards not forwards. He should only join a club going forwards and that is reasonably well run. I suspect he needs a achive a few things before actually moving:



    1. A treble


    2. A 4 in a row (that takes him past Gordon)


    3. A Europa League final following a third place group finish a la Benfica




  12. Have not really had a chance to scroll back so don’t know if it’s been covered but DR back page on a truly remarkable day for Celtic , both on and off the park ( atmosphere, Oscar tribute, Foundation collection etc etc) and the best they can do is a negative headline about Sammi’s lack of a contract offer. Hurting hurting Huns . I know I bang on about it a bit but why oh why do Celtic supporters purchase this muck. Read the other day on the blog their circulation down over 12%. Let’s keep it going that way.


    On a completely separate issue I had posted a number of times re what people where up to yesterday, before and after game. Just to put faces to blog names. Posted over this past three weeks and right up to kick off time yesterday. We pride ourselves on our CQN community but not one reply,nada,zilch.


    I realise Hootennanny. Oscar tribute etc but if you speak to complete stranger/someone on street you would expect some sort of reply?.?. As far as I’m aware my serial murderer convictions are spent lol.


    Disappointedbutnotflouncing CSC

  13. Ernie



    You are avoiding the question, with an easy cop out statement, please provide some facts to back up your statement of “there is something to see here and that something is not pleasant”

  14. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    macjay- there will soon be a clamour in the MSM for the return of Kwistoffer; ideally coming on as an impact sub for Gerd Miller.

  15. Kojo… Paul McMullan?



    Great wee player but you have to be sure you don’t break them before their bodies have fully matured.. he needs a few more years for that..



    Blood him?



    I say yes but be careful with the lad.. you know?



    I am in favour of rotating the youngsters more often as long as we take care of them.



    It is good to see however (in my eyes), that the management team are showing signs that they are becoming aware of these factors.

  16. Steinreignedsupreme on




    “I shelled out a fair few quid for the Brentford match and Celtic put out the development squad!



    “Had a great day, a refund never crossed my mind.



    “And watching our future was a joy.”



    The only thing you were watching was the barmaids in The Globe.



    Besides, it was only great day because we, ahem … ‘rioted’ and showed our support for that Al-Qaeda mob.



    At least that was the inference in the ole media. Must be true, eh?



    Hope you a good time on Saturday. Raging I missed it.

  17. Geordie Munro on

    Fraser in*





    Fraser oot*




    Ye heard it hear first.




    *delete as appropriate.

  18. Haven’t posted in along time, been mostly a lurker, but just want to say RIP wee Oscar, one of the bravest wee guys in the world, god bless you and your Family.



    Also wanted to say, I am a Sammi fan, he has not always impressed but when it mattered most, in big games, he was the man, and I feel that Lenny and the club have been misleading the fans on this one, Lenny told everyone that he was offered a contract and he had not signed it, which seems now not the case. So either Lenny has been told lies by PL or he has misled the Fans, I cannot believe that if Lenny wanted Sammi to stay, that PL would go against him? I must point out that I am also a Lenny fan but this whole story doesn’t sit well with me especially as Sammi got a lot of stick “for not signing”.


    Back to lurking :) Hail Hail

  19. gearoid1998



    I stopped posting for same reason. Get involved in Scottish Independence debate . That usually gets a response.

  20. traditionalist88 on

    Great that Fraser is in the squad for the WC, even though he may require a rest period that covers a CL qualifier.



    However the bigger picture is the message that this sends out.



    Could ramble on a lot about attitudes to football in Scotland but suffice to say moving to Scotland not such a bad move after all, particulary when its Celtic calling!




  21. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on



    14:00 on


    12 May, 2014



    Give us a break ,mate.


    That`s a tad cryptic.


    Kwis being the Kwillie stwika,I take it.

  22. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    I am concerned if Sammi is right that he did not get offered a new contract and if Lennie is telling the truth that he wanted Sami to stay.It points to the situation that what Lennie says is not taken into account now this surprises me as I always thought Lennie was his own man and as the manager he would decide who would stay and who would go.Now this appears not to be the case and if he was his own man he would tell Celtic that he didnt want to work in a role where as manager he did not have the say in which players come in to the club and which players leave the club and if it wasnt sorted out to his satisfaction he would be moving on to another club where he had that level of control over the playing staff.Or is that to simplistic ?

  23. traditionalist88



    14:05 on 12 May, 2014


    Great that Fraser is in the squad for the WC, even though he may require a rest period that covers a CL qualifier.



    However the bigger picture is the message that this sends out.



    Could ramble on a lot about attitudes to football in Scotland but suffice to say moving to Scotland not such a bad move after all, particulary when its Celtic calling!







    I don’t think Fraser will need much rest after the World Cup, I doubt he’ll get a game unless Hart gets injured.

  24. DownForSam



    14:04 on 12 May, 2014



    Talking about independence debate, would England winning the world cup help the YES or NO vote?

  25. Steinreignedsupreme on

    BIG-CUP-WINNERS 13:50 on 12 May, 2014



    “That’s part of the annual calendar!”



    Dispersed by the ole songs debate and, for a limited period, the all-singing, all-dancing independence debate.

  26. traditionalist88 on




    Possibly but he still won’t have had a summer break, still we cross that bridge when we come to it.




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