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. Aikibhoy



    at 14.00



    Hiya, Pally? Great tae Greet ye..



    Yes.. Ah also like the Idea of Blooding.. as you hiv Suggested.






    Celtic, hiv no System in Place that wull allow that tae Happen.



    Why? . Ah Dunno!



    Celtic,shoould have a Procedure, in Situ, tae Keep the Peerie Spinning..



    A Shuttle .. a Converyor Belt. Ye know whit Ah mean..???



    A Set up, that wid ensure that No Stone wid be left Unturned.. in the Honorable Pursuit


    of Promoting ..n….. Encouraging Any Likely Lad , from ooor Yoof Set up .. who Captured oor Interest , because of his Current Displays in the Yoof Games.



    Na. Ah am afraird that We do Not have that Kinda System In place, at Parkheid oan the Clyde..



    N.. We Damn well.. Should!



    Ah hiv kept tabs oan Young Paul. Fur a Long, Long, time



    Ma Spies tell Me. the Kid Is Ready…



    n… Ah agree.



    Sure ,he is No the Finished Article.. but..



    He is Young n eager.. he wull Learn , pretty rapidly.. He has the Gift.



    only, though…



    If he is Given the Chance.. like right… Noo..



    Ah believe that we wid No regret it..






    We need a good Back up fur.. Jamesie..



    Jamesie,in Ma opinion.



    IS MISSED… He is a real Live Spark..



    But…he is Very Injury Prone..



    Young Paul, wid be the Ideal Back up. Plus , Paul kin Play oan



    EITHER WING.. as kin Jamesie..






    Nice Chatting Pal..






  2. Just wanted to say………



    Thanks Sammi, you were never my favourite player, indeed, I was one of the many who constantly criticised your performances on the park. However, my respect for you is boundless, for the way you conducted yourself on and off the park, and for your love of the club. Your gesture yesterday with Wee Jay, was typical of you, and will be one of my abiding memories of your time at Celtic. I look forward to seeing you back at Paradise in the future, (just, gonny no’ play!), and I hope you have a great World Cup.



    Thanks again Sammi.



    Loved the man, not the player!




  3. Tom Molach………………Sammy was easier marked this year as he was the ONLY outlet. The year before we were stronger with Wanyama and Hooper down the middle, we did not improve when they were replaced.


    Bitton, Steph, Lustig,VVD, Efe, FF/ give us a good platform


    Sammy is a HUGE loss.

  4. Yup a “system” is exactly what we need kojo.. a proper rotation that includes the youths and fringe players.. we have the quality in the ranks to be able to do this and should take advantage of this luxury.



    I am of the opinion that wee burned out wee Jamesy too quick.. before his body had stopped growing.

  5. Good news for Celtic and for Fraser that he’s been selected for the World Cup squad. He may not get a chance to play. But as another excellent CQN-er has point out – who knows? Hart may drop a clanger. That wool can be very slippery when wet.

  6. Morrissey the 23rd on




    A couple of times I looked at everyone from the stage view and wished I could have filmed it. Everyone smiling and happy. Billy No’Well enjoyed himself too.



    The lovely Saba is not happy that I missed my last train AGAIN. She would probably be speaking to me by now if I had gone home after the game instead of a League win celebration in my local Celtic bar.



    Great couple of days.

  7. traditionalist88 on

    AikiBhoy:I am of the opinion that wee burned out wee Jamesy too quick.. before his body had stopped growing.





    Old Rangers(RIP) made the same mistake with Super Ally;) In fact they got it so wrong its still growing now, 2 years after their death…




  8. bournesouprecipe on

    ernie lynch



    The Sammi story? – or are you going to ignore the question again, or pretend you didn’t see it.



    WeeCanSeeYou CSC

  9. The Comfortable Collective on

    This is how it will pan out.



    Hart will break his finger in training a week before the first game. With Ruddy called up as replacement.



    Ben Foster will play in England’s first game and have a nightmare of a performance.



    Fraser Forster will play in the second game and have a non descript performance.



    FF will keep his place for the third game and have a world class performance which keeps England in the tournament.



    He has a solid performance in the last 16 keeping a clean sheet.



    He has another world class performance in the quarter final but alas a wonder goal from Brazil sends England oooot.

  10. bournesouprecipe on

    Still haven’t used my Amazon voucher I got for Christmas, but I’m defo getting two piranha fish.

  11. !!Bada Bing!! on

    My mate dropped off Pukki’s agent at CP this morning for “talks with PL”







    She’ll come round,mate.



    Spoil her a bit-she’s got my phone number,remember. Get yer finger oooooot!

  13. Morrissey the 23rd on

    I’m glad Filip Twardzik got man of the match. I thought he played fantastic. I felt really sorry for him scoring the OG. There really wasn’t anything he could have done about that. Looking forward to seeing him in the first team again.

  14. Joe Filippis Haircut



    14:21 on 12 May, 2014



    Yes you are correct, that is what Sammi is saying. He wasn’t offered a contract. I can’t be certain, but I don’t think he would lie.



    Not being offered a contract and not discussing an extension are two different things, though even failing to do the latter is a legitimate course for the club if reckons that is best for the club.



    Sammi has an idea what he is looking for in terms of his next contract. He will have an idea on the length of contract he wants and he will know what he expects as a weekly wage. There is no shame in that being way beyond the value Celtic put on him.



    I know some have said a few weeks ago that Neil was saying Sammi was a £5m player. Is that how much Neil would pay for him? If it is then I would worry about that. The truth was that he was £0m player at that time. Could he have been saying that Sammi’s wages were in line with a £5m player?



    I understand that folk are disappointed that Sammi is going and they feel that is a mistake.



    Personally I don’t have a concern about him leaving. He has done well for us. It is now time for someone else to do well for us.








    Very good…



    Has Beverley recovered yet from her scary man experience?

  16. traditionalist88 on



    14:43 on


    12 May, 2014





    Aye.. that body is still growing for sure!












  17. AikiBhoy



    Yes.. Ah agree.. Jamesie.. wiz alwiz a Risky Play.. as he had a History of


    being Injury prone, even as a youngster.



    Why wiz that.. well..



    Ah Dunno!



    Paul,on the Ither a Tough wee Egg…



    If ye look at his Physique.. ye wull see that He is .. Small In Stature..’



    But. Clyde Built.. in Strength.. Good Pair a Shooders oan Him..



    Stocky.. He is a Wee bit Biggah than… Boabby Collins wiz.. but he has a Similar



    Physical Frame..



    Anyway ye cut it.. or Dice it…



    We need anither Wingman..



    n.. Neil. Knows that, well..



    That is Why we went oot.. n Goat..



    Boeriggter… fur a Sammi or Forrest Back up..




    But. Boy,,,




    Did We get a wrang Number!



    We should be mair aware of Whit we Hiv in oor Yoof System… that should where we should Look.. First..




    Insteed…. We.. well.. ????



    Nice Chatting..





    Still Laughin’

  18. Sad to see Sammi go but in football every player has his price and his time.



    I suppose it is also all about money these days and I probably boiled down to was he asking too much or was he being offered too little.



    Summing up Sammi would be that at his best he was unplayable but he lacked consistency and that probably stopped him being a great player.



    However knowing Sammi he will probably turn it on in Brazil and be one of the stars of the World Cupl!!! .



    Best wishes big a man.

  19. bournesouprecipe



    14:39 on 12 May, 2014



    There’s no story.



    Nothing to see.



    Everything’s fine.



    What we must remember, above all, is that for many people Celtic is a comfort blanket in difficult and troubling times, and it would be unkind to deprive them of that comfort.

  20. TBJ says Wee Oscar Knox is in heaven with the angels on

    I remember leaving hampden after the 0-2 semi against the staggies



    Was a bit down ….. A big bit down … Then listened to NFL on the radio saying some of the big name players let themselves and the club down today . That he might not be there next season but he thought they might be gone too



    I thought … He’s meaning samaras and a couple of others … But sammi was the obvious choice



    I seem to recall another statement that sammi was the kind of player who can get a manager his jotters ( can anyone confirm this )



    So given that was 3 years ago sammi must have done something to change Neil’s mind .



    But does it mean nfl will recommend a new contract on £1m a year

  21. bournesouprecipe



    14:41 on 12 May, 2014



    Still haven’t used my Amazon voucher I got for Christmas, but I’m defo getting two piranha fish.




    The ole Piranhas gave us a useful tune or two :-)



  22. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Happy for big Frase himself,but this is a refection on Celtic.


    One of the top three England goalies(according to Hodgson) plays for Celtic.


    More importantly,it may convince Fraser that playing for Celtic does not harm his understandable England ambitions.


    Come home,Gary.

  23. pedrocaravanachio67 on

    Ernie @ 14:14



    Wouldn’t be surprised if they left the engines on and the plane on the tarmac.

  24. bournesouprecipe on




    Ha – they’ll go with Munn and Dunning, The Battered Bunnet’s two cats which are actually Puma’s that wreak havoc on the ole braes Bird life.

  25. Bawsman



    14:34 on 12 May, 2014



    Yes you are right. Sammi was easily marked because he didn’t have the others like Wanyama etc.



    They aren’t coming back. We are playing a different way. How will Sammi not be easily marked again in the next CL group if we get there?

  26. I wonder what odds you would get on Helena Costa being a Celtic manager in the future?



    She said: “Celtic, as a club, is amazing. They are special to me – I am a Celtic supporter and always will be, regardless of what my future holds.


    She added: “Scotland is beautiful – I toured the north on holiday when I was younger and I told my friends at Celtic this. They laughed and reminded me that we have good beaches and great weather in Portugal but I told them I found Scotland beautiful.”



    Celtic have always been open to all!

  27. 67 European Cup Winners on

    Paul you have (regardlesss of what you write) my utmost respect – your writting is the highlight of my day and you are more than a credit to my beloved Celtic


    But as Winston Churchill said “I may not believe in what you say but I will fight and die for your right to say it” – 2 Things


    1) Jinky in the same page let alone the same sentance is simply not on with Georgious


    2) In 6 years he has simply not done it enough – little flashes yes – but (my opinion) not nearly as much as we expect from a Celtic Player



    I wish him nothing but success and happiness a charming man I would have him round my house for dinner and I would welcome a pint with the man – seemingly a wonderful human being – Legend – no, his departure liked to Jinky – no, a Celtic Great – no




  28. bournesouprecipe on

    ernie lynch



    Thanks for clearing that up, I didn’t think you had a scoop.



    Step away from the window dear, its not half as bad as you think it is. CSC

  29. “Sammi loved our club.”


    “Sammi got it.”


    “Sammi wanted to stay.”



    For me Sammi loved the club so much, he wasn’t prepared to take a wage cut to stay.


    Despite Celtic having nurtured him through a series of injuries and questionable form.


    Can anyone really say that Sammi has been earning his corn recently?


    Can anyone point out the number of supporters’ club functions Sammi attended?


    Can anyone point to the Celtic sponsored charitable efforts he supported or promoted?


    Can anyone point out how he measured up to the efforts of Kris Commons or his classy wife in supporting community causes?



    Sammi loved his monthly cheque.


    Sammi was well rewarded for his time with us.


    Sammi is rightly focused on his next source of income.


    I have no problems with any of the above as a playing career is short and sometimes lucrative.



    Celtic have done Sammi a huge favour.


    He is now a free agent and will not only command a large signing on fee, but will also be affordable to a greater pool of clubs.



    Sammi Thanks for the wonderful memories, but they will never be on the same level as my memories of Jinky, King Billy, Bertie Auld, Big Yogi, John Clark, Henrik, Sutton, Dunky Mackay, and a myriad of real Celtic stars.

  30. Steinreignedsupreme on

    ernie lynch 14:47 on 12 May, 2014



    That is a rubbish reply. Worthy of Chris Graham.

  31. well done big Fraz.


    ye dont need to go to England to go to the World Cup it seems, it’s just the money


    that’s better.



    If hooper had stayed and not listened to his agent (who he sacked not long after move i think) I’m sure he’d have banged in 30+ up here and been on that plane wae “the great wall.” numpty



    Big Sammy.


    many thanks and hope it goes well for you wherever you go.


    Another 1 who got it and who has always been a credit to the club.


    His wages will be (consistently) better spent elsewhere. (Robertson, Armstrong & May)


    If ye think/believe Neil isnt in the know about wages, transfers, out of contract goings on, etc ye are dumber than the average bear!!!!


    It could have been handled better as always with the backroom stuff


    for some reason….mcnamara, big jock, etc etc. im sure some of the posters (DBBINA, awe naw etc) can expand on the list.



    anyway onwards and upwards…are the sevco huns deid yet?????





    14:46 on 12 May, 2014










    Very good…



    Has Beverley recovered yet from her scary man experience?




    Wee NatKnow was very crabbit Saturday mate! Nothing to do with Hootenanniers I hasten to add – she had a sleepover the night before and had just woken up after the drive through from Edinburgh and everything (and I mean EVERYTHING!) was causing her to moan. She takes after her mother in that respect. On the way back to the car she complained that the traffic was making her feel ill and that “a small snack of ice-cream might help” Wee chancer! Sounds like you guys had a good day – I hope to join in properly next time. :-)

  33. jude2005 is Neil Lennon \o/ on







    Comes from an old Perry Como song where he says HOTDOG at the end I always do the same when I sing California Blue on the karaoke.

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