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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About Author






    Met a guy on Saturday who dwarfed the Rutherglen giants.






    No names but take a bow,big fella.



    (Only way I could make eye contact!)

  2. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Mea Culpa


    15:13 on


    12 May, 2014


    What a terrible dilemma . . . .



    wanting big FF to do really well, but for England to get pummelled at the same time.




    I used to feel that way.


    Until I realised that the more nationalities I met,the more I liked the English.

  3. Steinreignedsupreme




    15:18 on 12 May, 2014




    Mel was just five months in the West Brom electric chair, but he lasted twice as long as Rene Meulensteen at Fulham, who at least got to see the ole Michael Jackson statue on a regular basis.







    Ha! I’d forgotten about that! They’d have been better with a statue of Bubbles. Makes as much sense.

  4. !!Bada Bing!! on

    gg-Samaras dropped £1.2 mil on his Man City contract to sign for Celtic,a rarity in this day and age.I wish him the best of luck.HH

  5. The Battered Bunnet at 15:18 on 12 May, 2014


    Delighted to hear that K Park will be hosting a preseason friendly between EKFC and John Kennedy’s U20 Celtic development team. 19th July. Ole Jobo will surely be taking his seat beside the directors for that one.






    Glad I read that and equally glad that I haven’t yet made any firm holiday plans yet. Wonder if they’ll have another half time plant sale ;-)

  6. Quincy Adams Wagstaff on

    Sevco to get a Bryan Jackson statue – The administrator they always wanted……

  7. Dontbrattbakkinanger


    15:33 on


    12 May, 2014


    We’ve to get an ole Darren Jackson statue for the Celtic Way.





    I live not too far away from the Henke statue in Helsingborg.



    It’s right next to the beach



    I could stick it a speedboat and bring it over!



    Just need a few of you guys to meet me with a pickup along the Forth somewhere :D

  8. ernie lynch



    I agree though I can’t really see any link, however tenuous, between Jinky and Sammi.



    The link is rather obvious and you see it in your second point, below. Both were let go- that is it. When you obviously did see that, why would you say that you see no link at all. Other posters have taken Paul’s comparison badly because they failed to distinguish between a comparison and an equation.





    One point though is relevant. With Jinky it was Jock Stein’s decision, with Sammi it wasn’t NFL’s decision.



    If you read the Willie Wallace book and the bit about his transfer you will see that Wispy was not convinced that it was Jock’s wish but it still happened. Do you have information to the contrary?



    I am also interested that you dismiss NFL’s quotes on Sammi as “idiocy”. I like an assertion like that to be backed up with some evidence or explanation for the reasoning behind it. Can you provide that?

  9. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy on




    15:06 on 12 May, 2014


    Sevco planning to be level with Madrid in 4 years.





    Whit? Are they flattening the Bernebeu?

  10. Am thinkin the huns could have a statue of Samuel L Jackson.



    Oh wait, he’s already been in ‘Die Hard with a Vengeance’.

  11. bournesouprecipe



    15:06 on 12 May, 2014


    Sevco planning to be level with Madrid in 4 years.



    It seems Madrid aren’t happy with the timescales so Amianto R Us are starting work on the Bernebau as soon as the season finishes.

  12. Aikibhoy



    at 15.00



    Ah Agree wi thee…




    Celtic, ur Playing … right nooo..



    Sans Wingers.



    An.. Playing well… so it wid Seem..






    Ah believe , Notwithstandinng..



    that there is Nothing Like a Great Wingman..


    tae hiv in yer Line-up…



    Forrest, is an example of a Great Wingman..



    When he is Fit.



    Not always the case though..



    A Great Wingman, is wan who kin Tak oan a Man.. get tae the Bye-Line..






    Pass or Cross the Ba’ tae a Well Placed Colleague..ACCURATELY..n Successfully.. Time after Time.



    Yes.. n.. Speakin’ aboot ..



    That Pesky Woid.. ACCURATELY..



    Celtic, at this Time, to be honest..



    Dae Hiv a few Rampaging Full BACKS.. who kin..



    Tak oan a Man.. Get tae the Bye-Line… n..









    Sorry tae Relate.. but NOT WAN of oor Present Complement of Rampaging Full Backs..’



    Kin be RELIED oan ..



    Tae.. Pass or Cross the Ba’ .. ACCUARATELY n Successfully.. tae a well Place Colleague..time efter time..



    There is the Rub.







    We DAE hiv wan of they Rare Birdies.. in oor Yoof Team..



    At this Time.



    HIs Name???



    Like Always…




    Ah thought Ye wid Nevah Ask..







    He, singlehandedly.. Defeated the Rangers Yoofs.. in a game recently.. as he ,also, a few games Latah..



    Did,once again..



    in the Mair Recent.. Game .. oor Yoofs Played.. Agin the Dundee United Yoofs..



    Don’t Believe Me..?



    Well He Did.. so.



    Believe Me.. He ran the Rangers Left Back.. Ragged..



    HEGGARTY…. is his Name..and at the Time. Heggarty wiz a Sevco. First Team Left Back..oan occasion..



    But Efter Young Paul wiz thru wi him..



    HIs Name wiz.. RAGGEDY!



    Noo.. After the severe n Complete, “Doin’ ‘.. That Paul Gave him…



    Heggarty, Has bin .



    RELEASED by the Sevco.. at this Season’s End.




    Celtic, could sure use a Guy like Paul thur Line-Up..


    Especially, Come Euro Time.



    Right noo.. Neil should be Making his Plans…









    Again, like Always..



    Ah Dunno!



    Nice Chatting ,Pally.






  13. Phyllis Dietrichson on

    SFTB – said this just before the new article came up so forgive me re-posting.



    I read your chapter in the Seville book last night – very entertaining.



    Not sure I ever expected to read a reference to Marcel Proust’s “A la Recherche du Temps Perdu” in a Celtic book though.

  14. traditionalist88 on

    Hooper got 7 goals in 19 European games for us.



    Stokes has 2 goals in 17 European games.



    If there is a possibility of getting Hoops back we shouldn’t think twice. You can never have too many goalscorers…




  15. Morrissey the 23rd on

    Raphael Gellar ‏@raphaelg23


    From what I have been told, #Celtic’s Israeli player Beram Kayal has played his last match for Celtic yesterday. #CelticNews

  16. bournesouprecipe on

    When would you say, the thanking the bus driver as you leave custom started – never


    used to do that, or is it just me?



    FirstBus CSC

  17. Phylis D



    I was well aware that the charge of pretentiousness would be brought, but I went for it anywhere. There is also one piece of deliberate bad writing, in tribute to Daryl Broadfoot and his extended metaphors (who used to have a residence at the oul Burns Howff).



    Anyway, I blame Phil Mac for the pretentious bit. He used Marcuse in one of his articles so i took it from there.

  18. DownforSam


    Was thinking about putting visit at the end of an independence debate to generate a response(seriously , great minds and all that lol). But I have always been told not to get involved in other peoples arguments/ family feuds.

  19. I’ve always felt that Georgios was under appreciated. He always worked, and even when things went wrong I don’t remember him doing too much hiding. However, I think that is some ways his attitudes were too “continental” for the Scottish game – not enough blood and snotters. When something went wrong he would flounce – spread his arms and roll his eyes, and I think that didn’t help his cause with many supporters.



    I also think that he was often used badly by NL – just because you are big doesn’t mean you are a target man. Charlie Mulgrew is huge, but a target man he is not. The amount of high balls punted towards Samaras made me weep.



    Against a packed SPL defence, he couldn’t run with the ball, he always had 2 or 3 around him. Celtic’s mistake was in not realising that if 2 men are marking Samaras, that means that someone is unmarked elsewhere, and we never played to that strength. Jinky’s success was largely about making space for others.



    GS was not perfect. But he will be hard to replace. Given that Derk has not succeeded, and we are letting GS go for nothing, we are now entering next season with a real deficiency on the left-hand side of the park. We don’t have anyone who can give us an out ball in Europe. And as we found this season, if we don’t measure ourselves against Scottish opposition, then we must do well in Europe. From what I see, I don’t think we have learned that lesson. The difference for next season is that many transfers will be delayed until after Brazil, so any new players will have little time to settle.



    Good luck, Georgios, and thanks.

  20. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy on

    macjay1 for neil lennon



    15:26 on 12 May, 2014


    Mea Culpa


    15:13 on


    12 May, 2014


    What a terrible dilemma . . . .



    wanting big FF to do really well, but for England to get pummelled at the same time.




    I used to feel that way.


    Until I realised that the more nationalities I met,the more I liked the English.





    Got to agree. I like the English people I have met. I’ll be hoping they do well in Brazil. The media tend to annoy me, however, with their xenophobia when England play in these tournaments but that’s not the fault of the players or ordinary fans. Since Emlyn and Ballie retired, i’ve gradually come to support England when RoI or Scotland are not involved.

  21. I hope some of you guys keep your blog name a secret from your bosses.


    The ammount of people here willing to accept a pay cut is unreal. Or is it only if someone else receives a pay cut

  22. I was tickled to see the name of the guy trying to defend the MIH pension plan against David Murray’s raid on it. He was called Stephen Foster, same as the mid 19th century songwriter who penned such appropriate Minstrel classics as :-



    My Old Ibrox Home


    Oh! Sup’rsally don’t you cry no more


    Hard Times Come Again Once More


    & The Bassas in the Cold, Cold Ground

  23. fieldofdrams on

    OK here’s a rumour I thought I’d start today, seeing as the MSM would only do it tomorrow anyway.



    West Ham sack Big Sam. Sam goes to West Brom (Paul Lambert can’t go there due to his Villa connection).



    Pardew ‘mutually consented’ by Newcastle.



    Pardew goes to West Ham.



    NFL immediately linked to Newcastle job.



    Paul Lambert returns to Celtic.



    Naah…never happen.

  24. Kojo



    I would love to see McGreedy and Snoddy and Forrest down the wings..



    Wi one of our youngsters as backup… a la Paul McMullen



    but it’s never likely to happen :)

  25. !!Bada Bing!!


    16:06 on 12 May, 2014


    McInnes in to 12/1 from 33/1 for W Brom job



    Wouldn’t be surprised if he went there, ex player, still well thought of and fits the MO of the type of manager they usually appoint (Pepe Mel was the exception)

  26. Afternoon Champions.hope this note finds a smile on your faces.


    I see The Champions goalkeeper is included in the England squad.a big well done to Fraser Foster for the hard work you put in and thanks for the kudos it brings Celtic.HH



    On the peerage patter front.:-))


    Is there a correlation between the title bestowed and how much you dip lizzys pocket for?


    davie murray skanked the taxpayer for millions, purveyor of distressed ‘paper’ companies with a side habit of failing to meet pensions promised-gets a knighthood! !


    Take that- millions made damaging our sense of hearing and they avoid tax-get mbe’s


    Reward and patronage for failure abounds around us.




    An T




  27. !!Bada Bing!! on

    K33- seems a strange structure at W Brom, Clarke said he didn’t have any say on players in or out,he picked and coached the team,continental set up.

  28. It hiz bin … Reported ..






    Tony Watt, Tom Rogic, Calum McGregor n Jackson Irvine..



    wull ALL be returning tae Celtic.. at this Season’s Close.



    If..this Reportage is ..Pukka… then..



    Ah am .. well. Surprised..



    No.. Delightedly so… But..



    Jist.. well. Surprised..



    fur, by Ma Lights..



    Baith ..



    Tony Watt n possibly McGregor.. wid be worth a Return…but , not wan of the Ithers.



    Tom Rogic.. nor Jackson Irvine, Ah think,



    wull NEVAH Mak It, tae get a Spot in oor First Team Pool.



    Ah thought Rogic wid be a Much bettah Prospect than.. he turned oot tae Be..



    Diz he Hiv a Personality Problem?





    Ah Dunno!



    But.. There is Something aboot the Lad that Bothers me.. n . withevah it is..



    It is Holiding Him Back..



    Jackson Irvine, in ma Opinion.. Is a Young Guy.. who jist wullnae Mak the Grade..






    Noo.. Ah always Liked Calum.. Ah saw him a Few times in the Yoofs Set Up..n…he struck me as a Kid who wiz a Hard Worker..



    Noo. Hard Workers ur at a Premium.. nooadays..



    N.. Show me a Guy who is a Hard Worker n N Ah wull..



    Be . . well.. Surprised!







  29. fieldofdrams



    16:04 on 12 May, 2014



    Nah, never happen.



    How could any of this come to pass when Bazza Ferguson is available?

  30. Thunder Road on

    If any English clubs come up here looking for a new manager, surely they will be after the manager of the year?