From Stein to Deila in the League Cup


Jock Stein won his first five League Cups as Celtic manager (no pressure, Ronny) but in the 43 years since we’ve won the trophy only eight times, including yesterday.

There has been a bit of chat that the Treble is a bit easier since Rangers were liquidated, but, if you know your history, you’ll know that’s not really borne out by the facts.

We’ve won three of the last 10 League Cups and lost to Rangers once but the six other defeats in that period have come at the hands of the likes of Morton, St Mirren and Kilmarnock.  What’s more, Falkirk, Hearts (twice) and Morton all knocked us out at Celtic Park.  We haven’t actually lost an away game in the League Cup for over a decade.  25 of our 35 defeats since Stein’s five-in-a-row have come to teams other than Rangers.

Here is a list of our eventual outcomes in the League Cup, winners or those who eliminated us:

2014-15 Winners
St Mirren
2008-09 Winners
2005-06 Winners
Rangers (November 2004 Celtic’s last away defeat in the League Cup)
2000-01 Winners
1999-00 Winners
1997-98 Winners
Raith Rovers
Dundee United
Dundee United
1982-83 Winners
St Mirren
Dundee United
St Mirren
1974-75 Winners
Partick Thistle

At the 40th anniversary of Lisbon I wrote about the 1965-66 until 1969-70 period.  Jock Stein won 12 of the 15 domestic trophies available, five Leagues, five League Cups and two Scottish Cups.  We also won and lost a European Cup Final, while beating champions from Italy, Portugal France and England.

That we went on to win nine-in-a-row disguised the fact that the real glory era ended in 1970.  The last four title winning seasons were not characterised by beating anyone substantial in Europe (notwithstanding the fact that we reached two European Cup semis) and a series of capitulations in League Cup Finals. The downwards trajectory from beating Leeds at Hampden and finishing fifth in the league in 1978 is evident.

Two inferences can be drawn:

Winning trebles is incredibly difficult.  One slip, one bad tackle leading to a red card, and you are up against it.

Teams who aspire to genuine historical greatness never switch off. 

We have a ‘never switch off’ manager. No more Mortons, Falkirks or Raith Rovers’.

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  1. tonydonnelly67



    12:59 on 16 March, 2015


    Great game yesterday, well done everyone you deserve high prais from us all, now it’s on to Wednesday and another hard game with this mob, I must say that McGowan that’s plays on the right flank for Untd. Walks a very very tight rope, he pushes the envelope that’s for sure I doubt if he will finish the game on Wednesday , in my opinion he is ready to snap.

  2. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    What about us sensible chaps who stopped drinking early?



    Friday,Saturday and Sunday it’s been a tiring weekend and I’m off work today in preparation for tomorrow 8))

  3. All those moaning about Jackie Mac’s character must forget what a moaning-baby-faced wee git he was when he played with us. His manager persona is exactly the same. His team seem to feel so hard done by that they forget to play fitba’ and attempt numerous assaults. McGowan and Dixon are two loathsome creatures on a pitch. Coupled with Paton and Rankin then they are quite an ugly bunch.



    Their part-time fans I was next too were nice as well. Seemingly shouting “yer a junkie pedoo” while wearing double denim for 90 mins isn’t an arrestable offence as is throwing coins and cola cups. Im not going to get all holy after our away supports behaviour last week.



    Round three on Wednesday then.



    It’s getting tetchy aint it?

  4. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Hmm – we beat “Rangers” (2012) in the League Cup. Didn’t get the chance to play them in the Scottish Cup as they were knocked out by the mighty Raith. They are currently 24 points behind Hearts who finished 76 points behind us last season, so I reckon we would have just about held them off in the league!

  5. BT,



    A hail hail to the pups too.



    I put in a mibee holiday for today, when I woke up at 10.00 it became a….holiday :))



    Must admit, I bought a daily record today, just couldn’t resist it as there was hunners there as no hunners will buy one today…it’ll come in handy, forgot to get toilet roll…:))

  6. ACGR



    Ahhhhhhh…hangover is kickin in big style thought i got to bed around 11 apparently it was 3




  7. Hi Paul67,



    Quite right, it’s the consistency that’s necessary to get a treble that eludes teams, over the course of a season the best team are going to win the league, not so the Cups. With one down it’s still a tough ask. But winning a Cup without conceding a goal – that’s the mark of a great team.






    blantyretim @ 12:56,



    Has Armstrong been left out of the Scotland squad?




    Celtic trio Stuart Armstrong, Gary Mackay-Steven and Leaigh Griffiths have missed out, as have on form English Premier League players George Boyd and Matt Phillips.



    Gordon Strachan’s men face Northern Ireland in a friendly at Hamden on March 25 before returning to the national Stadium on March 29 for a Euro 2016 qualifier against Gibraltar.






    Craig Gordon


    David Marshall


    Allan McGregor






    Christophe Berra


    Craig Forsyth


    Alan Hutton


    Russell Martin


    Mark Reynolds


    Andrew Robertson


    Steven Whittaker






    Ikechi Anya


    Scottt Brown


    Darren Fletcher


    Shaun Maloney


    James McArthur


    James Morrison


    Matt Ritchie


    Johnny Russell






    Steven Fletcher


    Stevie May


    Ross McCormack


    Steven Naismith


    Jordan Rhodes




    Hail Hail

  8. K_Giggsy_G



    13:07 on 16 March, 2015



    ‘All those moaning about Jackie Mac’s character must forget what a moaning-baby-faced wee git he was when he played with us.’







    I thought he was a very effective captain and a much underrated player.



    Maybe not the blood and snotters type that a section of the fanbase seem to prefer, but there you go.

  9. skyisalandfill on

    No more Mortons, Falkirks or Raith Rovers.



    Whit is with these plurals of clubs. Sounds uncannily like Keevins drivel about the Motherwells, St Johnstones etc.



    Shirley there are only 2 clubs in Scotland that can be described in such as way and one of them is Airdrie.



    Actually a good article or should that be articles




  10. lennon's passion on

    Well done to Craig Gordon, Tony Stokes, Chris Commons,Izzy,Broonie and Ronny for coming out with the cup last night at parkhead. Took time to take pictures sign autographs. The rest who turned back and went inside aren’t fit to wear the Celtic top.

  11. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy on

    Confident we’ll win again on Wednesday night. Can’t wait. Missed out going to yesterday’s game but really looking forward to the Cup replay. I’ll probably still be nursing a hangover from St. Patrick’s Day :-))

  12. Paton is a horrible character. I wonder if he gets dogs abuse from the likes of Motherwell fans for opting to play for Northern Ireland.



    His antics in the first few minutes had Nir Bitton looking at the referee in amazement after the eejit threw himself in the air when nobody even made contact. He was awarded a foul of course.



    Ryan Dow is a tidy player but goes to ground very easily, just like Pawlet at Aberdeen – I think it worked against him on the penalty claim

  13. 50 shades of green on

    Had a catchy we tune in my head all day today and couldn’t figure out why, anybody help? It goes like —–O Alfie Alfie —Alfie Alfie Alfie Alfie Alfies Gone.

  14. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Have none of our managers since Jock won the two domestic cups more than once each?


    Go get em Ronny!

  15. @charliemac



    I agree with most of what you say regarding Paton but disagree about the Biton tackle. It was an honest challenge but when it was clear Paton was there first Biton pulled out the tackle.



    Paton on the other hand was attempting evasive action not knowing if Biton was going to pull out. It looked a bit silly but it was just two pros trying to avoid getting anyone hurt.



    Remember when McGeady was sent off for “diving” when he was getting out of the way of a Hibs player trying to take him out?

  16. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    I think mon won Scottish cup a couple of times hibs and Dunfermline maybe?

  17. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Dundee Utd too u think so I think Martin won 3 Scottish cups and 2 league cups

  18. Richie #TeamOscarForever on



    20:38 on


    15 March, 2015



    OldTim, nice gesture.


    I was happy to pass it on to one of the good guys.


    I thought Richie got mine though, doesn’t really matter, either way I was happy.






    I did get yours pal but you had already paid so I gave the money to some guy who runs about a lot!

  19. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    Ticket secured for Saturday if you need/want another let me know and I’ll contact Milish,

  20. Geordie Munro on




    A Preaching to the choir leader today neebs.



    I’ve been saying what you say for a couple of years now. Yes, the league should be easier but trebles and cups not so much.



    The Scottish cup has a similar tale….ict twice, clyde, hearts, dons have all eliminated us in recent years.




  21. Richie #TeamOscarForever on





    Where is it again? I take it you’re going to the game first?

  22. James not Jimmy or Paul on

    Hail hail,


    First post for a few years and now under a new name.


    I’ve been moved to post again due to exasperation,having read,over the last few weeks the posts of the man who trolled as Alfie Noakes,who flounced yesterday after our magnificent cup victory.I don’t, for a minute believe we’ve heard the last of him.He’ll soon be back under a new guise doing the disruptive work requested of him by his paymasters.At least he should be easy to spot.It really did irk me the amount of posters who engaged with him when all he ever did [Celtic wise] was slag us off,he was so obviously a plant.Lastly,fair play to Mr Madden yesterday,the first ref I can recall for a long time who reffed our match fairly.I do worry, of course ,about Wednesday’s game as it won’t be shown on TV,thus allowing the allocated brothers to do their worst, without scrutiny.Hope I’m not coming across too cynical.James.

  23. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    If it keeps me sober yes 8))



    No.10 hotel near to hump dump

  24. mike in toronto on

    RD will have to earn his corn in the Cup this week (and hopefully, following this week).



    When a team has won a trophy, there is a temptation to let down a bit afterwards. We need to ensure that we avoid that. And when a team goes a few games without really hurting you (and DU haven’t looked great), there can also be a tendency to perhaps not put in the same level of energy.



    And, really, we haven’t really played out of second gear for most of the last two DU games (but still didn’t really look too troubled)….



    The problem is, even though they had the guts ripped out of that team, on their day, they can still be dangerous. And, a few of their players (Dow and Ciftci are two examples) who can produce a moment of magic that can win a game.



    After winning the LC (which, has been our bogey tournament), I hope that (in private, at least) RD drives home how close this team is to a treble, and,as Paul suggests, what a feat that would be.



    Assuming we can get by DU, ICT will be well up for it in the semis, and, assuming we can get by them, Stubbs will have Hibs flying high for the final.



    I think the league should take care of itself, but these three games could put RD and some of the players on the road (I didn’t say they were there yet, but on the start ….) to legend status.



    PS … a few thoughts on the game … I thought it was a push in the back, and I would be screaming conspiracy if that was a celtic player who had been fouled.



    JMac doesn’t seem like the happiest chappy generally. Perhaps the stress of having half his team (the best half) is getting to him. However, in light of the unusual set up (4 games on the trot against the same team .. in the league, plus 2 cups (which are all DU really have to pay for)…. I dont think he said anything any other manage would …I wouldn’t expect him to be too charitable about Celtic … he is trying to boost his team for the next 2 games, and gain what advantage he can …. that is his job, and I cant begrudge him that.



    As I said, I thought SB fouled Dow, but I am not going to criticize RD for not coming out and admitting that. So, I will give JMac the same consideration.



    I’m not sure JMac is as good a manager as I once thought he might be. But I also dont think he has become anti-celtic. I think he is just doing his job.



    I hope RD does his job this week, and has the bhoys upping their game for Wednesday.



    Hail hail

  25. Tricoloured Ribbon on

    First of the Treble in the bag.


    No work today.


    A cool pint awaits to celebrate..magic!


    Aff oot..

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