Jock, Martin, Gordon and Neil


You remember Celtic manager, Gordon Stachan, third manager in our history to win three-in-a-row?  Took us to the Champions League knock out stages for the first time, did much of this while comparative economics were moving against us, remember him?  Is he the same Gordon Strachan who has transformed the Scotland national team’s results?

Gordon is unequivocally a successful manager but his Scotland team is performing far better than I thought possible when he took over what looked like a poisoned chalice.  The most stunning fact of his record there is that they have not conceded a goal in three successive away games.  Gordon’s Celtic covered 15 months, across two championship winning seasons, without keeping a single clean sheet away from home, no matter how lowly or distressed the opponent.  Even good, experienced, managers learn, especially from their earlier troubles.

Jock Stein is viewed mostly through the prism of 1967 but during his final season as Celtic manager, 1977-78, the sentiment among many in the support was decidedly downbeat.  Rangers (remember them, played in blue, I think?) would win their third title in four seasons, with two trebles thrown in for good measure.  Celtic finished fifth in the league, Jock’s judgement was widely called into question.

At the time Leeds United were a top club in England and after Celtic sacked Jock they moved to secure him.  Leeds had no doubts as to his abilities.  A little over a month later the SFA offered him the Scotland job, which he took and excelled at, twice succeeding in World Cup qualifying campaigns.  His talents were without question but stood in sharp contrast to how many in the support viewed him a few years earlier.

I don’t know if Jock was a better manager in 1982 and beyond than he was in 1978 but there’s a decent chance his football education didn’t stop when the trophies dried up at Celtic.  Gordon Strachan is, like Jock was until the end, a student of the game.  Neil Lennon is too, he is also receiving some of the reviews his illustrious predecessors would recognise. Gordon was an excellent Celtic manager but he’s better now, perhaps as a result of life’s experiences along the way.

It’ll be really interesting to see how Euro qualifiers reflect on the comparative progress of Gordon and Martin O’Neill, who for my money was a better manager than Mourinho when the latter deployed some of the best players in the world against Celtic in Seville, and needed to deploy every underhand trick in the book to come out on top.

I was blown away by the stunning contributions to our Mary’s Meals campaign yesterday.  First in was an incredible £200 + £50 gift aid donation, followed by others, large and small, every one appreciated.  Ignore those who would tell you society is dead.  You can get involved here.

Seville, The Celtic Movement, launches this month.

“Porto were favourites and would go on to prove how good a team they were by winning the Champions League 12 months later. Their players would demonstrate their prowess across the world for the next decade. They had fabulous talent, so much so, that they should have aspired to better than the gamesmanship used during their run to the UEFA Cup and Champions League wins.”

Order yours below:

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  1. leftclicktic We are all Neil Lennon on

    Is it safe to post I gave up podiums after my 3rd gold medal :)) so as to share the joy.



    Seen this last night


    winning captains




    22:31 on 6 March, 2014




    Tommy Gemmell has now completed his All The Best book for CQN and we will get it ready for printing over the next few days. He has been ably assisted by Alex Gordon who used to be sports editor at Sunday Mail. Alex is Celtic to the core and as a matter of fact I can tell you that the Lisbon Lions know him very well and trust him totally. He was just at the end of his time at the Sunday Mail around the time that Celtic were in crisis in the 90s. Alex refused to allow the then editor to publish the coffin outside Celtic Park image but the first Sunday after he left this image appeared. Anyone who read Daily Record / Sunday Mail in the years before that fateful day maybe didn’t realise what had just happened.


    Those papers had caught a virus and it has poisoned them ever since. We are going to write about this in CQN Magazine.



    Alex – the old hack that he is – likes a pint. He will be at CQTEN next week and I hope that BRTH gives him a special mention. He will be sitting at a table with some very famous Celtic faces – and if he does get a mention and I start a round of applause then I urge you to join in. This guy deserves it. Just like Paul has fought our corner in the new media in current times, Alex fought the Celtic cause in a hostile old media in decades gone by.


    One of the guys at that table next week at CQTEN will tell you all about Alex. He is none other than Yogi Bear and boy does he have some stories to tell! And maybe the Big Shot will get a wee round of applause too.



    Tommy answered all the CQNer questions and the book ends with Tommy telling us that he is having a wee greet to himself after reading the warmth this blog showed him in the questions asked. He has answered every single one.

  2. Livibhoy. Celtic beat hertz 1 nil to clinch the title in Gordon’s 1st year


    9 players he inherited in that team

  3. Taxi driver was from Bridgetown too, ah well, no surprise there eh!


    I wonder if he will be working during the commonwealth games, now there’s a thought eh?

  4. LiviBhoy - God bless wee Oscar on




    I don’t think he inherited a Lubo or a Henrik Larsson though. That was my point.


    Good on ye for the research though. Hartson with the goal?








    I remember the 77-78 season well.



    All too well.



    Undone by board failure and pettiness,loss of our star player to Liverpool. But what could not be overcome were the horrendous injury problems suffered by a threadbare squad.



    If a player broke a shoelace he was out for three months!



    It was also the season of the worst refereeing performance in my experience. Gordon at Ibrox.



    And the most blatant example of the cheating which went on that day?



    Greig being offside.



    For those who might say-Eh,offside? Big deal-I suggest you google it.

  6. Livi. Indeed would mon had the success without Henke. Doubt it


    Lubo was a bit part player under mon



    Point is gordon was left with experienced pros. Winners


    When Gordon left TM got a goalie

  7. maestro-number8 on

    Aye true Bobby, but at least the end of the 79 season ended beautifully with the 4-2 game.



    Along with Lisbon and the 7-1 game, that is the other one match I wish I’d witnessed. It must have been incredible when Murdo scored that 4th goal




  8. Yes Livi. Hartson with goal. Watched it in a bar in Dresden with about 20 good Tim’s

  9. Thindimebhoy





    12:16 on



    7 March, 2014





    About the not proven verdict



    The not proven option for a jury made an ass of the law in Wilsons case



    If it was straight bat between guilty or innocent the jury would have had a bigger decision to make



    Because an innocent verdict in this case would have made an ass of the jury



    There is a guy I know of who is up on a breach of the peace rap because of a dispute with his neighbours over them using his driveway to reverse his car without permission (no trespass law in Scotland)



    The guy in question challenged his neighbour and told him to politely gtf off his driveway. The neighbours wife who suddenly morphed bat ears and was now able to hear a pin drop from 50mts corroborated his neighbours statement to the cops



    The charge is caused reasonable fear and alarm etc the one every fitba fan knows about



    Now in this case not proven would be a reasonably fair judgement because the truth is somewhere between the accused and his neighbours version of events

  10. SydneyTim – there’s absolutely no point saying that Gordon Strachan spent more on players than MON, unless you also take into account the inflation of transfer fees and wages in that time.



    I’d be as well saying how come my mum and dad spent 40k on a house and I spent 160k on a house and yet mine’s is smaller.



    Chris Sutton cost £6M as an out of favour striker at Chelsea. What would an out of favour striker at Chelsea cost Gordon Strachan? Well Eidur Gujohnsen went from Chelsea to Barca in 2006 for £8M.



    Could we have competed against Barca for that signature? At what premium? Would we have been able to bring him in on wages that would have stopped the average £8M/year loss we made during MON’s time in charge?

  11. LiviBhoy - God bless wee Oscar on




    Fair points but it’s a complex argument. MON didn’t half sign some dross as well.


    WGS whilst manager brough the debt back down. Celtic had to take a punt under MON and spend big because our nearest rivals at the time were buying world cup winners!




  12. .



    Martin O’Neill was Never a ‘Better’ Manager than Mourinho..In Seville..



    A Better Man Manager..Yes..



    Man Managers have a Sell by Date..






    Ps..Is Sammi the Only Celtic player to Help a Manager Win 3 Titles in a Row..?





    While that is undoubtedly true,and I am so glad I was there-it was horrible to watch Jock’s reputation being trashed the previous season.

  14. Paul67



    Another excellent article.



    But you forgot to mention our first manager – the old (benign?) dictator Willie Maley. He won a few trophies in his time.



    6iar, Empire Exhibition Cup and about 1000 Glasgow Cups and Glasgow Charity Cups!











    Samaras didn’t join us until WGS last title-winning season in 2008.

  16. maestro-number8



    12:15 on 7 March, 2014


    Aye true Bobby, but at least the end of the 79 season ended beautifully with the 4-2 game.



    Along with Lisbon and the 7-1 game, that is the other one match I wish I’d witnessed. It must have been incredible when Murdo scored that 4th goal








    Never forget that night, my brother and I where rolling about on the ground at the Celtic end, we where that happy we both fell, cops where gonny luft us, we go up and laughed at them said we got tripped, brilliant night in the granite city that night ( now brazen head) champagne was a plenty that night, reason being some one turned over a license grocers that night ;)

  17. celticforever on

    always remember murdos goal in the last minute of the 4-2 game to win the league against the manky mob. If the net hadnt stopped it Im sure it would have went over the top of the celtic end. Always remember rushing home after match to watch it again on tv to find out there was some tv blank out of the match – typical

  18. Interesting Australian article regarding Ultras.





    We know where it all started, of course,


    but none of us know how it will end. The


    evolution of active support in the A-League


    is approaching a fork in the road, and


    today’s Sydney derby – expected to bring


    more than 35,000 people to Moore Park –


    will be an interesting case study.


    Crowds are up this season, but so is the


    noise – and I’m not measuring the decibels.


    Active support groups are egging each


    other on to muscle into the decision-


    making process of almost every club, and


    even the FFA. Where this goes is anyone’s


    guess, but it could head into some pretty


    dark places. Too often the blind are leading


    the blind, which is a dangerous dynamic


    when you’re talking about mob rule.


    Which we are.


    Active support, we shouldn’t forget, is a


    huge point of difference for the A-League,


    and potentially a huge asset. The


    atmosphere at several stadiums is what


    attracts the uncommitted as much – or


    perhaps even more – than the football. In


    return for providing the colour and noise


    that the cameras can’t get enough of, those


    who burrow into the heaving mass of


    humanity each week get a sense of


    camaraderie and identity, a lot of fun, and


    the recognition they crave, and sometimes


    deserve. Given many of these fans are


    young adolescent males, belonging to an


    active support group offers a rite of passage


    they wouldn’t get outside the stadium –


    which should be enough, but clearly it




    At least five clubs – to my knowledge – have


    been presented with varying lists of


    “demands” this season, and in most cases


    have spent hours at the negotiating table.


    Yet these groups are proving impossible to


    please, and too many officials are wasting


    too much time indulging them. If active


    support comprises, say 10 per cent of your


    attendance – and that’s been generous –


    why is so little attention paid to what the


    other 90 per cent think?


    Truth is The Cove, or the RBB, or the North


    Terrace or Yarraside are not homogenous


    or static. They change their views, their


    composition, their songs and sometimes


    their location. What they think is


    important today may not be so important


    tomorrow. Maybe, over time, this mood of


    militancy will go away. Maybe.


    Yet there’s one significant difference to,


    say, a year ago. What these groups are now


    telling the clubs is that their support is no


    longer unconditional. The question, then,


    for administrators is whether to call their




    A few weeks ago, The Cove demanded the


    removal of the coach, the chief executive


    and chairman in one fell swoop. They’ve


    got to be kidding, right? And yet since then


    all the club seems to have done is try to


    placate them. It has not been an edifying




    Last weekend at Parramatta, the RBB


    cancelled their traditional stadium march,


    some stayed at the pub, and those that


    didn’t decided to keep themselves to


    themselves. Interestingly, the protest


    seemed to backfire, with Western Sydney


    Wanderers fans on both sides of the


    stadium choosing – completely


    spontaneously – to do the chanting for


    them. Reports that the stadium was silent


    were misleading.


    So we have Sydney FC trying to appease


    their active supporters, and Western


    Sydney playing hardball. I’m fascinated to


    see how this plays out.


    There is no rule book in dealing with a


    noisy minority. It’s case-by-case, year-by-


    year, and often the best guide is instinct.


    Which is why we need administrators with


    a feel for the game.


    What we do know is how easy it is for


    things to go horribly wrong. Do we want


    the “barra brava” culture from Argentina,


    where criminal elements hijack fan groups


    to launder drug money through ticket


    sales, car parking, stadium merchandise,


    garnishing 20 per cent of player wages, or


    30 per cent of transfer fees? No.


    Do we want the “torcida” culture from


    Brazil, where innocent fans are beaten to


    death at bus stops, or a player such as


    Corinthians striker Paolo Guerrero has his


    nose broken after fans use wirecutters to


    break into the training ground? No.


    Do we want club officials like


    Independiente president Javier Cantero


    beaten up after fans stormed into the


    boardroom, or the team bus stoned on its


    way to the ground, as happened to Paris St-


    Germain last year. Of course not.


    Thankfully, we’re a long way from events


    taking such a sinister turn. But we need to


    mindful of the dangers that lurk beneath


    the surface. This season, we’ve had two


    attacks in Sydney, and a much-publicised


    brawl in Melbourne, where people have


    been hurt. That’s a worry. At the end of


    the day, the best we can hope for is that


    cool heads will prevail. Of that, of course,


    there are no guarantees.

  19. leftclicktic We are all Neil Lennon on

    Was getting a liitle mixed up with Hearts games there :))



    Wifes workmates friend had offered me and her complimentary tickets for the St Mirren game in 2001 when In think we clinched the title 1 nil.



    My dad had not long passed away so I didnt make it on hearing this the friend arranged 2 hospiality tickets for the Hearts game I nil Lubo on the night we were presented with the SPL trophy.


    God I’m getting emotional even typing this.



    We never got to meet the man who arranged it for us but he will have my eternal thanks.



    Thank you celtic


    Hail Hail

  20. maestro-number8 on

    BMCUW, TD67 & Celticforever…… Great memories.



    Don’t think anyone would have been happier than Johnny Doyle though.



    I see there is one of his jerseys on the Bairds Bar auction from the 77 cup final. I don’t think he played though?



    Think this was Dalglish’s last game too ?

  21. celticforever on

    Johny Doyle now theres one great Celt who Im sure would be happy at the huns demise

  22. Paul 67



    Great to hear about the success of the CQN Marys Meals campaign its a charity close to me at home where me and my good Mrs Thindime donate regularly



    I spent a lot of time in Africa in a previous life and witnessed poverty first hand daily.



    I sometimes wondered what I would do if this happened me and wondered if I would have the same spirit these people showed in the face of adversity.



    I always felt humbled when I was in there company



    I watched a woman who was blind being led by her son who was 9 each holding one end of a stick walk 15 miles everyday to collect wood for their cooking. They would leave in the early morning and comeback late afternoon with a pile of sticks on their heads



    I watched this everyday for weeks



    One day I decided to help so I asked our works driver to take some yankee dollars ( a small fortunes worth over there) to the blind lady.



    The driver came back and said she said may God bless you



    I never seen her do that long walk in the hot sun with her son again.



    I very rarely moan about little things anymore




  23. .






    Ps..Is Sammi the Only Celtic player to‘ Help’ a Manager Win 3 Titles in a Row..?



    Your’e NO Goannie Deny him are Ye..?



    Summa of TrebleYellCSC

  24. Geordie Munro on

    “Celtic beat hertz 1 nil to clinch the title in Gordon’s 1st year


    9 players he inherited in that team”




    I take it you mean in the entire squad ST?






  26. Celtic will sign a 13 year old Hamilton goalie. Beat Liverpool and Everton in attempts to sign him. Joshua Rae.

  27. Monteblanco



    Previous blog.



    Careful That could be your pal’s mammy. :)



    Change partners, keep dancing.

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