Martin O’Neill takes us to school again


I caught parts of Ireland’s win over Bosnia last night, then read the odd truculent comment about their style. Bosnia are a decent team. They reached the last World Cup and would have reached France, if Ireland didn’t put on a classic Martin O’Neill performance.

Football is a game of systems and Martin’s defensive system is perhaps one of the most effective in Europe. Good enough to get the better of Germany over two games and eliminate Bosnia. The goal Shaun Maloney scored against Ireland at Celtic Park was exceptional, while Scotland’s goal in Dublin was a deflection, any defence is susceptible to exceptional and deflected efforts.

If Ireland had attempted to play the ranging 30 yard passes which Bosnia used to put the home team under pressure, they would have lost the game last night. It’s hard to escape comparisons with our own European performances this season. Robust in Amsterdam, but expansive and vulnerable elsewhere.

The first job of any team is to make itself hard to beat. Martin’s been in the game a long time, and managed this from the off at Celtic, at home, anyway. His systems in the road in Europe failed. Apart from Amsterdam, of course.

The Winds of Change, Managing Celtic 1991 – 2005, published by CQN, is out TODAY, available on the relaunched CQN Bookstore! Alex Gordon, who wrote the prequel, Caesar & the Assassin, covering Billy McNeill and Davie Hay’s time as Celtic manager, leads us from Liam Brady’s time to the end of Martin’s era in 2005.

Celtic transformed beyond recognition during this period. Liam Brady, then ‘Luigi’ Macari managed Celtic through perhaps our most turbulent periods, before everything changed. Fergus McCann arrived, be brought in Tommy Burns and together we built a stadium.

The ultimate prize (as winning the league was then regarded) had to wait until 1998, during Wim Jansen’s short but historic time in charge. Fergus left us with Dr Jo, a man he wished he’d met earlier in his tenure, before the magnificent (cough) John Barnes era, and King Kenny’s League Cup.

Then Martin O’Neill came and took us all to school. We learned things about football that we didn’t know before.

Alex Gordon was a working journalist through this period and gained excellent access and insight into the club and our managers. Forewords by Billy McNeill and Davie Hay.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author


  1. mike in toronto on

    herbo … I agree totally …. this is about more than just scottish football … there is a whole cultural component to this …. I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on it further, but it will have to wait for another day as I have a client coming in shortly.



    bsr … agree … I was never a huge Adam Matthews fan …. always seemed a bit small, and was never sure if he was really a full back or a midfilder … but, to a man, I was excited about all of the rest of those players… but few turned out to be as good as I had hoped. but I would still take a valgaraen or an andy hinkel now …



    or even a lahm :) … one of the best players of his generation! love watching him play.





    Well,MON was lucky to fail an interview,for once.



    Next manager of England to win something is guaranteed a knighthood.



    And he’d deserve it. They haven’t the players for it.

  3. Hunderbirds



    Not a creative type player and should not be named in that group but Roy Keane was very nearly an unknown because he was deemed to be too small.


    Brian Clough saw something and gave him a crack at it and he did ok.


    Wonder how many are never given the chance because of their size.

  4. MIT



    No problem sir. Im off out for another nights training with the wean shortly in this wonderful Glasgow weather.



    Oh the joys.

  5. Auldheid on 17th November 2015 2:05 pm









    One (or more) persons at the SFA sat down when le merde was airbourne and heading towards the fan and forensically worked out the pathway for the desired outcome of the LNS Report, then wrote the terms of reference.



    Each ‘pothole’ was considered, then methods to circumvent each ‘pothole’ was contrived.



    Start with the crime(s):


    Supplementary untaxed, unregulated, underhand payments (TAX FREE BUNGS) to players and staff from the top to the bottom of RFC (and undetermined ‘players’ outwith RFC).


    Players had false (not properly registered) contracts.




    Who needs to do what for LNS to avoid asking the questions which will uncover the crime(s).



    The rest is squirrels

  6. Auldheid


    Read that link, and I come to the same conclusion.


    You know Mrs TET, and you know she has prob forgotten more than I will ever know, or understand, I asked her to read it, and she thinks the same.


    Her exact words were, they have committed a fraud, with no pushing from me.



  7. Melbourne Mick on 17th November 2015 9:13 am



    Correct, you go in with the other 5, i don’t get wifi down in the caravan



    and with the time difference from the u.k. plus a barrel load of guinness



    i missed it, nae wonder were the Aussie wallopers.



    Still amazes me how many were thinking along the same lines as us.



    H.H Mick


    – See more at: http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/double-jeopardy-and-cover-ups/comment-page-11/#comments



    Just checking back since this morning.



    Cheers for that Mick.




  8. Auldheid~Bawsman~Canaman


    All I asked her to do was read the link, with the priviso that the side letters from the huns were withheld.


    Now in that link, it also states that no player shall be paid by a third party, I would have thought that the trust is indeed a third party.


    They committed a fraud, end of, no amount of interpretation of the rules to suit can disguise that imo, and I am a half wit, and if I can see that as plain as day, as sure as eggs are eggs, a clued up brief will surly see it.



  9. BEATBHOY on 17TH NOVEMBER 2015 9:17 AM






    Think your second team would definitely have beaten The Lions.




    Well, they’dve had a few missing right enough!


    – See more at: http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/double-jeopardy-and-cover-ups/comment-page-11/#comments




    Catching up from earlier, being brought up with the Lions they are still my ultimate team, however when you add in those who are added to the 2nd team its mind blowing. How lucky are we as Celtic supporters to have watched all of these guys play for our club.




  10. BSR,


    28 days to make it known an appeal will be made, 42 days to make the actual appeal, my prediction last week is/was notification will be given to allow the 42 day delay at the end of which no appeal will be made

  11. I know the huns are in court just about everyday defending themselves against some charge or other.



    Any idea what it was for today?



    I cannot believe that an organisation that is in court as often as they are can possibly be innocent of all charges in every case.



    Shirley nut.

  12. Spare a thought for the poor Syrian refugees fleeing ISIS and arriving in a miserable, wet, dark and cold Glasgow. Please nobody tell them that this is not bad for the time of year.



    Good luck and welcome to them.



    Hint: Celtic is a good team to support.

  13. Canamalar



    That gives SMSM more time it needs to rope a dope Celtic and ‘Sport’ traitor a day, and to continue the illusion of ‘no appetite’ for title stripping, or justice.

  14. Listen it does not matter one jot if there were side letters or not. It doesn’t matter if LNS was wrong or right, it doesn’t matter about sporting advantages. These are Red herrings to keep everyone talking about everything apart from one thing. They used an illegal Tax Scheme, no ifs no buts. Every player who played in any games whilst they used this illegal tax scheme was ineligible. Score reverts to 3-0 to the opponents. That really is the end of por cierto.

  15. Onemalloy



    Very, very lucky.



    60 years since the first European Cup final next year.



    Great to have been able to watch players good enough to be part of one of only 22 clubs who have won The Big Cup in all those years.

  16. The syrian refugees will just be so glad to away from fear war and violence, weather? huh! por cierto.

  17. BSR @ 3.18


    You were setting out the attributes of the ideal full back/ wing back.


    We need look no further than Danny and Big Tam. I’m maybe a bit biased but I have never seen two better.

  18. An infrequent poster of late, nonetheless, would like to share my opinion, and at the same time offer my apologies for the boring nature of my repetitive ‘bee in the bonnet’ style of complaint.


    More time on my hands now in SE Asia than in G72, still though, not at all in touch with the aggressive response(s) of some posters, that I am quite sure ( in my own mind) would not be quite so vocal in a real life/time situation. Part reason for not posting, as I have no wish to come away from this blog in a foul mood and vent in house, my ‘real’ house/home about/because of some keyboard gangster


    Anyway, with the ramp up by the fourth estate’s level 5 and (their) fellow travellers, phraseology will become more and more important in the ensuing subliminal battle, IMHO, hence the need for exactitude when countermanding the guff emanating from their bunker along with the almost daily Goebbelesque pronouncements. It’s not law, it’s not factual, it’s not even remotely related to the truth……………


    My thanks to BMCUW for his patience, understanding and goodwill in carrying the message wrt to our (joint) ‘consultative approach/agreement’ re……….. Not quite a point d’appui but hey it’s good to talk eh!


    Oh and BTW to Canamalar, respect!



    Next time……….



    Regards & Hail Hail



  19. The legal and taxable status of the EBT is completely irrelevant to the matter. The huns could have been paid with Spanish doubloons salvaged from pirate hoards buried on desert islands and it makes no difference. What invalidates their player registration is the failure to submit all contractual documentation. If the EBT’S had been included in the contract then there would have been no breach of the rules. But the huns tried to be smart and play with a dodgy tax scheme and knowing it was dodgy refused to acknowledge it’s existence officially.



    Celtic included details of Juninho’s EBT in his contract, they went back to hmrc asked for advice and decided this dodgy scheme was not for us. So everyone was fully informed of our position so we have nothing to worry about.

  20. Hunderbirds are Gone on




    When we get to Keane (the player), I think you hit on an important truth. Will to win, bravery and attitude, play a huge part in success and attainment at the top level of sport. It is an intangible mix. One that I worry may be lacking in our current team.

  21. Putin puts up a $50 mil reward for Egypt plane crash,why dollars and not his own currency? Is he the new Escobar?

  22. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    FFS it now fecking PayPal


    Do I access these sites bed pay for smut via my PayPal account?



    Annoyed. You bet

  23. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Just heard Morrison Hamilton is closing down


    Where police kettle the fans next Accies game ?

  24. CANAMALAR on 17TH NOVEMBER 2015 4:35 PM







    Yep the longer people wait the less interest when it does happen.



    Not for the first time we appear to be on the same wavelength.


    A couple of days ago I posted to the effect that one of the biggest tasks ahead will be restoring momentum if an appeal is announced and we come down off our present high.



    – See more at: http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/martin-oneill-takes-us-to-school-again/comment-page-3/#comments

  25. An Tearmann on 17th November 2015 11:54 am




    Patrick O’Connell to be inducted into Barcelona hall of fame



    *played 31 games for Dumbarton, the Fenians of the Rock.

  26. Not surprised if they appeal . One day or 40 days delay gives them time to clutch that elusive straw . Or lean on some major players . It was always going to happen .

  27. On 27th August 2000, the darkness broke for me and I knew a new Celtic dawn had finally broke. I know 2 seasons earlier we had stopped the ten in a row but it was on the 27th August that I finally realised that the years of heartbreak were over and a new era had begun.


    I will never forget the part Martin O’Neill played in giving us that day, don’t agree with everything he has said or done since but I will be forever grateful to him. I agree his style is not too attractive but the Legia, Maribor or Molde results would not have happened under his watch.


    Having said that, there is no going back, Ronny has to learn and we have to kick on from here.


    I have a myriad of Celtic memories but I think my best is on that fateful day when Henrik gave us that exquisite chip.There are many who would say that Martin was lucky to inherit Henrik and so he was, would he have turned the tide without him, I don’t know. However Thank God we had Henrik and Thank God Martin came and Thank God between them, they skelped the Huns and put them in their place.

  28. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    The Good ol` BBC site : ” Former Manchester United striker Henrik Larsson…”



    The article was accompanied by a picture of Henryk in the green and white because ` he also played for Celtic and Barcelona`.


    What is it with these `peepil` ?




  29. Pogmathonyahun aka Laird of the Smiles on

    Regards an appeal, who exactly is going to make the appeal? It can’t be Sevco they are a different company. BDO? – In my opinion unlikely.


    The SMSM? – Would do given half a chance!


    Sir Minty? He probably just wants it to go away.


    Possibly an alliance of old EBT recipients – oh that would mean the SFA!

  30. Owen



    The legal and taxable status of the EBT is completely irrelevant to the matter. The huns could have been paid with Spanish doubloons salvaged from pirate hoards buried on desert islands and it makes no difference.






    And they would have gotten away with it too. But for the quick thinking of the bold Frankie Bhoy!!!!! (Allegedly)






    HH jamesgang

  31. Paul, the Republic of Ireland team is not all boot and bollic tactics and if you only dipped into parts of last night’s game you missed some excellent passages of skillful football. Sure Martin and Roy who played together at Notts Forrest under Brian Clough know how to get their defense right but they also have quality players in Coleman, Brady, McCarthy, Hoolahan and the superb Jon Walters perhaps Ireland’s answer to Lewandowski,