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.

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

    Said it often – if anyone had predicted the events of the last 4 years in Scottish football they would have been locked up in the loony bin

  2. Jungle Jim………….”How don you like playing for this country” Sky reporter at a post game interview with Irish central defender Richard Keogh who is English born of Irish parents. “My country” was Richards reply.

  3. JJHS



    Not even the BBC could be that twisted, so I had to look.



    The headline is born out of an article which is about EPL players that have become managers.



    There is no inference that Henrik Larsson didn’t make his name, and become a Celtic legend, at Celtic.

  4. TBJ


    A few years ago I said there would be court case in the future, Oh how they laughed


    I said it would get political, Oh how they laughed


    I said they would get away with it, Oh how they mocked


    Suppose in a way they didn’t get away with it, but they should be gone and they are no, so they did in a way get away with it :-)



  5. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on




    A warm welcome tae Scotland,tae all the poor


    victim’s of the Syrian war,if you make yer home here


    and fall in love wae oor national game then there is


    only one team for you,may God bless you and keep


    you safe.

  6. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar...... Ipox belongs to the creditors on

    Turned on radio there to listen to radioScotland, only to be accidentally tuned to ssb ……. What a laugh….. The cretin dl stating that Scotland have a better squad than ROI …. HURTINHUN ….hahahahahahahahahahahahaha…bless them….clutching at straws ….re-tuned to Radio Scotland

  7. Feel proud tonight that Scotland has received its first group of Syrian refugees. Feel particularly content that some are going doon the watter to Glasgow’s once favourite holiday resort: Rothesay. Seems apt somehow. May they become proud to be here and may they never have to endure such evils as the Famine Song directed against them.

  8. I almost forgot.



    A happy 73rd birthday to Martin ‘Marty’





    The greatest living American film-maker.



    Imo, of course.







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





    No one’s laughing now




    Can you imagine ithe was us – i reckon most of us would still be hiding behind our sofas embarrassed and God only knows what consequences and punishments would have been dished out to the company ;)




    I’m a funny guy?!



    How am I a funny guy?!



    Do I amuse you?!










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




    Burley is a hun – always was – the Mole in the camp that Fergus caught out

  12. What is the Stars on

    Just reading in the irish times today one of the victims of Friday’s carnage in Paris was a young lawyer called Valentin Ribet. He was on his mother’s side a descendant of Thomas Addis Emmet a brother of Robert Emmet

  13. What is the Stars on

    By the way. Thoroughly enjoyed last night’s game, great atmosphere. The bosnians disrupting the minutes silence were a disgrace

  14. MON’s teams played incredible football in his first 3 years. We regularly took 5 and 6 goals off teams, were always on the attack, used the flanks well and had power and purpose all over the park.



    His arrival marks the start of the modern Celtic era. That 6-2 game will live with me forever. It is impossible to overstate the absolute transformation that represented.



    He certainly had his weaknesses. He was too loyal, ultimately, to a few stalwart players. His tactics were inflexible – even McLeish worked out how to play against us. And he had little interest in building up young players.



    But he is an immense figure in Celtic history. I – along with many fans who remember his arrival – always look out for his results since he left.

  15. In congratulating MON we should never forget that one of his major contributions to Celtic was his relentless pursuit of NL.

  16. As a commentator Burley came across as a complete idiot. The type of guy you’d leave a pub to avoid sitting near.



    On twitter he comes across as a really nasty individual. One of the players I’d rather never played for us.

  17. ITALIABHOY on 17TH NOVEMBER 2015 7:17 PM


    MON’s teams played incredible football in his first 3 years. We regularly took 5 and 6 goals off teams, were always on the attack, used the flanks well and had power and purpose all over the park.







    His arrival marks the start of the modern Celtic era. That 6-2 game will live with me forever. It is impossible to overstate the absolute transformation that represented.



    That particular game had something like a 12-45 kick off.


    As the third goal went in, an awe struck guy beside we said ‘For F’s sake, its no five tae wan yet’.


    Cometh the hour cometh the man. MON was the man for that particular hour.



    – See more at: http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/martin-oneill-takes-us-to-school-again/comment-page-4/#comment-2720275

  18. We cover MON’s time at Celtic in great detail in the new CQN book The Winds of Change which you can order now on the new look CQNBookstore.com



    When editing the book the MON weakness seemed to me to be his choice in goalkeepers.



    Don’t forget that JIM CRAIG will be on CQN for a few hours tomorrow night from 7.30pm. Post your questions to the Lisbon Lion and he’ll answer them.



    Brendan Sweeney will also be on at the same time, talking about Celtic The Early Years or you may want to ask him about Celts For Change from 1994, or his work with Celtic Graves.



    Also just posted part 1 of a very interesting interview with Alex Gordon who wrote The Winds of Change. Have a read.

  19. Reports emerging now that German Police discovered a vehicle disguised as an ambulance filled with explosives near the stadium.

  20. Hearing reports that tonights match between Germany and the Netherlands was cancelled due to a ‘concrete’ threat to security.

  21. Morrissey the 23rd on

    Thank to all who have made a donation to my sponsor cycle:





    You are all getting thanks on organiser LynnMarie O’Connor’s Facebook.



    Every pound will make a difference. If you fancy buying a pint for a man who has been very dedicated to Celtic for many years (and helped rise money for many charities) then please do so via the link above or if you see me in person.



    Unthankful road – I can let you know what is coming up at The Cross Keys, Wishaw and if you want to attend any then you are welcome to a spare room at my pad.





    Sat 21st The Revelations


    Sat 28th Karl Byrne


    Tickets are now also in for Sean Sweeneys benefit gigs on Friday 27th and Sun 29th

  22. AULDHEID on 17TH NOVEMBER 2015 2:09 PM


    I’d like to see a physical comparison between MON’S best Celtic team and RD’S.







    If you are going for wee guys you need at least 3 of Messi, Iniesta and Xavi techical ability.







    So do we have them No





    Are current team as strong physically as MoN’s?







    Any stats?






    Auldheid, I don’t think we need any stats for that. There is no comparison. Mjalby and Valgaeren, two imposing centre backs alongside the ferocious Balde. Up front we had two guys who could bully the best in Europe, in Sutton and Hartson, not to mention the SPL. No giants in midfield, but guys like Lennon, Thomson, Lambert and Petrov all capable of looking after themselves. Even Henrik could take care of himself. I don’t think a team in Scotland will succeed on ability alone. If the deadboys ever get back, we’ll need a few that can take care of themselves. I think we’re short on that front just now. Brown obviously can and I think Smonuvic likewise. If young Henderson progresses then he’ll be another. Of course, they need to be able to play also.



    Turned on radio there to listen to radioScotland, only to be accidentally tuned to ssb ……. What a laugh….. The cretin dl stating that Scotland have a better squad than ROI …. HURTINHUN ….hahahahahahahahahahahahaha…bless them….clutching at straws ….re-tuned to Radio Scotland



    Laugh all you like.


    A few weeks ago some folks on here were giving off about man for man Malmo and Mode were not as good as Celtic.



    The scorelines, where it counted, told a different story.



    – See more at: http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/martin-oneill-takes-us-to-school-again/comment-page-4/#comments

  24. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    To see ourselves….



    From SFM



    Goody Goosy,





    Roger Mitchell has spoken


    His view must be right if it`s endorsed by the MSM


    So now we know


    There are only 2 clubs in the SPFL


    One of them is CFC. The other is TRFC The other 40 are irrelevant. Silly wee clubs wie rotten pies. Players who slaver at the thought of being humped by one of of the big two They know fine well they`re just diddies put there to make up the numbers. Their role is to do what they`re told and keep out of matters way above their heads


    TRFC play out of Ibrox. They are the same club as RFC in liquidation who play out of the BDO offices in Anderson if they had a team that is). The governing bodies are quite happy to recognise two clubs calling themselves Rangers. One of them gets levied with fines for the actions of the other one. But the fines don`t get paid so there’s no harm done. It’s all a bit of a laugh really.


    CFC have a tiny number of fans who post on social media. These fans all believe TRFC are a new club. despite being told otherwise by a real Donkey. Fortunately the overwhelming number of Celtic fans are law abiding tabloid readers. Just like the MSM they follow slavishly. In their tens of thousands they keep telling anybody that will listen that RFC Govan and RFC Anderson are actually the same club






    As far as I recollect


    The 40 diddy clubs have an equal vote when it comes to an SPFL vote.




    Any changes needed to the rules and management of the governing bodies can be easily pushed through by the so called diddies




    Message to Diddies (Roger Mitchells definition not mine)


    Why are you doing nothing in the face of the biggest corruption scandal ever to hit Scottish football?


    Call an AGM at the SFA and SPFL


    Call an AGM at the SFA and SPFL


    Sack the corrupt officials


    Bring in people with ethics. Guys who will walk out if anybody tries to play favourites with the big two


    Clean up the game before it cleans you out


    You`ve been through Armageddon


    You`re still here


    Get on with it

  25. Hello again all you young rebels.



    After much pomp and ceremony,the wee mhan had to put on


    his full Celtic strip before he would do the draw for our best


    Celtic squad, he was going training anyway he said.


    And the winner of our club polo shirt is……


    GEAROID 1998


    Well done mhate, Paddy has it ready to go if you have a way to get


    your home address to my email address ( Paul 67 ? ) and it will be


    winging its way to you.


    You know when our bhoys in Oz were debating the merits of players


    for our team i got to thinking how lucky i was to see the good the bad


    but also the greatest in my lifetime and sometimes Paddy and i discuss


    and worry whether our Celtic will survive in this modern world where


    dirty money, greed and evil dominate the headlines but despite the


    Murdoch empire excluding anything but Epl on sports pages or tv here


    our wee club is thriving and days like ours on Sunday to help sick kids we


    had people not affiliated to Celtic in any way coming in to our bash to


    hand in donations because they heard that was what Celtic was all about


    And when you see a young toddler making her way to the dance floor


    leaving her lunch trailing behind her ( spaghetti all over her hair and face )


    lol, barefoot and just a wee Celtic baby suit on and doing her own disco


    type dance to Sean South you know we’ll be alright, mind you she had about


    a dozen fat baldy minders in Celtic tops clearing the way for her.


    Britneys Bouncers.


    It certainly won’t be an easy road over the coming years for our team and


    despite the craven smsm and those who wish to do us harm i believe there’s


    more glory to come for our team and all you young fans after us auld farts


    are gone, its who we are…. the Celtic.


    H.H Mick

  26. WITS: A couple of teachers in work reckoned the interruption to the minutes silence came from outside the ground where there were long queues to get in because of the security checks. I stand in the YBIG section and it certainly seemed to me as if the noise was coming from a small section of the Bosnia supporters at the opposite end. The boos after the minutes silence reinforced my view.



    Otherwise, a great atmosphere and well deserved victory on the night.

  27. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on

    The good news for England fans tonight is they get to sing a decent national anthem for once.