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. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Thetimreaper, tyldsely comes across as having a little Englander mindset.



    When he commentated at the Champions League final in Lisbon a few years ago ,not once did he mention Lisbon being the place we became the first club from these shores to win the European Cup. . He seems to think it it didn’t happen that we won the big cup before an English team did.



    Like the Murphy’s , I’m not bitter lol

  2. The Unthank Road. It’s a small world,saw the Unthanks at Theatre on the Lake in Keswick last Friday night.

  3. Chairbhoy



    Well done getting to the final, i said at the start that there was


    a couple of surprises and Stilian was one of them, a brilliant


    box to box player but also a very capable R.B. and also Tommy


    B. who could fill in at L B which he done frequently and of course


    wee Johnny Doyle how could we leave him out with his total love


    of celtic and 100% commitment.


    To everybody else who had a go HAIL…HAIL and god bless.


    H.H Mick

  4. BSR



    My dad went off Kenny in the last year with us. He would say, “We have 10 guys playing for Celtic today and one player playing for Kenny Dalglish FC.”

  5. Viz top tip



    If you suffer from male pattern baldness and have dead skin on your hands, wait for 40 hous and give your hands a rigorous scrub with the stubble.

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




    You mat be aware that my kochanie is polish ….. I am off to Warsaw for Christmas and new year and need her to interpret for me

  7. the unthank road on



    Boy racer


    Brought back may a speeding incident in me yoooff;- including jamming the M6 and the M61, quite an achievement!

  8. Dallas



    We are no bitter. Just a touch angry and want justice for over a decade of cheating.


    Strip their titles! Cheatin bassas.

  9. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Bourne, when Alfie scored his first goal for us against Thistle, their was some noise celebrating him scoring.



    He only played about half an hour in the first game of the 77/78 season then like Pat Stanton missed the rest of the season.



    The first couple of months of the 78/79 season, Alfie was in terrific form before he was injured


    again. I think we never played any games from late December 78 to late February 1979 due to the cold weather



    When the big thaw eventually started around late February 1979, Alfie scored our winner against Aberdeen at Celtic Park which ended up a crucial two points in winning the league that season.



    I have a feeling Big Billy didn’t care much for Alfie due to his previous time at Ibrox.



    Great post about my choice for full backs in teams I have seen over the last forty seven years or so.

  10. Advert on TV, Mr. Warburton given his most pressing interview yet.


    By Kermit the Frog!



    Much more pressing than the Warbmeister can expect from MSM.




  11. I was aware. Why I posted you. Enjoy Warsaw in thick snow. :)


    May join you? God only knows. :)

  12. Another Viz top tip. RAPPERS: Avoid having to say: “Know what I’m sayin'” all the time by actually speaking clearly in the first place.

  13. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Delaney’s,I heard some sevs I work with saying that they had been caught with the tax thing and weren’t looking forward to what might happen. Going by the tone of their voices, there was an air of resignation about them.



    I never heard what they said after that unfortunately.



    Good night all and sleep well.

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




    I could do with a drinking partner who speaks Scottish. …



    Snow doesn’t bother me – better than wind and rain

  15. the unthank road on



    You mean they named a pop group after me??? they’ve obviously never heard me sing or play!

  16. Dallas



    My dad respected Alfie for his bravery in signing for us.


    He was introduced to Alfie one night in Partick after he signed for us. He was with a Mr Beattie fae Partick watchin him.

  17. the unthank road on

    Hrvatski Jim


    The wonderful Mr Jim Croce. Visited his home town of San diego a few times. His son runs a rather nice restaurant with his dad’s music on a permanent loop. I love ” bad bad leroy brown”. I have murdered that song so many times!!!!!

  18. The unthank road on 17th November 2015 11:15 pm



    Jim Croce got all the words to bad, Bad Leroy Brown wring…here are the correct words:



    Well it started off at Hampden


    When the Celtic won the Cup


    And if you went down there


    All you could hear


    Was that the Celts were on the Up



    Next season brought the Title


    To Europe we would go


    We knew our Side


    Would play with Pride


    And the Celts would put on a Show



    And he’s Big Jock, Big Jock Stein


    Manager of our greatest team


    When he walked in the door


    He made our Lions roar




    Now Big Jock was no gambler


    He liked to do his homework first


    One by one, we cut them down


    All the others bit the dust



    So we took the field in Lisbon


    With singing in our heart


    We beat the might, of Italy


    With Total Football as our Art



    And he’s Big Jock, Big Jock Stein


    Manager of our greatest team


    When he walked in the door


    He made our Lions roar




    But Big Jock wasnae finished


    You see he always wanted more


    Through the years,


    Our opponents’ tears


    We clocked up trophies by the score



    Now he was a man of honour


    And great integrity


    And he became


    The greatest manager


    In British football history



    And he’s Big Jock, Big Jock Stein


    Manager of our greatest team


    When he walked in the door


    He made our Lions roar




    Now the spirit of the Big Man


    Lead to immortality


    And his folklore


    Is loved forever more


    By the Celtic family



    And he’s Big Jock, Big Jock Stein


    Manager of our greatest team


    When he walked in the door


    He made our Lions roar

  19. So anyway, the Wailers. Might only have been two of the original members but what a night. I’d forgotten how good reggae was. A wee reminder as well that what went on in Paris the other day, happens all around the middle east every day.

  20. Hrvatski Jim on 17th November 2015 11:27 pm



    Excellent but cant see the Green Brigade picking that up anytime soon :-))




  21. CANAMALAR on 17TH NOVEMBER 2015 2:51 PM









    Strange all these objections are coming up now and not when the LNS decision was delivered, as you said to me earlier, most people simply took LNS decision and spent most of their time showing how smart they were by agreeing and showing how they understood the logic.






    This latest round of investigation IMO was spurred by an blog on here last week that identified the decision was a squirrel everyone fell for, that squirrel was unfair sporting advantage. I don’t remember who made the post (sorry sir) but I and quite a few others picked up on it and since then quite a few have done the digging we should have done immediately after the LNS decision instead of babbling shite about the squirrel.






    Now, did you reply to that “journalist” who said I was talking rubbish about ineligible registration :)



    – See more at: http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/martin-oneill-takes-us-to-school-again/comment-page-2/#comment-2720198








    I think the realisation that came as quickly as it did on CQN was helped for anyone who took the time to read the series of blogs on SFM that brought to the attention of CQN readers that;



    a) evidence of illegal ebts no one realsed existed was witheld from SPL lawyers.



    b) The Commission was a set up predicated on ebts being legal which required a) above in order to treat the issue as a misregistration error rather than the extreme case of deception which an investigation will confim.



    The point raised yesterday was not to deflect from the above but to stop the 3 points deduction route being quoted as what must happen because ineligible players were used.



    That as the discussions on SFM since show is debatable and it would be an error to provide that wriggle room by arguing ineligibility applies because of misregistration.



    They cheated. Why they did is known. So they could sign a better quality player that helped win trophies. So void them. No points deduction involved. I think that is an important point as the issue is no longer a registration one but something much more serious.

  22. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma on




    Taking the above dicussion no more than a millimetre further forward ironically takes me back to where I started with my view on all of this.



    LNS is an SPL creation, looking at the entire matter — side letters, payments, registrations, potential punishments, score reversals, titles and all that stuff through the eyes of the SPL – now the SPFL.



    However, you cannot even join, register with, play in, take part in, attend or do anything with the SPL unless you are first and foremost registered with the SFA itself.



    The SFA, in turn , has its own rules and regulations which are contained within its articles of association as the SFA is a distinct legal entity – basically a company limited by guarantee.



    The articles of association of any such company form the basis of a contract between all the members or shareholders and those contractual terms are enforceable by law with each member having their own distinct and individual contractual rights and obligations.



    So, when we consider LNS The SFA get away scot free because their rules, regulations and articles are not under consideration at least in so far as how one club legally relates to another or all the others.



    Any examination of those articles will immediately show that a club which is served by officials who openly admit to witholding documentation and concealing contracts, payments and so on is not acting within the spirit of those articles if not actually blatantly breaching them.



    Interestingly, in the very same articles, certain provisions make direct reference to the legal status of a “shareholder” of a member club and specify that such shareholders carry obligations to the association and have rights whereby they can seek redress in the event of the articles being breached.



    The same articles regulate the conduct of the officials of clubs in so far as they relate to the duties owed by those officials to the SFA when acting in their capacity as committee members or officials of the SFA as opposed to their duties as officials of their member clubs.



    There are all sorts of obligations in these articles that should, in my opinion, be revisited in light of the events and actings of certain persons who have had a material bearing on this whole affair. Such conduct was not previously in the public domain but is now accepted and openly commented upon.



    In any examination of where Scottish Football is at the moment and where it should be going in light of the Rangers/HMRC affair, the Articles of the SFA are a keystone.



    In my opinion, they are ignored and overlooked by members of the MSM and internet bloggers alike.

  23. coatbridge paper bhoy on

    AULDHEID, I don’t know if it has ever been debated, Iv been on a break from CQN, so apologies if so. All the talk about Sandy Bryson and THAT statement to NS, re registrations?. I remember a person in the SFA leaking confidential information regards BIG BOBO’s contract cir 2004/5 ( 28k per week and sitting on the bench ). Now , if the same person knew Rfc il , were paying some of their players say 3k per week, surely alarm bells SHOULD have rung. (Like Mr Novo asking for time to pay a court fine ). As I say, sorry if this has already been dealt with.




  24. James Forrest



    Absolutely mind-blowing and great credit to you James for all your hard


    work bringing this together, can’t wait for the next part now and I’ve no


    doubt if this could be digested by the wider audience it would be a hammer


    blow to the liars and deceivers.


    H.H Mick

  25. Auldheid,


    you don’t appear to get the point, regardless of the status of the of the side letters, legal/illegal, they broke the disclosure rules, which people are only now looking at properly, what they are finding is that the unfair sporting advantage is/was a squirrel and they don’t seem to be able to admit that.


    The rules were/are in place to show the nondisclosure of the side letters made the players ineligible through invalid registration and contrary to the Bryson law, rules also existed to go back 10 years (IMO the key factor) which would then require the forfeiture games were players were ineligible to play. OK the specific 3-0 detail might be erroneous but the 10 year provenance thus forfeiture is not.


    Now as I said, the guys in TSFM discussion around the LNS decision at the time spent more energy trying to show how they understood how LNS got to his decision and how that decision was correct, even though everyone agreed the Bryson law was a bit too much. None of the big hitters challenged it and anyone who did was dismissed because they could not see the big picture, kings new clothes syndrome. Massively long convoluted explanations full of big words simply bored people into submission, TSFM lost its way and its focus.


    As I said there was a post on here last week, a very short and concise post that for me at least brought the whole LNS decision into perspective and I said as much, your condescending journalist friend who so forcefully declared I was talking rubbish and had a pop at all the self righteous Celtic supporters who still have trouble accepting eligibility of player registration, spurred me to spend half an hour looking through the FIFA rules, low and behold I found what I submitted here yesterday, only to find that some one on TSFM had spent a bit more time and compared the same rules which, as required by the FIFA rules, incorporated into the SFA rule book and i believe backed up my point, no ?


    So in essence TSFM has spent three years discussing the LNS decision and no one until now had actually referred to or looked up the relevant rules, or those that did were dismissed because they could not see the bigger picture.


    Sorry Auldheid but as far as I can see, there are only a couple of thing worthy of note to come out of TSFM the court commentaries, and your LNS project and that’s been delayed because you took it there in the first place, TSFM a wind tunnel full of pseudo intellectuals that consider challenging questions as trolling and simple concise arguments unworthy of consideration.

  26. BRTH,


    As usual, apologies for my drivel, stupidity and bad manners.


    And thank you for everything you are doing and have done for Res 12.



    And this is, if I understand what it says is dynamite



    “Interestingly, in the very same articles, certain provisions make direct reference to the legal status of a “shareholder” of a member club and specify that such shareholders carry obligations to the association and have rights whereby they can seek redress in the event of the articles being breached.”



    This looks to be the BOOM we have been looking for ?