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. Good morning friends from a very, very wet, blustery, absolutely horrible looking cold and dark East Kilbride.

  2. Internet Bampots




    I pray that all yer threads come together and, strengthen what is an already formidable rope of evidence with which that, the evil ones who’ve for what?…..140 years?…Under the secret hand-shake provided by the butchers apron have, cheated, befouled, bullied, wrecked, rioted, tax-evaded and, worst of all….killed countless innocent Celtic supporters and other teams supporters…yeah, wouldn’t it be the most glorious form of justice imaginable if,……Rangers-Sevco-SFA-SMSM, were banned from operations indefinitely?


    What do I know?


    I just hope and pray that, there’s a Jungle in place to celebrate the day that the hun-establishments heids fall into the guillotines basket.






    Bobby, God has told me how wrong I have been in the past to doubt you.


    I’m so sorry Bobby.


    Celtic supporters – YNWA


    ……off oot….

  3. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Good reading through the night shift



    Made my wet journey to work bearable


    Can man


    Keep up the pressure on those who think because they use big words that they can lie their way out of cheating

  4. BT,


    I don’t think anyone on TSFM deliberately lied or backed the cheats, I think they spent that long looking at the big picture they forgot to watch where they were putting their feet and wandered into a quagmire.


    Sad bit is they were dismissing people trying to tell them they were in a quagmire, to the point where they were left to their own devices. and three years later they noticed their feet were getting a bit heavy, full circle only to find LNS shouted, there’s a squirrel and off they jolly well romped, where where, that’s no a squirrel so its no, its a unicorn and I should know cause my mum makes the best unicorn pie in the world.

  5. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    You know me I like it kept simple I read enough case law in my daily job to be bothered with it on cqn

  6. “. . there’s a squirrel and off they jolly well romped, where where, that’s no a squirrel so its no, its a unicorn and I should know cause my mum makes the best unicorn pie in the world. ”




    The whole carraige looking at me as if im I weirdo chuckling away.



    I’m just looking back as if Im no.

  7. Canamalar


    “TSFM a wind tunnel full of pseudo intellectuals that consider challenging questions as trolling and simple concise arguments unworthy of consideration.” Bingo.



    Fraud has been commited.


    Powerful people know/knew fraud has been commited.


    Powerful people colluded and conspired to cover up said fraud.


    Powerful people need to be made to answer to the charges.

  8. BT



    Just finished your dad’s book, which eh was kind enough to sign for me. A very interesting account of how cruel our supporters can be at times towards players. It read a bit like a restrained account of his views but the real Mr. Fallon broke out in the final few chapters and I’d recommend it as a read to any of us who think everything was rosy back then when our team achieved great things but still managed to get a few badly wrong too.

  9. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Cheers T


    To my shame I haven’t read it yet but will get round to it soon

  10. Eamon Dunphy on RTE… I don’t like Martin O’Neil’s long ball game.



    Dunphy, still an idiot after all these years. Priceless.

  11. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    Hola! y buenos dias todo el mundo. I am actually in Arbroath but I thought a wee bit of Spanish might brighten up a dull and wet day…….as, indeed, would a positive result from Lord Doherty 0:-)




  12. Hmmmm?



    Sunderland have been linked with a move for one of Celtic’s key players, Nir Bitton. This comes on the back of Celtic recently renewing Bitton’s contract, tying him down on a long term deal until 2020.



    This doesn’t seem to have had any effect with Sunderland however, as reports say that they are preparing a bid in the January transfer window.



    Sunderland have sent scouts to numerous Celtic games this season to cast an eye over Bitton. They aren’t the only English club to have sent scouts, Arsenal did so as recently as last month. However, while Sunderland could offer him an increase in wages, the player himself has distanced any moves to lower league English sides. He said after signing a new contract:



    “Sometimes it’s better to play in the Champions League or Europa League instead of, I don’t know, the bottom of the English Premier League or something.



    You need to think about everything. Sometimes players choose to go after the money. But the money is not the most important thing in life.



    For a player, sometimes to win trophies and play for championships and a Champions League team is better than money.



    At the end of the day you finish your career and look at your past and think, okay, I have done that and that.



    To win trophies with Celtic and play in the Champions League with Celtic as a club for me, right now, is the most important thing.”




    Furthermore, it’s now believed that Celtic managed to put a clause into Bitton’s new contract, meaning he couldn’t leave for anything less that £10 million. A very good clause to have in, if true.



    Celtic have seen numerous players leaving for the riches of the Premier League in recent years, Virgil Van Dijk being the latest when he signed for Southampton in the summer. Adam Matthews joined Sunderland recently, however it looks as though he’s already on the way out, months after joining them.



    The likes of Fraser Forster and Victor Wanyama are others in recent years who have left for the Premier League for large transfer fees.



    It certainly looks like Bitton is the next player who will bring in a hefty sum of money. Will he be the next to follow suit?

  13. winning captains



    passed jim yesterday in falkirk town centre…..weird seeing a lisbon lion in the flesh there….was dying to grab a word with him but shat it!!!!

  14. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    Indeed……and NOW will you answer my 9:48 question? 0:-))




  15. Big Jonah



    What a boy with the ball enveloped somewhere in a giant paw.



    Moving with the power of an hgv, dancing like a Ducati.



    And once he’d destroyed you on the pitch he was lovely to you off the pitch.



    Sleep well big man



    HH jamesgang

  16. Or you can download the app for ….CELTIC NEWS NOW…it’s a good site, updates all day, gets you…James Forrest, Phil, Paul67, The Clumpany, and lots of others, good site as I said.

  17. Andrew Kerins Green and White Army on

    Sad news about Jonah lomu can still see him running over mike Catt at the World Cup only 40

  18. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    Thanks. It is a bit short on evidence to back it up. Nir signs a new contract; ” Ah, well. We must be selling him. Ach, Sunderland will do. ”


    We will see. I certainly hope it is nonsense. I am a big fan of Nir Bitton.




  19. Andrew Kerins Green and White Army on

    Dreadful scenes at the minutes silence in Turkey last night just a few weeks after a huge bomb over there


    It’s only going to get worse

  20. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    ….and thanks for the App information as well but my `phone is of the very, very basic type. PAYG, texts and very occasional calls!




  21. Pogmathonyahun aka Laird of the Smiles on

    RIP Jonah Lomu, a giant of a man in more ways than one. He was the type of player you’d happily pay money to go and watch. May perpetual light shine upon him.

  22. Pogmathonyahun aka Laird of the Smiles on

    I don’t normally complain about this site, but due to certain circumstances it is dead in work and probably will be until I retire in April ’16, therefore I have more time to lurk/post during working hours.


    My main complaint is that I surf on a PC at work and on my IPad at home and the racy adverts at the top only appear on my PC at work and not on my IPad. I would prefer to drool at home rather than at work as people seem to think I have some sort of age related condition :-)