Martin O’Neill, Yaya Toure


I remember John Robertson crossing for Trevor Francis in Munich in 1979 and a year later, Robbo scoring against Hamburg Madrid.  Brian Clough and Nottingham Forest were irresistible.  Martin O’Neill was injured and on the bench for the first of those European Cup finals against Malmo, but played as Nottingham Forest retained the trophy a year later.  Forest were everyone’s second team.

We should have beat them in the 1983 Uefa Cup.  We bossed the first leg 0-0 in Nottingham, but Clough knew what Ferguson knew at Aberdeen – soak up pressure from Celtic and hit them on the counter.  The Celtic team of the 80s knew only to attack, it was our repeated downfall domestically and in Europe.

When Martin came to Celtic in 2000 as manager, everything changed in Scottish football.  We have lost only five titles since – by a combined points tally of 12, whereas we have won 13 titles, most of them by double digit margins.  For this, Martin will always be royalty.  Only Henrik Larsson comes close to the esteem he is held in by Celtic supporters.

So I’m fond of Forest and adore Martin, but the latter has let his heart rule his head in becoming manager at City Ground.  The game as moved on spectacularly from when Martin arrived at Celtic.  His achievements at Ireland are better than many give credit for, but you could see the echoes in Ireland on how we used to play.  It will not work in England.  Forest may bounce on the sheer enthusiasm Martin will bring to the club, but this appointment will not end well.

Yaya Toure responded positively when asked if he would like to join Celtic.  The big guy has achieved more in the game than anyone currently at the club will, but the warning signs are writ large.  “Contract terminated by mutual agreement”, the statement which accompanied his departure from Olympiacos last month,  is seldom a sign of a bargain.

We are not in crisis; we are not desperate for cover in central mid.  If the big guy can bring over the best young talent from Ivory Coast, go ahead.  Otherwise, stick to plan.

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  1. So we’ve to cash in on Olivier Ntcham according to the internet.



    What’s the point in selling your best players when the money gets vaulted, with no replacement ever lined up? ……..see Dedryk Boyata and the alleged £9M rejection.



    BR said no replacement, no sale, no use to him is money tied up in Celtic’s coffers, all he gets is an empty peg in the dressing room.



    Jam tomorrow anybody CSC

  2. Why would we sell our best midfielder…??



    Oh yeah…we need heads to roll for that last league game.

  3. Hi Paul67,



    Interesting article. Obviously both Martin and Forrest have moved on from their peak positions and I get what you say.



    But I think this could be a good move for Martin if, and he obviously does, want to remain in football. He’s out of the limelight and pressure and as a Club legend will be given some leeway…



    He’s a smart guy and this gives him a chance of trying some things and move forward.



    Good luck to Martin and Forrest, think it will work out.



    Hail Hail




    I for one would be very sad to see us sell ON who seems to be carrying the can for the defeat at Poundland.



    he’s exactly the kind of midfielder I would like to see us hold onto and build our midfield round..




  5. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    No need to sell N’cham at this point – he’s on a long, new, improved contract so no hurry from Celtic’s perspective.



    When we do decide to sell, we will likely get better value in a summer window in any case when more clubs are looking to remodel their squads more extensively.



    Doubt Brenndan would sanction a move at this point – he want’s N’cham in the squad for the second half of the season.






  6. Olly is a very decent midfielder & player. The problem with midfield around him is that he might not see his short or long term future at Celtic.


    As for McKenna . I’ve watched him closely against us , Burnley in their European game and in some of his Scotland appearances.


    He’s a very decent central defender. The reason he’s on Brendan’s wish list is that he’s , Scottish, left footed and more importantly , very comfortable on the ball.


    A very high priority in Brendan’s teams .

  7. Celtic v Airdrieonians


    William Hill Scottish Cup


    19/01/2019 5:15pm Celtic Park


    Referee: Andrew Dallas


    AR1: David Doig


    AR2: Ralph Gordon


    Fourth Official: Graham Beaton

  8. RON67 – Maybe you need to chat with Brendan who clearly wants McKenna and is prepared to spend a few million in getting him.


    Doesn’t make him right and you wrong but he’s the one being paid to do the job and as long as he is, the board needs to back him.

  9. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Could we take Yaya on for free kicks and penalties?


    Not sure where Ntcham is at. On his best form he is one of our best players. However, he has been poor quite often, although mostly in games where the team has been poor. Cause and effect?


    Would hope Brendan would be experienced enough to know if he is committed to the club or looking for a move. Has been through all that with the likes of Suarez and Sterling. Although the Dembele situation turned into a bit of a farce.

  10. Andrew Dallas, being fast tracked to the top tier of referees in this country, tells everything you need to know about the process.


    It’s rank rotten.


    Possibly the worst ref in the country.



    Could we take Yaya on for free kicks and penalties?



    and corner kicks and throw-ins.

  12. Paul 67



    ‘..for this he will always be royalty’.


    Here was I thinking you liked him but to compare him to royalty, work shy spongers and inbreds, hardly a ringing endorsement Paul 67.



    Good luck to MO’N!

  13. WHITEDOGHUNCH @ 1:18 PM,



    I’m from Airdrie… we can be forgiven souls…



    As I know you are a foody… did you ever get fish and chips… or even better… the roast chicken from Zamboninis!?



    Hail Hail

  14. I read on twitter that Dallas was boo’ed off by both sets of fans at Firhill the other night.



    Hard to believe this is the level of official we have in this country.


    That said Craig Thomson has to be one of the most incompetent refs I have ever seen and I’ve seen Tommy Muirhead.



    Hail hail

  15. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Sooner, rather than later, we will be rebuilding our central defence.


    Boyata and Bencovic both heading or the exit door.



    My preferred future setup will consist of one ball playing ” cultured” centre half and the other, a ball winning, no nonsense, imposing figure of a guy.



    I will leave it up to the CQN Scouting and Remuneration Committee to decide who should fill these positions and what their terms and conditions should be.

  16. Chairbhoy


    can’t say I have


    If you are partial to roast chicken


    then buy one from Robert at St Brides farm


    the best birds this side of Bresse

  17. thomthethim for Oscar OK on




    Thomson is not in competent.


    He knows exactly what he is doing and is very good at it.



    He is one of the Game Management disciples. He controls the game as he thinks it should be run.



    Stopping play when a team is attacking. Overlooking offences, ad judicious use of his cards, all with the designed effect of influencing the result.



    Game Management is the brainchild of Pierluigi Collina and is designed to make the game appealing to TV audiences and sponsors.



    The best way of doing this is by keeping the scores even and 22 men on the park.



    Unfortunately, this is contrary to the Laws of the Game and, in the case of Scottish refs, who have embraced it, leaves the game open to corruption……..as we know to our cost.

  18. WHITEDOGHUNCH @ 1:39 PM,



    Thanks for the recommendation, next time I’m in Scotland I’ll do that…



    Hail Hail

  19. Nitcham ,he is not consistent ,in fact I think he is terrible,so I wouldn’t lose any sleep if he went in this transfer window,in fact I still can’t understand why Scott Allan isn’t getting a run in the first team,and I don’t think he is a bad player as some fans say he is,also Morgan and Hayes need to find another club,not out on loan.

  20. ———————–Gordon————————-



    ?????? Benckovic McKenna Tierney



    ————Christie McGregor——————-



    Forrest (Rogic or Weah) Burke or Edouard



    —————Bayo or Edouard————–





    In my mind, we are a bonefide Right Back away from being good to go.

  21. mike in toronto on

    I am definitely in the pro-ON camp. Although I cant figure out if when he plays well, we play well, or the other way ’round.



    My sense is that the French guys learn how to play a more fluent game, and when all three were on the pitch, the whole tempo of our game increased. Otherwise, CalMac is really the only other play who single-handedly changes the whole tempo of how we play.



    But when MD left something changed. Not sure if it was downing tools, or the team was missing the drive and focus up top that MD provided.

  22. From Celtic site



    33 players plus 1 on Loan. Reserves 16 players plus 7 on loan.


    This window to date 5 new players. If all go to First team squad then 38 players. More to come?



    We can only play 14 per match, 24 unused.



    When people ask what happened to the Dembele money then we are paying approx. £7 – £10million per year in wages for unused players alone.



    This is not good business

  23. Nitcham is a poor passer of the ball. IMO.



    Unjumble the the following words to make a sentence.



    Him punt

  24. As long as we aren’t paying stupid money to Yaya then why not?



    As for N’tcham, he has the potential to be our best player but without application that potential is meaningless and he’s not been performing since he signed his new deal. There’s no point in keeping unhappy players at the club and at this moment in time he’s behind McGregor and Brown. It’s a position that’s not a priority.



    We need centre backs in pronto!

  25. Philbhoy on 15th January 2019 2:11 pm



    The stats would say he’s the most effective passer in the squad (not for success rate but for moving the ball forward and taking out opposition players which is what we all crave).

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