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. succulentlambstinks on

    I agree that N’tcham has on occasion been a joy to watch.


    He has also been very poor in games one has expected him to perform in.


    I think he gets Dembele’d the night before he’s poor on social media.


    A bad influence is his French dwelling stroppy mate I believe.

  2. South Of Tunis on

    Olivier Ntcham .



    Spent two years on loan at Genoa . He could have been theirs for 4.5 million euros in the summer of 2017 . They chose not to exercise the relevant right to buy clause . They stated that 4.5 million euros was a lot of money for them and that they were not convinced that he was consistently good enough to merit such an outlay .

  3. Anybody who has access to BT Sport should watch the documentary ‘I believe in Miracles’ about that Forest side.



    It really showed that Clough and Taylor together was possibly the best management team in British football, considering from where they took the club from in the old Second Division.



    It was heartwarming to see, that like the Lions, they all enjoyed each other’s company so much.

  4. No idea if McKenna is good enough, haven’t seen enough of him. Willie Miller rates him so even if you take in the Aberdeen connection then that’s a decent recommendation.


    Someone said the other day that Anthony Ralston is an SPL player at best. Well that’s about fifty games a season if you include cup competitions.We can’t judge all our players by later stages of champions league, some boys need time to develop.

  5. Big Bhoy



    Your stats don’t make for good reading.


    That said, we have shed, Armstrong, McKay-Steven, Erik Sievchencko, Paddy Roberts, Moussa Dembele, plus a few others that I can’t remember off top of my head.


    Add to this, Brown, Lustig, Izzy, and countless others that have contracts up come this summer.



    These guys won’t be here. And if they do remain, they will be on vastly reduced wages.



    People are continually scare-mongering about wage bill spiralling out of control. I don’t buy into that theory. As with those mentioned above, I am seeing a lot of churn / turnover of players. There are a lot of big earners already away, and more to follow

  6. jimbob71 & little Miss jimbob on

    I’ve always been of the impression that ON is either sugar or sh**e.



    There seems to be no middle ground with him.



    I’m undecided with the talk of keep or sell so my input is useless!!

  7. Ruggyman



    Since Brendan arrived we have signed 25 players plus academy graduates. He said that his ideal squad was around 25 players. I reckon we are about 12 players more than under Ronny.



    Now I know some of these players will not get better money elsewhere so they are staying put. However, we should be at least putting them out on loan. We also need to stop signing projects that don’t play.



    It’s not just the wages wasted, we have a huge number of players who wont play and who must be unhappy.



    The equivalent of the Dembele fee will be paid to unused players over 2 seasons.

  8. glendalystonsils on

    We never seem to be in a hurry to recruit players that we need but we seem to be even slower to get rid of the ones we don’t need;-))

  9. thomthethim for Oscar OK on



    We never seem to be in a hurry to recruit players that we need but we seem to be even slower to get rid of the ones we don’t need.





    How do you get rid of players who are in contract, that don’t want to leave and no clubs are after them?


    Is there a recycling depot for unwanted, previously loved players?

  10. Likely players to leave :



    Lustig, Brown, Scott Allan, Johnny Hayes, Izzy, Jack Hendry (Loan)



    Players definitely departing in summer :



    Boyata, Benckovic, Weah (Loan end), Burke (Loan end)





    Bigbhoy, I don’t know what constitutes your numbers. But for me, come start of June, if all the above noted players exit the club… then in terms of first team squad, I would consider us to be light on the ground, in terms of numbers.

  11. Go tell the Spartim on

    I often wonder what people see when they watch the same game as me………………………….

  12. Paul67


    Esteem? Only Henrik comes close?


    In subsequent jobs the blessed Martin (whom I loved) hasn’t come close to what he achieved when he inherited the King of Kings in 2000 and never will.


    You may have got your Esteemed pecking order a wee bit mixed up.


    Take it easy.



  13. Calvin Miller



    If Gutman is signed and sealed. Where does that leave Calvin Miller? I would guess he’ll be loaned out again or sold.



    There’s stats, stats, and damn lies.



    I’d say the numbers presented are scewed. No doubt including players such as the Young 16yr lad Armstrong from Arsenal.


    Focus really should be on first team squad. And in that sense, the strength and depth in numbers before this window wasn’t great.


    2 strikers of any note. Barely sufficient cover in both full-back positions. The lack of strength and depth of numbers was exposed at Ibrox. Like it or not

  14. Le Trois Amigos used to go to training together, mosque together and you presume, hing oot the gither.



    Remove the principal one, in sudden and fairly acrimonious circumstances, and add in the supposed earlier transfer interest ….. and it’s no wonder to me than his attitude seems to suck.



    The wonder is that young French Eddie seems to have coped much better with the change.



    No matter how good Ntcham is, his ‘I suck’ version really sucks as was clear against deidco.



    HH jg

  15. glendalystonsils on




    Yes , it is a problem to which there are no easy answers . One way of cutting down waste would be to improve scouting to eliminate the ‘Marvin Commpers’. Another might be to avoid recruiting in areas where we have an abundance of players of similar types who are not likely to dislodge those in front of them. Then there are the players who with hindsight , seem to be ‘kneejerk’ signings .Unfortunately the job of recruitment does not come with a crystal ball. Getting rid ,as you point out ,is the hard part . If we could improve our record on squad fillers who are never likely to get a game that would be a better way to approach it.

  16. David17



    Another midfielder ? Surely not.



    Please Brendan meet a top class RB and CH please.

  17. david17



    i think he is meeting pl new seretary first.






    60ml wages not sustainable without group stages of cl imo.

  18. Tim Horton



    Ultimately why there has been no progress on Brown re-signing.


    33 yrs old. On £30k per week.



    Australia offering him 2 or 3 yr deal, on £16k a week. Its a no brainer.


    I wonder what Peter Lawell’s offer is… 1 year playing contract at end of which a route into coaching set-up. 1 year contract on about £8k per week. I reckon that will be Brown’s options

  19. ………………………… Craig Thomson……………………………..



    Boaby Madden……… David Syme………..Rev. M. McCurry



    Hugh Dallas………… ..Stuart Dougal…………Dougie McDonald



    John Beaton………………Bobby Tait …………. Willie Collum



    Tiny Wharton

  20. A no to signing YAYA Toure for me, far to slow and that was when he left Man City, not played much since, not for me in any way. I read on etims that they think Griffiths has played his last game for Celtic, he has signed a 4 year deal recently , surely this is not the case?

  21. ….sorry, that should be Brendan is meeting with General McArthur………..





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