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. If McKenna joins (looking likely)



    I have a feeling that will be the end of transfer activity.



    However in a perfect world, if we could capture a bonafide Right Back, I would be delighted with our business.

  2. thomthethim for Oscar OK on







    So really, it all comes down to recruitment and having a blueprint for the type and particulars of who to bring in.


    I wonder where a Director of Football model is really the way to go.



    Clubs, like Celtic, have an identifiable style of play, which should form the basis of our recruitment.



    Consistency is key to this model, therefore, a change of manager should not mean a change of style.


    That way only players who can adapt to that style should be signed.



    That should reduce the amount of square pegs we seem to gather.



    Another problem is the transfer window. For at least two months in a season, it is a distraction, especially among desperate supporters, who anxiously await the influx of new Stars.



    This, I believe, is the main reason we have accumulated a plethora of under used players.



    Personally, I don’t like the “get rid” posts that appear on blogs etc.



    As a former trade unionist, I think it is wrong to advocate the sacking of another man, who has family and other responsibilities.



    Would any of us tell a pub manager to sack a staff member who made a mistake or, perhaps weren’t on top of their game?

  3. succulentlambstinks on

    Fair point. But when you can only pull 2 decent pints a season isn’t it time to move them on ?

  4. The criticism of Nt’cham that he is inconsistent has merit.


    But how easy was it for him when his role was frequently changed due to the coaches unsuccessful tinkering with the line up.


    He has defensive flaws but his ability to take the ball under pressure and keep the ball moving is better than anyone else in the squad.


    If we had better movement in the forward areas then his passing ability would shine.


    As a young player we should expect inconsistent performances but his have been multiplied by some poor coaching performances.

  5. we need solid defenders, we have enough midfielders ,if McKenna signs so be it, but might be ok in the spl but European football, ill be hiding behind the couch.hh.

  6. glendalystonsils on

















    So really, it all comes down to recruitment and having a blueprint for the type and particulars of who to bring in.




    It makes sense and , to be fair, I think for the most part that’s what we have done . It’s just that we have had somewhat limited success in getting it right.



    I was a union rep myself for a time. My ‘get rid’ is a soft version in the context of a footballer who moves on from one highly paid job to another.



    Got to go . Be on later.

  7. thomthethim for Oscar OK on




    I was a union rep myself for a time. My ‘get rid’ is a soft version in the context of a footballer who moves on from one highly paid job to another.






    Not usually when they are moved on in the “get rid” category.



    Soft Get Rid – Hard Get Rid.



    Sounds like Brexit.



    If Brendan leaves, will that be a Hard or Soft BRexit?

  8. Ntcham and French Eddy are both inconsistent.



    But apart from Scott Brown last season and season before, show me another Celtic player that hasn’t been inconsistent.



    I agree, that the collective inconsistency isn’t helped by Brendan’s continual experimenting, particularly on away games.

  9. Curious case of Jozo Simounovic



    Not sure if anyone has any insight.



    When Boyata was injured, Jozo came in and partnered Benckovic across 4 games.


    He acquitted himself pretty well in the games I saw.



    Rodgers wanted Boyata in place for Ibrox. Brought him in from the cold versus Aberdeen up at Pittodrie. Then played him against Sevco.



    What happened to Jozo? Dropped? Injured? Face don’t fit? What….?

  10. Dessybhoy



    I was astounded of forehead when LG was given an extended contract. He’d spent much of the previous season and a half on the physio bench and his off field complications were common knowledge all over the Burg and beyond.



    This in no way diminishes my concerns for him in his ongoing challenges.



    HH jg

  11. South Of Tunis on




    Italian MSM claiming that Lazio are no longer interested.-allegedly Atalanta want more than Lazio are prepared to spend.

  12. Aberdeen Twitter



    Scott McKenna to Celtic Hayes to Aberdeen and Hendry on loan to them till the end of the season





  13. Paul 67 asks:


    “If the big guy can bring over the best young talent from Ivory Coast, go ahead. ”



    Something that surprises me, is that we have not been keener to get players from the Ivory Coast (Or French guys who are in the Ivory Coast setup). They normally produce very ‘complete’ players who are capable of playing in any league, due to the combination of an excellent technical grounding required, allied to the stereotypical ‘power and pace’ they are renowned for.



    A player I have identified a couple of seasons ago is Centre Back Simon Deli, at Slavia Prague. At 6’4, he is good in the air, and chips in with the odd goal. He is very comfortable on the ball too – he will dispossess a forward, and then not be phased as the player comes in to win it back, stays calm and picks his pass.



    He is under contract for another 18 months, one of the best defenders in the Czech League – Slavia are top of the table.



    I am astonished we have never been linked, due to the Kolo connection at the very least. I suspect it is just a matter of time before Deli moves on to bigger things. Surely the upper levels of the Czech league are exactly the sort of pool we should be fishing in?

  14. Bada Bing –



    I am not totally against any SPL signings. I thought we should have gone for Sol Bamba when he was at Leeds (and Hibs). He now starts in the EPL. I also would have looked at Cedric Kipré very closely – i think he will have a good career. Stephen O’Donnell is another who would be better than Ralston or Gamboa for me.



    But… you are right in that we need starters who can improve the First team right now. There is zero value in England, and short term loans are normally an abysmal failure. The SPFL very rarely offers that kind of quality these days, so overseas is where we should be looking – I agree with you.

  15. BSR



    JRP Gordon should be in your refs team as possibly the worst in terms of bias, but, no surprise he was suspended due to taking bribes from AC Milan



    A horrible man who I seem to remember led a board rebellion against Danny McGrain being appointed Airdrie Manager.

  16. Must say the shock of the week was the offer of 8 mil from Herr Klopp and the Liverpool crowd for James Forrest , probably one of the best widemen in Britain at this time. Obviously a Germanic sense of humour or Herr Klopp does not not quite play with a full deck which I have often suspected.


    Maybe at Liverpool they think Brendan, Peter and Dermot have just come down from the mountains with Katie Daly.

  17. Ruggyman



    I agree, we will release these players but why buy some of them in the first place



    The 8 players you mention and the 3 loans would take us down to 26 plus 2 returning from loan. So 28 and adding anyone from Development squad will give us a large number of players at 29-30.



    There are more players mentioned by others who will also be released.



    I would like to think that we bear this in mind when singing players in future



    De Vries, Commper, Mulumbu, Allan, Benyu, Kouassi , Arzani(unlucky) have contributed nothing and should not have been signed,



    Of course, this is with Hindsight but it should be a lesson

  18. Bigbhoy………you mention young players like Allan, Benyu and Kouassi who all came to Celtic with good cvs but so far have failed to establish themselves in the team which is really disappointing makes you wonder should the club stick or twist with these lads. Dembele,Ollie and Ntcham all hit the ground running when they got their chance.



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





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






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







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



    Tiny Wharton





    Reading back was shocked to see this team with a token tim in it, particularly when fine candidates like Andrew Waddell, JRP Gordon and Jim McCluskey played out their skins for years.




  20. garygillespieshamstring on




    The ex ref who blocked Danny was the infamous RH Davidson.



    Gordon guilty of many offences against Celtic, but not that one.


    The 1978 new year game was one of his worst.

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