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. Good evening CQN, got a message from MURDOCHAULDANDHAY today, a bit of it as follows:


    Hi Lennybhoy signed up for the clinical trial at the Beatson yesterday…I have to be totally free of infection. There’s a lot more hurdles than I thought to get on the trial…


    Will update you when I find out more….. Cheers, Stephen.


    I know you all do but please remember Stephen in your Prayers at this time especially.


    Until we meet again…


    Keep the Faith!


    Hail Hail!

  2. LENNYBHOY on 15TH JANUARY 2019 7:18 PM



    send him my best wishes …………………and a big cyber hug











    You’re right.



    it is sometimes difficult to pick one out from another. Both Gordon and Davidson should be in the team if they are still around and not in the bad fire.



    Where Allan ,Benyu and Kouassi ever given a realistic chance of gaining a starting spot?


    Would Ryan Christie have got his chance if McGinn had been signed?


    All coaches have myopic tendencies when it comes to certain players.


    Allan i understand as he plays some higher risk forward diagonal passes that Brendan does not seem to favour.


    Benyu got fulsome praise but was quickly banished after one poor game.


    Kouassi never got a stretch of games and was a convenient scapegoat against the then high flying Hearts in his first game in months.Also injury and illness may have played a part.


    Abetter application of our system would make the integration of youngsters a little easier then our present haphazard approach.


    A coach needs to be pragmatic and ruthless enough not to let sentiment affect the playing system.


    Jock Stein and Alex Ferguson had the above qualities in abundance.

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



    Who signed all these players I wonder

  6. Surprised not to see Willie Young make the Hun MiB team, seen every other week at Sevco home games for some reason, maybe likes the pies?



    Not sure if only one person is responsible for signings.


    But the number of failings suggest something is seriously wrong with our transfer structure.


    Allan i know was not signed during Brendans tenure so for reason i stated in earlier post he is just a victim of consequence.


    The others were but only DeVries got a decent run of games to establish himself and failed miserably.


    We seem to lack a clear strategy or purpose for players we sign and this should be a priority.

  8. SID



    Did you know that Willie Young is currently Chair of the SFA Referee Committee.?



    Surely in this position Willie wouldn’t show favour to one team?



    It really is a disgrace

  9. Stars


    You pal will be responsible for at least two of them ;-)






    The reason I asked was because they were posted as a stick to beat the manager with, over the years we have signed wheans of players that would never make the grade with us, yet they were still signed, I am not saying that any one person was to blame, but these days it’s either blame A or B, just like everyone is now a certified accountant FFS.



    I know you were not blaming one person.


    it’s easier to scapegoat than admit something is a failure.


    Like you i think the structure is flawed and needs revision.


    I would be curious to know who has input on signings and whose decision is paramount?

  11. Fan-a-tic………….Agreed young Allan, Benyu and Kouassi did they ever in fact get a real chance to progress? That is obviously the price you have to pay if you are not an immediate success at a clu like Celtic where you are expected to win every match and every title. Scott Brown took a long time to establish himself to become one of the cub’s greatest players, we could also say the same about Calmac and James Forrest.



    Mr Young better known down here in Girvan as Willie hun , he was rarely seen without an oldco scarf round his neck !

  13. FAN


    I recall a few years ago the club telling us, in as many words, that we were going down the road of the coach coaches and that’s all he did, this has been borne out by Lenny’s and RD’s time at the club, for some reason people are under the impression that now that we have a top coach in that the policy has changed, it may have, but I doubt it.


    The reason the club decided to go this route was that they saw it as the way forward, it’s the way most european clubs work, the UK is still stuck in the dark ages in this respect, it saves the club a fortune when they change the coach, I actually agree with it, I also think it’s the way forward and the best policy in the main for a club like ours.


    But the blogs are hell bent on picking their sides, we have the board lovers v the rest, quite sad really.

  14. garygillespieshamstring on




    Going back a number of years, a lot of posters attributed Celtic winning the league to Scott Brown being absent from the team, allowing Barry Robson to form a partnership with Paul Hartley in midfield.


    Thank goodness we stuck with him.

  15. Bachman Turner Overdrive employ a serious litigious lawyer ?


    I thought I’d seen it all, but………… ;-)

  16. Love a good stat, those Celtic by Numbers… Number make interesting reading and not a lot can be read into Aitchison in such little time on field but would be good to see him again.



    Riordan was a waste of a career but the same could be said for Stokes, massively talented player who could have went a lot further in the game with a better mindset.

  17. CBN


    He sure did look good, that wasn’t the point I was attempting to make tho, Brendan himself said he didn’t know anything about the boy and he was signed, not that I am against that, I actually agree with it, what I don’t agree with is those who say either one or the other is responsible for the good or the bad signings.


    I have NEVER ever said the Pedro is to blame for the crap signings and the coach was responsible for the good ones, NEVER.


    What I do know for a fact is that two of the biggest earners the club have cashed in on in the past few years were VvD and Big Vic, they were scouted by a bloke called Neill McGuinness, he was an IT bloke at the club then got a position in scouting, all he did was look at videos day in day out, he recommended these two to his boss, John Park and they were signed, he left the club because he wasn’t appreciated.


    So in a way they were scouted and signed by Pedro, kudos where it’s due.

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