Men against boys: how did that turn out, Graeme?


Celtic have played Blackburn Rovers 19 times, 17 friendlies and two very memorable competitive games.  The English side travelled north for the first leg of a Uefa Cup tie, on Halloween 2002.  Manager, Graeme Souness waited until after kick-off before walking out of the tunnel, an indication that he expected a hostile reception.  His players were less intimidated.

Blackburn bossed the game, so much so, that Souness felt comfortable enough to overlook the fact that Henrik Larsson scored the only goal of the game in the 84th minute, to declare the match “Men against boys”.

That was a decent Blackburn side; Champions League winners, Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole supplied the cutting edge, with Damien Duff, ex-Rangers Tugay in midfield and a host of solid internationals and Premier League professionals.  If football success was about unconverted chances and unproductive possession, Blackburn won hands down.  Souness was blind to his side’s failure.

Celtic shredded Blackburn in the return two weeks later.  Chris Sutton didn’t mind celebrating his opener on his return to the ground he became an EPL champion at, while Henrik scored a peach to secure the tie 3-0 on aggregate.  The game went out live on terrestrial TV across the UK, allowing Henrik to tell the nation, “We knew we played s### in the first leg.”

We tasted Champions League football for the first time a year earlier, then felt the disappointment of elimination in qualification to Basel.  That win over Blackburn gave us hope that we may be able to remain in Europe at Christmas for the first time since 1979.

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  1. Just lucky ghuys!



    I just looked in to thank !!BADA BING!! when the new article popped up!



    Hope you all have a great day!

  2. BIG JIMMY on 15TH JULY 2022 11:46 AM









    I agree.







    I distrust politicians who feel it necessary to lie and mislead the public by presenting a false persona because they consider it would be to their electoral advantage.







    Apart from anything else it can’t be good for their mental or emotional well being.

  3. FRED COLON on 15TH JULY 2022 11:42 AM




    I always thought TD67 could have given Joyce a run for his money with his neologisms.

  4. Sounness always gets a laugh in my house when he’s on Sky – anger simmering away just below the surface, always talking about aggression.



    I showed my kids videos of his famous tackles, the “tackle tackle” as it’s known now. He’s a dinosaur but he can’t get away from the sort of thinking that handed us the advantage in the Uefa cup with his macho bill or nearly had him lynched when he ran on the pitch and planted a flag in the centre circle after the Istanbul derby



    His sort of aggression is from a by-gone age. Midfield bullies breaking down attacks with thigh high tackles, sitting DMs who maje a living from kicking more talented players



    He’s entertaining and offers an insight into a particular way of thinking but the likes of Ange would wipe the floor with any of his teams these days

  5. Bognorbhoy at 11.14 am


    I read your little poem to the melody of My Favourite Things / Raindrops and Roses LOL


    Was it intentional?

  6. BR manager — interesting.


    BR budgets — wages / transfer spend?



    Would we be able to pay more than them?


    Their squad would appear to be very workmanlike.


    8th in the ECh looks like a good result from last season.



    Are they a step up from RV?

  7. Pingback: Men against boys: how did that turn out, Graeme? | Celtic FC News Now

  8. Blackburn Rovers have a new manager this summer



    The team is likely to be in the early stages of its development

  9. C40 @ 12.11



    I think you are getting him mixed up with JC.


    He was a special blend of simmering violence and good passing skills.



    Did you ever see him play?



    Plus he has a strong link to our Right MF / playmaker cohort.


    Allegedly modelled his style of play on one of the best.

  10. Our holiday in Dungloe nearly over…been blessed with decent weather …pups were even in sea!….caught up with old friends ….as usual I will be in tears when I leave !!


    On another subject …I see celtic have announced 3 sell outs ..the two friendlies and the league opener …..oud supporters bus isn’t running a bus to either friendly!!….the cost is far too high for a half full bus ….the ground will be well short of capacity…..there really should be a bigger effort to sort this……

  11. CELTIC40ME on 15TH JULY 2022 12:11 PM


    Sounness always gets a laugh in my house when he’s on Sky – anger simmering away just below the surface, always talking about aggression.



    I showed my kids videos of his famous tackles, the “tackle tackle” as it’s known now. He’s a dinosaur…




    Indeed. He’s full of himself. I always remember his macho bullshit quote, ‘Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser”. Did he ever say anything about having an ebt from Rangers, while he was working elsewhere?

  12. Any news on the Sports Bar that was mentioned on here BADA Bing The Springfield Vaults could do with a upgrade that’s all I’m saying ,not many off the old style pubs left ,is the pubs on Still busy on Fair Friday or like other traditions no more ,same as The Shows down the Glesga Green

  13. C40 @ 12.46



    If that is the case then maybe you should improve your knowledge / understanding of GS before you put forward a viewpoint.



    JC = L/pool hard nut of the 70’s.


    His football skills improved with age.


    However he was a real hard man while GS just looked the part.



    Our Right MF / playmaker cohort — start with BM / 1944 and you will be in a good place.


    He was a big influence on a young GS.



    Original question remains did you see GS play?

  14. Tobago Street on

    BADA, Thanks for the link to the golf! Superb






    Ps Souness? Dinosaur.

  15. At what temperature does the internet melt and people become unable to post on chat rooms and forums?

  16. KGV.



    Don’t know much about history, don’t know much about biology, but I do know that he has a dock on the Clyde named after him.

  17. C40 @ 1.09



    GS is much more than a YT “Tackle” video.


    Played some good football but was always a brand more than a player.


    Bit of a walloper at times but he gave a great insight into our friends in Govan.



    Outsider who wanted to win but still struggled with their traditional ways.



    See the original 1989 “Singing” video for proof

  18. KGV — his personal doctor bumped him off so that his death would be reported in the Times rather than the more vulgar evening papers.



    The British establishment are a funny lot.

  19. celticforever on

    I saw Souness play many times and my opinion was he was a thug



    Remember a tackle in Europe where he was lucky not to end the career of a lad

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