No. 10. Roulette wheel manager appointment


We played at Hampden on League Cup duty for the game after the death of Bertie Auld’s great pal, Jimmy Johnstone, Celtic players wore a number 7 on their shorts to mark his passing.  There was so much emotion around the club that week, Gordon Strachan later said that winning his first trophy as Celtic manager that day was second on his thoughts, they simply could not lose with emotions among the community already so raw.

There is a symmetry with tomorrow’s game.  It’s a League Cup semi-final, not the final itself, but Ange Postecoglou is also chasing his first trophy as Celtic manager and Celtic will wear Bertie’s number 10 on their shorts.  If they play with a fraction of the guile and fight that Bertie showed when he pulled on those white shorts, St Johnstone are wasting their time showing up.

Celtic have won 12 successive games at Hampden, St Johnstone won on their four visit last season.  The Perth side have struggled to score goals this season but remain a formidable defensive outfit who know how to win cup games, albeit against lesser opponents than Celtic.

That record of Celtic’s will count for little as for many who will play for Celtic tomorrow, this will be their first visit to the national stadium.  It is a big game for the captain, too.  Hampden has provided Callum McGregor with fond memories for years, he knows every inch of that pitch and can own it tomorrow.  This League Cup offers him his first opportunity to climb the steps to collect a trophy as captain.  I cannot see past Celtic tomorrow.

Newco provided their fans with a recognised name, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who starred for Rangers before heading to Arsenal then Barcelona.  Earlier this week, I suggested a manager should be, “tactically gifted, an effective communicator of ideas and instructions, as well as a working knowledge of a value market to strengthen your squad”.

van Bronckhorst was manager of Feyenoord for four years before a year in China.  His first act as manager was to sign a loanee already at Feyenoord, Colin Kazim-Richards.  Hmmm.  He won the Dutch League, the latter by a point from Ajax, who played 19 European games that season, 13 more than Feyenoord.  He resigned from Feyenoord having subsequently lost the league by 17 and then 21 points, without leaving evidence of being tactically talented.  An 11th place finish in China left no one stressing about his departure.  The Netherlands in not a value market, it is the most monitored country on the planet, every time a kid there bounces a ball, three scouts turn round and take a notebook out their pockets.

It continues to amaze me how appointing a famous player as manager turns otherwise sensible people into adherents of superstitious gambling.  Evidence van Bronckhorst will succeed at Newco does not exist, this is a huge gamble, all the man has is name recognition and a title eked out against an exhausted Ajax team.  Newco remain at their natural territory, the roulette wheel.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5

  1. But he knows the game and has played in Scotland and has contacts in the Dutch market. he also signed off texts messages with WATP when he was a player..hes a natural!.



    What you talking about Paul!

  2. onenightinlisbon on

    Excellent post Paul.



    Cannot believe the hype around this guy, but he is one of RA PEEEEEEEEPIL……

  3. My first ever Celtic Cup Final was in September 1969. It was 3rd Hampden Cup Final we had won in 5 months. It was the least impressive as the previous 2 had been 6-2 v Hibs and 4-0 v The now defunct Rangers FC.



    This one was special though as it was my first and I was (7 years old) right at the front of the Celtic end with the view (those of my vintage) can probably all recall. But it was not to be Jinky or Tommy or Yogi or even Stevie Chalmers or wee Bobby or big Billy who won it for us that day. It wasn’t a win with swagger but it was a ‘grafted for’ 1-0 with wee Bertie scoring the only goal.



    It was the last time I can recall us playing St Johnstone at the national stadium in a cup game. It was a strong Saints team back then. It was a special day for me and wee Bertie won the cup with that strike after 3 minutes.

  4. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Not seeing the relevance to Celtic of who It’s-Definitely-Not-Rangers appoint as their manager, although they seem to have avoided going down the “he knows the city” direction.


    A fairly ambitious move for a club that will be looking to add to their haul of trophy.


    Hope we have learned the lessons of the Livingston game and don’t approach this game the same way. St Johnstone will be far better organised defensively than Dundee, but if we can repeat what we did there – moving the ball quicker, better movement and more combination plays then we should have easily enough to win the game.

  5. One fun fact about the cup final v st Johnstone in 69 was that Celtic dropped Tommy Gemmell after he had chased the German Haller up the park and kicked him in an international a few days earlier.

  6. Bertie’s funeral, next Friday St Mary’s, Abercrombie St midday, passing Celtic Park at 1.30 approx,will be live on Celtic TV.

  7. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Enjoyable leader Pablo.



    Looking forward to tomorrow.



    Think it will be a tough game which we will end up winning.




    As for GVB ….



    One point I would add to your “appointing a famous player as manager” theme.



    The footballing world often falls into this trap with Dutch ex-players !



    Thought process ?



    “Dutch, great player, grew up with total football … ergo must be a genius”



    I blame Cruyff who broke the mould.



    Other than him?



    Historical influencers on the Dutch footballing model (most are Dutch although some were foreigners) ….



    … were mostly white haired old men who, after EXTREMELY modest playing careers, became deep thinkers.



    Rinus Michels, Ernst Happel, Gus Hiddink, Leo Beenhakker to name a few.

  8. garygillespieshamstring on

    That cup final was also the beginning of the end for Stevie Chalmers, carried off with a broken leg in the first half.

  9. What is the Stars on

    Not too worried about the tactical nous of Van Broken Horse but I heard his backroom staff can really influence games


    Beaton Madden etc

  10. On paper does GVB have a better record than Mowbrary, Lenny, Deila or even Ange?



    Not a guarantee of success of course.



    I’d also bet that he will be paid more than the aforementioned. Sevco are irresponsible but they put their funds on the park.

  11. BURNLEY78 on 19TH NOVEMBER 2021 1:07 PM


    One fun fact about the cup final v st Johnstone in 69 was that Celtic dropped Tommy Gemmell after he had chased the German Haller up the park and kicked him in an international a few days earlier.






    I thought Tommy Gemmell kicked him up the arse?!!



    Hat, coat……

  12. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Ridiculous fawning on the BBC Website.



    The 20-team top flight league is in safe hands.



    After recent merry-go-round, 25% of managers are English.



    And these five guys are at the helm of teams in 7th, 16th, 18th, 19th & 20th positions.



    The future is bright.




  13. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Am on a roll but will keep quiet for a bit after this one.





    The lunacy shows no sign of letting up.




    Week 5 ….



    “You’re kick off is 12:00 noon this Saturday.



    Sorry, I know you played Champions League on Wednesday night on the other side of Europe …



    …. Chinese TV market and all that.



    Sod the players and fans. Sorry”




    Week 6 ….



    “Your kick off is midnight this Saturday.



    Sorry, I know you are playing Champions League this coming Wednesday night on other side of Europe …



    …. US TV market and all that. Early evening on Eastern seaboard, late afternoon out West.



    Sod the players and fans. Sorry”





    PS – if you think this semi flippant Week 6 scenario is totally fanciful?



    … who on here is old enough to remember Frank Bruno’s world title fight against Tim Witherspoon?




  14. My only concern about Van Bronkhurst is that he would surely expect a few quid to spend in January. Are they about to throw what’s left of their family silver at chasing the CL money like addictive roulette wheel spinners. Celtic need to be doing what good house managers do and ensuring they don’t lose put to reckless risk takers. I’m convinced that two or three more quality additions to the playing staff will put us well ahead of them.



    I know nothing of GVBs tactical prowess but it should t matter. We need to take care of our business and we will put an end to his managerial career as we should have with Slippy G.

  15. Very topical — does the SPL have a TV deal in the US?


    If yes for how much and what has been the history?


    Asking for a friend — someone must have some shelf data on this?


    Can trade for some Big Auto stats if needed.



    Topical — GvB is a better manger than SG by some considerable margin.


    However SG was just there for the headlines — it was the coaching staff that were key.


    Consequently it will be the quality of the coaches — and the MIB support staff — that will be the decider.



    Slightly topical — AGM fallout and the chatter on KDS about where we stand.


    Lots of hot air on this that borders on the moon howling of the dispossessed.


    Our board are a shower and a half and that is just the way DD / the Irish Raj likes it.


    The way to beat them / worry them / shake them out of their torpor is to join them.



    If the ordinary supporter buys shares and clubs together — supporters trust voting as a block then we are in business. Supporters Trust has a pre AGM to work out an angle and we vote as a block.



    60K supporters — home game attendance … = £900mill gross income pa / £3bill net in assets / savings.


    120K people who will attend at least one game per season and the numbers move up substantially.


    Plug numbers invented in 5 minutes but we have the levers to make a difference.


    That is individual incomes / assets not family stuff.



    The same support puts in £40-50mill direct every year and manage no leverage from it.


    DD / Irish Raj gets back £600K each year and a never ending supply of club ties and prawn sandwiches.



    Just a case that it all needs focus / energy / cohesion / desire.


    If it all happens then DD is toast.



    Something needs to change.

  16. A bit of info on van Bronkhorst’s Feyenoord achievements. In all four of his Feyenoord seasons his team started pretty well, stringing together a number of wins in the early season. As each season progressed however they are all marked by quite long good or bad patches. For example season 15/16 started with 11 wins in the first 15 games, then a patch of 9 games without a win, before recovering in February to drop only 4 points in the last 10 games.



    This pattern is seen in all of his Feyenoord seasons which suggests when his team gets on a run (good or bad) the direction isn’t easily changed. The title winning 16/17 season is a possible exception where the performance was relatively consistent. However they had a serious wobble at the end of the season when the pressure started to bite, dropping 11 points in their last 10 games.



    European performances under GVB were generally poor. In 16/17 they finished 3rd in their Europa group below Fenerbahce and Man Utd, recording only 2 home wins (Mourinho’s Man Utd and the bottom placed Zorya Luhansk). The next season 17/18 they qualified directly for the CL, finishing bottom of a pretty tough group with just one win (a 2-1 home defeat of Napoli in the last grp game). In his last season 18/19 they bombed out of Europa qualifying at the first time of asking, losing 5-1 to Trencin (Slovakian) over two legs.



    Incidentally if you look at his Feyenoord team which won the league it is the very definition of “ordinary”, there were absolutely no stars in that team unless, depending on your point of view, you count Dirk Kuyt who was 36 at the time. None of those players have moved on to anything spectacular. The two defenders who earned big moves to Monaco and Roma on the back of that season, like a lot of dutch footballers of the current era, were soon found out and have been moved on by both teams (one is back at Feyenoord).

  17. MADMITCH on 19TH NOVEMBER 2021 2:47 PM




    Nothing will change until the huns win a succession of trophies, that’ll create the necessary anger levels among the hush puppy clad, 4×4 driving, AGM no marks, 53k green Tory voting, (if you financially support a Tory PLC) then your voting Tory, green Tory = green hun, these spoiled fans ©Neil Lennon, who all need, badly need, educated at the Celtic skool of hard knocks, just like Celtic fans of late 1980’s, early 1990’s had to endure, only then will AGM’s stop looking like prayer meetings, if huns go on a run of winning trophies(hopefully not), and the many city centre of Glasgow invasions will be overlooked by ScotsGov, maybe then these tartan Tims will see just exactly who they’ve been voting for and been taken for a ride as laughing stocks, they might even find some Catholic guilt and admit that these spoiled Celtic fans ©Neil Lennon, have voted for all of the carnage to come(hopefully not to come), vote for green Tory’s inside Parkhead, and for Celtic hating tartan kilted Tory’s and their Indy2 hoax outside of Parkhead, that guilt might force a boycott??


    hh ✌

  18. JO @ 3.17



    Frontier gibberish — that was some amount of frontier gibberish.


    The teenage style dalliance with Not Jacinda and her Tartan Tories will end soon enough.



    But be careful what you wish for — fat and happy DD vs TFOD2.1 winning streak?


    Have to say that I will not cut off my nose to spite my face.


    Go AP go.



    Currently we have a 48% chance of winning the league — 52% if we had scored against Livi.


    Big spend in Jan — 4 first teamers @ LB / CB / DM / striker of some sort — and we are up at 60%+.



    For the record I do not go near a bookies.

  19. MADMITCH on 19TH NOVEMBER 2021 3:33 PM




    Don’t be going and forgetting that if the huns don’t get their hands on the £40 million European Cup money it’ll be carnage for the OF.


    Celtic PLC don’t want that to be going on, so anything, absolutely anything, could happen.


    hh ✌

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5