O’Neill is great, but we have moved on. The Great Hunger


I was shouting at Martin O’Neill through the television last night. With the game at 0-0, Wales’ Joe Allen was off getting treatment, which lasted several minutes before he was eventually replaced. Ireland had a man advantage, but still refused to press Wales, who were able to comfortably pass the ball around the back.

Ireland needed a victory, they had a brief window where they would enjoy the advantage, but they chose to defend instead. Then I remembered the game against Barcelona in March 2004. For much of the game Celtic enjoyed a 10-9 men advantage, but it didn’t look that way. We defended our territory and ventured up field only when a mistake or long clearance permitted.

We won that game, the first leg of a knockout tie, 1-0, but there were grumbles among the support in the days thereafter. “We should have gone for them, 1-0 will not be enough.”

Martin gambled successfully against Barcelona as he did last night. There was probably an acknowledgement on both occasions of the comparative limitations of his players, so his game plan was easily understood and scrupulously followed.

He could have urged his players to press forward for the period Allen was getting treatment, but that would have been counter to his simple message. Permitting such off-the-cuff decision-making would have been a fatal mistake.

Teams in possession are more likely to make bad passes in their defensive area than teams who have been drilled to get the ball as far away from their defensive area as possible. You don’t need to like this type of football (I don’t), but Ireland are in the World Cup play-offs when countries with more talented players are out of the competition, including Scotland and Wales.

You wouldn’t want to watch this football at Celtic today. Even back in his Parkhead heyday, Martin received complaints about his team’s robust, target-man, playing style. Ireland are simultaneously an echo of a bygone era and a lesson in winning against better-resourced opponents. I would take it for international football, or even for Champions League group stage, but it would shut the stands at Celtic Park if we tried it domestically.

Celtic wore commemorative shirts against Hibs to mark National Famine Memorial Day. One million people died in Ireland’s Great Hunger in the years of famine, from 1846-50. Millions more left the country, some of whom arrived in Glasgow, and formed the communities which founded Celtic 40 years later.



One million people dying of starvation in what was then part of the United Kingdom is an unimaginable horror. Scotland was also affected by the Blight, although to a lesser extent.

James Forrest’s shirt from the game against Hibs is available for raffle to aid the Celtic FC Foundation’s work (James will sign the shirt). Your Foundation carries on the mission that gave birth to Celtic 130 years ago. It feeds the poor in Scotland, Ireland in London and across the globe, but it also works with many disadvantaged groups of children and adults.

The Foundation is core to our mission as a football club. You can enter the raffle by making a minimum £5 donation on this MyDonate page and answering this question:

Which PSG player was booked for diving against Celtic last month?

Please forward your donation confirmation with the diving player’s name in the SUBJECT line to celticquicknews@gmail.com The raffle will close on Monday.

Thank you.



The new Invincibles treble disc DVD is now available from CQN Bookstore HERE. It is quite simply unmissable. What a season that was!


All CQN t-shirts are now reduced to £10, choose from our Invincibles shirt, the Jock Stein one or the Gotcha classic! We’ve added some new books too and there’s some crackers on the way! More on that over the next few weeks or so.

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  1. Disappointed



    Only log in at lunchtime to see if anyone can still count up to ten (or beyond)



    Suppose there is always tomorrow



    : > (

  2. Real football is back, interesting that one of the ciontenders for a top 6 place has successfully (we are advised) been concentrating on its defensive work to spectacular effect. Only shipping 3 goals to Morton is the benchmark.

  3. Short memories, we were on our knees against the cheating huns, when Martin came in, we will always be in his debt IMO.The long ball stuff was a myth, Agathe and Thompson down the wings, pace and power all over the pitch, not to mention Seville.

  4. Whilst O’Neill’s teams could often steam roller sides I recall many other occasion when we went 1-0 up early you could expect that to be that. Fine against Barcelona but not very entertaining vs Livingston!

  5. Shameless repost..


    a chance to make a young lassie’s day….



    and if you have more than one e-mail, you can vote more than once….. :-)



    CORKCELT on 9TH OCTOBER 2017 5:51 PM




    Bhoys an unusual one from me.




    I could post a big ream on this & might later in week but for the moment I’ll keep it short.




    I’m looking for a minute of your time and your vote for my daughter.




    My daughter is a Make Up Artist who has just chucked her 9 to 5 and started her own studio.




    She is one of 18 nominees for Make Up Artist of the Year obviously if she wins it would be a huge boost for her fledgling business.




    However to get to the final stage where her work is assessed she has to finish in top 3 or 4 of a Public Vote.




    Being a newbie against the established salons the odds are against her but when did that ever deter a Celt.




    If any of ye have the time or inclination to help, just click on link, it will ask you your name & e=mail address, all the categories are then listed in Alphabetical order, scroll down to Make Up Artists and click the names of the 18 contestants then appears. my ghirl is Make Up by Niamh.




    Click on her name & submit.




    You will get a message from the Company probably in your Junk Mail, you need to open that & click on link to verify & make your vote count.




    Any vote would be really appreciated. Can’t wait to show my daughter a few replies if I get any.




    Anyway the link is & I hope this works





  6. CultsBhoy- Last of the famous international PlayBhoys on

    Slightly off track…



    Kris Boyd…oh dear..



    Just listened to BBC podcast from last night discussing Strachan’s performance and future…



    I expect Boyd’s inner Hun to come to the fore under pressure and for him to rubbish Celtic and their achievements at any opportunity. In fact I welcome that as it exposes the Hun agenda in our media. What I couldn’t believe is the deep rooted stupidity he reveals at every twist n turn. As Spock might say he is ‘incomparable with logic’s. I felt for Michael Stewart and even Chick Young as they tried to engage with his lunacy. They were made to look like intellectual giants.



    Hate to think I’m paying BBC to employ morons like this…beggars belief.

  7. What is the Stars on

    Hold on a cotton picking moment compadres


    It’s ok for me to slag off Martin O ‘Neill but I wont accept it from outside.


    Martin is a tactical genius who gets the best out of players.

  8. BATEEN BHOY on 10TH OCTOBER 2017 1:13 PM



    done – but now I’m thinking what if Mrs Vigen sees my email. Will she believe me when I say CQN made me do it?

  9. What is the Stars on

    And another thing



    ” but Ireland are in the World Cup play-offs when countries with more talented players are out of the competition, including Scotland and Wales.”



    Eh ..nonsense


    Wales with their more “talented players” failed to score against us in 2 games.Thats 180 minutes.



  10. Even back in his Parkhead heyday, Martin received complaints about his team’s robust, target-man, playing style.






    Not from me or any Celtic supporter I know.



    Target man playing style?



    Why sign Juninho if your teams style is robust long ball stuff ?



    With a midfield of Lennon, Lambert and Petrov we bypassed them and played long balls?



    Absolute nonsense.



    Only people complaining/ commenting negatively about MONs Celtic playing style from my memory were biased Scottish journos who couldn’t stomach the rise and rise of our club under Martin O’Neill .



    I will forever be grateful to Martin O’Neill , Walford and Robertson for the transformation of our team that took place in their time with us.

  11. Cosy Corner Bhoy on

    Cork Celt: Just catching up (always the case on a golf day!) and saw your re-post of daughter’s competition. Vote cast right away!


    Welcome to CQN Young Miss Cork Celt!

  12. Terje Vigen,



    Disgruntled Wives, Girlfriends, Boyfriends, etc, should be referred to Corkcelt esq. c/o CQN







    Martin O’Neill fully deserves his place in our history. He took over a completely disfunctional and disillusioned squad which had finished miles behind their rivals-by about 20% of points available!






    He then had a look at the players available,asked them where they preferred to play,and brought in some fantastic signings.



    He built a team. He built a team spirit. And he gave us back our pride.



    But by jings,his pragmatism made us difficult to watch at times. And it didn’t always work either.



    The worst example being Anderlecht away,when they were down to ten men after twenty-odd minutes. Oh,I could have strangled him for strangling the team that night.






    In my lifetime,only Jock stands above him for his achievements. He put the huns on the road to hell too,and while I’ll happily crit some displays-2002 Cup Final,as I did yesterday-I’m forever grateful for Martin managing Celtic.



    A legend,IMO.

  14. I agree with you, Paul67, as MON. Others obviously don’t. What can’t be denied is what he achieved. So, I will always be grateful that he was our manager and a great one at that. But we were certainly hard to watch at times and I can’t understand his reluctance to play Lubo at times.

  15. The day MO.N led us to the treble will live with me forever(as will Brendans)


    in 2001 Thousands took to the streets of Coatbridge at the final whistle, even plod stood back and appreciated what they were seeing that day.

  16. It was such an important game that you can excuse both teams but that was a terrible game of football. And with the stakes so high you can forgive a bit of bending of the rules but when you remember the outrage after terry Henry’s handball I did have a little smile at some of the behavior of the Ireland players.



    It’s going to be a big ask against any of the seeded teams


    Martin has a style, a format he sticks to. Big and athletic for the most part.


    It’s easy to see but incredibly difficult to combat.


    When you add Larsson to that team we were great.



    I often suspect Larsson would not have been in MON’s plans.

  18. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    Caught by the curse of the @post at the end of the last article!!’ – here you go…








    right bhoys never mind getting your face make up done on the cheap.i did vote for her.




    ps BIG and WEE GEORGE can come to my house for breaky free any time. jist sayin like .








    Cheers :-) Although will be munchin German bratwurst in Munchen this Thu / Fri – will dedicate my first Paulaner to you Favourite Uncle :-))




    Corkcelt – Me and Wee BGFC voted for yer wean yesterday too – good luck to her!!!!




    Me and the Wee Mhan are flying out on Thursday morning – advance Celtic Pathfinders….








  19. The Green Jedi on

    must pay tribute to Chris Coleman last night, very dignified and showed a lot of humility in defeat, which must have felt like a real kick in the Davina McCalls when his talented team couldn’t score a goal against us (over two legs!)



    His late father was from East Wall in Dublin, so technically he had a foot in both camps





    Possibly not,as you suggest-initially!



    Henrik was recovering from a shocking leg break,the kind that players didn’t come back from not long before.



    But he outscored EVERY England player in The Euros. I know,because I bet a buncha loudmouths at work that he would. That injury alone would have made Martin think twice. He didn’t need to think twice after that.

  21. I remember us being linked with a number of the Welsh players after last summers euros. Joe Allen, Chris Gunther, Hal Robson-Kanu were all the subject of speculation, along with some of the Irish guys – particularly the centre-halfs…..wonder how many of them would make out team now ?

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