Revisions have caught up with Martin O’Neill


Martin O’Neill is royalty.  In his company, everyone is on form.  They listen to whatever he says, no one interrupts him, no one contradicts.  If you tell Martin a joke, you make sure it’s funny.  Even the A-graders watch their words around him.

This kind of respect is hard won.  He delivered as a player, possessing two European Cup winner’s medals.  As manager of Leicester City, he reached three League Cup finals in four season, winning two.

His arrival in Glasgow in 2000 changed football here forever.  Despite winning the league in 1998 Celtic were perennial underdogs for 12 years, forever trying to catch up with their neighbours.  We have lost five leagues in the subsequence 18 years, but even during the darkest of those days, we remained a formidable opponent to all in Scotland.

Martin’s formula was straightforward.  He liked defenders who would win and clear the ball.  He liked wide players who were good at crossing the ball and he liked strikers who scored goals.  The recent sequence of hundreds of corner kicks Celtic failed to converted over nine months was unthinkable in Martin’s time.  Back then the panic was over how few goals we scored from open play.  Send the ball forward, get it into the box, everyone attack the ball.

It worked.  Then the (rightly) maligned Alex McLeish arrived at Ibrox, played three up front against Celtic’s three central defenders and won the first five trophies available to him.  Alex. McLeish.  Celtic responded by winning 25 consecutive league games in season 2003-04, the most dominating champions up until that point, but Larsson left and the stars of Thompson, Sutton and Hartson faded.  There was no sustainable strategy.

If Martin O’Neill was sitting beside me right now I would be in awe, but the writing has been on the wall for well over a decade regarding his football management prowess.  Martin had the magic potion in the late 90s and early 2000s.  He went toe-to-toe with Mourinho – the latter only edged their epic encounter with far better players, but his systems were ineffective against modern players and on modern pitches.

He reached the Euros with Ireland, despite the remarkable (cough) choice of Roy Keane as his assistant, and only a pummelling by Denmark stopped Ireland reaching this year’s World Cup, but the style of football was little changed from his days in Glasgow.

The people of Leicester adored him, then some other guy came along and won the league.  He is adored in Glasgow too, but some other guy followed him and took us into the once fabled ‘next stage’ in the Champions League, others beat Barcelona and won double trebles.  He was a titan when he left town in 2005, eclipsed only by Jock Stein, but revisionism has not been kind.

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  1. Paul 67,



    Mon will always be revered by One half of Glasgow. I haven’t detected much animosity from the other half, apart from those who are perpetually offended.



    However , his choice of assistant for the ROI was just wrong.


    In football terms, to stand still is to regress. Martin has been guilty of that.




  2. Good morning from a very wet but mild Lanzarote hotel room. If this gets through, blame Emerald Bee for his advice on improving the CQN experience!

  3. Couldn’t access or write posts on last article from 8.30.



    Even using adblockerplus site is a nightmare.



    I need one spare for Hamilton.

  4. Worthy, IMO, of a repost:








    “Let`s be hearing from members of the CQN fraternity who have run multi million pound organisations.


    Your starter for …………………………………..



    And forsooth , the punters waited in awe. With bated breath . For the challenge had been laid down.For surely there would be a rush to admit membership of said club”






    Not sure I get your line of atttack here but I am prepared to reply even if, like you, I do not meet the stringent requirements for comment that you intended to set (BTW- doubt if anyone is in awe waiting for this or has bated their breath). :-



    I did not see much criticism for the way Celtic is run commercially yesterday- did you?


    What I did see was a lot of criticism about the ethics of the operation over the obscurantist way it dealt with a shareholder led request for clarity on Res 12.


    The people who led the complaints against Volkswagen over their falsification of diesel emission data, did not have experience of running companies as large as Volkswagen. Should their complaint have been dis-barred?


    Those companies that mis-sold PPI with their products were usually large companies. The people that sought re-dress had had to have recourse to credit facilities, resulting in PPI being offered, so they were unlikely to be captains of industry either. Did they not understand the pressures that lead to unethical behaviour in Boardrooms?


    You are a poster that will use the exhortation to “play the ball and not the man” but you have just been guilty of Colonel Jessup type rhetoric in stating “we are not fit to criticise or handle our truth”. You made no comment on the merits of the arguments being put forward in criticism of the Board, you just belittled the right, or expertise, to be exact, of the critics to make their argument.


    There is a poster on CQN, Traditionalist88, who regularly states that “We are not allowed to criticise professionals” and claims that there are many posters who are advancing that “straw man” argument. I have often challenged him by asking who is actually saying that as I do not see that argument being madeYour post, about needing credentials and qualifications to be able to criticise, has made my question less telling. There is now one CQN man who has advanced such a view- yourself.


    Now, how about starting again and stating your own views about the merits or weaknesses in the criticism leveled against the board.


    Don’t worry, I will set a very low barrier for your right to express such views- you just have to attempt to make sense.”



  5. “ERNIE LYNCH on 22ND NOVEMBER 2018 9:18 AM


    I assume that the Big Swinging DIcks who own and control Celtic will have their own reasons for not challenging the same club lie that overshadows professional football in Scotland.


    I suppose that is their prerogative,it is their Club after all, but you think they would have the decency to let us know what the reasons are.



    Maybe they think we’re too stupid to understand.”



    Or maybe there is another reason. FWIW, I don`t think there is but I know there might be.




  6. MAcjay


    Although I have seen fit to repost SFTB`s post,, I still think your original post has merit.



    I have often argued that people are far too strong and rigid in proffering opinion accompanied by little knowledge and no evidence.I did not feel that that was the case in most of the posts criticising Celtic plc`s lack of action and disclosure on resolution 12. The Board DO seem reluctant to be transparent about this particular issue.They MIGHT have good reason so to do but supporters/shareholders have equally good reason to question .


    Damp in Arbroath but not very windy so a wee bike ride beckons.


    Cheerio for now.






  7. It wpould appear that someone on the board, or maybe the whole of the board, have something to hide with matters Res 12.


    That is the only conclusion I arrive at when there is such overwhelming cast iron proof that fraud was committed.


    What is the next move when the board of a PLC are not representing or protecting their share-holders interests?

  8. Bawsman



    It is a bit early here, and I am heading out for a meeting, so don’t have time to type up an answer.



    But you might find this answers some of your questions. here is a link to an article which sets out in general terms what can be done in the event of a dispute between Boards and shareholders.




  9. ” revisionism has not been kind”



    Hmm, maybe yours P67, but his 5 years in Glasgow were like nothing since Stein and certainly – the odd CL success in group stages by WGS and NL aside – we’ve not seen the likes since. No one ever dreamed of a EUFA final in the late 90s and I doubt no one does today . Ublike NL and BR he also had to contend with a heavily doped ( financially) Rangers.



    Like every great manager, he was ‘of his time’, Stein, Shankly, Clough et al, but it doesn’t diminish the achievements of their time.



    Are we now so spoiled that we forget?

  10. Buenos dias Jobo!



    P67, I think the general tone of your article is quite correct regarding time catching up with, and passing (?) the Blessed Martin. Since the day that McLush was appoInted to the Scotland job I’ve been stating that the guy, whatever he did and however he did it in the past it was exactly that – it was in the past.



    A telling moment from late in the game the other night. Scotland were hanging on, but not to worry, out on the field were a number of highly skilled, very comfortable footballers. Cue EBT Eck screaming to lump the ball forward towards their corner flag. Seconds later, instead of being in control of the game, the ball, and the Israelis, were pounding forward.



    The game has moved on, has changed completely over the last 15 years or so. Martin has maybe realised and admitted it, EBT Eck still has a way to go (but where else would he get a job?).



    As an addendum, I thought EBT Eck showed some serious personal weakness in his post-match interview. I do NOT mean that as a personal criticism or castigation of the man, merely a caring observation regarding another human being..

  11. Emeraldbee



    Whatever the cause, McLeish is not at the races as he should be. And I too say that simply as a concerned human being.



    HH jg

  12. Glad to see some acknowledgement of our problems with corners. Likewise yesterday at the AGM, how poor we are with shys.!!

  13. I’m guessing McLeish may have serious concerns over the tax bill for his EBT and how he is going to pay this.



    He looks and sounds like a man with big worries.



    In my opinion of course.

  14. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Enjoyable enough yarn Pablo – I imagine, filled by no small amount of nostalgia, it was fun to compose?



    That said, the last six words trouble me …



    “but revisionism has not been kind”.



    Historical revisionism is a disturbing concept, it has a tendency to be kind to those who don’t deserve it and vice versa.



    Without his dragging Leicester from the Championship, there would be no Premiership title.



    He also put Celtic back on the European map.



    All great managers have a shelf life.



    So what? It is right and fitting that Martin is remembered without needing to focus on his deficiencies.



    It is equally right and proper that others come along after and make further progress.



    Who knows – perhaps he’ll disappear for ten years then do an Otto Rehhagel !



    Hail hail

  15. In the run up to the 2013 AGM, I decided that my support for the team would end if Resolution 12 was defeated as it would be final proof that my club was not only happy to go along with the cheating and corruption in the professional game in Scotland but was complicit in it. As the resolution was not heard, I held back in the feint hope that the club would at last take the lead in fighting the cheats.



    I clung on to that hope for five years but yesterday’s AGM has helped me make a decision I never wanted to make. From this point on I will pay no more interest in the rigged game in Scotland and I no longer count myself as a supporter of a team I have followed since the mid-sixties.



    Good luck to the guys who want to continue carry the fight to the enemy which includes those inside the Celtic boardroom but I have better things to waste my time on that won’t increase my blood pressure to dangerous levels. This may or may not be a flounce but it’s how I feel and everyone has to do what their conscience tells them.

  16. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “Then the (rightly) maligned Alex McLeish arrived at Ibrox, played three up front against Celtic’s three central defenders and won the first five trophies available to him.”




    I think McLeish basically just copied the Porto template. He arrived at Ibrox a couple of months after they beat us comprehensively with this tactic.


    The idea of McLeish coming up with something positive and intelligent goes against everything else I have seen from him.

  17. GlassTwoThirdsFull on



    Shouldn’t be a problem now, thanks to his pals in the Strong Rangers Association.

  18. I was at original AGM where Res12 was raised.. the moment PL said it would be discussed behind closed doors I shook my head in shame and knew a fix was on.

  19. Celtic and others were robbed of titles , cups and millions in revenue and Celtic have said not one word to get justice

  20. the day they turned up at parkhead Scott Brown should have been at centre circle to give them a club pennant the way we do with all new cubs visiting. it should have been in programme.

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