Shuggie Edvaldsson, character and experience


It is almost impossible to explain the excitement generated ahead of Johannes ‘Shuggie’ Edvaldsson in 1975.  He was the first non-Scottish born Celtic player in my lifetime and his arrival marked a philosophical shift at the club; the development plan that secured the European Cup only 8 years earlier was no longer fit for purpose.

1975 was also the year we lost the league for the first time since Jock Stein arrived a decade earlier, almost certainly prompting the manager to broaden his search for reinforcements after the retirement of Billy McNeill and release of Jimmy Johnstone.

His first season at Celtic brought the harsh experience of Rangers winning the treble; the glory years were well and truly over, but Shuggie tasted glory as part of the double winning side in season 76-77.  Kenny Dalglish’s departure that summer dealt the club another blow as it finished fifth in the Premier Division, failing to qualify for European competition just 11 years after reaching the summit, but Edvaldsson was one of that campaign’s highlights, finishing top scorer at the club.

Season 78-79 is remembered for its climatic conclusion, but it was a dogged campaign.  Celtic were poor for much of the season with painful reversals, exactly the kind of attrition Edvaldsson had the character to overcome.  He was provided crucial experience to a young Celtic team who beat Rangers 4-2 with 10 men on the final game of the season.

It was good to see him back at Celtic Park with visiting Motherwell teams in the 80s and good to remember him today, may he rest in peace.

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  1. BADA


    I’m in the same position as you, mate. Watching the last game, I realized with a shock, that for the first time in 60 years, I didn’t care what the result was. The inevitable result of watching a sport as rigged as professional wrestling, with the mendacious CEO and Board of our Club corruptly complicit in maintaining the continued financial doping, and apathetically disinterested in achieving any integrity in the sport. If they remain silent in the event of the new entity achieving their first major title, while crowing it is their 55th, I am gone.

  2. Final update on potential managers:






    Obviously Zenit dominate this league and have Sergei Semak in charge. He’s been in the job 2 years (this is his third) and is on course for his third league win in a row. Before that he spent a season with UFA taking them to 6th in the league and European qualification.



    Here’s some tactical analysis: https://footballbh.net/2019/06/12/sergei-semak-zenit-russian-premier-league-tactical-analysis-statistics/



    He’s spent plenty of money – £60-odd million in his two seasons!



    Verdict – likely to be a non-starter! Possibly worth a call to his agent in case he wants to spread his wings and we may be good for his profile, but we’d be no more than a stepping stone and he’d need to operate in a different financial world!



    Vladimir Fedotov – PFC Sochi


    His first job was in 2009 when he took over FC Ural Oblast in the Russian Second Division (our League 2) and he didn’t do much. He only lasted one season.


    In 2011 he took over FC Metalurg, also in Second Division. He seemed to do well, getting them promoted and keeping them up during his two years in charge, but the club then went bust.


    In 2015 he joined Orenburg in the National League (our Championship) as an assistant, taking over as the boss in 2017. In his two years there he got them promoted to the Premier League and kept them up.


    He then joined newly-promoted PFC Sochi in the Premier League, finishing 12th in his first season and keeping them up, with 33 points (2 clear of relegation). This season, he’s already got 33 points from 19 games and is sitting 4th- he’s 2 points off Spartak in 3rd; 4 off CSKA in second and 9 points behind Zenit in first.


    He’s spent around £15m over his two seasons, most on Zenit cast-offs in his first season.


    No tactical analysis available unfortunately. He seems to favour a 3-5-2 and a short passing game though possession stats indicate the don’t dominate games (46% possession on average).



    Verdict – he’s doing well and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at one of the big Moscow clubs. Probably too much of a gamble for us at this moment in time.






    Two massive clubs in the Ukraine. Dynamo Kiev, managed by thier old enemy Lucescu! Familiar to us from his Shaktar days and Strachan (the elder) telling him we had heart! Recently appointed so absolute non-starter!



    Shakhtar are currently managed by Luis Castro. He’s effectively been a journeyman Portuguese manager who’s biggest success was a title (out Championship) with Porto B team, he also helped Victoria to 5th place in the league prior to his current gig.



    He’s spent very little In his time there – about £5m in all. Its hard to work out if he’s any good or just got lucky with what he inherited! He finished his champions league group with 2 wins (both over Real Madrid), 2 draws (both with Inter) and 2 heavy defeats by Borussia Moenchengladbach, ending up 3rd in the group.



    He’s currently second in the table – 1 point behind Kiev.



    Here’s a tactical analysis of a win over Real Madrid last season: https://breakingthelines.com/tactical-analysis/tactical-analysis-shakhtar-donetsk-vs-real-madrid/



    Verdict – doubt he’d leave and a bit of a gamble given he inherited a great side and we need a rebuild.

  3. GREECE:



    Olympiakos is the first place to look as they won the double last year under Pedro Martins. Martins was in his second season. Prior to that job he’d been a Victoria in Portugal, leading them to a fourth spot place. He’s 11 points clear in the league so we’ll set for two in a row!



    He’s spent about £25m over his two seasons, but brought in the same so, again, would appeal to Lawell!



    Tactical analysis is available here: http://youaremyarsenal.com/arsenal-opposition-scout-report-olympiakos/


    Incidentally they lost that game 1-0 but won the return 2-1 to put Arsenal out on away goals (2-2).



    Verdict – an interesting option. He may feel ready for a new challenge after 3 years in Greece. Before this he had never left Portugal as a player or coach, so we could be good for his profile. He’s built a winning team – they were 13 points behind AEK in the season before he took over and might have won in his first season but for a miracle run from PAOK (think Leicester winning EPL).


    Definitely one to consider!





    To be honest, I didn’t spend much time on this. Hemming Berg manages the reigning champions and until recently Mick McCarthy was manager of APOEL who are the most successful club in Cyprus. They won the league 7 times in a row until Omonia won it last year, and have won 12 out of the last 20. They’ve done so while changing manager at the drop of a hat…



    Verdict – nothing to see here…






    It’s all Red Star here, having won the title since 2015 and on course to do so again! Deism Stankovic (Lazio and Inter player) took over last December when thier previous coach was lured to the Middle East and won the title by 14 points, and with a 9 point lead looks well placed to do so again this year.



    He’s only spent £225k and brought in around £5m in his time. Not much else out there to go on. Seems to favour a 3-5-2/3-4-3 formation. Has a game against AC Milan coming up in the Europa League to look forward to.



    Verdict – one to watch, but I expect has ambitions toward managing in Italy, so probably not realistic.






    Two main events in Denmark – Copenhagen and Midtjylland. The Copenhagen manager is Jess Thorup who walked out on Genk soon after arriving declaring it his dream job! Genk were obviously furious, so a wide berth!



    Midtjylland have won the last title under Bryan Priske (former Portsmouth player) who stepped up from assistant manager. He’s got a near 60% win percentage. He’s spent very heavily – backed by the Brentford owner. It’s early days but if he continues to do well I expect he’s Brentford bound.



    An outsider for our coaching job, but someone I think could be a good choice as Head of Academy (though he’s signed a new contract lately so probably wrong timing) would be Neils Fridrkson of Brondby. A former Danish under21 coach, he’s currently got Brondby sitting joint top of the league and is known for his work with young players – his alumni include Christenson (Chelsea); Poulson (RB Leipzig); Brathwaite (Barcelona); and Bjelland (former Brentford – I thought he’d be a good signing for us but he went to Copenhagen).



    Verdict – not much here for head coach, but Fredrikson may be a good Academy lead.




    Slavic Prague have won the league for the past 2 years and have a six point cushion with a game in hand this year.



    Their coach is Jindrich Trpisovsky and has been for 3 and a bit years now. In his first season he didn’t win – was 7 points behind Viktoria Plzen. Two subsequent league wins led to a Europa League clash with Celtic, and we all know what happened there. He’s also taken them to the quarters of Europa League, knocking Sevilla out in the last 16!



    He’s made a fortune from West Ham over the past few years – Soucek and Coufal brought in £20m (£5m from us for Ajeti 🤦‍♂️).



    Interesting article here which covers some of his tactical approach: https://thesefootballtimes.co/2019/04/11/how-slavia-pragues-model-of-sustainability-and-patience-took-them-to-the-top-of-czech-football/



    Verdict: clearly ambitious and we know he can set a team up well (although we were awful). I’d have him on my list – maybe not first choice but still think he could do well!






    Dynamo Zagreb are the main event in Croatia, having won all but one title since 2005. Their current manager, Zoran Mamic, returned to the club in summer having been manager between 2013 and 2016. In the interim, he’s dottted around various Middle-Eastern teams.



    His predecessor, Nenad Bjelica, is now at Osijek. He won two titles at Dynamo before appearing to be part of a purge by the President of the club. He took over Osijek in the summer and has them joint top (although Dynamo have a game in hand and better goal difference).



    Prior to his Dynamo stint, he’s had a very journeyman-like career with stints in Austria, Italy’s Serie B, and Poland.



    Verdict – nothing to see here.

  5. As a student in the mid 70s I was used to getting a decent wage fro summer work as a Banksman on a tunnel site where my father was Ganger. But, in 1976 there was no xuch work to be found for me so i worked as a barman in the Tinto Firs in Kilmarnock Road. Unfortunately, it was not the lounge bar where the mini kilted waitresses served but the bar.



    Every Sunday, as reliable as clockwork, there was a queue of around 30 punter waiting for luchtime opening. Anyone who lnows the bar trade from that time will be unsurprised to discover that we had around 60 pint glasses lined up under the bar with around one-fifth of the glass filled with slops so we could clear the initial rounds orders more quickly. One man came in regularly that summer and sat by himself at the bar furthest from the door and ordered a half pint and up to six halfs of whisky. He drank slow and steady, never talked to anyone for long, and made it clear he wanted to be on his own.



    That man was Shuggie Edvaldson.



    Being young and daft, I thought nothing of it to see the man drink like that on a Sunday lunchtime (Most matches were Saturdays in those days). He looked like he could handle his drink and did not show any signs as he downed his last half and went out without fuss. I never saw him accompanied and he was bothered by fans of the green or blue persuasion.



    As far as I was concerned, he was performing fine on the pitch and this drinking did not seem to affect his game or his training or his standing with managers.



    I regret now, not trying to talk more to him but I think I got a bigger tip the less I said to him, when serving.



    RIP Shuggie

  6. Summary:


    Excluding the big 5 and Scotland, I’ve now done the top 20 leagues in Europe (using Uefa Coefficient). Sweden and Norway are probably the big misses from this list and I may get round to them in time. I’d also like to look at Argentina if I get a chance. And findings:



    Clemente remains my favourite. Other potential options would be the Slavia coach, Pedro Martins (Olympiakos); and Seoane (Young Boys).



    Kuhbauer (Rapid Vienna) might be a safe pair of hands but could equally be dull and uninspiring.



    Ones to keep an eye on for the future would be Ihlsen (Strum Graz); Pepa (Pacos) and Fedotov (Sochi). Arne Slot is one to keep an eye on if Feyenoord doesn’t work out.

  7. INIQUITOUSIV-at a real crossroads here for the first time ever,un by 35 years ST Holder I have missed about 12 home games,including cup ties,European games,3 of them were for births if my kids.Ny matchday routine is like clockwork, Springfield Vaults for a couple of hours, game,back up to EK to chat to the Bhoys about the game.I always said I would outlast the Whites,Kelly’s,Cassidys,and diddy managers,but if Lawwell is still there next season, I will have a big decision to make,and I know a few of a similar vintage who feel the same. HH

  8. Cheers BadaBing – I’d like to think that Lawell or Hammond would do a bit more research than this but couldn’t be confident…



    I only really started this as a “how hard can it be to find a decent manager” and to answer the “so if Lennon goes who would you have” question – I peaked too early with Clemente as the first one I looked at – think he ticks all the boxes in a way others don’t. Olympiakos manager (Martins) would be my second choice I think.

  9. SPIDEY101 on 25TH JANUARY



    Spidey when your checking out all the data presented


    is it to early to gain any insights into the impact of covid on our game.




  10. Interesting to see Henrik being mentioned as our next manager in the summer shakeup, badly needed. If my memory is correct I am sure there is a video/dvd where Henrik and Paul Lambert are playing pool, loser makes the coffee. Henrik says ” you come back as manager,I’ll be your coach” Whats the thoughts on that?

  11. Good morning all from a frosty Garngad



    Paul Lanbart not for me I’m afraid. Another same club continuance Liar.



    D :)

  12. What will today bring? Will there be any activity from Celtic?


    Be in no doubt, we are now risking the league for next season – I assume everyone admits this seasons has now gone.


    What a shameful position to be in, the league is beyond us yet we still can’t agree who our preferred ‘keeper is. Nor back 3 or maybe 4. And as for strikeforce? Well, it depends if we play 1 or 2 up front. Again, we’ve not quite settled on that yet.


    Meanwhile, a basket case of assets are 23 points ahead. We have 3 games in hand – as we did when the gap was 19 points.



    We need direction, we need leadership and, by God, we need some urgency.



    The Celtic strip does not shrink to fit inferior players. However, It would appear the club blazers do!

  13. Whitehill4321



    Rodgers has the 2 full backs he wanted at Celtic throw in the McGinn débarcle and you can see why he walked . He’s top drawer we were lucky to have him and the board not Rodgers have a lot to answer for . Rangers are fortunate that Rodgers is not Celtic boss .mediocrity Celtic




    Great wee story.





    Spidey 101.



    It’s great to see in depth research coherently put on paper. A much valued insight into various alternatives.




  15. Slabhoy - on the road to 10 on




    Smashing job on the manager analysis. Illuminating, and more diligence than our board have done I’m sure.






  16. I’m away to watch the 4-2 game. I’ve found it on YouTube. I was in the US at the time and would have got the result 2-3 days later in a UK paper (at over £1/minute, nobody was making those phone calls!)



    RIP big Shuggie






  17. That last post of mine prompted some reflection – Duntocher, Dumbarton, New York, Glasgow, London, Sevenoaks, Leek!



    No matter where I was, I was always a Celtic-loving Tim






  18. This site is going to wreck and ruin.


    08:30 and still no weather report from EK or the Garngad. How am I meant to plan my day in Indonesia. So sad HH

  19. SPIDEY – excellent research and interesting reading. Meanwhile on a beach in Barbados DD is on the phone to Roy Keane . . .

  20. SPIDEY101


    Excellent work.


    You should email your cv into Celtic Park.



    Don’t think they have anyone capable of doing that research

  21. FESS19 on 26TH JANUARY 2021 8:44 AM


    This site is going to wreck and ruin.



    08:30 and still no weather report from EK or the Garngad. How am I meant to plan my day in Indonesia. So sad ————————————————————-



    LOL – spluttering my coffee….

  22. SUTTON1888 on 26TH JANUARY 2021 7:16 AM






    Rodgers has the 2 full backs he wanted at Celtic throw in the McGinn débarcle and you can see why he walked . He’s top drawer we were lucky to have him and the board not Rodgers have a lot to answer for . Rangers are fortunate that Rodgers is not Celtic boss .mediocrity Celtic





    There you have it bhoys the reason we are in this predicament . We had the financial muscle to get these guys in . But an interfering ceo has put us in a position of uncertainty ,and now playing catch-up with a team that should never have been anywhere near us , and there is a likelihood we will be chasing them for a time to come . All the money we had coming in with season ticket sales . European income ,transfer fee,s .sponsorship revenue ,has been frittered away , no doubt part due to the pandemic , but also due to scrimping on player purchase , and even if we did have to spend big that’s what should have been done , £25million income for KT .replaced by £2-£3 million holi moli boli . Always cheap options . we have been allowed to decline , what a chance has been missed to keep us top of the pile ,but even better keep them well below us . Lawell you have been allowed to undermine our club . Can we recover not with him at the club . HH

  23. AT – I wasn’t really looking through the prism of COVID, but some observations that may be related:



    Management – very few clubs with championship aspirations are taking “punts” on a manager. Most are recruiting guys who have experience and a track record – Copenhagen’s hiring is a good example. Sporting buck the trend – and they’ve gone all in!



    Transfers – lots and lots of free transfers and loans! Outside of the Superclubs and EPL, balancing the books or making a profit is the name of the game! Also seeing some reduction in squad sizes.



    A pressing game is still favoured and appears to be successful! Not sure how much of that is down to European leagues have a less busy fixture list than we do in the UK.



    Overall consistency and stability seem to be the watchword at the moment, with clubs taking a risk averse approach to recruitment – lots of loans with options to buy rather than outright buys!



    I don’t think that will change this summer or for the next couple of years while clubs pay off debts or get themselves back in credit post-pandemic.

  24. Bhoy From The Boyne on

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Desmond makes enquiries to Frank Lampard people if he would be interested in coming up to Scotland to manage Celtic.



    His record suggests he is short sighted when it comes to managerial appointments with focus on EPL past or present managers.



    Not that I would necessarily knock Frank Lampard. He is a very intelligent guy (unlike the guy across the City who largely owes his recent success to Beale). Lampard has also managed Derby for 1 season, reaching play-off and managed in the EPL for 18 months under the sporting director / head coach model.


    He also has something to prove now.



    Me personally, I would hope DD/board have the foresight to set-up a working group made up of renowned football experts within different fields….past managers, directors, consultants etc (non Celtic preferably) to conduct a detailed review of the entire club structure now and requirements for next decade recruit a director of football, followed by coaching staff etc.



    It’s what a near 100m revenue listed company should do after all, right?



    Except most of us accept it won’t happen and next manager will be on the wimp of DD’s choice.

  25. GivehimthemoneyPeterCSC on

    Has Stevie Clarke ruled himself out?



    Gordon Strachan or Lennon until the end of the season and then Strachan as DOF with Stevie Clarke manager/coach?



    If we have to rely on Duffy until the end of the season we will be lucky if we get 2nd spot…cant believe we havent signed some cover for Julien in the window…