Strachan, Sutton, Bratislava and losing interest in a job


It didn’t occur to me until I read the CQN this morning that today sees a return on active duty to Bratislava for Gordon Strachan and David Marshall. 11 years ago Gordon started his competitive career as Celtic manager against previously unheard of Slovak minnows, Artmedia. The scouting had been done and Gordon was privately confident of progressing but the evening turned into his worst 90 minutes in football.

Six days later Celtic came close to overcoming a 5-0 first leg deficit, but could not add to the scoring after going 4-0 up with 20 minutes remaining.

Gordon went on to win three consecutive titles and took Celtic to the knock-out stage of the Champions League twice, no manager had previously done this once, but he never really shook-off the baggage from that night.

David Marshall wasn’t to blame for what happened on the field but Artur Boruc had signed a few weeks earlier and would soon supplant Marshall as first choice.

Chris Sutton picked up an injury away to Artmedia but I’m not convinced he really took to Gordon Strachan’s attempts to improve training ground habits. The last days of the Martin O’Neill era will never be recalled as a time of intense work. Gordon’s first job was to change this. It didn’t go down well with some senior players.

11 years later you can see the echoes of that time, as Chris wrongly tells the nation Gordon has lost interest in the Scotland job. I’m not a footballer, or manager, so don’t know if it’s possible for someone to lose interest in a job. It’s got me wondering, though, did Chris ever lose interest in a job?

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  1. For sure Chris and a a few others stopped training hard in those last months, they looked ragged and disinterested after it became known MoN was leaving.

  2. P67



    He was signed by O’Neil. When O’Neil left, its natural he felt his face might not fit.


    However, it was a very bad injury in Strachans first game which impaired his eyesight, which may have been the catalyst for effectively ending his career as a top operator.



    Maybe do a job where you lose part of your eyesight, then come back about losing interest

  3. A win tonight might even leave us top of the group. But to have a chance of that happening I’m hoping for 3 or 4 changes to Saturday’s staring 11, and more game time for a couple of our own Bhoys. A Scotland / Slovenia double is around 23/1 ;-)

  4. A wee tale of today…



    My washing machine had water gushing out the bottom of it this morning..so turned it off, tried to clean up as best I could and called a washing machine engineer. He said he would be out within the hour and had good reviews on line.


    Sure enough him and his young apprentice arrive 59 mns later. The engineer gives me the crinkly paw straight away..I give him one back…brother engineer and apprentice go into utility room and pull out the machine undo the back and start poking about..they ask for towels to clean up the mess. As they are looking into the devil machine I ask how much. Only £45 for you brother.


    As they’re working the young apprentice asks for a drink..no problem says I…he gets his drink and looks out my French doors and sees my Celtic Park Kerrydale Street sign…smiles and goes back to help the boss.


    Anyway work done money changed hands. The boss decides to engage me in a bit of Hun badinage..canny wait for a week on Sunday..aye me anaw says I..the young apprentice starts smiling..how do you think we’ll do? Well I think we’ll pump yeez again that’s if you make it to next week with the bills piling up and hmrc on yir tails again..I’m on a roll so I go on about Joey and the young bhoy is giggling like a schoolgirl as we talk about going to Germany in a few weeks..he then says aye a wiz in Germany when we played Borussia Dortmund..aye old club..Sevco huvnae been further than Aberdeen n yeez got pumped there..the young bhoy is doubled up..he then tries to change the subject..whits the tshirt..persistence beats res12tance..another ten minute lecture. He had to dash as they had another job so I waved them good bye..the young bhoy said..ave left ma mobile in yer kitchen.. aye ok let’s go and get it..as soon as he’s in the kitchen..he says he’s ragin..he’s a right DOB n thought you were wan anaw but I knew ye were a Tim..best laugh in years..thanks big man..


    Anyway he left..washing machine on all fine and dandy. Ye canny beat a master craftsman!!




  5. Kikinthenakas



    You are going to have to share that master craftsman’s company details so we can all get a right good laugh. Imagine his next 1690 jobs are all Tims houses and we are all in the knowledge.



    You might have to share how to do the shaky haun fing though.






    apparently it’ll be a free bar. :-)




  6. The E Tims are in danger of becoming too sensible :).



    Today they ask questions about intimidation of shareholders






    but don’t Celtic staff also walk under the same shadow?



    Is it not time for Celtic to bring the issue into the light?



    What is their current policy? Do they have one? Should all clubs not have a publicly stated policy on the matter and take responsibility for cleaning out their own houses?



    Should the SFA/SPFL not be pushing clubs to eradicate this sort of intimidatory behaviour by positive rather than passive means and demonstrate how they are?



    Who better to clean up their own houses than the individual clubs themselves but where if anywhere is the pressure to come from if not from the leading club (which means LEAD) in Scottish football?

  7. MWD


    I also put salt on Chris`s utterances but I put less on when he serves the kind of stuff he battered BFDJ`s tripe with 0:-)





    A very entertaining little tale and very easy to picture. Are you still laughing?

  8. South Of Tunis on

    Moonbeams ( previous thread )



    Thanks for the heads up re The Skull and Bones stuff – lovely people . . Learning about that lot led to


    me tracking this down ( published in the 1930s )



    HC Engelbrecht / FC Hanigen — Merchants of Death ..



    Well worth a read !


    MOONBEAMS 1305



    Free bar? I take it all back what I’ve said about him,lovely man so he is!

  10. Paul67 et al



    Did Chris Sutton ever lose interest in a job? Must be honest don’t know the answer to that.


    Maybe it can be found in his biography ‘Paradise and Beyond’, co-written with er Mark Guidi.


    Or was it a rhetorical question? Like that one.

  11. JJ



    It’s always easy to enjoy his slating of the Hun. I don’t even think it’s what he says it’s more the way he puts it across that grinds with me. He has been, I believe, fair in his criticism of us while commentating although I don’t always agree. His swipe at WGS I could easily have made in his last season and a half as Celtic Manager and probably did as I did not enjoy the footing of the ball we were being offered. But as Paul67 stated he could also aim that at himself when WGS took the reigns as it did look like he throw his toys oot the pram.




  12. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Kickinthenakas, that’s cheered me right up as I’m jost bcak from the dentist.



    Auldheid ….. in what way are shareholders being intimidated by Celtic …. !





    Celtic are not the intimidators. Read the E Tims Article.

  14. South of Tunis



    I tend to get disinterested in the secret society stuff like the Skull n Bones but on reading up on it all in a few weeks earlier in the year it does have traction. Amazing what you read up on when bored and off work for a few weeks. It’s either that or day time telly. c:-)




  15. Health and safety officials have stated that Hearts will need to “disaster proof” their new £12 million stand if the plans are given the green light.




    Meanwhile over at Ibrox…….?





    Daytime telly is a government conspiracy to get people back to work.





    Loved Chris Sutton in The Hoooooops-most of the time-but his last act of note was falling on his arse instead of taking a penalty in the 2005 Cup Final.



    I dare say that his injury at the start of WGS’s reign didn’t do him any favours,but I don’t think he,and one or two others,were delighted with that appointment.



    But five years of sterling service during his peak years,good enough for me.

  18. Bhoyjoebelfast on

    True story:Sky system playing up few years back out comes the chap to remedy problem.Door bell rings,I let the sky man in.After the initial tackling of TV and sky box,the jovial fella hints the trouble may be the dish.I lead him to the back garden where the two grandsons tops were on the whirly line and in full view for those who wish to ascertain the identity of the house holders.The conversation stopped ,surely the appearance of two


    green and white hooped shirts,and the shed of similar design,had caused his tongue to stop working.The dish was fixed TV service back to normal,then a quick call to the sky worker that the mess he created in the back garden awaits his energy or Sky would be getting a phone call about their lazy employee.That was one day I have to say made me quite happy,all brought on himself……as I said before it’s not who they are its what they are.





    Good stuff,mate. Seems the high-and-mighty at Ibrox are invited to drink from The Loving Cup-is it still there,or did Whyte purloin it?-while everyone else gets a go at the poisoned chalice.



    A pyooor sin,so it is…

  20. Celtic we’re paying CS a huge amount of money to play football, and a stage in his career when no ont else would. Mon leaving is no excuse for any change in attitude, but it was just these sort of contracts that lead to a change in policy.



    I dont remember any change in Lenny

  21. I am Not Lurking Anymore on

    Paul still trying to bum up WGS even though he’s failing in his job


    Wasn’t so long ago he done a blog telling us all how he was a progressive coach & MON wasn’t


    He who laughs last laughs longest

  22. no idea about MON’s views on Celtic but Gordon is probably our biggest friend in the media these days, and I want my friends to be happy and successful.

  23. Auldheid – what makes you think Celtic will speak out against intimidation of shareholders? They haven’t spoken out about anything – they wont start now!



    The bigger issue is Scotland and its culture – thats the reason for the underlying behaviour and the conspiracy of silence and tacit acceptance of intimidation.