The 1980s were his


The 1980s were his.  He arrived in Spain for the 1982 World Cup with his reputation as the game’s hottest talent already established.  Argentina’s tournament ended after three defeats and two wins, a disappointing return for reigning champions, Diego Maradona was a let down for many, but on the ball, he was different to every other player at the tournament.  Diego was a talent.

This before the era of mass television coverage of leagues around the world.  Whereas now, we evaluate the game’s greats based on their domestic and Champions League performances, then, assessments were made at World Cups.

Diego spent two years with Barcelona after that tournament, where he endured brutality never seen since, consequentially, he could do nothing to put Barca at the top of the league.  His longest stay at any club, seven years, was at Napoli, where he led them to their only two Serie A titles, only double and only European trophy.

He will forever be the King of Naples; a hero who lifted a poor city above their prosperous rivals, but it was there he interacted with organised crime and drugs, the latter had a profound impact on the rest of his life.

As kids say, “Messi is the GOAT”, his stats are difficult to doubt, but what Maradona did at the 1986 World Cup has never been matched.  He inspired a team and a nation to the trophy, scoring what is regarded as the greatest goal of all time in the quarter final, a goal almost as good in the semi and an assist for the winner in the final.  We loved him, almost everyone did.

At the 1990 World Cup in Italy, he called on his Naples public to support him in the semi-final against their mostly northern-Italian counterparts.  The Neapolitans supported Italy, much to his annoyance, but the hosts were eliminated on penalties.  Diego, carrying an injury, with several years of living the lowlife/highlife, was in another World Cup Final.

There the fairy-tale ends.  The final was a turgid affair, settled by a late West German penalty.  Worse was to come at USA ‘94, when he was sent home after two games for failing a doping test.  Excuses flowed, for the first time I was disappointed in our hero.  It was an accident caused by his trainer, then it wasn’t an accident, Fifa granted him an exception to take the drug, which they reneged on.  It did not matter to the world that he put his hand up in 1986, but he should done the same in 1994 and accepted responsibility, instead of blaming those less powerful than him.

He did not spread the gospel of the game to new countries, like Pele, nor did his impact on the sport match Cruyff’s, but there was simply no greater entertainer in the world than Diego Maradona.

Best news of the week: “Jullien and Elhamed are in contention to start”, says Neil Lennon.  These are the games we should use to get players fit, let’s hope we see Chris back where he belongs tonight.  I would give Elhamed a run out too, Frimpong is overdue some R&R.

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  1. I struggle to recall what happened last week and when world cups get mentioned my memory seems dominated by a goal instead of the tourney itself:



    ’78 Archie Gemmell v Holland


    ’82 Armstrong v. Spain


    ’86 Maradona’s immortal 2nd v England


    ’90 David O’Leary penalty v. Romania


    ’94 Ray Houghton v. Italy



    ’98 a great France team and onwards gets fuzzy. I got older and clearly less impressionable.



    Or maybe world football got less romantic, more robotic and less subject to genius.



    I blame Messi personally.

  2. Hoping for a performance tonight. Watching a few goals from around Europe many teams are targetting the back post cross when a defence is playing tight to capitalise on shorter fullbacks. In tricky games i’d like Elhamed to start.





    Elhamed Julien Ajer Laxalt




    Turnbull McGregor




    Griffiths Eduard



    Turnbull on set pieces.



    Alternative width from fullbacks and forwards.


    Rogic for 60 mins only then Christie or Elyounoussi


    Move to a 5 at the back with Duffy on for Brown again around 60 mins.


    Easy this management lark 😉🍀



    Ps I want us to call out the ref on everything thanks very much 😎

  3. PRESTONPANS – to be honest I don’t remember any hostility but we were in with loads of Scottish fans from supporters buses. So we were in and out of the stadium with no experience of Seville itself.I remember the heat, it was mid-June and at 9.00 pm it was still like a furnace.


    The chant home on the bus was “you cracked our nuts for us, Brasilia, Brasilia” (same tune as “we’ve won the league again”).

  4. SFB 3.47



    Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid was good but i was into Raymond Chandler etc at that time so may have been biased

  5. Some people on here keep going on about us needing a good keeper, yeah.


    Something to think about then. Look at the best keepers in world football. What do they have in common, got it in one. Good defence, something we don’t have. If we had Neur or Buffon it would make no difference at all. most of our defence is crap.


    I make a point of not picking on individual player, but I make an exception with Mr Duffy. Not good enough for Brighton, ffs, as slow as Beechams and costing us a fortune in wages. Sorry but I’d horse him back to Brighton tomorrrow. Thanks and all that.


    A win tonight is a MUST




  6. Prestonpans – just looked up our team for that night. Our SUBS included Danny McGrain, Kenny Dalglish, Joe Jordan, Paul Sturrock, Davie Provan and George Burley.

  7. CONEYBHOY on 26TH NOVEMBER 2020 4:01 PM



    Ha! Was just about to post almost exactly the same! So what’s your favourite, The Big Sleep or The Long Goodbye?

  8. Big Wavy, haven’t been keeping up, thought we could go round the rules with Turnbull. Didn’t see presser. Thanks for keeping me informed.



    Ajeti in for Griff.


    Bitton in for Turnbull.


    If neither is injured.

  9. Bhoy From The Boyne on

    Coneybhoy @ 3:28pm



    Yep, I agree too. Combative midfielders isn’t the way to go. I wonder if NL would consider this though given Brown is on the wane. In his defence, he hasn’t yet in the 3 or 4 windows available to him so far.



    We have the makings of a really good modern midfield. I would look to play Christie more centrally where possible. He really frustrates me number of shots he is taking this season. Team as a whole needs to be more patient in penetrating the final 3rd.



    When he first came back, NL said that he wanted the team be more direct, move the ball quicker and take more shots. In other words, less possession based football. We see now this playing out. We have less control over games, less patience and more pop shots.

  10. Frankterry



    both great but got to be Farewell My Lovely due to the ‘cute as lace pants ‘line




    Assuming results pick up and NL is still our manager, I expect he will also look to bring in another midfielder for more combat in the midfield.






    Why did we sign Soro and Turnbull?



    If we sign another midfielder will he get a game?



    Or will he post images on the internet of himself singing “why did I come here”?

  12. Bhoy From The Boyne on

    I would like to see Turnbull introduced more, at least domestically in month ahead. He is probably the best young player in Scotland and he will help to vary our play. He would also bring an unknown element to our midfield, at least temporily as teams have a new dynamic of Celtic midfield play to consider.

  13. MARTIM1980 on 26TH NOVEMBER 2020 4:20 PM


    Dempster to sevco?



    A cert,the job of her dreams

  14. Interesting tweet below:



    So the “Meridian League” and “Atlantic League” are the same thing. Been going on since 2016, but collapsed in recent weeks. Celtic pulled out, I’m told by several people, because a belief that they could play in England soon. The club had no comment though.



    @MuradAhmed – Sports Editor at the FT.

  15. Coneybhoy and Frank Terry



    Agree about Dead men don’t wear plaid but that would make it 4 good early films and a long drop off through various Fathers of The Bride and Cheaper by the Dozen franchises.



    There was a very similar rip off of Chandler by Neil Simon called “The Cheap Detective” with Peter Falk, some years earlier to the “Plaid” take off.

  16. Bhoy From The Boyne on




    I totally agree and btw, I am not championing we sign a new midfielder. RB yes, but for MF I am more speculating where NL will look to address. I personally think we have enough in Cal Mac, Christie, Turnbull, Brown (sparingly), Ntcham and use Soro and young Henderson. Henderson was MOTM in BR’s last game. What happened there?



    I would punt Ntcham if we got a reasonable offer. He will never succeed in an NL team. Ntcham needs very specific coaching and instructions to succeed. Not going to happen for him.

  17. Haha i did see a post earlier pre-empting the the team and moaning about the hypothetical selection.



    Guess they’ve scouted recently and that top performing players are selected from training and form…..you would hope …😉



    Glad it’s not my headache. We just need to give it everything intelligently. Been too too wasteful.

  18. !!BADA BING!! on 26TH NOVEMBER 2020 4:24 PM



    MARTIM1980 on 26TH NOVEMBER 2020 4:20 PM




    Dempster to sevco?



    A cert,the job of her dreams



    Dead on- disdain for us been quite apparent over the years.

  19. Today’s starting line up v Sparta ……



    Bain; ElHamed, Jullien, Ajer, Laxalt, Brown, McGregor, Christie, Ntcham, Elyounoussi, Edouard



    Subs: Barkas, Hazard, Taylor, Bitton, Duffy, Ajeti, Klimala, Rogic, Henderson, Frimpong,

  20. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Hot Smoked @ 3:13pm – cheers.



    Very poignant observation.



    Agree with you – there’s something about your formative years and how you consume what’s around you?



    That includes sporting heroes.



    Struggling actually to put it in to words that make sense.



    Something about having an enormous capacity to be “wowed” at this time of life which then gradually diminishes as you get older?



    Further proof may be my choice of most talented tennis player I’ve ever seen (McEnroe).



    Despite my belief I couldn’t really argue with someone suggesting Laver or Federer were better.



    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith




    I thought Turnbull was an exciting signing and Soro looked the part too.



    The manager doesn’t play them.



    Instead the manager plays ghuys who are off form or not interested or who want other challenges, week in week out.



    It reflects poorly on a poor manager.

  22. prestonpans bhoys on

    DENIABHOY on 26TH NOVEMBER 2020 4:00 PM



    Aye they were shouting at us England Malvinas with👎 we just laughed too pished to care, some subs👍

  23. CONEYBHOY on 26TH NOVEMBER 2020 4:17 PM



    Yes, just after I posted I realised that Farewell My Lovely was the other truly great one. Chandler wrote the screenplay for a brilliant Alan Ladd fim, The Blue Dahlia (but I assume you know that!)






    Thanks for the heads up, will need to check that out.

  24. Celtic team news


    Starting XI: Bain, Elhamed, Jullien, Ajer, Laxalt, Brown, McGregor, Ntcham, Christie, Edouard, Elyounoussi



    Substitutes: Barkas, Hazard, Taylor, Duffy, Bitton, Ajeti, Klimala, Rogic, Frimpong, Henderson



    I was at the back of that stand, mainly Spaniards since I bought the tickets from local supermarket. We were not popular since they didn’t distinguish us from English.



    PRESTONPANS that reminds me of the ’82 Final. I was at a family campsite in Brittany and persuaded my non-football-loving mate to come up to the local village for a pint or three (which he did love). Sitting on stools at the actual bar we were still finding it hard to get served when it dawned on me, about 20 minutes into the game that the locals were taking our guttural Scots lingo for the equally guttural Hermans in the corner (who were REALLY struggling to get served). I quickly explained the situation to my mate, adding the reason for their distaste had been the German keeper’s assault on a French player in the semi final, for which he was not red carded. Anyway, within minutes the Italians were awarded a penalty (which they nissed) and I was up screaming like an idiot and punching the air, much to the bemusement of the barmen. One in particular stared at me and I shouted above the din *Esossais”, pointing at me and my mate. So endeth the drought in the bar and the happy French and Scots partied as Italy won the World Cup.

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