The Ross Wallace Deployment


I’ve never treated the Ballon d’Or seriously, but would you be alarmed if your manager overlooked two of the most outstanding footballers of all time, to vote for one of the poor relations in an outstanding, if waning, Barcelona team.

England manager, Roy Hodgson, is entitled to his opinion but in nominating Javier Mascherano, he’s started a debate which will not reflect kindly on him.

I remember when Martin O’Neill was in charge of Celtic, he could do or say anything and no matter how incongruous it seemed, we all looked for hidden wisdom.  Martin knew much more about the game than all of us but this authority was uniquely evident.  I don’t remember any other Celtic manager being regarded with such awe, and I go back to the latter Stein days.

Whether Mascherano is fit to pass the ball to Leonel Messi is beside the point, Roy’s opinion is a prisoner of fortune.  He’s dead meat to his critics.

For all of Martin’s brilliance he wasn’t one for cutting edge tactics.  He knew what worked for him and stuck to it.  So when Gordon Strachan came along with some new, ‘ideas’, the reaction was not appreciative.

Gordon’s early days (years) were remarkably hostile but it’s what I’ve regarded as The Ross Wallace Deployment which remains in the mind as an unfinished debate.

Ross was a left winger.  But, five goals down after a first leg capitulation in Bratislava, Gordon deployed him on the right.  The outcry was palpable.  We’d never heard of playing a left footed player ‘out of position’ like this.  What is now commonplace – to mix a left and fight footed full back and winger on the same side – was both new and proof positive that Gordon Strachan was a deluded simpleton.

There’s value in the opinions of the outliers, so my vote for the Ballon d’Or would have gone to Efe Ambrose. Gordon Strachan was a better manager than any of us knew at the time.

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  1. 12:44 on


    13 January, 2015


    James F,



    from earlier……….



    I really enjoy your contributions, while I don’t always agree…blah, blah, blah…….you always come over as an honest and genuine supporter.


    Your writing style is entertaining and easy to follow – you have a way with the oul’ words.



    More power to your elbow!




  2. The Battered Bunnet on

    Anyone who has spoken to senior execs at the SPFL in recent (post 2012) years will have noticed the determination, the sheer craving, to have an “Old Firm Fixture” to sell to the broadcasters.



    It’s both striking and hopeless.



    It’s striking that otherwise well qualified business execs should be so consumed by a single absent item in their ‘inventory’.



    And it’s hopeless because they singularly fail to acknowledge (or even understand) that whatever the “Old Firm Fixture” was previously, it isn’t now, and never will be again.



    Why are these tubes not developing a product that looks forward, one that captures the best of the Game in Scotland today and creates a showcase for it?



    I suspect the people concerned are incapable of conceiving such a product, and are in essence doing little more than justifying their own shortcomings.



    They have failed to understand that the Game has changed, and thus, so must they.



    There’ll be plenty more of such guffery before there’s any sight of an acknowledgement, without which, the Game simply cannot move on.

  3. jamesgang



    12:46 on 13 January, 2015


    I did know what you meant Tom.


    I’m just puerile. Irredeemably so.



    The moniker is just a nickname I once got from one of my mates.



    Didn’t Realise when I 1st signed in it would be visible to all. So it could have been worse. Much worse!



    HH jamesgang

  4. May already have been posted, page 42 of the Metro, all of Sir Minty of Moonbeams companies giving notices of going doon the lavvy.

  5. Philvisreturns



    You quoting Pressley?



    Had a great trip over at Christmas. Even got to attend the warm and entertaining Ross County game.



    More on that later. Glasgow has indeed changed. Not all good either.

  6. From the end of the Paul67’s last blogpost;






    Thanks for reproducing the article – however, I did believe what you had said earlier, it was just the first time I had heard of it.



    So, do you have any other tidbits?

  7. Blindlemonchitlin on

    Wee Lionel’s suit for the big shindig was a fright on legs. It made him look as if he’d headed for the disco straight from What Every Woman Wants like one used to in the eighties.

  8. lawwellsacountant on

    Just shows how negative a coach woy the boy is.


    As for strachan did not rate him but he has improved and if we could ditch RD and bring back strachan I would be happy,shame lawwell wont offer him a decent salary to prise him away from the sfa bigots

  9. Blindlemonchitlin


    12:56 on


    13 January, 2015


    Wee Lionel’s suit for the big shindig was a fright on legs. It made him look as if he’d headed for the disco straight from What Every Woman Wants like one used to in the eighties.


    I thought he went as Austin Powers…..



  10. Tom McLauglin,


    Celtic were keen on a game against the pre-dead rfc in Boston.



    The reaction from csc’s over here was overwhelmingly negative. Not sure what effect we had but the game never happened.



    It was a bad idea then. It is a worse one now.

  11. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Not sure that was a Strachan “invention”, Paul. Arsenal had been doing it for years with Pires and Ashley Cole.

  12. glendalystonsils on




    Surely no dignified Scotland manager would walk out on his country mid-contract to manage an SPL club.


    Why, just think of the furore that would cause in the media…………..wouldn’t it?

  13. Strachan is a terrific coach and tactician, the way we played to stifle Man Utd at our place and take our set piece chance was brilliant.


    It also gave me YEARS of gloating doon here in the NW of Englundshire

  14. Hello fholks, having had some problems with my Sky account (my record and on demand stopped working) i phoned them up last night



    Once I got those problems sorted the Sky chap asked if he could do anything else so I told him i wished to cancel my Sky Sports package. When he asked why I told him I was fed up with the anti Celtic bias from David Tanner and Neil McCann, not just during Celtic games but any chance they get during other games also.



    He told me this was not rare feedback, a lot of complaints re these two leading to cancelled subscriptions have been made and it was getting looked into.

  15. Chat earlier about pubs in glasgow



    Has bairds ever re opened and why was it actually shut for ?



    Have eire og cd from tullys in motherwell… never heard of people chat about the pub before … is that no longer with us ?

  16. ArranmoreBhoyLXV11 on




    12.50 thecyclist… EXACTLY.. Sir Minty,the invisible man. No one dare speak his name but the ONLY person responsible for the omnishambles..



    A knighthood for comedy..



    Sir Minty of Teflon..



    Nothing ever sticks..



    Debt,? What’s that?








  17. philvisreturns on

    the pantaloon duck – Philvis for King!



    Hot dog!


    Jumping frog.





    I showed that Prefab Sprout video to my wife some years ago.



    She was visibly upset.



    “How dare he say he’s the king of rock n’ roll! Elvis is the king! That there’s just, like, some weird British guy!”



    Poor Prefab. My first decree as king shall be to make their inspirational song our Celtic national anthem. (thumbsup)

  18. Bhoys is it worth going over to Hamilton on Saturday for a ticket for the game.or should I just stay at home and watch it on Sky.





    Not entirely sure I get your point. Gordon Strachan famously played players out of position. Few benefited from it.



    I doubt that anyone could name three players who were the better for being told that all their life they had been playing the wrong role in a team and Gordon was here to fix it for them.



    I’ll give you a starter for ten,Darren O’Dea at right back against the huns.

  20. speyside lhad



    13:12 on 13 January, 2015





    Always thought a mass cancellation at same time by celtic fans would have been great idea…even if only short term by some.



    Few thousand all cancelling same day or so with same excuse would have raised eyebrows.

  21. .






    Dharma Bam


    12:37 on


    13 January, 2015





    Thanks for reproducing the article – however, I did believe what you had said earlier, it was just the first time I had heard of it.



    So, do you have any other tidbits?






    Think about the Very Least we know of Adelaide..Brisbane..Qatar..and l am sure You can Pencil in America (Boston) and Kuala Lumpar..? l believe was the other..



    For Nearly 10 Years l have been saying to People..For Decades we had the Most Talked about Derby/Rivalry in Word Football..Note: not All because of the great Football on display but we do have one of the Oldest rivalries in Football but Also because Scottish people are liked the World over..People (20 years ago) Not now.. found the Catholic/Protestant thing fascinating/Sad/Weird..



    If you knew How many Girls and Boys l took to watch their First Old Firm Derby (Left Glasgow in 1981)..People would fall in Love with the Atmosphere straight away..and many became Fans..






    As a Protestant Celtic Supporter..The only one in my Secondary School..Unlike most on CQN l had No relatives to take me to games so had to Wait..Then at 12 or 13 Yrs my Aunt started going out with a Celtic Supporter who my Dad obviously Trusted..and let me go to my First Celtic Vs Rangers game..



    Turns out he was a bit of a Hard man..Game was at Parkhead Celtic lost and sitting on the Bus waiting to drive home a crowd of Rangers fans passed the Bus and smashed a Brick thorough the Window i was sitting a..My Uncle and a few mates opened the back door of the Bus chased them and…..That is my First memory of a Celtic Vs Rangers this Day its the only bad voilence l have been close too..






    Back to my Point..



    For the Last 10 Years or So..The SFA..and Scottish Police have done everything in their Power to Stop what Every Football League in the World and every Sporting organisation in the World tries to Create..a League that goes down to the Last game in a Winner takes all contest..Television Companies Dream Ticket..






    Crowd trouble..?



    Give me Peace..l followed Man Utd the Year McClair signed and worked in the East end of London (West Ham) in the late 80’s ..There would be pre arrange fights at 11am no one Talked about the Football it was all about Violence and who won the Fight..Half of them could Not name half the Team they supported..The Glasgow trouble when you weigh it up was Minor whereas the English game had a Full scale Police operation for most of it’s fixtures..



    Jeezo.. l don’t know where all that came from but l will Post it as it is Obviously my thoughts.Or…My “exercise in self important self indulgence” Ha




  22. proudbhoy


    13:15 on


    13 January, 2015


    speyside lhad



    13:12 on 13 January, 2015





    It certainly would, the producers or whoever puts them in front of a camera to spout their nonesense would have to look at removing them if such a mass cancellation took place

  23. John Hughes, aka Yogi. Right footed left winger. And for what it’s worth, I rate Efe more highly that most (so now off to the bomb shelter).

  24. philvisreturns on

    Gordon Strachan is made of 67% ginger, 75% puckishness, and 100% leadership and win.



    He’s the sort of man you might accidentally call “dad”.



    I loved him as much as it is physically possible for one heterosexual man to love another man he’s never met.



    But his decisions were sometimes astounding of forehead. (thumbsup)

  25. Proudbhoy



    It is a not uncommon deflective article…when the blog becomes too questioning of Lawwell and co .. We get a randomer as an attempt to redirect discussion.


    It’s Paul67 blog so he’s entitled to do what he likes, I suppose.

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