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.

[calameo code=0003901718eccc6101c78 lang=en page=1 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]
Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 30

  1. The Honest Cover-up on




    Agree completely. If playing wingers on “the wrong side” had resulted in an incredible improvement in the form of his players Strachan would have been vindicated at the time.


    As I recall, it didn’t.


    Left footed Nakamura, great player though he was, became predictable, always having to cut inside onto his right or look for an overlapping right back. He was never able to beat a man and play an early ball.


    McGeady likewise on the left.


    There was also no flexibility to let them switch sides and see if they could hurt team better that way.


    Some teams may be using wingers effectively this way now but I’m not sure how that vindicates Strachan’s rigidity some 10 years ago. The football was dire.


    PS would love to have seen Naka or McGeady “in the hole” regularly.

  2. Seemingly neither Messi or Ronhaldo voted for each other


    in the Ball on d’ Or vote.


    Strange as they always claim to have no rivalry apart from


    on the field of play.



  3. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm


    Former Rangers owner Whyte involved in behind-closed-doors High Court hearing




    Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte was today featuring in a behind-closed-doors High Court hearing after becoming embroiled in a legal dispute with a ticketing firm.




    Case lists indicated that the hearing – before judge Mr Justice Henderson in London – would be held in public.



    But “private” signs were placed on the doors of the court and reporters were barred.



    A court official said the judge would not sit in open court to explain the reason for the private hearing. The official said the private hearing had been ordered by another judge.



    The judge is thought to be analysing Mr Whyte’s finances.



    Mr Whyte, who was at today’s hearing, had been told to pay more than £17 million damages to Ticketus in 2013.



    Ticketus had said Mr Whyte fraudulently or negligently made representations which induced the company to enter into agreements related to the sale or purchase of Rangers season tickets.



    Mr Whyte had disputed the claim – but a judge had ruled against him.



    Ticketus has said that the latest stage of legal proceedings involves its ”continued activity to enforce” the damages order.







    Mr Whyte, who will turn 44 on Sunday, last appeared at the High Court in relation to the dispute in December – at an open court hearing before a different judge, Mr Justice Newey.



    The judge heard at the December hearing that Mr Whyte had failed to attend a hearing earlier in 2014 and had been made the subject of a ”suspended committal order” – under which he could have been jailed if found to be in contempt of court.



    But Mr Justice Newey discharged that committal order at the December hearing – lifting the threat of jail – after lawyers for Mr Whyte said he had been out of the country and would co-operate.



    And Mr Justice Newey said in December that the next stage of proceedings would involve an examination of Mr Whyte’s finances at a private hearing.



    Mr Whyte’s appearance at the High Court today marked the latest stage in a saga which has seen Rangers slide down the ladder of Scottish football.



    He took control of Rangers in 2011 – administrators were appointed early the following year.



    The Scottish Football Association concluded that Mr Whyte was unfit to hold a position in football after an investigation.



    Rangers were ejected from the top-tier Scottish Premier League and relegated to the fourth tier.



    They have since climbed back into the Championship – the second tier.



    In September this year, Mr Whyte was disqualified from being a director for 15 years after proceedings were launched by regulators the Insolvency Service.



    It was alleged that he had failed to promote Rangers’ interests and to avoid conflicts of interests.



    Business minister Jo Swinson said Mr Whyte had harmed Rangers and its fans and had shown a ”lack of regard for proper corporate behaviour”.



    In November, Mr Whyte appeared in court in Glasgow after being charged with fraud – and was released on bail – following an investigation into the purchase of Rangers in 2011.



    Lawyers representing Mr Whyte had told Mr Justice Newey in December that because of the ”strength of feeling” in Scotland, police had offered Mr Whyte some security advice.

  4. philvisreturns on

    jobo baldie – Is today’s lunchtime read in code?



    I used my secret decoder ring.



    It says: “Be sure to drink your Ovaltine.” (thumbsup)

  5. philvisreturns-they say sometimes it’s best not to meet your heroes,…….might be apt in this case HH

  6. speyside lhad



    13:12 on 13 January, 2015





    I hear you.



    Thought an article about quatar rumours or the advert guys on this blog are putting together would have been more interesting than how strachen liked to line up his celtic team.

  7. And so we should give Ronnie Deila more time



    I could argue that John Barnes was ahead of his time,misunderstood and a visionary .



    Or he was just out of touch and wrong for the job.



    One thing I would agree with .


    Gordon Strachan is a better manager than Ronnie Deila.



    Let’s hope that Ronnie Deila /John Collins don’t have an ICT /Barnes result .




  8. philvisreturns on

    Leftclicktic – Business minister Jo Swinson said Mr Whyte had harmed Rangers and its fans



    Harmed? He flushed that stubborn blue jobby down the lavvy and then dumped a bottle of bleach into it.



    Get that man a Papal knighthood.



    http://i.imgur.com/xOnokpsl.jpg (thumbsup)

  9. Debate in holyrood today about an official Scottish national anthem.



    We’ve got one! GSTQ! that’ll keep the North britainers happy surely?

  10. Anybody watch the Hamilton v Dundee United game last night? Cracking game of fitba. Our product in Scotland has never been better. Out with Celtic we have some genuinely good sides playing football on the deck and scoring rakes of goals.


    I don;t remember Scottish teams ever playing this style in my lifetime. It’s refreshing and I am enjoying watching the league as a whole. Long may it continue. Hopefully Ronny will get us winning and back to the top of the table soon.




  11. Cathedral View on

    tom mclaughlin,



    You’re right, we are losing ground at an alarming rate when compared to the EPL, but then again, very few aren’t. Their Worldwide TV deals are the envy of every league on the planet.



    Are we still invited to the US for these glamour games? I’d expect a good marketing dept to keep our brand associated with the top teams and tournaments.



    My first trip to Ireland was about 25 years ago and I was genuinely amazed at the lack of Celtic in the press. The back pages were all Manchester United and Liverpool. It’s only really in the last five to ten years that our Irish support have stopped buying tickets, are they buying tickets for Stamford Bridge now?



    Manchester City need to buy the best players in the world every year on top of their FA registration.



    The Celtic brand is a marketing departments dream with a history you couldn’t write and a support no team can come close to.




  12. LiviBhoy


    But as someone posted it will get pushed of the back pages for the shenannigang at a lower league club instead of highlighting the good in our game.

  13. Livibhoy,



    Left click beat me to the punch.



    I haven’t heard one bad word about the game last night but one popular rag as some guff about the yank who was gonna buy (hahaha) rangers and the other is about Sell-tic.



    Morons the lot of them.

  14. leftclicktic



    Not sure of the stats but the league this season must be pretty high for goals scored. Hopefully it brings the fans out. It’s been a season of very decent football. Not many teams come to Paradise to kick you off the park.




  15. Kdc



    They are frightened to promote our game sans hun.



    It’s all very sad imo.

  16. The Battered Bunnet on

    Cathedral View



    “It’s only really in the last five to ten years that our Irish support have stopped buying tickets, are they buying tickets for Stamford Bridge now?”



    No. They’re skint. Sadly.

  17. The King and I on

    The Battered Bunnet





    12:46 on



    13 January, 2015



    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.






    Because it’s not about moving the game forward in Scotland, into some new and bright future without them.



    It’s about preservation of Culture. Establishment, Brown Brogues, Superiority, Dignity, Blue Bells, and Blue Noses. “Old Firm” Is the Ticket that sells all that for them. 1690 in 2015 will tell you that !

  18. Livibhoy 13.35



    I think that playing the ball on the ground has only increased on the artificial pitches.



    Maybe ,they should be mandatory.




  19. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Proubhoy, re Bairds. It has been closed for over a year now. Unfortunatelty, it has went the way of the original club at Ibrox, it is no more.



    The licensing board took away its licence, influenced by polis Scotland. I’m not sure why its licence was withdrawn. The Foggy Dew also had its licence withdrawn



    I pass Bairds on my way home from work, it looks like it has been refurbished as a shop which is vacant currently.



    Around the Barras was done up a bit in the lead up to Commonwealth Games

  20. philvisreturns on

    !!bada bing!! – I know, it’s hit and miss, but most football folks seem to be ok to talk to.



    I met Tommy Burns and he was lovely.



    John Greig is also a gentleman in person.



    I bumped into Jim Leighton at the gym once, and once you get over his resemblance to Jaws from Moonraker, he seems a nice enough guy.



    Morten Weighorst and his wife are the nicest couple in the world.



    Lorenzo Amoruso seems OK too, for an Italian. ;)



    Big Pierre is the only footballer I’ve met who was obviously a bit of a bellend. And I can’t really blame him for that. If I was in my 20’s and having crazy money and adulation thrown at me it’d go to my head too.




  21. 4 pm K.O. today mind :)))



    Celtic TV@CelticTV ·



    Today’s match against Sparta Prague is live to ALL subscribers. Pre-match show starts at 3.45pm Celtic Park time http://www.celticfc.tv (NM)


    Morten Weighorst and his wife are the nicest couple in the world.




    he lived beside my neice.she said the same thing.



    ps .everyone thanks for birthday wishes.

  23. Snow Day…Whooohoooo!!



    I thought Mascherano was immense in the World Cup



    My player of the tournament




  24. weet weet weet(GBWO) on

    From the last article



    Am I right in thinking that Danny Blanchflower refused to go on this is your life.




  25. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Livibhoy, I agree teams are trying to play more football now by keeping the ball on the deck more, particularly in Scottish games I have watched in games not involving us.



    I only saw the second half of last night’s game which had very few big hoofs up the pitch.



    I have been to a few junior games at both Clydebank & Pollok in the past year. Both try to play better football and only really hoof the baw up the pitch when a pass isn’t on. or to clear their lines. The Pollok manager, Tony McInally, likes his team to play the game on the deck where and as much as possible.

  26. traditionalist88 on




    Caught bits of it – if Dundee Utd could defend they’d be a real threat!



    Both teams tidy and entertaining to watch.



    Enjoyed the Edinburgh derby recently too, enough blood and thunder but surprised by the consistently good quality deliveries into the box from wide areas from both teams – better than we see from Izaguirre.



    Now that Hertz have another big guy to knock them in they should demolish the newco on Friday:)




  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 30