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. Celticrollercoaster supporting Shay,our bhoy wonder along the way on




    Just saw your post



    Thoughts and prayers my friend



    Take care







  2. shady - 'mon the wee Oscar on




    Great to read your good news.



    Remember to look after yourself too.




  3. apricale


    jim o rourke scored the greatest ever live goal I have ever seen that day…I was at all 4/5 dryborough cup finals and we only won 1….the first was at pittodrie if memory serves

  4. hamiltontim



    21:26 on 13 January, 2015





    Unlike you lot I don’t get to pick and choose when I take holidays :-)






    Ans a). It’ll be a bad day when they have sack a Tim day at your work!



    Ans b) thought your lot got to choose your days on, not aff!






    HH jamesgang

  5. mike in toronto





    21:31 on



    13 January, 2015








    For me, that has always been Toronto’s strongest point – walking down the street on any given day, you can hear a hundred different languages, and smell a hundred different types of food, and for the most part, the various groups have always gotten along pretty well.



    * I’m in my 40th season over here and live about 60kms north west of TO….the only time I’m there now is for hospital visits and the odd show……cannae wait tae get out though…….TO lost all it’s innocence when the wee lassie was killed shopping on Boxing Day by a stray bullet….nutters running around the Eaton Centre shooting at each other disnae help the image either…..too many of the wrong immigrant and refugee groups living there now.

  6. Has Winning Captains commented on ‘outing ourselves’ on the Herald statement?(not logged in since this morning)



    I understand Estadio point about putting your mouth where the punch is but I have reservations:-





    I am happy to put my name up in the paper; never shirked a decision in life or ran from a fight





    I live in Ireland, Hun free, so cannot speak for my comrades in Glasgow who have to deal with eejits



    Is there a concensus?

  7. masty





    21:55 on



    13 January, 2015







    jim o rourke scored the greatest ever live goal I have ever seen that day…I was at all 4/5 dryborough cup finals and we only won 1….the first was at pittodrie if memory serves



    *correct hence the smallish crowd.

  8. Irish forestry – timber for navy was one reason. Expansion of farming/ change in farming practices, planters cutting and selling timber for profit and in Elizabethan times clearing forests as a security measure to help put down rebellion by removing places to hide in.



    Combination of factors in other words.

  9. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Blantyre, thanks.



    I thought my memory was playing tricks on me about the extended eighteen yard line and the experimental offside rule.



    I hope your return to work has jbeen relatively hassle free.

  10. mike in toronto on




    Lat summer, I spent a few days camping up in Georgian Bay (several hours drive north of Toronto) We paddled a canoe for 2 1/2 hours to get to our camp site (which was not easy, as my 80 lb. golden retriever had never been in a canoe before, and kept wanting to jump out of the canoe to go for a swim!).



    Our campsite was on a little island in the Bay, no bigger than a few hundred yards around. Like one of the hundreds of such islands. There was no one or nothing around for miles but the birds (the call of the loons across the water is haunting) and the moose (and that isn’t scottish for mouse!) And fortunately, we didn’t see any bears (of the grizzlie or sevco persuasion).



    Up there, the air and the water are so clear and fresh, they are almost sweet! But bloody cold for washing in the morning!



    The scenery is a bit sparse, but some of the most beautiful you will see anywhere! Paddling home across the bay, the fog rolled in so thick you could only see 50 metres … all you could see were the tops of rocks and trees rising through the fog. It was really quite breathtaking (even though we got hopeless lost on the paddle home and I missed the first half of the world cup final as a result).



    One of my favourite days!



    Hope you get the chance to enjoy it some day.

  11. tontine


    don’t think it was ever held again after we won it,remeber coming down the slope at the celtic end with about a thousand huns waiting, all hell broke lose.

  12. Coneybhoy



    I too live in Ireland but the town I live in has plenty of eejits having said that I would have no problem putting my name up




  13. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas





    21:45 on



    13 January, 2015



    Also the canadian soldiers done a lot to defeat the nazis in world war two and in my mind, havenot received the proper recognition for it. They seemed to be montgomery’s choice for being at the forefront of attacks.



    *they are the reason I now wear a poppy.

  14. Delaneys Dunky



    Yeah I like Stuart Armstrong a lot. Whats your opinion on Scott Allan. Watched him destroy sevco a few weeks back which may cloud my judgement a little but he had a quality about his play that i like – great passer, direct, fearless, cheeky. He was great in the Edinburgh derby as well. Who in our under 20’s impresses you? I don’t get much opportunity to see them.

  15. TET


    Brilliant news!



    Fair play to you and the Spanish health system. Used it myself for my daughter and they were amazing. Great country



    Best wishes for your wife’s ongoing recovery

  16. DD



    Life good mate, been really busy with other things so not had much chance to be on the blog, hold you to that drink, give me shout when you are available, noticed that you have been going to a few away games, good on ye! hope young Ryan and the rest of the family are well.

  17. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Mike in toronto, that sounds magic.



    My pal and i went to the islands off toronto.



    We thought we were at the seaside as we couldn’t see over the horizon.



    Good night all and sleep well.

  18. Hamilton Tim



    Its awful legislation and bad law.thats before debating its cost to introduce, police, bring to court and fail at court.







    Same in this country.deforestation to shipbuilding(at time).Vast swathes chopped of original caledonian pine.most trees you now see are planted/farmed since.





    Good news about your Mrs.



  19. mike in toronto





    22:00 on



    13 January, 2015








    Lat summer, I spent a few days camping up in Georgian Bay (several hours drive north of Toronto)



    *Wasaga Beach….a favourite of our family for years….still like to go up at least once a summer…even though we are now a wee bit distant from there.



    The Martyrs Shrine is worth a visit…..they have a lookout towards the lake where you can imagine the Jesuits rowing out tae try and convert the native Indians.

  20. mike in toronto on

    Tontine Tim



    Before chatting with Dallas today, I would have agreed with you more than I do at the moment. You aren’t wrong, but Dallas has reminded me of the good things I take for granted here sometimes.

  21. Coneybhoy



    I live in Clydebank. Have close family in Yoker, Knightswood and Partick. All sticky buns who know me, avoid me because I tell them the truth. Would happily put my name to a statement that I preach in public life.

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