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. BGX


    14:23 on


    13 January, 2015


    Hearts fans unhappy that the ref for friday nights game at ibrokes has been changed to mr madden….powers that be making sure bobbys upto speed for the semi final…



    Thought he reffed the game very well last night,in spite of a really hostile approach from players from both teams to every foul given.


    Friday night,lets wait and see.

  2. 67Heaven ... CHALLENGING THE LIE ....I am wee Oscar / Neil Lennon.. Ipox belongs to the creditors on

    Sorry, Paul67, but I, amongst others, was on here raving about WGS from the outset, and was raging when his narrow-minded critics surfaced (orchestrated by the media agenda)…



    …although I was distraught :) when he announced he was leaving, I really disappointed when he announced that the rules should be IGNORED to allow this new entity, sevco, into the SPFL even if they don’t qualify via the play-offs……incredible (think he may have been deviously trying to win the orcs over to support Scotland……but NO CHANCE OF THAT….hehe)




    …I see walturd is stating that he won’t be back……must have realised he had been duped, like the rest of them ……took his time to realise THAT .. hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  3. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Burgas ,me. The original owner used to queue up for tickets at Celtic Park when there was a public sale for games at Pittodrie or Ibrox.



    He refused to sell Guinness as the company had broken a promise to retain jobs in Scotland. He sold Murphy’s instead which I prefer to Guiness.



    He has since passed away and his son runs it and they have Guinness on sale now.

  4. Rose St in Edinburgh always held the title for “most boozers” on a street, unless it’s all changed ?

  5. glendalystonsils on



    13:18 on


    13 January, 2015





    How do you know? Not much there.



    Cos Phil and Don told me.

  6. bgx@ 14:23



    The jambos are a reasonable lot.



    They’ll all be back on to a man, to apologise to Madden after he has a good performance :))

  7. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas


    14:28 on


    13 January, 2015


    Burgas ,me. The original owner used to queue up for tickets at Celtic Park when there was a public sale for games at Pittodrie or Ibrox.




    I was going back to mid 80’s DD, i was always told never to go in there?

  8. glendalystonsils on




    Thought he reffed the game very well last night,in spite of a really hostile approach from players from both teams to every foul given.


    Friday night,lets wait and see.



    Agreed, but then he wasn’t attached to either team by the heartstrings.

  9. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    My son’s teammates get a better connection when kicking the ball than they do on grass.



    Clubs who have a history of poor pitches or can’t afford to keep their pitch in good order should hopefully be helped by Uefa to install a 4G astroturf pitch.



    Considering how the astroturf pitch at Helenvale was in relation to 4G pitches, there is only one winner. .



    Helenvale was the first astroturf pitch in Glasgow which we ocassionally trained on in the mid to late eighties. It is very close to Celtic Park just behind Parkhead bus garage.

  10. jamesgang



    In my land Sky Sports new is the sports bible. If it hasn;t been on Sky Sports news yet it hasn;t happened.


    If a Sky Sports pundit says something it is gospel.


    Jim White is brilliant on deadline day because Sky Sports tells them so.


    The best pundits are on Sky because Sky convince people they are.


    Sky are ruining football.


    BT are taking them on and to be honest out with the Scottish coverage which is amatuer hour bar the commentary team who I think are pretty decent their coverage is much better than Sky. I really like the panel on EL nights with the excellent James Richardson and a collection of European journos and usually one ex player.


    You don;t have to be an ex player to be a panelist on fitba.


    Ex players praise their pals and slate guys they don;t like when they can.


    People in my work currently are still coming off 2 weeks of complete wall to wall Sky Sports News watching. They must be weaning themselves off it because they are still talking garbage.


    Usually they quote the Edinburgh Evening news and their message boards. I keep a keen eye on both.


    I usually answer something with did you read that off your message board. My Hibee colleague says the jambos have still not worked out that you read their message board.




  11. 67Heaven ... CHALLENGING THE LIE ....I am wee Oscar / Neil Lennon.. Ipox belongs to the creditors on




    14:27 on 13 January, 2015



    They were both BRILLIANT?… but MON wins my vote since he had ‘a bigger mountain to climb’ to overcome the bigotry / honest mistakes / corruption ….. He completely transformed us…..


    Can’t help thinking though, that WGS put the final nails in the Orc coffin with his successes…..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    Then there was Neil Lennon, who showed them all where to get off ……FANTASTIC ERA

  12. “just cant understand the whole MON was rubbish and WGS was a genius mince”






    If you can’t understand the made up stuff from your own head then heaven help ye.







    Oh aye. Perfik fit. I’m not running down St Martin. I’m pointing out how much of a miss Henrik was.

  13. Tamrabam



    I don’t understand the sense of begrudgement of MO’N’s magnificent achievements that some seem to have on here.



    And that’s not to take away from WGS at all.

  14. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Burgas bhoy, we started drinking in there before and after games around the time of our centenary season. Full of Celtic fans pre & post game.



    They sold good swallay and not at rip off prices.

  15. Geordie



    I wasn’t including you in their number, mate.



    As for you, Paul67, you’ve got some form here!!

  16. Tinytim



    Re previous article and your comments on JF……



    “You may also not give a shit.”



    If there is one thing that really addles my brain, apart from Indian Kingfisher beer 8% alc, it’s this use of the wee anglicised watery wet scatological ‘shit’.



    It’s becoming equally invasive along with the weak kneed and tinkly sounding ‘piss’.



    Did we, as the Roman hordes took their tentative steps over the river tweed, threaten them with a wee showervof ‘shit and piss’?



    No we didnae….



    As we bared our chassis at the legions, they knew that they were about to founder and drown in a tidal wave of big, brutal, manly and terminal…’SHITE and PISH’.



    And that is why they built Hadrian’s Dam.



    Protect our linguistic heritage…that’s my motto.



    Hail hail




  17. The Battered Bunnet @ 12.46



    It is a dilemma for more than just Scottish football.



    For many foreigners, including our near neighbours, Scottish football is Celtic vs The Zombies. It is understandable why they have that view as these two clubs, already dominant in the Scottish game, have increased their monopoly on titles and cups since the 60s.



    The perception of England/UK abroad is The Queen, Big Ben, the Tower of London and Red Buses. Seen them and you’ve done the UK- with maybe a wee day trip to Stratford or Stonehenge thrown in.



    The perception of Scotland abroad is Tartan, bagpipes, whisky, porridge and bagpipes. It is not how Scotland wants to see itself but, when there’s a buck to be turned, The Royal Mile is far from averse to indulging in a bit of tartan whoring. The Tourist Board may wish to promote alternative visions such as The Falkirk Wheel, Rennie Mackintosh and Glasgow’s architecture but in trying to strike a compromise they will often end up with some fusion item like Jack McConnel’s kilt or porridge flavoured yoghurt.



    How do we begin to create a fusion out of Scotland’s football past and its future? Even if we get a Saudi or Qatar sponsorship of our league or Cup it would not be worth enough to either revive the game or temporarily slow down our slow demise as the Big 5 or 6 leagues of Europe shoot further and further ahead into the distance. We are downsizing because we are being downsized. Peter Lawwell is in as much control of that process as I am of the World Economy.

  18. Geordie bhoy


    Personal abuse,is that not the retreat of a failing/failed argument


    next youll be telling us that Ronny is better than them both




  19. Beatbhoy,



    I know you weren’t mate.



    I loved them both when in charge at my club. I can praise one without slagging the other. Some folks can’t.



    Both had faults but both made teams overachieve imo.







    I dont toe any party line.If someone wants to come on here and talk bollox,then I will answer.


    If someone wants to talk sense then I will be up for a discussion.


    This blog now seems to be a haven for every rocket with a Celtic scarf.


    It seems to be “In Vogue”to slaughter everything Celtic.Today the usual RD put downers having their usual say,even a great Celtic blogger and very clever writer,James Forrest copping it.I gave up on the board years ago.I will not waste my time like many do discussing them or what they should be doing.The guys taking the pitch is who I love.The rest come and go.I will not agree with the slaughtering of players or a manager 6 months into the job.


    I am a very friendly,happy guy.My one mate thinks so.

  21. BGX


    too many good times to mention under St Martin


    But one of my favourite times in that era was 7 wins on the trot versus the huns



    too many good times, even the season we won hee haw and the huns won the treble was good….just goes to show



    cant understand why MON is a guy without tactics when he turned around a 20 odd points defecit to take the title from one of the highest spending huns managers.


    most goals scored in the SPL?


    least goals conceded in the SPL


    Aye but he was all kick and rush not like our ronny eh…?



    Pash! Pure Pash

  22. Tamrabam,



    It wasn’t personal abuse. You stated something that simply wasn’t there.



    Rd better than both…..I Wouldny say that.



    Although he is still in Europe after Xmas in his inaugural season and he did win a European top division title before joining us. :))

  23. Dallas Dallas



    I dont doubt you for a minute, but it was a currant bun shop at one time.

  24. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar / Neil Lennon.. Ipox belongs to the creditors on

    setting free the bears for res. 12 & oscar knox



    14:41 on 13 January, 2015



    Good point, well made ……..and, since they are now deed, we need to build up a ‘sporting’ world image for Scottish Football again….



    …..and you are also SPOT ON as regards Peter Lawell …… In the environment we find ourselves in, he is doing a FANTASTIC job..

  25. the long wait is over on

    I see The Legned appears to be back on Sky Sports giving an interview.



    Genuine question.



    Does he – or indeed anyone- get paid for those turns?

  26. BBC scottish football headline


    ‘Smith will never return to Ibrox in official capacity’



    WS then goes on to talk about his regret at staying on as long as he did, regrets the dysfunctional environment, regrets being and staying chairman as long as he did … Bla blah blah etc’


    Begs the question in my mind



    ‘Does he hate Ally McCoist?’


    As he virtually crowbarred McCoist in to his old job!


    Strange article

  27. tamrabam



    Geordie made a fair point.



    The “MON is rubbish but WGS is great” argument IS a figment of your imagination. If it wasn’t you would be able to quote somebody who advanced that view either verbatim or in spirit.



    What I think you are confusing, is the tendency of some posters to demand more retrospective support and kudos for WGS who never did and never has had the same level of support and respect we gave to MON.



    Statistically, WGS has the better record (3 out of 4 titles and 2 last 16 CL places) against MON’s 3 out of 5 and Uefa runners up achievement). But Martin achieved his on the back of a long history of failure by Celtic whilst WGS got a bit of legacy from MONs team, though most of them left very quickly. However, to balance that, MON had Henrik.



    All that most are asking is for fairly equal respect to both. It is more than ok to still have MON as a favourite but WGS was treated as an outsider by our fans and that rankles with many of us.

  28. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar / Neil Lennon.. Ipox belongs to the creditors on




    14:40 on 13 January, 2015



    Season 66 / 67 is my favourite season of all time…….closely followed by 2011 / 12

  29. coolmore mafia @ 14:34 on 13 January, 2015 said:



    ‘What was wrong with the black ash ones in Royston?’



    Is that the legendary Glenconner Park you’re talking about?



    If so, I still have umpteen scars and embedded slithers of ash littering my knees and elbows.



    I also fondly recall the groundsman routinely having to phone the Polis to come and clear the locals off the pitch(es) so that ‘organised’ games could be played there.




  30. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Happy birthday Favourite uncle





    That’s yon SOS thinking people read his comments now



    See u in the summer 001bhoy

  31. Livibhoy



    Aye as i said eejits



    Alot of very anti celtic tubes in derry sadly.. all cause of sky sports fancy studios and fancy screens.



    Alot of it thou is down to jealousy i think because they know that without all the sky ecposure and money celtic football club is massive compared to most of the epl garbage.



    Slag me about empty seats at parkhead then go quiet when i mentiond our 40k is still more than half premiership games.



    Im well used to them.. been going to derry games since i can remember..always told by them derry useless.. crap league,wouldn’t open curtains if they were in back garden etc



    Then when we were playing gretna..psg ..gothenburg there all running round with derry tops for a season. Typical bandwagon.



    Derry and league of ireland have sent alot of players across water past 5/6 years.. many of them very successful.



    doyle..mccourt.mcginn..mcclean..forde..coleman the most successful of top of my head. Not bad for league of ireland.



    but of course they only become good when sky says so.



    As you can see whole set up annoys me.

  32. New unspoken blog rule – if you don’t like the article of the day or someone’s opinion then by all means moan your big bawface off like a stuck pig, but try adding some meaningful contribution of your own at the end to the discussion instead of the toss-of-the-head puckered flounce that rings out of so many posts dripping with entitlement.



    You know, something like – if we don’t take at LEAST 5 off the Zombies at Hampden then Ronny Deila is a confirmed failure and we’d be wise to make plans for some new blood at the helm.

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