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. leftclicktic



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



    Ahh I think Swinson means unlike David Murray or Charles Green or Dave King or Mike Ashley or Campbell Ogilvie or …



    who were all sticklers for playing by the book.

  2. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    Assuming they won’t be playing on Saturday so give them a run with the youngsters

  3. traditionalist88 on



    16:08 on


    13 January, 2015





    Possibly shop window. May be scouts there.









    Kayal yes but not for Tonev, he ain’t ours to sell!



    Anyone wishing to buy Kayal, can’t they just watch some youtube videos like everyone else!




  4. See if Tonev and Kayak become our midfield fulcrum….you are all going to look really deli…..daft. :)



    Hail hail




  5. livibhoy



    I think you should contact the SPFL! Excellent points.



    I would only add that I think summer football would also get punters to watch the games.

  6. themaestro72



    I am against summer football. Not playing in the winter would encourage more people to watch English fitba and the league would lose more fans.


    The summer is for holidays, family time, golfing, all day drinking, festivals, the olympics and world cups.




  7. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    I was talking about Saturday and reason him and kayal playing today

  8. “Cue demand for Griffiths to start every game”




    Ard macha,



    Is that not the job of the ref?? :))

  9. traditionalist88 on



    16:13 on


    13 January, 2015




    Why don’t you like Kayal ?




    Do you like Kayal





    Pretend hardman. Poor decision making/rush of blood to the head when in anything resembling a decent position. Average technical ability and very injury prone(which bearing in mind the other things is maybe a positive)



    For a start…




  10. TBB



    I noticed that. I sense that a new movement is about to flourish into existence.



    The Diletarians are here!



    Hail hail




  11. Bt,



    Ah right. I get you now.







    No neebs. Must be someone else writing guff.



    Which I’ll be stopping soon. Battery has had enough.

  12. skyisalandfill on




    Just dump SKY.



    I did back in april or May and have vowed that I will not return to it.



    A combination of negative CFC reporting, pro zombie nonsence, general EPL cheerleading, the derisory, pitiful sums given to Scottish fitba in general and the way the way that our subscriptions are used to keep the loathsome Ms Brookes and her cronies out of jail was enough for me.



    I can’t really say that I miss it. There is loads of live football on BT.



    You know it makes sense.