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. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    That penalty came about as a because of a mistake by the officials resulting in a dropped ball. The Sparta player SHOULD have kicked it out for a Celtic goal kick. Instead, OUR player kicked it out for an attacking throw in to Sparta!


    If these things even themselves out, we `ll get a good decision against Hamilton on Saturday. Have to say, I cannot see any real benefit in being in the Canaries.




  2. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy on

    I hate these games. We start well but it doesn’t seem long for opponents to get our measure and start to dominate proceedings. I always bloody well fall for it because I’m a fanatic. Took Premier Sports for 30 days to watch both of these games. I always go out of my way when I’m on holiday to find a pub showing the games as well. Ah well, I’ll probably never learn :-))

  3. traditionalist88 on

    We should have the best of both worlds – start earlier in July, keep the Christmas fixtures then 2 wk break in January.



    The notion of a March-November season is ludicrous.




  4. JonnyRambo67



    Not against that suggestion. I am against summer football though. Just personal opinion.


    A break and Scottish football mini tournament abroad could be what James Forrest was talking about earlier. Maybe? Maybe I just made that up.




  5. Just went to spend a penny and put my phone in my pocket.



    Got back and came back on to check how Kayal and Tonev were getting on……blonkin heck….. My phone had dialled Sharkey’s…..£5.96 that penny cost me…..and we’re losing…..£5.96..Whit…I’ve been mugged for less and I got a chance to hit the bampot.



    Hail hail




  6. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    There is a gulf in class most of the Celtic youngsters are not up to the level of there opponents.I dont know what Rony is trying with this game but hey im getting used to this not winning. We are short of quality when you look at the last few games but as yet no sign of us bringing any in. H.H.

  7. bigmike



    Zaluska must be p1ssed off playing with guys in front of him who aren’t trying a leg. Beram Kayal stands 3 yards off a guy and invites him to hit it and it’s the keeper’s fault.




  8. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    When I said ” I cannot see any real benefit in being in the Canaries.” I was , of course, referring to Celtic being there. As I was walking in a cold, Arbroath wind a few minutes ago, I could see at least one real benefit of being in the Canaries.




  9. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Another example, after Saturday in how to succeed in the modern game.



    Take the opposition out of their comfort zone and force mistakes and hasty clearances.



    To do this, though, you have to have fit and mobile players.



    After that, it is down to who has the more skillful players.

  10. livibhoy



    Some kids don’t go to the football now because they would rather play their Xbox in the warm rather and sit in the cold and rain.



    We keep getting caught out every year by the champions league qualifiers.



    We need to rethink our outlook to get bums on seats. Summer football is the way if you ask me.



    We played Kilmarnock last week and 5000 turned up, I think if that game was on a hot summers night it would have been higher.

  11. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    kano , pablo , celticlover , stjohndoyle – cqn in heaven must be mental



    16:56 on 13 January, 2015


    Elbows on the same train as me. Should I trip him up on the way off or leave it to broonie to make a fool of him ?





    Have they lost their club cars?

  12. pedrocaravanachio67 on

    kano , pablo , celticlover , stjohndoyle – cqn in heaven must be mental



    Just for clarification, is “elbow’s” jamesgang ? :)

  13. themaestro72



    Nail on the head. Killie game, how many fans supported Kille? It is not our clubs responsibility to fill their ground.




  14. themaestro72



    In all honesty football is way too expensive.


    If people are not turning up you reduce your prices. Next season every club should make their season tickets 1/3 off. Fill the grounds and the TV deal will be better because the product is more attractive. Full grounds, good atmosphere and decent fitba on show.




  15. Themaestro72,


    And there’s loads of kids who’d love to go but can’t get anyone to take them



    Hail Hail the Kano foundation

  16. Kano , Pablo , Celticlover , StJohnDoyle – CQN in heaven must be mental



    Probably enjoyed a late lunch with Bobby Madden.




  17. livibhoy



    Agree on being to expensive, I think Ross County were going to try a pay what you can afford scheme?

  18. mungolian bhoy on

    Can travelling in winter to games in treacherous weather be more fun than doing it in the summer ? What’s so great about waterlogged pitches ? Frozen fields ? Sitting in shivering in gale force winds. I do not get it. There comes a point where being a traditionalist is the same as being stupid. Either we need bums on seats or we do not. Mind boggling.

  19. An tearmann.


    Thanks for asking, halfway thru my treatment. 16 radiation zaps & 2 chemo blasts to date. Good days & bad days, today is not one of my best, but the support I get from here is second to none. CQN is like no other, although you don’t see it posted here. The emails I receive lift my spirits, I’ll let one story out the bag, on the first day of my treatment I was worried/scared as what to expect. Packs my pack heads to the Beatson centre, sitting in the day room awaiting my bed my email “bings”. A message from Willie Wallace the Lisbon Lion all the way from Australia, to wish me all the best for the battle that lies ahead. Wow, that’s what CQN can do. My treatments finished 30th January. So a nice result at league cup semi would be a lovely finish to this darkest of months. So to all posters, I thank you.

  20. Seems to me when you have a good quality battery it remains replenished with normal use,if however cheap alternatives are used then they break down under load.



    Translated, this tournament is a lot of nonsense designed in some way to placate a lot of underperforming,overpaid employees.



    Ronnie wants to weed out the baggage,lets have those who recommended the baggage, ( Park? ) and approved,( Lawell ) stand up and take responsibility.



    After 6 months we have neither plan nor structure,and are indistinguishable as the favourites for the Title.



    Its really quite depressing,and the re-charge tournament a smoke screen.



    In my opinion of course.

  21. saltires en sevilla on




    16:23 on 13 January, 2015





    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.








    I agree



    Bought full Sky package since c 1992 and loved it in the early days, but seldom bother watching full matches anymore as not that exciting – Spanish fitba is exception!!



    I’m dropping them soon, but feel that it would be better to have a structured withdrawal for maximum effect. The individual Celt complaining will have little impact, but groups of 10 or 100 or 1000 at a time, month by month, would maybe hAve an impact ….of sorts



    E.G. 1000 x 100 quid per month £100k opting out in January 2015 ( £1.2 million down per annum…. How much goes into Scottish fitba each year?!



    Followed by another 100k in February , then March etc.,



    Someone somewhere is going to take notice … They might even start to ask wtf White and Tanner and the eejits that employ them are adding, in terms of value to their business.



    Aims:We want more money for all clubs in the Scottish game, we want a more balanced reporting of events and less blatant hunnery in reports and comment as epitomised by White and Tanner ( add others names as required)



    Easy to organise if your up for it:



    January 15 Surname A, B or C give notice,


    February 15 surname D,E and F give notice.


    March 15surname G, H, I etc., etc



    Hit the bassas where it hurts and tell them why! Let them sweat when we get to May 2015 when we reach the letter M !!!!



    Whoosh drawers….



    I’m watching game now on Celtic TV and will be happy to watch delayed transmissions there from no on to ensure money going to club rather than these chancers.




    would that work…

  22. traditionalist88 on




    Last weeks Killie game was on a Monday night, play it on a Saturday or Sunday when it was meant for and it’d have been a much better attendance.




  23. tomtheleedstim on

    bournesouprecipe @17:06 on


    “Ambrose on to steady the nerves.”



    I found that funnier than I should have done.

  24. I can’t understand people not giving their all.



    I remember when it was myvturn to wear shoes and use the outside toilet, that I joined in a game under the leerie lamp.



    Just as I shot, ma mammy came round the corner pushing the pram was ma new born wee brother, 2 stone of potatoes, 3 Bilslands loaves and some bottles of sherry that you could either drink or use as a substitute for brasso.



    Anyway, the ball got stuck under ma mammy’s legs.



    For a second I hesitated, but then remembering that it wasn’t every day that you got to wear shoes and not have to pee in the chanty under the table’ I slid in like a truck and would have taken Her, the pram, ma wee bro and that night’s meal.



    That was what football meant.



    Mind you ma mammy had with one deft move, brought the ball under control, did a quick step over and pierced the top corner of the imaginary net with a Tommy Gemmell rocket.



    As she ran round celebrating like an eejit we just managed to stop the pram coupin and the street thinking ma brother had been born wae a full body wine mark.



    Hail hail




  25. mike in toronto on

    some thoughts on the game, and one question:



    Just about every Sparta player looks so much more comfortable with the ball and taking people on than just about any Celtic player.



    Celtic get the ball, and most of the time, either (i) it gets passed sideways, (ii) a player tries to run with it, or (iii) more usually, it is humped up the park.



    While other teams close us down as soon as we get the ball, when other teams get the ball, we drop deep, invite them onto us, and then defend like mad men throwing ourselves in front of balls, either on or in the penalty box.



    Its not that the players dont work hard… they do. But we dont work smart. We expend tremendous energy chasing players and balls desperately, while other teams save energy and let the ball do the work.



    This has been the Celtic was for, at least, several years now …



    Clearly, players in Scotland are simply falling behind most other countries in terms of basic ball skills, and as a result, basic football IQ (you dont think about making the runs, if no one first thinks about the pass… and vice versa).



    The last few years, GS and NFL set about teams designed to play to our strengths (last man defending). On the plus side, those guys got as much out of the players as possible. The down side is you accept your limitations, and by focusing on what is comfortable, you accept your lot (second tier caliber football) and you wont likely improve on that.



    I thought RD would be a good thing, as he doesn’t come from the old british background, and I thought, he would have the players playing a different system with a faster more skill based game. Given that this is not how football is learned in britian, I expected that there would be some teething problems, and was prepared for same.



    However, what I am seeing is change (players having trouble adjusting to the new system) without much improvement. I know it has only been a few months, but there hasn’t been the improvment that I would have expected so far.



    Is it too much change too soon? Is it too much to expect footballers to be able to pass and move? I wouldn’t have thought so, but the wholesale problems I see when Celtic play make me question. Do we have to accept the limitations of scottish football (100 mpm and lots of committment, but little skill)? Or can the traditional scottish attributes be added to and improved upon with a more continental style passing game?



    I see some other scottish teams (eg. DU) playing some decent quick passing football (although they are inconsisent and also have trouble defending). However, the fact that they seem to ping the ball around makes me think it is possible, but question why we dont/cant seem to.



    Sadly, I am increasingly coming to the view that, as much as I like the style of football RD wants us to play, (i) it may not be possible in the SPFL, or (ii) he may just not be a strong enough character/the right guy to get us playing it.



    on a more important note … frantic, keep fighting! Thoughts and prayers.




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