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When a managerial hero has to leave the stage

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I loved the Leicester City story as much as any of you. Well, maybe not just as much. Leicester’s title win was astonishing, but it was no fairy story. They outperformed far wealthier clubs, sure, but this was achieved by spending the kind of money Celtic couldn’t dream of parting with.

Apart from their league win, Project Leicester was typical of the financial chicanery which has been prevalent in English football for so long, and which Financial Fair Play seeks to end.

Right now they are in freefall. If they go down, loaded with an underperforming squad on eye-wateringly high salaries, they will find it impossible to downsize sufficiently to give anyone sitting around the King Power Stadium boardroom table that they will be able to achieve stability in the Championship.

Once you drop out of the Enland and Wales Premier League, the biggest parachute in the world simply isn’t big enough. Two of the three Championship relegation places are currently occupied by recent Premier League clubs. Aston Villa, twice the size of Leicester but with a far smaller wage bill, are currently 17th. Leicester will look ominously at Blackpool, 14th in League Two, and appreciate how rapidly a Premier League relegation fight can turn into something altogether more serious.

Claudio Ranieri is a football hero, but even from the outside it has been plain to see that something has been seriously wrong under his control in recent months. His comments before the Sevilla game, “we know they are the better team”, spoke of a man who didn’t believe in himself or his players anymore.

It is never easy to spot when a managerial hero should move on from a club where he’s loved, exect in hindsight. Clough was the greatest English manager, but stayed on far too long at Nottingham Forest. Relegation was his reward.

Jock Stein’s sacking as Celtic manager in 1978 was shabbily handled, as was the way at the club back then. I was too young to know the best of Jock’s years at Celtic, but I remember the grief he got from the terraces during his last four seasons, when Rangers (remember them?) won three titles and two trebles.

No one will tell you they got on Jock’s case back then, but it happened. Football fans in the 1970s took no prisoners.

Looking back, Jock stayed too long at Celtic. He produced miracles for five years then managed decline for eight. He should have taken the Manchester United job when offered. Clough squeezed two League Cups out of his squad in 1989 and 1990 and should have headed for this hills right then.

As for Claudio, he should have bowed out a champion in May. He didn’t have managerial alchemy after all, it was inevitable that performances would return to his normal trend this season. Someone at Leicester had to take responsibility.  That’s football – and it’s not even a modern aspect of it.

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  1. BundoranBhoy and family,

     

     

    I am sorry for your loss. I lost my mother two years ago. At the time, I thought it a relief as she was in much pain….a pain that could not be fixed. Very soon guilt set in and I felt terrible for having these thoughts. This was followed by a deep sense of loss……the finality of death. Now I have these wonderful memories of her and I replay them in my head all the time. I do not know you but I do know that there is a lot of your mother in you. In time you will come to treasure that.

     

     

    Rebus

  2. sixtaeseven - 65 trophies in my lifetime on

    APRICALE on 24TH FEBRUARY 2017 12:28 PM

     

     

    Great post, some goodpoints.

     

     

    However, Jock wasn’t properly supported by the board and the car crash took him out the game at a crucial time. Losing KD for a pittance to LFC was the nail in the coffin.

     

     

    Jock Stein was the best of them all – AF would be the first to agree – and literally gave his life for the beautiful game.

  3. Embramike @12.27

     

    Could not agree more my friend. I can’t figure out the thiinking of these clowns. They know we’re being closely scrutinised, still they do it.

     

    It couldn’t be some zombies infiltration could it!!!!

     

     

    KINGLuBO

  4. Jock Stein was the BEST manager we’ve ever had. Who ran the team when he was recovering from the car crash? Clueless.

     

     

    Imo, Mr White was among the worst chairmen we have endured.

  5. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    GEORDIEMUNRO 141

     

     

    I’ve got a lovely wee white polo shirt commemorating England’s Grand Slam in 2011.

     

     

     

    I wear it now and again at this time of year,to wind up the locals.

     

     

    £3 on e-bay. Damn fine £3-worth too. They were run off in anticipation,but Ireland gubbed them in the last match.

  6. Bit of chat about Stein and his sacking.

     

    The worst, although tasteless aspect of Jock’s relationship with the Board was not the shabby nature of his sacking.

     

    It was that in Lisbon, he handed the Kellys and Whites the world on a plate and they lacked the wit or balls to appreciate it and consolidate Celtic as a major European force.

  7. UDE2005 IS NEIL LENNON \O/ on 24TH FEBRUARY 2017 2:08 PM

     

    PARKHEAD

     

     

     

    CELTIC TREATED JOCK SHAMEFULLY !!!

     

     

    UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE CENTURY.

  8. Bobby,

     

     

    Ha! I remember the 2004 tourney well. The world champions had scudded everyone in the previous championship and I was given a free bet for joining some betting company so I lumped it on France.

     

     

    Ps. You are meant to put the 141 before my name so I don’t see who’s messaged ;P

     

     

    HH

  9. Starry,

     

     

    It soon will be an epic journey if they don’t stop fekin aboot with the roads. ;)

     

     

    HH

  10. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Jock went when it was time for him to go.

     

     

    A combination of ill health and the decimation of his next generation, called time on his reign.

     

     

    He lost Macari, Connelly ,Hay and Dalglish.

     

     

    Of those players that he lost, the one that hurt him most, was losing Davie Hay.

     

     

    He was to be the corner stone of his team.

     

     

    That was the one which broke his heart.

  11. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Geordie Munro on 24th February 2017 1:41 pm

     

     

     

    “Almost impossible task to motivate the players for this season.”

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Glasstwothirds,

     

     

     

    Agreed. This is a fact throughout sport, not just football

     

    ———–

     

    More so in this instance. A Man Utd or Chelsea could say “right – let’s go and do it again”. That simply couldn’t have happened with Leicester.

     

    But yeah you do have to admire the teams/players who can do it – Federer, New England Patriots, etc

  12. Just watched Alfie Allan’s Brief History of Football on the History Channel,(was on last night).A piece on Celtic and Oldco,a Scottish actor Daniel Portman held our end up well,apart from an OF reference.The Bowling Club guy who regaled in Oldco’s numerous world records,was like a character from Chewin the Fat.Worth a watch bhoys.

  13. Paul67 et al

     

     

    Yet another attempt to rewrite the history of Jock Stein’s great years. and not for the first time.

     

    The Celtic of 1972 and 1974 were every bit as good as the 1967 team. By 1974 the direction of the Board was obvious, pay as little as they could get away with, even to Scottish Internationalists who knew how much the Anglos were paid by Leeds, Chelsea, Man Utd etc, sell their better younger players and hope Big Jock could continue to deliver the success in which Directors basked. Macari and Hay gone, McLaughlin’s career ruined, Connolly gone and eventually Dalglish follows albeit after Jock’s swansong in 1977. Of course not winning ten in a row was disappointing, but not the crushing blow that was Jock’s own serious and life threatening injuries which he did well to recover from far less manage Celtic and later Scotland. As to the actions of the Celtic directors in ending Jock’s time at Parkhead, not just ‘shabby’ but rather a permanent disgrace. That said you will not find a statue of Desmond White outside Celtic Park. Not now. Not ever!

  14. Bada,

     

     

    Did you watch the documentary you mentioned on here last night? Catholics v Convicts.

     

     

     

    Great wee watch. Cheers.

     

     

    HH

  15. Folks, myself and another Celtic Daft comrade will be in Malaga on March 5th but would love to catch the Cup game on TV somewhere. Any Bhoy or Ghirl know a pub that would be showing it ?

  16. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    MADRARUA

     

     

    Malaga?

     

     

    I’ll betcha SPARKLEGHIRL could tell you!

     

     

    Pity she’s not on here now,last heard of in Chile,I think.

     

     

    So,SPARKLEGHIRL,if yer still lurking,can you help out a fine fella Tim?

     

     

    And Hail Hail to you if you do!

  17. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    THOMTHETHIM FOR OSCAR OK on 24TH FEBRUARY 2017 2:16 PM

     

     

    Spot on. IMHO Davie Hay was the major loss of that period, followed by George Connolly. Both would have been true Celtic Legends and would have made Jock Steins legacy mean more than it does.

     

     

     

    KTF

  18. “No one will tell you they got on Jock’s case back then, but it happened.”

     

     

    That’s the issue. Things would turn quickly against Brendan Rodgers if results turned. At least Brendan is aware of that.

  19. Shurely the linfield delegate must have a name……no point in talking about the guy if you cannae name him…..mibbee the rat is craving to be in the limelight……so lets help him out.

  20. Was he also the delegate at the BMG game at CP when they set off flares,if yes it shows his bias if he did not report BMG, and if no then UEFA have a problem with their delegates in that they convey part of the issues to paint certain teams in a bad light. Who would have thought that, eh, Celtic get wise

  21. SIXTAESEVEN – 65 TROPHIES IN MY LIFETIME on 24TH FEBRUARY 2017 1:52 PM

     

     

    However, Jock wasn’t properly supported by the board and the car crash took him out the game at a crucial time. Losing KD for a pittance to LFC was the nail in the coffin.

     

     

    *Kenny was never transfer listed; allegedly Jock called up his old friend Bob Paisley and offered Kenny tae him.

     

     

    THOMTHETHIM FOR OSCAR OK on 24TH FEBRUARY 2017 2:16 PM

     

     

    Of those players that he lost, the one that hurt him most, was losing Davie Hay. He was to be the corner stone of his team. That was the one which broke his heart.

     

     

    *and yet Davie claims that when he came back fae the WC in Germany he was fully committed to the Celtic cause and ready tae sign a new contract only for Jock tae take the cream puff over his stance for equal rights among ALL of the first team squad and sold him.

     

     

    That move cost us a future captain as well as the Fife Beckenbauer.

  22. jeez_I_thought_blinker_was_pants on

    As mentioned in his book, KD couldn’t wait to leave, he would have went the season before if he could.

  23. dessybhoy on 24th February 2017 3:50 pm

     

     

    Was he also the delegate at the BMG game at CP when they set off flares,if yes it shows his bias if he did not report BMG, and if no then UEFA have a problem with their delegates in that they convey part of the issues to paint certain teams in a bad light. Who would have thought that, eh, Celtic get wise

     

     

    If that is the case , the club has to do something, but yet again, i won’t hold my breath HH

  24. Interesting comments about the end of Big Jock’s reign. I’m not sure we had quite the same pulling power for Scottish players that we have today. I remember Dixie Deans telling me that when he signed for Celtic (from Motherwell I believe) he could have got more money by going to Aberdeen!

  25. The impartial(!) UEFA delegate from Linfield is a member of the ‘two surnames’ clan.

     

     

    Crawford Wilson.

     

     

    HH!!

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