International Break best ever 11 – Midfielder number 1
Saltire en Seville,,,
Bobby Murdoch 484 games (1962-1973) x105 goals. Imagine Boaby and Paul McStay playing in the middle at the same time?.. I often try to picture the scene. The reason I remember Boaby is because my dad idolised him and would ooh and coo every so often as another ball -left and right landed just in front of the on- rushing ( remember rushing was used a lot in those days to describe forward play) Jinky or Lemon ( I knew him as the Buzz- Bomb). 2 really fond memories: 1970 European Cup semi- Final v Leeds at Hampden with my dad’s pals watched the whole game on their shoulders. Bobby’s goal – good grief 8 years old and saw it clearly.. before the crowd parted and I disappeared from said shoulders – soft landing but remember some harsh words exchanged. Soon forgotten in the ecstasy of that moment. We knew we were through then and scored by a Bhoy from literally around the corner. Magical. Them many years later travelling to Sunday team game on coach to Banbridge I had the absolute honour of sitting beside Boaby from Strathbungo to Stranraer. Gentle and unassuming man politely waiting to speak and seemed delighted to share his personal memories with fans. The thing that struck me most was how he described the many injections to numb pain he often played in. Not complaining about that at all just seemed to accept that as going with the territory. I often wondered about his limp then and what he sacrificed willingly to knock balls with abandon – either foot- to set up another goal. A Celtic Superstar and a wonderful, wonderful man. Sadly missed.
The first midfielder is easy .
Heelllooooo Heellloooo Keano !
He is captain and the very first name on the teamsheet every week.
Im not going to tell you how good he is just a couple of small things about him.
Roy is from Cork which actually explains a lot when he is analysed . Corkmen dont think they are superior , they know it . As the finest specimens of Gods chosen race they fancy they have the right to look down on the world , in their own way .
I never ever heard him say Im the man though ( take note MacGregor ) because he simply didnt need to say it , he just was . Shaven head , vein throbbing , dead eyed staring straight ahead , he scared the crap out the prem , ended your career if you taunted him , he was everything and more that I could ask for in my leader. Jasus his fecking beard scares me . And he “ did “ the great dane Schmeicel , threatened to do big Pallister , I mean how mad can ya get ?
A story reached me about Keano via the football ramble podcast . He was scheduled to give a speech at the house of Lords during a dinner evening . Turns up solo and sits by himself near a tv in a back room that is packed . Its a Saturday evening and El Classico is on the tv . Keano picks up a newspaper and casts the odd glance over at the tv . Approaching the end of the game 4 minutes injury time is announced . Everyone gets excited for the last few attacks . Roy picks up the remote , turns it off , picks up his paper and starts reading again . No one said a word . The stunned room just emptied.
In that wonderful thing called hindsight he should have not taken soo many injections in order to play and fixed his problems . This ultimately affected Glasgow Celtic the most in the end but I for one am delighted to have seen Keano in the hoops . You just knew that time we played in Ibrox with him and Lenny in midfield that the huns were getting beaten . The great white hope Bazza Fergieshun was given a lesson by the Irish that day .
I cant not mention that I agree with him when he stated 2 champions leagues is a poor return for maybe the biggest club in the world and for a manager that is considered one of the best ever . But one of those stars we all know was down to his drive to get them to the final . Was the finest performance I have ever witnessed and to stand head and shoulders above some of the household names that he was up against that night in Turin cements his place in the pantheon of great midfielders .
“If Roy Keane gets paid 10 times more than me , he deserves it ! “ Gary Neville
“ Roy Keane is , and always will be , my Captain “ Gary Neville
“He shouldnt have been running his f%&king mouth “ Roy on Viera
“ Who to f&%k are you to call a meeting about me ? I didnt rate you as a player and I damn sure dont as a manager . You can go f#@k yourself ! “ Roy on Big Mick