International Break best ever 11 – Midfielder number 1

Majoc,,,

It will come as no surprise to anyone that my first  midfielder is Bobby Murdoch. Jock Stein reckoned Bertie and Bobby was good enough for him,so it’s good enough for me-and let’s face it,for about six years,the pair of them together were too good for virtually everyone!
Bobby was still well short of his 21st birthday when Jock arrived,but he was already an established first-team pick.
At inside-right!
No wonder his lack of joy in the game was such that he was considering a move with his family. That,and an ankle injury from 1962 which he couldn’t-and wouldn’t-shake off.
Story goes that whenBob Kelly saw the team sheet with Bobby not in his usual position,he told Jock-That’s not right,Murdoch is an inside right,not a right half.
Jock told him that they’d see on Saturday that he was a right half. And Jock was right,in spades. When Bobby played well,Celtic played well. He and Bertie just marshalled the team,passing,tackling,receiving,shooting. Bobby too had it all. Bar,maybe,the pace that he was robbed of by that persistent ankle injury.
It didn’t stop Herrera announcing that he was the complete footballer,or Jock from saying that he was his favourite player,or the eight titles and five each of the cups.
And he was still just a lad of 22 when he won The European Cup,Stevie Chalmers diverting Bobby’s shot into the net. He had a bit of a kick on him,did Bobby. He didn’t score many from inside the six-yard box but he is one of our Centurions,with 105 goals in his 484 games.
 I remember his performance in the Dixie final of 72 that I mentioned earlier. Bobby strolled it,he was magnificent. Yet barely a year later,he was gone,to Middlesborough.
He’s a legend down there too. Not many achieve that status at two clubs.
Aye,they don’t make them like Bobby anymore,mores the pity. And he was a lovely fella too,but you just knew that,didn’t you?
RIP,Bobby.

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.

 

Mahe,,,

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

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mahe

Good morning and apologies for the late new article . I actually forgot with soo much going on here this weekend . Worth the wait hopefully . Hail Hail

saltires en sevilla

Mahe

That’s the cat right in amongst the pigeons buddy…?

This going to be fun…

HH

mahe

SES, the Corkman was the finest midfielder of his generation . A normal man who when he crossed that line turned into a beast with an insatiable need to win. Not at all costs though , was tough but not dirty. We were privileged tto see him in the Hoops for that short spell. Once again mother Ireland to the rescue. We’re always sending our bhoys over to sort your team out, comradeship and duty to our Celtic cousins over the water. Could yees no sort yourselves out so we can stay home? 😉
Hope you’re having a better weekend than me. Hail Hail

rebus67

Picking a midfield proved more difficult than I thought. I assume we are playing 4-2-3-1, so we need two mids….one creative and one principally defensive but ideally both being capable of moving to support attacks.
The right side was relatively easy. Our current captain, Brown is a strong candidate, but he is no Bobbie Murdoch. Murdoch had it all, according to Bertie Auld…strong in the tackle, good engine, precise passer of the ball. In his career he played the old roles of inside forward and wing half which would equip him for the creative midfield role in a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation. Majoc, great minds think alike, OR, fools seldom differ!
The left side is more difficult. Given the choice of Murdoch, defensive skills need to be to the fore, but, hopefully, someone who can transition into an attacking midfielder upon occasion. Some head scratching produced Jim Brogan, Joe Ledley, even John Clark, and my final choice which I shall unveil later. Such a tease!
Brogan was a solid defensive wing half with a great engine. He is my sentimental favourite for the position, given recent events. Ledley was really only appreciated after he left and we saw the hole that he left…a quietly competent player. Clark was a sweeper primarily who cleared up anything that got past big Billie. However, I wonder if he could he play in front of the CB.
Victor Wanyama is the man for this position….strong defensively, great shot, good in the air, and capable of adding to the attack. I wish we could have seen that pair in midfield.

Rebus

Garry Duncan

The first midfielder on my list is Martin O’Neill’s best signing and now Celtic legend. Neil Lennon. My love for Lenny is something inside so strong. An intelligent leader wi baws of steel.
My late father’s favourite ever Celt, Bobby Murdoch, left for Boro when I was 7, so I didnae see a lot of Bobby, or remember enough of what I saw. My defensive midfielder is the Bhoy from Lurgan now Hillhead. Neil Francis Lennon. Mention for our current captain Broonie. He may replace Lenny in my list of favourite ever Celtic players in time.
YNWA

Fairhill Bhoy

Boaby and the Maestro playing together ?
What a wonderful thought ?

mahe

Was very nearly Stan the Man tbh . Really like big Evander Sno and wish he woulda stayed and became a lynchpin . Kev Jungle wouda had Murdo the highlander in there no doubt . Paul Hartley gave great service . WE have had some gooduns in the middle thats for sure .
Hail Hail

Rebus67

Mahe,

Sno had a lot of potential. When he arrived he knew how to pass the ball into space for a player to run onto. After about a season he had been coached to pass the ball ditectly to feet……..shame. I think of him as an example that it takes more than skill to succeed in the game. His concentration and application were issues.

Rebus

Garry Duncan

So far my Celtic favourites team
1 Artur Boruc
2 Danny McGrain
3 Dariusz Wdowczyk
4 Roy Aitken
5 Billy McNeill
6 Neil Lennon
Great players, leaders and hauners in a fight I bet. ?
YNWA

Rebus67

Garry,

Yes, I also admire Lenny…..a great defensive mid. However, ibadmire him most for his stands off the pitch. He endured more than anyone should from bigots, and he went public with his struggle with depression.

A great man all round.

Rebus

Mike

Well this goes back to the “dance” post, because of a settled side, that has many benefits, knowing who you are playing with, you know your fellow midfielders game, where they will be, or more importantly into what areas they like to run to, to find space. Once again majoc has said all that I wanted to say about Boabby Murdoch and the qualities that he showed, how his “antenna” would allow him to know exactly where to play the ball. The thing about Boabby is although he had that “antenna” he also had the talent to play that “killer pass” with check, a rare gift is that, to play a pass softly to you team-mates. He also had great strength to brush aside opposing players, a bit of what we saw with Wanyama, you just knew his qualities would move him on to the EPL.

Different teams have different strength’s depending on how the coach wants the players to play, different players have many different attributes, Roy Keane’s powerful winning mentality, Davie Hay’s powerful tackle, strength and determination, Bertie’s aggression and his determination to win the ball, a powerful counterbalance to Murdoch’s range of passing.

Jim Brogan’s loyalty in waiting five years before he got into the team, Broony’s one team and love of our club, I could go on and on about some of the wonderful players we have witnessed in the engine room of the team, they all had one thing in common, they loved the Celtic, like us, they only had or have just the one team…..

Garry Duncan

Rebus
Were you a Holm Park Yoker man?
Whe ho blues.
YNWA

Fairhill Bhoy

We’ve been lucky to have had so many good midfielders,I liked Paul lambert as well ?

Mike,

Davie Hay’s powerful tackle. Aye. It was all of that,and more.

“Davie,sort him oot!”

I asked Mr Hay when he did a Q&A on CQN a couple of years back…

Who won when you and Bertie went in for a tackle in training,and how could it be proven as I assume everyone just shut their eyes.

His reply-Bertie and I weren’t allowed to tackle each other in training.

Nae wonder.

Garry Duncan

100% agree Rebus. I grew up with the two huns who battered Neil on Ashton Lane. Asked Carrigan why?
He replied, “We made a joke about him, he got cheeky and deserved his slapping.”
Knightswood hun mentality
YNWA

Mike

A true full on Celtic man, is Davie Hay, player (and what a player), Davie Hay, man of steel, our silent assassin, in 1974 he was selected for the FIFA World Cup squad, that’s how good he was. He managed the “Well” and of course Celtic, winning the Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Championship, heck, he even won the Norwegian League with “Lillestrom”. A Paisley buddy, one of my all time Celtic hero’s.

Bertie and Davie, if they ever opposed one another, the sound of the clash of Titans would be heard.. everywhere.

Bobby was my very first Celtic hero, I used to see that big barrell chest get pumped up before a game and wonder at his footballing ability. Its such a pity that these wonderful,talented players did not receive the remuneration that their talents deserved. You cannot live on adulation, can you….

Mike,

No,you can’t. But money will eventually run out. Adulation for a legend will pass from generation to generation.

,big packy

well majoc, no surprise to you but bobby Murdoch is my choice, someone once said when bobby Murdoch plays celtic play, what a shot he had, seen some memorable goals scored.hh.

Widely attributed to Jock,BP,but I think it was Jim Craig who said it.

Simply a marvellous player.

Garry Duncan

Majoc
If Bobby Murdoch was my hard to please father’s favourite ever player, then I reckon he was special. He overtook Bobby Evans and Bobby Collins in my dad’s fave list. Guys called Robert tend to be great Celts.
YNWA

Fairhill Bhoy

Majoc-so true,felt I was getting a bit of grief else where for questioning a LL legend ?Yet I have a LL tshirt for every day of the week ?Adulation doesn’t begin to explain it?

Rebus67

Garry,

I played two trials for Yoker but signed for another team before getting an offer or the bullet. It proved to be a big mistake and finished me as a player. I shall not say more than I was released by that club after two seasons. I saw a lot of boys in my shoes hit the bottle. Fortunately, my father persuaded me to go to university for a year to try it. The rest is history…I never left universities.

Amazing the older you get, the smarter your parents get!

I am originally from Knightswood, and not of the Catholic faith, but I am not one of the Knightswood huns!

Rebus

Garry Duncan

Rebus
I am originally a Partick Bhoy. Moved to Knightswood at 7. Reckon there are as many Protestant Bhoys in Knightswood, as there are Catholic Bhoys. Magic
YNWA

A thing of beauty

Just a quick word today for the defensive midfielder. When I started watching football there was no such thing. You were a midfielder so therefore it was a pre requisite that you could do both sides of the game. The very idea that a Celtic midfielder would only be there to stop the opposition took me along time to get my wee brain around. There have been a few. My goodness martin O’Neill liked two at once. No wonder I didn’t really enjoy watching his teams. Yes I get that he overturned a huge gulf between us and the ebt mob and yes we went to Seville and my excitement when calling home to find the semi final result whilst I was in Australia will never leave me but it’s not the football I like to watch. So I’ll not waste any more of everyone’s time and pick Neil Lennon. Close call between Neil and Paul lambert but ones a Celtic man and one is nae so no contest!!

Bobby Murdoch, when he played Celtic played, can’t top that 🙂

,big packy

the exiled tim, loved watching bobby play, wish he was in our team now.hh.

BP
For sure, there is quality players and class players, once or twice in a generation there is top class players and Bobby M fits into that level imo, the best passer of a ball I have ever seen, had a wee bit of dig about him as well, could read the game better than any of the other Lions, this was his edge.

mahe

Surely I’m not the only one giving keano love?

,big packy

sorry mahe, loved big roy,but bobby Murdoch is the man,by the way how are you keeping.hh.

Mahe
A handful of games when he was way past his prime wasn’t the best way to endear himself to the support, he strolled most of them in fairness, his debut wisny the may west, but neither was any of his other team mates, a fair few in front of Keano for me.

,big packy

the exiled tim how many players want to play for Glasgow celtic at the end of their careers the list is endless but the 2 keanes are up there.hh.

Mike

majoc,

Try telling that to any of the Lions, or any of the modern players, then watch them run away to join another club. That’s why big Tam, Bobby and most of the Lions left the club, to earn extra cash.
Adulation is only a side benefit of success and who could blame them, we would have done exactly the same.

BP
I loved both of them, they were quality, but cameo roles are not for me.

,big packy

the exiled tim, do you ever get the feeling we are the only 2 on here.lol.

Sometimes 🙂

mahe

BP , Im looking at his career I suppose and not just the privilaged times in the hoops. All good brother ,, painting the deck , busy busy
Hail Hail

,big packy

the exiled tim im going back and furrit with the other side, bet you haven’t heard that saying in a long time, just asked mcjay a question.hh.

Fairhill Bhoy

Said earlier that I liked lambert,honestly think he was better than Lenny ?

A thing of beauty

As a player he probably was better but as a Celt it’s no contest. Am i right in thinking when his stock was high lambert wasn’t interested in managing us. Bet he’d like the gig now though. I wish him no ill but I prefer Lenny on the park and in the dug out. Oh and on the telly, I can’t make out a word lambert says.

A thing of beauty

Spot on ET. A class player but not by the time he got to play for us. And as someone said earlier , still good enough to take we fergiehun to school in his own playground.

Fairhill Bhoy

If you believe the papers mate?
A good player though never mind his background ?

A thing of beauty

A very good player and my apathy towards him has nothing to do with his background. Danny McGrain had a similar background and I consider him a true Celt. That’s never had a bearing on my thinking, simply wouldn’t be allowed in my family. ?

Fairhill Bhoy

A thing of beauty
I ment his background in allegedly turning his back on managing us.?

SFTB

Very easy decison for central midfield.

It is Murdoch and McStay all day long.

Davie Hay is my favourite celt but I cannot place him above those two.

Roy Keane was a Man U player who was just playing at football when he came up here. One moderate game at Ibrox does not make him a Celtic legend. He also played in the Du Wei Clyde game and was just as culpable as the big captain of China.