International Break best ever 11 – 2nd Midfielder

Majoc,,,

Bertie Auld.

Every team needs a Bertie Auld type. That wee bit older,more experienced. More than happy to use a bit of dig to win the midfield battle-or a lot of dig,if it was to defend a colleague. But he’s in my team predominantly because of his footballing ability. And he certainly wasn’t short of that.

Bertie rejoined Celtic in 1965,just prior to the return of Jock. He was so delighted to see Jock again,he scored FIVE times in his first game for him! Add to that,he scored the two equalisers against Dunfermline in the 65 Final,the one which launched the dream.

Only two years later-think about that,what a turnaround!-we were Champions of Europe. And had even given Real a roasting in Di Stefano’s testimonial. Celtic were The Real Deal,and Bertie was Cock of the Walk. He was an elder statesman-at 27!-in that 65 team,but he looked after his Bhoys. He stifled their pre-match nerves in the tunnel in Lisbon by leading them in a rendition of The Celtic Song. He stiffened Norman Hunter against Leeds while everyone had lost the ball in the Hampden floodlights.

And by ‘eck,he could play. He could pick a pass,be it five yards or fifty. He could score a few,almost achieving the century for us. Most of all,he could read the game and tackle,win the ball,set the move going. He could receive it from the defence,he was always ready for it. He was a great out-ball.

Bertie never hid,that for me is why he was such a great player,and as good a reason as any for him being in my team.

I was there for his last game for Celtic,having watched him so often for four years it was like the end of an era. The first of the outfield Lions to depart. We beat Clyde 5 or 6-1 and Bertie was carried off the pitch by his colleagues. I also attended his last game as a player-I think-when he came on as a sub for Hibs in the Cup Final the following year.

Even Bertie couldn’t do anything to turn around a 6-1 deficit.

He is,of course,still a legend for his off-field role as Club Ambassador. No club could have a better ambassador,his enthusiasm and love for Celtic is boundless. And the stories,well,they’re not for here.

But aye,Bertie Auld-Legend!!!

 

Saltires en Seville…Paul Mc Stay 678 games (1981-1997) x72 goals.

Beside Boaby Murdoch on the same pitch  ooooh, coooo…

Steely determination wasn’t immediately the description that came to mind when he played. Hindsight has changed that. In the teams Paul played in he was fortunate to count some great Celts in his first teams in ‘82 by the time he won the Cup in ‘95 he was literally carrying a few. His first game was a Sunday match in Cup tie v Queen of the South famous for co-debutee John Halpin ( what happened to him?) scoring a goal in the 4-0 win. Danny McGrain also scored one of his 4 career league goals. The Celtic End was closed due to burst pipes and frozen water on terracing. In the next match against Aberdeen Paul retained his place to score his first ever goal – a trade-mark drive from outside the box. For younger fans who never saw Paul play it will be difficult to convey just how good he was. Consistent and solid ( steely in the tackle for his size…a gift he shared with Tommy Burns). His ability to gather a pass and turn and move without missing a beat then slip a pass wide  ( either side) or into a channel was a joy to watch. Grace Under Pressure. He would have been a perfect foil for Boaby, more mobile and quicker, not lightening fast but great anticipation and reading of the game. Personal Highlights: met him once on a tour of Paradise in 88 when he was like any fan taking time and running us out the tunnel and making artificial roar of crowd noises as he lifted his arms aloft… holding my 6 year old brother by the hand. Fond memories of Not just your average Superstar Celt.

Mahe ,,,

To partner Keano in midfield meant you must give 110 percent , not because you needed to as Roy could probably handle the lot himself at a push but because he demanded it .
My attacking talents on the pitch do need the platform behind them to play their natural flair exciting game and so I have finally chosen who would partner the Corkman in the middle .

Just like his teammate he also has a big cup winners medal and again just like his team mate he achieved it elsewhere. For a Scot to move to a German team is strange to me , language , similar weather , non exotic but fair play to the fella he went there and excelled under a man that was a genuine European heavyweight at the time .

Paul Lambert was a hell of a player . He was cultured , down to earth , intelligent , and will in all probability be in the dugout one day for his old team . He provided a shield in front of that back four and gave his fellow midfielder license to really play . That was usually Stan who very nearly made it and together they were formidable . Stan was box to box and Paul mopped up but I did see them outplayed by a three in the middle on occasion . That lead to Lenny then Keano reinforcing the spine of the team.

Who can forget the poor fella losing his two front teeth via Albertz for the cause and I remember being in the crowd on his return from that injury with 2 big brand new pearly whites installed and the rockets beside me shouting “ gies a smile paul “ . Word also reached us fans he was the one who gave Viduka the rocket up the arse ( Too cold for you ? ) that lead to him taking his shirt off and saying Im not going back out there. I for one wonder if Paul was held back when he heard those words , I expect he was .

Unfortunately I have read complaints about his last season or two at the club allbeit vert rarely . He asked and was granted permission to go over to Germany and take his final coaching badges . Now if the gaffer at the time genuinely thought that was for the best who are we to argue. Yes he was probably on a decent wedge at the time and wasnt even in the country , but he would have been if needed , plus if he was done as a player he gave a fair chunk of that to the Hoops and so deserved a bit of a retirement or take it easy spell , well at least I think he did .
And I always believed there was a gentleman agreement that he would return to use those coaching skills we helped him get .

As a manager its been mixed but I think he will find his level somewhere and we will see what he can do as a manager . I wouldnt mind him in the hotseat one bit and I hope im in the majority.

Paul Lambert , thank you for your service . You start in my midfield Sir !

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Mike

Roy Kean only played about twelve games for Celtic, Paul Lambert and Lenny played much, much more, it is our misfortune that Kean only played such a small amount of games for us, because he for me would have been immortal in the history of our club, he had it all. A leader of men, leading from the front, he was one of those players who could win a game on his own. He drove his team on in one of the most competitive league’s in Europe and won every possible honour in the history of the European arena.

Bertie Auld was cast from the same mould, but let us not detract from the footballing skills of these wonderful players, they knew how to position themselves, they drove the team on and any questions asked by opposing teams, they were answered in full. Who could forget Bertie’s tenacity, a warrior like Kean who would stand up face to face with any opponent, look them in the eye and say “bring it on” as majoc states every team needs a Bertie or a Kean, someone who stands up for his mates and protects them. The thing that separate’s these two is the quality of the opposition and how the pitches were and how tackles seemed to be much more robust than now.

Paul Lambert and Craig Burley both had great skill and led the team in the face of mounting pressure from the Huns, they stopped them reaching ten and for that alone they deserve there place in the history of our great club. Both were skilful in their own ways, Burley had a great shot and could tackle, like Joe Ledley, I was unhappy when they left as both seemed that they wanted to stay and still had plenty to offer. Paul Lambert oozed class, he had that calm authority and could read the game much better than he was credited with, a major part of any skilful midfielders player requirements.

The one for me who stands head and shoulders above everyone else has got to be Bobby Murdoch, he had it all, its funny how big Jock could recognise how a players attributes were best suited to another position and he was invariably correct. Brendan done the same with Ajer and he too is right, good managers make good players better. We won the lottery with Bobby, oh wait, it was the big cup. Bobby Murdoch could play every position except left back, there was none better.. ever than big Tam.

I have said enough, time to read the papers and let someone else come in, your eyes must be bleeding by listening to my rambles and the dug needs a walk. But Celtic… oh my, how a club gets under your skin, into your mind, into your DNA..

Mike,

The whole plan behind this wee series is to encourage input from the rest of you. And it has been stellar so far.

Keep it coming,please. All of you.

Garry Duncan

My second midfielder beside Neil Lennon is another player like Danny McGrain and Roy Aitken, in that I saw the majority of his games home and away for Celtic. Paul McStay the Maestro. He was called The Maestro with justification. Loved watching the skill, heart and passion of Paul. He would carry our midfield single handed in many matches. I think he could have played in any team in the world and shone. I believe Paul McStay was world class.
YNWA

mahe

Mike , please keep them ramblings coming . Excellent quality writing and please consider and article when this series is done . I do like hearing of the players I have missed and its clear the affection the Lions are held in . Im still confident though the computer will have my team emerge on top. Hail Hail

GARRY,

I adored Paul,as with many others in that team. I’m intending a weighty article in a couple of weeks on him and his team-mates at the time,particularly his first 5 or 6 years.

There are a huge number of players to choose from for this series. The idea is not to be controversial in your picks,buttrue to how you rated them then and now. As a result,there are loads of players who coulda shoulda been in there,but we can only pick one-and we have to have seen him play!

I mean,I can’t believe I’ve picked a midfield and defence so far,and not found a place for Paul,Tommy Burns,John Clark,Tommy Boyd,Davie Hay,oh the list is endless.

I’ve got the longest substitute bench on the planet!!!

A thing of beauty

Grace under pressure. Thank you SES in those three words you sum up Paul McStay. Under pressure on the park, not a problem. He knew every inch of the park and where the perfect pass was. Under pressure off the park, again not a problem. He carried poor Celtic teams on his back and never grumbled once, never gave the media any wee snippets when he must’ve been raging inside at the ineptitude of those around him. When he first came into the team I had just started going to games. In my naïveté I assumed that was the standard of all Celtic midfielders. Oh how wrong I was. I’m still waiting 36 years later for someone in his class. Right foot, left foot, passing ,shooting, tackling – he had the lot. I loved that he stayed at Celtic when he could’ve went elsewhere. When you’re young you don’t see the big picture. I see it now. Paul McStay sacrificed a top, top career to stay at our beloved hoops and I love him for that but wish he’d tested himself elsewhere. He really could’ve played in any team in any league. Finally I must also add that his brilliance has clouded my judgement of every central midfielder ever since. I had a real struggle with Scott brown for the first 7 years of his Celtic career. But if the yard stick is McStay not many are going to measure up.

Mike

Thanks for the sentiments mahe and majoc and do not let the lack of comments today… so far, put you off or dishearten you. Sentinel Celts is a great opportunity for everyone to talk Celtic, the greatest football club.. ever. It might take a wee while to catch on, other Celtic blogs have witnessed peaks and troughs and gone through similar starts. I have never contributed, merely lurked for years on CQN my blog of choice has alway’s been E-Tims, I love their full on Celtic coverage and always admired the writings of Desi-mond and Ralph. Sentinel Celts offers Celtic supporters something different, in that they can comment and read and reply to other posters thoughts on all things Celtic, never get downhearted this is a great blog, started and contributes to, but with no outside influences to, all things Celtic, a blog from Celtic supporters too Celtic supporters, it doesn’t get any better than that…

Garry Duncan

Majoc
There are 2 or 3 options in my head for every position in my favourite Celts team. I am making my choices, therefore, based on consistency of performance and longevity in the Hoops. In truth I have whittled 30 odd players down to 11. Like you, I have a huge subs bench. ?
YNWA

ATHINGOFBEAUTY

Virtually all of my selections came through the ranks. Not all were Celtic daft when they joined us,sadly there is reason to believe that some didn’t quite get Celtic in their blood lime the others.

All were absolutely outstanding for us,and Paul shone like a beacon in very bad times. Carrying players on the dodgiest of ankles must have damaged his spirit as much as his fitness.

Never complained once.

Yet we had senior directors disparaging him as couldnae shoot for toffee.

Hmmmm…

I think back to that midfield with Paul and Tommy Burns in particular. Astonishing creativity,and they came through the ranks,as I said. Not sure we’ve had anyone like them from Lennoxtown.

It would be interesting to see your best eleven at the end of this series. Seems yer not in your 90s at all,as I suggested for a wind-up the other night. Certainly too young to have seen most of my team.

A thing of beauty

You know I’m not in my nineties!! I’m pretty sure you’ve got me sussed by now, especially when I’m talking about Paul McStay ?

Clocked you almost right away. Known you for long enough for that,haha!

Same way you clocked my moniker on the spot,admittedly.

saltires en sevilla

ATOB

Great minds and all that buddy…?

Paul had us spoiled. I love Broony and his spirit, absolutley.

Just feel we miss creativity from the heart of mid when he plays.

Persoannly would be prefer two interchanging central mids – with either/or back when attacking. Both should be comfortable box to box.

Maybe one day…?

Mike

Lubomir Moravcik, Was my kind of player, after we played and beat Juventus 4-3 at Celtic park, Pavel Nedved said this..”Lubomir” wiped the floor with Juventus, we got a tanking” He still shudders at the thought of that game, when Celtic’s cheeky chappie, nutmegged him, our wizard of Slovakia. He surely was Doctors Joe’s gift to Celtic, the steal of the century as we remember once again the lurid headlines from the SMSM. You have to remember this “Juve” side contained apart from Nedved, Alessandro Del Peerless and David Trezeguet, they lost that game because of the inspired performance of our Lubo, of course our team also included Henke, Sutty and Lenny the three wise men of Celtic.

Lubomir had wonderful ability and could do anything with the ball with both feet, like the “Maestro” who he reminded me off. During that wonderful period there was only one team that beat Barca and that was us, the Celtic, what an acheivement, what a team.

And that is why he Lubomir gets a mention, every Celtic supporter knows how wonderfully talented he was, what a player. I once spotted him across George street in Edinburgh and shouted the customery acknowledgement, “Lubo Lubo”, he turned and laughed with his braw shiney white teeth and gave me a hearty wave.

Lubomir Moravcik fully deserves his place in the Pantheon of great Celtic players, there was only one Lubo…

Mike,

Watch this space for Lubo. I can’t in all honesty shoehorn him in,but I think you’ll be pleased when you read my article on him in about 10 days time.

A thing of beauty

Very true mike. Lube was the most two footed player I have ever seen. I can’t remember anyone better for that. Remember him taking corners from both sides, delivered with the same pace and unerring accuracy. Jeezo now we can’t get a player to take a decent corner full stop.

mahe

Mike , hold your horses we arent at the strikers yet ! There may will be a Lubo somewhere. I think my choices will surprise a lot actually but again youre all wasting your time my bhoys would mop the floor with any of these pretenders to the throne . 😉 Hail Hail

rebus67

Mike,

I second your comments. Celtic blogs come and go and some that are still around are past their sell-by date. This blog is easy to post on; has no click bait, and, so far, no agenda other than to provide a platform for Celtic musings.
You know me from Etims which is my favourite blog also, but this one deserves to develop.

I like the diversity of the three leaders….that is something that should be retained.

Thanks for giving of your time, lads.

As far as an article is concerned, I need to come up with an idea first. I like to write articles that involve a bit of research or digging. However, occasionally I get caught up in an emotional event that affects Celtic and I scribble something on that. You know as I write this, Tom Campbell comes into my mind…a great Celtic author and a great writer. Not sure how his health is but I shall drop him a line telling him about the site.

Rebus

Mike

That’s me far too impatient, but great players are hard to subdue, once you start talking football, your memory goes into overdrive and those are wonderful memories.

A thing of beauty, that describes Lubo and you are correct, but as I post, I remember “Decanio” and the sweet sound of his sweet strikes.. Stoap it..

majoc, If I watch it any harder, my eyeballs will pop, the nose will run and my plentiful teeth will fall out, canny wait…

mahe, I like your confidence, canny wait, to read your P … eice. 😉

Mike

Rebus,

You are correct, this blog does need time to develop and that takes commitment and time, time to learn and explore and to find where it fits into the Celtic space, I echo your sentiments and appreciation and yes they are great lads who’s voices should be heard.

You know your history of Celtic and the history of Scottish football, so its right that you should spend time on subjects that you know about, your writing skills put you in the perfect position to write an article and I know the lads would appreciate that.

Tom Campbell, I was thinking about him, just the other day and it crossed my mind to ask you about him, his health and wellbeing, if you contact him, please tell him that I was asking after him and thinking about him. His is a very informative voice on all things Celtic and his writing skills and knowledge are second to none. Cheers.

I assume we are going 442, if not must have missed it.
2nd middy goes to Paul McStay, elegance & genius wrapped up in the hoops.
Things to do and no time to do them, laters.

How bad are scotland, dreadful fare

A thing of beauty

Lubo – not lube. Trust me to lower the tone!!

Humped by Portugal’s second string, never fear, the Ginger Alki will sort it out.
HaHaHaHaHaHaHa

Troonbhoy

Hi bhoys
Sorry I missed yesterday
My 2 for my midfield are
Neil Lennon
Paul mcstay
2 brilliant players and Celts to the bone
it’s getting harder nowwho to leave out have had many a great mid/ forward players
HH
KTF

mahe

New Article Posted !