The Lost Ten – Part 9
Continuing our little tale of nostalgia from the eighties,a period which should have seen us win TEN IN A ROW but saw us throw five of those titles away. So far,the score is four each,with us throwing two titles in the bin in late summer and two in the spring. We faces a new challenge this time,one we hadn’t seen for a while. Rangers.
They had signed Graeme Souness as player manager towards the end of the previous season,and he had been busy. He signed England’s World Cup captain from Ipswich and the excellent Chris Woods in goal for a combined £1.4m. He would also sign Graham Thug from Spurs for £500,000 as well as £200,000 on Mo Judas’ old forward partner at Watford,Colin West. Jan Bartraam and Jimmy Nicholl filled the full back positions for another half a mill or so,with a few minor players making up the numbers.
Celtic,of course,rested on their laurels,relying on our youth team to freshen up the squad. The latest regular additions were the very talented Tony Shepperd and Owen Archdeacon,as well as Paul McGugan,with Derek White continuing to impress most of the time at the back.
We started this campaign,the one which should have been our ninth successive title,as Champions. And boy,did we play like Champions as we fired out of the traps! Hell,we even went down to Highbury and cuffed them 2-0 in their ain midden,a nice wee testimonial treat for David O’Leary. Six points from our first three matches led us in to an early meeting with Aberdeen,and with some confidence too. It was some game,real end-to-end stuff,but in the end we needed an equaliser from Murdo McLeod to hold onto a point.
Our next game was at Ibrox. Live on the telly anaw,I think. Rangers were already three points behind us,having lost to Dundee United and Hibs. They had even needed a penalty-quelle surprise!-to beat Falkirk. They needed this,but we could surely nail the lid on their season with a victory,couldn’t we? Stop the “Souness Revolution” dead in its tracks?
Well,we had our chance and we blew it. Played like coos. When we needed to be right up for it,we decided to stay at home. Two teenagers ruled the roost in midfield and Kevin McMinn-I mean,ffs!!!-destroyed our defence. 1-0 to them didn’t do them justice,to be fair. And our team certainly didn’t do justice to the fans.
Turn up and hammer them,five points behind after five games. How difficult is that?!!!
Give the players their dues,they responded in style,and free-scoring style at that. We played sixteen league games through September,October,November. We took 29 points from the 32 available. Annoyingly,our three dropped points were in draws against our challengers-Aberdeen,Dundee United and Rangers. Two points dropped each time,if you see what I mean. Each game was a four-pointer,and we weren’t being ruthless enough on those occasions.
But we entered December with 36 points from 42,with the next game the halfway mark of the season. More to the point,we were an astonishing ELEVEN points clear of the huns,and questions were being asked of Rangers. Particularly about their lack of discipline,not just their poor results. Their new striker too had only scored once,so really it was a good time to be a Tim. And about as good as it got.
Stories had been leaking for some time that all was not well in the dressing room,nor between the manager and the board. In fairness,Davie Hay was pretty blameless in this-the dispute was between the players and the board,but both were hiding behind him while targeting him. The board were refusing to cough up for new blood-this would be Danny McGrain’s last season,for instance,and I wish he had retired on the high of Love Street. Of course,we all loved Danny and wished for one last hurrah from one of our greats. He deserved that.
We couldn’t find a decent left back for love nor money-and if we could,the board weren’t having any of it. Derek White was still a bit raw at times alongside Roy Aitken,and needed a wee respite on occasion. The only time he got it was at left back,or playing alongside the even rawer Paul McGugan! And our midfield was starting to show signs of wear and tear over the years with Davie Provan in particular a regular absentee. Little were we to know how serious that would turn out to be.
Plus,we had contractual problems. Judas,McClair,McLeod were all out of contract at the end of the season and negotiations were not going well. Alan McInally too was coming to the end of his contract,though he was being a bit quieter about his situation.
The board in their wisdom told Hay to announce to the world that all contract negotiations were discontinued until the end of the season. Way to go,eh? That’ll show them. Our dinosaurs didn’t have a clue about the modern era,and what Freedom of Contract meant. The fans did. We knew we were about to lose our two best strikers and an able deputy,as well as a formidable presence for eight seasons in our midfield.
The players reacted as anyone would when your employer messes with your head. Concentration gone,we proceeded to take seven points from our next eight games over the festive season. Costly defeats to the huns and the Arabs as well as one to Hearts. Our lead was being swiftly eroded.
A victory over Falkirk on the last Saturday in January saw us maintain our lead over TFOD. We were now thirty games into the season,so let’s have a look at the scores on the doors. Less than two months previously,the end of November,we stood eleven points clear of the huns.
By the end of January,it was down to ONE point! And three more dropped points in only three matches in February saw them overtake us at the top. The huns were on a roll,they were winning every week. We were in a barrel roll and heading for a tailspin. Between the end of November and the end of March,they racked up 35 points from 38 in an unbeaten run-which took them to Celtic Park on the first Saturday in April.
They went into it with 60 points from 38 games. We went into it as underdogs!
We had 56 points from 38 games. Win it,there’s only two points in it. But while we had taken only 20 points from our heady heights of seventeen games previously,they had rattled them up like a pinball machine.
The bookies and everyone else got this wrong as a bad-tempered match saw us batter them into submission. Brian McClair scored two penalties-not really a Valentine gift as they were stonewallers which would have seen the huns down to nine men nowadays. Eight,if you include the one that Graham Thug pulled on Alan McInally.
Two points,five games. Could we do it? We all looked feverishly through our Wee Red Book for the upcoming fixtures. They’re away to Aberdeen but their only other potential banana skin is home to Hearts. Ours were a similar degree of difficulty. It was time for the famous Billy Connolly clarion call
“Miracles ya mug,ye!!!”
We didn’t get them. In fact,we played out our final five games much as we had done the rest of that second half of the season. Five points while the huns took nine. They won the league by six points having been eleven behind at halfway. We had garnered a lousy 24 points from our last 23 games,they had taken 40.
We had wounds to lick and a summer in which to do it. We were about to lose Danny McGrain and Davie Provan to retirement as well as Murdo and our top three strikers. And we had a Centenary Season to celebrate. It sure didn’t look like we would be doing much of that.
Above article by BMCUWP. As you all know,we are always looking for articles from you guys and gals. We always publish them as Article of the Day. Fancy a go? Trust me,get the first one out of the way and you’ll have blisters on your fingertips as you fire out your next articles by the barrowload!
Mail it to Mahe.
Morning all, morning Uber
Job done last night.
Reading back – still a fair bit of unhappiness across the board ( pun intended)
Where do I sit right now?
Well I’m reasonably happy with what’s gone in to this point in the season.
What’s that so far in Europe? 12-2 aggregate? Lenny has managed to get a rest into Calum and James Forrest. Morgan is seeing game time and we got a glimpse of our new centre half last night.
Difficult to judge against inferior opposition, but he seemed to take the lead role in organising the back line. We are clearly attempting to get the ball moving forward quicker than under Brendan. ( incidentally, Lenny’s early qualifying results have already surpassed Brendan’s) . Leigh is back and seems to be buzzing. Best player last night was Ntcham.
Next game will answer a few questions regarding our defence .
Unlike some posters I think we will have at least one more new face in before next week. Probably another defender. ( I think KT will depart) Eddie is my main concern at present. 20 minutes of Schved last night convinced me he will be a bigger player for us next season.
Preseason I was very unhappy at the way the squad was looking. Neglected for too long. Major rebuilding necessary. Never good when you let things drift to the extent you need 6 or more players coming in the door at one time.
We seem to be getting them in though. That’s all that we can ask.
Good crop of youngsters in our ranks too. It’s possible, just possible, that this season we could be in the CL proper, secure the 9, and move into the TIAR season needing to bring in just one or maybe 2 players.
That would make me very happy indeed.
Just 6 weeks ago I’d never have thought I’d be feeling like that. The strategy has been flawed. Mistakes made. Lessons not learned.
All we can ask is for improvement. To this point in the season? I feel we are moving in the right direction.
Thanks for your work and dedication in putting together the post.
A good win last night and I thought the opposition resorted to SPFL industrial tactics at 1 – 0 to keep the score down.
Anyway I should have posted this yesterday but messed up the dates.
Blessed Solanus Casey or Barney Casey is one step from Sainthood. His parents were born just up the road from me. His mam was from Camlough, Co Armagh and his dad was from Castleblaney, Co Monaghan.
When his dad left for the US his grandmother said “Bernard boy, keep the faith.”
Keep the Faith he did and he produced a son of outstanding humility and faith. Solanus Casey’s feast day was yesterday.
Solanus Casey is always worth talking to.
MORNING ALL everytime I watch that schved goal it gets better and better, thanks for posting the vid twisty, starting to get excited for this season now.coybig.hh.
It’s promising. Early days though:
We have the :
1.Good so far but not been tested yet train of thought. Has some validity of course cos it’s true
2. Still not good enough train of thought. Jury out on signings. No out and out right back yet train of thought. Again some validity though the RB position at least has some movement, with possibly more to come.
3. Much better than expected. Comfortable CL qualifiers so far. Reasonable transfer market to date. Years of downsizing being partially recovered. Playing better football than the last days of BR reign.
4. Delighted with results and progress in rebuild so far. Everything rosy.
5. Everything is still shite.
I’m very much in 3 and hope upon hope I’m promoting myself into 4 as the season progresses. ?
TWISTY, ill join you in 3 and hope for 4?
Get yer tin hat looked oot…. I envisage crossfire shortly ?
TWISTY, already on ???
Was really pleased for Marian Shved last night. To make such a powerful impact on your debut can only be good for confidence.
MORNING JIM, what a goal did you see it.hh.
Mind you I thought that about GMS too. Wee soul. Wish he had made it with us.
Aye I saw it Packy. It was a good un!
I liked gms as well always frightened me when he played against us.hh.
That’s a wonderful post / story.
Yes TGM just made me realise I very rarely acknowledge your hard work . I must try to remember!!
It’s just that you’re effectively management. It’s expected.
Seriously I appreciate the research and effort that must be required to post such recollections.
No lazy journalism ?
Solanus needs one more confirmed miracle for Sainthood.
He played baseball, the violin and liked a beer. Maybe he likes the CL too…
I hope Solanus has been listening to you re your own travails,mate. And I hope that it is to good effect too. I’ll have a wee word with him when I hit my cot shortly.
Hopefully,he doesn’t talk back,that’s a scary thought!
Thanks for the kind words,btw. Just killing time during the close season really. Been a worthwhile exercise. Or exorcism of past aw f… how did that happen failures.
Fortunately,it all has a happy ending,which I reckon will be up on Friday. Takes a while to write them and cross-reference my memory against the facts(!) but time well spent.
Keeps me out of the pub!
I think you’ll enjoy the final episode! I sure did…
The 2-0 victory against the huns-with THAT goal,McStay,Morris,MacAvennie,three touches from the centre circle to the back of the net-killed them. And what a way to do it.
I missed that game. Could only get three tickets for four of us so fell on my sword. Listened to it on the radio in the car. Which I had to drive up anaw. And back.
Meant to ask you how yesterday went. Did you manage that transsubstantiation trick of being in a dozen different places at once?
Schved sure knows how to put his foot through the ball. An absolute screamer!
Solanus has. Not out of the woods but in a better place than 8 weeks ago.
You deserve a medal for your work on this series.
Your own personal Five Sorrowful Mysteries. ?
Delighted to hear it,mate. Give Roisin my best,and of course same to yourself,Y and E. Trying times,but looks like some light at the end of the tunnel.
Here is a scenario for you to consider.
Sheik an Bake is looking for a football club to buy in the EPL. So far his efforts have been fruitless. Then he has a brainwave. Celtic fc, champions of the SPL, triple treble winners, and available for a fraction of what it would cost to buy an EPL club. Quickly he buys up the share holdings of the three biggest investors, plus any that he can get from small shareholders. Now he starts to spend silly money! He needs seven or eight world stars to come to Celtic. Gareth Bale is first followed by Neymar. Cavani is added towards the end of the transfer window but it takes him to the January window to tempt Van Dyk back from the Pool! Various rising stars are added so that only Christie, Johnson and Calmac remain of the current player pool. Ten in a row is secured easily, as are two more trebles. The team is narrowly knocked out of the CL at the semi stage in the last two seasons. More stars are added to the player pool and the EPL issues an invite to join the “best league” in the world. Success is instant and Celtic are comfortably ensconced as fourth in the league.
Would you be a season ticket holder for this team?
Was a long day (+) which ended up with 40 hours without sleep but the driving part was actually ok except making the short trip from Livingston to Bathgate at 5-15 then the Edinburgh bypass. Road to Irvine and back was ok.
Thought of you actually as I was leaving Irvine and making my way back to M77 I saw a sign saying Kilwinning . Immediately you jumped into my head.
It depends on the transparency of funds-and on not signing Neymar!
We want the team to be the best we can be,and other teams have successfully negotiated buyouts from abroad. Let’s not forget,Fergus sold up to an Irish billionaire.
It’s a difficult one,that’s for sure. I think personally that it would further pull the club away from the fans. I knew plenty of Chelsea fans in the early 90s when I lived in SW London. Not sure many could afford a ticket nowadays. Having said that,I’ve only met one Man City fan in my life,and he kept that bloody quiet for long enough. Ticket prices at The Etihad are surprisingly affordable.
Overall,I wouldn’t be too happy at the initial buyout. For me,it would take away a whole lot from the ethos of the club. But haven’t the current board done just that too over the years?
At least we wouldn’t be asking where the money went!
Rebus … definitely not.
I’d be the starting centre midfielder?
Kilwinning,God’s own wee toon. A magic place and a very strange one. But forty hours without sleep,blinkin’ flip.
I’ve had similar problems myself in the past,just couldn’t get to sleep. Last week was a nightmare of course,trying to sleep during a heatwave. Anyway,about 25 years ago,I was on holiday but got a phone call to help out. Quick run from Sutton to Birmingham,only a van. Pay you the full shift at treble rate,day off in lieu,overnight stop rate too.
I got as far as the start of the M40 and pulled onto the hard shoulder. Aye,it had hit me at last,I needed some kip NOW.
Pulled the bonnet up,put on the sunglasses-it was summer,honest!-and spread my copy of The Mirror across the steering wheel. Fell asleep. When a passing patrol approached and knocked on the window,it looked like I was reading the paper!
Explained that my engine was overheating,and just waiting for it to get back to normal,I’ll sort it at the next services.
Never again. When I’m on holiday,I’m on holiday.
Just typed a long reply. It’s disappeared. I’ll try again ?
Phil is reporting that the zombies have been ordered to pay SDI almost 500 thousand quid in 2 weeks, as a partial payment for legal fees as a result of their recent legal spat. The full costs are likely to double that, at least.
How long til it takes one of the brain surgeons on ZOmbieZombie to come up with the brilliant idea of asking Ashley for a loan so they can repay SDI??
And I will point out that, by simply doing their jobs and seeking to enforce the rules of law, Mike Ashley’s lawyers have done more to protect the integrity of Scottish football than the present Celtic’s Board has done.
When Lawyers in general, and Mike Ashley’s lawyers in particular, are more law abiding, transparent and ethical than our Board …. something is very wrong with our club?
What I was trying to say:
VG question. I’m very wary of those types of investors. Ones with no emotional or historical connection to the team. It can all so often go wrong.
Personally I think I would still buy, because of that very factor. The emotional and magnetic pull that Celtic hold over us.
HOWEVER, I will add this. If we suddenly had multi million pound players coming and going every one or two windows, players here only to earn the most ££ they could, I think long term the older Celtic supporters would start dwindle in numbers.
Historically, we have always held those who have history or longevity with the club in the highest regard.
From McGrory to the Lions and Stein, to Henk and Lubo, and even those with lessser ability than the aforementioned but still had either a long service or a Celtic supporting background. Aitken, Mcgarvey, Johnny Doyle etc. They are my heroes.
If Messi signed for one year? Just for the money? He wouldn’t leapfrog any of the players I’ve mentioned in my own Celtic favourite players league.
So initially yes I would be a ST holder, but long term? If the identity started to erode and it was all about ££ then I ultimately I don’t think I would be.
I’d be no loss though. Most of the kids now are only interested in winning. They’d replace me easily.
I’d be the LB!
The scenario raises interesting questions about what a football club is to its fans.
Interesting to speculate on the differences in expectations amongst fans based on age.
I have never been a win at all costs guy, I think.
When I played, my youth team played a game vs an Italian team that was touring Scotland. They played about six games and claimed they would be undefeated during the tour. Our game was the last game and they were undefeated at that point. Their arrogance cheesed me off! After ten minutes they were one up and cutting through us like a hot knife thru butter. At halftime I pulled the team aside and said that the Itlaians had offered to fly any team that beat them to Italy free of charge.
We won 3-1. When the team found out the truth, they threw me in a pond!
Motivation technique in action ?
On the “ only winning matters” I see it in my grandsons. Sadly .
Many will disagree with me of course.
I want a mixture of youth from the development squad, KT Calum, mixed with the likes of Broony, with a few experienced signings from outside Scotland if necessary in the mould of Lustig and Henk.
Many will disagree with me of course.
Having real issues posting today. Disappearing posts and then double posts. Struggling to edit too.
Assume no one else is, so must be location . I’m at the caravan and using 4G. No WiFi
Twists,,, hang out and relax in the caravan (called a trailer here) for a couple days.
That work schedule yesterday,,, more of them would put you in an early grave.
As someone who had been through stress related illnesses please look after yerself.
We want you around for many Hoots yet.
Besides my mum wants a Rod autograph 🙂
Take care of yerself pal and maybe actually retire? The blog would be better for it.
Hail Hail from the worried Sentinels
Bobby once again you’ve impressed me with another fabulous yet hurtful memory.
You’ve some memory hey. Mine is shot.
How did they blow 11 points ffs.
Friday should be a fitting end to your series that really deserves more recognition tbh.
Anyway,, it’s much appreciated partner.
Drive carefully out there on your split shift day.
Rebus if our club became a corporate plaything or a monster bulked up with unnatural funding imo we should all stand outside and chant out out out.
That’s a nightmare scenario what you point out.
Could easy kill club actually,, they walk and stop bankrolling high earners we collapse under the weight of the wages
I certainly wouldn’t ever return to watch that although it’s looking like that anyway.
Hope all well in Newfie.
Thanks for your kind concern but yesterday was just circumstances combining against me on the same day. Appointments and favours . Not the normal thankfully.
On the Blood pressure – probably a wee bit higher than my doc would like but infinitely better than it used to be ?
I’m trying to stay calm under all circumstances but some things just trigger a response in me that isn’t healthy….. ala yesterday.
Stopped in supermarket to grab a quick bite to eat in the cafe before my meeting. Guy two in front of me atvthe till. Maybe in his late 60’s. Or so I thought. He’s ordering a breakfast but is asking the lady behind the till about prices. “ how much is 6 items?” Gets told and says “ how much is 4 items?”
Each time the lady gives him a price he carefully counts his money. He’s not got enough. Then he gets told he can have a breakfast roll for the amount he has.
All this time a guy in front of me in the queue is mumbling in disapproval at the time its taking
The guy orders his roll and says “ tea please”
The lady says “ doesn’t come with tea, that’s separate”
Cue the guy in front of me again
“ oh ffs – cmon hurry up and make yer mind up”
I said to the lady at the till – “ give him the full breakfast and a pot of tea, I’ll pay it”
Told the old fella to put his money he had back in his pocket.
Told the guy in front of me “ why don’t you show some respect ya moaning face ****, he’s clearly trying to work out what he can afford and you’re making him feel bad with your griping. Just Stfu.
He said “ I’m in a hurry I’ve only got 30 mins I need to get back to work”
Told him I wasn’t fkn interested in anything else he had to say.
He walked off without placing his order.
Sat with the older fella for my breakfast. Said he thought it was cheaper than it actually was and he thought he would have enough money. Said he might have lost a £2 coin as he was sure he had enough when he checked his money before he came in. Turned out he was actually 75 and was visiting his granddaughter. Nice old bloke actually. Interesting to listen to. Ayr United supporter.
Point is though I’m fed up promising my wife I won’t react to things and generally I’m much better but sometimes the mask slips. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever get it under complete control.
I have to disagree ….
it is the old joke …. ‘would you sleep with me for a 100 pounds?’ no. Would you sleep with me for a billion pounds? Maybe. Okay, we have now established what our club is… all we are negotiating now is the price.
Our club sold itself to the zombies and SFA… all so we could continue the rivalry with them in the backwater that is Scottish football …
To follow that analogy through… If I’m going to go down that route…. do I want a 5 dollar hooker with no teeth on the street corner (scottish football ) or a 10,000 a night escort n the ritz carlton (euro nights in Barcelona)?
Twists @ 3:00
So, you may have high blood pressure… but you certainly have a good heart. And that is the most important thing.
I know you didn’t post that story looking for praise… and I dont mean to embarrass you, but, I will say that you, and the many fans/posters like you, are why, in spite of my frustrations with the Board, I have held on to Celtic for so long ….
I’m in pot3 same as yourself.
Things aren’t as bad as many make out.
The new right back,, to those saying he’s not a right back you’ve judged a player before seeing him which we should have learned not to do.
The fella has good attributes and will give everything to succeed at a club he unexpectedly finds himself at. I have no doubt.
We are looking good for the title imo.
Need Boom Boom Bayo to step up when fit.
Oh definitely not looking for praise. I do relatively little for others in comparison to so many people. TET spending so much time and money on stray animals, on the other site CRC seemed to be constantly doing something or other for all sorts of needy causes.
So many people investing their spare time for so many . I do none of that really. Could do much more than I do.
I know what you’re saying though. Re Celtic and the support. There’s just something special about the club’s support that differentiates it from the norm.
When I do retire, I will have more time on my hands obviously. Guaranteed I’ll do more for others? Hmmm. Easy to say it, whether I actually do has yet to be seen. I hope I do but I’m promising nothing as I might not deliver.
We are a self sustainable operation and I’m proud of that fact.
We shouldn’t let anyone take us out of that state.
The vultures Rebus mentions would fill us with earners to gain trophies.
True fans would surely rather have a club acting responsible and not risking its very existence chasing bling bling.
What you’re saying is we are impure anyway so in for a penny in for a pound.
An understandable stance yes,, but not one that I would support.
I think we tolerate the current shower because we are winning and are on a sound financial footing plus they are the correct nationalities.
New owners not winning and risking everything for glory would make fans rise up I think.
Possibly not though.
Afternoon all, BMCUWP you have some memory! Enjoying your ongoing opus.
Twisty @ 8:38 ok I’ll bite. Put me down in camp 2. I like big Jullien’s composure & two-footed ability but I suspect he may be a tad short of pace. However so far so good. Boli is Izzy without the dribbling ability and end product going forward. Questions re his defensive capabilities but must be given time to settle. Luca Connell? A punt surely? A good one, hopefully but remains to be seen. The new right-back? At 28 it’s taken some time to unearth him if he’s a gem but, again, we’ll have to wait and see. For me, Jullien apart, it’s been bodies in. Quality? I’m not so sure. That said I’ll support anyone wearing the hoops as, I’m sure, will anyone else on this blog.
For me, KT is the key. Are we really certain he wants to leave Celtic? Currently he’s living the dream and is a millionaire to boot. Maybe he doesn’t aspire to EPL glory and would be happy staying with the club he loves as did one of his heroes Paul McStay. But if a serpent were to whisper in his ear that maybe it would be a good thing for that very club if he left in exchange for £25m then would he be strong enough to say ‘no thanks’? That remains to be seen.
Why would anyone not want a player as good as him to stay at the club?
Twists fair play to you for helping the guy out and we are similar in that I also would have told yer man to shut up or eff off.
I stopped holding my tongue and decided to speak my mind no matter who doesn’t like it a long time ago and I’m better for it imo.
Some family can’t believe it or like that fact but ah well.
Bluntness is mistaken for rudeness in this country though.
Well done for your kind act.
you can tell the yanks whatever you want… but, do any of them actually understand what you are saying?
Good stuff M.
I would be in pot 5 going on pot 2.
I enjoyed that, thanks
My partner’s assistant is on holiday this week, so he asked if he could borrow my assistant as he has an urgent matter … but now I am stuck for a few hours twiddling my thumbs…so, you are going to have to suffer me for a bit longer …
did you know that Monday was National Chicken Wing day? and that, Nathan Chestnut, the national hotdog eating champion, ate 413 chicken wings on Monday?! Seems obscene,and frankly impossible… but, this is the same guy who ate 74 hotdogs in 10 minutes to win the 2018 world championship
AFTERNOON ALL,. mike, even jimthetim could not eat that many? watch he will be on now giving me some stick.lol.
TWISTY, cap doffed.hh.