Jackie Of All Trades-And Master Of Most!


The news that Nir Bitton has finally been rewarded with a three year contract extension couldn’t be more welcome. He follows in the footsteps of the vast majority of his colleagues who are regulars in our first team squad. In fact,with the exception of two,I think our entire squad aged under thirty has signed a new contract in the last eighteen months or so.

Of the over-thirties,I doubt very much that Scott Sinclair will see a renewal-though I wish him well in the future-and Craig Gordon will probably have a decision to make. I think he will be offered a one-year extension if we don’t sign Big Fraser full time,but that he will turn it down. Broonie will decide when he leaves Celtic and is probably in a position to write his own contract,and Jonny Hayes will jump at one. I sincerely hope we make his New Year just that wee bit special for him.

But back to Nir? Now that we’ve signed him,where are we going to play him? Well,the answer to that is-wherever he’s needed! Nir is probably not quite able to command a first team place in our midfield-for which we originally signed him-nor is he likely to split the central defensive partnership of Christopher Jullien and Kris Ajer. But he is a very capable deputy to have for a number of positions,either on the bench or as a short term deputy. Indeed,he can even fill in at right back if required.

Which got me to thinking about the utility players we have had over the years,players who can play-and be trusted in-a number of roles for us. I know I’ve seen plenty of our stars fill in capably in unfamiliar roles,and I’m sure that people like COSYCORNERBHOY and TIMHOY2 and maybe a few others on here will regale you with horror stories about Bob Kelly’s meddling in team affairs. Such as insisting that Bobby Murdoch was an inside right,or playing Bertie Auld as a left winger. Hell,he’d have played Jinky at centre-half if he had thought of it in time.

Jock Stein,though,was a man who put round pegs in round holes,and only resorted to playing players out of their usual position when dictated so by injuries. Or,of course,as a tactical ploy to mindfuck the opposition manager! Occasionally,even he would find a player who could swap roles with ease. Kenny Dalglish was a front-line striker who could easily play as support-just ask Ian Rush how true that is-or drop deeper into midfield. George Connelly was peerless whether he played as a centre-half or in midfield,but it was as a sweeper,our own Franz Beckenbauer,that most of us remember him fondly. And his best pal,Davie Hay? Pretty much anywhere across the back was fair game to him,but he really came into his own as an utterly ruthless midfield ball winner.

A man who genuinely didn’t know what a fifty/fifty ball was. All he knew was that it was his!

More recently we have had Big Vic,who could play anywhere across the middle as well as in central defence,and was also described by Neil Lennon as the best finisher at the club,while before that we had the likes of Chris Sutton putting the fear of death into his opponents whether he was playing central defence,central mid or central striker. An evil genius indeed,and a very handy guy to have around. But even they were probably eclipsed by possibly the finest example of them all in my fifty plus years of watching Celtic.

I give you Jackie McNamara!

Jock Stein famously said that you’d win nothing with eleven Charlie Gallachers or Harry Hoods. Which sounds like a very cruel putdown of two magnificent players. But no,it wasn’t meant that way-Jock rated both players very highly and knew what they brought to the team,but he also knew that in order to flourish they needed their water-carriers,as Eric Cantona once described Didier Deschamps. But,you know,I reckon we could definitely have challenged for a few honours if we had eleven Jackie McNamaras. (Alright-Henrik,a decent keeper and nine Jackie McNamaras)

One of the less-ringing endorsements I’ve given Jonny Hayes during his time with us is that he has never let us down,and he is also a utility player for us,btw. A tad unfair,as he is much better than to be damned by faint praise. But Jackie? Not only did he never let us down no matter where he was played,he performed like the position was his own and he intended to keep it that way! We originally signed him as a right back,which became a wing-back in much the same mode as his colleague Tosh McKinlay on the opposite flank. Both were comfortable with their defensive duties but boy,they flew down those wings and they could certainly fire in the crosses. He was Players Player of the Year when we stopped their tainted ten under Wim,but then seemed to drop from favour under Dr Jo and Barnes/Dalglish. Even Martin didn’t seem to fancy him much-until the post-Seville season,where he was played just about everywhere. Right back,central defence,left back,anywhere across the midfield. It was no bother to Jackie,and this time he won the Football Writers POTY award,to go with his league medal.

Jackie might not have quite reached the dizzy heights accorded to our legends over the years,he might not be in the running in many Best Player Ever lists. But when you’re likely to be in the top ten on most lists over a good few positions,I’d say that’s good enough.

So,best Celtic team ever,position by position? Been there,done that. Twelfth man,Jackie McNamara. Just don’t ask him to play in goal. And by the way,he’s also a handy man for the trenches when the going gets tough. Ask Mark Hateley.


Above article by BMCUWP. If you want to have your opinion posted as Article of the Day,mail it to Mahe. We always publish them.


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Twists n turns
December 18, 2019 7:37 am

Good read. Fitting tribute to a fine player.

(Any Celtic player that was part of stopping the ten is a worthy of hero worship in my eyes)

I always had a special liking for players that were ‘ fans with jerseys’

That comment in no way means I didn’t feel the same way about the likes of Danny McGrain and a more recent example in the shape of Broony, who became or are becoming legends wearing the hoops. They fell in love with the hoops despite growing up supporting other teams, but, as I say, I felt a special affinity for the kids who grew up and fulfilled the dream we all had. To run out in the hoops.

Tommy Burns ( as my moniker suggests) was my absolute favourite. Peter Grant ( the oft criticised Peter Grant) another that I’d a lot of time for.

Jackie is up there for me.

His departure caused a lot of unrest amongst the support. I do think the supporters, or certainly the large majority of them, feel the same as me when it’s ‘ one of us’ that they feel is being fekked over.

As I say, a fine tribute. I hope Jackie sees it.

December 18, 2019 7:54 am


Peter Grant was 100% committed to our cause. SOLKITTS and I saw him make his debut,an 18yo playing against the huns at Ibrox. We thought the mascot had stayed on the pitch!

Then he absolutely flew into his first tackle…

Definitely one of our star men in the Centenary Season.

big packy
December 18, 2019 7:59 am

BOBBY, great article, wee story about Jackie mcnamarra, was up in Scotland for a wedding which was on the Friday, celtic were playing Dunfermline at parkhead on the Saturday, my uncle packy loaned me his season ticket and his son gave his to joan, we were right behind the goal at the old rangers end, anyway Jackie played everywhere that day up and down the wing, and then he would be back defending probably our best player on the day, any way Dunfermline got a penalty and scored right in front of us, and the next morning in the sunday mail, theres a big photo on the back page of joan and me, with me sitting head in hands, still got the paper down here.hh.

Twists n turns
December 18, 2019 7:59 am

Got a 650 mile drive between today and tomorrow. Could see it far enough. Hoping that fekkin M6 is not congested. I deplore sitting in traffic. I’d rather do an extra 50 mile detour as long as I’m moving.

Got a new car almost a year ago. Gonna need to swap it I think. Passes everything except a petrol station, which in respect of acceleration can be useful on occasion, but not comfortable enough for long drives. Didn’t think it through. I’ll look for another when I get back.

Anyone got a 16 wheeler truck they don’t need ?

Mario Bertolini
December 18, 2019 8:02 am

Jackie, was brilliant alongside simon donelly rampaging down right wing to great effect. If memory serves me right he suffered a severe injury, came back too early and effed up his career at the highest level. to me a stunning player, deserved better.

big packy
December 18, 2019 8:03 am

TWISTY, how far down the M6 are you going, its the stretch near me, the lymm interchange junction20, down to junction15 that’s the worst.hh.

Twists n turns
December 18, 2019 8:06 am

Big Packy
All the way to Junction 15 then along through Eccleshall / Newport / Telford.

I can stay on M6 to J12 and use the M54 but normally by the time I get to J15 I can’t fekkin wait to get off the motorway.

big packy
December 18, 2019 8:11 am

TWISTY when im going down the M6 now, I take theA50 down to junction 16, then rejoin the M6 depending what time of day it is ,the A50 is a good wide road ,hh.

December 18, 2019 8:14 am


Don’t envy you that trip,mate. Basterts have turned the stretch of the M6 between Manchester and Birmingham into a 50mph dual carriageway. And it’s been like that for about five years now.

To make you feel better,my usual Wednesday evening trip down the A34 from Oxford to Southampton has been brought forward to Monday-with a 5pm start. That’s gonna be fun two days before Christmas. And the following week I have to start at 730pm on New Years Day. They also expected me to work at noon on Boxing Day,but I told them where to shove it. I’ll do that route around 5am the following day.

PS-I told you not to get that new Roller…

December 18, 2019 8:21 am


You could try the A49,turn off just after Haydock and straight down to Shrewsbury. I did that years ago when my daft boss arranged a pick up in Manchester to be dropped off in Hereford. On a Friday! I was fuming.

December 18, 2019 8:22 am


I don’t remember the injury,but I certainly recall the partnership with Sid. They were terrific together.

Mario Bertolini
December 18, 2019 9:03 am

bmcuwp, Jackie had a few injuries missed cup final 1999, with patella surgery. I think that he played with this injury for too long. He was an important player for Celtic and scotland at this time. Should not have been playing.

Awe Naw
December 18, 2019 9:17 am

So Sentinelcelts is not with the Green Brigade on Nir Biton Good 🙂

Congratulations Nir

Twists n turns
December 18, 2019 9:19 am

BP / Bobby
Thx for the tips. I’ll play it by ear! Better finish my brekky and move .

Awe Naw
December 18, 2019 9:19 am

SCOTT BROWN claims Jeremie Frimpong could follow in the footsteps of £25million man Kieran Tierney.

Frimpong, 19, has exploded onto the scene at Celtic after his £350,000 move from Manchester City.

Skipper Brown said: “He is incredible value for money, there’s no other way you can put it.

“I don’t think there’s been anyone apart from Jeremie and Kieran who have broken into the team at that age and done that well in such a short amount of time.

“Every game he’s played he’s been man of the match. You look around the park and think he’s going to get man of the match no matter what.

“He’s got the same attitude week in, week out. He’s willing to work hard, do the yards and is up and down the field for 90 minutes.

“Last Sunday was the first time I’ve seen him go, ‘I need a wee ten second breather here’.

“Jeremie chased Hibs winger Martin Boyle all the way back. I gave him the ball and he just stood and looked at me as if to say, ‘Do I need to go forward now?’.

“It shows you he is human, but he’s a fantastic talent. Boyle is the fastest we’ve played against in the league, but the wee man runs even quicker.

“He’s showing it in stats, in games. He has a change of direction, sharpness and dribbling as well.

“When people get one on one, they just keep deepening and deepening.

“No one wants to put a foot in because if he gets by you, you aren’t catching him.

“Not only has he developed due to being part of the Dutch total football mentality but off the pitch he always wears clogs, so when he gets his football boots on he is like a man released”

“People forget how young he is and once he starts growing he will end up being 6 foot 2 inches like most Dutch people”

“Jeremie took his goal against Hibs really well too. He’s back there defending, but as the ball goes up he’s got that pace to explode in there. He reads the game well and in many languages.

“He’ll be worth serious money in a few years. He’s already calculated his worth when he will be 25

“The main aim for us is to keep improving him as well to make sure he understands what it’s like playing in a three or a four, whether he’s playing full-back or wing-back.

“But he’s brilliant because he’s willing to learn and adapt too. He cycles to Lennoxtown and is the first in every morning”

“He’s also a very confident lad. That was clear when he started correcting Leigh Griffiths use of the English language in the dressing room”

“In the dressing room though he has to stop offering everyone cheese he’s on a final warning from the nutritionist”

“Kieran is the template for everyone that’s come through. His attitude and love for the club as well. He came through and worked hard every day.”

Celts look to have landed the bargain of the season after snapping up Frimpong for a nominal fee from City.

Brown added: “There’s no catch with him. He’s just very good and is only going to get better.

“He has shown how good and powerful he is going forward, but he can also defend and is smart for a young lad.

“Jeremie’s composed on the ball and in situations where you think he is going to lose the ball, he manages to pull out and gets his body in there to keep it.

“He goes to press people and doesn’t dive in like someone young and naive. He jockeys them and forces them down the line because he believes in his own pace and ability.”

Twists n turns
December 18, 2019 9:21 am

A roller? Ye forget to add “skate” on to the end of that comment?


Awe Naw
December 18, 2019 9:28 am

Top of the class … take the rest of the day off son .. in fact don’t come back to school until Monday


Awe Naw
December 18, 2019 9:31 am

All nouns are capitalized in German and it’s starting to creep into my written English.. driving me nuts

December 18, 2019 9:46 am


December 18, 2019 9:50 am

BMCUWP – nice idea to look at some of our best ‘unsung heroes’ as it’s def a mark of proficiency to be able to play well in multiple positions. Without a specific offering springing to mind, I wondered where the line is between a utility player and a journeyman, given they often share a characterisation of not holding one position of greatness for any length of time. For me, I think we have a few journeyman/journeyboys in our squad atm.
FRIES; is Schadenfreude playing in the Bundesliga ?

December 18, 2019 9:52 am


Typing in German must have been a right bitch before the likes of the iPad came along with predictive spelling,albeit that’s a curse in itself. Shift key would be worn out in no time.

December 18, 2019 9:56 am

Charlie Nick making excuses for Morelos again-quite understandable that he had a go at Motherwell fans,after all they were throwing Bovril at him.


Apart from the fact that the Bovril was thrown as a reaction to Morelos’ gesture towards the fans,he clearly doesn’t understand the Mpemba effect. In that weather,the Bovril would have been more likely to knock him out than to scald him.

December 18, 2019 9:57 am


Bless you!

Awe Naw
December 18, 2019 9:58 am


dangerous shit having two spell checkers running simultaneously at the same time

December 18, 2019 10:08 am


Difficult one without naming names. And that would be unfair,as almost everyone I’ve ever seen in a Celtic jersey gave of their best. Some quite simply weren’t up to it. For some,the jersey was too big. For others,they simply didn’t have it. Ever. And should never have been signed.

NOTTHEVIEW did a series in its early years,They Embarrassed The Hoops. I have to admit,I agreed with most of their choices,but while it was a jaunty little tag,I thought at the time it was an unfair title. Maybe-WTF Thought These Guys Were Good Enough?-might have been better!

So there’s your answer. When people around you are asking in varying decibel levels-WTF Thought These Guys Are Good Enough?-he’s a journeyman. If they are delighted to have a player like some of the above available to step onto the breach,he’s a reliable and welcome utility player.

If they are asking-Jeezoh,is that the best we’ve got?-we haven’t made our mind up yet!

December 18, 2019 10:09 am


Hmmm,just as well you didn’t say that to me in the pub. You’d have hit me when you heard my reply! Fortunately my slow typing saved me from your wrath.

Awe Naw
December 18, 2019 10:20 am


I missed a smiley .. honest

December 18, 2019 10:22 am

BMCUWP – aren’t you mixing up journeymen with duffers and even diddies ? Not meaning to hijack yer Utility Player meme anyhow…I think Elhamed’s prior career cast him as a Utility who could play RB, CB, LB and even mid anchor.

December 18, 2019 10:31 am


No,sirree. We have never signed a duffer or a diddy. Well,maybe Jim Plumrose. Journeymen a plenty though. And because I’m in a good mood,I’ll even put John Dowie into that category as he certainly should never have been signed!

December 18, 2019 11:07 am

Hi all,been away for a bit.
I was at the cup final a week past on Sunday and was watching Jamesie doing his best impression of filling an empty shirt……and failing miserably.
When Gollum sent off the wee fella I was pleasantly surprised that Neil decided to hook Mr Forrest and put on big Nir as I think he is one of our most technically gifted players who could protect the ball and help repel the aerial bombardment from the Neely Dunn’s.
Happily this proved to be the case and we duly lifted our tenth straight domestic trophy and one which although not best remembered for our silky football will be reminisced by most Celtic supporters in years to come for the way in which it was achieved against all odds.
Anyway,while driving home I got to thinking about Forrest’s ability to underperform against the Blue Bigots and realised we may have a solution to this problem sitting right under our noses.
I’m not sure if this idea has been broached before on the site as I said I have been away but,Drumroll……..
Play Frimpong at right midfield/winger and play preferably, El Hamed(if fit in time) or Bauer at right back so instead of taking the chance on whether Jamesie decides to show up or not we take that decision for him.
It might also be the kick up the arse he needs to focus his mind on the job once again.
I’d be very interested in any thoughts anyone may have on the subject.
I would also like to wish anyone who celebrates Christmas a blessed one and for those who don’t one which passes quickly.
Hail Hail.

December 18, 2019 11:24 am

Twists and Turns
Re: the M6
Apparently an artic full of crates of Vicks has jack-knifed on the M6 this morning

The motorway will be free of congestion for up to 7 hours……

December 18, 2019 11:35 am


Thanks for the welcome sentiments,but Christmas is a week away yet. I bet you posted your cards in July!

It’s difficult to argue with your appraisal of Forrest’s performance in that game,though tbh many fitted the template you described. Nevertheless,he was the obvious candidate for the hook at the time. Elyounoussi was ridiculous gamble to take,and playing Morgan was probably worse. With Christie effectively nullified by the lack of movement up front too,I don’t think it’s really that fair to hammer Forest as the failure that day.

He didn’t pick the team and get it wrong,and he didn’t dictate the tactics. The huns did that once they saw our teamsheet! We dodged a bullet ten days ago,and Nir did a bloody good job in shoring up the defence. Of our front line-and Forrest has been below his best for a few games now-it was a no show apart from our goal and the Johnston sitter. Certainly not a game for players like Christie and Forrest,where no matter how brilliant they can be,they ran into brick walls as no outlet was presented to them.

The failing that day,IMO,was in the teamsheet,not in individual performances. And there was only one individual responsible for that.

December 18, 2019 11:39 am


Ha,that will cheer him up! A decond kass retung to Noddincum pwease. Oh,wrong product.

I remember the first trip I took via the M25,about 1990. First thing I said when I got back into the office was that it needed a relief road built round it.

Twists n turns
December 18, 2019 12:14 pm

Well I’ve made it to Southwaite trouble free. Just need to find a payday loan company in the vicinity in order to get a sandwich and a bottle of water.

Then a remortgage for a packet of fags fae WH Smith. 20 JPS.

“That’ll be £11.50”

Err how many are in the packet hen? 30??

Avin’ a fkn laff

Now I know all you clean living non smoking fellas will be sayin it serves me right, n’ the tax on those fags will help pay the NHS for all the costs in treating us smokers. Well let me tell ye I’ve paid a thousand times over for any treatment I might need in future.

Ah canny even blame the tories for this one. They all do it. Bastards.

If every smoker in this country could just stop buying fags for a week it would financially cripple the thieving government. As I say…. Bastards.

Right. On my next stop I’ll check out the replies from all you goody goody stop polluting my atmosphere serves ye right types. I’m away tae spark up near someone in a running top ?

December 18, 2019 12:20 pm


I really hope that no-one spills your pint tonight!

Awe Naw
December 18, 2019 12:30 pm


smoke weed – two a day is sufficient – long slow burn in the mind

Better for everyone. You , the community, the NHS , Not the treasury mind you hence the illegality and Puff the Magic Dragon sidekick becomes instantly fluent in Downdie

December 18, 2019 12:47 pm


It might not be better for him behind the wheel,nor for other drivers. Besides,TWISTS knows his poisons now. Might be a bit late to introduce him to another one.

Awe Naw
December 18, 2019 12:48 pm


probably less swearing

December 18, 2019 1:09 pm

(Thinks)Jeez,that’ll serve me right for posting out of turn.
Bobby,the reason I wished everyone who celebrates Christmas all the best today was because I am not sure if I will be available to post my greetings at the specified hour of your choosing.
With regards to the team selection on cup final day,I am sadly well aware of the problems we encountered as I witnessed it first hand and realised(without your kind assistance)the shortcomings therein and was not intentionally intent on singling Jamesie out as the scapegoat of the day,had we lost.
I am sure I am not alone in thinking that Mr Forrest’s performances seemed to have slipped of late,however the point I was trying to make,which you somehow failed to address in your(hopefully) good natured rant was that instead of the Huns turning up at Celtic Park on the 29th of December and finding the usual JF in his familiar position,they receive the Celtic teamsheet with Jamesie on the bench and Frimpong starting from the kick off.
I,if not you or anyone else,can imagine the sheer panic in the away dressing room as they discover their game plan for the day has just gone out the window.So again,I would ask for any views anyone may have on this suggestion.
In closing,please be so kind as to book me an appointment to wish everyone a Happy New Year as I was not aware this site runs to a calander alien to the rest of mankind.
I hope you receive this in the jocular way in which it was sent and if I am allowed to say it AND it’s not too soon,have a nice day………,tomorrow,bud.
Kiss Kiss and Hail Hail.

December 18, 2019 1:19 pm

I always felt sorry for Gary Caldwell having to play RB back in 2007 and took pelters. Still did his best. I remember a game vs St Mirren in Dec that year with Gary at RB , Darren O’Dea at LB and Riordan up front. McGinn on the wing too. what a shocker of a line up, shape and perf that was. Freezing rain, never been so cold in my life

Roy Aitken played CH, CM and RB
Tommy Burns did LB a few times, as did Murdo
Efe played RB

I think forwards should be able to play along the line , therefore not utility in that sense

The hard ones (and the ones we should give players slack for) is CHs playing FB and defenders or CMs playing winger.

e.g. Gary Caldwell and funnily enough , Jackie McNamara playing right wing vs Lyon under Barnes. He was the outlet with slow ball all night and had to come up with a trick each time. not fair

December 18, 2019 1:38 pm

Jackie Mac was a very good footballer who played well in whatever role he was given.
Nir Bitton does not compare.
Reason he has never cemented a role is that he neither has the heart ,game intelligence or temperament to be such.
When Janko was slaughtered for his performance away to yon Israeli side Bitton was playing in front of him and on numerous occasions hung the youngster out to dry by giving him the ball and responsibility Bitton refused to take.
Against Astana away we nearly blew a large goal lead by conceding 4 due to his ability to be wrong side of his man most of the time.
In the 1-1 draw with Bayern there is no guessing whose ball watching lost his man who headed the equalizer late in the game.
His partnership with Brown contributed to Deila’s team struggles and dismissal in his second season.We lost numerous goals that season due to his ability to be wrong side of his man leaving central defenders exposed and constantly gave away bad fouls in dangerous areas trying to recover.
Last week in Cluj once Julien departed he was exposed as the terrible defender he is getting consistently caught wrong side.
To me he will be nothing more than an obstacle to some talented youngsters progress due to Lennon’s penchant for experience.
Johny Hayes is a different matter.
What he lacks in skill he more than makes up for in effort, tenacity and the heart of a lion.
Johny should be given a contract.

Awe Naw
December 18, 2019 1:46 pm

I´m of the opinion you always play your best players. Especially in finals. Our 3 top scorers all played against the huns. They all deserved a medal even before k.o. They got us there. It was horribly wet windy, the pitch was sodden and the mibs were not taking any prisoners. Not exactly a wingers paradise but hey half the squad are wingers so why not play the player that is statistically top 2 this season. 18 medals two less than Broonie and four years younger. He´s scored 8 times against the baby huns and twice against Sevco. He Christie, McGregor,Broonie are overplayed imho

December 18, 2019 3:29 pm

Morning folks.
Bobby I absolutely loved Jackie in the Hoops. My fav player. My moniker is a reminder of times with dad in that park.
At Beppes wedding im central Italy accepted a speech, announced I would song my mate how fav sing on his wedding day, and sang the Jackie song. 2 Italians rushed up to join I kid you not, Beppe had been getting fresh recruits.

The gentleman that is Al Mor was recently in Jackie and Sids bar and got a great pic with Sid. Maybe he will give us a first hand account.
Good to see they are still a team. Clearly good mates off the pitch. Heartwarming stuff.

Irishbhoy many thanks for your Christmas wishes and never mind the grinch, he doesn’t even have a tree up no kidding.
I hope you enjoy it yerself pal. Take it easy.

Ho Ho

Awe Naw
December 18, 2019 3:31 pm

Aiden McGeady returns to Celtic after a 1.3 £million fee agreed with Sunderland
From the sectionCeltic
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18th Dec 2019
By Sirius Bonner

McGeady returns to Celtic the club that developed him for a nominal fee.
Aiden McGeady says he endured a year of sadness at Sunderland before his return to Celtic was confirmed on a three-year contract.

The 32-year-old Scot McGeady with Irish heritage spent seven seasons with the Scottish champions before joining Spartak-Moscow in Russia’s top-flight in 2010.

“I was crying when I left here,” he told Celtic TV.

“It’s been bad this last year I know, but now I have the opportunity to come back and I’m so happy to Peter and Lenny for giving me the chance. This is my second home.”

McGeady made 185 appearances for Celtic having won six medals with the Glasgow club.

Back at Celtic, he will provide cover for James Forrest and Lewis Morgan.

Ahead of the signing, Celtic manager Neil Lennon said: “When he was here, Aiden was exceptional as a professional.

“When he is asked to play, it doesn’t matter the gap from when he last played, he comes in at a really good level. We seen that today already in training”

“We hope for it to be completed within in the next few days so that he can possibly come into contention before the end of the year” added Lennon, who does not expect the winger to be on the side lines for long.

“He is going to have to come in and adjust and get up to speed and adapt – and get some hard work in – before we can consider him for a game but he’s not far away.”

Twists n turns
December 18, 2019 3:45 pm

4hrs 40 with two stops…had worse drives ?

Twists n turns
December 18, 2019 3:46 pm

Will catch up after shower.

December 18, 2019 4:01 pm

Apologies for the long non footie post. Feel free to scroll by.
I thought that once and for all I would type out my Christmas tale, well a tale that springs to mind this time every year.

Christmas is easily my favourite holiday but it wasn’t always so. I loved the lights, the build up, the shopping trip, seeing the carollers, chestnuts roasting, everything about it.
It seemed to last forever and the weather only enhanced and it not dampened the occasion.
In fact that very weather is synonymous with many of the classic songs.
The dinner itself,,I’m on record to the clan as stating should I be offered a final meal it would be the classic Christmas dinner.
The telly was fantastic, new toys, off school etc etc
What is there not to like?

And then it’s adulthood and employment time.
And unfortunately for a Christmas lover many establishments in my trade ( catering and hospitality ) have their busiest spell of year around then plus it’s usual to work what are considered anti social hours anyway.
So love of my fav holiday is starting to fade fast which isn’t good at all you would agree.

However I get a stroke of luck.
A new start up venture is seeking staff and it’s a daytime only gig, catering to the shopper and worker in city centre. The missus at the time was 9 to 5 and working similar hours was just peachy for me and us.
Or so I thought.

The day off during the week soon goes meaning a straight Monday to Saturday as the operation simply cant cope with being a man down. Its a common problem.A good manager would have brought a part timer in but the incumbent felt it was easier and cheaper to pile more on existing staff and it’s a simple take it or leave it.
Im enjoying the evenings off and lots of time with the lady so it’s stay.

And then came the Christmas hours. Extended late night openings allied with Sunday openings. He decides he cant miss the extra shoppers and foot traffic late nights and on the Sundays and as a result we are just opening right through the week. No more extra staff of course just extra for all fullstop.
I shoulda walked seeing what was coming but we live and learn.
One year it was only extra hours and Sundays for the month of December only. Then it was last week of November it started. It became mid November soon.
Somewhere around 60 to 70hr seven day weeks for a six week period and your first day off is Christmas day itself.
Like I say I shoulda walked.

The business itself had boomed, growing exponentially thanks in no small part to the sweat of this man’s brow. It was nonstop and very popular at that time. The bosses decision not to recruit any extra blood at all preferring maximum use of the same core staff who needed support showed his inexperience and a shocking lack of common sense, which money has been known to do to the weak minded.

Any how’s, it soon came to be that I grew to dread the entire Christmas period.
Some of those winters I’m amazed I made it through at all. I have never felt so bad and it probably took years off my life. Barely functional was the norm. Zero social life or proper diet. If I had died it wouldnt have surprised me in the slightest , infact probably be happy for the day off if allowed. Few beers and you just crashed where you sat. Stress levels through the roof.
Exhaustion leads to performance levels starting to drop as footie fans will know.
On the rare occasion it did inevitably happen instead of understanding the situation that he himself had created with his poor policies,, the idiot exploded even more ffs because he was stressed out to f#%k as well.
He couldn’t ever work a Sunday though,, got the wee girl off the ex. Always knew he had that fallback the bassa. No problem telling everyone else they were working it of course.

After my sixth year of the above I recall the growing dread about the chaos Christmas period started about August. It already had me stressed out bigtime and had probably just carried over from the previous winter having never gone away,, a constant now.
And as the line in MiTs favourite movie says,, the mind suffers and the body cries out.
About September one Sunday night a sudden pain develops around my right side stomach area. Within hours Im in hospital where they sedate and inform me appendix is rupturing and coming out.

The next day I recall lying there being told here’s a note for two weeks off. I’m spaced on whatever is in the drip, can hardly move and feel terrible.
Who waltzes in with a bunch of flowers but the boss.
What happened and small talk before he gets down to business.
My Ma was back to work three days after getting hers out he informs me.
Then he announces he’s gonna do me a favour and gimme the rest of the week and will see me on Monday morning prompt, 5 days off in total he was granting me.
I remember reaching over and handing him the doctor slip saying two weeks off at a minimum.
And he blows it.
He actually stands up above me lying there in a hospital bed on the ward and starts raising his voice about “Cmon to f#%k now I’ve a business to run and my ma was back in three. You can take it easy when there but I need you in, , , ”
Im lying there thinking eff you and staff are starting to take an interest when out he storms pissed.
Well that was my decision made.

A new job trial soon followed catering to a different clientele. Whilst talking to current staff explaining the Christmas situation they all to a man said it’s no different here at Christmas. Regular 40 hr week with still the two days off every week no worries at all and nothing like what you went through.
When he who must be obeyed gets the news one morning he cant believe it.
Upon explaining why he tells me thats the trade we are in and we just have to suck it up. I’ve had the wool pulled over my eyes and that place is lying. He has made a call and it turns out they just said that to get me in the door and it’s gonna be the usual chaos Christmas no matter where I go so may as well stick together with him as it’s better the devil you know.
The fella was delusional at times and this was one of them.
When he realises Im seriously out he starts offering all the benefits under the sky and tells me call them up and break my word “as it’s only your word”.
Grade 1 Ahole and imagine doing business with that.

The new job turned out great and all was true about the festive period. Just standard as normal. A breeze actually. Met the wife there also which lead me to these sunny climes so it wasn’t that bad at all.
And so it happened that for the first time in seven years I actually started getting that Christmas feeling again.
In fact as I would work away stress free feeling well fed and rested I would often smile thinking of the alternative that I escaped and that the poor soul who replaced was attempting to survive at that very time.
The chaos going on down there that I had finally ran from after serving my time.
I would slowly regain my love of my favourite holiday and since fatherhood it has bloomed again, filling the heart with joy. Discovering it’s wonder twice has been a blessing.

Yer man?
My replacement was my number two, who wasn’t capable enough to be number one. He tried valiantly for a single winter that went very poorly. Deciding he wasn’t going through that again he quit in November to a huge stooshie about timing leaving the business for the second year running very very weak at it’s most busiest period. They basically never recovered from those two very poor winters.
A few years later I popped in while passing and quizzed current chap on how much of each product he was using. Judging by his answers the place was barely surviving so it was no surprise when I heard the place was getting sold.
I nipped down for one last look at the place that made me and nearly broke me also and what does yer man do but blame everyone and anyone else but himself for any part in the demise.
At it’s height he was doing very very well indeed with the trappings of wealth only too evident.
Now he drives a private taxi at night taking people out rather than owning where they are heading to. Must hurt.

So now I actually look forward to my beloved Christmas all year long and yes Im known to play that music at the strangest of times according to the calendar and folk.
The grinch couldn’t steal Christmas and neither could yer man.
I’m gonna try and love every bit of these special times with my clan close and my memories of those bad days getting erased by smiles and laughter.

No matter where you are,

Happy Christmas my friend.

The Exiled Tim
December 18, 2019 4:26 pm

I had to go and google that about Aiden ffs 😉
Jackie Mac, loved him, always gave his all imo.