The Lost Ten-Part Nine
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.
Apologies for the lateness of this,folks. I thought I’d scheduled it to go up at 5am.
Graham ‘Thug’ Roberts?
Out of curiosity I looked up Wiki to see how his football career went after his playing days were over. Honestly, his management career would make you laugh out loud! Nothing to write home about, even from Pakistan and Nepal 🙂
I think the highlight of his career was conducting the huns choir at The Sash!
Still a bloody rangers fan,and still a hun. Tailor-made for them,like an identikit.
Bobby, cant wait to see the Hibs game today, to see how Griffiths gets on.
(Maybe it’s a trial match for Hibs? LOL 🙂 )
“Not that old you cheeky bastard…”
MORNING ALL and JIM, great article as usual bobby, is that you finished now with your company??
clearing out the shed jim, waiting for an 8 ton skip to arrive, my god you would not believe whats in this shed, at least 3 bikes a ,fridgefreezer carpets,computers good god, and its feckin pouring down?
Morning Packy. Yes I’ve begun to realise that recently, we hoard & store so much stuff we will never use again. I’ve been making inroads to clearing out my junk. Just a little, but often, to the recycling centre which is handy for me.
A highly respected poster on The Scottish Football Monitor has cleared something up. A friend of his who is a match official, said that match officials are not responsible for covid19 testing protocols being compliant in a game. It is the clubs themselves! Each club has a nominated person who is responsible that they are adhering to the testing protocols agreed by the SFA & the Scottish Government. He reckons The Rangers failure in this, is a serious issue. (Rangers B V Dundee Utd).
So as usual the Ibrox club flaunt the rules and nobody cares by the looks of it.
Yes,mate. Just been in handing over keys,passes,phone,etc.
Stress-free for a wee while…
The repercussions won’t be for the huns from the SFA. It will be from the Scottish government,and aimed squarely at the game as a whole.
And that will be the correct move,as the huns have showed that the game can’t be trusted to self-enforce.
Maybe that will waken people up to their behaviour.
BOBBY, go and get blootered you deserve to pal? in fact come up the M6 and ill get blootered with you?
I smiled at the mention of the Wee Red Book in the article. Used to be a ‘must have’ before the internet! Especially in the pub to settle arguments! 🙂
In a similar way to ATHINGOFBEAUTY yesterday,I was highly critical of Man Utd’s decision to buy Maguire. But even I couldn’t describe the reasons for that quite as prosaically as the following from Barney Ronay in The Guardian…
“Harry Maguire has many qualities as a defender but he also turns like a waterlogged fishing dinghy and runs toward his own goal with all the easy grace of a heavily laden suburban milk float.“
My days of getting blootert are over,mate. I’ve learned to stop just before blootertness kicks in.
Most of the time…
A review of Fergus McCann v David Murray can be read at
The book is published today and here is where it can be purchased.
An excellent review of what appears to be an excellent tome.
I already have a couple of his,this will be next.
One of our saddest seasons. My favourite player growing up was Davie Hay because he did what he did with minimum fuss. As a manager he adopted the same traits this season when he should have been kicking up a fuss for the first time in his life. It was such an easily winnable league.
To lose one star striker is par for the course. To lose 2 is extremely careless. To lose 3 is unforgivable.
I don’t believe it would have de-railed the Souness/Murray revolution merely delayed it but it could have been enough if Davie Hay had been given a quarter of the backing that Big Billy got in the centenary season.
“St Mirren Covid-19 case proves testing works, says Livingston’s Gary Holt”
“You’ve got to give a big pat on the back to St Mirren and to Scottish football in what we’re doing,” he said.”
(BBC website, Scottish Football)
No mention of the major failure at The Rangers last week! Surprise surprise.
Hearts and Thistle lose their case- interesting!
I would expect the stronger Hibs line up to come out on top today unless Karamoko has a big day
Good chance- Henderson header saved – good McInroy cross
Ouch. This does not miss!
Cheers,mate. An absolute disaster of a season. Possibly our worst example of throwing it away,even worse than 80 and 83.
Made all the worse by work commitments meaning I saw damn little,and from New Year,nothing,due to being moved to South Shields. Couldn’t even read about it.
1-1 HT Dembele
Good goal from Dembele and he had a near shot earlier, a curlie one. He’s been very busy & involved. Robertson missed a great opportunity.
Darren O Dea reckons we are playing 4:3:3 but I thought it looked more like a 4:1:2:3 with Soro lying deeper than N’tcham & Robertson. Henderson and Dembele doing a decent job of providing Klimala with support
That was the best day of our lives. (Think that’s what it’s called) Who sings that? It’s brilliant.
Queen. My fave band ever.
John McLaughlin sings that song- pictures back up – Griff not on yet
If Rogic is injured again, it’s a situation that needs addressed, lucky if he’s been available for about 30% of games
Connell on for McInroy- understandable but Scott Robertson now playing left back
I was about ten when Radio Luxembourg played Keep Yourself Alive. Hooked immediately.
I hope LG kept his receipt for his hair weave
AFTERNOON ALL and JIM, its alright for you ghuys watching the celts, and here i am in the pouring rain filling a skip up with rubbish.? BTW whats the score??
This is the one I was thinking of.
2:1 – was it offside?
Klimala has a good work rate
Could they not interview Neil at FT?
Very pleasing run out.
It’s now up to these players to grab their chance when it comes.
Lots raised their hands today- N’tcham, Soro, Connell and, above all, Karamoko.
I always though that, if he stayed with us, He would knock wee Jamesie out of the team. Now I think it is Rogic & Christie who might lose out
That was a great game to watch. Far better team performance than yesterday. Every player today, took their chance, and have given Neil food for thought. Ntcham was excellent, and Karamoko, Soro, Connell and Klimala all look first team ready. Nice double from Patryk ???
Good run out today and a few players showed their talent. I thought Luca Connell really showed he has got something and I’d like him to get a Christie type loan to another SPL team. He’s too good to be hanging about not playing and with no reserve league I think we need to look at how we develop our players that are not quite first team ready. I’d put Dembele in that category as well. Full back continues to worry me. I missed the first 30 minutes so didn’t hear if Bolingoli is injured. If he isn’t and didn’t make team today the Neil Lennon is sending a message. The youngster who replaced him today McInroy is not ready to be back up so we need to get someone in. I don’t like Frimpong playing right side in a back four, too small and that will be exploited so if Neil sees el Hamed as a centre back then we need another right back. Ralston is not the answer. I thought Welsh did well again at Centre half and may be good enough to provide cover from the bench in the SPL. Klimala also did well but as I said before he is learning to play as a lone striker and looked far better when Griffiths came on. Our interest in the guy from West Ham worries me. We are not going for him when we have Eddie, Paddy and Leigh already so that says to me Eddie is out if he comes in. If he is not signing a new deal then he’ll be in his last year at the end of the season. In my opinion our director of football/CEO will not allow that to happen, ten or no ten so watch this space.
BTW is something wrong with the site? When I’m posting my comment the box is tiny and I can’t see what I’ve typed. Trust me, I need to check so I don’t like that one bit!!
Bobby, it wasn’t the Queen song that was on Celtic TV. I’ve found out it was Johnny Mac and The Faithful.
I also love Queen. These are the days of our lives is beautiful but very sad for obvious reasons.
I should also have added that I moaned like a mad wummin yesterday about the shit feed from Celtic tv. Only right then that I give credit for a seamless picture today.
NL on transfers
On Barkas ..
#Barkas to @CelticFC is done deal! Greek Goalkeeper travels to Scotland! #Celtic #Celticfc
ive been busy all day, so how did we play, good bad or indifferent. ??