Gifted Gaffers

Today we have a quick conversation starter (and maybe a blog poll ) before the quiz tonight at 8pm Belfast time. It struck me during the week that we have had not only many good players in the Celtic Park dugout, but we have had a plethora of cracking players in the hot seat at some time or another.
It then struck me that trying to discern which was actually the best player in their pomp is a matter of opinion sure, but also there’s bound to be quite a few different answers.


It’s known that Kenny was revered both at Parkhead and Anfield, so perhaps he might get a nod or two, but the bloke he picked for his apprentice was one hell of a player himself.
John Barnes on his day was world class, and that’s far from an athletes physique btw which means he fought the weight plus the rife societal racism of his period, yet still went to the top of the game showing the bloke had character. Pity he couldn’t cut it in the dugout but many great players don’t, just a fact even if it is strange.


Kenny might have more European Cups than the others with three, but Wim does have one in the collection along with plenty others. He is the only one to have played in TWO world cup finals, unfortunately for him lost both but still to have been a lynchpin for almost the greatest side on Earth isn’t bad going at all. Nothing compared to stopping the ten he would easily admit if asked.


Martin did pick up two big cups which is sometimes forgotten,one hell of a feat considering back to back. Yet he himself would admit John Robertson was the flair player while he was a worker, so I can’t imagine him staking a claim here, wonderful, manager that he was.
Brendan had a short career, and was no flair player during it so nah.


Mr Mc Grory was one of the finest strikers in the land, with a record to rival Henkes. A variety of goals he has under the belt but does knowing where the goal is equate to best? Debatable.
WGS was a more mobile Lenny imo and by playing top flight until 40 showed he had qualities.
Neil himself would probably admit he couldn’t compare to some of the names in the frame, but I’m sure he would also never give up some of the special nights he has had with the club both playing and managing, especially that Barca scalp.


Maggie Mc Gill insists, absolutely insists, the winner is Davie Hay. Superior in every way shape and form to Barnes on the pitch is quite a bold claim but as one who has never watched him, who am I to agree or argue with his choice? I know we can’t judge on caps as that system was more bent than a Chinese gymnast.


Macari likewise before my time but he amassed over 400 appearances for two huge clubs I’m aware showing the man had skill.


Billy is and always will be Captain, Leader, Legend. But he didn’t have the skills of some mentioned, even if his heart was greater.
Tommy simply one of us, and skillful indeed, yet the best? A hard claim.
Jock, sorry the above is true again.
Willie Maley a club legend but never any claim a great player.
Sean a great Celt but more off the pitch, don’t know if Ronnie even played tbh.


I guess it’s natural to go with the player you’ve seen play yourself to gauge his quality. The English Jamaican gets my nod for his skillset, producing mazy dribbling runs galore yet also knew how to use that big frame of his. He doesn’t have as much honours as a player as some mentioned, but he has been recognised as the 5th greatest ever player in Liverpools history by their fans while Englands following voted him their greatest ever left foot which isn’t bad considering you have Waddle, Pearce and more in the running.
That goal of his against Brazil was the quality expected of the opposition, high praise indeed. A fine, fine footballer was John Barnes.


Who do you think was the best player of all our managers?

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A thing of beauty

Interesting you didn’t include Liam Brady. I am a bit young to have seen him in his pomp but he was recognised as a top player at a time when the Republic didn’t have much quality in their ranks. You don’t have a career like his and not be a first class player.
I said the other day I could understand why Ajeti was taking his time over making his next move. I have to say I am now becoming a tad frustrated by his pissing about. That does not bode well in my book. If a player doesn’t want to come we have to move on. Also, a years loan without the option to buy is not a good move for us. It means in a years time, assuming Eddie stays this year that we have to start this process again but from an even worse position as clubs will know we are desperate for a striker as we will have lost two and Griffiths it seems cannot be counted on, unless it’s for a Tik tok video or as a party planner. Harsh? Probably, but I’ve been a huge advocate of the need to support this guy. I am now asking that he gives us a bit back. He needs to decide if he wants to be a top class professional sportsman, looking after his body and getting every ounce out of it or whether he wants to move on.
Right, off for a wee cycle in the sunshine. Which makes a change.



Jimmy McG, Big Jock and managers who played pre 60’s I couldn’t comment on. I can only judge by what I saw and for that reason, I find it hard to argue for anyone other than King Kenny. Nay. Not hard. Impossible.
Obviously his time at CP showed us what a class player he was, but his time at Liverpool sees him elevated way above any of the others for me. Head and shoulders. Not even close in my opinion.
He is still regarded by many as the greatest person ever to pull on a Liverpool shirt. Similarly, many Celtic fans would have him as their greatest ever too.
Considering both clubs’ history, that is some accolade.

King Kenny. By the length of London Road and Anfield Road combined.


Mahe, a really good question.
Twists has beaten me to it, having watched Celtic since 1969, as far as managers go, it has to be Kenny Dalglish.
ATOB makes a very valid point about Liam Brady, he should be included in that list.
He went to Juventus and rocked it, a tremendous player.
Jimmy McGrory’s stats are incredible but as I never saw him live, its Dalglish for me.


Interesting lead Mahe,

Like your idea of Barnes, that goal he scored in the Maracanã to out Brazil the Brazilians was quite brilliant.

I’ve seen him play for Watford, Liverpool and England and he was a very exciting player, everytime he got the ball you expected something.

Loved Big Billy, greatest Captain ever. Jimmy McGrory was from a different era, because of that and his Irish, Catholic heritage meaning he wasn’t recognised Internationally and so we can only imagine his brilliance.

Being a bit older many I’ve seen, Macari was great, Davie Hay a rock. Joe Jordon a world class player who sat in the dug-out without taking the hot seat, same for John Collins.

Interestingly enough, even though I saw many of the players you mention. The Celtic “Hot Seat” was only taken up by two truly outstanding players.

My number two as discussed you don’t even mention… Liam Brady, greatest Irish player ever!?

Bettered only by a player who in my opinion gets a very unfair ride from the Celtic support, the aul bhoys who have never forgiven him for leaving and the younger counter parts who never forgave him for coming back.

For me if you saw Kenny in the hoops, rising from prodigy during the lions time, to prodigious striker, through to the deliverer of our first nine in a row.

He went on to be the best in Europe and to me his talent and football brain was so ahead of it’s time.

My #1 Would be King Kenny…

Hail Hail


I am 69 dad started taking me to Parkhead as a 5year old a lot of times to see the reserves, he used to rave about Jock Stein the player long before he was the manager. He used to talk about his football brain as a field general out on the pitch. I am not voting for who was the best but I will put a vote in for Jock for my late dad


Mags’ shout for Davie Hay is a good one. Quality player. He had an eye for talent too. We didn’t make enough of that talent imo.


Good morning all from tropical Govanhill.

Cosy Corner Bhoy

Don’t let that ATOB kid you on.
That ‘ wee cycle ‘ will be 50 miles with her two pals up hill and down dale.
Then probably walk the dug!!

big packy

the best player to have managed our club was james edward mcgrory from the garngad, 550 goals, a british record that will never be beaten,H.H.

Cosy Corner Bhoy

Good to see Thetic give a mention to Big Jock albeit via his late Dad. Jock Stein was indeed a very good centre half and the mystery was why he had ‘ disappeared ‘ to Llanelli though it probably beat ‘Doon the Pit’. His ability to knee the ball of the era 20 yards with more accuracy than some present-day players can with their foot was amazing. My recollection is we didn’t lose a lot of goals and for a change we were actually winning things…..Like a Coronation Cup!! However still not the greatest player seen but well up there.
McGrory, even I never saw him! O’Neil,Brady,Barnes and Wim only seen on the telly and no judgement to me.
Macari (or Macaroni as auto correct has him ) Hay great players but for me Kenny was an outstanding player but shit manager up here but gets my vote.
Thanks Thetic for bringing back long forgotten memories.



Now,that’s what I call an off-the-wall article! A quite beilliant idea,and an excellent article too.

The first manager in my time as a Celtic fan was Jock. That man spoiled me for everyone else after him! Of course,I never saw him as a player,but various books I’ve read will tell you that he was managing the team even then! An unrivalled footballing brain who used that to improve his otherwise relatively modest playing skills. If that sounds like I’m damning him with faint praise,not so. Look what we won with him playing for us and what we had achieved in the post-war years prior to his arrival.

Coincidence? I think not…

Billy McNeill was great leader on the pitch and possibly the best in his position in the country at the time.

Then there was Liam Brady. What a left foot. Chippy could use it as a wand or a tin opener. A marvellous player who deserved to have better international team-mates than he did at the time. Ask the fans of Arsenal,Juventus and Sampdoria how good he was. Or Inter and West Ham. Lou Macari I adored as a player,but he was soon forgotten when he left.

Tommy Burns spent far too long,IMO,covering as a left back for us. A terrific player when played in his own position,and much has been written about him previously. He’s a legend for a reason. While Wim,naw. Not after Milan in 1970! I can discount Dr Jo as a player-albeit a very good one,by all accounts!-and I just shut my eyes during the car crash of the Barnes Dalglish days.

So to Martin O’Neill. It’s no secret how highly I rated Brian Clough. Cloughie reckoned Martin was good enough for him,so he’s good enough for me too! Captained his country at a World Cup too,which few players can ever manage to achieve. Gordon Strachan was the lynchpin of the Aberdeen side which broke our hearts so often in the late 70s and early 80s. What was even worse is that Billy McNeill bloody signed him! An excellent,truly gifted footballer.

And then we come to Neil Lennon. Ronseal Neil. Did exactly what was required of him,and that after recovering from a serious injury. So would he be the winner for me?

Hmmm,naw. I left out David Hay,and that’s not a mistake Jock made very often! The first of The Quality Street Kids to make it,and he left his mark. Outstanding player who could play anywhere across the defence or the midfield. But his main strength was in the tackle,winning the ball,making every 30-70 ball his. And he didn’t have to resort to thuggery to do it either,like so many in those days. He could win it and he could use it. Once he won it,he certainly didn’t give it back! He’s the type of player who would still get a game for us now,even with the change in style,rules,fitness and lifestyle/sports science.

Even at 72 years of age!

Only one winner for me,though I have to say that if Liam Brady had played for us,that might have been a more difficult choice. David Hay,every day of the week.


I have to agree with ATOB. I think the best football player that I have seen who then managed us was Liam Brady. During his Arsenal days, he was the best player in British football. Only slightly behind him are Kenny Dalglish and John Barnes. If Danny McGrain had managed us and not just coached us, he would be my choice. Danny is my favourite fitba player of all time.





cosy corner bhoy

Missed the boat on Twisty and Chalmersbhoy contests
Same result as I would get had I not……
£2 down?


Here’s a interesting thought for the Day…

Some may have noticed that Kopenhagen got through to the quarter finals of the Europa Cup.

Some may be thinking if only??

Well, if Celtic had got through to the quarter finals of the Europa Cup, after winning the TEN, we would have qualified to go through to the champions league proper.

Hail Hail


Fitba not started yet bud!

Dons game was cancelled .

Time yet!


Jimmy and Bobby

Nice wee winner bhoys. 3/1.

Won going away . Tidy ??


Predictor still open


Afternoon all from the glorious Royal Stewart Burgh of Renfrew! I hope this finds everyone well and enjoying the beautiful sunshine.
Thanks to all my fellow Nightshift crew last night/this morning for a good bit of craic for the first time in ages!
Good leader today Mahe and definitely food for thought…
We’ve been blessed to have so many big fitba names in charge of our team but not blessed enough to have the success that we probably hoped for or deserved!
My man would have to be King Kenny! I was heartbroken when he went to Liverpool and can still picture myself in the front room of our house opposite the Elder Park in Govan, reading about it on the back page of the Daily Record!!
Like Henrik he went on to much greater things after leaving us and showed the world how good he really was.
I’ve still to come to terms with his stint with Barnes as the Dream Team which became more of a nightmare but as a player… Kenny had the lot!!
Jim the Tim…I hope you’re feeling well today, that was a Kate one for you last night.
Big Jim Packy…I hope you and wee Joan are good today, have you restarted the groomin business yet?
Right, I’ve got a ton of stuff to do… having family and some friends round for a BBQ at six and those vegan burgers ain’t gonna make themselves…
Catch up later!!


Good morning folks and happy Saturn day.

Liam Brady I left out deliberately to see if anyone would notice 😉
He slipped my mind as I don’t rate him as a pundit, never seen him play, and can’t stand his dirty accent. A gobshite imo.

Chairbhoy, you’re right about Kenny not being liked., maybe more than you know. My oul fella wouldn’t even speak his name, held him in sheer contempt and looked ready to batter him if given chance. I wouldn’t shake his hand after seeing the distain in which he was held. Strange but true, it would feel like a betrayal.
And then as a manager I thought he was pathetic. Director of golf ffs.
Can’t stand the wee shite tbh and he would do best to stay away from me.

Looking forwards to this weekend.
Hail Hail


Martin was a very underrated player however his sidekick John Robertson was world class ?

big packy

AFTERNOON ALL and JIM, mcaff the builder is not starting work on the grooming room till the 24th of august, hopefully finished in 2 weeks, weejoan is grooming one dog a day in our house, not very good ,but its the only thing we can do till the grooming room is finished, only problem is ive got to take our dogs out and wait till she rings me before i can come back in ? was out for 4 hours the other day in the pouring rain so i demanded half the fee,? ? yes noticed jim was on the nightshift last night, the only thing i will say about the SNP, is about 60 years ago my old man told me SNP meant strictly no papes ,its probably changed now, but that is what he said, have a good BBQ,?


How Jim has the energy for a night shift is beyond me 😉
A man of mystery indeed.
Hail Hail


I think perhaps the alcohol plays a part…..

big packy

MAHE, yes he certainly is, noticed he has not been on yet, probably still sleeping??


Before most internet fans time it would be Jimmy McGrory

In my time without a doubt Kenny Dalglish hugely talented two footed player, with a prolonged career and medals north and south
to prove it. Gave Celtic his everything and stayed with his adopted love till he was 26 before seeking his fortune, chose wisely and few who were king of the jungle, became king of the kop, topped off with a wonderful dinked goal at Wembley that won Liverpool the European Cup.

He was class personified and graced the Hoops, I don’t think he ever committed a foul snapped up by Sean Fallon, Dalglish even had Celtic hair and everyone knew his name.

This despite McGrory’s record goals, I can still hear my ole grandfather singing,

“ Oh send for McGrory,……………….. Oh send for McGrory, to the tune of ‘Erins Green Valleys’.


big packy

internet or no internet, JAMES EDWARD MCGRORY was the best player that played for and managed celtic, simples,H,H,


BSR @ 3:27 pm,

“Kenny… Kenny Dalglish everyone knows his name…”

Always remember when Bob Paisley signed Kenny he said, ‘we have sold one of Britain’s best players [Kevin Keegan] and bought the best.’

He also said, when Kenny became player/manager of Liverpool, that Kenny would never be able to buy a player as a good as he was…

…well he bought Peter Beardsley and John Barnes for Liverpool and won the double and bought Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton for Blackburn and won the double.

Still think Bob was always right though…

Hail Hail


It is quite a mixed bag as I thought. Still plenty of posters we haven’t heard from on the issue
Tell you what, our managers would make a cracking team if assembled.


No one is getting through a midfield of Lenny, WGS, Martin and Wim.
While McGrory, Kenny, and Barnes interchange up front.
Hay, Brady, Jock is a great platform to build attacks upon.
Stick DrJo in goals as he was a reader of the game.
There’s a big cup team if ever I saw one 😉


If there’s any doubt about the Mail the fact they are reporting 16.25m has been turned down for el buffalo shows their true colours.
Worthless lying propaganda rag that isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.



I think Celtic had two strikers in past 15 years at least Morales equivalent, Garry Hooper and Scot McDonald.

Did not check cost/sale of Hooper but it is reported Scot McDonald cost Celtic£700k and Celtic turned down a £3.5m bid from Middlesborough as they valued him at £5m

Even allowing for inflation anyone paying over £7m has more money than sense but football isnt, as we have just experienced, replete with sense.


BSR @ 3:27 pm,

“Kenny… Kenny Dalglish everyone knows his name…”

Yip, that was the song, I can still hear it in my head echoing out of the Jungle.

I hope that the sound of the trapped synchronized bedlam from under the jungle roof never leaves me, and in the 6-2 ( Henrik’s Chip) the North Stand new jungle moved, in sympathy that day with our older brothers.


p.s Bob Paisley was a great manager.


If you’re going to get used to help kickstart a bidding war then the prices you quote must be semi realistic.
That’s pie in the sky stuff that just costs them credibility. Surprised they allow such but then maybe it’s the price of club access, or manager access.
I wouldn’t touch the rag.

You’re right of course, 5 to 7 million range. I don’t rate him.

I noticed you never answered todays question 😉
Best player we have had in the dug out?

Gordon64 Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros-Johnny Appleseed ?

Gordon64 John Denver-Country Roads ?


The laugh is Sky Sports had already reported that Lille had dropped their interest in him, as they were signing their number 1 target, then the tags come out with that tosh.
No credibility.
Yes, great memories, the other song was super Kenny, super Kenny, super Kenny Dalglish, super Kenny Dalglish


WGS could play a bit ?


Toots and the Maytals, Country Roads.

A thing of beauty

In my rush to get out this morning I never answered the question either. Apologies. I didn’t see him play for Celtic but the pick of the bunch must be Kenny Dalgleish. You don’t get the medals he has because you’re an alright player. Top drawer player but shit manager and DOF for us. Thems the breaks.
So the ibrox mob have rejected a 16.25m offer for Morelos. Hmm, dangerous game. I agree with auldheid. Other suitors will surely move on to other targets when they realise they can’t match that price, leaving fewer interested parties. So instead of sparking a bidding war they have more than likely put others off. I could of course be wrong and foreign clubs are falling over themselves to pay upwards of £20m for a temperamental striker with weight issues who has scored one goal in his last dozen plus games.
My neighbour, who again as it is the start of the season wishes to talk about the football reckons they’ll get plenty for him but sees an issue in his attitude also. He told me that he can’t get motivated for a game against Hamilton but when he plays in the champions league he looks great. Sorry but that was an open goal for me.
That’s enough pish from you pal. He’s been no where near the champions league and neither have your club. Clamped. Stupid hun.


ATOB. 5.11
Oofftt. Back of the net.???
He did give you a bit of an open goal, though, superb.


ATOB…”clamped’…I love you, ATOB ????


Alfredo Morelos?

If history has taught us anything its that the first casualty with Rainjurz, is always the truth.

In the unlikely even that there is a substantial bid for Alfie then given he plays for a club that does no public
accounting, remains off limits to public scrutiny, plays under a quango that hasn’t heard of FFP, two words
will be buried somewhere in the copy ‘undisclosed fee’. Barcelona would shirley have swooped by now had
he not been fat, Real Madrid would have gambled if he wasn’t shite?

Instead every cash rich club from Chynnnaa to Kuwait have backed off.

Undisclosed fee other than in the Daily Dafty who also helped sink the Titanic



BSR. 5.20.
The best one was the other day, Barca and Real would have made a bid but didn’t, because he’s Colombian. ???
Aye, that’s the only thing puting them off. ??


My counters to the Kenny argument,
Could he have played for Brazil? Barnes could have, and showed them personally.
His medal haul seems to have played a big part in your decision making however would you not consider Wims two world cup runners up equal to two big cup medals? Some would hold them in higher esteem, but let’s say for the argument they are equal. Then Wim with one big cup and two runner up medals equals Kennys three big medals haul.
Onto the domestic front and Wims medal haul is roughly equal KDs yet he played not for the giant most of his career. Would you not agree Kenny did therefore medals come easier?
On that premise, if the same amount of medals but one achieved it with a smaller club, should that fellow not be held a little higher?
Just saying like 😉

Oh, I was reading the other day some league somewhere is allowing females players to the men’s team. That’s the future, mixed teams.

Enjoy your weekend.
Hail Hail


Could Kenny have played for Brazil? Absolutely 100%, in my opinion.
Upstairs, he was quicker than anyone, they would have loved him, in their team
Don’t let his personality, cloud your judgement, as a player, he was superb.
Voted 1st in Liverpool’s all time greats, that’s an incredible achievement and 3rd in Celtic’s behind, Jinky and Henrik, despite him being a shit D.O.F.


Thought provoking article! There are so many worthy candidates. Noticeably the majority are midfielders, or, in their day, inside forwards. Does this mean a footballer’s status depends on his position on the park? Creative players catch the fan’s eye and imagination. Strikers generate deep seated emotion in fans. Think of it, to score the winner in the CL final, or even against Rangers! Such performances live long in the memory. On the other hand, defenders are less spectacular as they head the ball clear or shut a winger down by close marking. My choice is a wobbly one, because I am aware that I could select someone different on another day.

In my playing days, I was a FB and occasional winger, so I still have a bias towards the FB or wing back players. However, if I am honest, i craved to be a creative midfielder. Making that slide rule pass to split a defence, or pushing a pass into space on the wings for my winger to run onto and score from an angle……this was the stuff of my dreams. Given the above, I am drawn to the likes of WGS, Dalglish and Brady. Of that lot, Dalglish stands out because he was both creative and a goal scorer. He was also tested on the big stages. I saw less of Brady than the others and what I saw was an off day so I cannot give him my vote. Strachan will always stand out in my memory because he had grit, creativity and winning ways……all the way through his career from Dundee onwards.

However, my choice is someone who had it all. He could play at FB, midfield(defensive and creative), plus he could score. He also had an engine second to none. He is Davie Hay. I loved to see him play.



Fairhill is spoiling a good walk but with friends and he enjoys it.
Yet he answered Mr Mc Grory.
Will tally end of day but it’s close.

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