Who’s ‘that’ player ?
Rebuilding, or more specifically how we should approach it, has very much been at the forefront of the conversation these days, my partner in crime has been expertly expressing the hopes and fears of many a Tim regards which direction we travel.
Of course we all realize it’s conjecture, this site neither wants nor needs any special insights so it shall always remain pure conjecture.
So whilst the boul’ BMCUWP has so eloquently looked at off field conjecture, I felt it would lighten the mood not to mention provide conversation,if I were to indulge in some not so serious conjecture.
You know that well established football fact that there’s always one certain player who really flourishes under the new management style, of course you know that fact.
Well my question to you is (the answer will be tucked away to judge later)
Who will be ‘that’ player next season?
It’s a regular occurrence if truth be told, and an age old tale, one man’s methods just happen to inspire you more than another’s.
We’ve all had good and bad bosses I assume, who maybe got a bit extra out of yourself than normal, it’s no different in the fitba which is actually a work environment at the end of the day no matter how well paid the modern dribbler is.
Big Jock, he got the very best out of his squad but when pushed Maggie Mc Gill assured me Wee Jinky was ‘that’ player.
Not his beloved Davie Hay to my surprise.
Moving onto the Wim era, maybe the consensus would be Craig Burley was ‘that’ player, rivalled by SID or Jackie?
The Dr Jo era possibly Mark Burchill emerged as ‘that’ player although I thought big Stubbsy had his finest years around then.
Kenny and John era is a hard one, Stan is out as they brought him in.
Paul had peaked under Hitzfeld ending up with a big cup showing his pedigree.
The fact that Jackie became the unofficial Captain of the team, the poster boy, the swashbuckler that we know and love so well around that time, my nod goes to him.
And then to Martin, a team and time I recall so well, bittersweet as I was emigrating after Seville but without a trophy in the pocket, despite some of the best days of my life, days I’ll never forget.
However it’s a hard answer, because there’s two parts to Martin’s reign as we all know, the fast lane and the slow lane.
Part one is easy.
I recall going to a Celtic facing barber once a whole and shooting the shit about all things Hoops. Riseth for booted out, but the guy we thought was destined to follow him not only stayed, but found first, second, and third gear somehow.
Somehow being ‘Midas’.
‘There’s only one Bobby Petta, in the summer he got betta’
You recall the song and the dazzle. Where he found it I don’t know but that lad took a grip of that left wing and started to run games from there, believe it or not.
He had the pace needed to burn the opposition, the delicate left wand for a pinpoint pass or slide it past the tackle and move onto it so very easily.
He skinned em and crossed, or followed in helping the strikers with a sweet left foot.
Either way, Bobby Petta absolutely transformed under Martin.
And then we got the slow lane.
Admittedly a few names really carried the cause back then, Jackie in particular.
Shaun Maloney burst on the scene proving a phenomenon when fit and ready, a rare occasion that became a luxury.
But Stan really brought himself to a new level under Martin imo.
His form earned him a move to the biggest league in the world and allegedly he was the one player in that dressing room ‘Midas’ told he would be coming back to buy, that’s how highly one of the most highly rated managers in the game though of him. And Stan literally did this all by himself, and since has went onto light up the Premiership and defeat severe illness. What a guy and thank you so much for everything, Mr Petrov.
I do wish we had snagged yer buddy Petkov at the same time now.
Gordon, it was almost Stephen McManus, but he didn’t go onto bigger things post Celtic.
Aiden was our biggest ever sale at the time and I’ll tell you all why plain and simple, because he was dynamite.
This kid had it, but like so many never fulfilled his potential.
Still, POTY for your Russian team isn’t bad when you don’t speak the language and the diet bulks you up.
Aiden McGeady went from the most coveted schoolboy in Britain with a Ronaldo dribble before Ronaldo had arrived, to a chap who if made of chocolate would eat himself.
All the talent but wrong mentality.
It would be easy to ponder if a non native stubborn wee bassa like Gordon hadn’t been the gaffer what would have happened?
Magic, I say. The kid got you on the edge of your seat when his head was in the game.
Of course the refs knew not only this but of his volatile temper, I recall him being sent off for evading a leg breaking challenge ffs.
He is the one who got away, great player, wrong time and manager, but in giving him the platform, Aiden’s improvement somewhat rests at Gordon’s feet.
He was ‘that’ player.
Mogga, let’s just pass shall we.
Samaras full stop.
He signed under Gordon but ended up a Hunskelper under Neil.
Who can forget him tormenting them with his long stride and delicate touch, unleashed from the left wing to attack.
He formed an off-field partnership with wee Jay, but could be the most frustrating lazy bassa at times. I know a bloke who could tell within the first five minutes whether he was going to play that day or just fill the jersey.
Low key games he tended to do the latter, but the big games he came alive.
He peaked with us, maybe due to us, so the easy answer is George.
That’s the hardest of the lot considering it was woeful.
Lustig, he was there and developing, showing leadership qualities.
Most of the rest either over the hill or passing through.
The Swede takes it for me, but it’s not really a choice.
Stuart Armstrong was just a local lad with natural athleticism, a big strong frame,and one hell of a touch.
He could have stayed a local with talent to burn, until he met the man that wasn’t prepared to be ‘just’ a local with the talent to burn.
He and Brendan clicked, big-time. I recall watching this mop of blind hair picking his receiving spot, and then exploding into action from there once neatly under control, head always up.
The perfect pass followed by the perfect supporting run. He needed a ‘Sensai’ and he got one, a man he knew he could not only look up to but listen to for HE KNEW HIS SHIT!.
It brought him goals, our respect, a new level, and his big move.
Where he ends up we shall see, but the lad moved up levels under Brendan we all surely agree.
Ok,the skipper has been very good on occasion, maybe his finest games.
Kris was on an upward trajectory, I count him out.
No need to count JK yet, though we may after 10 games, double digits being a fair enough mark to scrutinize in my humble opinion.
So, that brings us up to present day,,who will thrive? Who of our players will step up a notch or two under new stewardship?
Is there a star or stars waiting within our squad?
For starters you need to know who will be there to actually improve. While a certain percentage of conjecture can always be discounted it’s not that hard to imagine who will hit the road next year, within a couple players anyway.
I expect to depart,,
Ajer, Barkas, Odsonne, Calmac,
Add on the loan players Laxalt, Duffy, Moi and there’s most of a team gone.
It’s clear that Welsh will never get a better chance, and by all accounts the lad is trying hard, slowly improving with playing time as one would.
Soro already looks good, Turnbull looks real quality, but my tip is for young Henderson to step up to the plate if called upon by new manager unknown.
The kid plays without fear, hasn’t had the arm around the shoulder treatment from a manager that believes in him and can impart that belief, inspiring the youngster.
I thought his brother’s departure was a mistake, and Italy has very high lifestyle and footballing standards which Liam clearly passed for he is thriving in that beautiful land I pine to gaze upon once more.
Euan though, why those shoulders may just be the exact ones we need right now.
Soro shines brightly he’s offski ala Kayal, Turnbull may naturally see the mega money EPL as a cash cow to exploit given he has many tools in his locker and will be coveted by bigger soon I believe, leaving Euan as our new lynchpin.
I would have him in right now knowing he is fit and available for those early season qualifiers.
John, like too many Celtic managers, will succumb to the immediacy of on the day success, a hindrance to a club rather than a help.
Given that we’ve seen the old guard take the field during his debut in the dugout, chances are he is playing it safe, better the devil you know and all that.
All that type of thinking and rationale that got us into this mess that is.
So, my answer is Euan Henderson.
Who’s ‘that’ player?