The False Nine-And The Missing Ones


A very interesting article in yesterday’s Independent,written by Miguel Delaney,got me to thinking. It pointed out that there are very few centre forwards of the type that we would recognise as such plying their trade successfully in the game these days.

The author and his sources suggested that the reason for that may be the emphasis on coaching,especially at the development stages of a young man’s career. That it is easier for most coaches to explain to their charges the importance of being in position to receive a pass,get the body shape right,be aware of those around you for the next stage,than it is to teach any of them the most important yet most instinctive skill in the game.

After all,instinct cannot be taught. It can only be curbed. And the inference is clear that without the required coaching,those instincts are indeed being curbed at a young age for aspiring strikers.

It isn’t only the youngsters either. Harry Kane,for example,certainly amongst the top strikers of his generation,has had to adapt his game to suit the demands of how his side are set up. He has become not so much a false 9 as a false 10. That he has achieved it without being to the detriment of his game is a credit to him,but I’m sure that Spurs fans would prefer him to be on the end of moves rather than creating them.

It will be interesting too to see how he adapts if Son is absent for a period,for there is nobody else in that side capable of receiving and finishing.

The article also mentions that with the signing of Nunez by Liverpool-after ONE good season in Portugal-Mane by Bayern and Haaland by Man City,there are few options available for other clubs. The improbable palindrome Ekitike might be available from French side Reims next season,and they might be tempted this summer instead. And that’s about it at the top level!

But what has this got to do with Celtic,you ask? Well,clearly sides are not used to playing against an old style rummel-em-up centre forward. How do defenders cope with a player who is on their shoulder and then makes the run while the defender still has to eye the player in possession? We managed outstandingly well last season without a Number 9 for most of it. We had the likes of Kyogo,Maeda,Jota and Abada running the legs off defenders and scoring a fair number of times too.

But that big G-Mak phenomenon when he finally got his fitness back and hit his stride? Scottish defences simply couldn’t cope-especially as we still had those other options! He wasn’t the type of player they were used to playing against anymore,and had he not been targeted unfairly by the usual refereeing double standards-reminiscent of Paul Elliott-I’m positive he would easily have scored even more. And he will do,next season.

But our aims for next season should also aspire to progress in Europe. And while the defences we meet there will be of a higher standard than in Scotland,they too will rarely have come up against the likes of G-Mak.

This could be a very interesting campaign indeed if we can keep our players fit. Motivation and tactics are unlikely to be a problem,as Ange is completely in control there. The dying art of the traditional Number 9 is certainly to be lamented. But we’ve got one,and he could be a real eye-opener next season.

Above article by BMCUWP

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There’s another article in a different news outlet on the same subject,but I can’t remember who or where! I’ll try to find it when I get home. Seems unfair only to reference one of them in my article.

Craig 76

read this article yesterday not sure if its the one you lookng for, but it is interesting



That’s a fantastic article too,and thanks for the read.


Morning all,

Great lead article with some cracking follow ups 👏👏👏

As Bobby said, we a very lucky that GMak gives us something extra, being a typical number 9.

He will score plenty of goals, if he stays injury free, and good luck to him.

My only concern with him is that he makes stupid fouls early on and gives the referees ( especially here in Scotland) a chance to book him, and therefore he’s under pressure thereafter not to foul anyone. If he cuts this out, the big man will score plenty this Season.

Sorry Bobby but this new phrase “ False number 9” does my box in !!!!
One of the new fangled words made up by some trumpet who hasn’t a scooby about football.

The only things that should be false are your teeth !!!! 😜😜

HH 🍀🍀🍀



Some good links there thanks.

No local lads playing to a standard – remember the days when everyone wanted to be No 9

The best player was … number 9

We all shuffled into other positions depending on an understood ( never defined) pecking order… then the haddie ( or someone’s wee brother) was in goals…. it seems to me…until they invented goalie gloves then every bassa wanted to be a ‘keeper.

The lack of CF or even strikers coming out of our supposed Development Programme is a disgrace! A black mark on the folk we place in charge of that function.

Then we repeat that year after year after year after year… no one being hunted oot!

Maybe Harry K will have a look.,,then a word

Craig76 – great link buddy thanks


Morning all, good article this morning Bobby. The link by Craig to the article on Kyogo was excellent. Scroll past the Kyogo article and there’s another good one on Billy Gilmour worth reading. I’m with you Leggy – what the f^^^ is a Fase 9 anyway!!
No read without subscription for the NY Times and Indie links Bobby so need to take your word on how good they are!

On another subject, Videocelts reporting that Juranovic has a release clause and could go this window. Now I obviously don’t knoe the ins and outs of this but it struck me that he’s on a 5 year deal, longer than the usual 4 maybe! I fthe player insists on a release clause, would the club insist on an extra year on the deal? Or wold the 5 year be inclusive of an optional year to be decided after the 4th year? Or are the media at it as usual!

And another thing…here’s a c+p’d Twitter comment from the article about JJ – “Bit of an alarm bell ringing here!
The Lawell boy is no sooner in the door & the Jota deal starts taking fkn forever, & Juranovic is out the door!
I gen thought we were building something here🤔” – should we be worried?


Leggy weren’t you a False Number 9 or was it a Fake Number 9 😁😁


Copied this from today’s ETIMS

⁩ – when I invested in Celtic in 1995 I was given the benefits outlined below. I have just been informed that the 10% discount on merchandise & food, which Fergus McCann told us was in perpetuity, has been terminated for the new season. This must be a mistake?

If it’s true it is yet another kick in the haw maws from the board. Hard to comprehend how or why these guys think like they do. Surely there’s a bigger picture beyond grabbing every pound that comes into view.


Frodshambhoy…I have been buying my wee guy’s merch from the Superstore or Celtic shops for as long as I’ve been buying him Celtic kit – 11 years or so! It is my belief that the 10% discount was stopped even before I started buying his gear. I’m thinking the comment cane from someone who had maybe Investor Level buy-in.
Sounds like another Class Action for Auldheid and the CST to get their gnashers into! 😁😁



Shooshh !!!!!

I was just a shite number 9 😜😜

Hope your well buddy.

I think this transfer talk of JJ is conjecture methinks.
He’ll be here this Season and plays at Right Back ✅

Jobo Baldie

I was a usually a false number 12



That’s classed as a “ Versatile” player thees days .

RalgexCSC 🍀🍀


I was a false number 9 Joe.

I only got interested in playing football aged 11/12 and in an early 11 a side game a better player tipped me off about running into space he created by challenging for a high goal kick that CB often missed.

I scored my first goal in an organised game as a result and subsequently spent much time finding defenders blind spot to their annoyance.

I was proverbial nun on a zebra crossing.

Now they saw me, now they don’t.

I was a prolific scorer at the low level and I loved playing.

Kyogo is brilliant at it and makes the best use of his physique as GG does of his.

It gives Ange great options.




That’s classed as a “ Versatile” player thees days .
Or last man picked in a bounce game. 🙂

Billy Bhoy

Great article Bobby.

I’m just sitting here thinking (C) Charlie Nicholas if only Scotland had either a “false” or genuine No 9 we might have made it to the World Cup – sadly we had neither!

On a brighter note the Celts have a smattering of both and due to this I’m really looking forward to the new season. Its hard not to snigger looking across the city watching the hun scrambling about re-signing all the guys who were retiring back in May!


A wee story true story I heard from my pal about a boys team in EK Sunday League.

This young boy, let’s call him Joe for anonymity’s sake,
went to training every week and always appeared on a Sunday, but unfortunately wasn’t very good and never played.

However the Manager, feeling a little sorry for young Joe decided to give him a chance.

“Ref sub” was the shout and Manager said to Joe, on you go and just stand in defence.

Young Joe goes on and 5 minutes later the Manager says to his Assistant,” Where’s Joe” ??

He’s over there someone shouts.

The Manager walks over to Joe and say’s what’s up ??

Young Joe replies “ You told me to stand at the fence” !!!!

Don’t think young Joe made it in football 😜😜😜


Aye, cheers Leggy! Life’s hard enough without you telling tales!

Good article GG so far has been great, he goes in areas to get his goals that i haven’t seen in years,certainly not afraid to take a hit for his goal.Some of his tackling has been very good and thought wish we had a midfielder that can tackle as well as him.Looking forward to the new season.

St tams

I became worried, the day son of Lawwell got the job.


This was the original tweet about losing the 10% discount for shareholders

bada bing1

Kay Burley getting her arse handed to her on a plate……we know fine well what she was hinting at….


What an idiot that Kay Burley is in that clip. She’s desperately trying and hoping to get him to say there will be violence at the picket lines. You know call me a cynic but I’d swear she’s related to Thatcher!


Liam Scales has joined @AberdeenFC from @CelticFC on a season long loan! 🔴

Aberdeen fans, here’s a taster of what you can expect from the promising young defender 👇


Out of interest I just looked up Kay Burley on Wiki. There is a huge section on contoversies about her ‘work’ You would think she was courting publicity!
She works for SKY. Need I say anymore!


Football is essentially a simple game. It always has been. Till the Craig Browns and Andy Roxburghs of this world got a bit of power within the national game, that is. These 2 clowns-and anyone like them-should be absolutely despised by anyone who loves the beautiful game…and wants to see the game played as it should be. The game in Scotland at international level, has not yet recovered from the malignant presence of the Largs Mafia. This also effects club football in Scotland. Most club managers have a safety-first approch to the game. Who in their right mind would wish to watch a team managed by Levin, Clarke or McLeish? Thank feck for the good old Celts…and young managers like Jim Goodwin.


“…some trumpet who hasn’t a scooby about football.”

That sounds like a perfect description of Peter Lawwell. Well done my good fellow. 😀


Thanks for the reply last night. A united front by supporters of all clubs in Scotland, would surely produce results in the better governance of the game here. Of course, supporters of one particular new club, may be averse to a united front.


I wish young Liam all the best at the Dons. He certainly impressed anytime that he played. Here’s hoping that he gets a good run of games at Pittodrie, and returns to the Bhoys, to stake a claim for the LB position.


Kay Burley? Never heard of the wummin. Maybe that’s a good thing.

Hail Hail.


Good afternoon all from Ruglen. Leggy and I are meeting tomorrow at the 8 ball pool hall above the Scotia Bar 12pm. All welcome, no exceptions.


Q. How many Sevco supporters does it take to change a lightbulb?

A. 10. 1 to change the lightbulb, and 9 to insist that it’s still the same bulb. 😀

Not ashamed to say that I nicked that one from Twitter.

Hail Hail.



Difficult getting sleep yesterday and today,same as last week,like a bloody furnace. Smallest violin in the world.

Thanks for the compliments on the article-and on yesterday’s for MAHE. I admit to having George Connelly as my all-time hero-sorry,DANNYMAC23 et al-but really,we all wanted to be the guy who only came to life when it mattered.

Re Juranovic,I can’t see him leaving-but his very positive interview in April also mentioned that he leaves “such things” to his manager. I don’t think he meant Ange. I think his manager will definitely be trying to maximise his income from the player,but he seems nailed on as a starter in The World Cup in five months time,which might not be the case if he moves elsewhere.

Pick the wrong club,doesn’t suit his style,he either rarely plays or rarely excites or excels. I’ll leave it to him to reflect on the pros of staying with us for a year or two yet. And maybe change his agent.

As for Liam Scales,puzzled but wish him well. We gave him the No 5 kersey,I think,and hardly played him. He performed decently at left back on occasion,but looked more to me like a central mid-not that we need one!

It will be interesting to see where he is deployed at Aberdeen. I hope he returns,improved and with the attitude to improve more,and refuses to take free kicks.


From GOLAZO Twitter
A verbal agreement has been reached between Lanús & #Celtic over the transfer of left-back Alexandro Bernabei [via @CLMerlo]


Follow up Tweet.
For #Celtic fans wondering this was one of Bernabei’s best performances in recent months when Lanús beat Barcelona in @TheSudamericana. The assist for the second and scoring the third.


Asked if he was any good.
Yes, very exciting full-back. Quick and tricky always looking for little one-twos to get up the pitch. It can leave him caught high up the pitch so there are questions defensively but there is plenty of potential there.



Scottish football had the twin evils of the financial doping of Murray and the schoolteacher attitude of the national managers. Running backwards while everyone else was taking steps in the right direction.

The result is our litany of failure over thirty years,and Stevie Clarke getting pelters because he doesn’t have any strikers worth a f..k!

Aye,seems we went early on forgetting to coach the kids who could finish…


If the deal goes through, I think he will be our first Argentinian.
Doing this from a dodgy memory, so happy to be corrected.


Will start to get the Ascot payments done,just in time for the annual Naps competition starting on Saturday.

Details for the latter will be on its own page nearer the time.


Afternoon all, speaking of naps I assume Twisty never succumbed to my naps bribe 😜

JNP if you can get my email address from Bobby, i’ll make a donation to your charity just the same.




One of the things which really p’d me off with Bolingoli when he was a regular was that he would run up the pitch,pass-then watch the rest of the play unfold. Miles out of position as a result. Just saying…

Also,Bernabei is 5’7″ and not likely to be an asset at corners or free kicks. If he comes,he will have my support,of course. Nothing makes me smile more than being proved wrong.


I was thinking, from the description, he could be more like Diego Laxalt, but now that you mention it, Bolingoli, I can see, too.
Neither are a compliment, of course.
Let’s hope more like the Emilio, that won player of the year, in his first season.

Just seen ASWGL, post, would you be kind enough to send me, ASWGL, e.mail address, please and you can send ASWGL mine, the new one, I sent you this afternoon.


Are you sure you haven’t stole Big Packys joke book 😀


I read the other day that he would be the 1st Argentinian to play for the club


Craig. 76.
That’s probably why, I thought that, then, I probably read that, article, too, but had forgotten that I had read it, but somewhere it stuck in my mind. 😂😂
If that makes sense.


Makes perfect sense 👌 😀

bada bing1

Scales is naturally a left sided CB,i would have kept him as back up for that reason.


School teacher attitude. Very apt. Fortunately for me, I have not followed Scotland since Argentina 78. The mental scars of that particular summer, were just too great. Funnily enough, the 1978-79 season was the first season where I became a full-time Celtic fanatic.



big packy

EVENING ALL and JIM and CRAIG76😎 was so hot down here in cheshire today, took out 2 mckeller watt sausages remember them, 2 eggs with the lion on them, remember go to work on an egg, forget it had to get the bus in the end😎 anyway fried the eggs and the sausages on the pavement, then remembered no plate or spatula, well the dogs had the sausages scoffed in about 3 seconds, but have you ever tried to eat 2 eggs off the pavement with your bare hands, luckily sol kitts was passing ,his private jet was getting refueled at liverpool john lennon airport ,he was on his way to either honalulu or hawaii or hebden bridge, one of those exotic places, he pulled up in his masserati I just love those french cars, gave me a paper plate and charged me a tenner for it thats friends for ye😎 another true story😎


The Nabbla.
I’m just catching up, just read your post, about Bellarmine.
Superb, thanks for sharing.



Hi mick been a long time. just to let you know Dot passed away on 29march. 52 years married. HH

big packy

WEEFRA condolences, was just talking to JIM the other day about how much you had been missed on here.👍

Weet weet weet


Sad news,prayer’s offered