Starting As You Mean To Go On

Morning,all.

It’s flag day for us on Sunday. And as it is against Aberdeen,I expect their fans to give it a body-swerve! Cheap stereotype gag aside,how many of us actually thought,a year ago,that we would be raising the championship flag this weekend?

Obviously,I didn’t-and I said so,often. That given the size of the rebuild required,I said that we should allow Ange a season to get some confidence back into his players,get them coached to playing with and for each other and learn his system. Don’t get me wrong,I had already been impressed by the little I had seen of his training methods and even his interviews. But we had already seen some preseason friendlies and European qualifiers. Only the match against AZ Alkmaar inspired much confidence.

Judge him on his second season,I said. As long as we can see obvious improvement,to the extent that we look capable of mounting a strong challenge to regain our title,that should be all that can be expected.

Well I’m rarely happy to be wrong. But I always hold my hands up when it happens. And Bhoy,did I get that one wrong! And yes,I was bliddy delighted too!!! Yet for so long,it looked like I was likely to be correct-which pleased me not one jot. 

Despite some promising performances,our results were far from promising. An unlucky defeat in Seville was followed by a home thrashing from Leverkusen. Worse,after seven league games we had gained only ten points-seven behind the huns by middle of October. Oh,hell…

And then it all just seemed to kick into place. We hit form,hit our opponents for six,and went into the New Year break within touching distance of the leaders. A few weeks after the restart,we hammered them at home and followed it up by beating them in their ain midden anaw.

Out of sight,and with the League Cup already in the bag,that title-winning champagne must have tasted very fine indeed to our new hero.

Yet,having got so much wrong a year ago about how our season was likely to pan out,I also printed a much more optimistic article around the same time. Ange is hardly the first Celtic manager in my lifetime to have come into the club on the back of a dreadful season,yet win the league at the first time of asking. 

If you had asked any Celtic fan in January 1965 if they fancied our chances of winning the league the following season,he would have damned you for a sarcastic bastert and spat in your eye-if you were lucky! Yet win it,we did. And added The European Cup the following season,as well as completing NINE titles in a row.

Jock Stein inherited a disparate bunch of young lads,lost in the wilderness.

Add some experience (and steely arrogance in the case of the latter!) in the form of Ronnie Simpson and Bertie Auld. Throw in a mix of player appraisal,encouragement and some proper coaching-with a ball,ffs!-and the players became the world beaters we remember them as.

But it all started from nowhere,when Jock walked through the door.

Sadly,Jock suffered from a serious run of disaster in 77-78. Losing Kenny Dalglish was bad enough. To lose Danny McGrain and Pat Stanton for the season almost from the start was disastrous. To see the rest of the squad drop like flies as time went on meant he was in fire-fighting mode. And the board joined the media in pouring petrol onto the flames. We finished FIFTH that year. Desmond White took great relish in firing our greatest ever manager. A shameful end for someone who has a stand named after him. I’ve named one of the urinals at Celtic Park after White. Good enough for him.

In fairness,he brought in our greatest ever captain as a replacement. And promptly allowed him to break the six figure transfer fee-three times in the summer-something that Jock had never been permitted to do. His only signing for decent money since the £80,000 on Ronnie Glavin-in 1974!-was Johnny Doyle at £90,000 two years later.

Having finished so far behind Rangers,and three other teams as well,few gave us any chance. That was probably still the case in March of 79 too,as a protracted big freeze hammered our title hopes almost as badly as some earlier performances had.

Few who were there on 21-5-79 will ever forget it. Another first season title into the bargain!

And he repeated the trick nine years later,in our Centenary Season. The arrival of Souness had put the afterburners on our rivals,and despite being miles ahead of them at Christmas 1986,we had faltered badly,losing a nine point lead to surrender our title by about the same amount. We also lost McClair,McInally,McLeod,and Judas. And Danny McGrain retired too!

Well,add in some replacements like McAvennie,Walker,Miller,Morris,etc. Get the best out of Mark McGhee. Ride your luck,rope-a-dope and hit them in the last minute and injury-time! Voila,a Centenary Season double-winning first season (reprise) return in triumph!

Then the wheels came off for a decade! Until Wim The Tim arrived-with Murdo McLeod in tow,btw. Operation Stop The Ten. It was vital for the fans,but it was vital for Fergus as well. We could see real strong progress. The team in the last year or two was as terrific to watch as any in my lifetime anyway-but he had sacked Tommy Burns. And allowed much of that team to leave,mostly somewhat acrimoniously too. And all we knee about Wim is that he was one of the Feyenoord team in 1970!

WTF?????????????

Well,we didn’t have the internet and wall to wall football a quarter of a century ago. Neither did the SMSM-yet many of us still fell for their trash. I know,but we did-by and large.

Fergus backed Tommy Burns all the time when he wanted a player,as far as I know. And David Hay was very capable indeed of pulling a rabbit out of the hat in that respect. But I think by then the relationship between Celtic and David had soured-largely due to Jock Brown. Appointed by Fergus for probably the right reasons,he was very much the wrong guy. Wim wanted Henrik Larsson,Jock didn’t. Wim wanted Paul Lambert,Brown told him the price was too high. Fergus overruled him,and told him to get him. Etc.

Wim had very firm ideas on how he wanted his team to play,and needed the players to achieve that. Fergus did his best to accommodate that,though I’m sure that not every approach to a player worked. Look at the list of players signed that year,via wiki.

·       Darren Jackson – Hibernian – £1,250,000 – July 1997

·       Craig Burley – Chelsea – £2,400,000 – July 1997

·       Stephane Mahe – Rennes – £500,000 – July 1997

·       Henrik Larsson – Feyenoord – £650,000 – August 1997

·       Regi Blinker – Sheffield Wednesday – Exchange – August 1997

·       Jonathan Gould – Bradford City – Free Transfer – August 1997

·       Marc Rieper – West Ham United – £1,500,000′ – September 1997

·       Paul Lambert – Borussia Dortmund – £1,900,000 – November 1997

·       Harald Brattbakk – Rosenborg BK – £2,000,000′ – December 1997

Another famous title win,and won once again by a first-season manager against the odds! Sadly,Brown outlasted Wim,but he left a few months later,with Dr Jo the last manager to serve under Fergus. Murray hired Advocaat,piled the debts to the ceiling and left us trailing. No title for the good doctor,but I remember him well for giving us Lubo and Big Johann. And we made about £5m on Viduka-or alternatively,got Leeds to pay Chelsea for Sutton in exchange for him.

Bloody good deal that!

So we enter the 21st Century-and we’ve just lost the league by 21 points! Enter Martin O’Neill and co,along with The Evil Genius,Joos,Neil Lennon,Thommo and a couple of others,and we waltz away with a 15 point victory in his first season.

Gordon Strachan takes over an aging squad in 2005,told to cut the wage bill-we call it downsizing on here-and voila!

And via Ronny Deila and Brendan Rodgers,who were expected to win the titles-but who can forget the latter’s Invincible Season in his first attempt?-we were back at Square One with Ange only a year ago.

Well,if you know your history? I said a year ago that we have a history of our managers managing to win the title at their first attempt. And mostly against the odds.

I very much get the feeling that AP has achieved against the odds,that he has felt for much of his career that he will have to ram it right up them to prove them wrong. He will not rest on his laurels now,that’s for sure.

Enjoy the game on Sunday. I know I will. But show your appreciation all the more for the one man more than any who made it possible.


And maybe spare a thought for Dominic McKay,who backed his demands.

*^*^*^*

Above article by BMCUWP

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CFC

The movie was The Warriors?

@CFC you seem to have answered your own question ??
erm Game 1…3 points .of course we all see there is room for improvements

H.H

Gordon64

GFTB

Magua 11.28pm

The only bad thing was back then the bookies was closed till the blinking Monday !!!!

I think we might have got a cargo based on the winning line

But more importantly the 3 of us were just to be back in our scheme 🙂

The next day the bhoys I was with were starting to tell the “story” as if it was just a laugh …

Trust me … every one of us were shiting ourselves at the time … 🙂

Yes the movie was the Warriors … but the wanderers were the good ghuys

CFC

Jayhawk

Which question was that?

Gordon64

GFTB

Fair play to ye. 😀

@CFC check your question mark mate..Re. The sheep…
you seem as if your not happy with todays result .A kinda wait and see approach??
apologies if iv’e got it wrong…I thought today we did a sterling job on an awkward side..

H.H

GFTB

CFC 11.35pm

Did you manage to get the analogy ?

Apologies for the wrong film name but I take it if you know of the film you will understand 3 x 18yr olds who usually went by car had to get home from Hampden to Coatbridge with NO public transport …it was a hard 10miles … and with the Huns marauding a lot worse than any daft American film 🙂

It was real life mate 🙂

Frodshambhoy

Magua, I totally get it. I’ve avoided some flack living in England. Was going to say a lot of flack but recent times have belonged to the famous Glasgow Celtic.
BP will be able to tell you that the BBC North West News in recent weeks gives loads of time to the lionesses. We get lots of interesting stuff like how one of them once bought a pair of football boots in Manchester. It’s fascinating and very relevant to our region. Can’t wait to see what they serve up in the next few weeks.

Gordon64

Absolutely tremendous atmosphere inside CP today. That’s what supporting Celtic is all about HH 🍀

Lookin at the coming games home and away…..
if we get thru the snidey away games ..take care of our home games…
Who’s gonnae move us from that top spot..who????
What a time for our youngsters to be the next generation Celts

@Gordon 64 you could feel the love .in 118 we had strangers huggin strangers
and that was just the yanks lol …wonderful right enough…

CFC

GFTB

Oh I get it, just correcting your cultural reference.
A few will have similar tales from that era.
It’s not unique. Casual violence was a regular thing.

Jayhawk

My point is a poor Aberdeen team were not blown away by “we never stop” football.
We were average today but good enough.
Ange hinted as much.
A perfunctory win, as was expected.
Of course I wanted the victory.

Call me Gerry

If I had to pick our top 3 players from today’s game, who would I choose? Tough one, but it’s all about opinions. And reading back, it’s obvious that we all see different things during a game.

Personally, I’d choose from Hatate (great first half, where he linked up play with quickly, and tracked back well when needed), Welsh (solid throughout without really being tested, and scored the decisive opening goal), Taylor (good link up play and covered plenty of ground), O’Riley (good, quick link up play), and Jota (great, decisive 2nd goal – and goals are very important, after all).

Hart was untroubled & CCV did nothing wrong, but not in contention for top 3, imo. Calmac and JJ below there best, for me. Maeda not in reckoning – great work rate but poor final ball. Kyogo possibly our biggest under performer today. He just wasn’t at the races, and from 30 mins onwards I was counting down the minutes til GG took over from him.
Subs brought fresh legs. and mostly effective (though Abada’s final ball was poor).

In the end, I plumped for Welsh, Hatate and Jota (goals matter). But can see why others were chosen.

HH

GFTB

CFC 12.00am

🙂

What do you mean … we had never been exposed to thar sort of violence in our your young lives

We were unaware of this type of animosity as young teenagers 🙂

Probably because there was only 3 of us and not the usual 30 🙂

Frodshambhoy

Hell’s bells. Euro 2021 must have been murder. Fortunately, it all turned out well in the end. As did last season…and a certain event in Seville. 😀😀

Hail Hail.

Right, I’m going on a Rant….

Watched the game today on Sky via Firestick, Celtic TV kept going backwards, somebody have a word?

Now, not the greatest game ever but, against a very tall but not as dirty as usual Aberdeen team we were mostly in control.

Now, my rant, the hun bastard on Sky interviewing the managers after the game (Ange keeps calling him mate) and, he’s beelin’. Usual faux praise as per.

Then Jim Goodwin interview, and, first question, do you think you should have had a corner before Celtic’s 2nd goal ‘EVEN THOUGH YOU THEN HAD POSESSION AND LOST IT AGAIN? Now, WTF?
This will be how far VAR is going to go against us.

Rant over.

HH

Gordon64

CT Met HT before the game today 👍🍀😎

@CFC you are gonnae have an interesting season my friend..
we didn’t stop today….yes we missed umpteen chances. As Ange alluded to..
but we kept on going at them. we did not stop…….As we will get into every mother feckin hun team in this league…
Roll on Ross county .Killie..Hearts…all comers welcome…

CFC

GFTB

The jog from Celtic Park via Dalmarnock Rd over the bridge and Farmeloan Rd in the late ‘70’s/ early ‘80’s at night was the stuff of nightmares.

Running east to Coatbridge via Baillieston would be a dawdle by comparison.

Call me Gerry

Calton Tongues

Agree 100%. The question to Goodwin was loaded, and hoping to stir sh!t for a headline. I couldn’t believe my ears – well, actually I could, as it was typical of our media.

I thought Goodwin was very honest in his interview. Whilst agreeing that he thought they should have been awarded a corner, he made it plainly obvious that it was a trivial matter that played no part in the reason they lost.

HH

Gordon64

Gordon64,

Seen him a few weeks ago, 😀

HH

CFC

jayhawk

We never stop.

That was never out of third gear today.

If you are happy with that good luck to you, my friend.
However, early days !
Not really worth getting too energised at this stage.

Call me Gerry,

Sky will probably have re-runs all weekend but nowt about Livi’s disallowed equaliser.

HH

Gordon64

CT 👍🍀

Anyhoo catchin up….Lovely to meet Father and son McCaffs today at the game ….
Hi P. My brar so jealous of your sons hair lol…Hope you enjoyed the cd and thanks for the offer of your tickets
Young garry would be proud…..Thanks for the sellic hug…lol

Gordon64

@CFC LOL that was my point..it was our first game…..we will go big time….
and you will be givin it big licks lol…erm i hope.

H.H

GFTB

CFC 12.15am

Celtic park to ML5 is a stroll … Mount Florida to ML5 is a different journey … especially after a Celtic victory stopping an EBT treble when the Huns were at their most entitled

As you say we all have our own experiences… as somebody who travelled home & away then in a Vauxhall Astra … when that Vauxhall Astra is made redundant your lost …. Getting to Hampden was a bit of journey that day … getting home was mental

But … who cares we won

Joe Joe Super Joe

Funnily enough we were at love street the week before in the Vauxhall Astra and we were singing Mo Mo Suoer Mo … some say a week is a long time in politics … that was one crazy week … I still think the “buzz” of signing Maurice Johnston lifted the fans and the players that day … even though he signed a deal with the devil Mo probably won us the Scottish cup that day … from Love Street to Hampden it was the most confident I can remember us fans bring back them

CFC

Jayhawk

Yes, you are spot on.
I’m glass half full, like I was last season. Despite the horrendous start.

My view last year was the Huns were a limited team, that could be caught.
I don’t think they have improved.

Will be happy to take an honest view game by game and chat it through.

@CFC good man ..look forward to feeling the pain of every game lol.
i invested big time in the TIKTOK 10 and it hurt…All i ask of Ange???
Please don’t change..Kaci brown…..

H.H

CFC

GFTB

Toryglen would be safe enough, but I agree the badlands beyond would be full of danger!

Can’t imagine the same level of post game euphoria/ fear exists now.
Wednesday nights travelling back from Celtic Park were character forming.

GFTB

CFC

Your correct .. different days …

We all have our own wee memories

Main thing today : yesterday 3pts and no champion league qualifiers …

🍀

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

GFTB

The bookies started opening on a Saturday night and,later,on a Sunday,about 1993,IIRC. I told the troops-I was living in South London at the time-that I was boycotting that. The staff deserve a social life,after all,

Walked into the pub one Saturday night, How did the bets go today,Mick?

First one up,£!0 double,both 8/1,I replied. Second one due to run at 830.

Thought you were boycotting the night stuff? I am,but I put the bet on this afternoon.

Well,my wee Greek Cypriot pal Kyrie insisted we go up to watch it. And it was up against an odds-on favourite! Not surprisingly,someone in the shop had backed the favourite,and was loudly shouting it on. That’s not my thing,and my mates know not to do it either. As they crossed the line together,Kyrie quietly said

Think you got that,Mick.

I quietly agreed,but will wait for the photo.

Not so,the the favourite backer. Loudly and rather belligerently,he insisted that the favourite had won. I suggested that as long as the bookies got a tanking off one of us,I wasn’t too bothered. So Kyrie asked him how much he had on it.

Two f…..g quid!

Kyrie decked him!!!

I picked up my £810 quid on the Monday,lucky I didn’t have to use it to bail Kyrie out. Good times,but crazy at times too.

Mahe
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