The Shaggy Bhoys
As it’s the ever challenging International break period, every Celtic blogs bane, I thought I would try to inject a little humour and maybe stimulate some conversation by attempting to name a Celtic eleven of recent times with one thing in common,,,
Yes you guessed it, they are shaggy up top.
It’s pretty uncommon these days, most players tend to have short hair and not extra pounds around the head to potentially slow momentum.
Most but not all.
The extravagant barnet tends to stand out, perhaps catching the crowds eye more conveniently thus placing the player under the supporters microscope more than his teamates. Yet it’s an expression of individuality, something that should never be put down, or even worse banned.
With that in mind here’s my eleven Shaggy Bhoys.
Goalkeeping wise it’s not a broad selection but a certain well traveled Russian had quite a Barnet on him and the goatee to match for spells.
Dmitri Kharine was a good goalie, you don’t play for Russia, Chelsea, and Celtic if merely average. The chap simply came to the club at the wrong stage of his career, the tail end, and as such didn’t get a real chance of becoming a Celtic hero between the sticks.
Pity, but he kicks things off.
In defense there’s a few obvious candidates but none more so than London’s finest himself, Mr Paul Elliott.
He was a Rolls Royce of a defender we were lucky to witness in the Hoops, his short spell of supremacy makes the memories sweeter. He would be unaffordable in today’s market, his finesse, body strength, and natural instinct to keep the ball out of the net are priceless.
If around nowadays, he would be gracing one of the worlds best clubs and certainly retire with at least one European medal for the grandkids.
Next up must be the imperious Virgil Van Dijk who ironically reminds me of the aforementioned. I recall one Dutch media commentator stating ‘he’s far too good for Celtic’ upon signing but his agent had a sensible plan. More exposure closer to England and in Europe would help develop the player and sell him to the biggest league in the world. We benefited for two seasons, and with Van Dijk and Denayer at the back my worries were very much eased. Both moved on which is no surprise. Very few foreigners dream of staying with Celtic for their career and becoming club legends, that’s completely understandable.
Virgil came, conquered, and took his big shaggy mop elsewhere, fair play.
The mysterious Diego Laxalt grabs the third spot. He wasnt all that shaggy I admit but those long golden locks ended up in a variety of positions during his time with the club, unlike the man himself.
He was average in the Hoops, but isn’t the first to have pedigree yet not be able to enact it in the green and white.
He was fond of the cornrows haircut just like big Pierre and although sometimes it was tied back the lad clearly wasn’t one for the short, back, and sides please Sir.
The final defensive slot goes to my namesake who had that special knack of being scruffy yet stylish that only artists and the French seem able to pull off.
I wholeheady believe Stefan Mahe would have quit the game rather than shave it all off.
He could play football and look good or that’s it, nothing, take me as I am.
And we did. Many teams did, and are glad for the experience.
He still makes me smile, and brings back memories galore.
Mahe the Madman finishes the defenders today but shall forever remain a cult hero to this man.
In the middle of the park I must immediately name ‘the Predator’.
I vividly recall watching a CL game away to Milan with a West Ham and Real Madrid supporter both commenting you guys have found yourselves a player there.
He was our man of the match.
Ironically that game just might have been Evander Sno’s finest for the club.
He never fully settled for reasons unknown, but clearly had something.
Unfortunately he also had a dodgy ticker, which doesn’t mix with football very well to say the least.
It’s a shame his potential wasn’t fulfilled, but, for me at least, it’s a privilege to have seen him don the Hoops during his short career.
I doubt I’ll see a hair-do like that swanning around the middle of the park anytime soon.
He cornered the Celtic Predator market at the very least.
Beside Big Evander is a man with a mop.
Joe Ledley came across as your cool mate who could play football, and handle himself in a scrap. He never smeared half a ton of grease on ala Mr Kayal, and never shaved it off like Bitton. He had a full head of hair and it was going nowhere, as long as most stayed out of his field of view then everything was alright.
And generally it was when he took the field.
A ‘no quarter asked no quarter given’ type of guy he suited Celtic and the Scottish game until it didn’t suit him, and that was that with no harm done except to his opponents.
Joe Ledley’s mop makes the list.
Next up, out on the left wing, is another Dutchman who also failed to fulfill his potential in the Hoops.
Reggie Blinker turned it on rarely, but when he did you could see glimpses of why the club asked for him as part of the Di Canio deal.
Ironically he gave way to another Dutchman who sparkled then faded in Bobby Petta, but Reggie had the Bob Marley style thing going on and as such gets the nod on the occasion.
The front three are the easiest, beginning with a curly golden head of locks that defenders only saw the back of.
Jorge Cadete clearly didn’t need to hit the barber shop, he just hit the net, time and time again. I loved his passion for scoring, he heavily celebrated each time he bulged the old onion bag and rightly earned his place in Celtic folklore as one of Tommy’s Three Amigos who came soo close and entertained soo much.
Cadete was one of those rare footballers who make the game worth watching, he was never mundane but rather came alive with flashes of brilliance, a sure fire way to put bums on seats. That X-factor cannot be trained, cannot be bought, and cannot be faked. You either have it or you don’t and he had it in spades.
He was a joy to watch, gracing the pitch rather than simply playing the game.
His love affair with the club and it’s support continues to this day, which helps cement his status as a legendary Celtic scruffy.
The next player is an enigma wrapped in a mystery. For years the big Greek seemed to be going through the motions, then all of a sudden Boom! He turned into Chief Hunskelper and Celtics main man.
I recall a bloke who attended games stating he could tell within five minutes if Georgios was up for the game, and he was usually correct. Big lazy bassa was my initial thought.
What happened I’ve no idea but he tormented the Rangers for years with those big long strides and two footedness.
For a long stretch he seemed to score only spectacular or pure individual effort goals, he certainly was no penalty box poacher ala Lineker.
It’s dangerous relying on your star man to produce magic, teams can nullify that certain player and when injured there’s no structural path to scoring.
He had magic in those feet, but I don’t think his languid style would suit Angeball if truth be told.
Georgios Samaras was a good footballer, the Tims witnessed what I consider to be his best spell in the game, and what a head of hair he had. I hope he dyes it, it would crush me to see that black mane turn gray.
I’m naming him a Celtic scruffy, those he might take offense at the label.
‘Beautiful’ he would claim.
‘Hippy, you’re on the list’ would be my reply.
Big Georgios Samaras deservedly makes the team.
The last striker is obvious.
Rival supporters labeled him ‘the Alien’ and his debut produced the infamous Scottish media headline ‘Dread Loss’.
Well if he was a dread loss, can I order eleven more?
There’s nothing needs said about Henke.
Okay then, my own favourite tale is straight from Fergies lips, of how the United players first spoke in hushed tones about his arrival, they had heard he was special.
12 games later they stood to a man and applauded him into the dressing room.
Respect was earned, the Henrik way.
He helped that team to the title the only way he knows how, and Fergie went out of his way to get him his EPL winners medal.
I vividly recall being on my way to Supporters Club fundraiser and whilst walking past the local newsagents the billboard was announcing that he had shaved the dreadlocks off. Full story in tomorrow’s paper of course.
I get to the bash and immediately inform the bhoys, Henrik’s shaved the dreads off.
What’s the punchline they ask me.
No I’m serious and explain the billboard.
No one knew what to think, it was part of his trademark at that time.
It was the most controversial haircut since Samson, well at least at our table that night.
As we now know he didn’t lose his strength to the shears, nor his prowess.
And whether he likes it or not, I’m marking those famous dreadlocks down as scruffy given he clearly didn’t bother combing his hair.
The manager of these vagabonds clearly needs something up top himself, and this one didn’t disappoint.
He’s our ultimate one time, one win man, and he certainly wasn’t a man for trimming the heid.
Wim had that blondish brown curly hair as a boy, man, player and manager. It was his most distinguishing feature, it was the curls or it was an imposter.
Arguably the best player ever to grace the Celtic Park managerial hotseat with two World Cup final appearances and a single European Cup winners medal in the back pocket, he was once described as one of only four footballing men worth listening to by the legend Johan Cryuff.
He brought gravitas to his role, naturally given his playing career and the fact he had won titles as a manager before.
He clearly didn’t need the job, hence hitting the door when his primary task was accomplished, but the job was done to everyone’s eternal credit.
Those were nail-biting times and much like Ange those broad shoulders carried us through troubled waters, then he was gone, just like that.
Now he’s really gone. Rest in Peace pal.
Wim forgot more about football than I’ll ever know, but we shared such happy times together. “That” season was one of a kind, simply unforgettable, and he Captained that ship very steadfastly despite any supposedly fatal setbacks.
Wim is and always will be a legend, but a scruffy one at that, and as such he’s the Scruffy Bhoys manager.
Now one must admit that is one hell of a team that most would not fancy going up against.
Manager – Wim the Tim Jansen
Tomorrow we shall name The Baldy Bhoys and I look forward to the chat regards matching them together.