The spirit of ’96 – When Tommy Burns’ heroes revived Celtic

September 14, 2015

“If Celtic’s great teams are measured in terms of trophies won, the 1995-96 side should have quickly become a distant memory. It is difficult to imagine parents and grandparents regaling children with tales from the season when Tommy Burns’ Celtic lost just one league game but still failed to win the league or any, in fact, any other trophy. Jock Stein’s 1967 Lisbon Lions, Billy McNeil’s 1988 Centenary double winners and Martin O’Neill’s 2001 treble winners feature more often when looking back at the great Celtic sides of the past 50 years.” backpagefootball

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Celtic and the Decline of Scottish Football

September 3, 2015

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“But it looks like the decision to send the club to the bottom tier of the Scottish football pyramid may just be finally hitting home that it has been a hindrance for the overall domestic picture in a country that is worlds away from its big-spending British neighbours. If you look at the game in Scotland logically and sensibly, there is very little quality throughout the four divisions, especially in the top-flight, where it is essentially a race to finish second best behind the worst Celtic side in a long, long time.” Outside of the Boot


Champions League: Celtic weakness cruelly exposed in defeat

August 26, 2015

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“In the minutes after Celtic’s lame exit from the Champions League, the mixed zone at the Swedbank Stadium was like a hospital ward for damaged footballers. The visiting team trooped in with their pride hurting not just because of what their driven opponents from Malmo had just done to them but by what their own manager had said about them. When Ronny Deila accused his team of being ‘scared’ and ‘frightened’ on the night, it was as firm a kick to their collective solar plexus as anything the Swedes visited upon them.” BBC


An insight into Football Scouting: Interview with Neil McGuinness

August 19, 2015

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“Neil was a professional scout with Celtic for many years and has worked under Neil Lennon and Ronny Deila. He has now taken a role working for the Qatar national team at the Aspire Academy. His role there is to scout for the players who will potentially represent the Qatar team at the World Cup in 2022. He was responsible for bringing in the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Stefan Johansen in terms of signings at Celtic. We thank Neil for his time and valuable insight.” Outside of the Boot


Henrik Larsson: Humble and hungry for success as a manager

August 14, 2015

“He walks into the room overlooking the pitch at Helsingborg’s Olympia stadium, sticks out his hand and apologises for being late – about two minutes late. To most of us, it’s nothing but, then, Henrik Larsson has never been like most of us. To a footballer whose greatness was built, in part, on the back of impeccable timing, two minutes is two minutes too long. He hasn’t changed, not much at any rate. He’s 43 but still looks fit enough to waltz on to the pitch at Celtic Park and light the place up one more time. Football is now something he plays for fun with his mates once a week in an over-35s league. But his new life as a manager? That’s a different story. That’s the thing that envelops him now.” BBC


Broken Hearts looking to consolidate on their unexpected quick return

August 3, 2015

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“It’s been a rollercoaster few years for Heart of Midlothian Football Club, but after financial rescue and a surprise runaway success in the Scottish Championship last season, what are the Jambos’ realistic aims for 2015/16. MATT LESLIE looks at the campaign ahead. The new Scottish Premier League season gets under way this weekend and Hearts fans will be delighted at the return of top-flight football following a year’s absence.” Football Pink


Interview – Legendary Football Manager striker Ivica Strok

August 1, 2015

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“It’s not often a lowly football writer such as myself gets invited to interview a footballer, let alone one who is considered one of the greatest strikers of all time. So, when I was invited by CALM, a charity aimed at preventing suicide in men, to sit down with the one and only Ivica Strok naturally I jumped at the chance. Yet despite weeks of methodical research, reviewing hour upon hour of YouTube footage of the some 855 goals, picking through the numerous explosive quotes in press archives; I still felt an intense sense of trepidation. Ivica Strok is, of course, a legend of the game; a teenager from Zagreb for whom Celtic Park became a home, where, over an illustrious career, records were brushed aside and statues erected; but he’s also renowned as one of the most outspoken personalities in the game, a man who rivals Roy Keane in his candidness.” backpagefootball