Yokerbhoy provides an indepth look at our Scottish cup opponents Clyde, and offers an alternative line up and formation to avoid sinking to the depths of the last time Celtic went there in the Cup. The Cup ,of course, being the trophy we should win but give them back when they present it to Scott Brown.
LET’S AVOID A RECURRING NIGHTMARE AT BROADWOOD
On Sunday Celtic make the short trip to Cumbernauld to face one time Glasgow rivals Clyde in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup.
Clyde FC, although modestly-sized, is a football club with a considerable history (founded in 1877 and boasting famous football figures such as the one and only King Billy McNeil, ex-Scotland manager Craig Brown and Brain of Britain Barry Ferguson among its previous team managers) that has lost quite a bit of its identity after moving out of Glasgow during season 1994-95 (their lease of Shawfield Stadium had long since expired and they’d been given an official notice to quit) to play at the 8,000 capacity Broadwood Park.
Founded in 1877, the three time Scottish Cup winners’ best ever league campaign (finishing 3rd) in the top flight coincided with our greatest ever season in 66-67. I’m quite sure a certain Harry Hood played a big part in that achievement for the Bully Wee.
So, where on earth did they come up with a nickname like that? A quick glance at the wikipedia provides us with the following theories:
The club’s nickname, “The Bully Wee”, is of uncertain origin although the club themselves have advanced three theories.
The first suggests that the clubs and supporters and perhaps players mainly came from Bridgeton, Glasgow, a tight working-class area whose inhabitants had a reputation as “wee bullies”, with this becoming transposed as the Bully Wee.
Alternatively, it is also claimed that it comes from around 1900 when a group of French supporters paid a visit to Barrowfield and, upon the scoring of a disputed goal, were heard to remark “But il’y, oui?” or “Their goal, yes”. Supporters listened to this unfamiliar phrase as “Bully Wee”, and the name stuck.
Finally the third theory, and the one accepted by the club as the most plausible, links the term to the old Victorian idiom “bully” meaning first-rate or high standard and suggests that Clyde, a small club, would have been regularly referred to as “Bully Wee Clyde”, with the first two words eventually becoming the standalone nickname.
Not many football teams have been named after a river. In fact River Plate Club de Fútbol (the eternal rival of Boca Juniors) is the only one that springs to my mind. Maybe you can think of a couple more examples for a bit of trivia fun.
The only time I’ve seen Clyde playing in the flesh against the Celts was as a six-year-old back in that hugely disappointing season of 74-75, when our magnificent 9 in a row was ended.
It was also a poor season for Clyde as finishing 3rd bottom meant a drop down to the new Scottish First Division in accordance with the new re-structuring of the Scottish Leagues.
That, of course, was our last ever away league game against them and it finished 2-4 in our favour (if my memory serves me right, wee Jinky and Harry Hood got in amongst the goals but I can’t find any confirmation of this online so maybe someone can enlighten me).
Probably my most vivid memory of that day was the sensation of surrealism I felt on seeing that well-known greyhound track around the pitch.
The Bullies currently sit in 8th position in Scottish League 1, with a three point cushion (and a game in hand) from the relegation play-off spot so their campaign has been far from brilliant so far. Here are their recent league results so as to get a general idea of their current form. They’re in chronological order starting from early December going right through to last weekend’s defeat at Forfar;
Clyde 0:0 Forfar;
Montrose 4:0 Clyde;
Clyde 3:1 Airdrie;
Peterhead 2:0 Clyde;
Clyde 3:3 Stranraer;
Clyde 2:1 East Fife
Forfar 2:1 Clyde
On the basis of this info, there is enough here to suggest that they’re far stronger when playing at home. They did manage a 1-0 away win at Bonnyrigg Rose in the 4th round of the Cup (to appeal to the masses, this mega cup tie was billed as the Bonnie & Clyde Showdown) to set themselves up with this last 16 tie against us, however.
By far Clyde’s best-known player is 30 year-old striker David Goodwillie, who was once tipped for a glittering career when he shone for Dundee Utd and notched up three caps for Scotland. He then had spells with Blackburn Rovers, Blackpool (on loan) and Plymouth Argyle but was unable to recapture anything like the form he had previously shown at Tannadice.
So, where did it all go wrong?
He appears to have some serious flaw in his character as he has twice been done for violent assault resulting in him being given a suspended prison sentence and, on a separate occasion, a civil court found him and another footballer guilty of a rape charge. As it was a civil case based on the law of probability rather than specific forensic evidence, it took nearly 7 years to come through but he was finally given a 100k fine. He subsequently lost the appeal and in April last year declared himself bankrupt.
Despite all the turmoil, the Stirling born forward and team captain is enjoying a highly successful season at the moment, with an impressive tally of 17 league goals (22 in all competitions) notched up so far this season. He is by far their best player so Goodwillie watching will be the name of the game for our centre backs.
Another player I’m sure you’ll remember is 36 year-old ex-Hibs midfielder John Rankin. The veteran suffered serious slumps in form when at Hibs years ago and came in for a torrid time from the Edinburgh club’s fans, who used to refer to him as ‘rank rotten wankin’ Rankin’; a tad unfair perhaps, but I’m sure someone of his experience will be important to add stability to a team like Clyde in the middle of the park.
Grant and McStay will probably be lining up alongside him (that’s right, Peter’s son Ray and Paul’s son Chris), so that ought to add a bit of spice to the occasion. They’ll maybe even get quite a reception from our fans if selected.
The only defender of note on Clyde’s books is the curiously-named Martin McNiff. The 28 year-old centre back, who was born in Clydebank, racked up 10 goals last season – not bad for a defender!
Clyde’s manager is also quite well-known to us from his time at St Mirren in recent years. I believe Neil Lennon is a good friend of fellow Northern Irishman and namesake Danny (both are about the same age as well). I’m surprised to see Danny Lennon operating in the backwaters of third-tier Scottish football these days. I think his coaching talents merit a much more prestigious position than that.
We are all being frequently reminded these days of the horror show in our Scottish Cup third round tie against Clyde at Broadwood in which we were flattened and humiliated by a plucky home side in a 2-1 (going on 5-1) defeat.
That was the day when legendary ex-Man Utd and Ireland midfield dynamo Roy Keane made his debut for the Tic along with Chinese central defender Du Wei, who had an absolute nightmare of a game.
To remind everyone of what our performance was like on the day, Clyde had two good goals chalked off in the first half and Boruc saved a penaly. Magic Zurawski scored a late consolation goal but by then it mattered little.
The fact of the matter was that the scoreline flattered us, we really were that bad. This embarrassing show would rank alongside Gordon Strachan’s debut as Celtic manager when we played Artmedia in Bratislava as the wee ginger ninja’s worst two games in charge.
Few will remember the Clyde debacle better than one Neil Francis Lennon, who captained the Celtic side for the full 90 minutes. That awful memory will surely enter his thoughts as he prepares for Sunday’s game.
Easy trivia question: Who was the Clyde manager on that fateful day of 8th January 2006?
After a pretty spectacular second half performance against 3rd placed Motherwell at Fir Park the other night, I’d expect to see a bit of squad rotation but a strong side will take to the field nonetheless.
For whatever reason Scott Bain has been on the bench in our most recent league fixtures in preference to Craig Gordon. Is the big man injured? In any case, this cup tie will bring an opportunity to give some vitally important game time to our nº2 keeper, whoever he might be on the day, in order to keep him sharp.
I wouldn’t like to see the 3-5-2 formation this time round mainly because we are understrength in the centre of defence (big Jozo took a couple of sore ones the other night and should only be used sparingly anyway) and it’s just not worth the risk pitching in 3 centre backs for a game like this in case one or more picks up a knock or something worse.
I was a bit disappointed when I saw the provisional squad for the game as I’d liked to have seen more of our development players involved. I’d have slung in at least one (say, Daniel Church in the RB position instead of Moritz Bauer) with at least a couple more on the bench. It’s a bit of a shame really when you consider some of the great stuff that has been produced lately by youngsters such as wee Karamoko, Connel, Coffey, Oko-flex, Hjelde (the new Kris Ajer), McGrath and Burt.
I’ll tell you what, I was seriously considering Hendo for a midfield slot in this cup game as he was absolutely magnificent for the colts in that fine 3-1 away win against Huddersfield Town reserves but it turns out that he is cup-tied, having played for Ross County (while on loan) in the previous round. Had he not been cup-tied I’m not sure if he would have been eligible anyway as he was red-carded in an U-21 encounter against the huns (which ended in a 1-1 draw) in the Glasgow Cup last Tuesday.
Sunday’s encounter should present us with the chance to see an exciting and attacking line-up featuring both new signings, while providing valuable rest time to three or four key players and game time to those that most need it.
The schedule at the moment, expecially with Europe coming up, is strength-sapping so the likes of Calmac, Broonie, Jamesie and Eddy should be rested and not risked. This Clyde team will be a lot weaker than the one we faced fourteen years ago and also a fair bit weaker than the Thistle (for the record, I’ve always prefered the Jags as a club to the Bully Wee) side we knocked out in January.
Even without our absolute strongest XI, we should be in for a few goals but it would obviously be a big mistake to be complacent.
It goes without saying that Lenny and the boys will take this one very seriously and will do everything in their power to avoid any slip-ups. I thoroughly expect Neil to go with a stronger XI than my own line-up (see below) against Clyde.
On a final note, weird shit does happen in cup competitions, a fact that was beautifully illustrated by the events of the last couple of nights in my neck of the woods in which Barça, R. Madrid and Valencia all dramatically crashed out at the quarter final stage of La Copa del Rey.
Athletico Madrid had already lost out in the previous round to minnow second division outfit Mirandés (from northern Castilla y Leon, near to Burgos), a team which added Villa Real to their collection of scalps after overcoming them in the quarters.
I hope the storm doesn’t spoil the fun and that the game goes ahead, mainly because the last thing we need is a fixture pile-up at this moment in time.
Bauer Jullien Welsh Taylor
Rogic Soro Christie
Klimala Griffiths Elyounoussi
Subs: Forster, Ajer, Bolingoli, Ntcham, Forrest, Arzani, Bayo
Prediction: Clyde 0 Celtic 5 (Rogic, Christie, Griffiths (2), Elyounoussi)
And, lest we forget…………………….