Another Christmas has come and gone, the laughter of children, the warmth of family and the smiles from friends, all put away for another year.
Our children, now wall in their late teens just stayed in bed until it had gone dark and then moaned about any gifts that couldn’t be smoked, drank or slept with.
Me-well I had a day of watching tv and drinking responsibly. After sending out text messages wishing friends a “hoopy christmas” -clever, witty and original-and then deleting the replies which suggested I hadn’t been drinking responsibly at all, I settled down to watch Toy Story, where a cowboy tries to convince everyone he is a friend of a Ranger and not looking out for his own selfish gains. Somehow, the story seemed kind of tired. Though it did remind me of when my wife asked for a couple of toys called Woody and Buzz for christmas a few years ago, but I still don’t understand her disappointment at receiving the action figures.
Anyway, later on there was a reality show called Lord of the Rings where Celtics Greek striker Georgios Samaras (see feature pic) leads a band of ethnically diverse supporters across the wastelands while trying to escape the clutches of marauding Rangers fans-a particularly difficult breed who can now move in daylight-and you have to say it was quite exciting, and fair play to the special effects people, who seeing as its christmas made the Rangers fans look a lot less ugly than they are in real life.
Part two is on tonight, which is called The Two Towers, and concentrates on Celtics European campaign so far this season, as the bhoys try to make the final at the famous old stadium.
It was nice to get away from thinking about football for a day or two, and even nicer that all former rivalries are put to one side during this special time of year. In fact, new Rangers owner charles Green , a teetotaller, proved you don’t need a drink to talk shite with his christmas message
Seriously, its astonishing. Watch the video.
Anyhow, Celtic are playing in Dundee tonight, and Neil Lennon has warned against the dangers of playing a team with “nothing to lose”. Etims however, are warning travelling fans against anti-Weegie Tayside police and their random bus checks.
Lennon says, on the game;
“They have nothing to lose against us and there is no expectation level for them either., so their players, like most teams , will try and raise their game for us.
Its a very dangerous game and one we can’t take our eyes off. Its never easy and I’m not going to take the game lightly”
The players will be meeting in the Centenary bar just up from the ground at five thirty, and the gaffer has reminded everyone to bring a change of clothes as afterwards they’re heading out for a chinese.
Commons , Ledley, Stokes, Matthews and Lassad won’t feature, but Mikael Lustig and Miku might. Miku probably to say cheerio.
ESPN tonight, with the programme starting at a quarter to seven, in old money, or 18:45 if you live in the 21st century.
Transfer rumours still abound, and absolutely none of them seem to have any substance, as usual, and yet again we just wait to be surprised. All players will be considering their options for the next six months, but spare a thought for Hearts full back Ryan mcGowan, who has been fingered by Ally Mccoist (no, wait, theres more words in this sentence) as the next signing for his resurgent side. Mccoist, in that sleekit way of his, has allowed David Templeton, who joined rangers last summer, to make a public plea for McGowan to join the Ibrox side, even though he can’t play for them until at least next Septmenber.
We are fairly sure McCoist has put him up to it, because Templeton says”Ally Mccoist has not put me up to it.”
On Christmas Eve, we asked how many managers had sat in the hot seat at Celtic Park, and the answer is…..
okay, heres the full list.
1888 to 1897 saw a committee pick the team, and it wasn’t until 1897 that willie Maley took on the role. He stayed until 1940, an amazing achievement, when Jimmy McStay took the job through until 1945. Jimmy McGrory, the legendary forward took the job until 1965, when Jock Stein lifted the club to another level. However, due to an injury sustained in a car crash, Sean Fallon took uo the reins for the 75-76 season, with Stein returning until 1978, when he made way for billy mcNeill, who in 1983 made way for Davie Hay, who in 1987 made way for McNeill again.
The club then decided to change the style of management and appointed Liam Brady, who started in 1990, and lasted until 1992 when he was replaced firstly by Frank Connor, for three games, and then Lou Macari had until 1994 before Tommy Burns started the rebuilding process. He passed the reins to Billy Stark, who had the now customary three matches until Wim Jansen came in for twelve months and stopped the ten. Josef Venglos laid the foundations for a great team before John Barnes and Kenny Dalglish did their best to dig them up again, until the year 2000 saw Martin O’Neill become the new messiah. His five years were succeded by Gordon Strachan in 2005, who had a successful run until 2008, when we really got to know what failure was under Tony Mowbray, who left after constant blows to the chin had him staggering around unable to think clearly.
Then Neil Lennon got the job, and despite assaults, bullets, bombs and Mo Bangura, he is still there.
I make that 21.
Right, how many former managers are still managing in the game?