Gillespie – Du Wei – Scheidt
Slater – Juninho – Berkovic – Blinker
Biggins – Bangura – Cascarino
Everyone loves a best of. Jesus, Channel 4 is forever showing the Top 20 ‘somethings’ on TV. I believe the schedule for the next 3 months includes the Top 20 Farts on All Creatures Great & Small, Top 20 Girls With Moustaches and the utterly ridiculous Top 20 Moments From Noel’s House Party. They should do a worst of…
And this got me thinking… We always debate who the best players we’ve seen in a Celtic shirt were. However, I’ve heard some horror stories about some of the crap we’ve had and Jock’s proclamation that the shirt doesn’t shrink to fit inferior players has been proven wrong on a fair few occasions. But half the players mentioned didn’t play in my era, so what about the worst Celtic XI of my lifetime? Well, here goes.
Firstly, the criteria doesn’t just align to actual ability, it is also includes a “disappointment factor” which is completely of my deigning. This means I can include anyone I like just because I can. So, if I decided that Henrik should have scored 65 goals per season he therefore makes my worst XI. Now, before I have to board-up the windows in my house, he doesn’t.
I have gone for a 3-4-3 formation as it absolutely suits the players I want to include down to the ground. My era starts in the late-80s. I know, I look much older.
In goals I shoot for the calamity that was Magnus Hedman. The Swedish ‘stopper’ arrived with a sizeable reputation and the kind of burd that would need a crowbar to get you off. Alas, after a successful spell in England with Coventry the eccentric chap fell out with said burd and ended up turning in the kind of performances, especially in the ECL, that would have Celtic fans praying for Rab Douglas to be brought back. He was that bad.
In my back three we have Gary Gillespie. The cultured centre-half arrived from Liverpool with a swathe of Scotland caps and reputation for being a ball-playing defender in the George Connolly mould. He left Parkhead on stretcher after injuring a toe-nail whilst changing his socks.
Beside Gillespie Du Wei gets a place. The hapless Chinaman is proof positive that Peter Lawwell does have an Asian shirt seller quota to fill at Celtic. And, of course, no Celtic worst XI would be complete without the epitome of an awful buy, Brazilian, ahem, internationalist Rafael Scheidt. Scheidt by name, shite by nature. The cumbersome looking dude made his debut against Dundee and was swiftly hooked at half-time. His next few appearances would be at a clinic for DNA tests. Meantime, if Fergus McCann had still been at Celtic at the time of Scheidt’s signing I am pretty certain the wee man would have sued Ronaldo (the fat one) for his description of Scheidt as a ‘future captain of Brazil’. This testimonial was a key factor in Rafael getting past the visa authorities.
The four-man midfield has on the left Regi Blinker. Now, some will criticize this selection but this wastrel annoyed the arse off me. First of all, we swapped Paulo di Canio for him (plus some cash for the biscuit tin admittedly). More galling was the fact he had ability. I remember a particular game at Ibrox, cup semi-final against Dundee United (I think, I was drunk…) where he ran the show. Then came one of his prolonged bouts of ‘cold’. Rumours that his cold was generally brought on by white powder – not snow – have never been founded.
On the other wing is the £1.75m signing Stuart Slater. Dear, oh dear. If I remember rightly he scored 1 goal in 4,171 games for Celtic. Against Motherwell? Arrived with fanfare left with a posse of fans saying no fair.
The middle includes a couple of star names. Juninho Paulista was a player who should have been able to pick teams apart in Scotland. He was a Brazilian world cup winner. Then again, Stephane Guivarch has a world cup winner’s medal. However, after a promising debut against Rangers in which he picked up MotM, Juninho was to be posted missing so often that Martin O’Neill eventually called in Chuck Norris and MIA5 was made to find him. A disappointment.
His midfield partner was a disappointment and a dick. Eyal Berkovic looked good until Henrik got injured against Lyon and we quickly realized it was Henrik who was making the Israeli look good. We had Lubo and wasted £5m+ on a wee arsehole who thought it was OK to make obscene gestures to Celtic fans after he scored as he wasn’t happy about the grief he was getting. Unforgivable and alongside Stan being played at right back these are my abiding memories of the Dalgish/Barnes Dream Team. Says it all.
BTW: I’ve left Tommy Gravesen out of the midfield as he is mad-mental and would track me down. Do not slag him in the comments.
Up front, well, Wayne Biggins has to be included. I don’t really remember much about the former Conference Window Cleaner. But when a player becomes a by-word for how bad we were between 1989-1996 then he must have been worse than Davie Moyes.
The only current player in the team is Mo Bangura. Mo has been sent back to Sweden with a banjo and a picture of a cow’s arse and has been told not to come back until he has hit it. Several times. After that he progresses to Barn Door practise. Oh, and if he is 23 I am 14.
And making up the front-three is Tony Cascarino. Hapless. Hopeless. The candid big Irishman (of a sorts) was a marquee signing in his day. The reality is the only endearing thing you can say about him is we somehow managed to swap him with Tom Boyd, which today would be like swapping Mo Bangura for Nemenja Vidic. Listen to our latest podcast for Hector Bandido’s description of Cascarino’s first Celtic goal. Sums it up really.
So, that’s my Worst XI. Would probably still win the league this year. Drop us a tweet @etimsnet or leave a comment below if you want to argue. I won’t reply anyway, but it might make you feel better.