PO Box 306, Glasgow, G21 2AE, Scotland
who was who in 2003
Rab Douglas Popular as a person, less so as a goalkeeper. Yet, he had his moments and his best days may well be ahead of him.
Magnus Hedman More than fifty caps for the Swedish national team but we already have one massive goalkeeper who injures easily. Looks safe enough and has a bit of presence about him but made a truly horrendous blunder against Aberdeen at New year. We'll have to wait and see how characteristic that performance was.
David Marshall Under-18 goalie who appears to be on the fast-track. Made his Celtic debut in the Scottish Cup against St. Johnstone, much to the delight of his season ticket-holding parents in the North Stand.
Bobo Balde Improvement last season was considerable. He was less inclined to rash challenges and was often, especially in European ties, awesome. A genuine contender for Player of the Season.
Stephen Crainey Despite a cultured left foot and rich promise even the Ginger man feels he might have to move on. If the manager is not overly-impressed with his defensive capabilities then surely this could be worked on? Or maybe he could be utilised in a more advanced position?
John Kennedy Don't know if he'll make it or if he'll ever be given the chance but he has looked a strong defender when we've managed to catch a glimpse of him. OFM says we've got to start producing our own players. Why not start with Jimmy Delaney's (great?) grandson?
Ulrik Laursen Reasonable enough season without pulling up any trees and, in OFM's opinion (the only one that really matters ultimately) a better defender than Crainey. Apparently he prefers to play in central defence.
Johan Mjallby Not the greatest of times for the wild-haired Viking, what with prolonged injury on top of the post-World Cup blues. Showed as much commitment as ever but failed to read the game at times and could find his position as a starter in the first eleven increasingly under threat.
Joos Valgaeren If Joos didn't regress then he certainly stood still. Possibly he wasn't always 100% fit but always gave his best and he can't be criticised for that. OFM noticed him playing for Belgium in central defence during the Euro 2000 tournament but, curiously, has rarely played him there.
Stanislav Varga Surprise cheapo signing but with his 40 caps for Slovakia he could be worth a chance. He made just two appearances and looked steady enough. Now that he's signed a contract it would appear to limit further the chances of young Kennedy. Is this the way we want to go?
Didier Agathe Still capable of destructive menace but defenders are now primed for his bursts down the outside and frequently cover him in twos. Given the weakness of his left foot has he really made much progress in three years?
Paul Lambert Doubtful at one point if he would last the season but to his eternal credit he just got better and stronger game after game. A credit to the club.
Neil Lennon Still sellotaped the side pretty well, if perhaps not so effectively as in the past. No way was the crowd's booing during the Boavista game personal and he was wrong to think so. If anyone had passed the ball back in the last five minutes the way he did when we needed to press forward, I'd have booed them too.
Jackie McNamara Started in sprightlier mode than Lambert but ended up still a squad player. Always a useful man to have around.
Liam Miller Similar to fellow Cork man Colin Healy. There are signs that his high rating by Republic of Ireland coaches is beginning to be reflected at Celtic Park. Could provide an alternative to Lambert/ Lennon/ Petrov if given the opportunities.
Stilian Petrov His season ranged from impressive to anonymous, especially after the signing of his new contract. Has to be seen now as a senior figure given that he is also an international captain. Needs to impose himself weekly instead of sporadically.
Bobby Petta yesterday's man and no mistake. Injured after ten minutes in the game against FC Basel and never looked remotely like making a comeback. Looks as if he'll be off as soon as possible but offloading him - and thereby relieving the club's accountant of a serious wage bill - might be easier said than done in the present climate.
Jamie Smith Ludicrously became an international player after hardly browning his knees for Celtic. Enthusiastic and direct but four goals in 48 games is hardly good enough.
Momo Sylla Vied with Fernandez for the title of Mr. Disappointment 2003. The loosest of loose canons, he was completely unpredictable and never seemed suited to a rigid game plan. Give him his head Martin!
Allan Thompson One of the mighty Bobo's rivals for Player of the Year. Despite an early injury he came storming back and played a leading role in the European campaign. Another wholehearted player who became a main chance-maker for the strikers thanks to his crossing ability.
Ross Wallace made his debut as a sub in the League Cup. Along with Craig Beattie he was one of the stars of the Under-18 team. Very small, very skilful... did anybody mention Brian McLaughlin?
David Fernandez Definitely one of the major disappointments of the season. Showed skill in flashes but needed a run in the team to help him settle. Could certainly have done with going on a diet. Rumour has it he could soon be going back to Spain on loan.
Steve Guppy Came in early in the season to replace the injured Thompson and showed some nifty form but had already begun to flag by the time he in turn was injured. Still a peripheral player after two years and considering he's in his thirties would not appear to have much of a shelf life left.
John Hartson The Bhoyo's stirring performances in Europe and at home silenced the doubters. Totally unfazed by the big occasion and a genuine goalscorer.
Henrik Larsson Already a Celtic all-time great, he simply went on with powers undiminished. Once again the single most influential player at the club. He is on 200 goals and only five Celts have ever scored more than the Super Swede in the league.
Shaun Maloney Now here is a level-headed young fella. Rated by Lubo, rated by Henke and, seemingly, by Martin O'Neill, he is inching ever closer to a first-team spot. Quick feet, quick brain... Pity he isn't a few inches taller.
Chris Sutton As massively combative as ever, he slotted in to a variety of positions and capped that with some notable performances in Europe. He has obviously learned many of the nuances of the Scottish game (witness his outburst after the Kilmarnock match at the end of the season), or is he just paranoid like the rest of us?
Tom Boyd Wheeled on for a couple of appearances in the League Cup, His Celtic career finally came to an end when he retired at the end of last season. A credit to the game (see full tribute in NTV 111). 407 appearances for Celtic/ 2 goals
Javier Sanchez Broto Celtic and Javier just couldn't seem to get a contract sorted out and he found himself looking for a club for the start of the new season. Ironically many fans rated him the best 'keeper we had out of the three contenders. An excellent shot stopper, he overcame a calamitous debut against Hibs and went on to produce a few outstanding performances in the title run-in. 10 apps.
Johnny Gould Came out of mothballs early in the season but the lure of regular football (even under Craig Brown) saw him sign for Preston. Played his part during his time at Celtic Park. 155 apps.
Simon Lynch Claims he learned more in a few months at Preston than he did in all his time at Celtic. Aye right! Wouldn't be at all surprising if he returns, chastened, to Scotland in a few years. 5 apps/ 3 gls
Stephane Bonnes Who he? ed
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