PO Box 306, Glasgow, G21 2AE, Scotland
so farewell then...
The ying and yang of football continues; one left sided-player comes in so another leaves. No harm to him, but it's safe to say that there were will be considerably fewer fans - if any at all - concerned about the decision to let Steve Guppy go compared with those who have gone postal at Liam Miller's impending departure.
Indeed most of us were probably wondering why the Gupmeister was still hanging around Celtic Park. It certainly can't have been much fun for him in recent months, at the age of 35 having to bust his buns in the under-21 team.
Like Neil Lennon, Guppy was another of O'Neill's favourites from Filbert Street, signed in the summer of 2001 on the same day as Sylla and Hartson to cover for the permanently injured Petta. It's probably safe to say that he wasn't exactly overburdened with the weight of expectation generated by a fanatical support since hardly anybody could have told you what he looked like before he was paraded at his press conference, far less what he had done in the game.
Nonetheless, here at NTV Mansions we wondered whether or not Guppy could cope with life in the Old Firm goldfish bowl, if he would turn out to be another big fish in a small pond or if he could ever be as good a player as Harry Haddock.
Guppy was never fast or terrifically tricky and didn't really have an eye for goal. He is, however, a wide player who can hang on to the ball and is capable of delivering a fantastic cross.
He was mainly used during season 2001-2, coming off the bench to make his debut in the away leg of the Champions League qualifier against Ajax in the Arena, and was a typical O'Neill model of consistency. He never reached the highs or lows that Petta did, he just played a steady game. In fact it's difficult to single out a game where he was outstanding nor one where he had an outright Reggie Blinker.
Last season he was used more sparingly, especially as Thompson's game started to blossom, although he was the preferred starter for the left hand side when we visited Ewood Park. He also filled in for Thompson at home to Liverpool when the Geordie was suspended.
By the start of this season he had outlived his usefulness. His return to Filbert Street eases the wage bill and at the same time has no real impact on the first team since Guppy hasn't even managed a spot on the bench this season.
He leaves with a league winners badge. We wish him all the best.
Steve Guppy's Celtic Career