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Posts Tagged ‘ Kenny Dalglish ’

40 Years Ago Today: Hibs 2 Celtic 1

programme(1)Today marks the 40th anniversary of Hibs’ League Cup victory against Celtic at Hampden Park, and the Irish News Review takes a trip down memory lane with club legend John Brownlie and author of several Hibs books Ted Brack.

Few outside Edinburgh gave Hibs any chance when they met Jock Stein’s Celtic on that cold December day in 1972.  Celtic had been European Cup winners in 1967, and reached the final three years later where they lost narrowly to Feyenoord after extra time.  They had won the Scottish League title seven time in a row, and many believed that their team which contained several of Stein’s ‘Quality Street Gang’ was even better that the Lisbon Lions. If that wasn’t enough, Celtic had hammered Hibs 6-1 in the Scottish Cup Final in May.

After that defeat, manager Eddie Turnbull defiantly told the press that Hibs would be back at Hampden in the near future and they would win. Certainly those supporters who watched Hibs regularly could see that Turnbull had built a tremendous team, and a sizeable number travelled to Glasgow with an air of confidence.

Amazingly, given the fact that Hibs had won three league titles in four seasons in the late 40s and early 50s, appeared in a European Cup semi-final and a Fairs Cup semi-final which they only lost after a play off, beaten giants of the game such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Sporting Lisbon and Naples, and won the Summer Cup and the Drybrough Cup, they had not won a major trophy for seventy years.

Over 70,000 turned up to watch and the first half was evenly matched, but Hibs totally dominated the second period, taking the lead in the 60th minute when Billy McNeil fouled Alan Gordon on the edge of the penalty box. Alex Edwards and Jimmy O’Rourke stood over the ball as Celtic lined up their defensive wall, and when the referee blew his whistle, Edwards flicked the ball over the wall into space. Hibs skipper Pat Stanton was first to react, smashing the ball into the net past the helpless Williams.

Six minutes later Edwards sent Stanton clear on the right wing before running into the box. As he did so, he pointed to where he wanted the cross to go. Stanton obliged and O’Rourke’s diving header flew into the net, sending the Hibs fans wild.

Hibs should have added a third when Alan Gordon had a shot cleared off the line by McNeil, as Hibs dominated possession, but no Celtic team under Jock Stein ever gave up, and sure enough the Hoops pulled one back with thirteen minutes left when Kenny Dalglish latched onto a through ball before slotting it past Jim Herriot.

Rather than defend their slim advantage, Hibs continued to attack and comfortably saw out the 90 minutes to collect the cup which they showed off on their open topped bus parade through Edinburgh that night.

Hibs right back that day was John Brownlie, and for those Hibs fans who never had the privilege to seeing him play his talent saw him capped for Scotland against Russia as a teenager. In those days it was virtually unheard of for one so young to play for their country, and only Dennis Law had worn the famous dark blue jersey at a younger age. If he were playing in this era, John Brownlie would be valued in the tens of millions of pounds, and arguments would rage as to whether he or Gareth Bale was the better player. His name is still revered at Easter Road and whenever an all-time best Hibs XI is chosen, there is never any debate as to who was the club’s best ever right back.

Unfortunately less than a month after the Hampden triumph, John suffered a broken leg against East Fife in the game following the famous 7-0 win over Hearts. At that time Hibs were top of the league and in the quarter final of the European Cup Winners Cup. Chairman Tom Hart predicted that Hibs would win both competitions, but everyone who was at Easter Road that cold January day realised immediately that without John Brownlie, the dream was as good as over.

John told The Irish News Review “I have a lot of good memories about that particular game. We were all keen to do a lot better than we had in the Scottish Cup Final earlier that year when we lost 6-1 to Celtic.  We all knew that we were better than that and we wanted to do ourselves justice.

“I actually scored the only goal against Rangers in the semi-final, and some of their fans still won’t speak to me because of that.

“I was lucky to play as I went over on my ankle on the Monday before the final, and struggled to get fit. ‘Ned’ (Eddie Turnbull) kept it quiet and on the day of the match I got an injection for the pain. I managed to get through the 90 minutes but it was sore later that night.

“Celtic had a really good team at the time with players like Kenny Dalglish, Davie Hay, Danny Mcgrain, George Connolly and Lou Macari. Ned had us all up for the game telling us it was time to prove the people who had written us off wrong.

“Normally when we played Celtic I was up against Bobby Lennox, but he didn’t play so Jock Stein moved Jimmy Johnstone onto the left wing. I don’t know of word of my ankle injury had got out, but in any case I played well and Johnstone was subbed in the second half.

“It was a great team performance, but it was only when I watched the highlights later that I realised how well Pat Stanton had played. He was immense that day and led from the front, scoring the first goal and setting Jimmy O’Rourke up for the second. Kenny Dalglish pulled one back for Celtic, but we were the better team and deserved to win.

“That was probably the highlight of my time with Hibs, winning a major national competition. I had just turned 20 in the March, and I played with some great players at Easter Road like Pat Stanton, John Blackley, Alex Cropley, Jimmy O’Rourke, Alan Gordon and Alex Edwards. In fact I didn’t realise how good they were until I moved to Newcastle later in my career.

“After the cup win, we beat Ayr United 8-1, then Aberdeen before beating Hearts seven nil at Tynecastle. The following week, we played East Fife at Easter Road and I suffered a broken leg. Alex Edwards got booked that day and received a long suspension, and the team fell away a bit after that.”

John Brownlie spent eight year at Easter Road, playing 211 times and scoring 14 goals. He moved to Newcastle United in 1978 and had spells at Middlesbrough, Hartlepool United, Berwick Rangers and Blyth Spartans. He won 7 caps for Scotland. After retiring, he managed Cowdenbeath, Meadowbank Thistle, East Stirlingshire and Arbroath.

Standing on the Hampden terraces that day was Ted Brack, lifelong Hibs fan and author of several Hibs books, including ‘There is a Bonny Fitba Team,’ ‘The Life and Times of Last Minute Reilly,’ ‘There’s only one Sauzee,’ ‘Pat Stanton’s Hibernian Dream Team’ and ‘The Game on New Year’s Day. Hearts 0 Hibs 7.’

Ted recalls the game vividly and told The Irish News Review “I approached the 1972 League Cup Final with a mixture of anticipation and apprehension.  Hibs had an outstanding team full of genuinely great players and we had beaten Celtic 5-3 in the Drybrough Cup Final four months earlier.  However, Jock Stein’s great team, which was among the very best in Europe at that time had beaten Hibs 6-1 in the Scottish Cup Final the previous May and would be thirsting for revenge after losing five goals to a domestic rival, a possibly unparalleled number of goals to be lost in one game during Stein’s tenure.  Hibs hadn’t won a major national cup competition for 70 years.

“In the event, I needn’t have worried.  Hibs were magnificent and dominated the majority of the game.  Pat Stanton played the game of his life.  He was a man on a mission after the Scottish Cup Final drubbing handed out by Celtic earlier in the year.  Pat knew Hibs were much better than that result suggested and he set out to prove a point.  He certainly succeeded as he scored Hibs first goal, created their second for Jimmy O’Rourke and hit the post as well.

“When Kenny Dalglish pulled a goal back for Celtic near the end, some Hibs teams would have panicked.  Not this one though.  As Alex Cropley told me when I was researching my latest book ‘The Game on New Year’s Day’, ‘We took the game back to Celtic.  We had pace and movement right through our team and that saw us through.  We were like a well-oiled machine that day.’

“As a Hibs supporter that match brought me great joy.  Celtic had players like Billy McNeill, Jimmy Johnstone and Kenny Dalglish in their ranks yet Hibs played them off the park and lifted a national trophy in the process.  It doesn’t get much better.”

This Hibs team that day was: Jim Heriot, John Brownlie, Erich Schaedler, Pat Stanton, Jim Black, John Blackley, Alex Edwards, Jimmy O’Rourke, Alan Gordon, Alex Cropley and Arthur Duncan. The substitute was Johnny Hamilton.

The Celtic team was: Evan Williams, Danny McGrain, Jim Brogan, Pat McCluskey, Billy McNeil, David Hay, Jimmy Johnstone, George Connolly, Kenny Dalglish, Harry Hood and Lou Macari. The substitute was Tommy Callaghan.

Attendance 71,696

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Top Ten January Transfers

What a month January was in the world of football. Few would have predicted half the moves that were made and certainly the quality of players available was better than before. Here Glenn Dowd analyses what he believed to be the top ten signings of the January transfer window.

1)Fernando Torres

Roman Abramovich`s decision to splash out E50 Million on Torres is a great investment, that signals Chelsea`s intent to maintain an end of season title run. One of two major signings that shook the world of football, Torres had been expected to stay at Liverpool where he was idolised by many. However after slapping in the transfer request, he got the move he craved.

2)Andy Carroll

Future England star is a ready made replacement at Liverpool for Torres. Carroll was destined to follow Alan Shearer as the new Toon messiah but jumped at the chance to leave Newcastle for Anfield. A fee of E35 Million raised many eyebrows, with the Geordie becoming the clubs record breaking signing.

3)Luis Suarez

The star of the 2010 World Cup has also linked up with Kenny Dalglish`s men. The Scot paid just over E22 Million to nab the Ajax striker. Certainly big things in store for the Uruguayan if he can get to grips with the Premier League immediately.

4)Edin Dzeko

City`s long pursuit of Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko paid off in January, with E27 Million sealing the deal for the Bosnian. Dzeko has already bagged his first goal for the club in the 1-1 FA Cup draw with Notts County and his goals will prove the catalyst should see maintain their title challenge.

5)Darren Bent

Few would have seen this coming. The thought off Darren Bent leaving Sunderland must have never crossed the mind of Mackem`s fans. But then it happened almost immediately and the once favoured hero of Wearside became the Villain, linking up with Gerard Houliier at Aston Villa with a price tag of E18 Million around his neck.

6)David Luiz

Chelsea`s relentless pursuit of Benfica Defender David Luiz eventually paid off at the eleventh hour on deadline day. E21 Million and Nemanja Matic were enough to ensure the Portuguese international would move to Stamford Bridge.

7) Stephen Pienaar

Definitely the bargain of the transfer window. With Stephen Pienaar`s contract coming to an end in the summer, Everton decided to cash in on their star player, after realising he would not renew his deal. The South African turned down Chelsea in favour of a move to Spurs,providing  a E3 Million bargain for Harry Redknapp.

8)Robbie Keane

The Irish striker has moved to West Ham on loan until the end of the season. He may well be the man to keep the Hammers up. Avram Grant has added some good signings in this window with Wayne Bridge,Demba Ba and Gary O`Neill all moving to Upton Park. Should the Hammers survive, Keane will sign a permanent contract.

9)Roque Santa Cruz

The Paraguayan has returned to Ewood Park, his first home in English football. After an unsuccessful spell at Man City, Santa Cruz welcomed a move back to Blackburn. The stiker has intially arrived on loan but if he can find his form again he will be an astute signing.  

10) Sulley Muntari

Few would have predicted somebody who won the Champions League last year to arrive at Sunderland, but thats what has happened. Sulley Muntari, the Ghanaian international, has arrived on loan at Steve Bruce`s side from Inter Milan. A valuable addition to any squad.

Suarez Agrees Reds Switch

Ajax have confirmed that a E26.5 Million fee has been agreed with Liverpool for the transfer of Luis Suarez.

The Reds have acted swiftly after the manager of the Eredivisie outfit, Frank de Boer, suggested that he wanted any potential deal for the 24-year-old to be concluded by Saturday at the latest.

The Uruguayan striker, who rose to prominence during the 2010 World Cup, heads to Anfield as the first signing of Kenny Dalglish`s second tenure.

While Rreds fans are ecstatic at signing the hitman, many are worried that Spanish striker Fernando Torres may be on his way out of the club. Liverpool revealed on Friday that a bid of around E30 Million had been turned down from reigning Premier League champions Chelsea.

However, Torres stated that he wishes to leave Anfield and has pleaded with the club to let him go to Stamford Bridge. The news has sent shockwaves across Merseyside, as many believed Dalglish would be the man to secure the Spaniard`s future.

Suarez, meanwhile is determined to make the most of his switch to Anfield, irregardless of whether the former Athletico Madrid striker stays or not.  Speaking of his move, the Uruguayan was glowing at the opportunity that lies ahead. “This is a beautiful chance for me to join one of the biggest club`s in Europe. The history of the club and the fans are second to none, I am determined to do my best for both”.

Four Draws On Derby Day as United Reclaim Top Spot

Ten Man Manchester United edged back to the top of the Premier League on goal difference after a pulsating goalless draw with Tottenham Hotspur.

Both sides had their chances to win the match but the main talking point at White Hart Lane came when United defender Rafael was sent off for a second bookable offence, although many will argue he should have walked after the first. United remain unbeaten in the Premier League this season, despite their failure to sparkle at times.

Elsewhere , Kenny Dalglish earned his first point as Liverpool manager as the Reds drew 2-2 with arch rivals Everton in the Merseyside Derby. The Anfield side took the lead when Raul Meireles powered home to give them a half time lead. Everton burst back into life at the beginning of the second half with two quickfire goals from Sylvain Distin and Jermaine Beckford giving David Moyes` men the lead.

Everton seemed on course to beat their rivals for the second time this season until Tim Howard felled Maxi Rodriguez in the box. Dirk Kuyt made no mistake from the penalty spot and the match finished with honours even, leaving both sides hovering four points above the relegation zone .

James Collins second half equaliser ensured the spoils were shared in the second city derby at St Andrews. Birmingham City had taken the lead shortly after half time after Roger Johnson found the net. The result was enough to move the Villans out of the drop zone for the moment.

In the final match of the day, a 94 th minute equaliser from Asamoah Gyan ensured Sunderland took a point from the Tyne-Wear derby. Kevin Nolan`s strike looked as if it would give Newcastle United a second taste of derby success this season but it was not to be as the Ghana international crept in to break Geordie hearts with the final kick of the game.

Premier League Preview

This weekend`s fixture list throws up some exciting derby matches as the Premier League resumes following last week“s FA Cup third round matches.   

 

West Ham V Arsenal

 

With the backing of their tremendous fans, the Hammers may well pull off a result in what would appear to be Avram Grant`s last match in charge. However, Arsenal will be eager to avenge their recent results, with a 1-1 FA Cup Draw with Leeds and a 1-0 defeat to Ipswich in the League Cup semi final leaving Gunners fans aggrieved.

 

Verdict: Draw

 

Liverpool V Everton

 

This Merseyside derby always serves us a tense battle and Kenny Dalglish will be eager to get his first win as Liverpool manager over their arch enemies. He will have to do so without the services of the influential Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher. Dalglish will be hoping his side can improve on their disastrous midweek performance, where Blackpool came from a goal behind to beat the Anfield side for the second time this season.

Everton manager David Moyes will be hoping like Blackpool, that his side can do the double over Liverpool this season. However Everton may well struggle for goals as top scorer Tim Cahill is away on international duty with Australia. Expect the home side to edge this one with Fernando Torres putting his critics to shame.  

 

Verdict: Liverpool

 

Spurs V Man Utd

 

Man United travel to Spurs on Sunday for what should be an intriguing tie. United will find it tough against Harry Redknapp`s men and their unbeaten record in the Premier League this season faces a real threat.

 

Spurs will definitely frustrate the Red Devils, with a draw the most likely outcome.

 

Verdict: Draw

 

Chelsea V Blackburn

 

Chelsea host Blackburn Rovers at Stamford Bridge as they aim to put together a steady run of results following their desire form as of late. Roque Santa Cruz`s return to Lancashire will boost Steve Kean`s men and they will certainly be up for this match. However with their inconsistent form this season Rovers may just fall short.

 

Verdict: Chelsea   

 

Man City V Wolves

 

Roberto Mancini`s men will be aiming to crank up the pressure on Manchester United at the top of the table this weekend but they must not underestimate a Wolves side, who have beaten both Liverpool and Chelsea in recent weeks.

Mick McCarthy`s men will travel to Eastlands in a confident mood but the relegation candidates may well fall fowl to Edin Dzeko, with City`s new 27 million striker the catalyst for a title tilt.

 

Verdict: Man City   

 

Stoke V Bolton

 

Bolton travel to the Britannia Stadium this weekend hoping to maintain their push for  Europe. While the Trotters have produced some outstanding displays this term they may well come unstuck against Tony Pulis` men. A draw is the most likely result.

 

Verdict:Draw  

 

West Brom V Blackpool

 

Ian Holloway`s side will roll into the Midlands this weekend in confident mood after putting Liverpool to the sword in midweek. Blackpool have every reason to be confident ahead of this match as West Brom are on an alarming slide down the table after their early season exploits.

 

Verdict: Blackpool

 

Wigan V Fulham

 

Wigan will be eager to start putting more points on the board as they currently sit second bottom. A win over Mark Hughes` men may well move them out of the relegation zone but they must rely on results elsewhere. Fulham will provide stiff competition for the Latics as they are in a similar position. Should Roberto Martinez`s side win they will jump above the Cottagers but this match has draw written all over it.

 

Verdict:Draw

 

Sunderland V Newcastle United

 

Sunderland host their fierce rivals in the second Tyne Wear derby of the season, with manager Steve Bruce still smarting after the Geordies thrashed the Wearsiders earlier this season.

 

Sunderland may well fall short again with key players missing through injury and suspension. Newcastle are no different with Andy Carroll set to miss out yet they still possess the quality to to the double over their neighbours.

 

Verdict: Newcastle  

 

Birmingham City V Aston Villa

 

These two sides meet at St Andrews with only a point separating them. This season has proved to be a frustrating one for both sides as they languish in the bottom half of the table. For Birmingham, its been a case of lacking goals while for Villa it has just been one long slide under Gerard Houllier. Birmingham look set to appease their goal drought with the signing of Spurs striker Robbie Keane while Villa are in the market for some new players, with Jean Makoun of Lyon undergoing a medical at Villa Park.

The incentive is their for both sides but Alex McLeish`s men may prove too strong for Villa.

 

Verdict: Birmingham City

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