I wanted to bring your attention to this excellent interview with Celtic legend Sean Fallon. Not only was he Celtic’s captain in the 1950′s but he played in the famous Celtic 7 Rangers 1 and then worked as Jock Stein’s #2 as The Bhoys won the European Cup in 1967.

The interview was conducted by my good friend Scott Johnston for his excellent site TheFootyBlog.net



The 2011/12 seasons are kicking off all round Europe. The Premier League in England starts today and the leagues in Germany and Scotland are already underway. I called together the talents of some of the best writers around to give you a glimpse into their predictions for the season ahead.

Terry Duffelen is one half of the excellent “Bundesliga Show” podcast and the fantastic new website “Bundesliga Lounge” be sure to check it out. Here are Terry’s predictions for new Bundesliga season.

Who do you think is the favourite for the title in your respective league and why?

I’m placing my fiver on FC Bayern Munich for the title. Mainly because they rarely go two seasons without winning it but also because I think they have finally addressed their defensive problems with the recruitment of Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng and Rafinha to their ranks. I think Bayern could win the league by ten points or more.

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In episode 34 of the gibfootballshow podcast Andrew this week is joined by Scott Johnston and Mohamad Moallim.

This weeks topics include the Neil Lennon bomb situation in Scotland followed by a look at the SPL and this weekends Old Firm match up between Celtic and Rangers.

Mohamed runs us through the last three weeks left in the Eredivisie season. Also explains the situation in Ajax since Martin Jol left.

Mohamed then takes some questions from twitter, Andrew gives us an update on how Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France are shaping up and we wish Brent good luck in his bid to become host of World Football Daily.

iTunes and RSS feeds


gibfootballshow – Episode 34 – Neil Lennon, Celtic v Rangers and the Eredivisie by gibfootballshow


I’d like to welcome the Editor of World Football Columns – Martin Palazzotto to gibfootballshow, Martin is an outsider from a Scottish football point of view, no bias, no conspiracy just a fantastic writer. Here is his take on the Neil Lennon situation.

When I was a kid, like every other, I would go to my father whenever my mother said I couldn’t have something that I wanted.  If he said no too, well, that was what grandparents were for.  I think that’s where the legal appeals process originated.

Like my childhood self, Celtic manager Neil Lennon doesn’t enjoy taking no for an answer.  It’s been two months since the “Hassle at the ‘Castle” but Lennon has refused to give up the fight or his paranoid conspiracy theories regarding Scottish referees.

I mean, everyone has calls go against them but when you’re Celtic, part of the Old Firm, the most storied club in the land and there’s only one other team to worry about, Rangers, who are now chasing you rather than vice versa, thanks to the biggest snowfall the country has seen since Sean Connery first said “Hello Moneypenny” back in 1962, you have to believe you’re getting more than your share of the breaks.

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When you’re down at the bottom of the table, you need some degree of luck on your side when you come up against the better teams in league. However if you don’t work hard at the basics and give a team space to play you will be punished, and that is exactly what happened to Hibs on Saturday.

With the pressure on both sides as the teams emerged from the Easter Road tunnel there were a couple of interesting selection choices from either manager. The home side started with Derek Riordan and Merouane Zemmama upfront, a strange choice with neither known as an out and out striker; Calderwood will have hoped their movement could cause problems to the Celtic defence.

Neil Lennon welcomed back Gary Hooper to the Celtic frontline and partnered him with Anthony Stokes in attack, relief for the Irishman after his frustrating lone role against Hamilton on Wednesday. Scott Brown started in place of Joe Ledley in the middle of the park, hoping the Scot would add more bite to team.

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It is a pleasure to welcome talented writer Callum Tyler to gibfootballshow. Too often Glasgow is known as a two team town, as Callum describes that’s really not the case.

I’m sitting in the downstairs lounge of my local sports club. Having just finished watching Liverpool’s latest capitulation against Manchester United I dart over to the Sky box and discreetly change the channel to Leicester versus Manchester City (as a City fan this is what I’ve come to see).

Midway through the first half Partick Thistle manager Ian McCall wanders in with his young son. McCall is decked out in full red, yellow and black Thistle tracksuit gear having, I assume, just come from a training session. I’ve seen him around here a lot but I’ve never talked to him. He notices the City shirt I’m wearing and surprises me by starting up a conversation about City’s chances in the Premier League. We discuss football sporadically throughout the match. He’s clearly passionate about the game and knows his stuff.

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We’re not even one week into this year’s Asian Cup and use of the word “deflection” has tripled. This match was no different. The heavily fancied Koreans did enough to earn all three points off a disappointing Bahrain side.

In what was to be a overall poor performance from both sides it was Park Ji-Sung and the Koreans that started well. The Manchester United player was set up by Lee Chung-Yong but his shot failed to test Mahmood Mansoor. Apart from the early effort Park was not as influential as he would have liked.

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The second day’s action in the Asian Cup seemed to have a little more quality to it then the competition opener. Although the result could have been different it was the “Red Machine” that eventually triumphed.

From the start China’s #10 Deng Zhuoxiang stood out as a player with quality, spraying some excellent passes from his dangerous left foot, it would come back to punish the Kuwaitis in the second half.

Early on the underdogs Kuwait should have had a penalty. Quite fitting that five years ago China’s Captain Du Wei was making his debut for Celtic against Clyde in the Scottish Cup, and it was the very same player that without getting anywhere near the ball swiped Bader Al Mutwa’s legs from underneath him. A clear penalty but the referee gave nothing. If only Du Wei had the same luck that day at Broadwood Stadium.

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After yesterday’s preview it’s time to look at the player that hopefully will be dazzling us with their ability over the next four weeks. So here are ten players to watch out for, some of them I highly recommend, some of them I will be watching out for myself. Usually a bad sign when you get recommended on this site.

Ki Sung-Yueng – Korea Republic

When you mention the Korea Republic people automatically mention Park Ji-Sung of Manchester United and Park Chu-Young of Monaco however one of the most impressive players in Korea’s team is Celtic’s Ki Sung-Yueng. Only 21 years old and he has 21 caps for his country and four World Cup appearances.

After a tough first year at Celtic Park Ki returned from South Africa and was full of confidence, after a slow start he has made his way into the team and before leaving for Qatar he has become a first team regular. He has impressed the Parkhead faithful with his quality of passing, and calmness on the ball. He was named Young Player of the Month for October and it says a lot when Celtic fans now think they will miss him of the month of January.

Very impressive at the World Cup he was the lynchpin of most of Korea’s excellent passing football, also deadly from set-pieces he set up the first goal as Korea went on to brush aside Greece in their opening game. Growing in stature with every passing moment big things are expected from Ki.

Thomas Oar – Australia

A replacement in the Australia squad for Richard Garcia due to injury Thomas is a relevant unknown but has done enough in his young career to make a few people sit up and take notice.

Signing for FC Utrecht in March he has only made a handful of appearances, most memorably he came on with 20 minutes to go at Anfield in the Europa League tie against Liverpool, making a sudden impact he had commentators purring over his cameo.

It was the same when he started his career in Australia, after signing for the Brisbane Roar back in 2008 it only took him two games to open his account, playing against the Wellington Phoenix his 91st minute free-kick was the match winner.

Playing on the left wing, the references to “the next Harry Kewell” are made often. Thomas does possess a fantastic left foot but he can also use his right to devastating effect. It is no wonder Utrecht were quick to snap him up. One for the future for sure.

Ahmad Ayad – Iraq

Anyone known as the Iraqi Messi has to be worth a watch. A 19 year old winger from Baghdad currently playing his football for Persija Jakarta in Indonesia, with a very impressive record from his days in Iraq he is certainly one to watch. 35 goals in 84 games for Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya.

Not much else is known about Ahmad this tournament could be the ideal place for him to add to his 15 caps and make a statement to the watching world. He certainly is one to watch; at 17 he was named the Iraq Super League MVP by a fan vote.

Yuto Nagatomo – Japan

Nagamoto stood out during Japan’s run in the World Cup his constant runs down the left from his full back position were very impressive, naturally right footed he has the ability to cut inside and unleash some very dangerous shots.

Got his big move to Serie A after the tournament and has been playing for minnows A.C Cesena on loan from FC Tokyo. It has been a quick progression for the 24 year old. A member of the 2008 Olympic team he was then named in the J-League’s rookies of the year. Arsene Wenger then named him in his best XI of the World Cup.

His defensive abilities are not as good as his attacking side. Much more comfortable when going forward, this tournament will surely give him the chance to express that side even more.

Talal Al-Bloushi – Qatar

This one is a little bit of a long shot. After the World Cup was awarded to Qatar the world wanted to know more about this unknown quantity. One of the most common things people found was this video.

Ladies and Gentleman we present Talal Al-Bloushi of Qatari club Al-Sadd, with tens of thousands of people watching the video and laughing at this unknown player, surely he could now go on to have a fantastic tournament.

At only 24 he already has 64 caps for his country and four goals from midfield. He must have some ability to play so many times for someone so young, now is the time for Talal to come up with some new reasons for people to watch his videos on YouTube.

Hao Junmin – China

Probably best known so far in Europe for handing over the #7 jersey when Schalke signed Raul from Real Madrid. It could have been an awkward situation but Hao grew up a huge Raul fan so there was no issue.

His chances at Schalke have been limited so far this season, only three appearances to date. He will relish the chance to get on the field and show the World what he has to offer. Chinese Young player of the year in 2005 and 2007 Hao has obvious ability. Able to finish with both feet, good on the ball, obvious pace, he can also be a danger from set-pieces.

At the young age of 23 there is plenty of time to add to his 28 caps, and he will be eager to add to his national teams goal tally, only one of his six goals have come in a competitive match.

Sunil Chhetri – India

Sunil is a strange but very interesting player, after playing in numerous teams around India he had an unsuccessful trial at Coventry City this was sparked by a hat-trick for India in the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup.

With 40 caps and 19 goals for his country he is an experienced international player although he has still to do anything of note outside of India. He signed for the Kansas City Wizards in March of 2010, yet to play in the MLS his first appearance came against the Colorado Rapids in a cup match, he was removed at half-time and picked up a yellow card.

His next appearance came against Manchester United in a friendly, he came on with 20 minutes to go as Kansas went on to win although down to 10 men. Manager Peter Vermes was quoted as saying he was impressed with Sunil’s craft, technique and his attacking tendencies.

Now aged 26 this could be his big chance to impress his club and whoever else might be watching, with no pressure on India to perform it could be the ideal situation for Sunil to turn some heads.

Ehsan Hajsafi – Iran

The most promising player in Asian football, well that’s what the reports say, Ioan Andone the Romanian manager of his club side Sepahan has said that Ehsan could make it in any European league. This 20 year old left back has the world at his feet.

Able to play at left back or further up in the midfield, with a wonderful left foot he had 13 assists last season but can also pop up with a few goals, five in all competitions last year. But unlike Gareth Bale he can move the ball to his right foot and finish just as well.

He has recently been playing in the U-23 Asian Games, Iran knocked out by Japan in he Semi-Finals. Ehsan played in all seven of Iran’s games. Now is his time to impress with the full team, very few doubt his ability.

Louay Chanko – Syria

One of Syria’s most successful footballers Louay was born in Södertälje, Sweden and has spent his career moving round various Swedish teams. His most successful moments came when he lifted the Swedish title and cup double with Djurgarden in 2002, and he lifted the title again in 2004 with Malmo.

In 2009 he moved away from Sweden and signed for AaB Aalborg in Denmark, the move seems to be a success as he has scored three goals in 47 games, not bad for a midfielder.

Born in Sweden he played for the team of his birth in 2008 in a friendly against Costa Rica, then in the same year he decided to change allegiances and made his debut for Syria in a World Cup qualifier against Kuwait and has now appeared six more times.

Deadly from set-pieces with his right foot, although he is 31 he is only one of two Syrian players to play their football in Europe and with over 250 games under his belt his experience will be vital to the Syrian team.

One other thing to note is that Aalborg fans have a song for Chanko, singing “Ya Ya Ya LOLO CHANKO Ya Ya Yeah” to the sound of Mr President’s Coco Jambo.

Naif Hazazi – Saudi Arabia

Al-Ittihad’s number 9 is one of the hottest young strikers in Asian football right now, only 21 and in three years for his club he has scored over 40 goals, now a bad return for someone so young.

His great form has continued over to the international game his goals against Iran and the UAE impressed in their World Cup qualification run. 10 goals in 13 games for his club this season, eight of them in the last ten games would have impressed Portuguese manager Jose Peseiro and should be enough to give him a starting spot for the Saudi team.

The tournament kicks off this Friday as Qatar play Uzbekistan in Doha. Eurosport are covering the game, However it seems the games will be shown recorded.


To kick off the New Year in style, I thought it would be good while some of the bigger leagues in Europe are just returning from their winter break that a special Scottish Football podcast was in order.

I am joined by Grant Russell from STV Sport, Scott Johnston from TheFootyBlog.net and Tom Hall from The Scottish Football Blog as we discuss the goings on in the SPL, the Old Firm game, League reconstruction, Transfer news and a bit of good ol fashion banter.

To download the direct feed of the podcast you can click the image below

To subscribe to the podcast and all future episodes, why not click the link below and as if by magic it will appear in your iTunes library