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1997-05-10: Celtic 3-0 Dundee Utd, Premier Division
| Match Pictures | Matches: 1996 - 1997 | 1996-1997 Pictures|
- The club announced it’s intention to adopt a continental model and appoint a General Manager, a Head Coach and a Youth Development Manager for the next season. The only position to be taken was the last which was offered to Willie McStay.
- Speculation had already started on the next Head Coach; Terry Venables, John Toshack, Johan Cruyff, Bobby Robson and Craig Brown had all been mentioned and it looked likely that Celtic would look for a non-Scottish Head Coach.
- Celtic failed to secure an extra £500,000 on Pierre Van Hooijdonk’s transfer when Nottingham Forest were relegated. However there was speculation that Brian O’Neil, who had been on loan to Nottingham Forest would secure a permanent deal there.
- Cadete again threatened to quit and was again reminded by McCann that he was under contract.
ReviewLast game of the season and and bags of turmoil still to come. Cadete made a big show of badge and turf kissing when he was substituted. There were loads of players out of contract and a management team to be appointed. It looked like it would be an interesting start at least to the next season.
Marshall; Boyd, McKinlay, Kelly , MacKay, Grant (Gray ,69 ), Donnelly, Hannah, Johnson, Thom (McLaughlin,14 ), Cadete (Hay ,82)
Scorers: Cadete (11), Hay (85), Johnson (88)
Dykstra, McInally, McKimmie, Pressley, Perry, Sinclair (Duffy ,46 ), Walker (Black ,77 ), McKinnon, Winters, Dolan, McLaren (McSwegan ,46)
Referee: R Tait (East Kilbride)
- Match Report (see below)
Celtic capitalise on class to bid sorry season a stylish farewell Scotland on Sunday 11/05/1997
Celtic 3 Dundee United 0
CELTIC will hope that this is the end of the beginning. For Dundee United, whose season has been for the most part explosive, it finished with a whimper. They provided no real competition, should have been beaten by more than three goals and evidently had thoughts on foreign climes. But if they are to travel in Europe next year they will need an altogether more robust and acute approach.
Celtic showed no sign of the emotional backlash, they passed superbly and took their goals well. Deja vu. They've often looked good when it doesn't matter. Next season will surely be as much about what happens off the field - in particular in two boardrooms on opposite sides of the river - as on. The competing corporate battle and the two personalities at the head of Celtic and Rangers will be crucial to the football and the number that one dares not speak at Parkhead - ten.
In the first half Celtic enjoyed so much superiority and territorial domination that they should have inflicted irreparable damage, rather than wounding with just the one superbly constructed and executed goal. At first the assumption might have been that Tommy McLean was indulging in tactical preparation for away legs in Europe, an idea given currency because there was nothing at stake here and it would have been an excellent dress rehearsal. It is also 10 years this week since the club's last European adventure came to an end in the UEFA final in Gothenburg. Ten was the leitmotiv for this one.
But after Jorge Cadete's inevitable opener, United continued to be run, if not quite ragged, then decidedly dishevelled. The manager plays them with three at the front, at least when they have the ball, and when they haven't two wide players track back in an effort to choke the wing channels. The problem was that Celtic were erupting from everywhere and consequently United had 10 men behind the ball for long periods.
Cadete intimated his intent in the first minute, heading over, and five minutes later, again with a header, he narrowly missed when Steven Pressley oddly decided to leave a through pass to his goalkeeper.
Celtic were knocking the ball about like in a practice match for most of the game. The Cadete goal was characteristically exquisite. The team repeatedly pushed the ball around in front of the massed tangerine phalanx, Simon Donnelly found Andreas Thom whose perfectly weighted and positioned pass bisected the opposing last line, Cadete romped into the opening and as Sieb Dykstra went down at his feet he calmly chipped him.
Thom went off in the 15th minute with a leg strain, to be replaced by Brian McLaughlin. The little chap is the kind of player who might be Paolo di Canio if he came equipped with a compass but, playing in a restrained role in the middle, he showed a new sense of awareness and hit several fine passes.
It was, however, to be relatively short-lived when, after a superb move midway through the second half, which saw Tom Boyd dig a gorgeous pass into the path of Donnelly whose cutback cannoned off a defender, McLaughlin leaned back and directly the ball wildly over the empty net.
United then seemed imbued with a little more sense of urgency and might have equalised through first Neil Duffy, a halftime substitute, and then Mark Perry, but Gordon Marshall saved competently on both occasions. The palpating pattern of Celtic domination was re-established with the final brutal touch in absence almost till the end.
Stuart Gray had come on after the biggest cheer of the afternoon greeted the going of Cadete, who theatrically kissed the Parkhead turf then gave a hugged farewell to Billy Stark.
With almost his first touch he sent a looping hook over a badly position Dykstra and the keeper was also at fault when a McLaughlin cross went over his head and gave Tommy Johnson an easy header to wrap up the scoring and the season
- Manager Interview
"Obviously I won't be here next season but I'm doing everything in my power to make sure Rangers don't go beyond nine-in-a-row.
”The players are obviously disappointed about not winning the title but over the past few days I've been trying to lift them.
"I've told them once they come back from their summer holidays they'll be fresh and full of optimism about the season ahead.
"I'm sure they'll be fighting for every trophy that's available to them. It would be nice to see them win them all and hopefully it won't be long before they win the league."
"When we beat Rangers in the cup about seven weeks ago things looked good and we had a chance of the double.
"But then we lost to them in the league match shortly after that and many thought their world had caved in - and I suppose for some of us it has.
"However, we were very, very near to stopping Rangers - a lot closer than some would have you believe.
"Injuries and suspensions cost us dear throughout the season and that was a factor, not an excuse, for us not being able to get the success we wanted.
"But for some people to claim we lost to Rangers because we were outplayed tactically is very naive.
"It was individual errors that cost us against them and not even the best coach could legislate for that
"However, I'd like to officially congratulate Rangers and Walter Smith on winning the league because we know how difficult it is to do.
"To do nine-in-a-row is a great achievement but we added to that achievement by pushing them so closely."
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