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Season Review 1949-50
|Matches: 1949 - 1950 | 1949-1950 Pictures | League Table | Statistics|
Talented Individuals .... but not the team
Throughout the season 1949-1950 Celtic showed a good deal of potential and improvement and, but for a drop in form in the mid and latter half of the season, the team would have done better than in many of the preceding years. They saw the whole of the season through without a home defeat but won only three away games. As it was the team finished in 5th position in the League, their best since the end of the war with 35 points from 14 wins and 7 draws. Rangers won the League, closely followed by Hibernian (who had to a large extent replaced Celtic as the main challengers to Rangers for the League title) and then Hearts and East Fife.
All the signs pointed to an excessive amount of tinkering with the team and the positions the players took up. Only on two occasions through the whole of the season did Celtic field an unchanged team between two matches. Much of this 'tinkering' was down to the manipulations not from manager Jimmy McGrory but from board room level and principally from Robert Kelly. However 'tinkering' alone is not enough to account for what must have been seen as an under-performing side. The individual brilliance of Tully, the courage of Bobby Collins, the tackiling of Bobby Evans, the utility and goal scoring of John McPhail and newly arrived Mike Haughney were not enough to pull the individual players together as a team, and the performances showed talented individuals but lacked the 'do-or-die' spirit that came from direction, training, fitness and discipline. Although Jimmy Hogan had been training the team, it certainly appeared that the dilettantes knew more than the international trainer. Hogan would go on to leave the club despite entreaties from Robert Kelly to stay.
The players had the making of pulling together into a decent trophy winning side without ever managing to pull it all together consistently. Willie Miller, the bravest of brave goalkeepers played through 1949 but was dropped in favour of John Bonnar in 1950 and would go on to leave the club in August 1950. Likewise it looked as though the end might be coming for full backs Jimmy Mallan and Roy Milne who played far less often than in previous seasons and rarely together in the same team. Alec Boden started to stamp his authority at right back. Pat McAuley played far less than previously seen. The regular half back trio became Bobby Evans, John McGrory and Joe Baillie. Up front there appeared to be a degree of mix-'n'-match going on. The newly arrived (though only sa part-timer but successful goal scoring) Mike Haughney joined, Bobby Collins (pretty much ever present in his first season in the senior team), the blessed Tully, utility man and captain John McPhail plus Jock Weir, Bill Rennet, Willie Taylor, plus several others.
On paper, this team should have done more. And to add to that there were new arrivals coming through with talent and ability that were seen in the latter part of the season. Much was expected of these players but it remained to be seen if they could pull together as a team.
In the other competitions, Celtic again failed to qualify for the later stages of the League Cup. Drawing Rangers yet again, they managed to win convincingly at home and lose ignominiously away with some very dubious refereeing going on. They finished second in the group, ahead of Aberdeen and St Mirren but behind Rangers who qualified for the quarter finals.
In the Scottish Cup they went on to the third round losing out to a single goal against Aberdeen.
Celtic won the Glasgow Charity Cup in the 'Danny Kaye' Final played at Hampden in may, beating Rangers 3-2 in a hard fought game.
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