We’re bang in the middle of Old Firm season (three games down, four to go) so I’ve had a think about Celtic and Rangers teams made up of players who have played for the clubs during the time I’ve been watching football. That’s from the 1980’s onwards, so I’ve plenty to choose from.
The Rangers team will appear soon, but I’m starting with a Celtic team playing 3-5-2.
GK: Pat Bonner
An easy choice. At his peak, one of the best keepers in the world.
CB: Paul Elliott
Outstanding in a relatively poor side of the early 90’s. Elliott’s career was sadly cut short by injury.
CB: Johann Mjallby
Not the most cultured player to wear the hoops, but equally effective in midfield or at the back. Also chipped in with some important goals.
CB: Joos Valgaeren
The latter stages of his career at Celtic Park were hampered by injury but produced many fine performances in his first couple of seasons.
RM: Danny McGrain
Although he’s a wing-back for this team, McGrain was a more orthodox right-back and one of the last genuinely world-class players produced by Scotland.
CM: Paul Lambert
The captain of this side and an outstanding player once converted to a defensive midfield role. Played some of the best years of his career at Celtic.
CM: Paul McStay
With Lambert alongside him, this team would have little trouble in retaining possession. An exceptional passer of the ball, had to carry an awful team during the first half of the 90’s.
LM: Alan Thompson
The hardest decision of the lot, as it was difficult to leave out Tommy Burns. However, while Thompson was not the most gifted player in Martin O’Neill’s side, he made the most of what he had, providing numerous assists as well as goals in Old Firm and European games.
AM: Lubo Moravcik
The central midfield pairing would allow Lubo to go where he wants, when he wants. A pocket genius with every trick in the book, excellent with each foot, and able to score from any angle or distance.
STR: Henrik Larsson
Another tough decision…well no actually it wasn’t. Legend, talisman and 242 goals over seven years. Not much more needs to be said.
STR: Frank McAvennie
Despite having a reputation for enjoying the nightlife, McAvennie was one of the hardest working centre-forwards in the business, chasing down lost causes and giving his all. McAvennie’s application was matched by his striking prowess, making him an excellent striker, whose first spell at Celtic was far too short.