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9 IN A ROW; CELTIC 66-74 v RANGERS 89-97.

Craig Brown is forever playing mind games against some of Europe's sharpest tacticians but the Scottish manager almost met his match yesterday.

His task was to study the Celtic and Rangers teams who achieved nine- in-a-row and select a winner.

Brown was taxed to his limits but he tackled the assignment with all the honesty and attention to fine detail which he uses to great effect for Scotland.

When asked to sit in judgement over two tremendous feats he said: "I can't praise the achievements of Celtic and Rangers too highly.

"Only experts in their fields could have done what Jock Stein and Walter Smith have managed. Both had to dismantle and rebuild carefully and wisely as they went along.

STEIN 10

HE had the ability to read games and players. He had a sixth sense for knowing what people were thinking.

His achievement in winning the European Cup was truly remarkable. There is not much more to say about the man that hasn't already been said many times before.

SMITH 9.5

COMMANDS great respect from everyone and I can't praise what he has just done highly enough.

He works in a wider footballing world than Stein and I'd say it is harder now to win the European Cup but when Walter collects that particular trophy he will be on a par.

GORAM 10

ANDY must have been worth 15 points a season to Rangers in recent years.

Brave and technically the best, he starts moves from his own box and I reckon he's immaculate.

SIMPS0N 9

RONNIE commanded his area and was a great talker.

He had safe hands and was a terrific long-kicker of the ball. Although he was small he came for crosses happily and took them.

McGRAIN 8

OUTSTANDING. Danny never found himself in trouble and was always comfortable.

I never saw a winger give him a going over and he linked up well with his forwards. He also had a good delivery.

STEVENS 7

FASTER and stronger than McGrain but Stevens was not as good with his distribution.

He was more direct but his touch and control was slightly poorer.

GOUGH 8.5

ATHLETIC player and extremely fit. He is excellent in the air and a good example to others.

I always thought he would have made a tremendous fullback - for me it was his true position.

McNEILL 9

BILLY was a totally commanding figure on the park. Excellent in the air and on the deck.

He was a highly intelligent player and as a man of real stature he was aptly named Caesar.

CLARK 9

CONSUMATE sweeper who read a game brilliantly. John was a good talker and had good distribution.

He played on either side of McNeill and did an excellent job.

BUTCHER 9

IN an old, flat back four Butcher would play on the left side and was excellent.

He was not the quickest but his reading of the game was so sharp that his lack of pace was rarely exposed.

ROBERTSON 7

SLIGHTLY faster than Gemmell and David also has a better left foot.

He also has a tremendously long throw which can be another weapon at times. He gets up and down the pitch well.

GEMMELL 8

TOMMY was overlapping before it was invented.

Right footed, he could put the ball in with his left and although he defended very well, too, his attacking powers were immense.

McCALL 8

A WONDERFUL tackler. Stuart is a different type of player from Bertie and is a terrific team player.

He reads a game well and is a right good type to have in your team.

AULD 8

WHAT an artist. A great passer of the ball and someone Celtic could play through.

Bertie was very wily. In fact, he was the old fox of the side.

MURDOCH 8.5

BRILLIANT passer of the ball - the best long passer of his generation.

Bobby also had great control and a powerful shot. He linked well with Jimmy Johnstone and his brain was sharp but wasn't quick.

GASCOIGNE 9

A GIFTED playmaker. Paul has terrific ability, an exceptional talent.

He scores goals with true cunning while Murdoch needed to get his goals through a powerful shot.

STEVEN 9

SIMILAR to Hay, although not as strong.

Trevor has faster feet and was better at quick, inter-passing play. However, he doesn't defend as well as Hay did but scored some vital goals.

HAY 9

VERY under-rated player. Davie was a great team player who had great energy and could pass the ball.

He was a tremendous all-round player who was technically excellent.

JOHNSTONE 9

MOST elusive player I've played against. Jimmy could beat you on both sides.

He was very tricky and an extremely exciting player who was loved by the fans.

LAUDRUP 9.5

HAS pace and control similar to Jimmy's but in goals scored and final deliveries Brian is marginally better.

He is also playing against more difficult systems. Jimmy just had the full-back to beat but it's harder for Brian.

McCOIST 9

HE'S ahead in the art of finishing. Ally is also deceptively good in build- up play and a brilliant team member.

Kenny was a master of dour one-liners but Ally has infectious enthusiasm and humour.

DALGLISH 10

IN my opinion Kenny is the best Scottish player of all-time. He could do absolutely everything.

An artist who proved himself on both sides of the border and also in Europe.

LENNOX 9

TERRIFIC pace. There was great enthusiasm in Bobby's game and his linking play was wonderful.

He timed his crosses to perfection and worked his backside off.

HATELEY 8

A TREMENDOUS finisher and great in the air.

However, Mark is not as good an all-rounder as Bobby was. Hateley, though, was a specialist front player.

CELTIC RECORDS

Season 1965-66

P W D L F A Pts

34 27 3 4 106 30 57 Top Scorer: McBride 31.

Scottish Cup: FINAL (0-1 replay defeat v Rangers).

League Cup: WINNERS (2-1 v Rangers).

Cup-Winners' Cup: SEMIS (1-2 defeat v Liverpool).

Season 1966-67

P W D L F A Pts

34 26 6 2 111 33 58 Top scorer: Chalmers 23.

Scottish Cup: WINNERS (2-0 v Aberdeen).

League Cup: WINNERS (1-0 v Rangers).

European Cup: WINNERS (2-1 v Inter Milan).

Season 1967-68

P W D L F A Pts

34 30 3 1 106 24 63 Top scorer: Lennox 32.

Scottish Cup: 1st Round (0-2 defeat v Dunfermline).

League Cup: WINNERS (5-3 v Dundee).

European Cup: 1st Round (2-3 defeat v Dynamo Kiev).

Season 1968-69

P W D L F A Pts

34 23 8 3 89 32 54 Top scorer: Wallace 18.

Scottish Cup: WINNERS (4-0 v Rangers).

League Cup: WINNERS (6-2 v Hibs).

European Cup: 3rd Round (0-1 defeat v AC Milan).

Season 1969-70

P W D L F A Pts

34 27 3 4 96 33 57 Top scorer: Wallace 16.

Scottish Cup: FINAL (1-3 defeat v Aberdeen).

League Cup: WINNERS (1-0 v St Johnstone).

European Cup: FINAL (1-2 defeat v Feyenoord).

Season 1970-71

P W D L F A Pts

34 25 6 3 89 23 56 Top scorer: Hood 22.

Scottish Cup: WINNERS (2-1 replay v Rangers).

League Cup: FINAL (0-1 defeat v Rangers).

European Cup: QUARTERS (1-3 v Ajax).

Season 1971-72

P W D L F A Pts

34 28 4 2 96 28 60 Top scorer: D Deans 19.

Scottish Cup: WINNERS (6-1 v Hibs).

League Cup: FINAL (1-4 defeat v Partick Thistle).

European Cup: SEMIS (0-0 AET, lost on penalties v Inter Milan).

Season 1972-73

P W D L F A Pts

34 26 5 3 93 28 57 Top scorer: Deans 21.

Scottish Cup: FINAL (2-3 defeat v Rangers).

League Cup: FINAL (1-2 defeat v Hibs).

European Cup: 2nd Round (2-4 defeat v Upjest Dosza).

Season 1973-74

P W D L F A Pts

34 23 7 4 82 27 53 Top scorer: Deans 24.

Scottish Cup: WINNERS (3-0 v Dundee United).

League Cup: FINAL (0-1 defeat v Dundee).

European Cup: SEMIS (0-2 defeat v Atletico Madrid).

RANGERS RECORDS

Season 1988-89

P W D L F A Pts

36 26 4 6 62 26 56

Top Scorer: Drinkell 12.

Scottish Cup: FINAL (0-1 defeat v Celtic).

League Cup: WINNERS (3-2 v Aberdeen).

UEFA Cup: 2nd Round (1-3 defeat v Cologne).

Season 1989-90

P W D L F A Pts

36 20 11 54 81 9 51 Top Scorer: Johnston 15.

Scottish Cup: 4th Round (0-1 defeat v Celtic).

League Cup: FINAL (1-2 defeat v Aberdeen).

European Cup: 1st Round (1-3 defeat v Bayern Munich).

Season 1990-91

P W D L F A Pts

36 24 7 5 62 23 55 Top Scorer: Walters 15.

Scottish Cup: QUARTERS (0-2 defeat v Celtic).

League Cup: WINNERS (2-1 v Celtic).

European Cup: 2nd Round (1-4 v Red Star Belgrade).

Season 1991-92

P W D L F A Pts

44 33 6 5 101 31 72 Top Scorer: McCoist 34.

Scottish Cup: WINNERS (2-1 v Airdrie).

League Cup: SEMIS (0-1 v Hibs).

European Cup: 1st Round (2-2 away goals defeat v Sparta Prague).

Season 1992-93

P W D L F A Pts

44 33 7 4 97 35 73

Top Scorer: McCoist 34.

Top Scorer: WINNERS (2-1 v Aberdeen).

League Cup: WINNERS (2-1 v Aberdeen).

European Cup: Eliminated group stages of Champions

League.

Season 1993-94

P W D L F A Pts

44 22 14 8 74 41 58 Top scorer: Hateley 22.

Scottish Cup: FINAL (0-1 defeat v Dundee United).

League Cup: WINNERS (2-1 v Hibs).

European Cup: 1st Round (4-4 away goals defeat v Levski Sofia).

Season 1994-95

P W D L F A Pts

36 20 9 7 60 35 69 Top scorer: Hateley 13.

Scottish Cup: 4th Round (2-4 defeat v Hearts).

League Cup: 3rd Round (1-2 defeat v Falkirk).

European Cup: 1st Round (0-3 defeat v AEK Athens).

Season 1995-96

P W D L F A Pts

36 27 6 3 85 25 87

Top scorer: Durie 17.

Scottish Cup: WINNERS (5-1 v Hearts).

League Cup: SEMIS (1-2 defeat v Aberdeen).

European Cup: Eliminated group stages of Champions League.

Season 1996-97

P W D L F A Pts

33 24 5 4 83 28 77*

Scottish Cup: QUARTERS (0-2 defeat v Celtic).

League Cup: WINNERS (4-3 Hearts).

European Cup: Eliminated group stages of Champions League.

(*table up May 4)
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Brown, Craig
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 8, 1997
Words:1724
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