Aiden McGeady Celtic through and through.


At 24 years old, Aiden McGeady has decided to call time on his Celtic career. Celtic will recieve £9.5 million pounds for his services and the flying winger will ply his trade in the Russian capital of Moscow with Spartak in the coming season.

This has come as no surprise to most of the Celtic faithful and some feel that he has come as far as he can with the Bhoys.

Son of Sheffield Utd winger John McGeady, Aiden was spotted whilst playing for Scotland schools whilst at Queens Park. This was appropriate as he was destined to grace Hampden at a higher level in the coming years. As a very talented teenager, McGeady had a host of high profile sides watch him on a regular basis.

Celtic was his chosen destination however, despite overtures from Manchester United and Arsenal among others and with his Donegal family connections, this was almost expected.

McGeady came through the ranks of the youth and virtually by-passed the reserve team to make his first team debut as a 17-year-old the tail end of 2003/2004.

At the tender age of 17, Martin O’Neill pitched him into the heat of battle against Hearts at Tynecastle and instructed him to run riot against a traditionally troublesome side for the hoops.

McGeady took full advantage of this opportunity and combined a devastating display with a vicious half volley in the 17th minute which Craig Gordon could only admire as it flew past him into the net. The game ended up a 1-1 draw but McGeady was on his way to stardom with the team he grew up supporting and loved more than any other.

Celtic won the League (again) that season under O’Neill and Aiden McGeady was the name on everyone’s lips as the new khid on the block. The Champions League  beckoned and we had a new weapon to unleash upon unsuspecting European opponents. Life was rosy in Paradise.

AC Milan came out the hat in the Champions League and we all knew how tough that would be. McGeady however, decided to showcase his mercurial talents against the Italian giants and in a charged atmosphere at Celtic Park, he took Argentinian full back Coloccini apart and treated him with impudent contempt.

Apparently, after the game, Coloccini had to visit a chiropracter to re-align his head.

The masterful Alessandro Nesta suffered the same fate as he attempted to shepherd McGeady towards the corner flag. With a shimmy and a sleight of foot, the Celtic winger left the Italian looking like a stunned debutant as he veered away and brought the stadium to it’s feet.

Even the evergreen Paulo Maldini was suitably impressed and clapped the wee man in a way that brought back memories of another Celtic winger from the past, but wearing the iconic number 7. This was what they had paid to see and McGeady was in no mood to let them down.

San Siro grief

The ownership of a wing position at Celtic brings it’s own challenges and consistency is one of them. Aiden suffered derision from the stands whenever he had a bad game and it seems that all Celtic wingers will be compared to Jinky. This is unfortunate, as anyone who is old enough to remember will tell you, even Jinky had his off days.

Derision of another kind was in the offing at every away game for Aiden as he used his option to choose the Republic of Ireland over Scotland to play his international football.

The hatred generated by opposing fans was akin to the vile and unwarrented racism black players have suffered for generations. It was sickening and continues to this day. One country, many cultures? As long as it’s not Irish in Scotland.

McGeady was inspirational and exciting but lacked that killer finish which defines truly great players. He was often criticised for not tracking back and this brought groans from the crowd on a regular basis. It was, ironically, Gordon Strachan who helped change this and a new resolve brought a new dimension to McGeady’s game.

One game in particular highlighted Strachan’s influence on Aiden. Celtic V Rangers at Parkhead. Barry Ferguson robbed McGeady of the ball and sped off to set up a rare Rangers attack. Instead of waiting for the next Celtic player to intervene, McGeady chased Ferguson for 50 yards to reclaim the ball and pass to a hooped shirt.

McGeady’s emergence and maturity meant that Shaun Maloney’s departure to Aston Villa was barely noticed as McGeady displayed his electric skills on a more regular basis. He had a couple of excellent seasons, highlighted by victories over Manchester United and Copenhagen in the Champions League.

Celtic only just lost out to AC Milan in extra time of the knockout stages and Milan went on to claim yet another European crown. This was the first time in Celtic’s history that they had qualified beyond the group stages of the Champions League and another famous chapter was added to Celtic’s illustrious history. Heady heights indeed  and how the faithful lapped it up.

In season 2007/8, magical McGeady was immense. His outrageous 360 degree turn and cross for Skippy to nod into an unguarded Aberdeen net at Pittodrie will live long in the memory and Youtube may endure burnout with the constant requests to view this piece of footballing decadence.

He was also a thorn in the Rangers side at Parkhead as he teased and tormented the blue backline throughout. His trickery set up Scott McDonald (again) for the second goal in a thrilling 3-2 victory over our ancient rivals.

That year, McGeady became only the second player ever to win both the SPFA and Young Player Of The Year in the same season, (after Shaun Maloney two years previously).

This was a fitting reward as he was instrumental in Celtic winning 3 Championships in a row, with Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink sealing the title in typical Celtic style on the last day at Tannadice. The Celts also made it 2-in-a-row in the CL as we went beyond the group stages for the second consecutive year. Happy days!

A loss of form by Celtic in general the following season, gifted the title to a limited Rangers side who must have thought that God was indeed a bluenose. There was a lot of bickering in the camp, culminating in a dreadful stand-up dressing room row between Strachan and McGeady.

It is alleged that Aiden questioned Gordon’s parentage and vile words were bandied about by the player in the general direction of the boss. Despite denials of a rift, McGeady was banned for a fortnight and ultimately, Celtic lost the league. Strachan resigned and only one side of Glasgow were happy with that season’s proceedings.

Last season is best left to the historians to fathom. Mowbray came and went, Rangers laughed their way to their easiest league success in many a year and McGeady was left to ponder what life under Neil Lennon would hold for him.

As it happened, Lennon decided on a clearout and alongside Artur Boruc, McGeady was a big name in the new gaffer’s out-tray. Fans are divided on this. Some think he is the best thing since Jimmy Johnstone and some think he is a luxury we cannot afford.

Celtic diehard Sean Henderson from Glasgow reckons “Aiden is a marvellous talent and it will be a terrible shame to see him go, but every player has a price and if Celtic can use the money to re-invest in 2 or 3 good players, then that is a good piece of business”.

Brisbane Celt John Crawford was in pragmatic mood when he ventured “The wee mhan has gone, a quality player who will be missed, however, let’s bid him farewell and look to the future.

“Who will replace him? Let’s not jump in wildly and buy just for the sake of the new season. As Zig Ziglar once said,”To respond is positive, to react is negative” Lets be wise with our purchases”.

Either way, nobody in the green half of Glasgow will forget the day in March of 2009 when McGeady of Celtic went to Hampden. Rangers were the opponents in the League Cup Final and after fellow Irishman Darren O’Dea put Celtic one up with a glorious header just before half time, McGeady tore Broadfoot apart with a devastating display of wing dominance.

With Aiden bearing down on goal, the Rangers man caught him from the back and was sent packing with the sound of 25,000 Celtic fans cheering him on his way.

McGeady put the ball on the spot, looked up at the swarthes of green and white scarves and flags behind the goal and sent the Rangers goalie the wrong way with a beautifully placed kick. The ball hit the net and the Celtic end went ballistic as the two Irish goalscorers reprised Riverdance with a jig that meant the Cup was coming home to Paradise.

That’s the way I would like to remember him-Cup in hand and a huge grin that says “No matter which country I play in, this is my first love and always will be”.

Hail Hail Aiden McGeady.

Read Eddie’s tribute to Artur Boruc

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  • Jim the Tim says:

    Aiden McGeady is a player whose time will come.

  • Jim the Tim says:

    Aiden really did rip AC Milan apart, didn’t he?
    He was brilliant that night.

  • Owen Henderson says:

    James Molloy and Willhelm are talking absalote gumf, Aiden McGeady does have IRISH connections. If you two were ‘real’ or even ‘faithful’ supporters you would realise this FACT!

    Aside from that trash talk, it was a very FACTUAL and interesting blog. Well done Eddie Murray.
    Hail Hail

  • Jim the Tim says:

    I still don’t get it, though, how Aiden McGeady can be Celtic “through and through” if he left? Could somebody please explain that to me?

  • Owen Henderson says:

    Well Jim the Tim, you dont have to play for a club to be Celtic “through and through” in this case. What Eddie is saying is that Aiden McGeady will never forget his time at Paradise nor will he ever stop being a Celtic Supporter. Henceforth, he is and always will be Celtic “through and through”.

  • Jim the Tim says:

    Nope, doesn’t wash with me I’m afraid.

    The article is a maudlin, rose-tinted eulogy to a player of limited ability. Eg, “tearing Broadfoot apart” does not make McGeady a brilliant player, and any piece of “journalism” stating or implying that does not deserve to be taken seriously.

    The Coloccini comments? Had there been the merest hint of truth in what’s written then McGeady would have been snapped up by one of the big teams in one of the big European leagues.

    Articles like this spout the myth that all things Celtic are hunky-dory, when the harsh reality is that (1) nowadays players will go to whoever pays the biggest buck – and that will never be Celtic in the SPL, (2) Celtic players are second-rate – if not, why isn’t there interest from England, Italy, Spain and Germany? (I mean, taking Newcastle’s THIRD CHOICE keeper on loan to become our FIRST CHOICE goalie? Reality check anyone?!).

    Would McGeady have got into O’Neill’s team of 2001-2005? The centenary team? Etc? No.

    Sans doute this post will be deleted too, as have several others I have posted in this thread. Why? because I’m a tad critical of the standards of the articles? Not pro-Celtic enough? Perhaps I should go back to buying the Celtic View.

  • Joe McHugh says:

    Cheers Jim!

    Thanks for your comments, keep away from sharp objects.

    McGeady has been in my opinion the most creative and entertaining player at Celtic since 2004.

    This website id pro Celtic, there are plenty of outlets to criticise McGeady and rubbish Celtic in general.

    Despite the limitations that Strachan put on him he turned Broadfoot over regularly, I didn’t see too many Russian clubs rushing in for Broadfoot despite being out of contract.

  • Jim the Tim says:

    My criticism is more directed to the article than McGeady’s talents and skills.
    Eg him looking at the fans behind the goal before taking a penalty is more suited to a Roy of the Rovers type comic than a football/Celtic website hoping to be taken seriously.

    Are you implying that I’m not supposed to be criticising a Celtic player on a pro-Celtic website? My points are merely that he’s not nearly as good as some claim he is, and his market value is closer to maybe £5m than £10m. The fact that we got £10m for him is both excellent and lucky. Friends I have spoken to tend to broadly agree with this view, as have fellow season ticket holders where I sit.

    You miss my point about Broadfoot entirely. Turning over this pathetic excuse for a footballer is nothing to brag about, lesser players than McGeady have done it, and will do it. There’s no need to point out that nobody rushed in for Broadfoot. No-one came in for him because he’s limited and everybody knows it.
    The sharp objects comment was rather infantile, I try to concentrate on the subject matter when I put across my argument.

    I remain surprised, pleasantly, that my previous post wasn’t pulled.

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