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[00:00:00]

The OTB podcast network, the old TV sports, and listen to OTV Sports Radio 24/7, plus all your favorite podcasts, do you not realize how crazy those things were? The Ogbu sports app available to download now from your App Store Saturday Connel on Off the Ball.

[00:00:21]

Hello and welcome to a very special remold show ahead of the Champions League final this weekend.

[00:00:28]

Delighted to say that we've got a huge Celltex tents to proceedings this evening. You've seen the names there. It is an incredible lineup. We've got Neil Lennon, current Celtic manager. He'll be joining us a little bit later on to chat about Celtic this season and how they proceed over the next couple of months. We've got Chris Sutton, we've got stillI and Petroff. And as you saw there as well, if Celtic is not going to do it for you tonight, which it probably should.

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We're all it's going to have Jason McAteer with us to track Liverpool. He's going to be chatting Liverpool and the company of David Myler, who was with us for the duration of the evening. David, how are you getting on?

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I'm good, thanks. On how he stood up very well. This is a hugely exciting night for you because you are a huge Celtic fan by all accounts. I am I am obviously, we were just waiting around there and I jumped into the cul de sac, just sort things out and you can obviously hear the lads talk about memories of them playing for Celtic and what have you. So it's nice to hear them because like certainly Psyllium Petroff in L.A. playing midfield, there were two players I admired when I grew up for sure.

[00:01:28]

You've been to the old firm many a time. I think you were actually at the one last at. Yes, I think I've been to about seven or eight, and I've always spoken to my father about the atmosphere and how great the games were, like the majority of them. Well, I think I'll be to seven and something of one six. But then I took my father for the first time and it was the one obviously ranger's going one nil.

[00:01:50]

So my dad wasn't best pleased, didn't enjoy it. The atmosphere wasn't great because ofthe Rangers scored early and then just defended well and just kept kept the ball and just kind of a double game. So he didn't really enjoy it. So I don't think he wants to go back any time soon.

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Is there a dad, a big fan as well? That's obviously how he got into it initially, I assume.

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Well, if you if I went back to when I was young, my dad actually signed me up for the whole the whole group, which was like the kids Celtic Fan Association thing. So like on my birthday, as weird as this sounds on my birthday and at Christmas, I used to receive like a Christmas or a birthday card, but would be signed from Martin O'Neill. And then obviously I'd been God seven, eight, nine around then like on your birthday, used to get like Celtic calculator, you know, Celtic pencil case, a Celtic pencil, the whole lot.

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And then all behold end up playing for Sunderland and then of course with the with Ireland.

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So you got fine merchandise for Martin on the L as a child.

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I never, I never brought it up with them. I don't know how you would have taken it, but I do, I do.

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Look, I appreciate the cards at times, even like the lads who run their all the cards were signed by them, they probably have no idea. But they're nice, small, nice gifts when you were a child.

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And obviously you support Celtic to try to sign you at one point. Well, it's always that funny when you look at the news now, when you see players linked here and here, there and everywhere, my agent, when they rang me and just said, look, we're looking ourselves, they might be interested, whatever would you call? And I said, look, I'd love to go. Of course, growing up, supporting something I think any Irish player would love at one stage to pay for Celtic in their career.

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I've spoken to many a player about it that I'd love to go there. And so at the time I was like, yes, but nothing came of it. And that was while we have him on the show. I believe it was only LeMans time and then again on Drudges table. So I never played for Celtic, so nothing ever came up. So I don't know how serious it was.

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It could have been just all pay for talk where we can guess at Neil's first firsthand account of that a little bit later on whether or not he tried to sign you. What about Rangers? Was there Rangers link as well later on in your career? Of course, I would have discussed the you, I assume.

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Well, my agent currently works with WMG company and they look after Steven Gerrard and I dunno, did a conversation happen? But I got a phone call one day and said we just signed for Rangers and that was straightaway shot down and just said no, because look, I grew up so supporting Celtic, obviously being proud Irish football player and a proud Irish man, I don't think I'd have been accepted back home.

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I think, you know, I come from a staunch Celtic fan base in Cork and the huge following there. So I don't think I'd have been I don't think I would have to return to Cork if I did.

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What would the salary have had to have been for you to play for Rangers? Genuinely, I don't think any any amount of money would have been worth it, and that's the truth. It would have been one of those who would have been uncomfortable for my family, my parents obviously even back and cork and then Temodar returned home. Such. Celtic are huge in Cork and I don't even know that. But a massive fan groups and not know. I couldn't have done it.

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We're going to go down memory lane quite a bit this evening and get the memories of and Petrova and Crystal, who will be with us very shortly indeed. At the moment it seems that thanks to what's happening in Rangers, that they were sent back to Division Stephen Gerrard there. At the moment, a new rivalry is starting to brew nicely and it is required as much as they would probably get slagged off tonight. Let's face it, Rangers, they are essential to that, the lifeblood of Celtic and Scottish football in general.

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You know, look, I'm when Rangers were obviously relegated for whatever went on, I don't follow too much. Rangers don't use new Celtic. We're always going to run away with the league. But at that time, you just knew the old firm games were so massive in Scotland and certainly in Glasgow. It's just that rivalry that you want to see that the games you want to watch, if you're lucky enough to get hold of tickets and go to the games, I think both clubs need one another.

[00:06:06]

Obviously, as you said, with touch on with the lads who wound countless amount of trophies with Celtic. Obviously Neil is no manager. So I do believe both teams need one another. And if you look back certainly to Chris Lennon's day, when Rangers were a very, very good team to push something all the way, and there was times when Rangers, they win titles, those were the the best days. And you look at the players that they had in those teams where some of the top European teams and you look at certainly American O'Neals, the European rooms they had, you know, well, let's turn our attention to one of those Celtic legends.

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I am delighted to say we are joined now this evening by the current Celtic manager, Neil Lennon. Neil, how are you getting on? You're very welcome.

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Oh, thank you very much.

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There's been a little bit of a slight issue with the audio there, and we're just gonna have to put that on ice for the time being there. But he's not going to commit to the fact whether or not he actually tried to Xinyu. Well, I don't I don't know, you can ask the man himself, he's sitting there will come back to Tenille in just a moment as we're trying to fix his audio. If you have to pick your number one Celtic Rangers moment to if there was if there was an old firm, you have to it's the Henry glassine chip.

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Think whatever you want to call it, that gold was just that's as a young kid. I used to have the Celtic Tofino with the A.L. across the front glass and seven on the back and all that tackle alone, you know, just had the cornrows or whatever that cornrow is. You know, the I don't know what you'd call his hair at the time. Somebody can obviously let me know exactly what it's called. Those were the moments, those games.

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His Rangers were so strong, you know, they'd had to divorce Llodra Bronkhorst to play some incredible players. And then, like I've said, you last in certain hats in you know, there was loads of quality players.

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Yeah, I remember watching that game back at the start lock down. It's just the intensity at the start of that game, which is incredible. But from minute one, you're like, hold on a minute. If I clicked into the YouTube highlight reel here or am I actually watching the whole game? But no, you're watching the full game. And obviously there's a very early goal and it's just incredible. And even watching that back recently, you're like, God, give us back live sports that the fans in the stadium, the cauldron, it's water completely creates these occasions.

[00:08:30]

No, it is it's a sort of civil liberties and it's about, you know, football. No, we're obviously delighted to have it back, but without the fans, it's not the same experiences. At the same when goals are scored, there's no, you know, like jump around celebrations. And then certainly if you look at old firm games over the years, those pivotal goals and big moments win games or to lose games. It just takes takes the roof off the stadium in terms of the Champions League, which can get into a little bit later on.

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I mean, this is obviously a huge season from Celtic's perspective. It's not that we're actually talking about how Celtic are proceeding for next year's Champions League and we've actually just not yet concluded last season's champions, these two seasons becoming one. This is the huge opportunity for us to actually proceed in this competition over the next few weeks and months. And when you look at the some of the great memories, old firm aside, it is the European nights that sets us apart.

[00:09:24]

No, I completely agree, and if you look at the game where they beat Barcelona a few years ago, I was at that game obviously with 20 Watts scored late on nights like those. Of course, you can highlight how much of the ball Barcelona had, the chances they created. But at the same time, you got to stay in the game. Fraser Foster was incredible. It's those it's those nights you live for. And I think with a team like CELTA, it's mandatory that you win the league and the cops and whatever.

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But it's about the journey in Europe. That's that's the big thing for them. Those nights. Those nights are the special.

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They absolutely are. Neal, I think you're with us now. How are you getting on? Yalgoo, can you hear me? We can indeed. Loud and clear. Good to have you at long last. How are you keeping. Yeah, I'm good. Just getting prepared for the game at the weekend, but a good win on Tuesday night against the Reykjavik, so sets us off the second round of the Champions League against us. We've got a game against UNdesignated obviously on Saturday evening.

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So, you know, we're just, you know, putting on the final touches up.

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We do want to talk a little bit about the season and how things currently are. But the big thing we need to address immediately is did you ever try to sign David Meyler?

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Did you it all right if it happened, when when was this? A long, long time ago, David Edesia, I actually thought it was funny because if you if you go back, do you remember I bumped into Neal was with his family in Portugal and I was with my family. We had a drink and a chat, whatever. I think you were manager hips at the time.

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I think he tried to convince me to go off the Hibs at that stage, but I did not stay in the Celtic, you know.

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That's amazing. It was for Hibs, Neil. No, no facility, sorry. So you tried to sign him twice and he tried to sign a facility and then for Hibs as well, his was just, you know, little player on holiday. But, you know, I dated for a long time. You know, the career, obviously with the Irish connection would have meant a lot to them to come up the road. That never materialized, obviously.

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But then, you know, he did very, very well in his career. Sunderland Hull obviously playing to the public around these performances, though, so unfortunately, the mustard on that one. But then, you know, you can look back on a fantastic career. What could have been, David?

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I know. I know. I should look at it. I loved it. And I often have many conversations, Neal, about Neal. When he played, I think when man took over Sunderland, he'd found another Neil Lennon, but then he realised I couldn't pass the ball forward. So I was quick out of the team by then.

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I don't know. I don't know.

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Let's chat a little bit about the season. There's going to be plenty of static memories tonight, so we'll get the current situation out of the way and the ten in a row. I'm sure you're sick of being asked about it, sick of talking about it at this point. How big a factor is this and the thinking ahead of what could be one of the most historic seasons in Celtics history? Now, it's obviously the priority, you know, back in the day, it was important that many farmers are talking about the 10 year plan that includes six and seven, really.

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So the name was fantastic. And now we know what lies ahead for us. It could be a historic season, but we have to maintain our focus to be consistent. And I would like us again, you know, get a good run in the league. Last year, we missed out on Champions League qualification the last two seasons, so it would be great if we could negotiate these qualify. Veterans get into top is the group stage again and then open up the whole season, develop the players the way we want them to.

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And well, the took a lot from the league campaign last year. You want to beat them home and away our top on the group. And so that's a start and a good step for these European games in terms of domestically. You know, we unfortunately this season was getting, as we all know, we were absolutely hitting the stops at that stage and some great football. So we've got to find a consistency and momentum again as quickly as possible.

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Obviously, there was a bit of a roadblock a couple of weeks ago, a couple of games call it off as a manager. How big a challenge was that for you? Obviously being in the spotlight where at the bilingually situation wasn't just a sports story, it was a news story all around the country. How challenging was that for you? A very but, you know, you have to make the best of these difficult situations because we're in the unknown here, you know, and then the goalposts seem to be moving on rules and regulations as we go along.

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So, you know, it was a little bit disruptive, to say the least. Let them have the game on Tuesday to think, you know, got the players play another game and the legs got plenty of benefit from them from that. And then hopefully now we can build up the momentum. And we got a lot of games coming up.

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So hopefully there's no more disruptions as we go on from the point of view of the club and everything you've seen on board here stints as manager and indeed as a player. Just how big is the idea of Champions League group stage qualification in terms of keeping your star players, attracting our star players and the day to day running of the club? I assume that it has a direct impact on how easy your job can be as a manager or how difficult.

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Yeah, I mean, it's a it's a challenge. At first time, a couple of teams really enjoy the experience, you know, fantastic experience as a manager. One of the challenges the group stages for the players, it's really important for the development and the play against the best, you know, and if they can, you know, play well and you know, you know, the rule at that level. And obviously that puts more money on the on the price tag.

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We are in a position where we can compete with English clubs. We know that. So we have to be quite clever and treatment and, you know, intellectually around the club, internationally as best we can. But in terms of the European stage, you know, the DNA of the club is built on the teams from 67. And, you know, it's synonymous with Celtic. We're going to need a good team from the mountain and a good time on the garden.

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You know, Brendan, I've done it a couple of times myself. I don't want to chairman and get us back onto the the Champions League platform, which just opens up the whole season for you on a personal level.

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Now, how different has this tent city manager been to the first one? Is it a more enjoyable experience? When I come back and it was incredibly pressurized, you know, how do you follow monitor everything, you know, the only thing you could do to steal, but we've managed to maintain that winning in sequence, going in terms of. So I'm 18 months or so into it and I am far more at home again, if you want to call it that.

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But obviously not comfortable. You're never comfortable in a job like this. And there's certainly no room for complacency. Well, I'm more familiar with the workings in the Muslim nations around the chain and the culture of the the modern player and many of the players from all over Europe, you know, the different religions, different nationalities, different cultures. So I've learned a lot from them in the 18 months have been back in here as well. And so, yeah, in terms of the difference was it was a lot more pressurized than it was from March.

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The men came back and, you know, with Internet games to in the league. And then obviously you go to the trouble scheibl the you know, to do that was, you know, I'll never again be tested as a manager. I don't think in terms of oppression, scrutiny that it was on the then I thought last year we really kicked one ticket on in the league against the resurgent Rangers, you know, won the league top, beat them in the final, didn't play particularly well, but still great mental strength to win it.

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And then the second half of last season, we were absolutely fantastic. The only real downside was going to Copenhagen, who went on to prove they were good, say what we felt in the two games we should have won that day.

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When you talk about the highly pressurized situation you were in, does that pressure come from the supporters that they come from within the club? Or how does that manifest itself when you realize, oh, God, this is a different situation? I am. I really need to have success immediately here. Yeah, I knew that going into it, you know, obviously. Twenty four hours to take the job on them, you have to thank you also and play our hearts and the Cup are authority in the league and the cup game against no club.

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It's so hard to win those games just to be myself at a time, you know, get back on the chain and grind and get to know the players. But I couldn't change anything because it was such a, you know, little speck of time. I had to get to know the players and integrate with them and to be further up in management fees and winning games. And then there was nothing I needed to do, really, other than just try and keep the wheels sort of rolling on.

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And that was on the intense spotlight. Any mistake on any sort of performance? You were under a lot of scrutiny and analysis, but we we can see it. And I came in and I heard it, the whole staff. So it had any coaches in it and doing any sports and isn't doing any physical using obviously went in there. Got to know everyone on the ticket on. That's spotlighted something I'm really interested in, because I think that's of all the jobs in Europe, the Celtic manager has to be one of the most pressurised situations for a multitude of reasons.

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And we've all read and speak about quite terrible abuse that you got during your first stint as Celtic manager after a period of time. Does that get replicated immediately? Are you kind of looking around yourself after coming back into the job and you're straight into the fire once again or after taking a step back for a while? Does that sort of subside? I'm just interested in hearing how that went for you. Will it be homes for, you know what, two and a half seasons so I was in which was in the Scottish Coliseum, still in the sort of 11 of them, you know, the Scottish football fan.

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So, you know, coming in, I didn't really think about, you know, what had happened in the previous team. Of course, though, I'm more mature, more sort of minded as an individual and certainly as a manager. And I was sort like an aggressive type, you know, very emotional on the side of not the sort of channel that energy a lot better. And to be fair, the second time around. There's been no sort of any sort of malicious incidents that have occurred to me.

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It's just been all around the football and and the pressure of dealing with the job on a day to day basis.

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When do you realise that you wanted to channel your energy differently? And how do you go about fixing the. Take a bit of time, you know, sort of to react, to be aware and to be fair, the players are different these days as well. And also, at times, you can't really get after them. You have to it's more sort of cajoling them rather than controlling. And that say, I've learned to get the best out of this team.

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And as you get older, the gap between you know, when I first took the job, I wasn't allowed to play. And so I was like thirty seven, thirty eight. I knew the environment and knew the sort of plant culture. I've come back a second time and the gap, the differential age gap is is a lot bigger now. And I have to understand where they're coming from as well, because at first I didn't understand addressing the first and second time.

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It's a whole new sort of platform to deal with.

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And what would you say is the biggest difference between yourself and the players when you notice that? The social media babies these days, you know, and you know, the live around that it's important to them after respect that, after understanding, I think all just do you know, for some of them use it in a very, very positive way. It can also be detrimental at times. So we obviously we have to keep an eye on that. And her treatment just doesn't work anymore.

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You know, we have to pick and choose your moments when if you're angry, you have to channel your anger in a different way. And so. I think, you know, you analyze the game a lot more, you unlaced cheating a lot more. It's not always been aware of sort of the transition to them a lot more than they had the transition. To me, that's very interesting.

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So what is the alternative instead of the hair dryer and 20/20? You know, just having a quiet sort of child, you know, first of all, a documentary, I give myself a couple of minutes and then when I speak them and it's not like a question of picking out individuals. You taught them of the collective, really. And then, you know, a couple of days later, you can sit down with them and say, look, you didn't get this straight.

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We didn't do that right. You know, we need to improve on in certain areas. So, for example, you know, we lost to you know, Livingston was the first to see the season last year and we were down to ten men. So we used that as sort of like a buffer, really. You know, we were we may have won the game. We may play better if we had 11 men on the pitch. Rather than come in and do a lot, that's not good enough, that's not acceptable.

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That's that's fine talk, really, you know. I mean, these days, these guys want to know why it went wrong rather than who's to blame for the blame. Portugal's, I think, and delusional when they make a mistake, you know, so you have to be a lot more understanding that however the principles stand, seeing, you know, the principles of winning games, of working hard, they're non-negotiable. At a club like Sobek, you know, of the pressing stand on the front foot, attacking, you know, being brave on the ball, being in the tackle, all those personal stay the same.

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It's just that you put that across a little bit differently than maybe I would have done 10 years.

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Neal and David, you've both been coached by Mark Anthony. I daresay Marc is going to come up quite a bit throughout the course of this evening. We may as well start on that very point that you raise. Their name was Martin O'Neill, somebody who took out the hair dryer on a on a frequent basis.

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Yeah, yeah. But he can make you feel 10 feet tall and he can also make it feel like a ten years from the game in his Pompey's. It's absolutely unbelievable. It was he was a genius, Russell. He worked on the psychology of the game more than anything else on the psychology of the player. You know, he wouldn't be a, you know, maybe two, three days without that matter. You know, you could sort of cooties.

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And Steve Wolf and John Robinson to take care of the budget as he came alive, didn't mean to say he didn't know the game, technically knew the that tactically and say that. And he knew the strengths of his players and how to get the best of them. And I would say, you know, 80 percent of 80 percent of what I did as a manager was going to be a strong platform from Martin in the ten years of levels and in his pump.

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You know what, Lester? And, you know, like he was he was the best. Sure.

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David, does that resonate with you, the idea that he can make you feel comfortable or that small? Yeah.

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Oh, yeah, definitely. Look, in certain games when it's going your way, don't mean he's he's right there behind you. But at times, if if you're losing and it's not going right, he he can come off if you like. It's interesting to listen to Neil there. You know, he's speaking about the change room has changed so much that you can't or you never had a problem with the hair dryer treatment. Jeremy, if somebody needs to be woken up.

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But nowadays, you can't say not to anybody because they get so, you know, they get so often they get upset and nearly knocked the confidence out of a fellow. But with Martin, he could make you feel like a giant, you know, and he had that unique ability. He knew what to say to people when they needed it. And it's a special talent. And at times when I played with Ireland, you know, if we look at the Wales game, you know, like stuff like that, it was just it was remarkable the way he could get the best out of fellows.

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He had that great knocked and Neil spoke for his time at Leicester and Celtic, which you can't forget, you know, Aston Villa and the finishes they had in the Premier League, you know, with the support they had. And he was I have so much time from I learned so much from and he was an incredible manager.

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When you say he makes me so I want each other all. He talks for himself at the turn of the century. You know, when he came in Manchester, when the trouble with take off the selling celebrated, finished twenty points back in a season, so on the table and won the league the five, six games to go. And then we went on this incredible run though for the last twenty years for selling off on fifteen out of the last sort of twenty titles of the modern to transform the club, he totally transformed the mentality of the club.

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You've got really strong players in a strong mentality. The great players animalism brilliantly even on the villa. You know, I think the three or four top six finishes. But some of the stuff he did at last as well, I mean. We've got promoted through the playoffs, they made sort of four top 10 finishes in the Premier League, which is unheard of for a playoff team. Everyone's waxing about Sheffield United these days. You listed that 20 odd years ago when the League Cup finals and one two on a budget of, you know, minuscule compared to some of the other clubs.

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And, you know, let's say for 10, 15 years, he was one of the best managers around in British football.

[00:27:34]

When you said that you take certain traits of Martin O'Neill and you use them to craft the manager that you are today, what are those traits and how do we see Martin O'Neill and you as the manager? Lot more on the psychology of the game and what he didn't, how to get the best out of players on the stand and the personalities in the dressing room on the stand and the, you know, the the way he wants his team to play and the type of player he needs for his position and knowing, you know, when to leave the players, you know, give them the space and one, you know, maybe the right time to speak to them.

[00:28:11]

And in an affirmative sort of manner, you touched on it earlier already and put them. You know how to get the best out of a lot of that word, for example, you know, this is a very quiet lood. You know, we're from the the channel and on the pitch is an absolute genius of a player. And, you know, you have to give to these is French is English is very good. Obviously, you have to give them room, you know, not being honest all the time.

[00:28:40]

If you problem sometimes it doesn't work. Well, do that. So, you know, all those sort of facets of my management, you know, O'Neill was just absolutely magnificent.

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What this is all sports UEFA Champions League final. Sorry, go on. Devore's before before I. I just. I just. Sorry.

[00:28:56]

Sorry. I just have one to add one before we play against Wales. We were in Cardiff the night before. Obviously we beat them to win the last group game to make the playoffs. I actually sat with Martin till about I, I'm going to say about half one quarter, two in the morning in the hotel the night before the game where I was having cereal and Seamus Coleman and we were just talking football. But at the end of the conversation we were just talking the everything from the Premier League to time itself, the whole lot.

[00:29:25]

And we were just picking his brains and he was asking us different questions. And I remember at the end of it, like. He said to me, like, tomorrow is your night, go and be ready and get out there and show us, you know what I mean. And that was right before, obviously, the Wales game, which is probably the best performance, I would say, for myself and my phone come through to that. I put in for Ireland, which was probably the biggest game, obviously, I know with the Pelicans, Denmark, which didn't go well, but that it was just amazing that as Neil talks with the psychology Martin had and he just made me feel relaxed the night before, and then at the end of it, he said, Get yourself to sleep.

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Tomorrow morning we go and we prepare for, you know, to win the game half on quarter to two.

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He's not telling you to go to bed at that point. You're captaining the team tomorrow. Well, we won the game so seem pretty, and so if we're going to have more demand on it, as I say later on, just to mention that this is OTB Sports, UEFA Champions League final preview in association with Pepsi, Max and Doritos. It's back. Get ready. Hashtag U.S.A. is back. Just one last one for you. Now before we wrap up this conversation on SELLICK at the moment.

[00:30:33]

A lot of Irish football fans will be sitting at home wondering what the situation is. Which, Gandolfi, is there a legitimate connection here with Celtic? And are you looking into potentially signing an. We'll talk about players who are sort of contracted to other clubs, but then, you know, he's a he's a great player then. And we have made tentative inquiries and we'll see how that goes. Another lunchtime spent waiting in a queue. Imagine if you could spend 30 percent less time here and more time enjoying your lunch.

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I'm sorry, we can't shorten queues, but a country dairy, about 30 percent less sugar bar on this upcoming podcast should help get you through this. Cadbury dairy milk, 30 percent less sugar, just as irresistible. I should say, this is OTB Sports, UEFA Champions League final preview in association with Pepsi, Max and Doritos. It's back, get ready. Hashtag UCL is back. And that is the biggest game in the competition this weekend. That is Bayern Munich against Paris and German and the decider of the Champions League.

[00:31:42]

David is going to stay with us. We've got Psyllium and Petrov and Chris sitting with us. But Neil Lennon, I'll start with you. How do you see things going this Sunday? Paris and dramatic. Inspiring. Yeah, I think the two billion seems to think. There's not much, but I think Birmingham got a better midfield, but I think, you know, there's plenty in the game for PSG to be encouraged to bet against me on Leonhard.

[00:32:09]

Really good chances, you know, but they're now more Demario will. Cause unsolved problems, so I'm going to go back to I think they're both in the school as well.

[00:32:21]

How much of a feat of man management is it that Paris and German have got to a stage where they've been able to get him back by a name, are looking really good together in the same team? Because often we put stars together into one team if they can't quite add up to the sum of our parts. But it seems right now PSG are very much to some of their parts.

[00:32:40]

Yeah, I mean, it comes with winning as well. Obviously, you know, the group without sort of the psychological barrier getting past the quarterfinals, you know, did a great job in the semifinal. I think Tickle's done a great job. I don't know how much control he has in the dressing room. I think there's some huge personalities and egos, not just him, but, you know, the senior got the bit between the teeth and, you know, the one game away from, you know, brilliant glory.

[00:33:07]

I think Bayern Munich are an outstanding team and not only stunning tournament, I just think they made it, you know, picked, you know, a couple a week ago against Barcelona. I think there's more to come from PSG. That is one of the questions that you could certainly have after watching the long game at STILLY, and we might go to you on that particular performance from Bayern Munich during the week and I guess Bayern as a whole throughout the tour.

[00:33:32]

And it has been probably the most used and Odyssey's line of this Champion's League about Bayern Munich High Line. When you're playing at such a high level for so long, I guess you put yourself in the crosshairs of all your opponents. They will be studied to death and PSG will very much know what to do this Sunday. Well, of course, it's not Hidenori at the moment, especially on that level, but I think the bottom really have a better experience.

[00:33:56]

And the big stage, I think the players have played many big games. What is interesting to see is both teams have a special talents. They've got so much ability in these teams and games like that. Everybody like to perform. They're all big players and they like to be they have to be under the spotlight as they like to be to show what I can do. And I will I will go with Leni before I actually make his prediction. I would go for criticism.

[00:34:24]

So I think that naming nations with a map and DeMaria and they Marqués in great form, I think does their chance, especially with their plan and the club and how much money they spend, this will be the target to win the Champions League. And they've got that chance, that opportunity. So I'll go.

[00:34:44]

But it's unlucky, Chris, sitting in there with the prediction before you. So I'm going to go for Bonn, Munich and Bonn, Munich, for the reasons that we know the way they're going to play and they will play with a high line. I think the he sets out his team and he says this is what we are and you're going to have to deal with it. They've had so much success from compacting the game and winning the ball high up the pitch.

[00:35:11]

And I think they'll do exactly the same against PSG. PSG, of course. Of course. Also the threat of the pace of them back. But I think by Munich will, you know, will be watchful of that. But I take their Lenin's point, the fact that I think Bayern Munich midfielder Gretzky bulked himself up during lock down, he's an absolute monster in the middle of the park. That's where I think the game will be lot, of course.

[00:35:40]

But all across London, where the coming might start to set a precedent. They've got 11. Nevsky is not just a what is a brilliant I think the tools I'm going to say to the other lads didn't predict the score.

[00:35:54]

Three, two.

[00:35:55]

That's what you should get your money on trade on that one step further. Just to go back very briefly on that point of the midfield, still be keen to get your take on David's take actually on Bayern Munich midfielder. Like, I mean, we've we've had Liverpool tied for the last little while. Tiago Alcantara could be a Liverpool player by that time. The next season begins. You've mentioned there Gretzky and his bulking up. How impressed have you been with that Bayern midfield, Cillian?

[00:36:23]

I've been very impressed. I think I've been impressed by the performances they're playing as a team, they were very well balanced team. They've got experience, they've got speed. They've got everything that is required to to to be a top team. And they're showing that. But also, I'm going to make another point. It's going to be interesting to see is Variety is going to be available. But he said German because he's instrumental for them. They haven't been able to use him for a number of games.

[00:36:53]

And if he's available for the final, it will be interesting.

[00:36:57]

But through the middle, David, it is interesting how Gretzky has bulked up over a lock down. We've seen it with a few players now. I mean, probably the most striking example in British football anyway was made agreement coming back with a few pounds of muscle on him as well. A lot of players have used that lock down quite well and have conditioned themselves for for the rigours of what's going to be a long a couple of years in football. Well, the thing is, look, you're locked up, nobody had anything to do, you couldn't go over the whole she couldn't go to the shop, she couldn't go train.

[00:37:24]

And so I imagine clubs like Neil would be able to tell you they probably were given programs. A lot of these lights will have home games or certainly equipment available. So it's a great time for them to both go up and not be worrying about, you know, being tired from training. You've plenty of rest. So look, Chris, they're touched on Koretski. He he has turned into a machine and he will be pivotal for Bayern Munich on Sunday.

[00:37:48]

You talk about Masand, Grimwood, another fella. Look, there's plenty of them both. You want to talk about the game on Sunday? I think I'm going to go with Paris just just because of Zimbabwe and Neymar. If you look at the course and quarterfinal starting semifinal, Neymar did miss quite a few chances. But I just get the feeling on the big occasion he'll want to be the star and I think he'll score those chances.

[00:38:12]

That's the thing that I wanting to be the star and then actually getting across the line and achieving it is something that I guess we've had questions of when when it comes to both of those players. But certainly with Neymar over the last little while, I mean, you look at the twenty fourteen World Cup and how he had the hopes of the nation on his shoulders, he gets injured. We all know what happened against Germany. It sort of feels that ever since then, with the exception of the twenty fifteen Champions League final, there's been a lot of disappointments for Neymar.

[00:38:36]

It feels almost like a redemption of sorts if he gets over the line on Sunday. David. Of course, look, you touched on the World Cup and Brazil of great history, and if you go back all the way to the early days with Pele and, you know, all nine Ronaldo now it's Neymar is kind of the spirit of their attack. And, you know, the injury was tragic for him because he was their main man, the captain.

[00:38:59]

So this is this game on Sunday going forward. It's kind of this is his redemption in a way. Yes. Also, you've got to bring in the fact to Tiago Silva, who's captain of the German. It's his last game. You know, they've got a great Brazilian connection. Even when you see Makini scores, the first goal is the three Brazilians are all celebrating together. You kind of feel it's almost written in the stars. But then again, got a series and that's not easy.

[00:39:27]

Neila, begin to get your take on what David was talking about there in terms of how players have used locked down to condition themselves a little bit better. Is this a wider trend that we're seeing at the moment where you want your midfield, your midfielders, bulkier and able to handle the rigors a little bit better than they used to? Second question, I think, is just an opportunity for individuals to, you know, maybe look at their own physique and think, you know, I need to improve on that.

[00:39:54]

This is a real opportunity. Our players are given, you know, daily programs and individual TV programs, the center deals and, you know, the trade. Some of them do have their own gymnasiums where they're able to work from home, sometimes achieve a great result in the pitches where we're used and monitors. So I think it was just that time skill where players were wanting to stay on top of things. And, you know, we have a policy center for public policy put on, you know, half a Stonybrook, you know, and he's come back a totally different, you know, physical specimen.

[00:40:30]

So we've made the most of what was a pretty difficult situation in terms of Koretski. You know, you just look at his physique. The way he covers the ground as well is very, very impressive. And he's a brilliant sort of season, considering he was bought for, you know, literally three million euros. And that sort of created very, very well in that department. What I do think on the net, I think in Nomar, but I think in a week, let's see, a few weeks ago, a baby was just out of this world.

[00:41:05]

I think he's going to be the next. You know, generation one behind Ronaldo and a mess, if he says that is just a special player and you can see the impact he had against Atlanta and he could win the game on his own, I think by the minute we've got a problem. Race at the half tangle of halftime show looking on didn't look like much mosfet. I just felt there was enough in the game in the semifinal for PSG to be encouraged by the chances that we had.

[00:41:34]

How do you go back to that, that friendly against partisan demand that you had a few weeks ago? How do you prepare for that dual threat of empathy and as a manager? Some really good question, because we turn to a couple of days and we will called down after fifty five seconds and more ball to clean through three, and he did, he did the rest. We we went with the backstory and we won the game for a long, long period.

[00:42:04]

Well, you know, Chris made a point and he wouldn't change the way they play. You know, they believe in the sort of formation and the style of the and there is an Canaveri paresis or Kuhlmann and then Thomas Muller, he sort of finds a second life. He's had a brilliant season. Leventhal's 50 field goals. It's an incredible return. So when you put all that together, it has to be, well, good for PSG. I just think defensively I think PSG may be the equipment to handle the pace of Munich.

[00:42:37]

And I don't think the fans have got the equipment certainly on the right hand side that they'll ramp up in and then more.

[00:42:44]

That's a really interesting insight because unfortunately, none of us are going to be able not many of us are going to be able to see players up close for the foreseeable future with no fans allowed. So you've got the rare ability to have actually seen Bapi up close and personal on TV. It's sometimes hard to appreciate if he is back to his very sharpest, best over the last couple of weeks despite his form. By the way you're talking, Neal, it sounds like he very much is.

[00:43:08]

Well, he was he was very good in the game against us, and he got real bad energy in the cup final against the Senate, and so that was him coming back from the ankle injury. He's got a real bad tackle and, you know, coming on and they are going to start a lot. It totally changed the flow of the game, really. And, you know, the one that Gimli on and I think that psychologically was huge for PSG to win the game, not only win the game, but in the manner that they want, which are doing normally.

[00:43:37]

The PSC would feel is a different sort of play, about the same sort of mental strength. But then the season very comfortable against Leipzig. You know, he will concede and try to be a good said. And I just think there may be just maybe a little bit fresher and really hit in top form for the fan. And I just think that might give them an edge.

[00:43:58]

Chris, your Norfork, Skype and your wife, I let you down just a slight bit there earlier on, but we got your prediction. You are the outlier here going for Bayern Munich. How much are your hopes based on Robert Levin alone and as a striker yourself, can you put into words just how incredible he has been this season in terms of pure output?

[00:44:20]

Well, it's not just on 11 ski alone, is it, but he's much more than gold and he can score any type of gold and you know, on the radio last night and people talking about Bond Munich players, the likes of Levodopa Ski and Thomas Muller saying that they're underrated. I don't think they're underrated in the world of football.

[00:44:41]

I think the issue there is that that Ronaldo and Messi have set the bar so high, anybody beneath that that people question them believe and obviously over the years the weight of goals. But more than that, what he gives the team. But what I like about this Bond Munich team is that they are a team full of egos, full of confidence, but they're full of a real work ethic. And they work so hard and we can talk about their brilliance when they're in possession of the ball and still and touched on it.

[00:45:14]

They have trickery, they have pace, they have guile, they have intelligence. But it's off the ball, which I think will win them the game against PSG. They work hard, so hard to hunt the ball down quickly when they lose the ball. And that will be that will be the difference in the game for me. I think PSG will have opportunities. I think that's the nature of the play by play. But by and I have so much belief under Hansie Fleck who took the job from from Niko Kovatchev when things aren't going well.

[00:45:44]

And not only has he turned them into a winning team, it's the style of play which is demanded by Munich, which he has brought back. And I actually thought they were a little flat against Lyon weren't invested. You know, I suppose there's an argument after Barcelona that they were never going to hit those heights but against Barcelona as well. What I liked about Munich is Barcelona have some great players, the likes of Messi and Suarez, but they wanted to rub Barcelona's noses.

[00:46:11]

Right. And that's what they did. The Germans are ruthless and that will be the difference.

[00:46:16]

You make a strong case, Chris. Are you sure you want to change your mind and follow Chris on to the Bayern Munich bandwagon? No criticism. Good stuff, so that's three parts on your mind predictions, one Bayern Munich prediction. It is a Champions League final this weekend. We cannot wait. It would be a fantastic game just to say a big thank you to everybody involved in putting the show together. It's been a great night at 10 million folks, first of all, for being with us.

[00:46:41]

Thank you to Pepsi, Max and Doritos for helping to make this happen. Everyone here at event fuel as well, a brilliant venue where we've been coming to you live for the evening at a beautiful co presenter. First off, David Meyler, David Mutter exceptional stuff on Democracy or interview especially. Thanks so much for being with us at this evening. Our wonderful guests, stilly and Petroff, Neil Lennon, Chris and Jason McAteer. As I've already mentioned at large, you've been up late.

[00:47:05]

Thanks a million for staying up for us and chatting to us throughout the evening and our wonderful audience as well for joining us online throughout the night. This has been our first remote road show here on OTB. Many more to come. Good luck.

[00:47:18]

Saturday of the Bull. That was an OTB podcast network presentation. Thanks for listening to the football show podcast. Don't miss the next episode. Just hit that subscribe button on the new OTV sports at.