Celtic’s 11th Manager (1998-99) – Dr Jo Venglos, such a nice gentleman

It wasn’t entirely his fault, but Jo Venglos’s season as Manager of Celtic was not a success. Like Wim Jansen, he wasn’t exactly well known among Celtic supporters but he had managed Czechoslovakia and Aston Villa.

Possibly, now in his mid 60s, he came just a little late for Celtic’s good. In particular he had some problems over which he had no control. The players chose to pick a fight with Fergus McCann before a League Cup game against Airdrie, and duly lost.

12 Sep 1998: Dr Jozef Venglos of Celtic watching the action during the Scottish Premier League against Kilmarnock at Celtic Park. Photo Clive Brunskill /Allsport

Mark Viduka was signed but there was a dreadful problem persuading him to come and play. When he did, he got sent off for spitting! There also seemed to be a particular problem about St Johnstone.

On the other hand, Jo signed class players in Lubo Moravcik and Johan Mjallby and there was a tremendous 5-1 thumping of Rangers in November. For a while in midwinter, we began to hope we could challenge Rangers, but we lost the League in early May at Parkhead in a disgraceful game when tempers were lost, and then the Cup in a 1-0 final to Rangers which was unlucky in many ways – but Rangers were probably the better team.

12 Aug 1998: Dr Jozef Venglos,  watches over the action during the qualifying match between Celtic v Croatia Zagreb in a Champions League played at Celtic Park. Celtic won the match 1-0. Photo Clive Brunskill /Allsport

Jo had no luck at all at Parkhead, and it was sad to see such a nice gentleman having to depart. He must have wondered what Scotland was all about!

David Potter

Lubo Moravcik and Dr Jo
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About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.

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