Paul Hartley and Barry Robson, two shrewd signings by WGS

Gordon Strachan made numerous great signings, Paul Hartley and Barry Robson were two of his best…

COMMERCE CITY, CO – JULY 19: Paul Hartley #11 of Glasgow Celtic FC looks to strike the ball during the 2007 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game against the MLS All-Stars at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on July 19, 2007 in Commerce City, Colorado. The MLS All-Stars defeated Celtic FC 2-0. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

During Gordon Strachan’s time at the club he signed some real gems. Shunsuke Nakamura, Scott Brown and Artur Boruc being the most notable, while others such as Maciej Zurawski, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Lee Naylor and Scott McDonald were all highly successful recruits brought in by WGS.

Two other names who were just as notable but probably don’t get the big headlines were two players from rival Scottish sides in Paul Hartley and Barry Robson.

Paul Hartley of Celtic Glasgow celebrates his goal against SpartaK Moscow during their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round football match in Moscow, 15 August 2007. AFP PHOTO / YURI KADOBNOV (Photo credit should read YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Hartley arrived from Hearts in early 2007. Paul was well know to the Celtic support and although a boyhood Celtic supporter, he was a player who it’s fair to say wasn’t too popular amongst our supporters, because of the goals he’d scored against us!

However, he quickly warmed himself to the supporters by putting in some splendid performances as we clinched the league and cup double. His goal away to Spartak Moscow in the champions League play off in Moscow also turned out to be crucial in our qualification that campaign.

27/04/08  PREMIER LEAGUE CELTIC v RANGERS – Celtic midfielder Barry Robson celebrates his penalty goal.

Barry Robson like Paul wasn’t exactly a favourite amongst our support, but once again Wee Gordon pulled off a brilliant bargain buy when he signed the fiery red head from Dundee United on the final day of the winter transfer window in 2008.

Indeed his first touch of the ball was to send a free kick crashing into the net seconds after entering the field as a substitute in the match against Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

Robson added both craft and steel to the Celtic midfield and along with Hartley was instrumental in our title win in 2008 when we looked dead and buried as far as the title race was concerned. Who can forget Barry setting the tone of the game as he introduced himself to Christian Daily early on in the famous 2-1 win over Rangers in April 2008?

 Barry Robson of Celtic scores the winning goal from the penalty spot during the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Rangers at Parkhead on April 27, 2008. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Or his nerves of steel to hit home a crucial penalty to win the game against the same opponents at Celtic Park just 11 days later? Both Barry and Paul might not be the greatest players to have played for the club, but both proved to be highly influential and remain highly regarded by an appreciative Celtic support.

You can read about Gordon Strachan’s first season at Celtic in Matt Corr’s upcoming new Celtic book Majic, Stan and the King of Japan which is published by Celtic Star Books on Friday 20 October. You can pre-order a signed copy using the link below.

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.

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