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Thread: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

  1. #1
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    Question Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    Despite all his experience, as a player, a coach and a manager, Walter Smith turned to Billy Connolly for worldly advice on how to deal with the genius of Paul Gascoigne.

    Gazza wowed Scottish football between 1995 and 1998 after making the move from Lazio to Rangers, winning two league titles, a Scottish Cup and a League Cup.

    He thrilled fans with his skill, vision and technical ability, while also providing a number of humorous and controversial moments along the way. Yet, he was famed for being a challenging personality to handle.

    However, a chance encounter with Celtic fan Connolly saw Smith gleam valuable wisdom from the famed funnyman, as he explained in an interview with the Daily Mail’s Hugh MacDonald.

    “I was in Glasgow one day, about 20 years ago, the first time I was at Rangers,” Smith said. “I met Billy and he asked me: ‘How are you getting on with Gascoigne?’

    “I said: ‘Fine but there’s always a wee problem here and there’.

    “Billy smiled and said: ‘Always remember this, Walter. You will always have to live with the genius. The genius will not live with you’.

    “There is an element that you have to put up with the genius. Sometimes you have to take action and rein the personality in. But you have to accept foibles. You have to accommodate them.”

    Understanding the inspirational talent he and Rangers had at their hands, Smith allowed Gazza a certain amount of freedom, not necessarily available to other players. The former-Rangers boss, in two spells, explained to his squad the importance of the Englishman and his thinking behind giving him a longer leash.

    “I hear people in football talking about everybody being treated the same,” he told MacDonald. “They are lying. The majority of guys in a football dressing room know that ones who are the exceptional player will be allowed a bit of laxity.

    “With Gascoigne, I had to sit down with the whole dressing room and tell them: ‘This is what we have here. We have a boy who will win us games. So we all have to handle him’. “Gascoigne didn’t know what he had. He knew he was good. But he hadn’t a clue about being asked to do something or another. He didn’t want to know about tactics.

    “He played in midfield. That was that. he didn’t have a further thought. He had the genius for it, though, and that was what Billy was talking abut. “The team and I had to work with that. You have to put up with genius. You can become frustrated. And then he wins you a game.

    Read more at: http://www.scotsman.com/sport/footba...igne-1-4549342

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    Walter Smith was an exceptional "man manager" who knew who to kick in the balls and who to wrap his arms around.
    It was interesting to hear that he took on the advice of someone like Billy Connolly who obviously wasn't a football expert (being a Partick Thistle supporter after all).... .....but he quite obviously has a great talent for dealing with personalities that are a bit "out there!"
    For me that just shows the depth of man management skills that Walter Smith had......and don't forget small things like he and Ethil had Gazza to their home for Christmas Dinner.
    That sort of commitment says it all for me!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    That's some top notch English!

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    Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    I think part of Gazzas problem was the baggage he dragged about with him. The fat bloke.
    Walter Smith tried to drag him out of that shite. He must have known he had a great player but had phychological problems.

    What Walter Smith did for him at Rangers, and in a personal role was fantastic.

    Shame it came to nothing.

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    Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    came to nothing !!!!!he was a great player for Rangers won leagues, cups but if you mean in his later life i agree

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    Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkfalcons View Post
    came to nothing !!!!!he was a great player for Rangers won leagues, cups but if you mean in his later life i agree
    His mental state when Watty took him in.

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    Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    Billy spot on there. Walters man management is what seen us through to 9IAR. Managing the squad, staff and club around a personality like gazza would have been a job in itself.

    Gazza, where is 5 bellies now?

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    Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    I remember getting told about one day I think it was a game against Motherewell at Ibrox Gazza turned up late and was stinking of booze in fact Walter thought he was still pissed so he was stuck on the bench we were not going well at all and Walter in the second half told Gazza to get ready I think he scored two goals and turned the whole game around and he was still half sloshed.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    It really is strange how journos twist everything these days.
    18:18 Walter says he read an article, that Billy Connoly said.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51i67RTnB4Q&t=997s

    Now the journo has a meeting between the 2 and Connolly giving Walter advice.
    What a load of codswallop

  10. Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    Don't like the team he supports, but Billy Connolly is a good man.

    My only issue with this interview is with Walter talking to Hugh MacDonald, who seems like a pr*ck to me, but to be fair Walter knows him better than I.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    Walter clearly knew how to "man manage" Gascoigne. I watched an interview on Sky this week, Paul Merson interviewed Gascoigne, it was clear that he loved his time at Rangers and had nothing but respect for Walter. He also joined Everton for one reason - to play under Walter again - and left Everton for one reason - because Walter left. Clearly, Gascoigne knew that Walter was good for him.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    The story of Walter having Gazza round at Christmas is heart warming.

    A hard bastard when need be, but a heart of gold too.

  13. Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    Might not be a popular opinion I'm afraid but yes the guy was a legend but you could argue his last season Gascoigne cost us in the end, playing 20 yards behind Thern as he 'wasn't fit' towards the end of that season.

    Smith declaring he was joe didn't help either, gutted it all unravelled when we were so close.

  14. Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    Quote Originally Posted by EKTed View Post
    Might not be a popular opinion I'm afraid but yes the guy was a legend but you could argue his last season Gascoigne cost us in the end, playing 20 yards behind Thern as he 'wasn't fit' towards the end of that season.

    Smith declaring he was joe didn't help either, gutted it all unravelled when we were so close.
    Quite the opposite, selling Gascoigne cost us 10.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    Gleam? I think they meant 'glean'.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shotas_dance_teacher View Post
    Quite the opposite, selling Gascoigne cost us 10.
    An absolute myth. He contributed nothing that season.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    Was Billy Connolley a Celtc fan when Gazza was here?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shotas_dance_teacher View Post
    Quite the opposite, selling Gascoigne cost us 10.
    No it didn't.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shotas_dance_teacher View Post
    Quite the opposite, selling Gascoigne cost us 10.
    He did **** all for us that season

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacrispy View Post
    The story of Walter having Gazza round at Christmas is heart warming.

    A hard bastard when need be, but a heart of gold too.
    The kind of man who garners respect.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    ..................

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shotas_dance_teacher View Post
    Quite the opposite, selling Gascoigne cost us 10.
    Gascoigne offered nothing that season for us.

    Winning 1 in 6 games between Jan and March killed us that season.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    Quote Originally Posted by ontheline View Post
    It really is strange how journos twist everything these days.
    18:18 Walter says he read an article, that Billy Connoly said.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51i67RTnB4Q&t=997s

    Now the journo has a meeting between the 2 and Connolly giving Walter advice.
    What a load of codswallop

    Good find otl, which particular liar amongst that lot produced this Jackanory?

    I won't give them the hit to find out.

  24. Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    So many reasons behind us not getting 10. Selling Gazza, or not, is just one of them.

    As Rez 1873 says, winning one game between January and March played a part, but even then, after beating Celtic to go above them, we then lost to Aberdeen. Killer blow. We lost our last home game to Killie in injury time. Another killer blow. In November, Stubbs injury time equalizer in the 1-1 rearranged Diana game Killer blow. If any one of these games had resulted in a victory, we'd have taken the title. It is unfair to single out Gascoigne for praise or pelters that season. There were many who never performed, and ultimately it was left to an ageing McCoist and Albertz to almost get us there. If others had stepped up even towards the death, we might just have got there.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Billy Connolly Helped Walter Smith Manage Gazza.

    Quote Originally Posted by loud strop View Post
    Good find otl, which particular liar amongst that lot produced this Jackanory?

    I won't give them the hit to find out.
    My thoughts too.

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