When manager Brendan Rodgers took the Celtic job last season, one of the first things he did was to remind the support of the way he wanted his team to play.
That involved having lots of possession, keeping the ball and pulling opponents out of position.
To play this kind of system, you need to have players wanting the ball, players comfortable on the ball, and fans that are patient while all this is going on. After all, we’re in this together.
Maybe Brendan had been to previous games at Celtic Park where the crowd were getting edgy and starting to get on the back of the players or it could be, as a supporter he could relate to the impatience of the average fan.
Whatever it was, the fans duly obliged. And have done so since he came into the club.
However, I did notice in our last Champions League qualifier at Paradise against Norwegian champions Rosenberg, a bit of the old moaning creeping into the game. It might have been due to the Green Brigade not being present, you could hear more from individuals or just down to the lack of goals in the game.
Whatever the reason, Rosenberg certainly got a lift from it.
Regardless of how the game is going against FC Astana tonight, let’s make sure we ALL get right behind the team. The return of the Green Brigade is sure to crank up the volume anyway, but we’ve got to be patient, just like Brendan asked for last season.
After all, the game is hard enough without giving the team from Kazakhstan any encouragement.
Go do it Bhoys!
*And a very Happy Birthday to our good friend and Lisbon Lion John Fallon.
The big man will be in his customary place at Celtic Park tonight, cheering on the team he supported as a Bhoy, and was lucky enough to play between the sticks for, spending 14 years in Paradise.
The Original Holy Goalie, John bleeds green and white. A gentleman. Celtic through and through.
Hail! Hail! John.
See you at the game.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time I’ve felt the need to write about our state broadcaster, you know the one every taxpayer has to fund through a licence fee.
The same broadcaster that is supposed to be fair and impartial in all it’s business, including football. That’s the theory anyway. But the reality is a different story altogether.
BBC Scotland and it’s flagship football programme, Sportscene, exists solely to cater for one demographic in our society, the same demographic that won’t allow the broadcaster’s chief sports reporter or cameras access to it’s stadium. And the same broadcaster that the hordes marched on when they had the temerity to tell the truth about the demise of Rangers Football Club.
Yet, the BBC go out of their way to throw money not only at the new club playing out of Ibrox, but also take great pleasure in employing EBT recipients, Thompson, Rae etc, on both it’s TV and radio shows. The irony of tax payers funding tax dodgers is obviously lost on the British Broadcasting Corporation.
So where does this bias begin?
Well, last weekend saw Hibernian visit Sevco for their first meeting since the Hibees won the Scottish Cup in 2016. On that occasion managing the Hibs team was former Celt Alan Stubbs. As we all remember, the Edinburgh side put to bed a 114 year hoodoo to win the cup by a 3-2 scoreline.
During the game, Stubbs was subjected to customary ‘Fenian b…..’ songbook, from not the minority, but the majority of those wearing red, white and blue. To them, it’s banter. Sectarianism is banter, unless it’s aimed at them.
As expected, the thousands of Hibs fans were delighted to have witnessed such a historic occasion, I mean, who wouldn’t be? And let their exuberance get a wee bit out of hand. For many of the Sevco mob, that was a cue to invade the park and engage in a full scale riot.
You see, over the years, going back as far as the early 1900’s, whenever a team out of Ibrox loses a cup final, they revert to type, violence. It’s their way, you could say it’s in their DNA. They see no wrong in assaulting others, be it physically or verbally. You could say it may well be in their superiority complex. Hence they tell everyone that ‘they are the peepil’.
And such is their ‘grip’, those who head the sports broadcasting at the BBC bow to their every whim. (Maybe they support the club? Well a few of their presenters and pundits do).
Saturday’s game is a prime example. Although they’re not allowed inside, they still show highlights from a steam in a studio. Why? Surely, they should ignore the new club if they don’t want to play by the same rules as the rest of us.
Instead, they make a real play to curry favour with the bigots, by singling out the Hibs manager for ‘special treatment’, as he celebrated his team scoring at the Bigotdome.
- The image above was posted on the BBC Sport website had this: Warning: Some people may consider some scenes to be offensive
Personally, I think that’s offensive to Neil Lennon. He was subjected to 90 minutes of sectarian, religious bile, not unusual for him when he visits there, but nonetheless still shocking. Although you wouldn’t know from the BBC coverage of the game. Muted mics at the ready me thinks.
Lenny cupped his ears in celebration at his team scoring. Yet the very same delinquents who abused the Irishman, reported him to the Police because they ‘were offended’. Really. Get a life. Rightly, the Police have dismissed the claims, but in all honesty should be warning those offended for wasting Police time.
Neil Lennon has once again been made a scapegoat here, by the BBC, whose pundits think being verbally abused for 90 minutes is ‘banter’. How would they feel if every tax payer refused to pay their licence fee, until they grow a set of balls and show some responsibility and stop kow-towing to the Ibrox mob?
You know, just for a laugh…
It’s amazing after Friday night’s 1-0 win we’ve allowed the narrative to become so negative. Thanks to a last minute lapse in concentration, first from substitute Stuart Armstrong, then from stand-in centre back Nir Bitton, Partick had a good claim for a penalty, that thankfully referee Andrew Dallas turned down.
Of course the Thistle manager Alan Archibald made the most of the incident, as you’d expect, but failed to mention the chances Celtic missed throughout the game and the equally decent call captain Scott Brown had for a goal that was disallowed.
Archibald also failed to tell us how he set up his team at home to defend and try hit Celtic on the break. That of course is his prerogative, but surely if you’re playing at home you have a duty to try and win the game. Negative tactics bore fans, and he’d be the first to moan about low crowds.
The game did finish 1-0 to the InVIncibles, yes, the result meant the team is now on an incredible 51 domestic games unbeaten. In other words, manager Brendan Rodgers, players Scott Sinclair, Moussa Dembele, Olivier Ntcham, Jonny Hayes, Kouassi Eboue, Kundai Benyu, Cristian Gamboa and Doris De Vries have yet to taste a domestic defeat since joining the club.
Maybe we’ve become complacent as fans. Maybe we’re expecting every game to be a convincing win. Unfortunately, football doesn’t work like that.
Teams, like Partick sit in and make things difficult. For them its easier to stop us playing than create something themselves. Which basically means we have to find the answers.
We just have to keep backing the Bhoys, we always get there in the end…
In the aftermath of the tragedy that was the Hillsborough disaster, the Justice Taylor report recommended all seating stadiums at every top flight ground.
Given the circumstances, and despite the cost to clubs, it was well received if it was to mean there would be no repeat of that horrific day in Sheffield.
Having attended football matches since 1971, the bad old days of the 70’s/80’s seemed to be a thing of the past.
Until recently. I witnessed it last season at Dundee and now again at Firhill last night.
As fans made their way to the Jackie Husband area of the stadium, two officers on horses ferried every supporter approaching towards a single turnstile, while four turnstiles just yards away were relatively quiet. By the looks of it, they were only occupied from fans approaching from the opposite side.
A simple solution would have been either barriers, or the mounted police splitting the fans to alleviate the impending crush. They chose not to, and took up position on the outside of the on coming fans approaching from the west.
Stewarding outside consisted of a couple of stewards at each turnstile, totally helpless and hapless as there was no supervisor organising any sort of crowd control. In fairness to them, you can’t follow instructions if there are non to follow.
I reached the queue around about 7.25, I remember my friend saying, we’d be fine, we had twenty minutes to kick-off, and finally got inside the ground at 8.02, with hundreds more fans behind me, many of them children. God knows what time they would have entered the stadium.
Thankfully, as far as I am aware, no one was injured, I’m sure more out of good fortune than anything else.
Authorities and media are quick to condemn fans for conduct when it’s inside the stadium, but turn a blind eye to the dangerous practices going on outside.
They have a responsibility as much as the fans do to, ensure we watch our game in a safe environment. I hope they accept that before it’s too late, because this is a serious matter.
In the last 36 hours there have been two big arrivals at Celtic Park, with the Faithful waiting patiently on the third, and arguably most exciting one of all!
The first two are off the field appointments, with Hoops legend Roy Aitken returning to the club he played 672 times for in a career spanning 14 years, to take up a role as Ambassador for the club.
Roy will be joining fellow Ambassadors, captain of the ‘men that stopped the ten‘ Tom Boyd, ex player and manager Davie Hay, and the one and only Cesar, the great Billy McNeill.
‘The Bear’ played a major role for Celtic during the seventies and eighties, his tenacity and ‘never say die‘ attitude made the big fella a real fans favourite. It could be argued it was these qualities that rubbed off on his team mates, during the iconic Centenary season, where we won so many game late on.
For us older fans, it’ll be great to see him in and around the club again.
Joining him in Paradise is another fans favourite, Shaun Maloney, who take up a coaching role with the under 20’s. Shaun, like Roy, came through the ranks at Celtic Park, making his debut as a 17 year-old at Ibrox under Martin O’Neill, playing over 200 games for the Hoops in two separate spells at the club.
With Roy and Shaun now back in the fold, all we need is the return of a third ‘prodigal son‘, Paddy Roberts….