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Patience Could Be Key To A Celtic Victory & Happy Birthday Holy Goalie!

Patience Could Be Key To A Celtic Victory & Happy Birthday Holy Goalie!

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!

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*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.

BBC Scotland-Serving Sevco Since 2012

BBC Scotland-Serving Sevco Since 2012

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…

 

Remember, The Bhoys Are 51 Games Unbeaten….

Remember, The Bhoys Are 51 Games Unbeaten….

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…

Pointless Making Stadiums Safe Inside When It’s Dangerous Outside…

Pointless Making Stadiums Safe Inside When It’s Dangerous Outside…

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.

PiC @stubob1888

Old Bhoys Back In The Fold..

Old Bhoys Back In The Fold..

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….

Cup Holders Head For Dundee….

Cup Holders Head For Dundee….

BetFred Cup holders Celtic have been drawn away from home in the quarter-finals against Dundee.

The Dens men are now managed by EBT recipient, and former anti-Celtic pundit Neil McCann, who’ll try to put all those days in the Sky Sports studio telling other managers how to beat Celtic to use.

Whether he succeeds or not will depend largely on the Hoops having an off day, the referee being a brother or maybe a combination of both.

An away tie in any cup is never a surprise for Celtic but across the city, there were demands for a redraw as Sevco were paired with Partick Thistle, away from Ibrox.

When it was explained to the grief stricken bluenoses that Partick play in Glasgow, they immediately calmed down and began reminiscing of that day last season, when they clinched European football at the same venue. Many will be watching the DVD of the occasion this very minute….

Ties are scheduled for September 19/20/21.

The Future’s Bright…It’s Green and White!

The Future’s Bright…It’s Green and White!

With a number of important games on the horizon, Brendan Rodgers was always going to shuffle his pack for the visit of Kilmarnock in the BetFred Cup last night.

He knew he’d be without the suspended captain Scott Brown, and with his usual understudy Mikael Lustig rested, the gaffer chose 20 year-old Kieran Tierney to skipper a much changed side from Saturday’s opening day win against Hearts.

Celtic started, and finished, the game with Anthony Ralston (18), Kristoffer Ajer (19), Kieran Tierney (20) and Calvin Miller (18) as their back four. Koussi Eboue (19) and Kundai Benyu (19) also featured in the starting eleven, though Eboue went off injured in the second half, after an impressive first 45.

Brendan sprinkled enough experience throughout the side, Craig Gordon, Jonny Hayes, Stuart Armstrong and Leigh Griffiths to help the young Bhoys out.

And it worked a treat.

After taking the lead courtesy of a 14th minute Leigh Griffiths penalty, Kilmarnock never really lay a glove on this Celtic side. Further goals from Anthony Ralson, a debut header on 21 minutes and another Leigh Griffiths strike on 29 minutes, effectively finished the game as a contest.

The second half was much more of the same, with the Hoops keeping total control of the ball, but will be forever remembered for captain for the night, and man of the match,  Kieran Tierney’s 35-yard screamer on 65 minutes!

Stuart Armstrong completed the scoring six minutes later after another strong run and cross by Anthony Ralston, who was a good candidate for man of the match himself.

The stats show a comfortable 5-0 victory for the cup holders, with an impressive 70% possession, against another Premiership team. Incredibly, it was also the InVIncibles 50th domestic match unbeaten under Brendan Rodgers tenure.

A wonderful achievement.

And more importantly, the future’s bright, it’s without doubt, green and white!

Speculation And Confirmation, The Last 24 Hours In The Celtic World…

Speculation And Confirmation, The Last 24 Hours In The Celtic World…

In the last 24 hours we’ve seen two pieces of ‘news’ dominate the Celtic world.

The first has been ongoing since the end of last season, but in the last day or so is gathering pace to hopefully reach a conclusion that will keep EVERY Celtic fan on the planet happy. The imminent signing of Manchester City’s and Celtic invincible, Paddy Roberts.

Over the last couple of days, the news outlets basically said the destination of young Patrick would be either Celtic Park or the French Riviera, with Nice looking to sign the winger.

Well, either that was bullshit, quite possible with the media, or it was a stunt by the French club to get their real target, Allan Saint-Maximin from Monaco, who they signed last night.

That signing has effectively paved the way for the return to Paradise of Roberts, should Celtic and Manchester City agree terms, though to b e honest, I’d thought the conditions for making Paddy a permanent signing were negotiated before now.

As always, the bookies too are heaving their say. They make Celtic favourites to capture the Bhoy, so, for once, here’s hoping they’re right!

The other ‘big story’ to break came from CQN last night, in the form a really cryptic piece that implied plenty but provided little, with the caveat of ‘now a live case’ at the end of the article.

However, the gist of the story, if you read between the lines, not always that easy to be honest, was the involvement of the SFA, possibly Dunfermline Athletic, although not named, and maybe a couple of other prominent ‘businessmen’ who are all involved in a scandal that will rock Scottish Football.

Now, I don’t know who’s behind the story but if Paul Brennan is involved, I’d be inclined to believe the piece, he’s not one for spinning out bullshit.

A developing story, as the article says….

Daly Spat Just A SMSM Deflection From Hoops Performance…

Daly Spat Just A SMSM Deflection From Hoops Performance…

Celtic started the league campaign at Paradise yesterday, as if the new season was just a continuation of our unbeaten last season. The Hoops strolled through the game against manager less Hearts, scoring four times with the loss of a late consolation goal.

In fact, the Bhoys were so far ahead of the Embra side, Brendan took off man of the match Leigh Griffiths, with 25 minutes to go, meaning we were effectively playing without a recognised striker for the remainder of the game!

Two goals from Leigh, along with some great touches, and some brilliant, unselfish running, a single each from Scott Sinclair, who like Griff, seems to love scoring against the Jambos, and Callum McGregor completed the scoring for the afternoon. Callum was unlucky not to have himself another couple of goals.

In reality, it was just like ‘another day at the office’ for the six-in-a-row Champions.

But that doesn’t make good headlines for the SMSM. To mix things up, they could easily have chosen to ask the question why Kyle Lafferty was allowed to stay on the park, after he was given a foul against him for deliberately diving, not long after he received a booking?

A booking that was long overdue, I’m sure it was his sixth offence, before referee Clancy yellow carded the big streak of piss*. (Yet Broonie was booked for his first foul?)

Or they could go with Hearts caretaker Jon Daly’s scathing attack on Brendan for the Celtic boss daring to stick up for former Hearts gaffer Ian Cathro? There was also some nonsense about it being a ‘disgrace’ to talk about another teams players.

Although last season the bold Pedro ‘named’ the Motherwell  and Aberdeen teams to play against Sevco, without a word said!

We all know what they’d choose.

The whole soup taker Daly and Brendan spat was just a deflection from reporting the fact that Celtic are just 13 games away from breaking another record. That would be too much for the SMSM to swallow…

*They could also have reported the same Lafferty giving the Celtic fans behind the dugout ‘the finger’ after he was substituted. I’m sure had Broonie or Leigh did the same it would have been covered….

S’happening Bitton?

S’happening Bitton?

When Kieran Tierney greeted Nir Bitton at the entrance to Celtic’s Lennoxtown complex a few weeks back and asked him ‘s’happening Bitton?’ the support had a right good laugh to ourselves.

Here was a player, talking to team mate the same way we would talk to our pals. In other words, like everything Kieran does, we could relate to it. ‘Bitton’, who was in and out of the team at the time, just gave KT a high five and moved on.

I’m sure they still greet each other the same way but maybe the answer might be a bit different, because the in the last two games, Nir Bitton, first as a substitute in Trondheim on Wednesday, then playing the full ninety minutes at Celtic Park yesterday, has been outstanding.

With injuries to Dedryck Boyata and Erik Sviatchenko, the support were asking if Brendan would go into the transfer market for another central defender? Knowing Jozo also has to be carefully managed in case of injury, it seemed a logical step.

But the boss had other ideas, and after watching him play the same role in training, he decided Nir Bitton would fit the bill in the centre of the back four. The 6’4” Israeli international has the attributes to do the job, and unlike a new signing, doesn’t need time to get settle and get to know his team mates.

Whether the move works long term remains to be seen, but for now, he’s doing just fine…