The icing on the cake !

For a sports fan the weekend was one of those rare ones were it just got better and better.

I knew there were some big events on but to have several over the first big winter weekend here was a pleasant bonus indeed .

 

Friday night seen my spectating begin with my drinking partner insisting on watching his beloved LA Lakers . I hadnt watched a basketball game in the longest time and a Friday night home game with LeBron also playing was a great choice , with the home team overcoming a ten point deficit to win the game . Jack Nicholson was in his usual courtside seat though looking very sedate and the years showing hard . Toby McGuire was not in his usual seat  but the game will be remembered by me for being twice disturbed by breaking news ticker tape .

 

The first announced the 3rd best tight end in the NFL had been released by his team , during the season , after a video surfaced of him pushing and kicking a woman , and his team state he subsequently lied during the internal investigation .

The leagues commissioner then announced he wasnt a free agent , he was suspended pending the leagues own investigation and could not even attend a game .

Oh for such sticklers for the rules in Scottish Football .

https://www.npr.org/2018/12/02/672701539/nfls-chiefs-cut-player-seen-attacking-woman-after-video-becomes-public

 

The other breaking news was the passing of former president Bush ( RIP ) , which will continue to be big news here of course , Its perfect filler for the media , patriotic , a hit with viewers , and easy to string something together , win win .

 

Saturday seen Stuart Armstrong open the scoring for the Saints against the poorest United side I have ever seen , even with all their stars and mega manager . Old Stuart scored a beauty , an absolute rocket placed low and hard that had one of the best keepers in the world shaking his head in disbelief . His team could not hold on to a two goal lead though and shared the spoils .

 

That evening seen my eyes return to the same Lakers venue believe it or not to watch the Gypsy King himself Tyson Fury go toe to toe with the Usa’s best heavyweight . I thought he was robbed at the time but upon sleeping on it I can see where a draw came from and will move on and look forward to the rematch . How Tyson got up from his second knockdown is beyond me and he deserves respect for that alone . Worth a google if you havent seen it .

 

Sunday seen several top games to choose from .

The first I watched myself was the Merseyside derby which was a high tempo affair with both teams seeking not to lose first and win second . She seemed all set for a deserved by both sides draw only for Pickford to get himself on the football bloopers youtube video . What he was thinking I will never know , but as derbies go , that was one hell of an ending . Kinda reminded me of Nayim scoring against Seaman all those years ago in Europe ,,, was just a fluke that could not be replicated should someone try . I rated the young keeper before this , hopefully it doesnt break him . Keeps the Pool in the hunt for a long awaited Prem title also that result , luvly jubbly .

 

Next up I took in the clash at Tynecastle . There was a lot riding on this for both teams and I was pleasantly surprised it wasnt a blood and thunder hammer throwing affair but had a bit of football.

The Jam tarts tried to break at pace with purpose and Levein actually had the gallus to start a 17 year old . I thought their left back Mitchell looked very handy .

Stevie Gee’s charges set up with purpose also and looked very much up for it . Goldson was their best player for me . Their winning goal was offside by a yard maybe but I just put it down as incompetence rather than bias .

Arfield though ,,, good Lord . That wasnt a challenge it was an assault and it looked as if he was gonna get lynched only the ref stood infront of him . A straight red carries a 3 match ban I believe and if der Hun does appeal that one it truly would be brass neck and blowtorch territory .

The celebrations at full time showed how much this game meant to the the away dugout .

We shall not be moved poured out immediately from the away support .

Look out for media headlines saying “ they dont like looking up “ and “ Stevies magic is working “ etc etc

In fairness he is doing well with what hes got but he keeps needing a helping hand.

That Morelos scored his 17th of the season , he is pure gash , would get Celtic managers the sack ,us  fans would be up in arms about him. His conversion rate seems woeful ,,, somewhere between every fifth or seventh chance approximately . It would be hard to fathom him leading his team to league glory , thats for sure .  

He and his team might well be at the summit , but will find it tough at the top though every dirty trick in the book will be applied to keep them there , keep a look out and be wise to them.

 

The north London Derby is on the to do list .

Which leads to the final . Brendan surprised me by not playing Olly and is sticking with that 3 man midfield and why not .If it aint broke dont fix it .

If I had said to you before the season began that in the first week of December der Hun would be top of the league and Scott and Olly would be on the bench you would have thought I was mad , just goes to show you eh .  

The game started very open and the Dons certainly were up for it , with their screaming manager urging them on from the sidelines .

3 notables of the first half ,,, James gets shoved on the back with force by both hands , which would be a red card in most leagues , but gets a yellow himself ? Wtf was that about ?

A sickening head clash best left alone .

And Ryan creating and executing the opener . The young man is very impressive , and could well go on to be a mainstay of the team for years to come . He has been a revelation frankly .

Im delighted for him , sure Im not alone in that .

The second half seen a farcical penalty against the Dons awarded  and then justly saved , but that will do Sinky little good or his confidence . I would be livid if that were against my team and once again I dont think bias just incompetence .

Aberdeen certainly tried hard and pushed for the chance to bring us to extra time , but Brendans teams quite simply dont lose cup games . Played 22 Won 22 .

How he does it I dont know , but he certainly seems to have the X Factor .

No matter how you slice it and dice , that is one hell of an impressive record indeed .

Well Done Brendan and the Bhoys !!!

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petec
December 3, 2018 6:24 am

Ryan has the Smile and just sheer dedication and tenacity that will make him a Player @ Celtic.

Aberdeen made it very hard for Celtic Yesterday.

Credit where it is due.

Once Ryan settles into being a first team player – he will really be able to show off his Creativity.

Gold
December 3, 2018 8:32 am

Very cosmopolitan piece today, Mahe – a good read as always.

The Ibrox incumbents are scoring plenty of goals and if your Morellos stat is correct, I.e. only scoring 1 in 5/7, then the team is creating a lot of chances.

That they are able to regularly grind-out’ positive results when a man short, shows tgat there is a siege mentality being engendered I the squad.

December will be a crucial monrh – no doubt – , let’s hope we don’t get the ‘yips’ again, like the start of the season, after the January break.

Rather low key win yesterday – never thought Aberdeen posed any kind of threat, at any time. Rogic, Eduard, Tierney, Forrest, all below par – Sinclair just “flatters to deceive.

big packy
December 3, 2018 8:36 am

hi mahe, hope you are well, was not a great game but had a great goal, what can you say about ryan, never stops running think he will have cemented his place in that team for years to come, glad the penalty was saved justice was done, also glad gary mackay steven is okay.hh.

majoc
Reply to  big packy
December 3, 2018 9:57 am

Blinkin’ flip,MAHE. I would nae like your Sports TV bill-particularly as these nightshifts would mean I miss most of it!

Thanks for the summary of events. So sad to hear your description of Mad Jack,if ever a guy needed vitality in his life,it’s him. I’d imagine that’s the one thing he can’t face living without.

He’s not exactly a favourite actor of mine,though I’ve enjoyed a good few performances from him. But he gave one of my favourite actors,and a good friend of his,the one piece of advice that made his career. Just be yourself. Whatever the role,play it like it was you,but you’re life was just different.

Harry Dean Stanton.

big packy
Reply to  majoc
December 3, 2018 11:45 am

majoc are you okay, haven’t seen you on lately.hh

majoc
Reply to  big packy
December 3, 2018 12:20 pm

Hi,big fella.

Nightshifts,mate. And a split shift on Thursday. Then a trip to That London to meet my nephew for a wee swally.

Add them up,and by the time I got back near midnight on Saturday/Sunday,I could hardly get out of bed yesterday,just catching up on sleep! Missed the game anaw.

Got the same this weekend,pretty much,as I head off to quaff exotic malts and relive days of yore with my big pal SOL KITTS and his delightfully scatty blonde wife-I hope he lets me off with that,it’s meant as a compliment,and the blonde bit is a wee clue!

Speaking of wives and friends,bud-you still ok?

Saltires en Sevilla
December 3, 2018 1:22 pm

Mahe,

Entertaining chat buddy!

That’s a rake of sport … crowned with a 7 on row domestic trophy.

Heady days indeed and I’m right on with all the comments on how the manager and his staff are switched on for winning games that count.

Include the last 2 Europa games and there is much to be positive about.

At Least our frontline Bhoys are getting their stuff together.

The Executive must not think they are off the hook yet!

For another day.

Right now I’m enjoying some nice Weather on the Turquoise Coast.

Staying off the cheap gin tho’ … it’s cheap for a reason. ?

HH

big packy
Reply to  majoc
December 3, 2018 1:42 pm

hi majoc, had to do dogwalking duties there, yes mate fine and dandy, will drop you an e=mail later.hh.

mahe
Reply to  majoc
December 3, 2018 1:52 pm

Majoc,
No tv bill here, dodgy sites and hook laptop up to tv, aka a cordcutter.
Still none the wiser about James yellow card,, if it was a deliberate stamp on her mans ankle he was booked for that’s a red card offense, and yet mans was a deffo red card offence. There was more niggle in that game than the one at swinecastle which really surprised me.
And as Big Packy said very happy MacKay Stevens will be ok after what looked a real sickener indeed.
The fella I watched the basketball with does that rewind and forward whatever you’re watching if he wanted to see that play or what happened again. Could be there all night going that and it’s more pain than what it’s worth that malarkey.
Surprised the rags aren’t praising the new messiah this morning, but I see Killie could knock them off!
Seems it should be a decent scrap for second and third which is nice.

Sure you were tired that’s a long session for an oul yin hey. Tell me this, why is the newspaper industry busier midweek? I woulda thought the weekend with the live sport and bulkier editions?
Surely the old fashion newspaper is a dying breed also?
Hope all’s good, drive carefully out there please.
Hail Hail

Rebus67
December 3, 2018 1:58 pm

Just follow the two red eyes staring at you from the front. Hopefully he knows what he is doing and knows where he is going! The eyes were the rear lights of the truck in front as it slashed through the freezing rain on the highway to Ottawa. It was just after 8 am and The weather was not supporting my efforts to get to the Ottawa CSC to watch the final with kindred spirits. It was worth the effort, both socially and for tge Christie goal.

I agree, Gold, Aberdeen flattered to deceive and never really caused panic within the penalty area, even with the big battering rams that they had in there. To be honest Celtic looked a bit off, possibly from their mid week efforts. Eddy’s passing was off but McGregor, and Christie made up for it.

A thoroughly enjoyable morning and afternoon spent with some new friends. At halftime they played a message from Celtic to the Ottawa club thanking members for their support for the homeless. A club with a heart, indeed!

Rebus

The Gombeen Man
December 3, 2018 2:12 pm

A quality read Mahe and it brightened up my Monday lunchtime.

I saw the end of the Merseyside Derby, that must have been an awful way to lose a match for the Evertonians.
Across October and November, Liverpool only conceded 2 goals in the EPL. Yesterday’s points highlight he value of the clean sheet.
The CL is the Achilles Heal for Liverpool with 4 goals conceded in November.

Celtic haven’t lost a goal against domestic opposition since the 20th of October in the 4-2 victory over Hibernian. The last goal scored against us was against Leipzig at Celtic Park on the 8th of November. Clearly, we are doing something right but the worry is the Centre Back positions post January.

Boyatta looked pretty despondent about his injury yesterday, I haven’t seen any updates and hope it’s not a recurrence of the injury he suffered earlier in the season. Ryan Christie looks to have matured physically and appears to have benefitted from his time spent on loan. He looks a man now.

Scott Brown played well when he came on and I thought we managed the game well. The Griff isn’t too far away and there are a few still missing, Morgan, Bitton, Izaguirre, Gamboa, Kouassi, Ajer, Mulumbu, Hayes. The squad looks strong and with a quality addition or two, we are in a good place.

Brendan Rodgers is a class act. Seven trophies in a row is a remarkable achievement in anyone’s book and he always conducts himself in a dignified manner. He epitomises what’s good about Celtic. Watching the end of the game yesterday I saw Derek McInnes having words with Mikael Lustig. I’ve no idea what was said but watching the roughhouse tactics of his team yesterday I thought he had a bit of a cheek.

Scott Bain did well too and Jozo played well after his aberration shortly after replacing Dedryck.

Meanwhile in Gangster Land on the southside of the River Clyde expectations are rising given the fact that Sevco are top of the league. I’m informed that an ‘error of judgement’ by a linesman gave Sevco a historic victory. It would be mean-spirited not to acknowledge the significance of a new club reaching pole position for the first time.

Undoubtedly the victory at Tynecastle prompted hysterical celebrations in within the criminal fraternity in Scotland.

I’ll go back to my daily toil with Alexander Pope’s famous line ringing in my ears,

‘Blessed is He Who Expects Nothing, for He Shall Never Be Disappointed.’

HH

mahe
Reply to  Gold
December 3, 2018 2:34 pm

Gold, hello Sir and hope all well with you and yours.
That stat is probably way off and is my own observation,, , he is a very poor striker for me who has a terrible finishing ratio imo.
I wouldn’t be surprised if we seen a new first choice striker come in over there for the big push.
I did see your interesting piece on how Stevie has nothing but idol status and this will fade.
Sure I can see where you are coming from but he does seem to have got his team playing with intent and a spring in their step. We are in a scrap, and the busy festive season is upon us.
Der Hun has a further 8 games in this month with Hibs, ourselves, and the Dons in there.
A big Euro tie also just to sap the legs.
I think it’s fair to say this is showtime for them, , , a good month followed by additions and yeah it’s on for real.
I expect a poor to average month, Stevie saying they are tired and need help, basically asking for transfer funds. All eyes turn to the board then instead of pitch. At end of season we will be told aim was a “ solid “ second with challenging the next campaign.
10 points in the next month would not surprise me at all, over 15 he’s done very well.
Wonder if you would agree?
Hail Hail

mahe
Reply to  Saltires en Sevilla
December 3, 2018 4:17 pm

SeS, hope you’re enjoying yourself on them travels, its good for the soul. Have numerous in laws hitting Hawai this week coincidently.
The winter months bring the games thick and fast and true champs stand up and be counted during this phase. It really is a big big month footie wise and the lie if the land in Jan will tell a lot about who is going where.
I love the festive games myself but do understand other leagues that break for a few weeks. Surprised a Christmas day game hasn’t been mentioned by some unscrupulous tv company. The worst part is most pitches turn to potato fields in the less elite leagues.
In saying that I have seen Nfl games get played in conditions that would have a soccer game called off,,and there will be many fans there you can bet.
Take it easy, yourself and on the liver!
Hail Hail

Awe Naw
December 3, 2018 4:47 pm

Mahe,

Great article. Very very hungover today. Well done the bhoys yesterday. Especially big Dedryck.

Jimmynotpaul
Reply to  Awe Naw
December 3, 2018 5:04 pm

Mahe.
A most enjoyable read.
Especially the last bit.
Hail Hail

Gold
Reply to  mahe
December 3, 2018 5:53 pm

I do agree – over at Ibrox they just love turning the clock back and bringing in -‘real Rangers men’.

Perhaps Steve Davis, Charlie Adam and Steven Naismith could ‘find their way home’, if not Naismith then could SG persuade Liverpool to give Solanke on loan. Make no mistake about it, they now really fancy their chances of winning the title. King talked about only needing to do it once and the Celtic ‘pack of cards’ would crumble – they have the ‘scent’ and will throw everything they can lay their hands on at it this season.

As for us, we must get a right-back, maybe the Welsh boy Roberts – looks like a replacement for Boyata will be needed and another striker to complete the picture, perhaps a ‘target-man’ type that could be the difference in games where we are forced to change our style of play, like the defeat to Kilmarnock and draws against St Mirren & Livingstone.

I can’t see Sevco winning in Vienna, but quite fancy our chances of a draw and getting through against Salzburg. If we then progress further in the EL, we could be constantly playing catch-up on a Sunday, if they keep winning on a Saturday from February onwards.

This is our biggest test in seven years!!!!

Awe Naw
December 3, 2018 6:02 pm

https://rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/announcement-by-our-chairman/

I normally wouldn’t encourage clicks on the gun website but there is a link to download a document. That’s an interesting read

The Exiled Tim
December 3, 2018 8:12 pm

Good stuff mahe, and delighted to read all for free 😉
The older I get the less sport I watch, when I was younger I would watch anything apart from cricket, never seen the fascination with it, didn’t care much for horse racing on the tv but loved going to the racing, went to the snooker twice, first time took the young fella cos he wanted to see Stephen Hendry, why the ef I went a second time I have no idea, bored me to tears, loved the darts, superb entertainment, golf as well, great day out, football tops the lot tho, esp if your team was playing.
Awe Naw
Contempt of court, racketeers, gangsters, money laundering and nothing in the smsm apart from the implication that it’s eff all to do with glibby or der hun, Traynor sure is earning his corn.
Said from way before they went bust that I could see court cases on the horizon and that the government would get involved, laughed at for my sins, but like you have been proved right time after time.

big packy
Reply to  Awe Naw
December 3, 2018 8:20 pm

AWE NAW Im sick of this sevco top of the league shit, they should not be anywhere near us feck the sfa.hh.

rebus67
December 3, 2018 8:43 pm

Now that we heading towards the transfer window, I’d like to throw a few shots into the pot.
We need another CB to plan for the CL qualifiers. Benkovic will be gone by then, and possibly Boyata as well. Ajer will occupy one of the three positions that we need, so one more is required if we do not resign Boyata. Moving Simo on be good if we bring one in.

Two games a week for a period of time is asking a lot of ML so we need to bring in a successor at RB…someone good enough to play now, preferably someone with a bit of height.Blue eyes and blond hair would be nice as well but I’ll settle for the height.
The midfield looks fixed so that leaves the forwards. I think that what you see with Sinclair is what we’ll get. Either Morgan steps up to the plate or we need someone to push Scott. However, that can wait until the next window. What is John Hartson doing? We need a centre like him…someone that can head the ball and hold it up. If we get that Christie will be our top scorer. Eddy is a good player but is better coming in from the wing…so maybe that is the solution, Edouard replaces SS on the wing and we get a new striker. Griff will still contribute but he is the type to bring ours into the play.

Total spend would be 20 million but if get something for Boyata and Simo that would offset part of it.

Rebus

Gold
Reply to  rebus67
December 3, 2018 9:13 pm

Good evening, Rebus, agree with all you say.

Let’s hope we can be quick off the mark in the window.

I can’t think of a John Hartson/Chris Sutton lookalike either – but there is no doubt this is the type we need. HH

Jimmynotpaul
Reply to  Gold
December 3, 2018 9:26 pm

Rebus 67.
Good post.
P.C. Lustig is still waiting to hear, if Celtic are taking up a one year extension. Right back a priority.
I think, sadly, we will need a minimum of 2 centre backs.
We need a striker and at least one wide player, who is first team ready.
It will be interesting to see who comes in during January.
The PLC will be desperate to sell Dedryk unless he signs a new contract, which I think is unlikely. I would be delighted to be wrong.
Hail Hail

Gold
December 3, 2018 9:35 pm

Mahe – really pleased to see the blog taking off so well.

I still look in to CQN from time to time, however the comment section, as I have said before, has now become a kind of mawkish gossip pen-pal site.

Only about a quarter of actual comments are about Celtic and football – on here there is real debate, except for the odd ‘pen-pal’ from CQN, posting now and again. Of course it is not Paul Brennan fault – I still agree with most of his pieces.

Much more meaty and considered comments on here – long may it continue. HH

The Exiled Tim
December 3, 2018 10:07 pm

I read somewhere that Brendan is off today to talk to a potential January signing, no other info, could be utter garbage but it’s a rumour 😉
I think it’s a racing certainty that we are gonna need two CB’s this window, or one in and one lined up for the summer and brought in as soon as the window opens, we have to qualify for the CL this next season else we will struggle to bring in decent quality cos of the reduce wages we will be able to offer.
A striker and a RB are also needed, I would hope he is scouring the likes of PSG’s and the likes squads, France is full of potential talent and we would get them due to Dembele et all
Pedro said a while back that the Jan window is our most important one, as we need to bed players in for the CL qualifiers, I hope and pray he delivers, we have the money, imo spending 10 mill is not a gamble but a necessity to make sure we stay ahead of the hun, the powers are ramping up their effort, we need quality to stay ahead of the cheats.

majoc
Reply to  mahe
December 3, 2018 10:35 pm

MAHE

Midweek is when a lot of weekly papers are printed-actually in preparation for the weekend to come. Just takes me a bit longer to recover now than when I was,erm,younger. Simple answer,really.

majoc
December 4, 2018 5:32 am

New article up!