That Was The Week That Was,and what a week indeed. It all started so brightly-hot on the heels of a spirited display but a disappointing result in Valencia,we faced an agricultural Motherwell at home on the Sunday. This was a team in form,remember,having recently risen to be challenging for a top six place,and we trounced them 4-1. Despite them cheating to get the goal,another incident airbrushed from history by what was to come only two days later.
Celtic suddenly found themselves without a manager,the man who had brought back our mojo and with it,the crowds. Seven successive trophies speak for themselves,as do two successive trebles. But they didn’t speak loudly enough to dissuade BR to join struggling rent-a-manager Leicester City,nor did they speak loudly enough for the board to make much of an effort to keep him.
But he is no longer Celtic manager,and we now have Neil Lennon to lead us into battle. And just as well he is battle-hardened,as his first two games saw us visit the capital twice.
On Wednesday night,we faced Hearts at Tynecastle,and having taken the lead through James Forrest-after a lightning break from defence-we contrived to hand them a route back via fannying about at the back.
At least,I think those were the words NL used!
Fortunately,French Eddie came to our rescue late on,with a superb shuffle of feet to get on to the ball inside injury time. Three points maintained our eight point lead at the top,and with only ten games to go,I’m hopeful we can achieve trophy number eight.
Trophy number nine is a different matter. There were only three games to go in that one,The Scottish Cup,and NL duly took us back to his old stomping ground for what again looked a very difficult tie. We took early control but did nothing of note with it,although much of that was down to referee Willie Collum being his usual spineless self. Hibs then gained the upper hand for about ten minutes before NL moved James Forrest inside.
This was to prove the turning point of the match as we took the game by the scruff of the neck. Fifteen minutes into the second half,Forrest received the ball about 25 yards out. A few paces to his right to make space for himself and then he fired high into the opposite corner for the opener,and what a way to do it! A goal good enough to win any game,but there was more-possibly even better!-to come.
Our captain Broonie found himself in possession just inside the box fifteen minutes later. He too took a few paces to his right to make space for himself and fired it into the opposite corner that Jamesie had recently bulged. And when I say fired,I mean like a rocket-I haven’t seen a Celtic player hit a ball so hard since Dariusz Wdowczyk down at Highbury in 1991.
Even Tommy Gemmell would have been proud of that one!
That was the scoring over for the day,a satisfactory 2-0 win seeing us comfortably into the semi-finals where I would like to see us drawn to play either Aberdeen or Partick Thistle! Lenny can be well-pleased with events during his first few days in charge. He now has the luxury of something not afforded a Celtic manager since 1st August-a free midweek! That’s an incredible statistic,and it shows how hard the players have had to work to keep up their high standards in the face of such an unrelenting schedule.
So,a maximum of a dozen games left-can we do it? Watch this space!
In other news regarding the game in Scotland,it appears that the Scottish Government are planning to enforce Strict Liability on the clubs via pressure on the SFA,or by legislation. I’m not sure how FIFA will take to that as they have a long-standing policy which heavily sanctions political interference in the game. The weekend saw a continuation of the theme of unsavoury or downright disgraceful incidents marring a game.
The bar in which I watched the match was too noisy for me to hear any proscribed or offensive singing or chanting from our fans-not that I’m too bothered about it during a game at the best of times if I’m honest,I’m too busy watching the match and willing our bhoys on! But we have a recent track record,and there’s no denying it.
But it was the Hibs fans who gave us the worst moment of the day,as a Buckfast bottle narrowly missed Scott Sinclair as he went to take a corner. The 50p deposit flung shortly afterwards came even closer. It has been said on here and elsewhere that someone is going to get hurt,and that it has to be stopped.
And at Aberdeen,someone was indeed hurt-badly enough to be hospitalised. The hun thugs given carte blanche as usual to support their team in any way they see fit ripped up the seats inside Pittodrie and started throwing them at the opposition fans. One young lad was struck,and I hope he is well on his way to recovery.
I haven’t seen a statement from Aberdeen or Rangers yet-I’m not saying that there hasn’t been one,just that I haven’t seen it,same as I haven’t seen one from Celtic-but the one from Hibs was breathtaking. They alleged that two bottles had been thrown,including one from the away end! With cameras everywhere,I await with bated breath the evidence of this-once the photoshop fella comes back from his weekend off. Whataboutery at its worst.
Or is it? Back to Strict Liability again. Is it any coincidence that behaviour at Scottish grounds has worsened since the repeal of OBaF Act? The authorities will tell you No,that they warned that this would be the outcome. Well,IMO,it is indeed the outcome,but it is because of a lack of action by the police to enforce existing laws which already enable arrests for bottle-throwing,coin-throwing-when a Rangers fan hit a linesman and opened the back of his head in Autumn,the culprit was clearly shown on video but no arrest was made.
That’s only an example. The flare which our support threw on to the pitch on Saturday -in another example of CGAF behaviour-was clearly caught on TV just as it was lit. I’m willing to bet that the culprit can be seen clear as day in footage from that same camera. There are photos of seats being thrown yesterday with clearly identifiable people,so “wind back the frames” and get some proper police work done.
This has gone on too long,and the police have done the square root of sod all about it. That cannot be a coincidence,orders have clearly come down from on high-hands off,there’s capital to be made from this,let them hang themselves out to dry.
Well,I don’t think the game needs Strict Liability just yet. For starters,sanctions applied will be challenged in court and it will probably end up unworkable,as well as bringing down the wrath of FIFA. What the game needs is the police to start doing their jobs properly. There is a photo of Willie Collum handing the Buckie bottle over,with about twenty cops in the background. Not ONE is making any effort to do anything but walk round the perimeter of the pitch talking to their mates.
Do your job. Your services are highly paid for by the clubs. Apply Zero Tolerance by all means,because you’re zero use to anyone at the moment.
Above article by BMCUWP. It can be your turn anytime you like,just drop us a mail to