The Number 5 and the Magic of 67
Celtic know how to put us through the wringer,eh? We expected it to be an emotional occasion,and it was. But we then ran the full gamut of emotions as we toiled in the match itself.
Frustration was to the fore for the first hour and more,replaced by joy at a marvellous goal to break the deadlock. This in turn gave way to floods of wonder as we realised who had scored,and when,with utter relief the order of the day at the final whistle.
A packed stadium celebrated the life and the contributions made to Celtic FC of Billy McNeill. Bittersweet for sure,but the right tone was struck throughout,with a huge hoooooped 5 bedecking the centre circle,a beautifully raucous and respectful 67 seconds of applause by the entire crowd,players and management,and an excellent tifo display in The Standing Section. Only the match itself could mar a day like this-and it came mighty close!
Willie Collum may have been a tad quick with his whistle on occasion,certainly in the first half. A scrappy affair though with plenty of attempts at goal. No score at half-time reflected the paucity of quality on display from each side,though again we had Scott Bain to thank for that.
This is becoming a recurring theme since Brendan left. In fact,we have played eight league matches in that time,five wins and three no score draws yielding only eight goals for and two against. That is not title winning material over a season in Scotland,as Tommy Burns team of 96 might recall. Things have to improve for the alternative is unthinkable.
The second half followed the template of the first,with only THAT moment separating the teams. A Callum McGregor cross from the right was met by Jozo who directed it into the net in a manner most of us have seen plenty of times in the past. As we were frantically celebrating,the wonder of it all hit us-our No 5 had scored,and with 67 on the clock!
Magical things happen at Celtic Park,indeed…
The game became a non-event after that,if I’m honest. Both teams continued to try hard,but honest endeavour won’t get you far at the top level. And anyway,the headlines were already written.
It was all about a certain No 5 and the magic of 67.
Above review by BMCUWP. REBUS67 also offers his thoughts on the match,with a little more detail,for which our grateful thanks!
“Sometimes I dream about reality,
Sometimes I feel so gone.”
So said Manu Chao in his song, Mr Bobby, a tribute to Bob Marley.Yesterday at Celtic Park dreams became reality. Once again, the numbers 5 and 67 combined to create another moment in history for our club. As if this was not enough to define fate, the combination of 5 and 67 resulted in a header at the back post that ended up winning the game. How many times has Paradise seen that happen as Billy rose at the back post to power a header into that net? That 67th minute produced
the symmetry that Billyʼs career deserved. When that header went in, the game became secondary. However, that one moment
made the game legendary! It also made Jozo a Celtic immortal. To discuss any other events in the game seems trite but letʼs return to the reality of the efforts of mere mortals. Firstly, it takes two teams to make a game and Killie certainly showed up for this one. Although Celtic dominated, Killie created almost as many chances. It could be argued that some of their chances were more clear cut.Kilmarnock were superbly briefed on our shortcomings…….the slowness of our FBs and our tendency to play through our widemen. Long balls down both wings frequently caught Lustig and Izzy either out of position, or back peddling rather than tackling their man. A modest 4-4-2 frustrated Celtic to distraction. Amazingly, although Killie mainly played eight defenders, they still managed to get three or four forwards into our box. On the other hand, our wingmen were frustrated by blocks of three defenders on each wing who forced us to play horizontally across the Killie defence.
At its darkest moments, the game cried out for a second striker to enter the fray. In fact, it is arguable if we had any strikers on the park. Edouard is a withdrawn or secondary striker, or even a winger, not a traditional striker. This is one of NLʼs weaknesses. He can rarely make effective changes that determine the outcome of a game. His response to the hole in the middle was to bring on a traditional wide player, Hayes and another holding midfielder, Ntcham. Why not put Burke on to support Eddy? We were playing at home, after all.
There is no doubting that some players are tired and looking forward to the end of the season. However, there can be no doubting of their effort and their desire to win.Their reaction after the goal was evidence of that! So the players try their best and
are usually superior to the opposition. Then why are so many players and fans feeling high levels of frustration? The answer has to be the coaching. Once again NL was outcoached on the park. Only the God of Irony saved the day.
However, the most important thing yesterday was the occasion and what a send off for Billy it turned out to be.
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Go on,you know you want to!