Lenny has big decisions to make in a game that he best win in a bit of style if he is continue in place.
Scour the blogs and general consensus is he should not get it , or there was a rumour last week of telling a dinner night out among fellow Hoops that he’s not getting it.
Many fell off the bandwagon due to performances or lack of and feel we are in general winning by dint of affording better quality , not shape or tactics.
I would say that a result , a good result allied with a plan , would keep his name in that hat and once you’re in the hotseat in theory it should take someone with a stronger resume to push you out.
Lose and he’s a caretaker only most likely and even more unlikely to be called on again if / when the situation arises once more .
There’s also momentum going into the Cup final to be considered , as well as the small matter of injuries to any perceived Cup final starting 11.
Throw in the fact that we were soundly beaten there last time and it’s a thigh rubber even though the league is wrapped up.
So how do I think it will go?
Well I did tell you all that come seasons end we wouldn’t even be thinking about THAT defeat and the manner of it , which is true hopefully .
I thought and stated at the time they simply had to turn up and win one of these times and that was the one.
It should serve as a wake up call to the squad , watching reruns of that game this week in the build up , that we simply can’t show up and expect anything .
And we also have my own personal bugbear about the lack of respect in applauding us on or forming some sort of honour guard ,, hardly conducive to great relationships but hey , not our call and it is what it is. Stevie confirmed the order came from “ the club “ and his own personal feelings didn’t come into the matter . Wimp !
The fact he even felt compelled to state that it was not his decision makes me think he’s not all the way on the same page as his paymasters on this one,, a chism perhaps.
With zero to play for position wise for the men in light blue all they have on the line is one of the seven deadly sins ,,, pride ,, and that troubles me .
When bayed on by their one of a kind mob and a few knowing ( and some thinking it might be ) its your last of these games , they might just wish for a bit of a battle .
On that front however luckily for us though some of the main expected protagonists are missing ,, Lafferty ,, Mcgregor for a start . This bodes well as those stepping in may well try to appease their boss in their big chance and knowing he’s not up for indiscipline that may bring more football to the core .
However he was talking about “ competing and fighting “ and possibly unluckily for us one of the usual suspects could well appear to play his last derby game and will be very sorely tempted to have a bit of malarkey ,, Morelos . He might be on the bench though.
Defoe may well get a start here , his temperament will have helped in that decision as will last weekends matchwinner and I myself would be delighted with that decision and see him the lesser of two evils.
On a battle however we do have a brand new ref in charge !
With a Timmy sounding name and with four straight red cards to his name this season in the league perhaps ol Kevin Clancy he will not fall for the sure as taxes and death histrionics and dirty tricks one team will no doubt try especially when drawing to try and gain the advantage.
After Beatongate it has to get better , I hope.
Its Kevins derby debut ,, lets see the character of the man under this test . He’s Chairman of Referee’s Association , and spoke up about officials getting abused and missiles etc in the past.
Im curious as to how he will perform.
On the Celtic front I think we could lay our ( Pc’s ) hat on Mikael starting his last game against our city neighbours . MY theory is he will bug the boss bigtime to play and with a weeks recovery Lenny will fold ,, probably due to the fact he’s not our problem ( you never were once big man fair play to you ) any more in another few weeks so more than likely gets the nod.
Besides after scoring a cracker last week , he will want to torment them one last time . At 35 to 1 odds for the first goal those who enjoy a wee punt may well want to try a quid on our departing Swede who has been exceptional value overall.
Toiljan is the back up and being on loan isn’t our risk really ,, this one will be a tough call and it’s why they get the big bucks.
On the other side I think we should go with Izzy ,, who claims to have been offered one more year deal but really wants the MLS ? Gracias Senor pero No Gracias !
Have a final fling and be a wee bit of the buzzbomb you were amigo. Hayes keep for the final.
Kt should be chilling on a beach somewhere ( post surgery if needed ) as far as I’m concerned and dont play til you’re 200 percent ready is my humble opinion on our jewel who needs to recoup and gain his lustre back.
Ajer and Jozo form the Twin Towers at the center. If they are going to lead us into Europe next season then its best we play them all we can . Dont break them up.
Midfield is a hard one , to save and protect or unleash the dogs of war !
Rogic usually performs in these games and those twinkle toes around the box usually do something over the course of his usual 70 mins or so.
Calmac ,, the head says rest the heart says put him in middle and tell him he’s free as a bird , do the damage son.
The Captain would never ever want to miss out on this game and is an on field leader now no doubt about it , but would probably find himself prime target should he play ,,, rock and hard place.
Scott Sinclair could well see Ibrox for the last time ( lucky bassa ) as I expect him to split the scenes in the summer ,, and as such should look to make an impact if chosen but if it does come down to a battle he doesn’t strike me as the type to stand up tall.
A strong ref would suit him , and he himself should aim to go out with a bang if heading home soon. A last hoorah would be nice.
James I would love to wrap in cotton wool .
The issue is I can’t see a direct replacement ready and Lenny knows and likes him. He’s probably our most important player after the Cap and his goals may best Skoosh to that title actually.
We need him for the final , and as such normally I would say he should not be risked .
That would leave the right side open though , and with Weah away plus no Griff on the bench last week against Killie that drags Ollie Burke out of the equation as he’s needed up top so basically we need James out wide as there’s a lack of options .
He’s a major threat and will help win the game no doubt but it’s hardly the most important of the next 8 days so pray to every and any God he comes through unscathed.
Upfront we should see Edouard as usual and with a lack of others it’s clearly gonna be Burke to back him up. Switching that up would be interesting , and I suppose commonsense. There’s another option and would maybe give a defining insight into whether its worth pursuing the lad .
Tactics,, they go out the roof in a derby game and we should all know that by now.
But as mentioned it’s a big one for the gaffer who will push his troops for a win .
Stevie and the stadium plus Glib and Shameless could really really do with this .
The season tickets are due to be shifted and the masses need to be convinced next year is unmissable,, look Stevie has the managerless Tims on the run !
A win and strong performance similar to last time at their midden would bring in the cash , and don’t think for one second those in command over there are not aware of this and haven’t pushed this on their rookie.
Thus it actually really does have a flip a coin feeling as to what exactly will emerge from this particular clash.
Both could really do with it ,, and they want a repeat performance. Brand new ref in the mix.
Folks quite simply ,,,, Saddle Up !
Please send any match reviews or thoughts on the game to email@example.com and we will publish.
Stay safe everyone , youre all far more precious than three points.