The A.N.Other Brothers
As previews for the upcoming match go,this is a toughie. It’s the last league game of the season,the day we round it all off by receiving the trophy. A day we would all love to think of as an opportunity to,well,put on the style. And pile on the agony of course.
It’s doubtful that tomorrow will see any of that. For starters,we have a defining Cup Final to play the following week,and it’s the same opponents in both games. And most importantly,I haven’t a clue who NL is going to pick!
I very much doubt too whether Neil will have finalised his team yet either. Because he has a vastly diminished pool of talent available to him. There’s a hoary old quiz question for Celtic fans,to name three brothers who played together in the same Celtic team. The answer of course is Jock Stein,Bertie Peacock and Bobby Evans. Brothers from another Mother,so to speak. Sunday may well give us the A.N. Other brothers,with a guest appearance from W.H. Oami. Yes,the squad really IS that threadbare.
I touched on it in yesterday’s article,but I would reckon that what would widely be regarded by Celtic supporters as a first choice starting eleven has been greatly reduced. Missing on Sunday through injury will be Mikael Lustig,Dedryck Boyata,Kieran Tierney,Scott Brown,Ryan Christie,James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard. You could add that Scott Bain and Jozo Simunovic owe their places to injuries to Craig Gordon and the yet to return Filip Benkovic. That’s EIGHT first team picks missing,and possibly ten.
That’s frightening. Hence the appearance of TBC(To Be Confirmed) as suggested above. How we got into this mess is an argument for another day,but I give you as evidence for a lack of protection for our players the refusal to uphold a ban on John Flanagan for using an elbow on Scott Brown last week.
Now,in my opinion Kevin Clancy saw fine well what happened at the time,but took the chance to say his view was blocked by the players involved. TV evidence showed that to be a possibility rather than a likelihood. But it seems his own explanation was that he didn’t think that the elbow hit Scott in the face! That suggests two things,that he doesn’t know the laws of the game,and two,that even he would have sent Flanagan off if he hadn’t been able to think of an excuse not to,pathetic though it was.
So what of the judicial panel? Don’t ban him because he didn’t hit him hard enough? It’s only Scott Brown? “It’s him again!!!”? A disgraceful decision,and all the worse for it being typical and for Celtic being unable to do anything about it. Same with the assault on Ryan Christie by an alleged pal. If I had pals like that,I’d be in the jail with the key thrown away.
The list is endless so I’ll leave it at that,but it helps explain our injury problems. All those unpunished overzealous tackles add up over time,players end up with niggling injuries during the course of matches,weakening their ability to withstand further knocks,and here we are at the end of the season with a sicknote supporters club in the stands. Back to the team for tomorrow.
Goalkeeper has to be Scott Bain.*
Right back is a choice of Toljan or Ralston. I’ll go for the latter as Toljan won’t take the kicks from the Tynecastle thugs,he’ll just bottle it. Left back falls to Izzy as even Jonny Hayes is struggling to be fit.
Centre backs Kris* and Jozo*
In midfield,I’d go with Ollie and Callum* along with Euan Henderson and Tom Rogic.*
Up front I’d go with Sinky and Olly Burke,the latter preferred over Michael Johnston as the Hearts thugs will think twice about kicking him.
I’ll be honest,I don’t think we’ll win with that side,but it’s the best I could do! Hopefully Leigh Griffiths will be fit enough to play the last half hour or so and maybe cheer me up a bit. I suspect by then that I’ll need it.
Btw,if your wondering what the asterisks are for,they’re against the names of the players whom I’d be inclined to rest to ensure they are fit for next week. I honestly think that Hearts will do their best to maim some of our players,and they have the right referee in Thompson to facilitate that.
Though in Scotland,any bloody referee will facilitate that. And the judicial panel will pat them all on the head and congratulate them on a job well done.
Best wee country in the world,my arse.
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Above article by BMCUWP