Another Nine In A Row!
What a wonderful weekend,another nine in a row. I was lucky enough to be around for the first one,although this one is somewhat different from that-nine trophies in a row,The Rebel Treble Treble. But boy,did we make hard work of it!
This was a final between one team hoping to fluke a win and another seemingly short ofideas on how to win at all. The first half was as dull as ditchwater,and the game only came to life when Hearts scored. Maybe not a fluke as such,but Clare will never again make a backheel pass under pressure like that in his lifetime. It might not have sparked us into life,but it shook a little bit of the lethargy from us. And particularly from matchwinner Odsonne Edouard.
Twice he burst through,first to win a penalty having drawn the keeper,and next doing exactly the same but this time coolly slotting it past him. The cup was ours,the glory of the occasion obliterating the memory of the 97 minutes we had had to endure.
For this was a team running on empty,make no mistake about that. Sure,they were fit enough-our flurry of late winners has proven that-but mentally they are drained. Physically too,I suspect,getting through games on reserves and adrenalin. I don’t blame them. It has been a long hard slog of a season,with some harsh blows along the way.
FIFA and UEFA must shoulder a fair proportion of the blame for this. Is it really fair to submit players to the rigours of a World Cup,extended into the start of many domestic seasons? Is it right to expect players to have to endure as many as eight European tournament qualifiers when they should have their feet up on the beach after another arduous season? If you include international matches,some players can be playing 70-80 matches a season-and that is sheer stupidity.
But that and my thoughts about our managerial appointment can wait for another day. This review is about the cup final on Saturday and what it means to the players and the fans.
The players are legends and the fans are bloody delighted!!!
Above by BMCUWP
I hadnt looked forward to a game this much in a long time,, im talking giddy nervous like a kid.
And the next part of that ritual is the team news where you and everyone hopes the actual team matches the team you want and then learn to start coping with disappointment and hopefully stop questioning those who get paid to make such big decisions.
My eyes were immediately drawn to midfield as its the crucial zone in many games and also where we don’t have a settled starting trio despite being 8 in a row Champions. Its week to week for the most part . That’s a concern that must be addressed.
Tam Rogic was to start and it wasn’t a move I was glad of tbh. Over the course of 4 years or so he has not cemented one of those slots as his own as is a man down when not effective .
He has great feet and his engine seems to have improved but through injury or managers tactics he’s essentially a luxury player and as such wouldn’t start what was bound to be a scrap.
The midfield didn’t win its battle ,, even if the team came out on top in the end.
Levein tried to copy the Huns tactics of a solid line of three in the middle and the wide men pushed in to make a real hard line of 5 to pass through or go wide were their wing backs had tucked up and they were confident against their opposite players.
We had better get used to this and come up with a plan ,, its the go to set up against us now.
Neil didnt better it , even with his subs.
Thats a huge worry . HUGE WORRY !
Mikey Johnston was another huge call and I believe the young man can hold his head up at his performance .
This pushed Odsonne left initially although he would later move inside when Sinky replace Mikey who had tired.
It was that moving inside that would eventually provide the winning goal .
Both Mik and Odsonne were mentally a second ahead of the rest of the players and boom , theres what happens when you buy quality , it delivers.
However once again it was a moment of quality from the big man that got us out of the mire,,not tactics or set pieces. That might work domestically but by its nature falls down when you meet better players in Europe .
Its not a plan , buy better than everyone. Its a stop gap.
It got our gaffer out of jail for a tactically uninspiring display of his nous did those two pieces of quality.
It should be noticed that the big bucks tend to hit the mark a lot more when spent.
And a scrap it was , thanks to the mason in the black. And Levein of course who couldnt set a modern team out to play footie on home patch ,, actually try to win a game through pure football. I will be ecstatic if that was his leaving party,, thats how much he pisses me off. The game would be better for it, never mind Hearts.
It was shocking , a real low point just how much the Jambos got away and the card for young Ajer who has been a real rock at the back recently was especially sickening .
The 5 minutes of extra time was just staggering and then the fact the wee bassa waited until the ball was cleared before blowing just shows exactly what he was up to.
He obviously thought he could get away with such a performance or it wouldn’t have been put in ,, and thats with Lenny on the sidelines in a high pressure , must win , the entire nation and all the ex pats are watching game . Take a moment to think on that please.
It wasn’t a classic by any stretch and only a Bhoy would watch the replay if truth be told .
This Cup was the one they wanted ,, all of them ( the suits ) ,, and all of us.
This was the most important Cup in a long long time and we did it .
It was a moment we won’t forget ,, will have quiz questions about and the grandkids will hear of.
It got Lenny the job but more on that later.
Overall though we made history and they can never take that away for us.
Well done Glasgow Celtic. Famous Treble Treble Winners !
We salute you !!!
And last but not least…
Scottish Cup Final Celtic v Hearts may 25th Venue Hampden Park though Jurassic park would appropriate for place and game.
Didn’t want to bore anyone with my usual long winded match report so here is my brief review.
Before the game i posted that the midfield three of Brown ,McGregor and Rogic did not work as it neither created or protected.
Game started and it was clear how both teams would play tactically.
Hearts used long balls and spoiling tactics with niggly fouls in the knowledge the whistling cheat would allow.
Celtic went with a pass it around the back and punt when options ran out .
First half was disjointed and akin to two teams with a lot of fear and little clue how to play to win.
Ed had a good chance blocked by defender after a Rogic through ball.It was Rogic’s only contribution.
Just before half time Hayes had a good clearing header from a dangerous cross while Ajer and Simo stood in no mans land courtesy of their ball watching.
Wonder if JF will come on in the second half?
Half time came with the ball needing treatment after being blootered the entire first half.
Second hard started with a repeat of the first until the 52 nd minute when Hearts scored after slack defensive work from us.
This at least sparked a response when Broonie seemed to get mad and abandoned our clueless approach to start making forward runs.keeping us under pressure
In the 62nd minute Ed broke in their box and the goalie tripped him.It was a clear penalty and Ed stayed cool to score the spot kick.
We then returned to our passing round the back game and our midfield continued in being lost at sea and failed to win a second ball so keeping us under pressure.
In the 82nd minute Ed showed his quality with a great finish after a Lustig header on half way line found him in space.
After that both teams huffed and puffed but created nothing.
Final whistle came in the 96th minute in a game with no real stoppages.
We won is about as best i can say.
Two goals from two shots on goal.
McGregor for me has been poor since Browns return and looks like a guy struggling to understand his role.
Rogic is just mince.One decent bit of skill every now and then should not justify inclusion.
I think there’s a concensus there that the occasion was better than the match! If you have anything you would like to offer for Article of the Day,please mail it to Mahe