Pause For Reflection
It’s been a hectic turn of the month for us in the Timdom Kingdom. Maybe it’s time to take a brief pause for reflection on the past week or so,with an eye too on the rest of the month. We really do know how to shoot ourselves in the foot,don’t we? Last week started badly with the news that the club were to voluntarily close a section of the ground due to continuing “illicit”,in EUFA parlance,behaviour by The Green Brigade. Notwithstanding that The Green Brigade are less than 200 in number,a total of 800 fans had their right of access to their seats denied for the important Europa League match against Rennes.
This despite the fact that those fans had ponied up their cash nearly three months previously,and that many had also pre-booked travel and overnight accommodation. No,if you are near The Green Brigade,you are guilty by association. I think that the last time that particular “charge” was used in the UK was during internment,but I could be wrong.
This was closely followed by our AGM,and we all know what happened there. Another example of the board treating the fans as an irrelevance,proving again that might is right. Ditching Tes 12-2019 and opting to leave Res 12-2013 sidetracked and in the ownership of The SFA,the same body that the resolution charges be investigated over their handling of a European licence in 2011. Not content with ignoring the hostility from the floor over their decision,two members of the board then took it to either lie or be economical with the truth in their response to questions from certain shareholders,including the prominent Celtic blogger Joe McHugh. But they got away with it in much the same way that they got away with telling the AGM last year that the resolutioners were happy with how the board were progressing with the affair. The fact that AULDHEID himself stood up and said at the time that he wasn’t at all happy mattered not-might is right. So beat it.
And so we moved away from the front pages and on to the back pages. That’s the pages that most Celtic supporters first read in newspapers anyway-back in the day when we still bothered with them. We started off with a lovely little victory against Rennes with all three goals scored by Scots-Lewis Morgan,Ryan Christie and the returning Michael Johnston. It is always nice to see Ryan get a goal because his presence now terrifies opponents. But it was even better for the other two-Lewis was taking the place of an injured/rested Eddy in a very unfamiliar role for him and he acquitted himself well,giving many of us hope that there is indeed a Celtic player there. More importantly,I think his confidence took a massive boost as the same thought hit him! Michael has had a yo-yo twelve months since Brendan Rodgers damn near wrecked his career at Ibrox,but he looked fit and sharp,and wasted no time in proving it.
A potentially tricky match in Dingwall was next up on Sunday,where the attendance outnumbered the population of the town. But we wasted little time in taking the match to Ross County and a good spot by referee Nick Walsh after a kick on Lewis Morgan gave us the lead via a penalty rebound. Although County equalised,Ryan got his second following a terrific pass from Tom Rogic,Lewis Morgan turned provider for big Tam with some astute help from the outstanding Greg Taylor and it was rounded off by a sublime effort by Michael Johnston only a minute after coming on. So here we are,fourteen games into the campaign,44 goals scored and only 8 conceded. Add to that,top of our European group with only one match to go and that group already won.
That’s not bad for the first weekend in December,is it?
Additionally,we have new discoveries in each full back position,both Taylor and Frimpong looking the part,while Bauer,Elhamed-especially!-and Boli are highly capable. Ollie looks like he has a new lease of life allied with a renewed interest in playing for us-after all,he reckons the Europa League is there for the taking! A bit of patience and signing a contract extension will do him a power of good. Up front,Elyounoussi has been a revelation and Michael and Lewis certainly know they are part of the plans,and with good reason. It certainly couldn’t be much better on the pitch for us,even if many of us are holding our noses at the stench off it.
So let’s have a look at the rest of the domestic campaign for the month leading into the winter break. The group is won,so I’m going to ignore the Cluj game,though I’ll be bloody livid if we don’t win(!) We started off on Wednesday night with a home match for the brave and foolish against Hamilton. This really was a game for wrapping up warm,hoping that we score a barrowload so that we can jump up and down and get some body warmth from hugging those around us,to get the thermals on if you were there,or tobuy a scarf on the way in-even if you’ve already got one! It turned out to be lot closer than that,withHamilton scoring an injury time equaliser.
Thanfully,Broonie stepped up to the plate,and the sighs of relief could be heard in Southampton. Though that might have been just me…
Added bonus of course that The Dandy Dons gave the huns a dull one,it was a good night’s work.
Our next two league matches are at home to Hibs on the 15th and away to Hearts on the 18th. Hibs have now got a very good manager in charge and I expect them to give us a hard time,but Hearts have put Rick Wakeman in temporary charge of team affairs and I expect them to give us a kicking up and down the pitch as we go home with all three points,a few bruises and a couple of yellow cards. Our last three games of the year are at home to both Aberdeen and Rangers,with an away match on Boxing Day at St Mirren.
I’m not allowed to forecast results-I’m scared of the kicking I’ll get from ATHINGOFBEAUTY,summat do do wi feng shui or karma apparently-so I’ll simply say that I am hoping to see the gap at the top of the table considerably widened by the end of the month,something to give Dave King as a going away present. Ever thoughtful,us Celtic supporters,doncha know. Auld Lang Syne,Dave.
If all goes to plan,we will head into the New Year as seeds in Round of 32 in the Europa League,and with a comfortable lead in the league. So what about Sunday,the chance for our tenth domestic trophy in succession and the downpayment on our fourth successive treble? Well,I’m certainly hoping to have I Wanna back,fully fit and ready for a bit of hunskelpin. Greg Taylor is cup-tied so it’s Jonny Hayes if fit,or Boli for left back. Jeremie Frimpong has been a revelation since I saw him make his debut against Thistle,so I have no fears about playing him. The huns will try to bully him,but his skills will end up bullying them. Four of the midfield and the two central defenders are certs to play if fit. So that leaves us with a choice of Ollie or Big Tam for the final pick. Of course,Neil may go left-field-literally-with either Morgan or Johnston,and he might too be hoping that Mo will be fit again. It’s not a bad problem to have,is it?
Aye,I’m dreaming of a winning December. Just don’t tell ATHINGOFBEAUTY!
Above article by BMCUWP. As always,you have the chance to write Article of the Day for us. Just mail it to Mahe.