Kilmarnock 1-3 Celtic Match Review.
Last night might have been a terrific and hugely important result for us,but it also highlighted so many things that are wrong with the game up here. Let’s start at the beginning.
After eighteen months or so of having Stevie Clarke in charge,Kilmarnock were flying high at the end of last season. A third place finish gave them a taste of European football for the first time in a long time,and they had re-established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the domestic game. No longer anyone’s pushovers,and the locals had started to take an interest again. They took the decision to cut the allocation for the away supporters,deciding that their own fans took precedence.
Quite right too,and so far so good. Except Clarkie took the Scotland job and to be fair,they were unlikely to be able to replace him with such a talented and talismanic manager. The result was clear to all last night as we watched it-reluctantly-on the telly. A crowd of just over 8000,significantly less than half-full with a lot of home fans cunningly disguised as banners.
Had they still had the policy of offering us both ends,they would have had a much bigger crowd,including a family excursion from Kilwinning. I expect that normal service on this respect will be resumed next season.
What hasn’t changed though is the playing surface. Well,strictly speaking it has,as it is a new pitch installed in the summer. Is it grass? Naw. Is it a suitable surface for top-level football? Naw. Is top-level football even possible on such a surface? Yer having a laff,aincha?
The poor surface though doesn’t excuse the antics of some of the Kilmarnock players,nor that of the facilitator/referee. For far too much of the game,Power and Dicker in particular were intent only on “imposing” themselves on the game. That’s one of those strange Scottish words like dreich,means nothing to an outsider-but context is everything. In this case,it means kicking everything that moves-and when you have a prick like Robertson officiating,it means having a licence to kick everything that moves. Wee Frimpers in particular was getting pelters,yet Ollie was the first player to be given a card. Early in the game,he was taken out by a player intent only on stopping him from bursting clear,knowing that he was too late to get a tackle in. Not even a free kick. Late in the game,he got cleaned out by Power. Power only had one intention when he went into that tackle. Similar to the one on Ajer by Cosgrove against Aberdeen,he saw the opportunity to maybe get a touch on the ball while going clean through the player.
I’m not sure if he succeeded in the first part,but he was spectacularly successful in the latter. Jeremie was stretchered off around ten minutes later with who knows what extent of an injury. Even Andy Souptakingbastert was eventually moved to comment that it was out of control and excessive force. Robertson disagreed,merely talking to Power long enough to confirm whose round it was down the ludj.
In between times,a game of football occasionally broke out. Celtic controlled the game for the most part without really imposing ourselves on it. In the absence of Janes Forrest,Frimpers was proving himself an able deputy on the right wing. Playing three at the back-a bit of a gamble as they included the notoriously fragile Simo-gave him a licence to roam,and he took full advantage. A nice wee jinking run took him to the byeline and his cutback was brilliantly controlled by I Wanna. In the tightest of spaces and bit of pinball,he had stuck it in the net to give us the lead.
We continued to press,with Griff looking lively and eager-maybe too much so,especially when it came to free kicks. Lee,gonnae no dae that,just gonnae no? Give it a few games till you’re up to speed,there’s a good lad. Still,he stepped up to the plate with a predatory finish just after the break,and everyone was delighted for him.
Especially me,as I thought he was offside at first! Not so,just shocking marking from Kilmarnock.
We seemed quite content after that to simply play the game out,never a wise idea with so long to go,and Killie punished us at the midway point of the half. Bloody ridiculous goal to lose,a knee high header. It had been coming,as we were becoming lackadaisical to say the least. But order was restored a few minutes later with a towering header from Christopher Jullien,and the world was back on its axis.
Really the only thing of note after that was the assault on Frimpers. A quite disgraceful affair,but the inevitable outcome when referees are allowing our opponents to hit us with everything short of a baseball bat or a horseshoe hidden in the glove. Duty of care is clearly an alien concept in Scottish football,and it is likely to remain so while we don’t kick up fuck about it.
It’s going to be a long hard four months for us,and I doubt last night will be the last time we see challenges like that,nor refereeing performances either. I do hope that Killie don’t make it to the top six though,nothing personal. It’s just their pitch,no place for it. And I sincerely hope that the treatment handed out to the wee man is still fresh in the memory of our players when we play them at Celtic Park in a month’s time.
I’m not a one for bearing a grudge,me. Not lightly,anyway.
Above article by BMCUWP. Always remember,folks,that this is a site open to all-and that especially includes those who want to contribute a piece as Article of the Day. Mail it to Mahe