When is it Ok for Celtic to lose a league?
There were many themes of anxiety as we faced this crunch year when 9 in a row was on the line again.
We had the hardy perennial worry that the masonic refs were not going to allow us to get to 9 as if they had some kind of sado-masochistic bent that allowed them to thole 1,2, 3 and even 8 in a row but they’d be damned if they were going to tolerate 9. I expect we will be hearing that one again if, as I think, we’ll be aiming at 10 next year.
We even had the paranoid strain re-appear that Dermot Desmond and Peter Lawwell would ensure that we would not make the 9 as it was bad for Old Firm business. They would ensure that we would not spend anything allowing Sevco to close the gap and overtake us as it would be good for the old rivalry that sells tickets. That line of thought, if it can be so glorified, falls on the same grounds as above. Why wait for the 9th title to sabotage your own club if it was being done to promote rivalry, competitiveness and fan interest, allegedly?
And we had Imperiumphobia (made up word BTW), the belief that the ruling classes and establishment would appear to save Sevco from further humiliation. Whether it was a rich Arab who could overlook their pro-Israeli sentiments, the DUP using Theresa’s bribe money, or rich Mike Ashley freed from the shackles of Newcastle returning to be Chief Asshole in Asshole County, the fantasy loomed large that they would not be allowed to lose and we would not be allowed to win.
Whatever the source of the angst, irrational, as above, or more rational, such as believing Stevie G being really good and getting all the best Liverpool reserves, the solution to our expressed angst was always the same- spend big and ensure that Sevco cannot come close.
But instead of top loaded spending to “ensure” good outcomes, we have had 2 transfer windows which mirrored most of our approach post Seville. Some call it Moneyball, though it does not fit the original Baseball use of the term, other call it Risk Averse or Buy cheap/Pay twice. Whatever term you use it has worked for us domestically and for most of the past 2 decades. We deviated from it on 3 occasions that I can remember:-
When MON came and we bought Sutton, Hartson and Lennon for around £6m apiece (they would each be £15 -25 million in the modern market mind you).
Jan 2010 transfer window- where Robbie Keane was bankrolled on loan, as was Diomansy Kamara and Edson Braafheid (WC finalist). We bought Ki Sung-Young, Joe Hooiveld, Morten Rasmussen, and, erm Paul Slane. We obtained Thomas Rogne on a Bosman too. All of this was to help Tony Mowbray win back the league. Up to December we had won 11, drawn 3 and lost 3 (Gers, United and Hearts) and we thought this would win us the league back. All that happened was that, up to the sacking of Mowbray on the 25th March following a 4:0 loss to St. Mirren, we had won 6 matches, drawn 3 and lost 4 (Hibs, Killie, Rangers and St. Mirren) with this “improved spending” squad. Neil came in and saw us finish the league with 7 wins out of 8, losing only to Hibs and beating Rangers in a meaningless match. Rangers, despite that defeat, won that league by 6 points. Our money bought us nothing. In fact a less expensive manager worked better for us.
When Brendan came in the summer of 2016, we had been spooked by the faltering nature of Ronny Deila’s Celtic, who had won their 2 untested titles in a row, but had lost a SC semi to Sevco on pens in the previous April. So we bought Sinclair, Kouassi, Gamboa, De Vries and Ajer. We brought in Kolo Toure and Moussa Dembele on Bosmans. That was 5 players with EPL experience and with associated implications for wages.
If you looked at options 1 and 3 only you may feel vindicated in the STA “speculate to accumulate” model but example 2 did happen too, albeit in a period when Rangers really existed. Taken in total our current 9iar run has been won using the “moneyball” approach in all but Brendan’s first year
So, the mood music this year was worrying. We had seen 2 transfer windows that did not impress the STA aficionados and we had seen Sevco outplay us in 2 matches, even managing to win one of them. The fears finally had a large rational basis. Sevco, who had already briefly led the league could do so again, if they won their game in hand.
The talk was back to pitchforks and protests. Our pikes were being retrieved from that old spot by the river. We were sure, this time, we would be running out of Dodge, the ever popular villains, Dermot Desmond and Peter Lawwell, the guys that were holding us back from our chance to be a big club again and relive Lisbon 1967. And we were planning on sweeping out their puppet manager, Neil Francis Lennon too, because he, too, was denying us our dreams with his simultaneously old-fashioned and volatile ways. Whatever they were doing, it was certainly wrong and the revolt talk had traction at last.
On the legitimate grounds of our Board’s cowardice in 2012 and their tragic inaction and stonewalling on Resolution 12, we could not drum up interest, but we could sure drum up a crowd to protest our failure to spend several million bucks on Steven Fletcher, Jordan Rhodes (we’d be better of with Zandra), Brett Assombalonga or their European counterparts.
It was the surest bet in the world- if Celtic did not make 9 in a row, Neil Lennon would be gone, Peter Lawwell would be chased, and the fans would be asking DD- “How much to buy you out?”.
I am not naive- there would be no expressions of “Thanks a lot for 8iar, Treble Trebles n’at = pity about the 9!”
No, this was tar and feather time and they would be propelling themselves on a Handcar/Kalamazoo out of Central station with a 5 minute start on the Euston Express train
Thankfully, a daily injection of toxic substances by the anti-Zionist cell in their Dubai Hotel saw the Sevco squad return to SPFL action in the kind of form that ensured a heavy fall with injuries for Sevco fans’ hopes, and a gradual but palpable reduction in our crowd’s angst levels from heart attack level to mildly dyspeptic.
We should be spared a return of this affliction for a few months. We might even recover an appetite for celebrating our squad and its victories rather than calling them out as cowards, mercenaries, and empty jerseys as has been our won’t. I live in hope of that anyway.
So, I must pose the question- If we were gonna run them out for losing 9iar, do we have the same view about losing out on 10 iar? Would that also be unforgivable? Would losing out on 10 be treacherous but we’d forgive them for not making 11? Or would 11 become the new entitled benchmark? Would we go on and on threatening our so-called beloved team with retributions for as yet unachieved failures, whilst pausing only momentarily from expressing our dissatisfaction in order to have 1 or 2 end of season days when we allow ourselves to be happy?
Skonto Riga won 14 consecutive Latvian titles. Lincoln Red Imps had the same number in Gibraltar. Rosenborg got 13 in Norway as have Bate in Belarus and Al-Faysali in Jordan. On 11 in a row, we have Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia and 3 teams from Lebanon, Tonga and Tuvalu.
Will we accept a failure to equal Zagreb’s run, Rosenborg’s run or Skonto’s run?
Or will we forever keep our pitchforks sharpened until we by-pass the mighty Tafea FC from Vanuatu, who claim a controversial 15 in a row?
My own answer is, I want the 10 as it is eminently doable. Everything else is in the lap of the gods and, when we do lose a league, as someday we must, let us celebrate the record run rather than bemoan the fact we have just lost.
How about it?
The above guest article is by SFTB. As usual the email is email@example.com for any emails. Have a great weekend.
Napster’s follow the link
I firmly believe we will win the league forever more in Scotland
I also believe we will end up in the EPL
Very surprised at your harsh criticism of James.
Jobo’s competition, which I enjoy.
66 people voted and James was voted 4th best Celtic player on the night, with 24 out of the 66, having James in their top 3 performers.
James wasn’t a passenger, not did he disappear, on Thursday, watch it back.
He might have not been as forward thinking as usual but I think, he was following his managers instructions.
James played the way Lenny asked him to.
In case you are wondering.
Julian was top 65 out of 66
Fraser 2nd 47 out of 66
Edouard 3rd 33 out of 66
It was a long way back to 5th Ajer 12 votes.
You’re comments to Mahe prompted me to go read back. Whilst scrolling, I came across the Exiled Tim posts.
How tough has he been having things? Makes you realise just how much we should enjoy the company of those close to us, and indeed those we just class as friends or acquaintances.
They’re all special in some way.
TET , you said about “ getting old”
My mum said that to me only last week. I was watching her making a card for someone she does not even know, a favour for a friend really, and as she struggled to try and place the items on the card she said exactly what you just said “ getting old is terrible, I wish I was young again “
Made me sad actually. I’ve got two of the grandchildren staying tonight, arriving this afternoon, but I’ll pop up and see my mum for a while this morning. Treasure each day amigos.
TET – thoughts are with you pal. Gotta be a tough gig for you at present.
A great post and one we should all think about.
The one certainty today is, that none of us, or our loved ones, will get any younger.
on early this morning as the wee guy’s 2005s, or U15 to any over 40s listening in, has just been called off!
Re Twists comments re Exiled Tim, they always say its good to talk. Maybe some find it difficult to talk, or maybe don’t have anyone to talk to, so this siteis an excellent forum for anyone who needs a bit of soul-lifting. I’ve been impressed since I started reading regularly, at the quality of the writing and comments but more importantly the camaraderie is fantastic. I sometimes feel like I’m the silent listener on the old BT party line!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Ah,the oul’ GPO party line. Always a good way to get a rumour started back in the day. So I’m told…
Re the camaraderie here,I said as much in a mail to someone just last night. We can disagree on here just as much as elsewhere,but the manner in which-the manners WITH which-it is done make it a pleasure.
I didn’t think James had a great game on Thursday, imo he’s lost a bit of spark since the return from the shutdown. It’s a trait of wingers to be inconsistent and I think JF suffers as much as any in that regard. I’d like to see him driving again, running at players and forcing the play, watch the top leagues, that’s how the best do it. Even watch Mikey J on his day, he goes early and comes in early, it causes havoc! We’re not seeing the best of James at the moment. And no wonder Ajer only got 12 votes…when Boyata had put himself in the positions Ajer did we were screaming for Celtic to get us a decent CB!! I suppose the real frustration for everyone is the stark contrast in the two halves, and it has been a bit of a feature recently. But, man! Who wouldn’t have taken this start to 2020 after the way we lost to The Rangers in December. We need to keep positive and keep supporting the team, don’t let frustration and upset cost us points!! Keep the Faith, as Big Packy keeps telling us. HH
we were no27 and shared a line with no23 a few doors down obviously…used to listen in to the bird talking to her boyfriend. At 12 years old that was enough to get you a good night’s kip 😉
I still carry the guilt all these years later…still expecting my Levinson Citation!! 🙂
If that was my Valentine card yer Mum was making,she’s a bit late! Tell her to get a move on with it,whoever it’s for-them robbing basterts at the Post Office are putting their prices up again next month…
Think of the joy you gave the oul’ priest as you confessed your sins.
Rolling stone 3.19 previous article.
“Broony no longer has the athleticism to occupy this position. He can still work as a deep lying midfield 2, but even then, our other midfielders offer a better option” Could you name these better options than Broony?
“Stevie G’s Sevco know how to set up a team and execute a game plan. His record is phenomenal in Europe” If they played on grass, they would have been 0-4 down, and out on their ear! They got lucky, just like they did with the group stage draw.
“I’m worried about the prospect of going to Ibrox on the 15th” Ur ye, aye?
No23 was the Chapel Hoose!
You set ’em up…
Any time,old son!
Right,off to That London,sesh wi my nephew. I’ll comment on the article when I get back.
For sure,too much in there to rush.
A good read this morning.
It’s about honesty. That’s all.
Good to see you are back and fully fit. You were missed.
The assault on George McCluskey at Easter Road by Souness on the derby of both players was a pivital moment for me.
Prior to that he was always the big time celebrity who had played at the very top. As George described afterwards Souness became a bit of a darling with the Rangers support after that challenge, “it glorified him a lot.”
The tackle on Billy Stark during the Centenery Year is one I remember too. Billy only had one boot on at the time.
Souness may have mellowed, he may have changed as a result of his illnesses but I’ve always felt there is something menacing about him.
He admits he left Rangers too early. That would have seen him enjoy more of Minty’s dishonesty gained silverware.
He did sign a Catholic and credit to him. The reality is that it had to happen. Even from a commercial basis, they had to be able to sign players irrespective of their religious background.
Nope I think Souness is a calculating individual, who put the boot into Celtic and as Archie Gemmell remarked “If he was made of chocolate he’d eat himself.”
Anyone who needs any confirmation of that just ask George McCluskey, Billy Stark and the two groundsmen at Ibrox.
It’s a good article today and should focus the mind with regards to our expectations of the Team but more importantly the Club. We have tended to go about our business in a proper way, not necessarily to everyone’s liking or agreement, but very steady and very deliberate. I expect 9 Titles as an absolute minimum. But I want as many as we can get. The Rangers, because of their business plan and methods deserve NOTHING from the sport. They are cheating. They are cheating EVERYONE! Their own fans have been sucked into this renewed superiority crap and they lap it up. Their own directors are splashing out hand over fist to keep the lights on with the hope of stopping 9, hopefully too late, or 10! They’ve cheated their own kit suppliers and sponsors and are paying for it big time, regardless of what spin they put on it.
I’ll see your 15 Tafea FC…and I’ll raise you……
JNP, thanks for recognising JF’s contribution to where we are. How anyone can criticise his contribution over the last 3-4 years, is beyond me.
TET, Hello again ..welcome back?
By the way, Ronnie signed Ajer, not BR. Feb2016, BR arrived May2016.
I think the question supporters are asking now is
If we are coming to the conclusion that the boards inaction regards Res 12 was due to some complicity on the boards part for commercial reasons ,will they make the same decision again ?.
Now whether you believe they did or not is a personal view ,If you do then IMO the condition sevco 2012 find themselves in now is not a million miles from that of ragers 1872 .
They are living well beyond their means to enable them to put players on the park they cannot afford .
They are hoping that a crack at CL will bail them out .
Their debt is mounting every year and they dare not downsize the playing squad to stem the losses .
They have stated they would need around £10m to see out the 2nd half of the season (no players sold in January)
As for the why wait till 8
IIRC the initial cheats charter plan was to place sevco 2012 straight into the spfl ,debt free and back in a position to challenge .
So we can thank the SCOTTISH FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS for a sporting integrity decision forced on commercial boards in the name of sport
Would the board have envisaged us to be going for 6 IAR by the time a financially weakened Sevco reached the top division .Top tiers at CP covered in banners made no sense financially ,so could the board afford to not do something when they brought BR in .
Before the information came out regards Res ,I would have dismissed any notion of any club not doing everything they could to win the title ,now though I am not so sure .
The very fact that I an others are not so sure is a damning indictment of our game
Interesting piece. You’ll not be surprised to know that I kinda disagree… Post Seville Celtic have underachieved massively.
If you have a reknowned financial controller who knows little about football in charge of your Club.
You may expect good financial results and mediocre football results.
That’s exactly what’s happenened “post Seville” at Celtic.
Couple of insights from last night…
A thing of beauty @ 8:59 pm
It is actually beyond my comprehension to understand the shit show that is going on at ibrox. How are they managing to keep the lights on, never mind be giving us a proper challenge when they have players that aren’t being paid properly, need £10m to see out the season and now have another lot of disputes on their hands. Every time I think they are bust and every time it turns out to be a lot of shite.
Meanwhile they had a great result last night, buy players and actually play them and are able to set up tactically to get results that we would be well chuffed with. They are not the laughing stock a lot of Celtic fans seem to think they are.
I agree with rolling stone. We find ourselves in a position we have been lucky to achieve. The lazio example is perfect. We could’ve lost both those games quite easily. We have no discernible tactics and we play players either out of position or who are not fit on a far too regular basis. Frimpong and Hayes as fullbacks will get murdered in the last 16 of europa if we get that far. We have no left sided centre half, a glaring problem for 3 seasons at least. We have no proper defensive mid, selecting broony there as he’s “got dig.” Wtf? That is not the job of a defensive mid and of all people Neil Lennon should know this. He’s supposed to read and orchestrate the game so tackling is rarely necessary. Which is just as well because our other centre mid, Nir Bitton tackles like my maw and she’s 78. As awe naw said our squad is chronically imbalanced which is what happens when the man in charge of the money thinks he’s also in charge of the football. Anyone who thinks this league is over is being very optimistic. This dreadful habit we have of playing for 45 minutes out the 90 is going to catch up with us as is Neil Lennon’s continual picking of players who are not fit. I hope I’m wrong but last night has really made me quite angry. We should’ve battered that team just like we should cluj but we never because we just don’t learn, on the pitch or off it.
Fan-a-tic @ 9:23 pm
People will counter with but look where we are?
It’s not where we are that counts but where we are going?
Our DOF,CEO and brilliant strategist must not be questioned.
We seem to be no more than an off the cuff team with good and bad moments.
I would rather we had played with ten men than had that liability Bitton on the park.
The imbalance in our squad is amplified by a coach who wont give some a chance and constant picking of his favorites no matter how poor.
Many people rightfully ripping into Ntcham for a poor performance but McGregor gets coaches praise despite these stats 1 assist 0 tackles 0 dribbles 0 duels won lost possession 9 times passing accuracy 84%.
With Christie doing a headless chicken impersonation is it any wonder we lost the midfield in the second as our coaches myopia failed to let him see it.
And as you say we don’t learn on and off the pitch mainly due to the coaches head being up Emperor Lawwels ass.
Following a clueless leader does not bode well for our future.
Thoughts with TET and JtT… God bless you ghuys…
Yes and the much maligned Rodgers and Congerton didn’t do too badly with Edouard.
Can’t think of too many occasions on this site when the players have been called “cowards, mercenaries and empty jerseys “
https://www.rangersmegastore.com/replica-kits/keepers-kit – 2018 Puma kits? Mmmm!
It would appear no Hummel products for sale now. ? They are f@cked!
When NL was temporarily given the Manager’s job I thought that was the right decision, as was the decision to give him the job on a permanent basis. I think NL is an old fashioned Martin O’Neill-type of man-motivator. I felt he was the man to get us over the line for 9 and on to 10 and despite the shaky finish to 2019 which offered a chink of light to The Rangers, I still believe he has enough to get us there. It’s really easy to criticise him but his previous and current European record stands up to any scrutiny when you compare to previous Celtic managers. This can’t be a fluke, there must be something there. I think he’s shown us what my fears about appointing him were- he lacks tactical sophistication. But what about John Kennedy and Damien Duff? What are there roles? After the December 29th game we were discussing the defeat in the pub and it was pointed out to me The Rangers dugout was full of coaches. We know Stevie G is limited in his experience and probably ability as a coach so he’s surrounded himself with guys who do know. ATOB is right The Rangers have improved under him, it’d be foolish to think otherwise. But his team are 10 points behind us! After Beale was banned Stevie G lost his right arm, it was clear against Hearts that Stevie did not have a clue how to rearrange the game to cope with the pressure Hearts put them under.
…and did you know Liverpool have a THROW-IN COACH.This is the level of detail required to compete properly. So while it’s very easy to criticise and I’m as guilty as the next, there’s always more questions than answers…So, as I said before Thurday’s result was disappointing, especially as the first half was so positive, but we are still in the driving seat in the League, the Scottish and Europe. Keep the Faith!!
So the situation with Sevco gets more complicated by the moment.
LBJ Sports Apparel Limited will still sell you a Hummel jersey online via the Rangersstoreonline. Very fetching it is too at £60.
Alternatively if you are on the Traditional Wing of the Sevco support you could visit the Rangersmegastore online and purchase the equally fetching Puma Rangers jersey for £20.
We know that Sevco have issued a statement informing us that they are instigating proceedings against Hummel and Elite Sports or LBJ Sports Apparel Limited to recover the sum of approximately £2m
Yesterday Hummel/Elite/LBJ allegedly announced that they were instigating proceedings against Sevco/Rangers/Club 1872 or whatever cover signed this deal.
The proceedings in relation to the contracts signed by Charles Green’s mob with Sports Direct, which were forgotten about after he was ousted by the South African criminal are kind of ongoing.
In the meantime Sevco have issued a statement looking for a new kit partner and have kindly supplied an email address for interested parties.
This opportunity would suit kit suppliers with associated interests in the legal profession.
Our governing body are ok with all of this.
Looking at LBJ earlier.
They have a Director called Friar and a senior designer called Priestly.
Hadn’t realised the stats from thursday.
Copenhagen shots 7. – Celtic shots 15
Copenhagen On target 2. – Celtic on target 7
The Gombeen Man @ 9:31 am
A year on from the BR takes all and sundry to China rumours… interesting timing wasn’t it;)
Folk who repeat that often forget the first bit, where PL’s arm was forced to make a record signing.
True, OE took a bit of time to settle. But for me his personal qualities and footballing qualities are shining through in abundance.
Let’s not forget…
Eddie’s undoubted football abilities had never been questioned.
His temperament had… Toulouse loan had been a disaster for Eddie. He burnt his bridges in France.
BR had a reputation for dealing with “difficult” gifted youngmen. As Balotelli proved, these situations are not simple or easy.
Congerton constructed a great deal…
…a win~win deal.
Eddie comes for a Season loan, if the Players, Coaching staff can work with him we get him for a song, under €9M.
If they can’t he goes back to PSG… presumably for a new loan.
It was a brilliant deal. And if the rumours are true, reluctantly agreed by big Pedro.
BTW: As a kid, my PP @ St Andrews was Fr. Friar.
My (edited) post from CQN this morning…
… We’ve had this confusion before with the Rangers’ retail websites.
One is run by Elite and was Rangers, until recently, preferred retail partner.
The other “megastore” site is Rangers Retail which was a JV between Sports Direct and Rangers.
Registered office, Sports Direct:
Unit A Brook Park East, Shirebrook, NG20 8RY
For all intents and purposes it’s ran by SDI.
So one’s an Elite site
One a Sports Direct site if you will.
Rangers don’t have a retail website and haven’t had for a long time. Since SDM sold the retail off in 2006.
The re-incarnated Rangers have never had their own retail.
I’ve had a look at Twitter, Elite, Hummel and LBJ websites and none of them have published what appears to be a Press Release (Hummel did actually publish a statement apropos a contract situation with the Afghan Women’s Team so they’re obviously not averse to keeping their shareholders in the loop) So I have my doubts as to the veracity of it. There also seem sto be something just a little bit vindictive in the wording of it which doesn’t strike me as being a good way to conduct your business.
A developing story, as some would say……
Chairbhoy, ah, of course, you are correct ?
So, if you are a Sevconian looking to buy Hummel-Sevco gear, what would be the best way to go about it?
Let’s hope the crown doesn’t offer the Irish Raj an easy ride through the courts with regards Celtic boys club before the ten and if they do that we stay strong and demand publicly that these valid and legitimate complaints do not become part of a high level barter scheme between the establishment and a billionaire.
After their Res 12 reaction how confident are you that our PLC would not accept such a babaric offer and do the right thing?
The Rangersstoreonline is the online venue if you are on the Hummel/Elite/LBJ Apparel Wing of the Sevco support.
The Rangersmegastore is the venue if you are on the Puma Wing.
It’s to be confirmed if the next kit will be supplied by HMP Barlinnie.
This isn’t to be confused with BDO who are still dealing with the liquidation of the late Rangers FC.
It’s bizarre. It seems like the statement was issued directly to one person? The wording was awkward at first reading and I initially thought it’s unusual…Then I thought dodgy translation (don’t go there).
Who knows? Nothing is impossible in this mess?
It’ll unfold as it’s meant to.
Probably a charity shop.
Good morning all from windswept and interesting Govanhill. This will get you dancing. The fabulous Rory Gallagher. Well, did you evah?https://youtu.be/QH5iT_gfYzA
Thanks for clarifying the web of intrigue of the Sevco’s competing third party websites.
I’ve seen brisk trade being done in the stores in Belfast and Glasgow. The outlet in Glasgow is next door to St Paul’s bookstore in St Enoch’s Square.
It made me smile is I watched staff open rain soaked cardboard boxes of Hummel kits on a recent trip.
If I was a Sevco supporter which would I buy?
Which one are we suing?
Which one is suing us?
Anyway, I’d better head out.
The best pair of jeans I ever bought were out of a charity shop in Spain, perfect fit and still wearing them 5 years later. I think I paid about 5 Euros 🙂
This Sevco retail situation is clear as mud.
Oh what a tangled web…
https://youtu.be/vwGlhKcEBjY – ?
https://mobile.twitter.com/CelticFC/status/1231115153262825473/photo/4 – Happy Birthday, Ryan! ?
B.A.D. LOL cheers for that.
Glad you’re on I have a question for you. I think you said that you have played football. I haven’t. The Christie penalty I thought was fair enough but the yellow card? I wasn’t sure of the rules, but I didn’t think there was intent. It seems however the rules are if your arm or hand is in an unnatural position. As someone who has played what do you think?
CHEPSTOW AND NEWCASTLE ABANDONED
Neither Sevco, Elite, Hummel, LBJ have disputed CQNs world exclusive more than 24 hours after publishing. Phil MacG and John James both come down heavily on CQNs take of events. Any sensible person would think that a traps been set to flush something out
Jim, I said yesterday, I don’t even know what they mean by “Unnatural position” how do you jump without using your arms?
It was also reported, the yellow was for DELIBERATE handball! Deliberate? The attacker redirects the ball with his head, right on to Ryan’s hand (Which is 4ft away!) With zero chance of avoiding contact.
If THAT is a pen, I expect to see pens all the time now.
IMHO, one of the most ridiculous decisions I’ve seen, mate. Remember when we all knew the rules of the game?
Well that didn’t work! 🙁