Something for everyone
In many ways yesterday’s game actually had a little bit of something for everyone, a rarity in football, manna from heaven for blogs and chinwaggers across the globe.
The Champions elect weren’t bested by their dreaded rivals, that’s a fact, and as such our path home looks much easier. A scoring draw in the sun, at home,,,well there’s much worse things could happen.
The second best team in the league were unable to beat us twice, another positive which halts any claim of ‘having our number but focused on Europe more’.
The Tims had something to celebrate if so minded.
The purist welcomed a bit of actual football played, contrary to the previous meetings. After a frenetic start an actual game seemed to break out, periods of possession and drilled moves etc.
Despite the numerous bookings it wasnt a dirty game. It wasn’t a great game by any means, but I take encouragement our opponents came prepared to actually play.
Celtic are a team of footballers, they can be a team of battlers which puts us off our game, but their footballing minded manager seemingly wants a different approach. The fact his team came away unbeaten by their strong rival, his players have the ability to hurt us when they actually put their foot on the ball, and their general dominance of Ange’s system once again, will be very heartening to the Dutchman and that teams supporters.
Should he keep the position and bring in some skillful players, next season might offer a quality game of football between the two sides. I thought Sakala and Wright the best two players on the pitch.
The Whistler Watchers were given some ammunition, but it didn’t get farcical out on the field of play. The clash with O’Rielly was pure accident yes, however Beaton genuinely didn’t seem to know what to do with the beachball’s. Both sides had wrong offsides called, though he called back a handball in a dangerous area that he could have let slide. The bookings were all warranted.
In my book he’s just poor with a little bias,,better than the other way around.
Supporters of the Ibrox team will probably wake up happy this morning. Twice now they could say they were the better team, despite being exhausted from their European exploits. The clubs name is enhanced by semi final participation, their manager isn’t a dummy as feared, and in the absence of Morelos others stepped upto the plate, they haven’t been totally toothless up top but might actually have improved with the enforced rotation.
They are probably confident about next season, I’ve no problem with that. Helps make the season bigger, both fans thinking their team shall emerge on top.
The blues got a point, and a mini boost.
The glass half empty Tim has plenty to bump their gums about.
I find pre match manager interview intriguing, it usually displays his frame of mind, one can judge his demeanour and guess the mood in the camp.
Given the event, I fully expected this to be Ange’s day, predicted it in Saturdays article. Putting them to the sword, on Mayday in the sun, virtually claiming the title infront of an ecstatic fanbase, would have catapulted the man into living legend status.
He must have known this.
So when he stepped before the camera I expected our Greek Australian to exude confidence, to be reveling in the occasion, smiling and relaxed knowing his bhoys will bring home the bacon.
He appeared guarded, somewhat nervous.
Is the camp nervous I wondered?
Within thirty minutes, a poor thirty from a Celtic perspective as we couldn’t settle and continually misplaced passes, he erupted and charged the sideline uncharacteristically yelling at one of his players. Later he ordered a triple substitution, a sure sign of unhappiness, another rarity for him.
Opportunity knocked, and for once, for some reason or other Ange didn’t answer. His system was dominated, his selectees failed to impress, his big day was rained upon.
We’ve all had bad days at the office, I shall chalk this down as one. He’s a smart man, and smart men’s learn from their mistakes.
He’s done fantastically well to reach the summit and place one hand on the title, the other on the league cup.
Hes earned a pass.
He’s earned a bad day at the office.
So have the players. Big Joe didnt have his greatest game but saved two points when called upon. G-Mak seemed more interested in a running feud with their central defenders, Ange should note that.
Kyogo was off the pace in my eyes as was Hatate but we’ve known that for months.
Ralston was rash at times, Starfelt the same, and despite the goal Jota didn’t have a significant impact on proceedings.
Yet we still could have won the game, still created the chances to kill our opponent off, showing quality even on a poor day.
I dare say a centre forward would have scored either of Maedas golden chances.
There was enough for glass half full Tim to walk home content. Our last big hurdle negotiated without giving hope, our unbeaten run extended, that draw makes the title a formality.
We’ve come a long way when a draw in the derby feels a little like a defeat, this time last year we certainly weren’t waltzing into the derby clash with expectations of victory.
The glorious scenes of the squad gathered on a tier, bouncing up and down with the league trophy shall soon help dissipate any feelings of regret, and shall remind all who is the best team in the land.
Yep, there was a little bit of something for everyone, except those hoping for a slip up and title tilt collapse.
And that’s the most important fact.