Football-Making Fools Of Us Since Day One

What’s football’s best feature?

Easy, it’s unpredictability.

Every weekend millions around the globe gather to watch the beautiful game for the same simple reason, we don’t know what shall occur.

It’s not played on paper, XG doesn’t count once you cross that white line, sometimes the eleven players of every team are bested by eleven less fancied others.

Spending more money than the rest cannot guarantee success at the level craved.

Football occasionally surprises, and last weekend was a classic reminder of that fact.

Domestically, match day 3 was a coupon buster in all but name.

Both St.Mirren and Ross County were seeking their first win, both needing to get points on the board sooner rather than later. 

I fancied the latter to win,,decent manager if not man, top six finish last season, they had scored more and conceded less than their opponent. 

Nope, simple one-nil at home for the Buddies. 

The Dandy Dons were the next ‘certs’ to blow my predictor. They are a bigger club than Motherwell, at home, and have some decent players in their ranks. 

They looked a little reinvigorated during the summer, a new young manager with ambition, whole new team signed, has hit four goals the previous game,,I felt sure the Pittodrie faithful would witness another victory.

Boom, they only go and concede three goals in 35 minutes which cost the points.

Hibs vs Livvie was my next lesson. The team from Edinburgh went into the match unbeaten unlike their opponents, and they seemed to be gaining momentum with some decent signings including three with Celtic connections ( McGeady, Henderson, Marshall) while Martin Boyle had just opted to rejoin. 

Lee Johnson has a ton of playing experience and despite his youth (40) has been around the blocks, being the youngest manager in the EFL at 31.

Whether his team couldn’t cope with Martindale’s dinosaur tactics, dinosaur pitch, or both, I’m not sure.

Regardless, they went down 2-1 to the smaller club.

Looking elsewhere the upsets continued.

Down South the weekends news was dominated by results deemed not normal.

West Ham qualified for Europe last season and are a quality side with a quality manager. They have a style of play and some excellent players.

They were beaten by a newly promoted team with almost no Premiership experience. 

The smallest Premier league team in London not only best but totally trashed the biggest club in the world.

United falling away so drastically is a surprise to myself and many others. They are a bottom half club in all but name nowadays, shocking when one considers their massive global status. 

Another small London club took points off the Champions League runner-ups.

Minted Newcastle dropped points against the EPLs smallest club Brighton.

In sunny Spain the galacticos of the mighty Barcelona couldn’t best a team which hadn’t spent a Euro in the summer, just nabbed a few loans and a few Bosmans. They went to the iconic Nou Camp and held out against much more skillful and much better paid players, a result they won’t forget in a hurry I think it’s safe to say.

Possibly very predictable, but of great interest to me, is PSGs implosion.

Turns out putting one of your star strikers on the clubs board isn’t the wisest move, especially not when he’s advocating to sell his competition. And especially not when that competition finds out.

And now all three are clashing on the pitch to make matters worse.

Too many egos spoil the broth, or something like that. I’m surprised it’s taken this long to boil over in Paris.

I also like the current CR7 ‘where to’ mystery. Determined for a Champions League club to further cement his legendary status (that’s my boy) but without any public suitors, he has announced a soon to come interview where all shall be revealed. 

I haven’t a clue, but isn’t it funny the biggest name in football is now avoided by the big name clubs?

Our title rivals are developing a knack for unpredictable results in Europe, which suggests more than luck. Their team shape is their strong point, their keeper an Achilles heel I reckon, but they do surprise by genuinely competing with clubs from bigger leagues, with bigger budgets.

Tonight Shamrock Rovers will take to the field, hoping to take advantage of football’s unpredictable nature, being only two games away from the Europa League group stages. That’s actually quite a feat in itself, most fancied Ludogrets to scalp them at home but they were put to the sword on the night.

The Macedonians of Shkupi were hit for four and dispatched in a tie they probably thought they’d win.

Will Ferencvaros fall victim to the smaller clubs? 

Who knows, stranger things have happened, and that itself is football’s true beauty.

By Mahe

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BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

MAHE

It isn’t its best feature when yer coupon goes down!

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

Terrific article,though. You are correct,that things change in unexpected ways. We had seen Liverpool dominate English football in the 70s and 80s-yet Forest and Villa could still win the league,plus three European Cups between them.

If you had asked any football fan in 1990 if they thought it would take Liverpool thirty years until they won another title,they’d have been calling for the men in white coats.

Same with Arsenal under Wenger,who went from invincible to unwinnable in a matter of months. So too,Man U the minute Fergie walked out the door.

Yes indeed,football is unpredictable. Even with the benefit of hindsight,we often cannot figure out how certain things came about. I watch other teams than Celtic when I am in the pub. I watch them primarily for the beauty of the game,the outstanding skill levels,the one-off flash of brilliance.

To see a Beckenbauer,Messi,Cruyff. Or a de Bruyne at Man City these days. There can be little better than seeing a top top player at the top of his game. They are quite literally worth the attendance money on their own. We all enjoy watching an artist at work,don’t we?

McCaff

Morning all…agreed Bobby, it’s a good article highlighting despite the pounds, euros and dollars that it all comes down to 11 v 11 on the day. Show no fear and there’s always a chance. The odds are invariably stacked in favour of the big spenders but just sometimes something special happens. Lisbon ’67, our Centenary Year 1988 and Celtic Park v Barca 2012 are perfect examples involving our own team of underdogs winning against the odds.

Morning all.

Mahe. Thank you for your excellent leader, a cracking read.

jimthetim53. Thanks for your comment regarding Martin last night, it’s greatly appreciated.

MAGUA. How are you buddy, hope you are well. I’ve a bit of catch up to do with you, I’ll be in touch.

BRRB. I let Clair know that you were asking for her, she sends her love. 🙂

Brian

CFC

Morning

I might be in the minority here but I hope Hearts do well tonight in Zurich, a good result in a hard game softening them up for a Sunday minis skelping 😉

Well it wasn’t going to be total goodwill to the Cousins!

fan

I enjoy watching other teams play football.
Not so much huns but watching them play in Europe with relatively neutral refs is interesting for their reaction when the rules are fairly applied.
Watching Liverpool v Palace it struck me that VVD and Phillips are both fine individual players but a vulnerable partnership.
While VVD received little blame he was as culpable as Phillips on chances created by opponents.
Brings me to Celtic and why CCV gets a free pass and Starfelt took brunt of criticism when goals were conceded.
Likewise McGregor who as a constant in our unbalanced midfield set up never receives criticism while all the others do?
Our preconceived notions apportion blame for and anyone who knows my opinion on McGregor will be unsurprised in my above sentence.
Guess finding the correct balance is key to coaches success but some of us will always disagree with player selection .

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

FAN

You aren’t alone in your opinion of CalMac. I know a lot of people who have an even lower opinion of him than you do!

I think the major problem with him is that he can do everything-but only really at a 7 or 8 out of ten. Which is pretty good going,let’s be honest. But he can’t seem to find a role that takes him to that extra level,the 9 or 10.

He is far too good a player to be termed a utility player,that dreaded expression that has killed the career of many a player.

But is that really what he is?

Ronny Deila introduced him to the team,after Neil Lennon had totally ignored him. He was a pleasure to watch,a free-scoring midfielder with some bite in the tackle. Brendan Rodgers improved him,even from a high starting point.

Then,maybe four years ago,he shaded,still a player but not the one he was. He should be in his peak years now,but maybe we have seen his peak years. Is he a 6 or an 8 in the midfield,the 10 that he was at first?

I don’t think he even knows himself anymore,and worse too,his managers don’t seem to know either.

Someone needs to find the answer to that,and pdq too.

GER57

Sorry Bobby, I think Calmac is a great player. He sets the tempo in our midfield, recycling the ball, linking play. I don’t like pigeonholing players into set positions. He isn’t either a No 6, or 8 or 10. He’s a quality midfielder and our on field leader.
Opinions, eh?

CFC

On current displays Calmac is not deserving of being first pick.
His inevitable inclusion prohibits a proper examination of what a preferred three in midfield could be.
Perm any three from Mooy, Guchi( when fit) Calmac, MoR, DT, RH.
We look light by at least one, maybe two other options in that area.
JMcC heading out the picture , I presume.
After all we have lost NB and TR and replaced with one newbie.

Billy Bhoy

I’ve been contemplating the Calmac conundrum since the season started.

Clearly, he’s far too good a player to leave on the bench and now, as captain, its simply unthinkable. I was perusing Jobo’s stats recently and its clear that we all feel (well, apart from the one fud that chose Turnbull 😀) that our entire midfield is misfiring.

However, these stats also show GT as featuring prominently. He, along with JJ (can’t remember if he’s rating highly too?) are playing this inverted FB role which means that they are playing predominantly in midfield and necessitating Calmac and other to drop back to fill the gaps they’re leaving.

Is this why we believe Calmac, DT and others are not contributing as much as before?

I’m really looking forward to these six CL matches. It will be really interesting to see how Ange’s tactics shape up v the top sides. Will we cause them problems with our system or be ruthlessly exposed as BR was?

Big Audio Dynamite

What would any of us do it we played for the club but were asked to play out of position? Cal is our most important player and a credit to himself and the club. I think he may reach the end of his career having played a large chunk of it out of position.

Easy to forget how much better he was/is as a more forward thinking midfielder.

Still, for me anyway, the most important player at the club.

Big Audio Dynamite

I know people say it’s just realism,, or just stating an opinion, but I’m a bit perplexed by the negative tone lately.
Keep hearing how the midfield is misfiring (Whatever that means)
The balance isn’t right etc.

Just a wee reminder that we are 35 unbeaten, so I’d suggest we are doing something right!

HH

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

GER57

I think he is a great player,Gerry. I think he has been our best player for the last eight years,overall.

He just can’t quite find his best position. It’s a difficult place for him to be in,top player but where do I play?

IniquitousIV

Ryan Gauld scores twice as Vancouver beats Colorado 2-1.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

BIGAUDIODYNAMITE,CFC,BILLYBHOY.

I think we are singing from the same hymn sheet. We know,appreciate,just how good a player CalMac is.

But where do we play him?

Leggy

Fan/BAD,

Got to agree, Calmac is my number 1 pick in midfield.

Not at his best recently, but always looking for the ball and never hides.

He is always looking 2 or 3 moves ahead and for me that makes him a top player. Could possibly score more goals if I’m picky !!!!!!

HH. 🍀🍀🍀

CFC

Play three box to box midfielders. Right centre left.

Shouldn’t all mids have that capability?

Attack with 7/8 and defend from the front with 10.

Big Audio Dynamite

Apparently we’ve agreed a deal to buy Haksa …Hakhs …that Swedish winger! A former teammate of Starfelt at Rubin Kazan

We really do have millions of wingers 😁

Billy Bhoy

Bobby

For me Calmac is a number 10. He should be played directly behind Kyogo or GG. When he plays there he gets lots of goalscoring opportunities and proved that with so many big goals. That doesn’t happen anymore. Worse than that is he’s being shoehorned into a DM position that doesn’t suit him. He can’t tackle cleanly which is why almost every first challenge is a yellow card – helping to nullify him.

As we have been saying on here for months we need a Lennon/Wanyama type player to a!low Calmac to move forward. Sadly, I’m not holding my breath.

Jobo Baldie

I think that there are only 4 definite starters in our team for every game and Calmac is one of them. If Hart, CCV or Jota went in the team, many an eyebrow would be raised. Some others currently come close – Taylor, for example, but in every other position there are viable options. Josep or Tony? Starfelt or Jenz, Kyogo or Gio, etc etc.
Calmac may not win many of the Man of The Match awards. But I bet he still features regularly when folk vote for the top 3 each game.

McCaff

If we accept that Angeball demands the whole team to defend then calling Calmac a DM is a moot point, he’s as much a defender as anyone in the mid to front as that is what the system requires. So, rather than a DM whose job is to break up play and feed the creative players in the team maybe Ange sees him as another cog in his system who’s main task is to start the play. There’s no-one in the team who shows for a pass more than him, he is almost always available to move the ball on and keep the pressure on the opposition – vital in our current system. Like ATOB my man in the middle was always McStay. Calmac will never have The Maestro’s eye for the pass and neither will Ange ask him to be that player but you can bet your boots he knows what Calmac brings to the team.

GER57

McCaff
Well said. Couldn’t agree more.

fan

Happy for once to have prompted a debate with my earlier post.
But want to clarify it was not intended as a criticism of a player but more about how we fans all have different views on individual players leading to less or more tolerance to them depending on personal viewpoint.
The reason i mentioned Calum was he rarely got blame with exception of me and my realization of why ?

Awe Naw

I´m with McCaff on McGregor.

A show jumper utilised as a pit pony. He´s taking on all the responsibility in midfield. I´d like to see more of the others mf taking on more responsibility. Hatate gets a head knock nothing serious he gets wrapped in cotton wool, Calum gets his cheek bone broken and he plays on with a mask and Ange knows why. He has played far more than any of the Japanese lads have in the last 4 years. He regularly/permanently sacrifices himself for the team. His eye for goal has admittedly declined but I´d say that´s a confidence issue. First name on the team sheet for me every time.

McCaff

Fan…in my opinion, and I realise it’s an unfair shout, you see a different game on the tv than you do in person. When I watch the game live I see the positions players take up that is not always evident onscreen. I thought Colak did nowt for TRFC the other night (other than his goal) only for the commentators in the studio to say his movement and pressing was the best they’ve seen since his arrival, amounting to him having his best game so far! Likewise with Calmac, I’d say he was a steady 7.5 for us but seldom hits the heights he showed under BR but of course it’s evident he’s not playing the same role. Nor is he being asked to play a defensive mid role so it’s a reasonable question if he’s not breaking up the play or finishing the play what the f*** is he doing then? In my opinion he’s playing the role he’s being asked to but the benefit of it is not always clear!

McCaff

Screenshot taken and saved under ‘Collector’s Item’…a public agreement from Awe Naw! 😂😂😂

Mike in Toronto

I dont want Calmac to end up like Brown…. Where he is the first name of the team sheet because ‘he’s the captain’, ‘he’s one of us’, he gets us’ …. And I can see that happening….

Not to say he isn’t a good player … like SB, he has some great qualities, and had the potential to be a truly great player, but neither fulfilled their potential. And often SB threw off the team’s shape… and I think that, and his larger than life personality, hindered Calmac’s development.

It seems more common for players today to be neither this nor that – some transition from one to another …I’m thinking Thierry Henry and CR7, who moved from winger, to winger who cuts in and plays more centrally, to out and out striker….

In the modern game, there are lots of ‘mids/ wingers / false 9’s, and can play through the middle’ sort of things…. Some very good players who seemed to suffer because either they or their coaches didn’t know their best position…. Juan Mata is a player who springs to mind…. Tremendous talent, but never seemed to quite fit anywhere (position or team) …..so, there are a lot of players out there who have suffered from similar to Calmac….

The difference is that Mata was used as a squad player, and not an automatic first pick, let alone the first name of the team sheet.

Like others, I dont think AP has the type of player he wants/needs for his system. I thought Ideguchi was brought in to play beside Hatate, but that is just conjecture …

As I said, Calmac is a talent, as is Hatate, and O’Riley could even turn out to be the best of the lot … Trumbull has some real upside, but has his limitations, and haven’t seen enough of Ideguchi… but still, that is a decent five players, any combination of which should be good enough to dominate most SPL games…but, if pressed to describe my preferred midfield three, and why, I would struggle, as I think there are key components missing… someone that can tackle, and a QB type, for exampe, both of which I think are essential if the team is to play to its best

Celtic can steamroll over SPL teams with pace and individual talent…. But am concerned that the midfield will be exposed when confronted with bigger stronger teams in the CL that can brush off the attention of Celtic’s smaller forwards, and counterattack at pace.

Mahe

A fine article indeed. While uncertainty abounds within European football, we who follow Celtic, know for a fact, that every time the Huns take the field, there is one predictable factor. A racing certainty if you will. It is of course…

Penalty To Rangers*

Billy Bhoy

I tend to agree with you, that Calmac should be played further forward. Once Mooy, Guchi, or whoever, adapts to the DM role, this may well happen. Who can tell?

Hail Hail.

Awe Naw

McCaff

I only disagree with you on one thing in my whole young 1 score and ten life but you keep bringing it up 🙂 🙂 I even agree in your taste in music .. well most of it 😉 This is the post to “screenshoot” , actually there is no such a word so what’s the past participle? or is it future participle in this case ? screenshotted ??

Take a picture of CSC

Mahe

Good morning troops on this fine day of Thor.

Bayern are about to sign an 18 year old Japanese midfielder. I’ll assume Ange knew of him, but he’s off to Germany. Just shows the ate a nation on the rise, footballing wise.

On Calmac, he doesn’t need to play every game. However if he was benched and we suddenly clicked, putting him straight back into the side would be a contentious decision.
It’s still worth trying though.

I think Ange changes when forced, like DTs injury last year. If Calmac was to get injured and hit the sidines for a prolonged spell, we might find he is dispensable after all. I think he would raise his game if neccessary, some real competition may just bring out the best in him.

I’d like Mooy, Matt, and DT to start this weekend.

Enjoy your day folks.
Hail Hail

Mahe

Great comment MIT.

McCaff

Naw, you keep bringing it up, Awe Naw! I can’t even remember what we disagree about…is it how much we’ve spent this year! 😂😂😂

McCaff

Screenshot has to be a word, surely!?

McCaff

As in a shot of a screen!? Surely!

McCaff

Since you brought up music…

bada bing1

https://www.skysports.com/share/12675893

£45 million for a Wolves reserve

Sol Kitts

On another topic altogether, just saw this from Ilford FC, who play in the 9th level of English football. If they can have a pristine grass pitch, what is stopping Killie and Livi from doing the same? Plastic pitches should never be allowed in top flight football in the UK.

https://twitter.com/IlfordFC1881/status/1560238162638675970?t=4wxkHyt5xys7XYRD4GfV0w&s=19

MIT
That is my concern Europe the SPL is no problem because it’s a poor league and to see grounds half full only confirms this.The owners have to take most of the blame very bad business decisions.In a couple of weeks we will know some of the answers but Ange will not change.
Have you purchased an IPTV box.Watching Traces season 2 from my home town.

McCaff

Tim… despite being one of the most expensive places in Europe to watch fitba Scotland has the highest per capita attendance figures. This is a couple of years ago but it’s probably not changed much, you might find this interesting…
https://www.pieandbovril.com/forum/index.php?/topic/265108-football-attendances-per-capita/

Prestonpans bhoys

Fan says:
‘Not so much huns but watching them play in Europe with relatively neutral refs is interesting for their reaction when the rules are fairly applied.’

Yes I take particular attention to that, the look of bewilderment is a joy to see😂😂

Mike in Toronto

TH
As much as it pains me to say it, the zombies have shown that it is possible to play in a pub-level league, and still be competitive in Europe.

No move on the TV thing. Mum has been staying with me for most of the summer, and is just getting comfortable with the current TV set up. If I change it on her now, I’ll be in real trouble! 🙂

SFTB
CFC

McCaff

That attendance table only magnifies the green and blue footfall, it doesn’t signify a footy mad country.
Other clubs attendances are, of course, boosted by the thousands away support of us and them.

Over 50% probably nearer 60% contributed by two teams in one city.
It is an historic but curious anomaly. It is not healthy for the long term future.
Both our selves and the Huns are too big for our indigenous league( as the cartel division since ‘85? Indicates).

The conclusion is we eventually wither or move onto something bigger.

Mike in Toronto

It’s official…Canada has a drug problem…

Too much pot!

Health Canada reports that, last year, 425 million grams of cannabis went unsold and had to be destroyed!

Somewhere up in the clouds, my old pal, DD, is weeping (although I suspect that up there they have good stuff – no seeds or stems- so he’s probably okay)

🙂

McCaff

Puff D will be raging he’s still buying it and there’s stuff being burned!! 😱

Mike in Toronto

That would be one hell of a bonfire!

I’d like to own the marshmallow concession! Could make a fortune selling munchies!

JimmynotPaul

C.C.B. and any other Charlie fans.
Good picture of Charlie, courtesy of Willie Collow.
Charlie Tully ☘️☘️ https://t.co/ythaJqOhu2

bada bing1

Zurich v Hearts BBC Scotland channel 6pm

Awe Naw

PARTY BILL Clean-up cost of Celtic fans’ title celebrations revealed – with figure set to rise due to damaged historic building
William Dodds Jnr.
11:58, 18 Aug 2022Updated: 13:12, 18 Aug 2022
THE clean-up after Celtic fans’ title winning party in Glasgow cost the taxpayer an astonishing five figure sum, almost £10,000 – with that figure set to rise even further.

Hoops fans took over the east end of the city after their side wrested the Premiership trophy back from Rangers European league cup finalists at the end of a thrilling campaign back in May.

The booze and drug fuelled celebrations saw traffic lights damaged and Mercat Cross, in the city’s Saltmarket area broken into and left with shattered windows.

The Hoops wrapped up the Scottish Premiership campaign with a 6-0 hammering over Motherwell after missing out on a historic 10-in-a-row win to Rangers by 25 points the previous year.

The Hoops received the trophy after that emphatic victory.

Fans subsequently descended on the city centre like Vikings on a raid to celebrate their team’s return to the top of the Scottish game.

As reported by the Scottish Daily Express, the cost of the clean-up operation in the days following the celebrations was around £9,000.

That included staff costs, plus a £938 repair to traffic lights at Glasgow Cross.

In response to a Freedom of Information request submitted by The Union bears and provided to PA Consultancy, Glasgow City Council said: “The council can confirm that the total costs of cleaning up between 14 and 15 May 2022 in relation to staff costs was £8,131.50.

“This is broken down by shifts as follows: Nightshift – £,5558.24, Dayshift – £2,573.26. That is an increase of £2,389.14 compared to a standard weekend”

However, those sums didn’t contain the cost of the full repairs including to the historic Mercat Cross building which could run into millions. While not comparable the cost of restoring Notre Dame Cathedral is nearing the €200 million mark

Police Scotland also confirmed that six people were arrested for “minor disorder” and said that the level of anti-social behaviour and littering were of an “unacceptable level”.

A year previously, taxpayers were hit with a £158,000 bill for the clean-up operation after Rangers fans descended on George Square to celebrate the club stopping Celtic´s 10 in a row. Police Scotland also confirmed that nobody was arrested for “minor disorder” offences and said that there was no anti-social behaviour reported and everyone used the litter bins provided.

A number of arrests were made while statues and monuments were damaged but Police Scotland reiterated this was from a political faction who had used the celebrations as cover.

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