‘Twas The Night Before Christmas…
What a day that was on Saturday. First time for a while I’ve attended a match on Christmas Eve,and the first match I’ve watched from the upper tier in the old “Rangers” end. Upper tier once in the Celtic End-against Bayern Munich-and once when we swopped tickets with ACGR so that he and his 14yo lad could have our seats in 111 beside that new phenomenon,The Green Brigade. We were in or above The Jungle that night.
My apologies to all,but for me,those are how the various parts of the stadium will always be known. And I wish I’d known too about the big bloody gate stopping me walking back via the rear of The Jungle to where the car was parked. It was a long walk round,I can tell you.
Took nearly as long as the VAR checks,in fact. At least four of which led to what seemed to be lengthy delays,but maybe the space-time continuum doesn’t work during these. (They worked fine during the recent World Cup!) Clancy,for it was he,saw fit to add on a mere minute for the first half and only five-officially-for the second. Took me longer than that to climb the stairs to my seat!
He can make a case for VAR taking time over the sending off. Not so for our second or fourth goals,and not for the St Johnstone consolation. The fourth in particular annoyed me. The only reason that I can think of for that meriting more than a cursory glance is that with the lino flagging it off,they ran the move back as far as feasible to see if a Celtic player had as much as coughed. Anything to justify that decision. None was forthcoming,of course. It was a peach of a goal.
In fact,they all were. The fourth was scored by our new right back,some fella called Hatate. He had scored our first as well. What a goal that was,with Maeda firing it low across the goal,the ball coming out to Mooy-and a perfectly rolled pass for Reo to fire home without breaking stride.
The second again began on the left,with Mooy playing another perfectly weighted pass. This time for Matt to cut it across the goal,where Kyogo only just beat Jamesie to the punch. VAR grudgingly conceded that it was ok by them too. Mooy decided to go for a hat trick of assists-despite officially not achieving even one-with his trademark perfect peck pass to Jamesie,wide right. One touch then a cross into the area,Kyogo on it in a flash,3-0 and cruising to half time.
Pretty much the performance we had all been so eager to see for some time,and while we kept it up in the second half,we weren’t as clinical. Quick feet from Jamesie and CalMac fed Reo for the fourth,and that was about it. St Johnstone spent most of their time illegally stopping us,though mainly that was just peachy by Clancy. If we as much as moved in the direction of one of their players,whistle. Saints player loses the ball in a challenge? Just go to ground,you’ll get the free kick. We won 4-1,12-4 and 76-24. A statistical anomaly in any football match,yet par for the course for us these last few years. But overall,a performance to savour. And well worth the Ironman endurance-walking and mountain climbing!
As an aside,as I was in a new area for me,I was in new company. I was delighted then that the wee 5yo or so lad next to me was singing along to some of the choons. Though I’d prefer that he wasn’t quite word perfect on the version of Yellow Submarine. The GB are usually better wordsmiths than that. As for the little ditty referencing Jimmy Bell and Walter Smith? While I have no love for either of them,and recognise that there was an element of tit for tat from the huns and Tommy Burns,they need to rise above that. I can’t be the only one who was unimpressed on Saturday.
Above article by BMCUWP