3 Points

Unfortunately there’s no game tonight, so instead of the team producing the three points as does tend to happen these days, I’ll give you all three points of my own.
1,,,I recall hearing obscure stats about certain managers out there who just never seemed to settle on a first eleven, for instance Rafa Benitez and Claudio Ranieri.
The latter was known as the Tinkerman, but the former was the true ‘master’ having failed to select the same starting eleven for an incredible 51 games while Liverpool manager. I used to say to myself that would kill me if that were my club.
As a Celtic supporter this concept was alien to me, as there tended to be such a big drop-off in quality between first team players and squad fillers.
We were used to a first eleven growing together with incremental change occuring, the highlight of such a system was always watching players mature into the role over the course of seasons, Henrik and even Stan Petrov being prime examples.
Obviously times have changed at Parkhead and there’s a quality squad with the line between first team player and squad player now blurred. Recently Matt O’Riley was in, then out, given another try after a brief respite only to be benched again.
Kobayashi got the nod twice and has overlooked twice, while the very talented Haksabanovic (I really rate him) was an automatic selectee but can’t get a start. Liel Abada is another who has yo-yoed in and out of contention as has Forrest.
To a certain extent it seems we have recruited our very own Tinkerman as manager.
However, unlike before, I’m happy with the situation.
Success always helps vindicate the managers decisions and so it has proven in my case. This ‘uncharted territory’ is actually proving very exciting, every team sheet a mystery, and it’s probably good for morale around the camp, after all no player will be frozen out until their opposite number gets injured, and they must all realize by now that training very well might bring about an appearance to stake a claim.
Sure I’d like Iwata, Mooy, and Yuki to get an extended run together starting this weekend, but given our domestic dominance and exciting players producing the goods I’m forced to simply hold my hands up and eat humble pie, and admire our very Tinkerman from afar, words I never thought I’d type.
2,,,my second point almost ties into the first. It was our esteemed poster Jobo who pointed out the 5 subs rule has been a game changer for our club.
It’s an excellent point. The clubs who can afford to have sixteen first team quality players have a clear advantage over lesser clubs with a starting eleven then lesser squad players.
The lesson available to those lesser clubs is slim the squad to close the quality gap, aim for the sixteen players of equal standard as a rule, and build from there. Quality over quantity, it’s hardly rocket science.
From a supporters perspective it has enhanced the viewing experience by way of half the players on the pitch switching, making the final third of games much more interesting given the fresh legs and impetus injected.
I’ve rarely a good word to say about those who run the game we all love, so on this innovative and positive change I must credit the suits. They managed to make the sport more interesting in a way everyone can agree with, job done for once.
3,,,my third and final point regards that great footballing phrase which seems a remnant from Roman times, the proverbial poisoned chalice, which has somehow become synonymous with very tough nay impossible football manager jobs (I wonder did the Chalice makers see that coming?).
I had admired Ten Hags Ajax team from afar, knew he was a special youngish manager, but my heart sank when he accepted the Man United job.
Career wrecker I though, too much of an adventure playground than a true football club these days, not setup properly behind the scenes with little bankroll,,,wrong choice at the wrong time Eric.
How wrong I was.
He’s turned them into title challengers in less than a season, especially if City get a points reduction, collected many a big scalp including their rivals, dealt with the biggest ego in football decisively (hell of a striker though) and reached a cup final to boot.
All on a tighter than usual budget and despite being new.
I expect Dyche to do a good job at Everton despite many labeling that club the proverbial poison chalice.
Villa are another that had the tag hanging around its neck but a good managerial appointment has improved the situation enough that they look up instead of down.
My point here is that because a club looks and is talked about as a Poisoned Chalice, the label is often incorrect.
The obvious example is across the city. Celtic have the edge in most departments (merchandise sales, attendance, average income, match day revenue etc) but there’s only one department that really counts,,on the park of course.
That club can spend a couple million on players, and that’s all some managers need, Ange will find you a diamond for that. Clued in others would also.
Their bigger names will soon depart freeing up funds and as we recently witnessed by being forced to come from behind to draw the game they aren’t walkovers especially with the current standard of officiating.
One man’s poisoned chalice is another man’s opportunity, and some men grab opportunity with both hands. One day that will happen across the way.
We are strong right now, but must build to be strong then.
Over to you custodians.
By Mahe

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Highland Paddy
February 8, 2023 4:29 am

“Some men grab opportunity with both hands – one day that’ll happen across the way”

Jeez… it’s been happening ad nauseam ‘across the way’ by Connor Goldson for what seems to be an eternity now, also by James Sands, Sakala – it’s their Fashion you know, they can grab anyone, anything and NOTHING will be done about it – nor will anything be done about it in The League Cup Final either…

Beale will need to be seen to win that at all costs – all these disallowed goals for offsides by Sevco in their stroll in the dark at Tynecastle will see any offside marginals or even non marginals be allowed to stand for them at Hampden…

We are strong now, but must build to be strong then.
Over to you custodians.

(Get in there early Ange and don’t let Sevco set the refereeing agenda as they’ll surely try to pressure them before The Hoops Do) !

February 8, 2023 5:26 am


We have a fully functioning squad of 24/25 after the January departures.
Using J B’s excellent poty competition as a guide
20 of those have scores on the board.
Regarding the other four/five , new recruits Tomoki and Oh have yet to be given proper opportunities to shine( surely only a matter of time) , with back ups Siegrist, Lawal and Vata being simply that just now. Lawal and Vata could probably do with proper game time on loan.
JMcC is a sad lost cause.

We are in a particularly strong position vis a vis our domestic opposition. It’s the squad refreshing in the Summer in a couple of key positions that hopefully will see us better placed for Euro competition.
We shall see.


The difference being Bealin’ doesn’t have to try too hard to set any refereeing agenda. We are the worst country in Europe for obvious widespread referee allegiance to one team’s benefit.
Particular individuals even taunt us with their close associations to the team they “support”.
Anecdotal reports are not uncommon.

My own concerns Dallas Jnr. No surprise there.

Jobo Baldie
February 8, 2023 9:31 am

Good morning, friends.
Some great points there, Mahe. Injusries aside, as the team lines are announced for each game there are only 4 players that I regard as certain starters – Hart, Carter-Vickers, McGregor and Kyogo. And coincidentally that’s also the spine of the team. Also, 3 of those 4 normally play the full game.
And whilst there are another couple of ‘almost certains’ ( Johnston, Taylor and Hatate) very few folk would be overly concerned were we to kick off with Ralston, Bernabei or a midfield of Calmac, O’Riley and Mooy.
So these really are great times and we should be enjoying every moment and appreciating the here and now. These times wont last forever. However I really don’t see Michael Beale becoming the long term saviour of our current closest rivals. His soundbites no doubt keep the hordes on board but watch that change if he fails to deliver a trophy this season.

February 8, 2023 10:29 am

Beale has a 12th-13th and 14th man to make up for his limited talent.
It is the reason he has not lost since returning to Ibrox.
At QPR he had initial success but quickly faded as opponents easily sussed his defensive style.
He returned to the hun knowing he would have additional help from officials to improve his chance of winning.
So far cheating officials have turned potential draws and defeats in to victories keeping the myth of his genius intact.
Huns know they don’t have to be good they just need to stay in games and wait for officials help!

Big Audio Dynamite
February 8, 2023 10:38 am

Jobo, Beale’s problems will start the moment he loses 1 game. The Huns are so sick and fed up with the losers in their team, they seem to lose their minds every time they don’t win.

Btw, Van Bronkhorst lost only 1 of his first 18 games, but it just happened to be a scudding from us.
He was immediately vilified and it all fell apart for him. A guy definitely in the wrong movie.

Big Audio Dynamite
February 8, 2023 10:45 am

If they turned on John Grieg when not winning, they will have no qualms about tearing Beale limb-from-limb, the moment his myth is exposed as shit!

He knew he was quickly being found out down saff. Without the help he’s been given up here, I’ll bet the results would look very different. On borrowed time!

February 8, 2023 12:05 pm

Beale has the benefit of 4 officials in the ground and one in a studio somewhere, so even allowing for his limited bench options, he still has five to assist At All Times.
It’s just he doesn’t have to change his original lineup.

Jobo Baldie
February 8, 2023 1:28 pm

A trifle slow on here today! Wheres my lunchtime reading gone!

February 8, 2023 1:46 pm

Great article,MAHE. One of Ange’s strengths is definitely utilising the five subs rule. Not for him,the concept of signing a starter,it’s “how does he fit in my squad plans.”

As Jobo said,few are guaranteed a start,fewer still the full ninety. And with one exception there have been no complaints either.

Margaret McGill
February 8, 2023 1:48 pm

Ange to Leeds??

bada Bing 1
February 8, 2023 2:00 pm

FOUR million more shares have been issued in Rangers’ holding company – at a cost of £1million.

The latest transaction in Rangers International Football Club PLC went through at the end of last month and was communicated on Companies House today.

bada Bing 1
February 8, 2023 2:02 pm
February 8, 2023 3:06 pm

Happy day of Woden y’all.
Up the Hoops

February 8, 2023 3:07 pm

Re Leeds

Ange appears to be behind Vincent Company who is mentioned in an BBC article, alongside two others whom I don’t know.

February 8, 2023 3:17 pm

bada bing 1
Wonder if UEFA’s new financial oversight will have anything to say about this?
Is it another debt swap?
Auldheid will probably know more about impact and legality of such.
Seems like they are doing same as in previous seasons.

A thing of beauty
February 8, 2023 3:48 pm

If someone has put another million into the Huns I would suggest, as I have before that they don’t think this league is over. We need to be good enough to beat our opponents on the park and off it every week till it’s out of sight.
I must say I am looking forward to red card Ross running the line on Saturday. A man so greedy and corrupt he cheats and lies in both his jobs. I might just swing by the front of the north stand on Saturday to tell

February 8, 2023 4:13 pm

Mags. 1.48.
Current Sky bet odds, on next Leeds Manager.
Arne Slot
Andoni Iraola
Nuno Espirito Santo
Marcello Gallardo
Ange Postecoglou
Ivan Juric
Marcelo Bielsa
Ralph Hasenhuttl
Marcelino Garcia Toral
Mauricio Pochettino

February 8, 2023 4:15 pm

ATOB. 3.48.
I agree with all you say, except he is that greedy he has at least 3 jobs.
Ass Referee

Big Audio Dynamite
February 8, 2023 4:34 pm

I believe Ange will be here for years to come.

Billy Bhoy
February 8, 2023 4:52 pm


If anything, I don’t think Ange tinkers ENOUGH. At Perth he made two changes on 70 mins and two on 80 mins. He then put Haksabanovic on at 86 mins!
Being 3-1 up at HT he had the perfect opportuntity to wrap some players in cotton wool and give others some much needed game time. I’d have replaced Kyogo with Oh at HT. I’d then have had Iwata, Forrest and Haksabanovic on after 60 mins.

For me, too many players are playing too many minutes with others not getting nearly enough.

In other news, I’ve just seen this in The Star in an article about Man City:

Rangers, the Scottish giants, were placed into administration in February 2012, and four months later they went into liquidation. That summer a phoenix club was born, but they had to start from the bottom of the Scottish pyramid, the fourth tier.

Yip, that’s pretty much how I remember it! 😊

bada Bing 1
February 8, 2023 4:52 pm

Fotheringham bagged by Huddersfield….after about a fortnight

February 8, 2023 6:05 pm

Ange to Leeds? Can’t see it happening for one simple reason Ange’s footballing philosophy is too similar to that of former Leeds manager Bielsa. Their teams can be great to watch and play the beautiful game as it should be played BUT the lack of pragmatism in Biesla saw teams in the EPL suss out how to counter Leeds which eventually cost Bielsa his job. It is somewhat different in Scotland where the majority of the teams we play do not have players with the technical ability of the Celtic squad thus negating any cunning plan their manager has to counter Ange ball. Now in Europe, we have seen opposition managers making simple tweaks to formations to nullify and defeat Ange ball as they have players with the technical ability to do so. Ange would be faced with the same conundrum in the EPL facing opposition teams with players equal or better than the Leeds squad on a weekly basis. Basically given Ange tends to stick with his plan A and his seeming lack of pragmatism would mean Leeds probably wouldn’t take the risk with them being perilously close to the relegation spots.

February 8, 2023 6:31 pm

Neilson Manager of the Month for January as they went through the month unbeaten?

You’ve got to laugh😁

Even bigger laugh, just watched Red Card Red Card doing a PPB for the Scot Cons now, that was funny 😂

I wonder if he’ll have the baws to run the Line on the North Stand side on Saturday?

February 8, 2023 6:40 pm

ATOB…I’m not sure I get your logic re TRFC issuing a million quid worth of NEW shares that they don’t think the League is over. This is not a fitba transaction, this is a cry for help! To my mind this is a begging bowl transaction, they are running on empty at present. No sales in the last window, desperate to sell Fat Bhoy with Fat Bhoy refusing to budge they are seriously needing cash! 4 investors (directors/Club 1872) have bought the shares. This is not a fitba transaction, this is a cry for help!

February 8, 2023 6:47 pm

That confetti issue was probably needed to buy Raskin from RonnieD’s club, who quite rightly wouldn’t be held to ransom on price.
They are running on fumes if that’s the case.

February 8, 2023 6:52 pm

Maybe someone with a bit more Company savvy than me could answer this…is it possible the latest shares may not have been to raise cash, they may have been issued to Directors in lieu of bonus payments! (The trfc accounts were published in December.) There was a similar amount issued last year in January, too!

big packy
February 8, 2023 6:55 pm

EVENING ALL and JIM, magua from last night yes wee joan enjoyed my birthday celebrations, and it was a joy to meet frodshambhoy and his wife,another true story👍

Craig 76
February 8, 2023 7:01 pm

So Laffatme sign’s for Linfield until end of season, he will fit in that’s for sure

big packy
February 8, 2023 7:03 pm

dont forget fellow tims, the celtic board colluded with the rainjurs board to let them back in, they could have killed them off, but the bigot buck proved to much, as mr celtic, dermot desmond said, rainjurs are one of the great football teams.,great at what dermot being the most bigoted orange freemason bassas on the planet ,another true story👍

Craig 76
February 8, 2023 7:05 pm
February 8, 2023 7:18 pm


Craig 76
February 8, 2023 7:28 pm

No access to stadium via Nuneaton St at weekend due to a fire today

James Barr
February 8, 2023 8:26 pm

“Margaret McGill
Ange to Leeds??”

The double ? suggests your enquiry is genuine. No chance of Ange going to Leeds.

James Barr
February 8, 2023 8:27 pm

Another double! How did that happen?

James Barr
February 8, 2023 8:34 pm

BSR @7:18pm
I am pleased to inform you that you have passed.

February 8, 2023 8:41 pm

Evening all

Brilliant leader MAHE.

A wee trio of tunes before I retire to ‘ma cot.




Nite all

February 8, 2023 8:46 pm

University of Stirling beating Celtic B 2-0. As someone who played against Stirling 4 or 5 times for the University of Strathclyde, I find this almost incomprehensible. Has the University improved out of site, or have Celtic’s B team declined precipitously? Or a bit of both?

Craig 76
February 8, 2023 9:04 pm

There having not to bad a season so far. UOS that is
2-1 now


February 8, 2023 9:33 pm


It’s different era now. This wiki entry lets you know how far they have moved away from other universities in Scotland, apart from, maybe Edinburgh Uni, who are in a relegation slot in the Lowland League.

Stirling are now the equivalent of Loughborough in England as Wiki says:-

“The university deliver a High Performance Football Programme which provides players to the first team. As part of this programme, students can be offered football scholarships to study for a degree and play football at the university.[“

Prestonpans bhoys
February 8, 2023 9:48 pm

Just read that our game and the huns are the only ones being covered by var. The rest have decided not to bother, interesting since SPL teams already have the camera’s in place!

Jobo Baldie
February 8, 2023 10:13 pm

Good evening, friends.
Prestonpans Bhoys – if a team has previous experience of VAR that doesn’t give them any advantage when playing a team that is new to VAR. I didn’t realise there was an option in using it or not. If there is, it would have been good opportunity for Celtic to decline its use based solely on our lack of confidence in the system.

Prestonpans bhoys
February 8, 2023 10:30 pm


Apparently it’s down to cash, £10k was the figure mentioned, would guess thats the overall cost for the other ties. Shirley not per game 🤔🫣especially as two teams have the gear insitu

February 8, 2023 10:31 pm

“Out of site” above at 8:43 should of course have been “Out of sight”. Tsk! tsk!

bada Bing 1
February 8, 2023 10:46 pm

Jim Spence says ‘tadger’ on Debate Night on BBC Scotland channel 😃

Awe Naw
February 8, 2023 11:02 pm

Considering there is no goal line technology in the SPFL. 10k pounds per game seems very expensive. In the BL it costs 20k pounds per game. That includes all the camera´s , Hawkeye goal line technology and the fibre optic infrastructure that needs permanently installed and the cost of all officials; On field, off field and the doping guys.

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Margaret McGill
February 8, 2023 11:11 pm

James Barr
I think you’re right!
Ange would need to win a quadruple treble before he would be considered a traitor.

Margaret McGill
February 8, 2023 11:16 pm

But don’t forget the Jack and Victor mantra….
He who hingeth aboot gets fuck all!

Margaret McGill
February 8, 2023 11:18 pm

Point #3
I like poisoned chalices

Margaret McGill
February 9, 2023 12:05 am
February 9, 2023 5:37 am

M McG 11.11


If you are referring to BR, perhaps you should get your facts right. There’s no quad treble on his CV.

He became manager of Celtic in May 2016 and led Celtic to an undefeated domestic season in his first year, and trebles in both of his first two seasons- 2016/2017 and 2017/2018.
To be fair he did win the LC in season 2018/2019 (before disappearing with the majority of his back room staff in February 2019), but NL completed that one and the next

Let’s not elevate him beyond what he was.
A manager who decided not to honour his contract at a crucial point mid season – albeit via a mutual financial set off by all accounts- but to whom We are forever grateful for the unbeaten treble.