VAR? Shambles


A bit of a weekend for VAR,both north and south of the border,though admittedly only two matches in Scotland were subject to its vagaries-which were plenty enough! Down south though,numerous complaints led to the intervention of the head of the PGMOL calling a mandatory meeting of all top flight officials,while suspending the referee of the Palace v Brighton match. 

It was hardly the only contentious decision of a Keystone Cops weekend for the system,and the fact that it has become an all too familiar refrain in the media after match weekends has also led to calls for the dismissal of Lee Mason,who was the VAR official for that one,while the referee John Brooks has been removed from VAR duties fixture in the Mersey derby last night. 

In England,it is rare for any media pundits to look for excuses as to why any official might have come to a clearly wrong conclusion to an incident. Quite the opposite,in fact. Down here,it is simple-it is entirely possible that the referee can miss an incident in real time. And that is why VAR was introduced,to overcome human error by applying technology offering views of the incident from various angles. 

If they still get it wrong,they are hung out to dry. No quarter given. 

It is slightly different in Scotland. Firstly,my congratulations to St Mirren for a spirited defence of their Cup aspirations on Saturday. Again,they played out of their skins against us,and were doing well until the 75th minute. At which point,the wheels fell off. With legs tiring against our rejuvenated lads,their defender Taylor stuck out his arm to stop a goal bound shot. Incredibly,referee McLean-fast becoming a regular for our matches,as I’ve noted before-ignored the incident altogether,despite it happening virtually on the goal-line!

I say incredibly,but I suppose I really mean that he was being true to form. VAR duly performed its task and a penalty was eventually awarded. Perhaps the first time he has ever done so,I may add. Taylor was given his commensurate red card,Reo slammed it home and we finished in a flourish,a five goal display on the night. Though not before McLean had awarded a consolation penalty to the Saints. 

Incredibly,their manager claimed that the penalty and red card had decided the match. No,Mr Robinson. The second goal which your player illegally prevented decided the match. The penalty and red card were not punishments,they were consequences,and the correct ones at that. 

Naturally,the media muppets were all over it like a rash,most deciding that the red card was wrong,and some even suggesting that the penalty itself was also a poor decision. Heyho,we are used to it. Ange took the umbrage aimed at him in his stride as usual,swatting aside the incoming like flies on a Melbourne beach. Which I think pisses them off more than anything,you know!

To Sunday then,and VAR Round Two. Huns at home to Thistle,and surely a home banker. Thistle had other ideas and really took it to the hosts,forcing some good saves from the opposing goalkeeper who had doubtless been looking forward to a quiet afternoon of leading the choir. Indeed,they even had the temerity to take a one goal lead into the break,following another disputed penalty decided by VAR.  This might have been the first that referee Munro has ever given against his side,and no doubt left his half time orange tasting somewhat bitter. He wasted little time in the second half to even things up by giving the most ridiculous penalty to the huns when their player had to launch himself into the box to sprawl there,having been fouled a full two yards outside it. 

VAR down south would have dealt with that correctly,even on their own miserable weekend. Up here,it agreed with the original decision-and not a voice raised in protest afterwards or since!

Go figure. Go compare,even,with the outcry only the evening before.

Finally on the subject of their match,I admire the decision of Beale to tell his players to allow Thistle an equaliser after Tillman’s shocking display of bad sportsmanship. It was the correct decision,but a brave one nevertheless at that stage of the game. Nothing said-or asked-about his side’s penalty though.

And so to the next round where despite there being only three possible SPL opponents out of seven,we got the toughie of an away tie at Tynecastle on 11 March. At least it will be a Saturday kick off,as Scotland play Ireland at Murrayfield the following day. I have little doubt that Neilson will still be smarting from the criticism of the new formation he tried against the huns there only two weeks ago,and will spend the next few weeks training his players in the fine arts of hammer-throwing and high-kicking. 

Except that he didn’t get any criticism from the SMSM for that,nor from his own club either. His fans though were none too pleased,and I doubt he will pull that stroke against them the next time. (Rumours that he has asked the women’s team to play instead are surely unfounded) 

Don’t expect too much pretty football that day,folks. It will be ugly. And you know what? I’m willing to bet,even ante-post,that not a word of criticism will come his way from the SMSM. Plus ca change…
Above article by BMCUWP

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February 14, 2023 9:34 am


Hope Alfie’s head is well and truly wetted!


February 14, 2023 9:34 am

It was eleven years ago today…

February 14, 2023 10:05 am

A very fine article. Thank you.
Three games now v St. Mirren and I think I can see what they are doing.
They set out 5,3,2 and their front two split and press our back two.
Their two wide backs push on and help negate our playing out via Calmac and Hatate or pick up our full backs when they invert.
They also keep two up front throughout.
Or something.!
It’s a plan but as Mike Tyson said
“Everyone has a plan until they get a punch on the face ‘

February 14, 2023 10:13 am

I wouldnt be surprised to see our cup game being played on Monday night . As we play on Wednesday then Friday is out of the question as is Sunday due to the rugby. Depending on what tv arrangements and police excuses are forthcoming could mean a ridiculous decision by the SFA to give a Monday 7.45pm ko. Nothing that they do surprises me anymore.

February 14, 2023 10:23 am

Steve Naive
There is little to suggest that we ever play out through Calmac.
On the rare occasion he shows for ball he normally returns it to central defenders.
It is a bugbear of mine.
Hatate is different as he is brave and willing to receive ball under pressure and try to make things happen.
More often or not it is the oft criticized Starfelt who moves ball upfield from defense.

February 14, 2023 10:24 am

St Mirren gave a good account of themselves — had a plan and worked it hard.

Again our MF was poor / weakest part of the team — took a long time to get going / provide a useful response to their efforts.
DT just looks totally off the pace when faced with an energetic opposition.

Very slow / ponderous / little drive — not sure if it is the M/F set up or just his limitations.
I think he is a big talent / has a skillset that the N/T is missing.

However at the moment — as a starter — he looks like a square peg in a round hole.#
Probably better in a 4 — getting the ball in a deeper position with more M/F options to pass to.

Not sure here that leaves him with our / AP’s style of play?
Although for now he needs a boot up the erse / sprint work / tackling practice.


February 14, 2023 10:50 am

Fan @ 10.23

My thoughts are that we walk the ball out from the back using the footballing talents of CCV and CS not CMcG.
Watching this for 18 months makes me pine for the footballing talents of the departed KA and CJ.
Although only partially — they are better footballers but have limitations regarding the basics of defending.

Our current CB’s are getting better but we still work the ball around the side / down the wing rather than through the middle with CMcG playing his full part — as you note he does not get fully engaged in a manner that I would expect given our history of quality M/F’ers — with PMcS / aka the Maestro a natural for the way we play at the moment if he was 35 years younger.

Even GT is more effective in the M/F at the moment when he comes inside.

As an aside — thought CS was unlucky at the penalty.
Very little of a direct challenge — more a case that the opposition player ran across him and fell down.
I think that the Ludge MIB effort is gaslighting us regarding how we behave in our own penalty box.
Any opportunity to give a penalty against us and they will take it.
Football in general is 50%.
TFOD2.1 is 10%.

Cup matches must not count in the ongoing Ludge MIB penalty sweepstake.

February 14, 2023 11:16 am

Too often McGregor stands beside opponent and points for outball to go anywhere else but him.
He makes no effort to find space to receive.
As captain he should take more responsibility.
Midfield still struggling to find balance but with Calum an automatic pick i fear it will always be such.
Only Hatate and Mooy showing creativity but overall we are positionally poor defensively out of possession.

February 14, 2023 11:20 am

Re Midfield

The Tomoki conundrum. Why is he here on loan?
It’s certainly not to see how he performs.

Does his loan come with a guaranteed purchase option?

February 14, 2023 11:38 am

UEFA’s independent internal review of the security and organisation at the CL final last year hasn’t pulled any punches.

Yet the one held into a similar near-tragedy at Celtic Park three years ago? Move along,nothing to see here. I still can’t believe that in order to facilitate 700 fans instead of the usual 7000,they were prioritised over the near-60,000 Celtic fans-at our ground!-who were kettled into crush zones when their normal approach routes were closed. Well,I can believe it. Shamefully.

February 14, 2023 11:39 am

I hoped Iwata was signed to improve an area which leaves us vulnerable particularly against better European sides.
Was hoping to see him given more time to see if he improved overall team shape and balance.

February 14, 2023 11:41 am


I think Turnbull is better suited to a running role,turning defence into attack. We don’t get many opportunities for that domestically.

February 14, 2023 12:04 pm


Playing out,

Via Calmac little now but when we did he often took it from Hart and built from there. When he was injured and O’Reilly played there we adapted as it wasn’t within his game to emulate that. Now Hatate is on song we move through him, CCV and/ or Starfelt. It may be that it isn’t now supposed to go through McGregor. Being marked, he provides space for others to step into. It would be in any teams capability to analyze this and try to counteract it. Begs the question what exactly is his role. He covers, he shuttles, he passes and now tackles better. I have good debate around Starfelt. Brings it out, will often pass to CCV, nothing wrong there, pass to his full back ( often to him rather in front) and to his winger. More than that, he will combat his forward. In Scotland this is a requirement, in Europe we need more.

February 14, 2023 12:15 pm

BMCUW @ 11.38

Janefield St crush — total interweb speculation / guesswork — they used the same access plan for the TFOD2.1 mini horde / 700 as they had used for the previous TFOD2.1 big horde / 7,500.

That is no free circulation around the ground for the home support.

They forgot that the Janefield Street route would have to deal with an extra 7K in the home support specifically double the numbers in the LL Stand who would want away without using Springfield Road.

My thoughts are that it was a schoolboy howler by the match commander that wasn’t picked up by the club. They seem to have fixed it by getting our friends from Govan into the stadium one hour before kick off and holding them back to allow full circulation around the ground for the home support — one hour before / 30 minutes after or similar.

One issue for the Main Stand rebuild would be arrangements to have full circulation at one level with the away support having access at another level — the Janefield Tunnel would appear to be marginal for the amount of people who use it at the moment.

When we rebuild the North Stand in 2045’ish it would be an issue that would need to be looked at — two levels / wider.

February 14, 2023 12:25 pm

SN @ 12.04

Too often CMcG plays hide and seek behind the opposition forwards.
Marking him doesn’t change the dynamic I see — he does not want the ball enough.
When he does get it eventually in the centre circle he doesn’t have the passing range to make the most of the players in front of him.

His best play at the moment is in the opposition half following up and driving / running the ball forward.
Back to his attacking M/F play of his “youth” with the hope that he up his game regarding shooting from distance.

February 14, 2023 12:31 pm

Afternoon all,

Who said Bobby Charlton died ???

I can’t see anything on this ????

February 14, 2023 12:50 pm


It seems to have been a cruel hoax,and not by our contributor who mentioned it here.

Shocking,whoever it was.

February 14, 2023 12:59 pm

Sash’s to Ashes
Ibrox to rust
11 years ago today
The huns went bust


February 14, 2023 1:03 pm

Good article Bobby
Robinson like most orher SPFL managers have to moan to save their jobs as it hides the fact they are wage thiefs.

Frodshambhoy grats on your new family member

Angel Gabriel
February 14, 2023 1:06 pm

I must be watching a different game when I’m watching Cal Mac . He’s an outstanding midfielder.

Then again , I once heard a supporters bus convenor saying after one particular game that Paul McStay was over rated .

Did anyone on here play for Barcelona in a previous life ?

Yon Ange fella knows feck all , having Cal Mac as captain and picking him every week.

St tams
February 14, 2023 1:07 pm

Read this morning online, that clubs are allegedly interested in Starfelt.
Sounds like his agent trying to get him a wage rise.
He should think himself lucky, where he is and what he’s got.

February 14, 2023 1:23 pm

St tams

There are many worse players than big Starfelt earning considerably more money in the EPL and English championship. Can’t really blame a player for wanting to earn lots more money in a more competitive / much less biased playing environment. Few players in the current squad have an emotional attachment to Celtic for them playing for Celtic is another step on their career path. Winning SPFL medals is a wee bonus, and playing a few Euro games each season is also fine as it increases their exposure but the majority of modern players are motivated by hard cash. Even uber badge kissers leave Celtic for increased salaries and the chance to test themselves against better players. I say best of luck to Starfelt if he or any other player wants to leave.

February 14, 2023 1:29 pm


Fair enough. Hate when I see these Hoax stories.

Got to agree with the Angel Gabriel,
Calmac is my number 1 midfielder and walks into that team.
Always thereabouts for an 8/10 each week.

Don’t know what people expect.

Still Ange knows better pour Moi 👍👍

HH and Happy Admin Day to you all 💚💚💚

February 14, 2023 1:35 pm

Afternoon all!
Calmac certainly has his detractors in here and elsewhere but the fact remains he is Captain for a reason, and Ange seems to know a player when he sees one. I go to almost every home game, chat of him being too close to opposition players or hiding or knocking it back to defence all the time are way off the mark! He constantly moves into space to take the ball from his teammates, is always available for a pass. He’s a different player from McStay, my all-time favourite Celtic midfielder, but he’s integral to Ange’s system of keeping the ball moving constantly.

February 14, 2023 1:42 pm

I’m in the CalMac camp too. But I’d play him in the 8,Reo 10 and Mooy central. But what do I know-I’ve said from the start that Mooy is best central. Ange knows him better than I do!

St tams
February 14, 2023 1:57 pm

Bobby, I’m with you on that midfield line up

February 14, 2023 1:59 pm
February 14, 2023 2:09 pm



February 14, 2023 2:28 pm

Angel Gabriel @1-06
(Did anyone on here play for Barcelona in a previous life ?)

I take it someone who posts something that you disagree with needs the highest credentials to post their opinion on here?
Who did you play for?

February 14, 2023 2:30 pm

CS — flashing his knicker elastic down south …

I can’t see him being a starter next season so win / win if he goes.
He is a good player but prone to the odd lapse and lacking a bit of confidence / conviction.

His defensive qualities mean that he would be a good guy for a relegation battle.
Might be the making of him but we will need better next season.

CMcG @ 8 — thought he was more a left sided player.
Unfortunately RH would seem to have that channel sewn up.

CMcG as captain — there were no other alternatives when SB left.
If the question came up now then I think CCV would get the gig.
Able to handle the next level and no shrinking violet on the field.

The other alternative would be to bring KT home from his North London / Erse hell.
Failing that there is always AR — give him the recognition he deserves.
The “cat is in the alley” alternative would be GT.

February 14, 2023 2:30 pm

Thanks again for the continued good wishes for wee Alfie. Typical of Sentinelcelts.
Also another good article Bobby.✅

Now that I’m on I feel the need to complain about match tickets again to get it out of my system for a while.
I’m coming up to Glasgow on 17 March to see Stewart Lee. I’ve been watching for weeks now to bag a ticket for Hibs game on 18 March. I noticed they went on sale yesterday and checked in. The game sold out in minutes so I missed the bus. As usual I bet the attendance on the day is about 2,000 under capacity. As it’s St Patrick’s Day on the 17th the hangover count may reduce the numbers even further. 😡😡

February 14, 2023 2:51 pm


Celtic bringing KT back to Celtic? Perhaps in a parallel universe, and then only maybe. KT will have a number of big-name suitors should he choose to leave the Gunners all of who would offer salaries far in excess of what Celtic would be willing to offer. Now can you really see DD parting with the kind of money Arsenal would be looking for, I’d guess at least the £25 mill they paid to sign him. KT back playing for Celtic, aye perhaps in the twilight years of his career as I’m sure he has no wish to jeopardise his career by returning to play in the SPFL at 25 years of age.

February 14, 2023 3:13 pm


I am also hoping to see more of Iwata.
Would like to see how he, Reo and Aaron play
together. Dedicated defensive lynchpin with hopefully a range of passing, and two players to roam ahead.
Nothing against Calmac, Matt and DT, they each have their attributes and it is very unlikely Calmac will step down, but there will be stern tests ahead next season in CL.

big packy
February 14, 2023 3:34 pm

AFTERNOON ALL AND JIM, first the serious stuff, our esteemed poster who posted about bobby charlton the other day did not know it was a hoax, so no blame put on him👍 im celebrating the demise of the famous glesca rangers in one of the best pubs in Wiltshire, the plough inn, im here with sol kitts hoping the ghuy from kilwinning will come in and buy us a few pints, we live in hope🤩🤩🤩

big packy
February 14, 2023 3:38 pm

FRODSHAM BHOY, me and wee joan went into the helter skelter in frodsham yesterday, hey a fiver for a gless of water FFS wont be back🤩🤩🤩

A thing of beauty
February 14, 2023 4:05 pm

The game is all about opinions and the differing views on Calmac have been a staple on here since day 1. No need for me to put my tuppence worth in but I’m with Angel and McCaff. Tremendous player and drives the standards every week. Ange clearly agrees and Iwata also it seems. He has spoken back home of the need to study Calmac and what he provides to the team before he is anywhere near to usurping him. He said he is a defensive mid and doesn’t have the same skills as Callum to play the 6 role at Celtic which needs you to be able to pass the ball and set the tempo too. Now I am paraphrasing from the cynic podcast but they are fairly reputable and that is what they were saying he had told the press out there. I think he knows that a true def mid a la Neil Lennon doesn’t get in an Ange Postecoglu team. Ange accepts Callum’s deficiencies because he believes they are over come by what he offers to the team in other ways.

February 14, 2023 4:15 pm
February 14, 2023 4:18 pm

A t o b

An interesting angle I haven’t heard.

I guess it’s about how the various options work in training. Ange clearly loves time on the training pitch and has had plenty of it since new year with a game a week the norm.

I don’t think Tomoki is here to usurp Calmac but play the role better, allowing Callum to be more constructive further up the park in a squad game, none more so than in midfield.

February 14, 2023 4:24 pm


Another 4 million shares were added recently, taking the total number to somewhere around 400 million. Further diluting small shareholders value.
Confetti shares right enough.
No wonder there is no traction.

The recent £1m was probably needed to get the recent Raskin deal done.

Hell mend them.

February 14, 2023 4:37 pm


400m shares? That’s nearly as many shares as there are fans-according to Charles Green,anyway…

Cosy Corner Bhoy
February 14, 2023 4:38 pm

Congratulations to Frodsham Bhoy again on the new addition to the family
Will need to make a new song… Can hardly sing 🎶 He used to be a Hun but he’s alright now🎶 to this new Alfie

February 14, 2023 5:12 pm

Big Packy what are you doing buying water in a real ale pub! No wonder they charged you over the odds

big packy
February 14, 2023 5:29 pm

FRODSHAMBHOY IM teetotal.LOL 😂 as you well know.,another not true story.hh

16 roads
February 14, 2023 6:14 pm

Make 1984 Fiction Again!

February 14, 2023 6:19 pm

It’s all about opinions , i happen to be a Cal Mac fan but would like to see him further forward.

February 14, 2023 6:20 pm


On the recent figures I’ve seen they have an issued share capital of 436,500,000 ordinary shares.
Needless to say there are no dividends payable😂

February 14, 2023 6:28 pm

As you say all about opinions.
He did play in a more forward role in our 2-0 defeat against StMirren earlier in the season and was ineffective at best.

Danny Mac 23
February 14, 2023 6:45 pm


Calmac 💚 Anges first pick for a reason.


Pour Moi 2011 Derby winner and what a winner.

Had a decent bet on it.Mr Barzalona standing up in the stirrups as he edged it on the line.Unforgettable.

Judging by Twistys nap competition one of my last winners.

Hearts in the cup go figure.Bring it on.

If we are going to win the treble play the huns in both cup finals and emphasise our superiority.

February 14, 2023 6:51 pm

Fan, Calmac just played his 400th game for us. I’m not suggesting you’re a lone voice in criticising him nor do I think he is without flaws in his game, but you are one of his most consistent critics on here. Do you think we have a better player to play the role he’s asked to in the system we almost rigidly stick to. I’ve said it before, and it can be a cheap card to play, but the TV does not show the whole game, players’ positions etc. I genuinely value your comments on the games and individuals in it but like me with Starfelt I think you’re too hung up on Calmac.
Rodgers, Lennon and Ange all had him as a first choice, albeit in different roles (another mark of how good/effective he can be). Even you must concede he brings something to the team.

big packy
February 14, 2023 6:55 pm

OK as you know i turned 70 las week 10 quiz questions from the year i was born 1953,
1 how much did a pint of beer cost back then
2 how much did a pint of milk cost
3 what was the price of an average uk house,
4 a company called lesney procucts started producing some toy cars what was the name they chose
5 what famous drink was launched in this year
6 edmund Hillary and tenzing norgay climbed which mountain
7 name 3 famous films from that year
8 a spray can was invented which is used for a hundred things still in use today
9 name 2 famous songs from that year
10 a telephone sevice was set up to help those in need
good luck all ,cyber pints for the winners