The Tone Setter

At home, traditional 3pm on a Saturday kickoff, very high stakes, the nation’s leading goalscorer lining up against us, it’s what football is all about.


The next eight days could be the most lucrative eight days in our clubs entire history, some 60 million smackeroonies which could transform any Scottish club. This weekend’s clash isnt the key one, but it certainly allows the opportunity to set the tone going into the crunch time derby, an opportunity that won’t be lost on football operations, an opportunity that must not be spurned. Taking a big scalp is probably the best way to prepare for facing another big scalp, so the timing is on our side.


Facing Shankland is a great way for the defense to prepare for a team that’s only scored 8 goals less than ourselves, ditto their strong midfield, ditto the forward line which shall face a defensive line that has shipped only 7 goals fewer than ourselves. As recent history shows, there’s nothing easy about today’s clash.
Ditto next weekend.
Winning easily would be a huge statement and evidence of that ‘coming alive’ rebel yell.
Winning ugly would also be a positive, we might need that experience for next weekend.
Realistically, any type of win would be great, and dare I say fitting against a side that was given clear assistance in their last victory over the Hoops.


A win puts the onus on R2ngers to match the 3 points, and obviously makes next week’s big one even more of a much win game for them. A win and expanding the goal difference would increase the importance of next week’s 60 million clash. Such a result would mean still topping the table even if defeated next Sunday, assuming both giants win this weekend. You just know the opposition team will be tuning in, praying for the maroon, holding onto hope that we succumb to their diet cousins.
Today is the perfect time to dent those hopes, not reignite them.


Today is clearly the game to set the tone, to show some seriousness, to flex our muscle, to strike fear elsewhere.
Given this context, one might conclude its the more important of the two games in eight days, if not the biggest game.
If I know that, Brendan and the bhoys know that, which reassures me.
I’ve watched this team show up when they need to, such as the Champions League game and the derby games, they do have a knack of coming alive just at the right time for the big occasion. That’s the good news.


The bad news is our squad depth. One of the worst things that could happen is an injury depriving us of a key player for the final matches, or a red card, especially a straight red which would instantly rule said player out for the remainder of the season. Hearts are a physical side, and the officials would love nothing more than weakening morale and the team for the conclusion. Furthermore their top scorer will view hitting the net at Celtic Park in such a huge tie as necessary to push through his Ibrox transfer this summer.
This adds an extra edge to today’s affair, as if needed. Both teams really want the win, in Naismith’s case it would guarantee his continuation in the Hearts dugout and more backing in the transfer market as he can say ‘look I’m a serious manager, just took 9 points off Celtic’.


He’s not a complete idiot in fairness or wouldn’t be third with two wins against us under his belt, he will realise we are under more pressure to win and adjust accordingly. In his shoes I would aim for a strong start to the game in order to make the whole place nervous. In his shoes I would play the ref, strong tackles from numerous players with the assumption you’re allowed one before even the thought of a card enters the equation. In his shoes I would have Shankland wound up like a cuckoo clock, telling him if he scores today he will hit the bigtime.


Yet I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes, I’d much rather have Brendan’s situation, ie an actual pathway to the title in your own hands, a title that would make a double much more probable.
And I’d much rather be at home than away.


Celtic Park should be rocking, not only because it’s the old traditional footy time and fixture, but to really lift the players into action. Their manager would love a silenced and nervy crowd, their players will aim for it, but that is not what’s called for tomorrow. In a week where Dortmund just showed the football world what real proper crowd looks like, the Tims must do likewise. There’s no point having this home advantage if it’s not an advantage, so if you’re going cheer and sing your loudest please. It almost feels like a Tifo occasion to me.
Backing helps prevent buckling, that’s the order of the day.


I worry about this Daizen situation, on the one hand the dynamo playing a starring role in a key victory would be more than sweet and terrify others, on the flip side if he gets either taken out or just has a recurrence of this injury, it has the potential to seriously affect morale and obviously there’s no quality direct replacement.
Because we are at home, hopefully in front of a gee’d up crowd, I’d leave him on the bench and go Kuhn left, Forrest right. James has had 6 days rest, that should be enough, and he will personally understand the stakes at play today, and hopefully once again take up the mantle of responsibility.


The Scales contract can’t hurt the player or team morale, but I just think it’s a hand that could have been played better. As in earlier, Christmas time or something, so he was fully relaxed and focused after knowing he’s not only wanted and needed but going nowhere. I guess the PLC saved another few quid not handling out a pay rise months ago, but this also tells me he’s a good lad around the dressing room by Brendan’s judgment. Can’t have too many of those. Well done son, you’ve earned it and have formed one half of the nation’s top of the table defense. Now go and make this an unforgettable year, in a good way of course. Of course that’s his aim, stepped in and done the double. Well Liam my old son, here’s your actual chance to do just that very thing! I tell you what, if he scores…


Callum, not worried. I expect him to start, building up match fitness before next weekend, and he’s had more training time under the belt. Plus he will want to lead the team out today, of course he will, and serve a dollop of a dish best served cold. It’s a game that calls for your Captain and he’s stepped up to the mark in these eyes.


My heart’s torn on the striker though, in a week when Idah’s pricetag emerged, 5 million is not outrageous at all I reckon, he will want to cement that move ala Shankland. Plus he’s a bit more physical to match the Jambos defense. The gambler in me would back him to score tomorrow. The manager in me just might be tempted to start him, then bring Daizen and Kyogo off the bench together. They work very well together and what a double switch that would be. The odds of late goals would massively improve.


I haven’t looked this much forward to a game for so long. It’s squeaky bum time, but you’ve gotta be in it to win it.
And in it we are.
Still writing our own story until this page is over. I hope it’s a fairytale.
Today’s chapter will help reveal that answer.


Up The Hoops!
By Mahe

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May 4, 2024 12:13 am


You can read our article on a resolution for improving refereeing standards here.

Join the growing numbers of our readers who have had enough of referees In hun scarves.

May 4, 2024 12:14 am

POTY competition

May 4, 2024 12:14 am

The Sentinel Celts Charity Drive has nominated Blood Cancer UK as the recipient for funds for the six months to 31/07/2024,and we are getting close to achieving our LATEST TARGET.

We have set up a GoFundMe page for those who have some spare cash to donate,even from a lucky windfall or finding a tenner in the street.

Click on the link for more details,including how to donate.

Please give generously to a very deserving cause. Although our first targets have now been achieved-and many thanks for your generosity!-we can always hope to do more.

May 4, 2024 12:15 am
May 4, 2024 12:54 am

I’m not sure how this works but if possible here’s my charity bet.
A quadruple, Hibs, Dundee, Celtic, Aberdeen all to win this weekend.
Thanks man, take it easy and Hail Hail.

Margaret McGill
May 4, 2024 2:10 am

That’s the downside about religion
If you’re a Muslim and you get a colonoscopy you’re legally married

May 4, 2024 3:12 am

You should know.

Margaret McGill
May 4, 2024 3:14 am

5 so far
And your point ?

Margaret McGill
May 4, 2024 4:14 am

Lullabies look in your eyes
Run around the same old town
Doesn’t mean that much to me to mean that much to you

Just Sayin’
May 4, 2024 7:51 am

Today is what competitive sport is all about and what professionals live for.
What’s not to like? Playing in front of a full house, and fortunately I’ve been given use of a season ticket by a friend who can’t make it. Expectations are set high.
My last visit was against the other half of Edinburgh 5 months ago. A repeat of that Performance / score will do nicely and certainly lay down a marker.

May 4, 2024 7:59 am


An excellent post last night at 11.37 👏👏👏👏👏

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Jobo Baldie
May 4, 2024 8:06 am

Good morning, friends and a Big Happy Matchday to all posters and lurkers alike.
Spent last might listening again to Radio Clyde’s coverage from 3rd May 1986. In the days when they were allowed commentary on the last 5 minutes of the 1st half onwards – who came up with that strange idea? Anyway, a brilliant 80 minute listen.
There have been a few really memorable encounters involving Hearts in my lifetime. Apart from Love Street Day there was the Mark McGhee centenary season semi final. And wasnt there a New Years game where we came back from 2 down at Tynecastle with a Stephen McManus injury time winner.
Hopefully today is up there as a very significant victory. Although I’d take a scrappy 1-0 right now as being 6 points clear in 9 hours time is really all that matters.
As for team selection I’d suggest –
Daizen is likely to be much more important ne t week than this and I’m not sure Hearts fear him as much as R2ngers do. So, start on the bench today.
Forrest is likely to keep his starting place. But personally I’d prefer him in his super sub role with half an hour to go, if he is needed.
McGregor has been way off the pace in his 2 games since returning. He should only start if he is now fully fit, otherwise it should be Iwata in that role.
Up front its Kyogo to score for me. Pretty sure that he has a very good record against Hearts and would be an extra boost before next week’s game.
I’m excited about today and privileged to be attending.
But first, its ParkRun #303…….

May 4, 2024 9:15 am

Good morning and May the 4th be with you today.

May 4, 2024 9:52 am

Morning all,


Celtic 3 Diets 1

HH 🍀🍀🍀

May 4, 2024 10:02 am

Some interesting stuff in SFSA latest blog including a round table meeting on 8th May at Holyrood on the future & regulation of Scottish Football that SFA are resisting.

This is result of the debate at Holyrood on Enhancing Scottish Football last year.

Bada Bing
May 4, 2024 10:33 am

It’s the lack of energy in midfield that worries me,nothing wrong with going 4 across the midfield if required

May 4, 2024 11:03 am

February 2021 it’s now April 2024

Anyone any the wiser ?

Anyone interested in finding out ?

May 4, 2024 11:15 am


From Kate Forbes at the end of the exchange…

“Subject to the agreement of the Parliamentary Bureau, the Lord Advocate intends to make a statement to the Scottish Parliament on the matter at the earliest opportunity. I am sure that Murdo Fraser will have the opportunity to ask further questions at that point.”

Which translates as “I’m hiding behind a sub judice excuse until you forget all about it.”

May 4, 2024 11:20 am

Morning all!
Bada…the only problem I see with 4 in the middle is it’s already congested by teams forming 2 banks of 4/5 when they play us. Playing a 3 with 2 wide effectively gives us 5 to control and counter. That, despite what many of us think is better, is the modern pattern that most teams play. Most teams deploy in a 433 as an attacking formation but revert to defend in a 442. We’re kinda unique here in that teams tend not to swarm us in attack but try to pick out the winger/striker with a long ball counter attack. I’m not sure setting up any differently would stop that tactic! I read an article a few weeks ago about this, if I can find it I’ll post it!
Mon the Hoops!

May 4, 2024 11:32 am


And Murdo Fraser has dropped it as it will harm the Westminster Government currently Conservative and his beloved football team. I suspect been seen to do something rather than actually doing anything as a way of garnering public support. Kate Forbes now second high heid yin in Scotland wants to bury it. How does this all sqaure with the Scottish government backing an independent football regulator? The same modus operandi as Murdo Fraser I suspect, also don’t forget these are the exact same people wrapped up in the Alex Salmond malicious prosecution. Salmond being the mediator/originator of the original 5WA

Another interesting read

Craig 76
May 4, 2024 12:15 pm

What a spine-tingling video this is.

Thank you to
for sharing 🙏🏻

May 4, 2024 12:41 pm

For me,the outcome of today’s game hinges on one main factor. Can we perform for both halves of the bloody game for once?!!!

May 4, 2024 12:55 pm


For ScotGov to say that total costs to February 23 are £2,313,881.25 strikes me as being rather cavalier with their definitions. In fact,they haven’t said what counts towards those costs and what doesn’t,and even a fleeting glance at the individual cases calls the amount into serious question.

To put it another way,they must think we came doon the Clyde in a banana boat.

May 4, 2024 12:56 pm

Bhoy From The Village, brth, Chalmersbhoy, McKenna_88, & Melvin Udall – still to get Superbru predictions in

Sol Kitts
May 4, 2024 1:00 pm

Ipswich score to put one foot in the EPL.

Sol Kitts
May 4, 2024 1:08 pm

Leeds losing 2-1.

May 4, 2024 1:12 pm

Aw Naw


And Murdo Fraser has dropped it as it will harm the Westminster Government currently Conservative and his beloved football team. I suspect been seen to do something rather than actually doing anything as a way of garnering public support. Kate Forbes now second high heid yin in Scotland wants to bury it. How does this all sqaure with the Scottish government backing an independent football regulator?

What gave you the idea the SG backed an independent regulator.

There was a debate on the issue in Holyrood the outcome of which was the Round Table with all parties in 8th May.

The MSPs supporting reform are not the Scottish Government who need to hear the debated from both sides.

It’s a natural process.

Sol Kitts
May 4, 2024 1:15 pm

Arsenal score from their usual penalty. Bad as the Huns, this lot.

May 4, 2024 1:20 pm


I dont. They don’t. They only want it to appear that they do is basically what I intimated.

May 4, 2024 1:22 pm


Agreed. They didn’t even attempt to fulfill the breakdown request.

May 4, 2024 1:29 pm


Havertz clearly played for that,dragged his left boot along the ground for about a yard to catch the keeper’s foot. Noticed-but not criticised-by the commentary team,who are nauseatingly pro-Arsenal.

Big Audio Dynamite
May 4, 2024 1:55 pm

Wonder where we would all be if there had been zero bias shown toward anyone this season, eh? I’d be willing to bet we wouldn’t be as nervous as we are today!

The refs have shown how much of an influence they can have on outcomes with the amount of assistance that’s been granted to the boys in blue this season. In a fair competition I’d have zero worries about facing any of these teams ..but unfortunately we don’t play in a fair competition!

It tells you a lot about this league when it isn’t the opposition teams you’re worried about facing! We have literally been dealing with this our whole lives ..and people wonder why you are so desperate to win! in a word, JUSTICE!

Stand on their throats, Celts.



Bada Bing
May 4, 2024 2:25 pm

Naibalance will be dangling new contracts at guys,who come out and do it for the Establishment team today

May 4, 2024 2:28 pm


All except Shankland,of course. He’ll probably offer him a free transfer instead.

May 4, 2024 2:56 pm

How many free hits at our players will Devlin get before he gets a quiet word from the officials?!!

16 roads
May 4, 2024 3:00 pm


May 4, 2024 3:00 pm


Devlin Booking Bingo!

I’ll go Twelfth Of Never.

May 4, 2024 3:01 pm


16 roads
May 4, 2024 3:05 pm


May 4, 2024 3:06 pm


16 roads
May 4, 2024 3:07 pm

Well onside.

May 4, 2024 3:08 pm

Two minutes VAR check. Checking for possible Fenian,indeed. Basterts.

16 roads
May 4, 2024 3:10 pm

Steady defending from Liam Scales and CCV.

16 roads
May 4, 2024 3:11 pm

Always outnumbered in midfield.

16 roads
May 4, 2024 3:13 pm

Superb save JH.

May 4, 2024 3:13 pm

Great save from Joe.

May 4, 2024 3:14 pm

Hatate made the goal but has needlessly given the ball away twice.

Minis have done more in 9 minutes today than the whole of the semi final, cheats.


May 4, 2024 3:15 pm


No great surprise though.

16 roads
May 4, 2024 3:21 pm

Hill have eyes going berserk on the touchline.

16 roads
May 4, 2024 3:22 pm


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