We Fall Down,And We Get Up Again


One of Celtic’s top players in recent years,Matt O’Riley,got some news yesterday which he would have been dreading. He can have the summer off! Now,for most people I know,being told that you can spend the next five weeks with your feet up would be manna from heaven,but that is not the case for footballers who were expecting to be spending those weeks with their international team-mates at probably the second-ranked football tournament on the planet.

By any standards,Matt had an outstanding season just gone. Nineteen goals,eighteen assists. International recognition for Denmark,his mother’s home country. A double winner to go with last season’s treble,and the winner of virtually every individual POTY award going. “It doesn’t get better than that,Ted!” Especially true when you consider that it is less than four years since Matt refused a new contract offer from Premiership side Fulham,a decision which left him without a club for six months prior to being picked up by lowly MK Dons.

This is a player who seems very focused on using his talent to take him as far as it can. The easy option is not for him if he doesn’t think it will drive his career forward. But being so single-minded can have its drawbacks too,it can crush the soul when life turns round and gives you a sore one in the nuts. We saw how his form dipped eighteen months ago after he was overlooked for Denmark’s World Cup squad in Qatar. And for a while there at the start of the year,it appeared that he was finding it hard to deal with Celtic’s refusal to countenance a bid from Atletico Madrid.

Fortunately he came through both bad spells to show us and the wider game just how good a player he is. Showed the Denmark manager what he had been missing. Showed AM his true worth,which is certainly more than the derisory loan offer they put to Celtic at the time. And he will have been looking forward to strutting his stuff on the international showpiece stage. That doesn’t look likely to happen now,and he will need to get over it.

Bigger names than Matt have never appeared at major championship finals,and the best known example of that might be George Best. There are others too,including every one of The Lisbon Lions-though Jinky did manage to make it to Germany 74 for the World Cup only to be criminally ignored by Willie Ormond in favour of Willie Morgan. Dunno what Ormond was thinking,and Jimmy went from having a fantastic season leading up to those finals to being so poor afterwards that Jock released him a year later.

He was still only 30yo,and should have had plenty of mileage still in the tank. It wasn’t to be,and I genuinely believe that being ignored for those games in Germany sucked all the remaining pleasure from the game for him.

I mention Jimmy as something of a cautionary tale,we never know what is going on inside someone else’s head. Even people who can shrug aside the most bitter disappointment,or have climbed the highest summits in the game-as Jinky certainly did-can sometimes react badly to one unexpected body blow too many. We’ll never know either what the Denmark manager was thinking of when he announced his squad,leaving out a rising young star in favour of some battle-hardened and experienced pros who have been over the course and distance. Although reports from Denmark suggest that he would have done the same if Lionel Messi was eligible but playing in Scotland. He doesn’t rate our league very highly,and that is perhaps understandable.

Except that our league is rated as hovering around the top ten in Europe! Is the Denmark squad filled only with players from Italy,Spain,England and Germany? Well,actually yes-although there is a decent representation too from the likes of Turkey,Belgium and Portugal. None that I could see from Eredivisie in The Netherlands,which surprised me. That has long been seen as a country which values talent from its near neighbour. So either that is no longer the case,or the manager doesn’t rate their standard too highly either. Who cares,it’s his call. 

Matt will need to get his mind completely away from this blow to his ambitions and his pride. I suspect that he will be screaming for a summer break every two years for the next decade or so,called up time and again for his country. Ask CalMac as an example how many games he has played every season for the last seven or eight. Ask him whether a nice wee few weeks of sunny relaxation is good for the soul and good for the body. Or ask former team-mate Tom Rogic how it feels to be overlooked by your country yet always available when selected. How much the extra work schedule takes it out of you,the  loss of downtime finally building till you can take no more and the body succumbs to minor knocks and exhaustion. 

Matt has every right to be disappointed this morning. I can almost say that I feel his pain,we all want our players to achieve the best that they can. But he should take this opportunity to enjoy one last summer of relaxation,one last chance to be just a young kid on holiday with his mates or his family. He’ll miss them when they’re gone! And he should know too that he isn’t the only person disappointed at his non-selection. Others are disappointed on his behalf,and puzzled at the decision.

Take Peter Lawwell,for instance. The Euros was a perfect opportunity for one of our stars to place himself in the shop window,make himself a target for the top clubs in Europe with an impressive tournament. Lawwell will have seen a potential bidding war scuppered by the caprices of a journeyman manager who prefers to select players from the Brentford bench. He’ll be spitting feathers. 

As will be our manager. BR will remember the difficulties that Matt faced in the early months of the year after the club told Atletico where to stick their kind offer. I’d be very surprised indeed if he wasn’t one of the first on the phone to offer his commiserations and any appropriate advice or assistance. There’s a lot more to management than just tactics and team selection,there’s also the human element of letting a wounded player know just how highly he is valued by his club,his manager and his colleagues. 

Matt took a good few weeks to get over the blow in January. It might take him a good few weeks to get over this one too. This time he can do his moping on a sun lounger and come back at the start of July hell-bent on proving his international manager wrong. 

I suspect that his club manager will be planning to use that as a primary motivation for him next season. And who knows what can happen when immense natural talent and top coaching are combined with a burning rage at an injustice like this one? It could be an interesting season ahead,and it all depends on how he copes with it. But I’ll bet on the player who happily turned down a contract as a teenager because it didn’t suit his career path. He’s had bigger blows than this and shrugged them off,and I trust him to do so this time too. 

Above article by BMCUWP

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May 31, 2024 7:57 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 31, 2024 7:58 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 31, 2024 7:58 am

Trump guilty on 34 counts.
Yet unlikely to serve time or have any meaningful punishment applied.
Are the SFA writing American laws?

May 31, 2024 7:59 am
May 31, 2024 8:00 am


It’s that orange skin and hair.

May 31, 2024 8:15 am

Happy to announce that for the next few weeks of the close season,MAHE and I will be putting up a new article only on Monday,Wednesday and Saturday. As was discussed yesterday,this time of year sees the domestic game largely dormant with few items of interest available for discussion.

Normal service will be resumed when,erm,normal service is resumed at the club. That should see us safely through June. As always though,the opportunity is there for any of our contributors to offer their own thoughts for an article.

Maybe the best player for the opposition,as witnessed in the flesh. Or a marvellous European trip. (Mine have all been terrific,it’s only ever the result that lets it down!) Maybe the best game we’ve seen,too many to mention? The offer is there,and you have a blank canvas.

Give it your best shot,folks.

big packy
May 31, 2024 8:29 am

morning bobby, you and mahe deserve a rest, ive got a few big celtic games that i can think of, so might put pen to paper.another true story.LOL 😂

Bada Bing
May 31, 2024 8:37 am

Mahe and BMCUW- Well done Bhoys and thanks HH

May 31, 2024 8:41 am

BMCUW @ yesterday

OE is a huge talent — he is now prime Moneyball material.
I think he will star in a big EuL run in the near future.

From afar — he has never really recovered from the CoViD19 season aka 2020/21.
He didn’t get the big move that everyone had pencilled in for that season and he struggled with the dislocation in everyday life and the coaching / footballing implosion that overwhelmed us.

Consequently he was damaged goods when he headed for the EPL.
Couple of occasions I thought that he was making progress — couple of purple patches.
But overall his 3 years at CP was a tragedy for just about everyone.

The issue is that at CP they were never going to carry him about in a shawl.
Shape up or ship out — we have other hungry players desperate for a game — so he is gone.
CP have a recent history of peaks and troughs — their results have been very patchy.
However now they have found consistency and mercurial talents are not needed.

EPL failure — opens a few doors in some parts of the football world.
It will come down to his appetite for the game — not sure if he is set up for life but he will have a fair bit of cash at his disposal.

If he is on the long slide downwards then he will be a huge waste of talent.
Not the first / not the last — just a case that he has lacked the appetite for the game.
Some people love the money / some people love the game.

Future — hopefully he will go to a value team in the Big 5 with a manager who has a selection of shawls and can rebuild careers / egos / appetites.

On a similar matter — ON is another who is prime Moneyball material.
You could say that he won us the 2019/20 SPL with his performance in Govan in the Sept of that season. They were heavy favourites and he bossed the game.

46 games a season — Sat / Tues rinse and repeat — good football and good footballers will struggle in that environment. Another huge waste of a player who hit the heights but when the dust settled down looked like someone who didn’t really love the game.

One thing that stands out — how quickly some in the support turn on ex players.
Their attitudes are one step away from rabbit boiling — Glenn Close / late 80’s cultural icon alert– they must have been fun when they were “knicking about” / Stalker-watch material.

OE failure in the EPL — bad for us and bad for the SPL.

May 31, 2024 8:57 am


“One thing that stands out — how quickly some in the support turn on ex players.
Their attitudes are one step away from rabbit boiling — Glenn Close / late 80’s cultural icon alert– they must have been fun when they were “knicking about” / Stalker-watch material.”

Happy to correct another of your assumptions. Neither Edouard nor Ntcham are examples of the support turning on former players. Most of us watched those two players perform to their best,and we were delighted with what we saw. We also watched as they pulled on the jersey and made a mockery of it,of what it has meant to so many millions of us down the years.

They made it perfectly clear with their performances that they couldn’t care less,and were only marking time till they got their big-money move away from the club to one more befitting their status as superstars. The big stumbling block there is that it wasn’t just the fans who noticed and were vociferous in their anger at the time. It was also potential suitors.

Hence the simple truth of the matter-that their performance levels were only suitable for the likes of Swansea and Palace. And I’m willing to bet that they both had to ask who and where these clubs were. But when you’ve fucked about,don’t be surprised if others don’t want to be the next in line to be fucked about.

The reason why these players failed at their new clubs is also the reason why other clubs weren’t the least bit interested. Because neither were the players-if they weren’t interested in performing to their best,why should any club take a punt in the (expensive) hope that they can rediscover the player inside?

Both players downed tools at Celtic. Both players found it beyond them to pick up the tempo again and find that missing spark when they needed it. Both players were warned,here and elsewhere,that they were at risk of pissing their careers up against a wall. It’s got nothing to do with us wanting an ex-player to fail,we are better than that. But it’s got everything to do with the fact that we CGAF about them now they’re gone,because they CGAF about us when they were here.

May 31, 2024 9:01 am


MOR — all the chat points to the NT manager going with his old stagers to the detriment of their performances with a team that peaked 3 years ago and is on the slide.

Any new blood would appear to be Brentford punts who are filling a jersey in the EPL.

Consequently new talent not following the plan — playing in a Big League — is not required no matter the ability or the potential on offer.

MOR future — I think that it is time for him to go.
His stats are great but not his performances this season.

30 minutes of quality plus 60 minutes of stodge / hiding were good for him and his numbers but torture for the support as we ended up in close game after close game hanging on as our initial burst was countered by a late flowering of the opposition as they started to play football.

If he goes then we should charge top dollar — MOR is a huge talent who will star in a few CL runs.
Just a case that he needs to train / play with better players to develop his own talent.
Be challenged every week so that he does not coast aka hide.

Hopefully we will be that team by 2030 but for next season he needs to go.
Our training and playing standards are poor at the moment.

Signs of recent improvement but corners / throw ins / penalties tell their own story.
A story that MOR has helped to write.
He was poor on Saturday.

May 31, 2024 9:05 am


Support turning — once the player is away and on the slide.
Look at the comments yesterday about OE / ON and their footballing futures.
Little warmth and little appreciation for what they gave the club.
Usual suspects …

Even KT gets more than his fair share of snide comments.
How many would not take him back and have publicised the fact.

May 31, 2024 9:16 am

BMCUW @ 8.57

Stalker-watch awaits — interesting that you heap all your bile on the players rather than the manager who allowed this set of events to develop.

These are young guys who need support not middle aged men milking it on the telly.
Our standards throughout the club are crap but little is said.
As long as the pot hunters are happy we are doing fine.

Somebody will get a good tune out of OE and ON.
That is the whole story of Moneyball and before that BC and his misfits into winners vibe.

Just a case that not all managers / coaches have that ability.
If OE was going cheap — I would give him a call.

Never go back — maxim as in rule of thumb not a commandment.

Last edited 1 month ago by Madmitch
May 31, 2024 9:21 am

I was pissed at OE for that miss against Huns because he was not willing to risk injury waiting for his big move.
He was being paid by Celtic at time so a wage thief!
Gave us some great memories but his final seasons lack of effort still rankles!
ON was a huge talent but he vastly overrated his own ability.
Has the skills and strength to be a top class player but lacks the concentration and mental strength.

Last edited 1 month ago by Fan
May 31, 2024 9:30 am

Fan @ 9.21

OE paid for that summers new players.
No OE money no AP revolution.

Cut the guy some slack.
We all knew he was for the off.

Not trying a leg against Govan FC — JF currently holds the yellow jersey.

Big Audio Dynamite
May 31, 2024 9:36 am

Wow! That’s an overwhelming amount of negative, contradictory p@sh from our resident troll today!

Where to begin?!

Ach, smile and wave bhoys 🏆🏆

May 31, 2024 9:36 am


We got virtually as much for Ajer as we did for Edouard. I think Palace fans will view the latter as a waste of time and money,but Brentford fans are quite happy with their purchase.

Difference being that Ajer still gave us his all,even though he too was for the off. And so found it easier to take the next step.

As for your opinions about MOR,you’re right. And everyone who voted for him in various POTY awards was wrong. And those 19 goals and 18 assists are clearly a figment of our imaginations.

Big Audio Dynamite
May 31, 2024 9:37 am

Anyone care to explain how the troll knows our training is poor? 😂

May 31, 2024 9:40 am

OE showed a lack of respect to Celtic fc and the support in his final season with his lack of effort.
Yes the coach was an issue and he had been signed with a view as us being a step on the ladder.
But the fans paid their hard earned money to expect effort from him.
He has shown at Palace and Celtic flashes o brilliance so the ability is there.
His nonchalance that produces such intermittent results is for him to adjust.
Since there would be no guarantee his behavior would not be the same he is a no for me.

Big Audio Dynamite
May 31, 2024 9:41 am

Our habit of winning all the time seems to have driven some to distraction.

was there EVER a more deserving bunch?

Big Audio Dynamite
May 31, 2024 9:43 am

How many years does Matt have left on his current contract??

is it 2?

May 31, 2024 9:43 am

JF and OE are not comparable.
Both vastly different situations

Big Audio Dynamite
May 31, 2024 9:49 am

O’Riley spends an hour “Hiding” each game??


even for an attention seeker that is stoopit.

funny though!

Big Audio Dynamite
May 31, 2024 9:58 am

“We cgaf about them now they are gone, because they cgaf about us while they were here”

brilliant, Bobby.

And so true!

May 31, 2024 10:02 am

Fan @ 9.40

The 2020/21 debacle — the blame starts at PL and ends with NL.
To focus on OE makes my point for me — how quickly the support turn on ex players.
You miss out the “NT contingent” who really did not try a leg — why are they not in your sights?
Or the “Dubai squad” who wanted a week away on the lash?

Strange focus.

Bada Bing
May 31, 2024 10:03 am

MOR 2027

May 31, 2024 10:03 am

All you need to do is whistle — And they call it Puppy Luv …


May 31, 2024 10:05 am

MOR is away this summer.

I fear a few bruised egos might be the fallout.
A bit like last year and the manager farrago.

Big Audio Dynamite
May 31, 2024 10:21 am

Thanks Bada 👍

May 31, 2024 10:22 am

You are starting to sound like a politician.
Obfuscating by adding irrelevant issues to a narrow argument.
Of course Lawwell, board and coaching was present but both players have had same issues at other teams.
I gave reason why I wouldn’t have them back , was not about blame and especially 2021 when I have often said NL and PL carry that responsibility.

Big Audio Dynamite
May 31, 2024 10:31 am

10.03 😂😂

All you need to do is mention the word TROLL – Bites like a crocodile 😂😂

Trolls dgaf what you are saying about them, so long as you are giving them the attention they desperately crave.

Some have still to see it.


Craig 76
May 31, 2024 10:40 am
May 31, 2024 10:41 am

Morning all,

All I can say is that Denmark must have some team if MOR can’t get in that squad.

So everyone agrees they must be in with a great chance of winning the trophy. !!!!!!!

Na, me neither…………….

Hope to catch some of you at the Old Shipbank later 🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺

HH 🍀🍀🍀

16 roads
May 31, 2024 10:46 am

The Idea of ‘summer’ football is now on impossible:


Baltic CSC. 🥶

May 31, 2024 11:17 am

Maybe on the days there is no blog header madmitch can do his crossword as the leader.

Last edited 1 month ago by Chris
May 31, 2024 11:40 am

Top class lead again BMCUWP. Both you and MAHE deserve some respite until the hooped jerseys are donned again. Maybe one of you will accept an offer you can’t refuse, from CQN, when the blogger transfer window opens !! 😉. Who could possibly turn down the Lawwell £££ ?

There was time when the Dutch were a difficult mob, especially when they convened for a tournament. Having a big fallout was their default position. Top club managers would resist having any more that two Dutch nationals in their squad, as any more would result in grief down the line. The great AC Milan team being the exception to the rule.

The French trio of Edouard, Dembele, and Ntcham, were periodic assets but ultimately can be regarded as wasters. Total wasters.

Would anticipate that Rodgers will have had a word with MOR regarding his exclusion from the Denmark squad. Like the support, BR will want him to stay around a bit longer. If MOR wants to stay, he stays, if he wants to go, he will go. They all come and go at some point.

The egg chasing huge talent couldn’t find Celtic Park if you plonked him down on London Road in front of the Emirates Arena. Everything viewed through the screen of a Sony Bravia.

Big Audio Dynamite
May 31, 2024 11:44 am

Very good, Jim! 😂



Big Audio Dynamite
May 31, 2024 12:28 pm

Speaking of Matt being snubbed by Denmark ..

I must have missed the outrage the Scottish press are claiming our fans were showing.

Outrage 😂😂

This wee shithole just can’t deal with our continued success.

May 31, 2024 12:39 pm

The Danish coaches omission of MOR is solely down to the international disdain for the SPL.
The fact that SFA officials who have presided over such a decline remain in their overpaid comfy positions should have alarm bells ringing.!
Unless something is done to alter the dishonesty of Scottish football the decline will continue making Celtic’s recruitment of talent an impossible task.
The present Celtic coaches and squad with some good additions will need a Herculean effort to change our standing in international football.
The season ahead is pivotal to our status in the new emerging football landscape.
Lets hope we are prepared?

May 31, 2024 12:50 pm


I am sorry to sound like a broken down record but I repeat Celtic should do nothing to facilitate Matt O’Riley’s departure. If he goes he goes I know.

I also think he is slow, can appear too casual especially when shooting and can disappear for long periods from games but I cannot remember us having many, if any, genuine midfielder who scored as many as 19 goals in a season and who had as many as 18 assists in a season. Flaws and all. There will be a huge gap in our team in our team if he goes- he’s nothing like as good a player as Kenny Dalglish was in 1977 (KD was 26 mind you) but MOR’s departure has the potential to be as calamitous as Kenny’s was back in 1977.

If repeating and relying on the statistics of Matt’s season to make my case makes me an spl stats monster, a pot hunter and even a Donny Osmond fan then so be it but I always want Celtic to be a successful and entertaining team. For all Matt O’Riley’s flaws I think there’s a fair chance Celtic will be less successful and less entertaining without him.


San Luis
May 31, 2024 12:57 pm

Regarding ex players.

My own view is that , nowadays, as opposed to the 70/80s etc, is that players now hold all the power. If they down tools , there’s is little to nothing a club can do about it. Back in the day, the club owners had all the power. So, there’s been a shift in dynamics.

The likelihood of a player being here for 3 or more years are slim, even homegrown talent like KT or Ben Doak are often keen to progress their careers elsewhere, but there are exceptions to the rules.. CalMac, JF, AR…but thankful, Celtic as a club generally reap the rewards.

However, as a downside to that, we create short termism and instant heroes and then quickly forget them as another comes in and replaces them. The same goes for Managers.

It’s just a different game, with different rules, but the one constant are the fans. ..oh and Peter Lawwell!!

Enjoy the Summer BM and Mahe. Thanks for a great season of writing.

Last edited 1 month ago by San Luis
May 31, 2024 12:58 pm

Jumbo 67
I agree MOR’s departure will be a miss.
But could counter with argument that our midfield set up has lacked balance for years.
He certainly has goals and creativity but positionally and defensively we were all over the place.
Hopefully we use the money wisely from his sale to give us midfield shape and balance?
A conundrum but one our highly paid coaches and scouts can solve.

Last edited 1 month ago by Fan
St tams
May 31, 2024 1:07 pm

As far as I am concerned. MOR , is a long way off being a top player .
Excellent technical ability, but lacks pace and is physically weak. Unsuited to EPL, Spain or Italy a better future destination.
Would do him good to stay with us another 18/24 months to see of he can develop and improve.

May 31, 2024 1:21 pm

St Tams
Not all attributes are necessary to become a top class midfielder.
Bobby Murdoch and Pirlo were two world class midfielder not renowned for pace.
Like you say Spain or Italy would suit and in Europe with a modern fluid team he would be an asset.

Big Audio Dynamite
May 31, 2024 1:23 pm

Think the clubs have voted to ban plastic pitches.

Brilliant! Can’t stand them.

A thing of beauty
May 31, 2024 1:30 pm

MOR is doing well at Celtic but he has deficiencies that we all can see. He is slow and he does lack physicality. Also his shooting sends CCB into apoplexy, rarely putting his foot through the ball. I get what you say about Pirlo and Bobby Murdoch but they were almost peerless in their ability on the ball. Did you see the recent Twitter post where Pirlo talks about a game where he only played the ball with his so called weaker foot as he had an injured knee. Fascinating that no one actually noticed. There are football players and there players. Pirlo was a player!!

May 31, 2024 1:31 pm


I agree our midfield is imbalanced. I like Hatate because he was so good in his first year but I think his loss is one we could live with easier than Matt’s. A physically more imposing and/or quicker player than any of our starting 3 ( or Iwata) would be my wish. Callum Mac may be a year or so from being decidedly on the downslope.


May 31, 2024 1:39 pm

JIMBO67 1250

Well put. Even if the Donny Osmond reference had me choking on my lunch!

MOR is a top player for us. He could look at CalMac and decide that he too fancies sticking around and becoming a legend at our club,and being richly rewarded for it too. Or he can take a step into the unknown for more money but for an indeterminate period of time and with the future uncertain.

I think he will leave,but next summer. He has confidence in his own abilities,but yet his confidence seems such a fragile thing. Interesting choices ahead for him.

Big Audio Dynamite
May 31, 2024 1:57 pm

I’m extremely relaxed about our position re Matt.

Like most players these days, Matt will be getting advised to move by people who want him to move for ONE reason – money!

All the talk in the world won’t change the fact it’ll be his say , and his say alone, that will count.
Players like the king of kings are very thin on the ground these days.

I’d like him to stay but won’t lose any sleep if he decided to go.

Big player or big money – Win win.

May 31, 2024 2:07 pm

Pirlo and Murdoch are two players I have been privileged to see.
Was not equating Matt to either but to often players are dismissed for lacking a certain skill. Plus Matt has enormous growth potential which the right coaching could improve.
His dread ball efforts at Celtic are truly awful but whose are any better? Coaching or lack of issue!