As you are probably aware, at noon today, Celtic make the short trip across the city to face “rangers “.
Its been in all the papers.
But before we have a look at that, here’s a few words from Celtic supporters liaiason officer, the bold John Paul Taylor..
Info for Sun, the host Club has asked that Celtic fans refrain from hanging banners from the top tier which covers advertising following requests from their sponsors
And if we could keep the noise down as well, that would be splendid.
The Ibrox club have also hinted that they’d much rather that we stayed off the drink as well, but admit they cannot offer tea or coffee as an alternative as all the cups are at Celtic Park.
Celtic will have more or less a full squad to choose from, which is around about forty players.
“rangers ” will have their asembled bunch of loannees, journeymen and that bloke Tavernier who is rated quite highly by some..
James Tavernier is better than Manchester United and Chelsea right backs insists Celtic daft Scots boss Steve Evans
Evans, of course, brought himself to our attention when he said he wants to be the next Celtic manager. If, by some astonishing chaoin of events that does happen, then we’ll have to hope he brings someone with him who has at least a working knowledge of football.
The papers are going a little overboard with the hype, but thats to be expected. After all, with convincing wins over Ayr United, Falkirk and some other teams in recent weeks, you could be fooled into thinking that after years of telling us they were coming, the new all action total football “rangers ” are finally here.
There’s very little evidence to suggest that this lot are any different from the last lot, but there is a hugher level of organisation and perhaps enthusiasm than of late.
The game kicks off at noon, and reality should have bitten a massive chunk out of their arses by about quarter past.
For some, it will probably be a bigger chunk than others.
Gordon “Ibrox ” Parks at the Sunday Mail isn’t someone who will go on to have a great career in sports jourbalism, but he really ought to try his hand at comedy…
Celtic skipper Scott Brown is poster boy for Scottish football’s mediocrity and Greg Docherty can get the better of him – Gordon Parks
Of all the matters of intrigue about to unfold this afternoon there’s one burning question about to be answered.
Is Greg Docherty capable of a change of the Old Firm guard when it comes to midfield enforcers?
For too long, Celtic’s Scott Brown has had it all his own way, over 10 years of swagger and coasting through these games with sheer power of personality.
That unchallenged status shows the poverty of genuine hardmen during Scottish football’s declining last decade.
If he’s allowed to take ownership of Ibrox in similar fashion, the game will all but be decided in the champions’ favour.
Now, I’ve no idea how good this Docherty chap is, i do know that “rangers 2 spent , by their standards, an awful lot of money on him, or will do when the season book money comes in, i think they’ve got him on a sort of try before you buy deal.
He might well be the next big thing, and lets face it, there have been a lot of next big things to ply their trade at Ibrox in the last few years, so they would know.
But to suddenly have discovered the ability to run a midfield in a high profile if not high quality encounter ?
I could turn out to be wrong, but the fact that Gordon Parks thinks its possible means it isn’t.
Now, in the past, i’ve noticed that quotes in the media can be taken out of context to allow the writer to make or emphasise a point, but i’ve never seen this before, where a writer uses a quote by someone else about someone else and infers that he was talking about someone else…
But Docherty has it in him to be an identikit to the Hoops star. Both play with a fire and have been tarred by the accusation of having technical limitations.
There’s a quote from Neil Lennon who was involved in an on-field duel with Brown during his Hibs days when the pair clashed at Easter Road.
He said: “I played against him a few times and he was like me, he was a gobby little f*****!
“He was as gallus as they come, you know? He still has a brilliant engine and when he was 19/20, he had phenomenal running ability. He could handle the ball, he’d like a tackle and liked giving it out.”
Lennon could have been talking about Docherty, the expletive part being the only exception.
He wasn’t talking about Docherty. He’s never played against Docherty. Probably never even spoken to him, and somehow we make the leap from Lennon to Brown to Docherty as though its some sort of natural progression..
In other news, the Sunday Mail is losing readers faster than the value of Alfredo Morelas is rising…
Oh, Morelas, or Cumming , or whichever of their bright young things is going to lead the line.
They will make chances.
They might even score.
But the team they are facing has a massive psychological hold over that club, and its support, especially at Ibrox.
Two quick goals and the tube station at Kinning Park will be full to overflowing.
And thats how I think it will pan out.
The experts are expecting “rangers ” to come out swinging, as they say, as they actually think they can win this game.
If I was a betting man, I’d be looking to have James forrest and Tom Rogic to score in the first twenty minutes.
And probably Dembele and Sinclair as well, as the relatively inexperienced “rangers ” back line is likely to concede a penalty early on.
We haven’t had our 7-0 this season yet, and with rodgers admitting privately he’s been a little hurt by criticism over the last few months, today is the start of a three parter that will get all the fans back onside.
Two convincing wins in the league, and one in the cup will put smiles back on our faces, and put down a marker for next season, which we believe will see the club move up a level on the big stage.
But for now, lets concentrate on putting billy back in his box.
Even if they are called Sean and Declan these days….
Some time after the game, I’ll try to put together one of those post match report thingies, a Diary Part Two.
Though it has to be said, watching on telly isn’t the best way to analyse a game.
In fact, I’m not a fan of the telly full stop. It can lie..
Last night, I was watching Crufts, as my dogs like to suss out the competition, and when i went to get a cigarrette and another drink, my wife turned over and put on something called Take Me Out, and i swear it took me fifteen minutes to notice she’d turned over.
there’s still a couple of hours before kick off, and as responsible citizens please stay safe, please be mature about how you go about your day.
It really is only a football match.
And if you are bored, do not click on this link….
which is a survey of some sort…