Celtic assumed their rightful position at the top of the Premier League with a diligent, workmanlike performance culminating in a 2-0 win at a packed Pittodrie against Aberdeen.
A first club goal for Lassad Niouiou,when he was in the right place at the right time, (Aberdeen, just after lunch, Saturday) to place home the rebound from a Victor Wanyama shot that was struck with such power that had the Tunisian not been around, Fraser Forster would have had to have been on his toes to stop it going in at the other end.
Charlie Mulgrew finished the job with a sort of scissors kick a few minutes later, and ran in front of the Dons fans cupping his ears to , as he later said on twitter, repay the respect they had shown him.
With Hibernian slipping up at Dundee, actually falling down the stairs and out the door onto the road metaphorically speaking, the Celts now lead the table by one point, and have a game in hand.
Manager Neil Lennon said afterwards:
“It was a real test for the players today which they’ve come through very, very well.”
He singled out the goalscorers;
“I thought Lassads performance ,for the twenty minutes he was on, was superb. He’s a great asset to have and hopefully he can keep injury free. I said to charlie that its very difficult for us not to pick himnow. It wasn’t his best game, but he’s grown into an all round footballer and I was delighted to see him get his goal.”
With that game out of the way, all eyes turn toward Lisbon, where apart from one win in 1967, Celtic have a terrible record. However, the city which played host to the clubs greatest night, could well be the scene of our next greatest night as well.
If Bacelona beat Spartak, and Celtic hold Benfica to a score draw, or if Celtic win, then its off to the last sixteen after Christmas. So lets get it done.
Lennon though, is trying to keep his feet on the ground;
“So far,the players have given us a hell of a ride. I don’t think anyone would have expected us to be where we are now.We have given ourselves a good foothold in the group and the players are developing very well. The expectation after the Barcelona game is that “you are going to go through to the last 16, its going to be comfortable for you” But we still have a lot to do”
He’s right. No point in climbing a mountain and falling over the molehill at the top.
Kris Commons picked up a dead leg on Saturday, (don’t know who’s it was, but they shouldn’t have left it lying around) and Georgios Samaras was tired, but both should be fit for tomorrow, and Gary Hooper, Scott Brown and Joe Ledley should all be in contention.
Something that might help the bhoys get steam up is the back page of one of the papers this morning , which headlines that “Celts are ugly and negative” -then goes on to attribute the claims to Benficas goalkeeper Artur. Honestly, can you think of any goalkeeper called Artur who ever spoke or behaved normally?
The diary often criticises the men earning a living as journalists in Scotlands mainstream media, but credit has to go to Tom English, in the Scotsman , for his mock press conference with charles Green. The hilarious piece outlines the somewhat less than accurate claims the Yorkshireman has made in the press, and lampoons them mercilessly. The author deserves praise for that.
If only he, or any of the Laptop Loyal, had the balls to actually ask the guy face to face, then maybe they would regain some credibility. But its a start.
Speaking of the new club, the result of the First tier Tax Tribunal should be released this week, and rumours are abound that its not quite favourable to the tax dodgers, which is why we can still call them tax dodgers.
Or is it why English summoned up the courage to attack green in his article?
The share issue looks to be doomed, as there is a considerable shortfall in the pledges offered, compared to the amount needed to see Sevco continue operating this season, some sources reckon they’ll be gone again by Christmas, others by February. Shame really, their 6-2 win over East Stirling showed they might have turned the corner on the field…..
Perhaps though, its all about to go wrong for them soon, and maybe this is what they meant by Armageddon.
The club have a new director, a man called Lawrence Lumb, who has links with Harper MacLoed, and professionally , he deals with insolvency, venture capitalism and the sort of thing we’ve come to expect from those concerned with feasting on the carcass of the dead club.
There were reports that Celtic supporters were relieved of Palestinian flags prior to the game at Aberdeen, and on the Etims Facebook page, there is a contact to do something about it. Yet again, the police seem to be a wee bit heavy handed again , without good reason.
Celtic supporters are probably more political than most, and the show of support for those affected by the genocide in the Palestine can only raise awareness of the issue over there. Especially as the BBC are doing their level best to blame it on anyone except Israel. Imagine if a big bad family was terrorising your estate, and one day you hooked one of them in the pub, after putting up with a campaign of intimidation and crime for years. Then they burned your house down and killed your kids. Thats kind of summing up whats going on over there. how can it be wrong to draw attention t it?
And is it true that Celtic have been telling police that supporters , not even based in Scotland, have been planning to go to games which they are banned from? Exactly who at the club is setting Strathclydes finest against supporters, and why?
The club may be behind it, they may have good reason, but surely the police should only deal with an offence when its been commited? Like they do when you phone them and tell them there is a guy watching your house from the bushes opposite?
The BBC have announced the winners of the BAFTA award for best documentary, and it has gone to Mark Daly for his work on Rangers, The men Who sold the Jerseys, although Etims colleague Hector Bandido reckons fans of the former club will call it the BASSAS , and not the BAFTAS.
All at Etims would also like to take a moment to wish Sandy Jardine, the Rangers man, all the best in his fight against the cancer. This disease is the nastiest thing on this earth, and our thoughts and prayers are with him at this terrible time.
The question on Saturday concerned the man who thought he was the best left back ever, and it was of course Tommy Gemmell, the larger than life full back who did all his own publicity. Still on Tam, Billy McNeill fondly recalls him helping which Rangers player over to the Celtic dugout for advice, and why?