Celtic Diary Saturday September 15: We're Not Very Good

Celtic Diary Saturday September 15: We’re Not Very Good

It was just as tricky as some of us thought it would be.

0-0 in Paisley, and we can exclusively reveal why.

Oran Kearney knew his first game would be against Celtic. He did his research, and noticed that all he had to do was tell his lads to park the bus and try not to fall asleep while Celtic passed the ball from side to side in front of them.

Unless Celtic start to play to their strengths, and utilise what we have, then we’re going to see a lot more of this as the season goes on.

We have plenty of wide players capable of running at defences. We have players capable of hitting the target from outside the box, and we have players capable of pouncing on the ball and converting when its in the box.

Yet we also have a manager who values possession football, and as a result, we have a team that is afraid to take chances and lose it.

Even though the high pressing game, when played with energy, means we usually get it back fairly quickly.

A wee bit of imagination is required, and a lot of enthusiasm needs to be added if Celtic are to win an eighth title in a row, and thats before we start on the establishment taking their places to obstruct it.

The idea, we are told, is to patiently wait for openings, as opposed to try to create them.

Reactive, instead of proactive, and the problem with that is teams are quite content to let us wait.

we did say in the leader picture yesterday that on Fridays, the best stories come from bad decisions…


Olivier Ntcham got sent off last night, for two yellow card offences, and it was apparent to anyone watching that he was frustrated and a little less cool headed than he should have been. Rodgers, it could be argued, should have seen that, and replaced him before he was sent off.

There have been 37 games in 2018. 

Celtic have failed to score in 10 of them. 

Thats despite having three very capable strikers for most of the year, and can only point to a failure in the system.

Despite the adoration of Tom Rogic, he offers little creatively, and the wingers are scared to take players on. Calum MacGregor is a great link man, but he is a water carrier, and although an essential part of the team, he’s not going to open up stubborn defences.


Rodgers has proved he has man management skills, now he needs to show us a higher level of diversity in his tactical awareness.


After the game, the manager decided he would blame the referee. Something which Steven Gerrard was criticised for when things didn’t go his way. He was asked how he thought the referee performed…which made me think that was a planted question..

Not very good, to be honest.

“I never like to focus too much on the referees but I think for both teams I didn’t think any of the four officials were very good.

“I don’t know if it’s a mark of all the attention that’s around them.

“But there were lots of incidents the got wrong.

“The sending off for me is not a yellow card.

“If you watch it again, the first one is a booking and we take that. But before the second one there is an incident when Olivier makes contact with the ball and wins the ball, but the referee gives a free-kick against us.

“Then when you see it in the corner Olivier is running across to block the ball up the line and he St Mirren player as he plays it is falling over. At the same time Olivier slides but doesn’t have contact with the player.

“So from that – and the fact it;’s in the corner makes it lively – then the ref falls for it and he gets a second yellow.

“For me it wasn’t a second yellow or a sending off.

“I don’t think there was a good one between them all this evening. Listen, it’s simple I don’t think they were good.”

He has a point, but the referee was Andrew Dallas, and he didn’t do anything that  surprised us, which makes Ntchams attitude even more inexplicable.

“I think the fact we are speaking about them let’s people see there’s been indecision,” 

“There’s been a spotlight on the refs and I don’t want to increase that.

“But yeah – it was just a poor demonstration of officiating.

“There were a few. I thought Tom Rogic fouled the St Mirren player but he got on the ball and ran away.

“Then Tom got booked for something ridiculous.” 

Something ridiculous ? The whole set up was ridiculous. Its time to change the style if we’re not going to change the players.

Lets think about how we can change how we approach matches.

One could ask, or perhaps should ask, for instance, why do we need two midfielders sitting in front of the defence in games such as this ?

Are the defence really that bad ?

It doesn’t appear to be the case, and maybe an extra forward, in a free role, would be a better idea in games such as this.

Filip Benkovic made his debut last night, by the way. You probably won’t see much more of him this season, so I hope you took pictures.


The result has narrowed the gap at the top by a point, but Hearts play twice before Celtic visit Rugby Park next Sunday.

They could easily be eight points clear by then.

Am I right in saying that is unacceptable ?


Something else that is unacceptable hit the news stands this morning..

Now Hampden’s future is safe the SFA can turn screw on Holyrood to fund redevelopment – Gary Ralston

The SFA can pressurise the Scottish Government by lobbying Westminster, who will know the value of providing the money.

Gary Ralston, the least talented scribe at that paper, now reckons the onus is on the Scottish government to pay to develop the white elephant that is Hampden Park.

Hopefully, that kind of pressure will prompt the government to look into allegations of corruption and collusion at the SFA, which should this ridiculous idea gain any traction.

It might be an idea for us to email Nicola Sturgeon with that idea…

Ralston says…

Some canny minds at the SFA – yes, they do exist – are looking beyond Southwaite Services for answers and that could mean knocking at the door of the UK government.

If £161m of public money (including a record award of £120m lottery funding and £20m from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) can be found for Wembley, why not for Hampden?

It would leave Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP administration between a rock and a hard place at a time when the debate on Scottish independence is set to be ramped up again on the back of this never ending farce over the terms of an EU exit.

What message would it send if Holyrood was unable to provide investment for one of the totems of Scottish identity and yet Westminster could?

The DCMS oversee sport only in England and Wales, but May and her Tory cohorts are shrewd enough to see the value of Unionist support for one of Scotland’s most cherished assets. 

They are quite likely to see it as a chance to put one over on Sturgeon, possibly even an attempt to force her hand into what would be a massively unpopular move, and one could be crediting Ralston with considerably more intelligence than he has by wondering if this is a political move by someone who is possibly not an SNP supporter, and reading between the lines, I’d guess he isn’t, but there is something that anyone with an ounce of common sense that he appears to have missed.

As long as there is one person without a roof over his head, or one person forced to use a foodbank to feed himself then there should not be a single penny of public money spent on Hampden Park. 


Yesterday, we showed this picture

alzyerpal September 14, 2018 at 11:42 am · Edit · Reply →

Caption : At the SFA training course, the referees wait patiently for word to come back from UEFA about which pocket should the pen go in.