Celtic Diary Wednesday December 5: Back To Work
Celtic make the short trip to the delightful Lanarkshire town of Motherwell for tonights league encounter.
Its probably just what is needed to bring everyone back down to earth after Sunday’s cup win.
Craig Gordon will take up his position on goal, and one or two others may be rested after their exertions over the last six days.
Dedryck Boyata will miss out, in fact he’ll miss out until January as he has damaged a hamstring, which means Jozo Simunovic will get a run of games to see if he can slot in beside Filip Benkovic.
Boyata may also have hinted that he is on the verge of signing a new deal at Celtic, as on his instagram page he posted a video of himself watching the telly, and while he was doing that he made sure we could all see the contract and pen that was on his table nearby…
Oh, the little tease.
Leigh Griffiths could also find himself starting tonight, and Scott Brown may also return, but like everyone else, I’ve got no idea.
But three points are necessary , if only to put to bed the idea that we suddenly have a title race. Especially as the Ibrox side, now at the top of the table, in case you hadn’t heard, face Aberdeen tonight, which to them is what you’d call three points in the bag.
Gerrard commented that for Aberdeen , the game at Ibrox will be like a cup final. Bizarrely, if it is, their experience of these occasions should give them the advantage over the home side.
there was further disappointment at Ibrox when in the wake of Luka Modric winning the Balon d’Or, it was revealed that Alfredo Morelas had missed out on the Barn d’Or.
There seems to be a little bit of controversy around post match celebrations, and its growing since the leaked police report blamed Celtic players for causing a disturbance among “rangers “fans”, even to the extent that one of the Ibrox directors commented on it at their AGM, claiming it wasn’t the sort of behaviour anyone wanted to see.
I’m not even going to point out the hypocrisy of that when you consider how their own players acted at Tynecastle, because there’s no need.
Their manager , Steven Gerrard, also said he would run the length of the pitch should his charges score a last minute winner against Celtic, which presumably is something the Ibrox board would like to see.
Even Aberdeen players got into moaning mode after the League cup final, especially Graeme Shinnie, who thought that Scott Brown and Mikael Lustig lacked class, a charge which must be considered alongside the kicks, tugs and abuse the Aberdeen players dished out for an hour and a half.
Manager Brendan Rodgers chucked in his tuppence worth..
“I can understand the raw emotion of it all. They have lost their third cup final to us.
“That emotion is in the game and players and managers are not robots.
“Especially, Graeme who is probably wanting to emulate some of the captains who have gone before at Aberdeen so when you lose it is a tough one to take.
“But I didn’t see Mikael goad the boy Ferguson at all.
“I watched the game back when I went home and I think that there is something right towards the end when the end when the ball is in the corner.
“The referee blows the whistle and it looks like the end of the game and Mika celebrates – as you would having won a Cup Final – but as he is walking forward he realises that it is not the end of the game.
“I don’t think there was any goading.
“If you look at us as a team and you look at our records, I think we are a very sporting team considering that every game we play is a huge pressure game and a Cup Final.
“The players and their record from a discipline perspective is exemplary.”
Indeed, considering the kicks , tugs and punches they put up with on a week to week basis, they are positively angelic.
It must be frustrating for other sides, and there’s little wonder that some players get fed up getting beaten in cup finals, but you’d think they’d be used to it by now.
It could get even worse for them, Brendan rodgers has been talking to a potential new siging, and all we can ascertain is that its a big one. Several names have been mentioned, but there’s ;ittle substance to any of them.
When its kept secret like this, we are usually pleasantly surprised.
And it won’t be the only surprise next month..
An appeal now, which maybe one or two of you based on the west coast may be abl e to help with..
Mondays caption competition…