Celtic Diary Sunday April 14: Big Game Today..
The two best teams in the country square up this afternoon for a place in the Scottish Cup final, where Hearts, the early season pacesetters, lie waiting.
Well, you have to make it sound interesting and exciting..
Yet there is every chance todays game could be a cracker.
Aberdeen are , to coin a phrase, due a win against Celtic, and as the League cup clash showed, they are edging closer to such a result.
However, today they will be without their captain, the industrious Graeme Shinnie, who never gives less than 100%. So much so, in fact, thats he’s been linked with Celtic, presumably as a long term replacement for Scott Brown.
Shay Logan, the likeable full back and Gary Mackay Steven, the former Celt are also missing, but they will still have Sam Cosgrove, arguably the best centre forward outside of Lennoxtown,
The papers will tell you that Celtic are not playing well, based largely on a number of recent sluggish performances in the league where teams simply shut up shop and hope for the best.
This is a cup tie, however, so Aberdeen will at least try to score more goals than the hoops, otherwise they won’t go through.
For Neil Lennon, its essential that Celtic win. If they don’t , it’ll be his fault. The press will have a field day, and those among the support who regard him as a step backwards will be furious.
Even though the poor performances are largely down to the relctance of Brendan rodgers to vary his tacitcal approach rather than Lennon’s failure to put it right.
It’s not been pretty, but so far it’s working.
And frankly, when the trophies are being handed out, I’d venture that those of us who seek entertainment would be as well heading off to the pictures for the afternoon.
Dedryck Boyata won;t be playing, it’s more or less certain he won;t play again having agreed terms with Hertha Berlin and no doubt a few other options remain available to him.
Scott Bain , Mikael Lustig, Kris ajer, Filip Benkovic and Keiran tierney should form the back line, with Scott Brown and Calum McGregor in front of them.
Lennon doesn’t seem to rate Scott Sinclair, which is scary in itself, but the Englishman has an excellent record against the Dons, and if he’s not in the starting line up today, a few frowns will begin to crease among the support.
James Forrest should be on the other flank, with Tom Rogic, hopelessly out of form of late, in the number ten slot.
Not on merit, but because Lennon likes him.
though surely if forrest is to be on the flank, then Ryan christie would be the number ten…
Edouard or Burke up front ? It has to be Eddy, although I’d argue that moving Forrest into the ten role and using Burke to support Edouard, or even the other way round would be a better bet.
Then there’s the guile of Timothy Weah….surely with creativity at a low , especially against Livingston, the game that started the doubts, Lennon will want to try something different ?
There are several options, but I’ve a feeling that Lennon will be conservative in his approach, and that could be becuase that’s a word the board like, and it may look good on his CV when the full time manager is announced.
So far it hasn’t been pretty, but it’s working… so don;t expect too many surprises.
As for the outcome, a lot depends on the line up, and even more depends on the attitude.
Scott Brown will drive the team, but if there’s no fuel left in the engine, the driver becomes redundant..
Yes, this one worries me.
Aberdeen will be up for it.
Though it’s nonsense to suggest that Celtic won;t be, perhaps there is a fragility about them when things don;t go their way.
Tactics ? Lenno joked that he would phone Rodgers about how to win at Hampden, and we can exclusively reveal that Rodgers told him that Hampden was a special place for him, having often travelled over on the boat to watch games as a kid.
He also told Lenny that he would make Leicester as a tribute to the midfielder, who would always have a special place at his new club, and as long as he was in charge the there would always be a job there for him.
What he was really saying was that he didn’t have a fucking clue, which will come as no surprise to any of us.
Prediction-this might not be a beautiful sunday, although Celtic are the better team, I’m worried simply because this run of cup wins has to end sometime, and today has that sort of feel to it.
But, thats what we love about football.
And if Aberdeen do win, good luck to them. Let’s be gracious about it, and not storm onto the pitch to protect our players, or have petulant displays from the players at full time.
Elsewhere, and there was a crisis at a junior match that perhaps is unique..
Five minute delay as sub Craig Dallas is asked to remove his underwear by the linesman.
Renfrew went on to explain..
Linesman checks studs and cycling shorts (presumably). Player lifts his shorts to show he is wearing a pair of black boxer shorts, and linesman asks him to remove them. Play delayed and substitution not made until our player removes his underwear. Unbelievable
I’ve no idea who the referee is, but surely that’s taking things a little too far.
Then again, would he do that if he was refereeing a ladies match ?
Yeserday we wondered if the Celtic Trust and the CSA would throw their weight behind the recent kickstart of Resolution 12, and they did reply…sort of.
The Trust assisted the movers of the resolution by advising them of the process for getting resolutions on to the PLC AGM agenda. We also signed the shareholder resolution requisition form. We have not played any active part since then.
Hopefully they will get back on board…we need a united front here, because otherwise Lawwell will keep kicking the can down the road as its not in his interests if shareholders and supporters demand answers to the question of why he appears to be colluding with corruption and cheating.
Speaking of a united front…
Celtic and Aberdeen fans & players: enjoy the match, stay safe and remember that whatever divides us, we’re all the same scum, thugs and hooligans to the Sun, the Record,
@policescotland @HumzaYousaf and @thesnp We’re hoping for a good match without trouble; they’re the opposite.
Couldn’t have put it better myself.
Caption comp from yesterday…