The drive to nine continues tnight with a rare home match , aganst Heart of Midlothian. Those of you who go on a regular basis will be delighted to learn that since the last home game the stadium gets all lit up at night and we might even see the famous disco lights in action.
Well, thats how long it seems.
In fact, it is only the second game at Celtic Park since the break, which makes the run of wins even more impressive.
I’ll bet the manager is chuffed. Let’s ask him…
“I’m really pleased with the form that we’re in and I’m really pleased with the form of some of the individual players as well, so we just want to build momentum and keep it going.
“It’s a home game and our home form has been superb this season, but we’re not taking anything for granted.”
It’s the third meeting between the sides this season, with the Hoops having won the two previous encounters – 3-1 in Glasgow in August and then 2-0 at Tynecastle in December.
“Hearts had a good window and brought in some good players. We know Liam Boyce from his time at Ross County and I know him from when he was a young player in Belfast, so he’s a talented player.
“Toby Sibbick looks like a good find, as well, and obviously, under Daniel Stendel it’s going to be a new style of play and new principles.
“It’ll be a test. Daniel’s a positive, forward-thinking manager and I think the game may be open.
It won’t. all of these clubs play open football until they face Celtic, then it’s a different mentality, which is a shame, because it stifles the possibility of entertainment. Then again, sitting in a freezing cold stadium on a Wednesday night isn’t actually entertainment, it’s more of a habit.
“We will certainly try and attack, and we’ll be ready for whatever Hearts try to throw at us. Sometimes teams sit in, but sometimes teams come and have a go, so we’ll see how that pans out.”
Incredible insight there, and to be honest, thats probably him being honest.
His style is to let others worry about us, certainly domestically, and quite right. once or twice the players appear nervous and take a while to settle, and it’sthought that over emphasis on the opponents can lead to this.
Thought by me, at least.
Lennon also took a moment to mention Jackie MacNamara,who is improving after he collapsed outside his home the other day….
“I am lost for words, I don’t know what to say.
“I spoke to him on Tuesday, so I am devastated by the news and hoping he pulls through.
“People have been keeping me abreast of things. He is a strong guy, a great guy and a fit boy for someone of his age.
“He has been fit all his life so I am hoping and praying he comes through okay.”
So are we.
Tonights game is intriguing,Hearts have shown signs of improvement under their new manager,and could just as easily derail the unbeaten run, but Celtic do have that strength in depth and ability to claw themselves back from any unexpected twists in a game.
Biton and elhamed are back in training, which is good, but there’s little sign of any progress for Jeremie Frimpong, which isn’t so good.
Given that Lennon plays four at the back at Celtic Park, we may see a different approach to this game, and al we can be sure of is that Johnny Hayes will feature at some point.
Daniel Arzani won’t. He scored Celtic’s goal in a 1-1 draw at Middlesborough last night.
And probably Oddsone Edoaurd, who spoke to the media yesterday and put Celtic fans minds at rest about his future.
Well, that may have been what he was trying to do..
On his ambitions, he said;
“I would like to become the best striker in the world. That’s it.”
Then he sort of realised that things can get lost in translation in Scotland…
“One of the best strikers anyway. I don’t know when that will happen.
“I live day to day and I enjoy my life. We will see in time. We will see.
Surely though, Scotland, being cursed with racism, such as that endured by alfredo morelos, is not the place for a black fellow ?
“Personally I have never had any experience of that,”
“If I had then you would all know. But I haven’t had it and I don’t get involved in issues that don’t really concern me. Life is good. I live well in Glasgow and I really like the city.”
Does that mean he’ll be around for a bit,as we all hope, and we can put any stories about him wanting to leave..or about the club trying to sell him.. to bed ?
He’s being linked with quite a few clubs…
“It’s very flattering but I try not to listen too much to that so that I can focus on the team and helping them to win titles.
“Henrik Larsson is a Celtic legend – when I was little he was one of the best players in Europe so it’s amazing some people compare me to him.”
Edouard has already been compared to Larsson, by those who should know as well, chris sutton, for instance, and if he does stay in Scotland, he might even improve to a level where he could be compared with Kris Boyd.
Now , the current media kerfuffle, which has neatly allowed the SFa to remain in the background and turn the spotlight away from some of their bizarre referrals to the Compliance Officer, herself under a wee bit of pressure, and avoided the new refereeing supremo from being forced to explain the incompetence of his charges.
With one or two honorary exceptions, notably Graeme Spiers and Ewen Murray, the media have to a man failed to unite and protest about the nonsense that has been published on behalf of Level 5 and “rangers “.
That can be taken two ways, the first being what has been the status quo for years, in that they are afraid to say anything remotely critical of whichever entity is playing at Ibrox for fear of being pushed out, and the second, more interestingly, is the possibility they are waiting for the Ibrox board to remove the Fat controllerfrom his position of influence so they can get on with the job.
Phil MacGhiollabhan, who is normally right about things down ibrox way, claims that a meeting of the ibrox high heid yins, sans Dave king, who is recovering from the shock of those IRA volunteers, still in balacalavas, who mugged him to the tune of Get Out Ye Black and Tans, outside his office in johannesburg.
At that meeting, it was only when they should sack Traynor, and not if…
It is also possible that the 12 year old boy charged by the police in relation to racism may not have actually done it at the game. Details are sketchy but another possibility emerged last night…
Could that see an improvement in the journalistic standards north of the border ?
they could start by clarifying this story, but then again, would the Fat controller allow it ?
Doubtful, but we can always hope.
And given that he knows the entire nuts and bolts of the machinations at ibrox, since the new club was formed, will the Ibrox board risk him writing a book to sit along Whyte’s tome and further shine light on the corruption that has taken, and probably is still taking, place ?
Sky TV will no longer receive the co-operation of Celtic after the Morelos Translation scandal, so at least someone at the club has finally had enough.
that could develop over the next month or so with another clash with “rangers 2 on the horizon, as the tv company is desperate to keep this fixture, and at one time, don;t forget, inserted a clause guaranteeing them four league games between the two as a dealbreaker, despite the fact that technically the league set up doesn’t guarantee that.
Maybe it’s part of a wind of change blowing through the game, maybe there is another broadcaster ready to step in if the Scottish football authorities cut ties with Murdoch’s empire….
We can only hope.
whoever is in charge of publicity and public relations at a club needs to be calm, level headed and above all know exactly how to use the medium he is working with, as a chap at Ayr United discovered…
Yesterday, we had this…
Oh, by the way, club 1872 , the somewhat staunch Ibrox fanzone, have released a statement to back up the one Traynor scribbled.
Cartuja on twitter gives us a brief history of the group…