Celtic Diary Tuesday February 18: Practice Makes Perfect

Celtic Diary Tuesday February 18: Practice Makes Perfect

Or at least you would hope it does.

Celtic overcame Aberdeen at the weekend after a fairly laborious performance ended with a touch not of magic but of a higher level of football.

Oddsone Edouard flicked the ball into space which opened up a congested midfield, when James Forrest took possession, he held it and waited for the arrival of Kris Ajer, who had ran the full length of the pitch , and the pass allowed the Norwegian to compose himself…bearing in mind the run he had just completed…to pick his spot and win the game.

 

That reminds me in a way of the first game against Lazio.

It was almost immediately apparent that tje Roman side were a cut above the average. Initially quicker and sharper than the hoops, it took time for Celtic to get up to their level, and the late goal feom Ntcham in the second leg was tje completion of the task they had been set.

When it mattered, the players were up for it.

As it was at Pittodrie, they found that extra bit of desire, that extra bit of adrenaline and got that extra bit of success.

All of which bodes well for Thursday’s game in Denmark against a Copenhagen side that cannot be taken lightly.

At this advanced stage of the competition no side can be dismissed lightly, except probably “rangers” .

And there’s little chance of meeting them because they face an in form Sporting Braga who have beaten all of the other top Portuguese sides since Christmas.

Celtic will have more or less a full squad to choose from, and the recent changes to personnel and formation make it difficult for the opposition to predict how Lennon will line his charges up.

That can’t be a bad thing, though away from home he has favoured the 3-5-2 system, although again we can cite Pittodrue as a sign that if something isn’t working, he’ll change it

There’s definitely a grit and determination in the squad to kick on since the break.

Maybe they are hurting after being beaten by Gerrards ” ranhers” and maybe they were upset by the celebrations after the game, which considering how things have turned out sonce then, are beginning to look.more and more like thise of a little team celebrating a win at the home of a big team, in the way that Hamilton or Ross County would if they had given their long suffering fans something to talk about on the way home.

Incidentally, has anyone else noticed that the referees have been less than helpful to the Ibrox side since the break?

This could well be down to Gerrard thinking that he can throw them under the bus along with his players.

After all, many of them are merely fans with whistles, and as a result they would be expected to play their part in the push for 55

They haven’t..amd we hear that may be linked to a recent Hampden visit by the Ibrox boss demanding the introduction of VAR, a meeting which presumably also invoked discussion of the refereeing standards.

For Gerrard, failure at Ibrox is a career ender. With bo one approaching the club to secure his services, his inflated ego is unable to realise why, amd so therefore it must be someone..or everyone…elses fault.

Should Celtic, and there is bonreason why they shouldn’t, get some.kind of result in Copenhagen, and Braga do the same at Ibrox on Thursday, there may well be a massive implosion over the other side of the river.

The Fat Controller is fighting for his life, and don’t be surprised if he takes Gerrard down with him…or instead of him..

Meanwhile, it’s business as usual.at Celtic

 

One trophy returned to the cabinet and three more to play for.

The league title looks safe if not secure.

The Cup involves just three more games which need to be won, and with referees now taking time out from their grand masters, it’s unlikely they will do anything to help Gerrard keep his place at the helm, although a final against anyone but ” rangers” will be interesting.

Amd anyway, even if the Cup is won we should give it back in protest at the way the SFA have ram the game over the years .

Europe? As ever, the luck of the draw and the way the players perform on the night will be crucial

 

Lennon’s mentor, Martin O’Neill had the hang of these two legged knockout ties.

Lennon seems to be of the same cloth, so we can remain optimistic.

 

On a side note, the BBC have told pundit Michael Stewart that he can’t comment about the Fat Controller any more, and he will remain suspended until he agrees to that.

In his place on Sportscene they introduced the otherwise uneployable racist homophobe Malky Mackay, who they have judged to have more acceptable opinions to earn a nationwide platform on which to air them

His comment, given events elsewhere, about suicidal defending show a level of crassness and insensitivity that the once proud BBC would not have allowed.

Gary Caldwell has got the hang of it. He has been added to the elite summariaing team and promptly declared that “1 to 11, Rangers are as good as, if not better than Celtic ” , a statement which got absolutely eberything wrong, from the numbers tonthe name of the club/company.

 

But he too, has a platform to burble and bluster.

The tines they are a changing, one would hope, and an indication of that cale from the low turnout at Ibrox for their 1-0 win over Livingston.

It seems even their support can’t be arsed with it any more, and given how much they rely on their support, the officials and the media, its nearly time up for this entity as well.

Given the rumours that something happened that perhaps shouldn’t have happened in Dubai, and one or two of our pish stained sources claiming that the management travelled first class back to Glasgow whilst the players were below decks in steerage, it seems all is not well over there.

 

And with the news that the English media are reporting that Manchester City, who have been a little invemtive with their interpretation of the rules governing football finance could face title stripping, and the somewhat ironic views of Steven Gerrard on this possibility, we may yet see another surge in jelly amd ice cream sales.

Sure, the media up here won’t touch that story, but as we’ve said before, this time their London bosses, desperate to shift focus and criticism away from how they have hounded one or two celebrities literally to the grave’, will be looking for someone..or sonething..to dig into.

Alex Thompson of Channel 4 will be presenting a series of reports on the night time news on the channel, beginning on Wednesday.

He has already tweeted that the claims it concerns solely child abuse are wide of the mark.

May be interesting .

 

 

Apologies for the brevity of this edition, but the laptop is playing up again

This diary has been brought to you by phone, hence bo pictures.