Celtic Diary Friday August 2
Its almost here.
The new look SPFL starts tomorrow, and Celtic will face Ross County in the big match televised live by Sky TV. Its a 5.15 kick off which means a late start for us travellers, and we won’t be home until midnight. Once again, we’d like to thank the sports broadcasters for this opportunity. Fortunately, we have picked up a new bus and driver on the cheap.
The flag will be raised, and a new , exciting season of free flowing entertaining football will ensue, culminating in a third successive title for Neil Lennons Celtic.
Or four, if you believe the Herald.
” Celtic new boy Derk Boerrigter is looking to make it four title wins in a row at Parkhead this season. ”
The striker gives his first full interview since joining the club, but the Heralds mistake is unforgivable.
“I am here to win championships and perform very well in the Champions League.
“I won three titles in a row in Holland. The first with RKC Waalwijk in the second division and then twice in a row with Ajax so I hope I can make it four in a row.
“Scottish football is very physical, very fast, they go forward as quick as possible.
“It is totally different from Dutch football but I like it.
“I think it will (suit my style). When I played for Ajax there was a lot of possession but here it is about getting the ball and get it as quick as possible to the strikers and they will try to score.”
“I really wanted to leave Ajax and there was a lot of interest from other clubs but when Celtic came I didn’t have to think long,”
“Celtic is a very big club in Europe. In Holland we know them well.
“When I went to Ajax I played very well and even made it to the national team.
“But because of a back injury I was out for a couple of months and when I got fit again it was hard for me to get back to my old level.
“Eventually the coach put me on the bench and at that point I thought ‘I am too good to sit on the bench, I want to play’.
“I want to play every game. I don’t like to sit on the bench.
“I spoke to him about my situation, I wasn’t happy about it. So for that reason it was better for me to leave.
“It is a new opportunity for me to play and to play well and I hope the coach of the international team will visit me and see what I am capable of.”
Decent enough article, perhaps worth comparing with Craig Swan in the record, who says that Derk was once dubbed “sicknote ” due to his long term back injury.
No, he wasn’t. Ridiculous statement again from Swan. Thats assuming they even have sicknotes in the Netherlands.
Happily, he seems to have inherited the old Dutch trait of moaning if he doesn’t get his way, and we look forward to a laugh a minute with him when he realises that our midfield doesn’t pass the ball in a forward direction.
He should start tomorrows game, and after Anthony Stokes proved that he’s not afraid to try to score, but currently unable to complete the action, maybe Amido Balde should get a chance to show what he can do. After all, theres thirty seven games to turn it around if this one goes pear. Otherwise, some might start to feel that Balde has been signed purely to keep a seat occupied on the bus, so that the driver doesn’t pick up hitch hikers on the way to the game. Theres a lot of freeloaders about these days, who will try to live off your efforts, not paying their own way but happily taking handouts from people gullible enough to fall for their hard luck stories..
More on this particular scourge on society later. Much more, in fact.
But for now, lets concentrate on the Ross County game. The highland side surprised everyone last year, with a credible debut season, finishing fifth, and gaining a few good results along the way. Against us, as well.
Manager Derek Adams sounds as though he is still surprised by this, and when asked about his hopes for this year, he replied;
“We’d just like to finish as high as we possibly can and that was the same as last season. We were delighted with the campaign and we just want to continue that.”
Man with no target won’t hit anything…..
In this, the second post armageddon season for Scottish football, we can look forward to pretty much more of the same as last year. Crowds all round look like they will continue to improve, and teams no longer standing with ten men behind the ball when they come to Celtic Park, though in all honesty , if they did, we may have dealt with Elfsborg a little better. Maybe even a new challenger emerging , Aberdeen and Dundee Utd have strengthened, the highland clubs will want to compete, and even Motherwell will have high hopes, despite their European defeat last night.
They open against Hibernian, who also suffered European failure. That sounds like another winner picked by Sky for broadcast.
But congratulations have to go to St. Johnstone. Another away win in the Europa League-this time in Minsk, and they are good value for it as well. Disciplined performances, and playing in a fashion that makes it look like they could be our biggest challengers this year. It is great to see them doing well, as it can do no harm to the co-efficient at all.
Meanwhile, all is not well at Ibrox, where home club Second Rangers have got themselves into a bit of a tizzy over something which really has little to do with them. When First Rangers, known just as Rangers, went into liquidation over a couple of unpaid bills, say around £150m worth of them, a new club, Second Rangers, took their place in the league, starting in the third tier.
For full details, see the diary of June 14, Sashes to Ashes,
At the end of last year, Hearts and Dunfermline also suffered financial distress, but as supporters rallied round and gave their money to the clubs, instead of, say, a couple of shysters from out of town, those two have survived. Whether they will continue to survive is not certain, but they have a fighting chance, because their supporters, well, stood up and fought.
At no point did they lie down and have their tummies tickled.
Second Rangers exist because the first lot have gone, but that didn’t stop this statement from Craig Mather, the new Ibrox CEO, and the latest man in a long line to gain the trust of manager Ally McCoist.
‘Rangers Football Club notes today’s verdict by the Disciplinary Tribunal who ruled that Hearts cannot register any players over the age of 21 between now and February 1, 2014,’ Mather told the Rangers website. ‘We also recall that Dunfermline were given a similar sanction in May.
‘But in particular, Rangers are aware of the glaring differences in the sanctions imposed on three clubs who entered administration.
‘Our club, Rangers, was hit with a £50,000 fine and given a 12-month registration embargo. Questions must be asked about these anomalies and we fully understand the rising anger among our fans. ”
And you have to love this last line;
” They are entitled to think there is one rule for our club and another for everyone else.’ ”
Astonishingly, he needs clarification, when we are fairly sure he has the number of a Mr. Campbell Ogilvie, who will be well versed in what happened at First Rangers and at Hearts, largely due to his own involvement. He could help explain a couple of differences, and due to his position of note within the SFA, he could also explain why the punishments were apt.
There are a lot of emails flying around these days, and we are told that this one is from Ogilvie to Mather, dated just this morning.
” Shut fucking up. We might still get away with it. ”
Its unlikely this is real. It’s got full stops and capital letters.
Could it be though, that they are merely deflecting attention away from stories that contractors working at Ibrox have downed tools and walked away, due to rumours that they were not getting paid…?
Large sections of the ground are closed for the upcoming Newcastle game, with the added nightmare- for the few fans left from the original hordes who TUPEd over to the new club – that all the remaining seats are facing the pitch.
Hey heres a fun game for the weekend-count how many new Second Rangers tops you see when you’re out and about. Theres not many. More stars on the jerseys than there are jerseys on the fans.
Very quietly, the majority seem to have accepted , finally, that their club died last year. Very quietly, they have realised that they have been taken for chumps by those who inherited the assets of the old club. No more tops, fewer season books…
Very quietly, they too, are crawling away to die. We must allow them dignity in their passing, and offer commiseration for their loss.
Last season flew by, I didn’t miss them-in fact I don’t know anyone who did. This year they have bought up , well, signed up, a load of players no-one else of any note wanted. This makes them think they will win at least one of the Cups, and qualify for Europe.
Of course, anyone who has even a basic knowledge of how UEFA works, knows that as a new club they will not be allowed to participate.
Very quietly, the majority seem to have accepted this.
There are still a few loud, ignorant people who refuse to accept the inevitable, who refuse to stop shouting from the rooftops that their club lives on. These are known as “board members ” or ” coaching staff ” , and have their own reasons for perpetuating the myth.
No doubt it will all come out in the wash.
After all, a wee bit laundering makes everything clean.
Yesterday we put up a picture of Gil Herron, who was Celtics first black player. He was upstaged by his son, who was Gil Scott Heron, who made a lot of people happy with his music.
Many musicians and the like have tagged along on the Celtic bandwagon. Some have been-and remain- supporters, such as Rod Stewart, hooked after Jock Stein looked down at his “poncey ” white shoes when he met the big man after being invited to training.
Then theres a chap called Snoop Doggy, who starred in a cartoon series with the hapless Charlie Brown, a character who could never do anything right due to his own ineptitude, widely believed to be based on Ally McCoist.
Several celebrities have been involved with Celtic, even playing in the hoops for charity.
Who is this twinkle toed lightweight ?
Finally, and on a sombre note. Colin MacAdam, formerly of Rangers, has passed away. We offer our sincerest condolences , and our thoughts are with his family at this time.
May he rest in peace.