Celtic Diary Saturday August 3
The upside of todays 5.15 kick off is that those of us travelling from the south don’t have to start so early. The downside , of course, is we get back later.
But who’s moaning ? Today we are full of the excitement and promise that comes with a new season.
The all new singing dancing SFPL started last night, when Partick and Dundee Utd played out a 0-0 draw on new channel BT Sports. By all accounts it was a decent enough game, and more importantly, the television coverage was a vast improvement on the Sky/ ESPN coverage of previous seasons. Gary McAllistair talking up the game, and the channel on the whole promoting the product, a concept entirely unheard of in previous years. ( which might make Sky and the BBC up their game, and employ people who know what they are on about. )
Well, with Craig Burley not involved, that was always going to happen. The former Celt is now gainfully employed by ESPN America, where hopefully he will be on the street during the live coverage of the Los Angeles Drive By Shooting championships.
On to todays flag raiser, and Celtics new signing Derk Boerrigter will go straight into the squad for the Ross County challenge, but James Forrest, Gergios Samaras, Mikael Lustig and Kelvin wilson are struggling to make it. Virgil van Dijk won’t be ready, but other than that, Lennon has a full complement to choose from.
County will be without Richard Brittain and Ivan Sproule, who are suspended after being sent off in pre season friendlies. It is not known what school the referee went to, or if he sat next to Peter Lawwell in Geography.
Melvin de Leeuw may miss out as well, he has an ankle injury. No, I’ve never heard of him either.
The will he won’t he sign saga of Alfred Finnbogasson was made a little clearer by manager Neil Lennon yesterday;
“It’s just speculation at the minute. This window in particular, I have never known so many players being thrown at us, it’s silly season,”
“We have options, we have targets and we are working away as quietly as we can in the background to try and bring these players in.
“It’s never easy and sometimes these things take a bit of time. I’d imagine we won’t bring any other players in before the Elfsborg game on Wednesday.”
Silly Season ? Thats what he said when we were linked with Amido Balde…
Still, we will wait and see. The word on the street is that Finnbogasson will join after the Elfsborg game-if Celtic win, but frankly, who would listen to anyone they just met on the street ? Have you seen the nick of some of them?
Lennon then decided to talk about the one he has signed, Dutch winger cum striker Derk Boerrigter, who will not be known as Dirk Diggler here, or anywhere else for that matter.
Diggler was the lead character in “boogie nights “, a film about the seventies porn industry in the USA. Mark Wahlberg played the lead , who by all accounts had to stand outside the room when he went for a pee, which for some reason made him popular with the ladies and a hate figure amongst janitors. However, there should be no comparisons with Celtic players and seventies adult movies.
Anyway, Lennon continued, on Diggler;
“He will bring pace and width to the team. Derk is a naturally left-footed player and one we have been looking at for some time,”
“He is very direct and puts you in mind of Lee Sharpe in his early days at Manchester United. His goalscoring record is also good, maybe one in three.
“Things didn’t go well for him at Ajax which is no disgrace but we are delighted to have brought him in and I think he will excite the fans. He will add a different dimension to the way we play at times.”
Lennon also moved to counter claims that he will find it hard to motivate players this season, with the title a foregone conclusion in most experts minds already;
“You are always looking to improve, always looking to progress,” said Lennon. “We have sold Gary Hooper and Victor Wanyama, two very influential players.
“We felt that was good business for the club but we have injected a bit of freshness and we have tried to improve the team and individuals.
“Our goal tally was very good but our goals-against tally was down on the previous two seasons. There are always targets and incentives and we are always looking for individual progress.”
Fantastic. His ambition is to improve on the goals against tally. With that defence.
Later, he intends to cure cancer, bring about world peace and inspire a rise in the share price over at Ibrox.
Well, he has a chance of the first two.
Speaking of miracles and heroes, the ticker tape was out south of the river in Glasgow last night as Charles Green returned to Second Rangers as a consultant. what kind of consultant is unclear, but they seem pleased to have him back.
They have organised loads of street parties.
Even the Air Force have shown their delight.
Then again, none of them are shareholders.
Billy MacBiggott, our sometime mole down Govan way, tells us that Green will sort everything out, and this is just the beginning.
Actually, most people-oh, alright, me, reckon this is the beginning of the end.
Share prices are lower than a Jamaican limbo dancer, and the only way they will improve is if they discover oil underneath the pitch. Even then, such is their reputation amongst financial institutions they would struggle to get a loan to drill for it.
Richard Wilson, in the Herald , reckons the sale of 33,000 season books means that they are safe for this season, but thats Richard Wilson, so its unlikely that (a) they have sold 33,000 and (b ) that would be enough anyway.
Oh, and (c) Richard Wilson talks through his bottom.
So, 33,000 at -lets be generous-£500 each, ( and that is being extremely generous ) well-£400 if you take off the VAT, comes to £13.2m, and we know they were losing £1m a month, so he’s right.
If you don’t count repairs to Ibrox, or unexpected expenses such as paying off players like Bocanegra, Goian and Sandaza. Nor does it take into account other, unexpected, expenses, such as bus fares to games or snacks for the manager.
Never mind, Chuckles will have a plan.
There has been a call for an Emergency General Meeting over at the shitpit, and it looks like Criag Mather is the next CEO for the chop. Poor Ally, he is unsure who to throw his considerable weight behind, which probably explains his staunch support of everyone. Still, for £750,000 a year, most of us would support Thatcher if she came back from the dead and took over the Tory party again.
Okay, perhaps I took that too far.
Where does that leave Walter Smith in all this ? We went round to ask him. But no-one knows where he is…
This is actually a book about trying to find someone hidden in a picture, and has nothing to do with emails. Or shredders.
Yesterday we asked if you recognised Gerard Butler in the photo taken at the legends game, and many of you did.
Who is this lovely lady, and what did she confess to on this particular show?
Know what, I’m looking forward to todays trip. I’ve just had a text from the man who organises our club. He tells me not to forget the Tunes. He must have a cold.
I think I have some honey and menthol locketts in the car.