Celtic Diary Saturday August 17

Celtic Diary Saturday August 17

BT Sport are showing the  Aberdeen game at lunchtime today, and on account of the inescapable fact that my living room is a lot closer than Pittodrie I’ve gone against all my principles and ordered BT Sports so I can watch the game.

Thirteen minutes later, a cheery chap called Eddie with a Geordie accent had connected me to womens tennis, which is as good a way to start the day as any.

Still begrudge it, though. And I don’t want their bloody fibre optic , high speed space age broadband.

Aberdeen have a couple of ex Celts in their line up, Niall McGinn being one notable that perhaps we should have hung on to. Willo Flood is another, and in todays paper Flood speaks, not with much affection, of his short spell in the hoops;

“I was never a Celtic player, ” -which shows he at least could identify with the fans.

Aberdeen have underachieved over the last few years, finishing out of the top six in the last four seasons, but for some reason they actually expect to do well this year. Ah, wait, Craig Brown has gone, and as a result we can expect to see Dons players venturing over the half way line.

In fact, they are currently the leagues top scorers and with the likes of McGinn and Gregg Wylde in the side, then perhaps todays game will be a little more difficult than previous contests. Barry Robson, another ex Celt, and lets be honest, him and Brown battling in the middle would have been an absorbing duel, will miss the game, he’s had exploratory knee surgery. Seems like a bit of a waste of time, the knee is usually found in the middle of the leg. No exploration necessary.

Celtic will fly straight out to Khazakstan after the game, and by doing this should just about get there in time for the 4pm kick off on Tuesday. That game is on ITV4, which I don’t have to phone up to order, although I will have to phone work to let them know about whatever illness I happen to wake up with on Tuesday.

The early kick off on Tuesday reminds me of  a game in East Germany, way back when there was an East Germany, against Sachsenring Zwickau, when our primary six teacher wheeled in the tv so we could watch the game, which also started in the afternoon, probably because there was a curfew in Zwickau after dark. Roy Aitken was but a mere fifteen year old that day, and had to be adopted by Celtic so he could travel. And his hair was outrageous.

We didn’t have to phone anyone to order that one , either.

Back to todays game, which will probably be over by the time you read this, and Neil Lennon has a bit of an injury crisis on his hands;


“The team will be affected by what has happened in midweek, as well as what we’re facing next midweek.

“Fisher is definitely out and Forrest, Brown, Boerrigter, van Dijk, Rogic, Lustig, Ambrose, Balde and Stokes are all doubts for Aberdeen.

“I’m limited to what I can start and pick from, although we’ll still have a strong enough team. Samaras is fresh, Commons is fresh, so we’ve still got a good core of players.

“We’re going to Pittodrie wanting to win the game. I don’t want to come away from Aberdeen being six points behind them. So it’s imperative that we perform well.”

He’s not overly happy about flying out after the game either-its a good night in Jintys on a Saturday.

“I spoke to some people from the FAI in Dublin and, having played Kazakhstan, they felt they should have gone a day earlier. That’s why we’re leaving straight after the Aberdeen game, to get acclimatised quicker. Nutrition and hydration will be important, as will the time difference. You have to be wary of jet-lag. So tomorrow will be a recovery day.”

By the time group qualification is secured, I think we will all need a holiday.

We certainly won’t miss the transfer window, and all the speculation that comes with it. With Celtic the only Scottish side realistically expected to sign anyone of note, the press have adopted a scatter gun approach to listing Lennons targets.

Trying to make some sense of local and international rumours is a bit of a nightmare, and the best I can do is say we haven’t signed anyone yet, we won’t sign anyone before Tuesday, and if we do get anyone after it’ll be about two weeks before we all decide he was a dud anyway, and we shouldn’t have sold Hooper.

Sod it. Enjoy the game today instead.

A quick glance at Bt listing shows that they are showing Liverpool against Stoke today, at the same time as our game. That pretty much puts paid to any plans I may have had about nipping to the pub to watch our game. Despite the ground only being up the road, Stoke fans still choose to watch it in the pub, which never ceases to amaze me. Actually, it amazes me that anyone wants to watch it in the first place , but each to his own.

A quick word on Second Rangers, who face another new club, Airdrie Utd this weekend. That games on the telly as well, and so it should be, these new clubs need all the exposure they can get.

Well, Second Rangers aren’t looking for exposure as such. Charlotte Fakeovers has kicked in again, now that Charles Green has gone a bit quiet.

Stewart Regan , over at the SFA, has written to Ibrox outlining his fears of money laundering.

Etims, however, can already announce the outcome of the enquiry.

Not Guilty.


The press , of course are all over it. They can’t wait to expose all these wrongdoings, to ask the pertinent questions , and to cleanse the stain of Old Rangers from the history books.

Yeah , right.

But, the more things change , the more they stay the same.

Up until yesterday, I believed that the Ibrox Tragedy, Stairway 13 , was an accident caused by events that followed a late Rangers goal.

That is how the press always describe it.

Sherriff Irvine Smith, after considering all the evidence, ruled that that wasn’t the case. I’l go into that in more detail elsewhere, because the salient point of the whole episode to me is his comment at the end of the relevant chapter in his book, re the Rangers support;

” They apparently could not accept that Rangers could have been at any fault. ”

Sound familiar ?

Theres a whole case study on the WATP mentality, and if I get a spare twenty years or so, I’ll give it a go.


Yesterdays pictures phonetically led to the name of  Darius Wdodczyk, the Polish left back. Singing star Darius, DOB

( delightful old bloke ) Walter Smith, and the flag of the Czech republic.