Celtic Diary Saturday March 8

No football this weekend, due to celtics exit from the Scottish cup at the hands of Aberdeen, but happily today is International Womens Day, so for those of us with a life partner, we can do whatever they want to do.

Perhaps Lennon should think of that the next time he ponders the idea of starting with two in midfield in Cup matches. Its us who have to suffer.

To celebrate International Womens Day, which only half the country do, , I told my wife she didn’t have to make breakfast today. Instead, I lent her a tenner to go out and get some bacon rolls.

Later , she told me to keep an eye on the frying pan.

” You’re not using one , ” I replied, bemused


But there is some good news. Emilio Izaguerre wants to stay at Celtic for the rest of his career.

“If Celtic ask me to sign for them for many more years I’ve no problem with that. I never want to leave them because they have treated me very well and I am grateful.

“I hope that if I ever have to leave the club or they sell me, it is their decision and not mine.

“The manager, the board and the fans have always supported me. Celtic came into my heart and I want to play there.

“There are always teams who are interested in you but what good is going to England to fight for a mid-table place?

“I’d rather play and fight for titles.

“Winning trophies and having medals in my house is better than all the gold in the world.”

I just hope that when the time comes to put a deal on the table for him, his honesty and loyalty is rewarded. Invest in the players, treat them well, and as with any business, people will want to work for you. Izaguerre has been a consumate professional during his time at Celtic, no fuss, no bother, and he’s got no feelings either way about Elvis impersonators. My Grandad does a mean Elvis impression, he’s been lying in a box for nearly forty years.

By the way, if anyone really wants to hear some Elvis, we could all join hands…

Emilio continued;

“My life in Scotland is the same as Honduras really. I train in the mornings and spend my afternoons with the children.

“I play matches and then go to church on a Sunday, which is very important to me.

“The Celtic fans sing songs about me in every game. The Green Brigade like me a lot and I appreciate the treatment they have given me and they deserve my respect and admiration.

“They are in my heart and I love their passion for football. Imagine playing in front of 60,000 fans every week who are singing your name.”

Fraser Forster might attract the big money, Virgil van Dijk might get all the headlines, and Mikael Lustig the praise, but Emilio Izaguerre just gets on with his job quietly. and he does it very, very well.

Celtic have made another signing, but its unlikely he will go straight into the first team. Thirteen year old Hamilton keeper Joshua Rae made his debut for the Lanarkshire sides U-20 team last week, and has been tempted to pledge his future to his boyhood heroes after trials with Liverpool and Everton.

Hamilton Accies' 13-year-old keeper has signed for Celtic

Hamilton Academy director Allan Maitland said:

“His family have decided his future lies with Celtic.

“I am disappointed to lose another player, but I recognise that, as a Celtic supporter, when Celtic come calling, it is hard to resist. My argument was that he has developed better with us since leaving Celtic two years ago, but he will be signing for Celtic next week after he attends a Scotland trial.”

“Celtic have been very professional, have handled it in the right manner and the compensation will be slightly more than what would have been due had he left at the end of the season.”

That last line is interesting, given that a one or two journalists have been criticising Celtic for not spending their new found wealth in Scotland. Which , of course, if they did, would change to criticism about stripping the opposition of their best players and stifling competition.

Such as Michael Gannon, who burbled on about Celtic being punished for mentioning playing in England. Sure its unlikely to happen, turkeys don’t vote for christmas, and the prospect of a club the size of Celtic competing for Champions League slots means  the top sides would veto any proposed move, so some of what he says makes sense.

But he manages to make his article sound like he’s telling you this while he’s sitting next to you at the bus stop , shortly before he tries to cadge a fag off you.

Gannon wants a ten point deduction-presumably its ten so that he doesn’t have to take his shoes off to make sure its applied correctly- when anyone connected with the club proclaims that a move south would benefit the club.

Every time anyone associated with Celtic mentions going to England they get docked 10 points.

Well, when he says associated…

This week it was Fergus McCann dragging up the issue again and dragging it into the public domain like a mischievous cat plopping down a dead pigeon in the middle of the living room when you’re having your tea.And every bit as welcome. 

McCann left Celtic fifteen years ago, which seems to have escaped Gannon. Perhaps he should have taken his shoes off to help with the Maths.

Perhaps we should introduce a some sort of penalty against journalists every time they publish this stuff. In the same way you get the dog put to sleep when he’s discharging a similar quality of effluence on the carpet.

Where would we be without animal metaphors ?

Another disturbing offering from the fourth estate-whoever comes  fifth in that list must be  really poor-comes from Barry Ferguson, former Rangers captain and current Blackpool manager. Well, at least for the moment. By the time you read this he might not be-especially if you read this after tea tonight.

Cap’n Trackie-remember he once went home to put on his Rangers tracksuit after an altercation in a kebab house before coming back for a fight, presumably thinking the police officer would see it and book the other guy-gave Darren Fletcher the sort of write up that will have the Manchester Utd man nervously closing the blinds at home before he gets undressed.

Its from the Daily Record;

HERE’S the thing about Darren Fletcher.

A little earlier this year, at a time when he was still fighting back to full form and fitness following his
horrendous illness, he sent me a text right out of the blue.

He was actually trying to get hold of his former boss, Alex Ferguson, who is just above Baz in his contacts list. 

It was a simple message. He just wanted to congratulate me on my appointment as Blackpool’s interim manager and to wish me all the best.

When he realised his mistake, he couldn’t think of anything else to say.

If ever there was something which summed up the make of the man, that was it.

Here’s a guy who has gone to hell and back over the past two years, whose career was on the line, who was told he might never play for Scotland or Manchester United again.

Thats true-Fletcher has been through a lot of shit.

And, just when he was proving them all wrong, here he was taking time to think about someone else. That’s what Darren Fletcher is all about as a human being and why I don’t mind admitting I had a lump in my throat the other night when he made his international comeback in Warsaw.

He was bored. And the lump in your throat is probably a bit of cheeseburger.

OK, so I had hoped to watch it on my iPad courtesy of the good people at the Daily Record but that didn’t quite work out the way I had hoped, did it?

Couldn’t work out how to switch it on ?

If truth be told, I thought there was a problem with the wifi in my house and I spent so much time shouting at my missus and telling her to get on to BT and get it sorted that now I owe her an apology. And a new handbag probably.

Ah, BT=bad, recently he was plugging Sky..still, despite being in England its nice he has continued the Rangers tradition of shouting at the wife when things go wrong. Check the figures on domestic abuse when his old team got beat.

So the Daily Record has cost me a fortune.

No, he’s costing them a fortune. Financially,  and in journalistic credibility.

But to be serious for a moment, it was a great and very innovative move to show the game and I’m told the coverage of the second half was excellent. Unfortunately, it was too late for me and my iPad. But I’m sure it’ll run a lot more smoothly next time.

Plug the fucking thing in next time.

And, even if I didn’t see any of it, I’m still thrilled Fletch was given a full 45 minutes back where he belongs, in the heart of the Scotland midfield. The guy deserves a special mention here.

Hang on, he didn’t see it, but Fletchers re-appearance gave him a lump in the throat ? Well, it’ll match the lump on his head where he was dropped as a baby.

First, speaking as a Scotland fan, I am delighted to have him back in the squad because we don’t have too many players who are good enough to cut it at Man United for as long as he has.

I reckon James Forrest could give him a run in the treatment room stakes.

But he’s not just a top player. He’s an absolute gem of a human being as he proved with that simple text message.

I have a distinct feeling Fletcher will have thrown his phone into the canal by now. And bought a new house alarm.

It’s qualities such as that which make him a natural Scotland captain, even if he had to play second fiddle to Scott Brown the other night. Fletch won’t worry about that – and neither should anyone else because, between them, we have a couple of quality candidates for the captaincy.

It might take Fletch six months or so to get back up to full speed but in Brown Scotland has a more than capable replacement. Look, Brown is not everyone’s cup of tea and I get that. I know, for example, that there will be a load of Rangers fans out there who will go nuts at me just for saying I rate him. But tough, I do.
Doubt it. they won’t have read this far down. 

I know the pressure involved in captaining one side of the Old Firm so I know how difficult it will have been for him under that spotlight. Yes, it might have taken him time but I really do believe he’s matured and grown into the job. We are starting to see a really good all-round midfielder.

So fair play to Brown because he’s had his ups and downs to deal with as all Celtic and Rangers captains do.

Quick link there to show that the two clubs are the same. Sure, it was wonderful how Brown dealt with administration, liquidation and trying desperately to convince Celtic fans that it never happened. 
And how Lee McCulloch copes with the rigorous demands of  Champions League and international football. 
He ha s come through them and that tells me he has a strong character. I admire that in any player.
I remember when he first broke into the team at Hibs that he went out of his way to noise up opponents, especially the more senior ones.

It was his way of saying he wasn’t going to be intimidated or overawed by them. A lot of people said he was a pain in the a***, running about with a stupid Mohican hairstyle, trying to make a name for himself.

But I can’t remember having a single ding-dong with him. The truth is, he couldn’t get near me.

Eh ? Couldn’t get near you ? 

He was just a young kid then and, yes, he was a bit hot-headed but so what? You take that fiery streak out of him and you’d end up with half the player. Maybe even just a run-of-the-mill midfielder.

He’s not a boy any more. He’s 28 but he has kept that fire in his belly and it works for him. People were up in arms when he was sent off against Barcelona and clambering for him to lose the armband. But these people want to take a chill pill and look at all the positives he brings to Celtic and Scotland.

He might not look like your typical captain material. He’s not a Davie Weir, or a Richard Gough or even a Darren Fletcher. But neither was I.

No.You weren’t.

You don’t need to be a senior statesman or really intelligent guy to be a good captain. Gordon Strachan sees something in him – Neil Lennon too.

You don’t need an honours degree to be a leader and set an example for your team and that’s what Brown does. Fletcher might do things in a different way but both are strong characters Scotland are lucky to have.

Actually , Brown might feel extra security around the house is needed. At least he’ll know who the figure standing in the back garden looking up at the windows is.

These are good times for this team under Strachan and with guys such as Fletcher and Brown around to lead the rest of the lads I really do believe we are strong enough to make it to Euro 2016.

Now what we need is for this team to keep on winning when it really matters in the qualifiers. I believe second place in Group D is ours for the taking and – as a former Scotland captain – there is nothing I would rather see than Darren Fletcher leading the team out in the finals in France. No one deserves it more

Was he a Scotland captain-you’d have thought he would have mentioned it. 
He’s actually sent me a picture message -looks like I’ve upset him.
I wonder, was he thirteen when this picture was taken ?
The man in the picture yesterday was none other than Britains highest scoring forward of all time, James Edward McGrory
From the Celtic Wiki, we learn how many caps this got him…
Full Name: James Edward McGrory
aka: Jimmy McGrory
Nickname: “The Human Torpedo”, the “Mermaid”(for his heading ability), “The Golden Crust”
Born: 26 April 1904
Died: 20 October 1982
Birthplace: Garngad, Glasgow
Height: 5ft 6″
Signed (as a player): 10 June 1921
Left (as a player): 18 Dec 1937 (moved to Kilmarnock as manager)
Position: Forward, Centre forward
Debut: Third Lanark 1-0 Celtic, League, 20 Jan 1923
Internationals: Scotland
International Caps: 7 Caps (!)
International Goals: 6 goals
Manager: 1945-1965
Seven caps. Six goals.
Draw your own conclusions.
Above we have the reason-the masonic emblem known and feared throughout the world. The other badge is a picture of a square and a compass.
Today, because theres no football, we offer something for you to think about for a wee bit longer than usual.
Who are these two, and what have they been doing  ?
Embedded image permalink

International Womens Day, Women get in free in Nightclubs and Dating sites. Mens magazines show women, women’s magazines show women. Go on any woman’s facebook page and see 1000 pictures, of her. Oh, and today is International Women’s Day because if there’s one thing women need more of, it’s attention.

I miss the football.

Oh, almost forgot. Charles Green, the big handed big mouthed Yorkshire Ripper of Rangers fans was on Sky sports yesterday.

Its worth watching to hear him say he was worth double what the club paid him. Hard to disagree, but there was an interesting line or two in his usually so measured and withdrawn monologue.

“When I joined Rangers I was the only employee, the only director, the only investor.” 


” I would have liked to have stayed at Rangers but I was driven out. I would have happily carried on.” 


Er, who by? If you were the only employee, director and investor ? Surely you didn’t hire someone who became your boss ?

Or was he-and is he-still there ?


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Jimmy McGrory and John Cushley after a trip to try and sign Di Stefano. Cushley was multi lingual and was there as an interpreter


McGrory’s cap count was low for a couple of reasons, the main one being Hughie Gallagher who the selectors favoured, presumably not on the basis of his name.
Dixie Deans got 5 caps, but was included in something like 30 squads, Big Jock withdrew him from most of them, so no conspiracy there.
That said Dalglish didn’t get the record for consecutive Scotland starts because of some very dodgy goings on, I’ll give you that one.

Jimmy Mcgrory only getting 7 caps explains everything you need to know about Masonic Scotland, they would rather have a piss POOR team of HUNS on the park under achieving for decades than play a team made up of Catholics and actually achieve something, look at how many caps the Lisbon lions got between them,wee jinky only just managed double figures yet was one of the greatest players in the world at the time, hunery at its worst.. HAIL HAIL. KTF


Yes, but how many rangers players are getting caps nowadays? Oh that’s right, none because they don’t exist anymore.

holy sea

Good diary,Ralph.

God Bless wee Izzy.A true Celtic man.Loves the club and the
Green Brigade.I hope nobody on here takes exception to his
sentiments towards GB.

God Bless the Hoops.


Morning Ralph & Holy sea,
Good stuff again Ralph although I disagree about Izaguirre however.
Initially Emilio was outstanding & looked like we had a gem, after his ankle break he was never the same & for long enough looked like a weak link in the defence, especially defending cross balls to the back post, this season has seen a better level of performance from him to be fair to him.
I would still like us to strengthen the left back position.


holy sea

“I hope nobody on here takes exception to his
sentiments towards GB.”

Not at all. But I am a bit surprised he can vote in the referendum 🙂


the lurgan tiger

Have the fellas above just successfully pulled off a heist on the security van in the background.

Much more gentlemanly back in the day. Rob the van while being courteous and then saunter away.


Years ago one of my cousins told me the Lisbon Lions are the least capped European Cup winning team. Also that Willie Maley’s assistant went for the Scotland assitants job but didn’t get it as he was a Tim so he went to Austria (think it was them) and went on to demolish Scotland in their first ever defeat by a non british nation. Nae idea if either is true.

You mad about ETims or just plain mad? Why not buy the t-shirt at http://etims.spreadshirt.co.uk/