Celtic Diary Monday December 29: The Excitement Is Back

Anyone else notice the big sale at the club shop ?

I got an email and followed the link, and found that the yellow away top , unsponsored, is just £15. The wife made me take up the next day delivery, though, which was extra, as she’s a little worried that due to the excessive food and drink intake this couple of weeks I might outgrow it before it gets here.

Yesterday saw Aberdeen move to just two points behind Celtic in the title race. And it is actually  race now, and all the impetus is with the dons. I watched the Inverness-aberdeen game yesterday, and they looked hungry, they played like a team, and more importantly, they scored a goal.

On New Years Day, Derek MacInnes’s  side face St. Johnstone at Pittodrie at 3pm. celtic are at Firhill at 5.30, meaning that the hoops could start 2015 playing catch up.

If both sides win, then obviously Celtic will finish the day in front, but then on Sunday Aberdeen are at Motherwell, while Celtic have to wait until monday to face Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

Nip and tuck ?

It didn’t sem possible just a couple of weeks ago, but now its the reality. Its all got very interesting all of a sudden, and there are genuine fears that Ronny Deila might struggle to cope with the pressure.

The players , having reached the top of the league, appeared to take their collective foot of the pedal, and as a result , we’re looking over our shoulder at the red machine gaining ground and preparing to fight for the number one spot.

We;d better get our act together quickly, because the sight of Shay Logan and Derek MacInnes lifting the title trophy is right up there with anyone in a blue shirt who ever won it.


Theres a bit of a crisis of confidence amongst the forwards at Celtic, and the way to build up players confidence is to immediately express an interest in replacing them.

Despite having three strikers on the books who are all perfectly capable of banging in twenty plus a season, the dundee courier reckons we are in for another.

Not only that, but disappointingly its looks like someone has been told to find a striker, and because this one  played well against us he’ll do.

Nadir Ciftci, the Dundee Utd striker is interesting Celtic, and the club could be ready to make a bid.

No, theres no need. He’s obviously been on the radar for a while, and Celtic need a fourth striker to compete for just one spot in the team. There is talk that the hoops are after their keeper, Rado Czierniak as well. And Stuart Armstrong.

Well, maybe not panic, but theres certainly cause for concern. I’m all for buying up the best talent in Scotland, but why just Dundee Utd ?

Maybe Jackies sending a few of his top men over to suss out the lay of the land for when he gets offered the job…..



Originally, I was dead set against the break in January, where the team all toddle off to the Canaries for a wee break when theres work to be done here, but maybe it will do them good to get away.

Or perhaps the time would be better spent at home working on the problems that the team seems to have at the moment. A priority is surely to clear out the deadwood and improve where we need to. Deila might be losing a lot of faith amongst the support, but he’s made it this far, and deserves at least until the end of the season, if only because replacing him would smell of panic, and would probably see the season spiral down into a disaster.

We need to get our act together quickly. Actions in January will determine whether we get a season to remember or one to forget.

I can’t see how training in the sunny climes off the African coast is going to prepare the players for the dreich days of January and February , and with Aberdeen possibly having gained the initiative by the time the hoops return to Glasgow, it might have already bitten us in the arse by then.

Still, we think we’ve got problems ?

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I’m drinking in the wrong bars. This one looks, well, lively.

Speaking of bars and drunks, Frank MacAvennie has come out in defence of the ex Celts who have been lining up to have a pop at Ronny Deila;

“Some of the Celtic supporters have given Chris Sutton, John Hartson and myself a hard time for criticising the club but we all have Celtic at heart. 


We are not saying or doing anything untoward. There is nothing personal against the club or the manager but if you don’t win games at Celtic it is not good enough. That has been the case since Celtic became a force in Scottish and European football.

“I want the club to do better. At this moment under the present manager they are not.

“I felt the manager was a cheap option coming in and I made my feelings known about that.

“Deila keeps saying Celtic are making progress but I disagree and I’m not alone.

“A lot of this team got to the last 16 of the Champions League. 


They’ve not become bad players overnight. It is just taking a lot longer for Deila and John Collins to stamp their managerial mark on Celtic.

“There is no danger Celtic will not win the Premiership. The manager has the players trying new things and that sometimes takes a while to come to fruition. The squad will step up to the mark, I’m convinced of that.

“Celtic should be so far ahead of the rest at the moment but they are not and that is making it look like a competitive league with Aberdeen and Dundee United hot on their heels.

“For the fans it shouldn’t be that way as there is realistically not a great challenge. There’s no Rangers, Hearts or Hibs – it is inconceivable to think it will be this close come the end of the season.” 

 “I doubt there were 46,000 inside Celtic Park for the Ross County game.

“I know they let the unemployed in for nothing and they also factor in season tickets to that figure.

“I never played to an empty Celtic Park in my career. Celtic are going to have to attract those punters back somehow.

Some people ought to just shut up.

Supporters are entitled to their opinions. People who pretend to be supporters aren’t.


Now, whats going on here ?

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Its seven years to the day that Phil O’Donnell passed away, and thoughts go out to his family today. Phil made up the fourth part of one of the better midfields we ever had, and had it not been for injuries, he would have been a legend with his bustling style and eye for a goal.




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John Mccloy in tasmania
6 years ago

See last thread for a fair unbiased opinion.

holy sea
6 years ago

Nip and tuck ? Thanks Ralph,for reminding me,I have still to
pay for the wife’s Christmas prezzie.
So,the sheep are on the march ? Instead of being 7 ahead,it is now 2.Worried ? NO.We will still win the league by 10+ points.
This is not down to my confidence in Ronny,but more to do with the sheep falling at Fir Park etc.
There is no excuse for us not to go on a winning run,as the Europa games,no longer have an effect,on constantly playing and not leaving much time for training.I can’t see Lawwell splashing the cash,the players we don’t want,nobody wants them either.6 points from the next 2 games is NOW a must.
Time for players and management to show they have the fight for the job in hand.

6 years ago

I tend not to take much notice of ex player’s opinions, they are being paid which negates any neutrality they may have had. Some good points have been made on here over the past few days. The question seems to be, progress or not. Personally I think that from the beginning of the season we have come on leaps and bounds, however we are still a long way short of where I would expect a Celtic team to be. The past two games have shown that we still don’t have the guile required in midfield and we are poor in defence. Strikers wise, Guidetti lacks movement, I watched against Ross county and his off the ball work is almost non existent, Griffiths at least had the desire to take himself out of a crowded box to look for the ball. Is there progress been shown in the management, RD does change personnel about, sometimes without rhyme or reason and his substitutions are at times baffling, but he has upped the fitness levels. Are we better than this time last year, apart from being in all the cup competitions, in my opinion we are not even close. And I don’t need Frankie bhoy or Sutton to tell me

London Celtic
6 years ago

Rest in peace Phil. God bless ya

holy sea
6 years ago

Sorry,meant to add,thoughts and prayers for the O’Donnell
family today.I remember being at Firhill,in 1994,when Phil made his Celtic debut.He scored 2 crackers that day.And,as
you say,Ralph,if it wasn’t for injury,he could have stayed at
Celtic for 10 years,instead of the 5 years service he gave us.
RIP Phil.

6 years ago

Ralph. another of my rambling pots in reply to someone on yesterday’s diary has gone missing about 5 minutes ago – can you find it please.

6 years ago
Reply to  andy docherty

R.I.P phil O’ Donnell!

6 years ago

12,201 for that Falkirk game and pretty much everyone in the Celtic side would walk into the current first team, even Stuart Slater!!

6 years ago
Reply to  Macca

really? smith, vata, Galloway & mcquilken? I’ll assume you’re either too young to have seen them or just having a laugh. Ambrose would get into that team.
I may be wrong, but is that not the game that meant Falkirk weren’t relegated?

6 years ago

The only excitement I get as a fan is seeing us thrash rubbish like dun utd, ross county ,hamilton etc,right now im bored shitless especially at home,we are getting worse and worse and I fully agree with Frank,if we don,t get rid of the imposter of a manager we may even finish 3rd this season,come on Lawwel time to act get rid of A S A P

6 years ago
Reply to  deadhead67

Fuck off!!!

holy sea
6 years ago
Reply to  deadhead67

You’ve got a cheek,rearing your ugly (dead)head,after the comments you posted,about the poor souls,who tragically lost
their lives at George Square.
Do you not know,when you are not wanted ?
Like many,I was hoping Ralph,would have taken that decision
out of your hands. SICKO !!

6 years ago
Reply to  deadhead67

Well said Monti & Holy Sea, I knew numb nut was a loony, a fanny & talked utter shite non stop but had no idea he would stoop so low (never seen the post). Get to fuck deadhead, thats unanimous!!

6 years ago

Agree with people who say we have come on since the start of the season – getting thrashed in Europe and losing to simply awful SPL sides. Yes we have come on now we are occasionally beating the SPL sides by a goal here and there and we draw most of the time in Europe. Yes we had a good run to get to the top of the SPL and let’s face it we should be top with room to spare. If Delia has a game plan, I have yet to work it out. For Gods sake we cannot claim we are improving while drawing with Dross County at home. I’m good with more energy in the pitch, pressing to get the ball and getting it to out striker ( s?). It’s all very frustrating.

6 years ago
Reply to  BroxburnBhoy

You should, like McAvennie, try taking anti-depressents. Maybe its just that time of the year…or the month perhaps?

6 years ago

European Cup quarter final v Ajax at Hampden 1-0 Jinky scored the winner.

6 years ago

“12,201 for that Falkirk game and pretty much everyone in the Celtic side would walk into the current first team, even Stuart Slater!!” was a throwaway comment when I saw Nicholas, McStay and co. Andy D was right to question but believe me Andy I am old enough to remember. This was the Brady days and the team was shocking. So those who remember, who would pick? Bonnar/Gordon; Smith/Matthews; Vata/VanDyke; Galloway/Ambrose; McQilken/Izzy; Slater/Bitton; Grant/Brown; McStay/Johansen; Collins/Stokes; Nicholas/Guidetti; McAvennie/Griffiths. Way less than half of the current team get my pick

London Celtic
6 years ago

One thing for sure monti is we’ve no quality like mc stay and Collins now.

6 years ago
Reply to  London Celtic

I actually like what I’ve seen from Johansen at times,certainly no McStay or Collins, but he does like a run from deep and has an eye for a goal.
Would like us to buy the best talent available in Scotland, Gary Mackay Steven and Stuart Armstrong from Utd and I like the look of Peter Pawlett of Aberdeen.
There’s 3 players who I think are capable of doing Celtic a good turn over a number of years.
Would also like to see Lennoxtown producing more home grown talent, I get a real lift when I see a John Kennedy, James Forrest, Aidan Mcgeady come through and stay in the team.

6 years ago

” BELIEVE ” Hail Hail

R.I.P. Phil O’Donnell

6 years ago

Rest In Peace Phil ……You were one of the best ,at a difficult time,for the Hoops v the Dead Cheats Society.
Glad you got to live the dream and helped stop the 10.
Gone but never forgotten.
Hail Hail.

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