Celtic Diary Saturday February 21: Je Suis Stan

Celtic Diary Saturday February 21: Je Suis Stan

Those of us who watched the Inter game on Bt Sports have mentioned the somewhat ill informed and critical comments of Steve MacManaman, once of Liverpool, now a tv “expert analyst”, a job mostly available to former footballers with the ability to string a full coherent sentence together, in most cases anyway. It also helps if they can say something controversial from time to time, in order to get a little publicity for the show. Come to think of it, that seems to be the BT way just lately, which is a little pathetic. more on them later, as the heading suggests.

Celtics players did a wee lap of honour to thank the support who had been magnificent throughout the tie, something that the players do at evey away game anyway, but in this instance it did have the appearance of a thank you , rather than a celebration. The support had done their bit, even when the team had gone two down early in the game, and theres no doubt it helped. There is always the debate about whether the players should lift the crowd with their play, or the supporters should lift the players with their support. Thursday night proved beyond doubt that the support can lift the players when they are down, and Celtic got a draw that though fully merited, didn’t look on the cards for the first twenty minutes of the game.

MacManaman claimed that the gesture was wrong, and he completely missed the point by saying Celtic should be ashamed of only drawing with a mediocre Inter side, assembled at the cost of around £75m, compared to Ronnys budget buys.

Ronny hit back;

“Steve McManaman was a big player – he was one of my favourite – but for me this is so stupid to say. One of Celtic’s values is respect,”

“Sometimes when you lose you have to say congratulations to your opponent and also when you don’t get the result you want and the fans are unbelievable you have to thank them. I think the fans appreciate that as well.


Now,I’ve always said that its eleven against eleven on the pitch, regardless of cost, but there is an edge when assembling a team if you can spend that sort of money.

Especially if you are paying the tax on it.

Anyway, we hear that MacManaman was a little miffed at the Liverpool fans rendition of “Walk On”, before their game with Besiktas,  having witnessed first hand how it sounds when its done properly by a real support. A real support that has been noticed elsewhere, as Desmond Kane writes, for Eurosport;

Article on Thursday Night

Elsewhere, reports from Italy suggest that there may not be a queue of Italian clubs looking to sign Virgil van Dijk. Website Tuttermercatoweb gave their verdict on the defender;

“He tried to assert his physical (presence), but he was so often clumsy. When attacked at speed, he almost always does not know which way to turn.” 

Statistically, van dijk only won two aerial challenges and made five interceptions. He didn’t make a single tackle.

If he improves on that, we are in with a shout in Italy.

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Congratulations are in order to Wee Jay Beatty, who won Scotlands Goal of the Month for January, with a massive 97%of the vote. His goal was crucial in the win over Hamilton, and he joins Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay Steven as scoring debutants this season.

Jay needs to match Armstrong though, who scored on both his home and away debuts, so he needs to keep working hard and maybe he’ll get the chance to do the same at Celtic Park…..

We mentioned Bt Sports earlier, and last night they covered the Raith rovers -Second Rangers game. Nothing unusual about that, but in the day or two prior to the game, antoher expert analyst, Stan Collymore decided he never wants to work in the scottish media and released a series of tweets condemning the racist and sectarian chanting that had eminated from the Ibrox support during the League cup semi final.

Nothing wrong with that, he’s entitled to his opinion, and he’s right as well. Their songbook, if you remove the old family favourites, becomes emptier than the little box they used to keep the money for PAYE and National Insurance at the old club.

Collymore then got the usual abuse and denials from their more literate fans on twitter-believe me, literate in this instance is entirely relative-and was dropped from the panel to cover lasts nights game. For his own safety, like when the board over there are advised not to attend for their own safety.

Had he been there, he would have heard the hordes rebuffing claims that they are racist and sectarian with the humourous and banterous reply;

“you’re just a black fenian bastard “, which in just half a dozen words, sums up exactly what they are.

Scotlands shame

So, whats to be done about them ? Stewart Regan, their little puppet at the SFA asked on twitter how they could arrest all of them , showing that the very problem he is there to deal with, is beyond him. He should go, and take the rest of his staff with him.

There are a number of things that need to be done, and done now.

Firstly, all television broadcasters should be told that they can no longer cover their games. Home or away. Thats if the companies themselves don’t make the decision.

Sponsors must be told , in no uncertain terms, of the risk to their brand image if they continue to associate themselves with either the club or the media outlet that is paying them to cover their games.

Theres a petition you can sign here;

Petition ,

which might just give someone somewhere a kick up the arse.

What we don’t want, and this is very, very important, is the Scottish football brand being damaged by these peepil. We need to act now, and be seen to act dcisively, to remove this cancer from the game. Before it spreads and destroys all of us.

Lets make sure that this time, the SFA don’t put their usual man on the case;

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Racism has also reared its ugly head amongst Chelsea fans, as they prevented a black chap from boarding a train in Paris. UEFA are shocked at the footage, they didn’t know Chelsea had enough fans to fill a train, and it appears the London club have also sprung into action, offering a reward of a four year deal and the captaincy of the team if the man responsible comes forward.

Hang on….is there a connection here with the Glasgow race issue ?

Now, a few days ago I was asked if I knew anything about a game that took place on a Saturday evening during the Stein years at Hampden. I  didn’t know, so i asked the Hampden Park website, and a chap called Pat Doherty replied, which of course prompted another question, as to how he got a job at the SFA with a name like that.

Thank you for your enquiry regarding Celtic`s use of Hampden Park for home games during the Jock Stein years.

This did happen on a number of occasions but we can find no specific reference to a game taking place after Queen`s Park had played in the afternoon.

“Home games” for Celtic, at Hampden, with Jock Stein as manager were as follows:

Celtic v Racing Club:  18th October 1967.

Celtic v Leeds United: 15th April 1970.

Celtic v Ayr United: 29th April 1971.  

The last of these games was played at Hampden because of work being carried on the new main stand at Celtic Park but as far as we can tell the other two games were moved because of the increased capacity available at Hampden for these showpiece matches.

If you have any additional information which might help we would be happy to investigate further.


Hope this is of some help to you. 

Credit where credits due, that was a speedy response and will settle the ongoing argument.

We showed a picture of some of the team preparing for extra time in 1972, and todays picture shows a game from 1977. Who are the opponents ?

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