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Celtic Diary Thursday November 22

Perhaps its just the fact that its one game after another in rapid succession, giving management and players no time to breathe inbetween,or perhaps it was just the Barcelona games overshadowing everything else, but Celtic have managed to win just a couple of games recently, and thats kind of gone unnoticed.

Sometimes you have to take a step back and take stock, and then you can take a couple of steps forward, which is exactly what manager Neil Lennon has to do now. The current first choice line up has run its course for now. Injuries and illness meant ultimately that we were beaten by an average Benfica side, who probably couldnt believe their luck that Celtic returned to type, hoofing the ball out of defence and conceding possession just like, well, like we used to do.

On an etims podcast when we discussed our chances in Europe, back when the draw was made, I figured that we’d get seven points at home, and if we could snatch something away, we’d be almost certain of qualifying. Thats how it looks to have turned out, although I thought we’d draw with Barca and beat Benfica.

So it all comes down to matchday six, and a home tie against the already out f Europe Spartak Moscow. A home game to qualify is just what the doctor ordered, and for more reasons than one we should be glad its in Glasgow.

The Daily Mail describes a “manhunt being underway” for a female Zenit St. Petersburg fan who smuggled a firework “inside her body” into the game against Dynamo Moscow and unwrapped it from its condom carrying case before throwing it at the Moscow goalkeeper. Thats some imagination, and highlights the dangers over there.

Fortunately there is no sign of it catching on over here, although some women I know could easily smuggle their kids in that way, and save a fortune.

It back to league business this weekend, with a home tie against Inverness Thistle, who will be smarting after their 5-1 hammering by motherwell, as Stuart mcCall sought revenge for the highlanders knocking his beloved Rangers out of the League Cup.

For Celtic, it should be a time to play Beram Kayal and Joe Ledley in the middle, in preparation for the upcoming Spartak game, moved from Dec 6 to Dec 5 by the readers of this diary. (Honest, the guy on the telly said it was Dec 6). One or two other players are showing signs of fatigue, and Lennon needs to avoid what was one of his mentor Martin O’Neills failures, and keep things fresh. Players who aren’t sure of their place do tend to try a bit harder.

Anyone going to the Football Roadshow in Glasgow on November 26? Its being held in the Arches, and Tom Boyd is on the panel of experts who will try to put the world to rights. Boyd is actually the only one worth listening to, as on the panel with him are Pat Nevin and gordon smith, who despite having the ability to bore people rigid with inane and ridiculous ideas, still manage to find work spouting their drivel. (smith doesn’t deserve capital letters, so I haven’t given him any. And Nevin was lucky to even get mentioned.)

Meanwhile , in a tax office far, far away, the man who prepared the case against former Scottish giants Rangers is being spit roasted over an open fire, while his superiors try to find out how he lost the appeal.

Yet the club were found guilty of 35 charges, and only “in principle ” were the payments ruled as loans. There is certainly more to come on this, though it is amusing to see headlines like the Scottish Sun, who claimed that Rangers died for nothing. Obviously the fifty million quid or so owed to other creditors didnt count.

Andy Goram, the multi personality goalkeeper who somehow has wangled a column in that rag, wants compensation and an inquiry into the case, now that his club are innocent. He still manages to bewilder the reader with his claims, but as you would expect with his dual personality, he has dual opinions.

He wants to know why the authorities should continue with the dual contract investigation, now that they are proven innocent in the FTTT. (Except, of course, they weren’t) . Well, thats easy Andy. Its because Rangers cheated.

An Ibrox MP, and Mark Dingwall, of the Rangers Supporters Trust (unusual use of the word “trust” there) want a police investigation, which is probably the exact opposite of what Murray, Whyte and Green would like.

It looks like we are going to have to put up with the cries of “we were innocent” for a while yet, as once again reality has departed from the minds of the peepil.

But when the euphoria dies down, their club is still dead, the tribute act is still in Division 3, and the taxman is going to be mighty angry with them.

There, thats made me feel better anyway.

Rafael Benitez has replaced Roberto di Matteo as Chelsea manager, the two meeting briefly yesterday as one exited and the other entered the building, and scientists reckon that by the year 2025 you will be no more than six feet away from an ex-Chelsea manager at any given time.

Still di Matteo only has himself to blame, after failing to win Wimbledon and getting no medals at all in the Olympics.

And spare a thought for poor old QPR. They couldn’t even manage to get the First Premier League manager sacked, despite a sterling effort.

Sachsenring Zwickau were the team that a very young Roy Aitken took time off school to play one afternoon in East Germany, and as Steveo rightly added, Jock Stein had to assume the role of legal guardian for the trip.

I remember our Primary Six teacher getting the telly on so we could all watch the game. Catholic education really is better.

Today, Aitken isn’t the youngest first teamer any more. Who is?

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11 years ago

John Kennedy against Dundee Utd?

11 years ago

although it might have been mark fotheringham?

11 years ago


This quiz is getting harder than Mastermind. I might as well throw my highers’ certificate in the bin. Not that domestic science (cookery for you young ‘ns), needle work and home economics (shopping for you other young ‘ns) were going to get me out the house anyway, certainly not on marks ranging from F to F.

Really funny stuff today. I hope any women taking fireworks into Parkhead puts them somewhere safe. There are enough damp squibs on display at the moment. I agree that the number of matches are definitely taking their toll so I am having a lie-in till 2pm on Saturday so that I can listen with a pair of fresh ears. It would be great to attend a roadshow especially with the “I support anybody that gets me on tele and keeps me in a job” weasel squeaking inanities. I once had the great pleasure of sitting through a whole dinner with Tom, a genuinely Mr. Nice Guy, Boyd. I guess I will forego the pleasure this time as I would hate to disrupt the course of survival pills I am on at the moment. Ralph, do you have no consideration for your rear end at all? Imagine wiping it with the Mr Hyde of goalkeepers. Come stay with us, we use Private Eye. I agree that the ex newspaper shop owner now managing Murderwell will be seeking revenge on those that defiled his initials R.S. (Rangers Supporter). Listen, my friend, the only date that really counts is the one you don’t want to wake up to. No, not your last day, the next match at Ibrox. Now there is a good chance that might never come but if it does be consoled by the fact that it could well be long after you and I are gone. I could not compete with your Chelsea stuff so I am giving it a bye. Terrific! These diaries give off bigger snap, crackle and pop every morning than my Rice Crispies.


11 years ago

Tony Watt?

11 years ago

Mark frothinam under dalglish last game of that dreadful,season

oh danny's bhoy
11 years ago

If it’s based on looks it must be Maloney.
In fairness to Lenny’s team choice against benfica I think he was gambling the quality of less than 100% players outweighed fully fit but not as talented. Having seen the game I’m sure Lenny realises that it didn’t pay off.
We’ll find out on December 6th either way ๐Ÿ™‚


11 years ago

michael mcglinchey

11 years ago

as quinny says its john kennedy

11 years ago

Islam Feruz maybe? Whatver happend to that bright young Scottish prospect…

McGlinchley – What’s he up to these days?

11 years ago

Yeah I was thinking Mark Burchill John Kennedy & mark fotheringham as well!! Islam Feruz would probably be the youngest but his game was a testimonial so probably doesna count – think all told it would be Fozzy!!

11 years ago

Again as with the FTT, it seems that Rangers seem to think that the more people that call for an end to the Dual Contract investigation by the SPL, then they will drop it.

I see Michael Mols has added his voice.

I think there are a few worried people out there.

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