Just in case theres no-one around on here tomorrow, a very happy and prosperous New Year to all of you.
2012 finished on a bit of a downer as Hibernian took three of the five points Neil Lennon set as a target to avoid losing, when Thomas Rogne and Fraser Forster allowed league top scorer Leigh Griffiths to nip between them to score the only goal of the game on Saturday.
Celtic pounded away at the Edinburgh side to no avail, and the Hibees gave as good as they got with commitment and effort. Some you win, some you lose. Admirably, manager Neil Lennon refused to blame his players, claiming it was the three at the back system that had caused the problems, and you got the feeling he wanted to say “we’ll take it on the chin”, but wouldn’t have been able to keep a straight face.
Wednesday sees a chance to put things right, with Motherwell visiting to kick and punch for an hour and a half, so there is at least a chance to put things right before the winter break.
Mikael Lustig, speaking post match . also didn’t say we would take it on the chin, but he did say we have to just get on with it. Ach, theres always daft results this time of year. The main thing is that the teams below didn’t take advantage of the slip, and the gap is still healthy at six points and a game in hand.
On the plus side, there were no reports of trouble at the Easter road fixture, celtic fans still presumably traumatised after the city of Dundee was left in flames on Boxing Day. Houses were looted, shops ransacked and many homes were left without a father as streetfighting raged throughout the night. Although , in Dundee, not many houses had a father to begin with.
John Hartson, once a popular figure amongst Celtic supporters has backtracked a wee bitt on his Sun column condemning the voilence he didn’t see, mostly on the advice of his gambling debts counsellor, and will put the record straight in his next column. This was after he apologised, complaining he was misunderstood, on social networking site twitter. Not many fans will have seen this, as the Welshman blocked anyone who asked him any sort of direct question, but at least he has read his own column and quite possibly berated the hack who wrote it.
Bit too late to regain his former standing though, and he has joined the other soup takers in the press. The man who whilst playing for wimbledon had a fight outside a pub with Vinny Jones, to see who was the hardest, had called for Celtic fans to be “sacked ” from their jobs whilst misbehaving in public.
Like he was, presumably.
Of course, the whole Dens Park issue, which I suspect has been blown out of proportion , could be a way for the already discredited MSM to bury some other news away out of the public eye.
Francisco Sandaza, who joined third division newcomers Rangers in a decision which ranks right up there with hitlers invasion of russia just before winter, claims he had been “advised ” not to bless himself before , during or after games at Ibrox.
To be fair, the New club has the home of the old one, the management of the old one, the brand of the old one and the press in its pocket just like the old one, so should we really be surprised that they have decided to go with the bigoted, racist supremacist attitude of the old one?
The press have leapt on it. Quoting former players such as Boli, Amoruso, Arteta, Negri…actually the list is quite long…and immediately asking such questions as “Who advised him?” Can you as a club condemn this?” -oh wait, no they haven;t.
But former player and EBT recipient Billy Dodds has spoken on national radio, sying that this advice was for his own good-and others have said its probably just a wind up.
Oh, thats alright then. Harmlesss banter, a bit of fun.
Its hard to have sympathy for Sandaza, because, like everyone else in Scotland, the attitude of the new club and its fan base to catholics, Irish and free speech is well documented. But , of course, thats not to condone it.
At this time of year, ie the last day, its customary for sportswriters (thats what they say they are) to review the year as they have seen it.
Keith Jackson, the alan Partridge of scottish football, has written his. He missed out the death of one of the games biggest clubs, the corruption and collusion at the high offices of officialdom, the re-emergence of bigotry at Ibrox, the death threats to officials, managers and chairmen.
He did however, say that 2012 was a terrible year for the game. Especially after the Dens Park riots.
Its hard to describe this man and the work he does. Its hard for me, a non professional, to find the correct words to sum up his contribution to the game that he makes a living from.
But i will try, and forgive me if i sound a little coarse.
In a world where lies and misinformation are commonplace, a world where personal opinion often triumphs over facts, a world where the pound note is sought more than a pride in ones work, its fucking idiots like Jackson who make sure that things will never change.
Over in the USA, there is a campaign to have Piers Morgan, the talentless tv show host and ex editor of the Daily mirror, deported back to the UK. Over here, a campaign to keep him in the US is underway. A compromise could be to just dump him halfway between in the Atlantic.
Which is food for thought regarding Jackson.
Enough of that though, Cologne were the only German team Celtic put out of Europe in those heady days of second round exits.
The least goals scored in any European campaign is 1-achieved three times, in 74-5, 81-2 and 96-7. whats the most and when?
Finally, Celtic have a lot to look forward to this year. As a supporter personally speaking, the club is on the up, there are challenges to be met domestically and abroad, and above all, I like the way the club is. I like the peple who play for it, the people who run it, and the people who support it.
Thanks to everyone who reads this stuff every day-it still amazes me how many there are of you, and if you do partake of a little light refreshment tonight to bring in the new year, do it responsibly, safely and with complete respect for others around you.
Me, I’m away out to get blootered.
All the Best, The Etims Team.