A week since the last diary appeared, things are most certainly looking up.
Celtic have managed to find a little bit of consistency in their results, and whilst there are still those moments of magic interspersed with the behind the couch bits, it looks like the defence are starting to play like a defence.
As a result, we’re now the in form team in Scotland, and have stormed into second place in the table.
|3||Heart of Midlothian||11||3||3||0||9||3||2||3||0||8||5||9||21|
Hearts, Dundee united and plucky little “rangers ” have all dropped points lately, whilst the hoops have hit a sort of purple patch, although that claim may well be only relative.
Last night Celtic put on a first half performance that matched anything seen by the team anywhere in the last few years, with three goals in the first half hour, but there could have easily been half a dozen.
In the second half, the style altered a wee bit with Nir Biton replacing Tom Rogic, who had been playing out of his skin, which led to a more sudued performance, but when you’ve already won the game, the players can be excused for taking it a little easier as there is quite a busy few weeks ahead.
Elsewhwere, plucky little “rangers ” fought back from two down to earn a valiant point at home to Aberdeen, with former Celtic captain Scott Brown scoring for the Dons.
He seemed to enjoy it.
Dundee United and Hearts both picked up away points, the former at the difficult plastic pitch at Livingston, and the latter at double cup winners St Johnstone.
In fact, one might say there’s a bit of healthy competition in the game just now.
Trouble is, there’s some unhealthy competition as well.
At Easter Road, it took three assaults on Tom Rogic before a card was shown, which is bad enough, but it was the same player every time committing the fouls. Rogic was later withdrawn, presumably for his own safety.
Enthusastic Hibernian brawler Ryan Porteous was sent off a couple of weeks ago for intent…which is when a player thinks about hurting another, and yet last night , when he actually did hurt someone…
…all he got was a yellow.
Consistency has never been a feature of Scottish refereeing ability, but there is a more sinsiter line to it, as it always seems to favour one team and put another at a disadvantage….
Since day one, the diary has been watching and recording the antics of our referees, to support the perception of bias theory, and last night, it looked like things may come to a head sooner rather than later.
There are two types of refereeing mistakes in Scotland, and it’s important to define them and look at them separately.
The one that concerns, or should concern us most, isn’t a new phenomena. It’s been around for some time.
Thats the one highlighted in the picture of Calum MacGregor above, and by the withdrawla of Tom Rogic.
Simply, referees are “letting the game flow ” as it’s a “contact sport ” where Celtic are concerned, and “old fashioned , full blooded tackles ” are just “part of the game ” .
Unless, of course, it’s a Celt who commits one of these fouls, or any other type of foul, come to think of it, such as not tucking his shirt in or waving to his mum in the crowd, whereby it becomes an excuse to stop the game.
Evidenced by the somewhat bizarre “crime count ” figures mentioned in other diaries.
It’s not evident yet, but you might want to keep a look out for more bookings, becuase as they mount up, suspensions for key players will kick in, and you won;t be surprised when you nitice whiuch games key players won;t be available for…
Something else to watch out for as well. Though there is, as yet, little evidece for it, and it;s just a theory.
If a referee starts hugging Celtic players or licking their faces, he’s probably tested positive for covid that morning.
We’ve seen it all before, of course, not the Covid scenario, but all the other little “mistakes ” made, either consciously or subconsciously that seem to overall benefit just one club/company.
Of course, there are temporary advantages to whoever is playing Celtic, which might be why other clubs remain silent on the issue of what is actually match fixing, an accusation also levelled at another club from ibrox just a few short years ago.
The orange clearly hasn’t fallen far from the tree.
Last night at Ibrox, the familar face of John Beaton popped up again. He was largely ineffective in the first half, and it looked like he was going to be substituted at one point, with a youngster from the training grounds of Lanarkshire lined up for his debut, but Beaton came through in the end giving a soft free kick and a soft penalty to allow his team to snatch a point.
Never a penalty pic.twitter.com/XICoqxDyj7
— Enigmaticbhoy (@enigmaticbhoy) October 27, 2021
You get the feeling that Beaton was waiting for an opportunity, as the “rangers ” player seems to appeal as an afterthought.
And remember what the diary said about the perception of bias….Alfredo Morelos was booked for diving minutes later…he thought the referee would have given him the foul, but Beaton apparently felt he couldn;t get away with another .
Evening up the stats after the event, a common feature of officials behaviour for years.
In the media, experts, well, maybe thats not the right word, such as Kris Boyd said it was soft, and although BBC Sportscene rallied to the cause and said it was a stonewaller, punishable with a prison sentence, there were rumblings on the radio…
Well, not exactly a rumbling. After the pundits on Sportsound concluded that it was a soft penalty, Chick young, unsure who he had to buy a pint for later that evening, asked who the referee was.
The silence that follwed the name ” john Beaton ” tells you what they were thinking, but were afraid to say.
And there, in a nut shell, is the problem.
Because if anyone does say anything, the referees willthrow their toys out of the pram again, and we’ll have to get foreign refs in, and that won’t do at all.
Yet frank;y, it’s the only solution to a problem that threatens to damage our game beyond repair.
With the SFA pulling out all the stops to ensure the survival of a second ibrox entity, safe in the knowledge they did all they could last time round, and almost certainly carrying a similar level of immunity from investigation and prosecution, an already fragile financial footing could well be destroyed just as it seems the game on the park is improving,.
Of course, healthy competition isn’t in the business plan for the league, the SFA and it’s sponsors and investors, but with one club/company doing it’s best to put a stop to any thought of progress, there’s a real fear that they might drag the rest of us down with them this time.
One wonders if this was on the agenda when the east coast clubs met to discuss things a few weeks ago.
Frankly, if it wasn’t, it;s time it was, and with Dermot Desmond starting to look over his shoulder at the gathering numbers of Celtic fans who are unhappy with the way he’s allowed the corruption to infect our own club, maybe there are changes afoot.
If we are to change anything though, lets start with the referees.
For example, we could hire some real ones.
At the very least we should be asking why one team, when it’s struggling, can rely on either a penalty or the sending off of an opposition player to ease the pressure.
As DerStenchKaput said on Twitter…
5 times in the last 8 league games that The Rangers have gone behind. Cue 3 penalties and 1 first half sending off to get them back into 4 of those 5.
That’s a hell of a statistic. The implication is they’ll get help when they need it.
So much so that I’ll wager that the bookies weren’t taking wagers on it happening last night…and when bookies won’t take bets on something, that’s because they know it’s rigged.
It;s a long time since Craig Levein told it like it is, and it’s time someone else spoke up.
Caption: “Where the feks Ralph……oh wait a minute.”!
Good read today.
I’ll hold my hand up, after I watched it for the umpteenth time I spotted Bates pulling Fashion’s jersey. So well done to eagle eyed Beaton for spotting that (no chance he saw it). But here’s the rub these are contentious decisions and it’s beyond the realms of probability that one team benefits from these decisions every time. I accept referees are not infallible, so accepting that they will get some decisions wrong even when perhaps sevco should get the decision but don’t that would be within the realms of probability.
Offside goal vs Motherwell
McLaughlin not being sent off vs Dundee
Porteous Red card
Offside goal vs Hibs
Aribo tackle vs Hearts
Pen vs St Johnstone
Pen vs St Mirren
Pen vs Aberdeen
(I’ve probably missed some)
8 decisions, all contentious, if I spin a coin 8 times what are the chances it lands on heads 8 times in a row? If it’s unlikely that the referees, whether they are right or wrong, decide in favour of one team in all 8 decisions, then what’s happening in their decision making process? I think we all know.
Good result for us last night. I can’t get carried away with the result though, even when we were 3 up I was still panicking that we’d let Hibs back into the game. Wasn’t helped when they scored.
What would have helped is if we were more clinical in front of goal. We should have had 5 in the first half. Turnbull and Kyogo should both have scored those gilt edged chances.
And Starfelt? He’s looking more solid defensively. But playing Angeball our centre halfs are going to have a lot of the ball and if one of them continually plays it backwards we are going to spend a lot of time in our own box.
The other defensive concern for me is Ralston. Yes he scored a great goal and played well in their half but too many times Hibs made head way into our box on his side. And he doesn’t compare well to the other side of the pitch, I thought Juranovic handled the threat of Boyle very well.
Overall a 7 out of 10 performance, onwards and upwards.
He was back to his best. A terrific 30 mins until he eventually succumbed to the assaults from Hibs and Gogic in particular. Need him to perform more consistently now. And for the refs to give him more protection. Unlikely I know.
Just loving how Ange has had the last laugh on the pundits. Scott Brown legend. Joe Hart has totally embraced what Celtic is all about so Kyego. Quite a turn around since the end of last season and more and better to come. Pleased for Tony Ralston, his CELTIC heart may be more important to the team than some of his flaws. McGregor massive leader.
Very good first half. Solid second half.
Momentum is building for Celtic
How about the SFA start by having officials from other areas of Scotland rather than just Lanarkshire?
So what’s the reason that Sevco are huffing and puffing? Player discontent that the M74 has been closed? Manager discontent with barbs at borad spending and Moreloss’ agent? I don’t know, I don’t care but surely some hack in the SMSM does….I’m not holding my breath, but if someone drops an eggy fart and doesn’t let on at Celtic it’s a headline. They have produced two specials on the ICT and Thistle cup losses on Sportsound recently. Good news though that beardy cobber is displaying Stein levels of performance in the pressers. Same on the park and I’m a happy camper.
I have seen many times when a player ( holds tugs )an opponents shirt and nothing given, but I thought if you pull a guys shirt he would go back the way not dive forward only saying.
What actually is the solution to being cheated by the referees in this league? This isn’t a new thing either,according to Paul Larkin this goes back to the formation of the Lanarkshire Referees Association but I’m betting it goes way back further than that. So we’re at a diplomatic standpoint calling it a ‘perception of bias’ but we all know it’s cheating and we’ve become wise to its different functions on the park and how it can be disguised and therefore debated and ridiculed but in the end it always works to our disadvantage,I personally don’t think we stand a chance unless we all walk away from the game,VAR looks like a new dawn but even that will be controlled by the same people who are cheating the game, it sounds extreme,stupid, immature and selfish but is the only real way to deal with this to withdraw all of our money from every part of the game,Celtic included? What actually can be done?
That is the only solution unfortunately
BANG! BANG! BANG!
So choke Celtic to death to teach the rest of the league a lesson? Sure that will stop the cheating – no chance – they will carry in regardless without Celtic. Need to think again
Pick a certain time of the game and walkout. The next sevco game would be ideal with the world wide coverage it gets.
“We have had enough of the corruption and deceit.” is the message what is needed to get out there.
If we can get other clubs involved, all the better.
Maybe VAR would help? could help reduce “honest mistakes”
Caption competition : SFA
Am I correct in saying out of the last 6 visits Aberdeen have gone to Ibrox they have had 6 penalties against them.
Drew, you better ask the green machine, he knows everything.
sevco FC were demoted:
Brian Wilson with his obituary of spontaneous and self-centred lies.
He actually said they were demoted for going into Admin.
They weren’t, of course, they were deducted 10 points only, which didn’t stop them finishing second, where they were destined to finish anyway.
So there must be another reason why that Rangers never played in the top league (or anywhere) every again.
Death will tend to have that effect.
We expect this nonsense from the MSM and expect our board to share this sentiment but they’re now saying the quiet part out loud.
I am looking forward to who we wheelchair out here.
Going by all the whitewashing this week I’d say David Murray’s the best bet.
So Diary reappears a week later and Celtic keep on winning….
must be something in that
Welcome back, Ralph, and an excellent blog today. However, while I appreciate you are doing this for free and in your own time, can’t you or Desi introduce some form of moderation to keep the disruptive sorts (I think you can guess who) out during your absence? I’m fed up ploughing through post after post from the same guy, usually talking to himself and seldom about football or Celtic into the bargain. Decent contributors like Henke, Puggy, wee charlie (even Charlie Saiz) have all but disappeared recently yet this guy is allowed to treat the place as his own personal soap box. Admittedly my contributions are limited but I will soon be joining the exodus if nothing changes.
Good diary, Ralph, but not a word about Walter?
Monti will be heartbroken.
“Evidenced by the somewhat bizarre “crime count ” figures mentioned in other diaries.”
Actually, that part seems to be getting better since the grotesque Aberdeen game (we committed almost 3 times as many fouls) with last night Hibs committing 15 to our 9 fouls.
I suspect this is still not reflective of the actuality but I wonder if the highlighting has led to it being toned down, if not eliminated.
Of course, the focus may simply have been moved elsewhere, where its not so obvious.
celticbynumberscom.ipage .com (remove space) is attempting an independent analysis, which removes it from the emotional biases that we all have.
Cheatin Beaton deserves a sacking.
The entire Lanarkshire Refs Association needs dismantling.
Celtic PLC now MUST speak out against the blatant corruption within the Scottish game.
But how can they when they helped enable it?
I’m probably going to get pelters for this, but I think it needs to be said.
I don’t doubt Walter Smith was a decent man and a good manager, nor that he deserves our respect for being friendly enough with TB to be asked to carry his coffin.
However, for me that legacy of decency was spoiled somewhat by the fact he knowingly oversaw years of financial doping, then lied about it in court saying – for example – that he never discussed finances with Murray and that he didn’t know how Rangers had done in Europe because he was “on holiday at the time”. An insult to both the taxpayers deprived of millions by the illegal scheme that funded his success and a long list of unpaid creditors it left in its wake.
Unfortunately, like almost all involved with the club, he continued to play along with the liquidation denial and survival myth and never at any time showed a hint of remorse. An understandable human failing, perhaps, particularly when clearly devoted to his club, but for me – a man of genuine bravery and integrity would have refused to play any part in misleading the football world. Instead, he not only played along, but actually said Rangers fans were right to be bitter about “ put down into the Third Division”
So, by all means praise him for his better qualities, but excuse me if I don’t join in the calls for sainthood.
Excellent post and absolutely spot on with everything you say so no pelters from me.
Just wondering when one of these refs has the misfortune to die. Will there be wreaths and tributes from ‘rangers’ fans in the thousands for services rendered?
Oh, they do.
Every ludge in Scotland raises a glass to them.
Aye, a man of decency & integrity:
Apart from that time he cheated all of football for a decade then lied in court about it.
The halo could have an asterisk.
HaHaHa, that’s genuinely funny, M!
Great comment CJB.
Well said, Carl, except I don’t think he was even a good manager. He was a flop in England without the ability to outspend everybody and his Scotland teams were dire to watch. Personally, I’ve got no respect for the man at all, a cheat and a liar like everybody at Ibrox during the EBT years. Maybe he won’t accept he is dead and will come back as a zombie like his beloved Gers.