With real football still a couple of weeks away, though there is a behind closed doors friendly with Rennes on Decmeber 10, addicts were forced to endure the World Cup once more, with Japan and Croatia facing off in a last 16 tie.
It went to penalties, or as they are known in Japan, passbacks, with the Europeans triumphing in the least exciting shoot out in football history.
The enduring image though, was this one….
Josip Juranovic comforting Daezen Maeda after the game….this group of players we have now genuinely seem to look out for each other, and although Juranovic may not be around for too long, one wonders if he is having second thoughts.
During international breaks, players talk. Maybe he has seen that the grass is greenest where he is….
Maeda was the star of the show for Japan, simply by doing what he does every wek for Celtic. He puts me in mind of Frank McGarvey, the bendy wee man who did so much work that his partners George McCluskey and latterly Charlie Nicholas had the freedom to score as many as they did.
McGarvey and Maeda share the same work ethic, and also the same lack of recognition for what they actually do on the park.
There was an added bonus to the second world cup game yesterday, when the sound went off during Brazil and South Korea.
That meant we didn’t have to listen to the commentators dribble, and hopefully it will catch on.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Geirgios Giakoumakis, as expected, arrived back, read the papers and promptly told everyone he was happy where he was. Talks over a new, improved deal will apparently resume and everyone is confident of an agreement,
Manager Postecoglou dealt with the issue in his usual way, which suggested he wasn’t concerned either;
“I don’t have those kind of discussions and what I deal with is what I see every day. How a player trains and presents himself here, that is what I deal with. If I see there is any shift there or people are unhappy, or have some issues, I’ll deal with it.
“Right now, all I see is the players here training and committed to us as a football club. That is all that concerns me. Beyond that, with their contracts, they have representatives who look after them. If there are any issues, they’ll come across my desk. But that is in the background. What’s more important to me is what I see everyday. If I am happy with it, all good, if not I’ll deal with it then.”
At a later, unspecified date…..which comes as no surprise since there weren’t really any talks, and he still has the bulk of his current contract ahead of him.
It’s not clear who is to blame for the ,er, misunderstanding, but when you consider the usual narrative in the media, it’s not difficult.
Put simply, the enthusiasm and expectation trumpeted by a fawning media over the appointment of Mick Beale, that’s his name, not his nationality, has failed to prompt a reaction from Celtic, and in particular Ange Postecoglou, who when asked about it, replied that he was more worried about what he was having for dinner.
They haven’t got round to slating him for being disrespectful, but then again, they dont want to get into a battle of wits with him, because they aren’t equipped for it.
That’s why they are trying to unsettle the players , or push the fans into debating players commitment, as they did with the big greek forward.
It almost worked, with some fans berating the player on social media, and others discussing life after he had left, which is what the hacks wanted.
No doubt Maeda will be the next to be tempted by big bucks, now that he’s been noticed.
At least, as far as the media are concerned…..
There may be a wider issue here, and it’s something that is certainly worth considering. Are agents worried their main income stream is about to go arse over elbow? Will they try to unsettle players ?
In England, two of their biggest clubs are up for sale, Manchester United and Liverpool, and one wonders if this is because the bubble may be about to burst.
TV subscriptions are expensive, and there are a few of them about.
Going to the football, for the core supporter, is now prohibitively expensive , and any EPL game has now become an almost tourist event, with mobile phones replacing scarves, which themselves tend not to be the ones handed down through generations.
Money is tight, and with UEFA now also watching finances with a keener eye, perhaps the new breed of owners have decided it’s time to move on to other adventures.
Things are changing in the subscription tv industry, with even Netflix now offering a cheaper deal, featuring adverts.
Football will suffer as well, and fortunately , the genius of Neil Doncaster and his negotiating skills mean that it won;t be a big blow to Celtic, which is a blessing.
In the meantime, we’re stuck with our media praising the new messiah who is presumably about to part the River Clyde and storm Celtic Park with his followers, which will take their mind off their AGM, and that bubble won’t burst until they actually play a game.
Like it usually does.
And now, the Etims
a little earlier than usual, but this is spectacular knobbery, and deserves immediate recognition….
An embarassing leap from Harry Kane, who has never won anything in his career, showing why he’ll never win any admirers either….
Congratualtions to him, at least he’ll win one trophy this season. Co-incidentally, one in his own image.
And now, this…. what’s going on here ?