A 3-0 win over Dundee on Saturday kept the hoops at the top of the table, a couple of points ahead of second place St Mirren,
Despite what the Daily Record want to tell us…
They’ve deleted it now, but it is indicative of the standards over there.
With four wins and a draw from a largely makeshift side, Brendan Rodgers has done rather well, especially as six of those points came at Ibrox and Pittodrie. In fact, had we drawn at Ibrox and won at home to St Johnstone, he’d probably be getting a little bit more praise.
One by one, the big players from last season that are still at the club…and possibly even one who isn’t…will return, and curiously they will have to fight for their places.
Which is what we want, right ?
David Turnbull is the latest scapegoat in the eyes of the “support “. apparently some think he doesn;t contribute anything.
If you don’t count his goals. He’s got three, the same as Matt O’Riley and only one less than talismanic forward Kyogo Fuhruhashi. This suggests that both midfielders are doing what the manager wants them to, it suggests that the new style, as difficult as it may be to fathom for some, is actually working.
It’s been tough for the manager, and it may be a mark of the man that he’s stuck to his guns, although judgement will be reserved until after the Champions League campaign, which begins tomorrow in Rotterdam.
Feyemoord have a couple of forwards injured, and as a result only managed six against Herenveen at the weekend, something Radio Scotland were enthusiastically reporting during their coverage of the Celtic match.
This may explain the shift from angeball to a more patient style under Rodgers, which coupled with a couple of painful experiences during the managers last tenure here is only to be expected.
A patience that should be encouraged by the support.
During his spell away from Celtic Rodgers would have learned a few lessons, which may yet bear fruit.
Although I reckon he could liven things up a bit by doing his pre match pressers dressed up as a Seventies American detective.
Now that would confuse the opposition.
The only blot on the season so far is the premature exit from the League Cup, but to blame anyone for that or claim it’s some sort of disaster would be to demean the achievements of a treble, as I’ve said before, it simply showed what a fantastic achievement it was to win so many trebles recently.
One off day, or one bad decision from an official and it’s gone.
We need to live with it.
There’s a little bit of debate around the board’s decision not to allow the Green Brigade to present a tifo ahead pf home matches, and given their propensity to invur fines fronm UEFa for political content, you can see why.
The counter argument is that the club makes money indirectly from these displays , and arguably one of our proudest moments as a support was the display of Palestinian flags after we were told not to, which still warms the old heart cockles, we have to accept that if it continues, it will be more than fines.
Stands will be closed, and no one wants that.
The mature decision for the moment is to stop the displays.
And given the current petulance from the GB towards the manager, or at least the perception of petulance, it’s not worth giving them a platform.
As usual, there was controversy around a couple of refereeing decisions at the weekend, this one where VAR could have intervened , but didn’t…
— Lint (@Zeshankenzo) September 16, 2023
butland had a similar assault on Kyogo at Ibrox that went unpunished, so it might be worth keeping an eye on him.
And this one, where VAR couldn;t intervene, which highlights that football is no longer subject to the same rules from top to bottom…
Matty Cudjoe sent off for this, a total embarrassment from the officials and the Morton player.
Another weekend where Scottish officials embarrass our game. pic.twitter.com/JvzT6USoId
— Cupar Arabs (@CuparArabs) September 17, 2023
Until referees turn professional this isn’t going away.
At Ibrox the man in the middle applied the rules correctly once or twice, with the help of VAR. One can only wonder if they’ve finally noticed that they’ve been struck from the FIFA list of good referees and used a high profile match to try to gain some credibility.
It would certainly explain the furious debate after the Dessers “goal ” , which was correctly ruled out.
Were our referees showing that they can do the job when asked ? Or does the Kyogo “penalty ” show there’s still a long way to go ?
It’s a bit of a shame, really.
As is the lack of marketing of our game which has resulted in repeated piss poor tv deals, although it has to be stressed our negotiato, the much maligned Neil Doncaster only works on the instructions of the clubs he represents.
Undoubtedly he’s doing what they want, or they would get rid of him. And happily, he provides a handy scapegoat for what is actually their lack of ambition,
Scotland’s co-efficient on Twitter offers a counter argument, and several reasons why the clubs should aim a little higher for television money.
UEFA top tier attendances UEFA this week released their latest analysis of European football, for season 2022/23: the “European Club Talent and Competition Landscape report”
In all competitions in 2022/23, over 5.5million supporters attended football games in Scotland – in a country of 5.43million people!
As usual, Scotland has the highest per capita attendance in all of Europe, by some distance!
Scotland are 1st per capita, 7th for average, and 8th for total top tier attendance
We are only 24th in terms of population 18.42 top tier attendees per 1000 people, almost 80% more than Portugal who are number 2 in the top 10 league
Scotland’s total attendances are up 5% since 2019 & it was our highest number in 20+ years
But the clubs real fear is that more tv exposure will reverse that trend…Celtic especially are terrified of home games being shown and attendances falling…even if they are already sold out due to season book sales.
Only 17 clubs in Europe had total league attendances of more than 1 million
Celtic (12th) were the only club outside the top 5 leagues!
Scotland also has one of the highest scoring leagues, with Germany the only top 5 league with more average goals than Scotland
Scotland’s top tier averages over 2.9 goals per game with only 4 of the top 10 leagues averaging more
Scotland are also in the top 10 for total attendances at non top flight games, with 800,000 attending from the championship down. Phenomenal!
Maybe the standard isn’t the highest, but it’s a product that sells.
Have a look at his stuff on Twitter, it’s thought provoking.
And not all roses, as there is a problem with a lack of young players and home grown players.
Maybe a bigger league would help to give players time to bed in and learn their trade.
Any excuse to get rid of the current set up works for me.
Unless, of course, it leads to Celtic doing well in Europe. Starting tomorrow.
Back in the old days, the last Diary asked what he was thinking,
I was just waving to big Connor, I’m not threatening to slit his throat
In the meantime, what’s this all about ?