Regular readers of this irregular page will be well aware of previous mentions of a perception of bias towards one or two officials in the Scottish game.
Events over the last weekend suggest that we have moved from a perception to a suspicion where at least two officials are concerned.
The actions of John Beaton and Alan Muir when they tried to catch the eye of this month’s manager at Ibrox, the likeable if somewhat gullible Phillipe Clement, were as predictable as they were dishonest.
As we have moved from a perception to a suspicion, action must now be taken by wither the clubs, the media or the authorities.
As I think we can discount the latter two in this instance, it’s down to the clubs.
And let’s face it, hopes aren’t high there either.
Which leaves you and me.
Which may actually in itself a subconscious nod to the readership figures….
It’s time to call for an investigation, which is the right course of action when there is a suspicion of wrongdoing, and that means a thorough investigation of all the actions of both Beaton and Muir, to ascertain whether or not they are
a) subject to influence, conscious or otherwise, that is affecting their performance in a position of responsibility
b) shite referees.
It would be improper for them to be handed further matches whilst such an investigation is taking place, so I’d also push for them to be suspended, without pay, until such an investigation is complete.
As not only their careers are at stake, this investigation is casting doubt on the honesty and integrity of both men, then it would also be improper not to consider all the evidence and sift carefully through it before coming to the correct conclusion.
Such a task could take a while, and I’d suggest at least five years as a starting point.
Whilst clubs, the media and the authorities will turn a blind eye once more, every phone in, every letters page and every blog should carry the message that enough is enough, and it’s time to hold those who at the very least are guilty of incompetence to account, and I’m sure the men themselves will welcome the opportunity to show that they are indeed honest men who make honest mistakes.
Back at the ranch, and there have been mumblings and grumblings since the Atletico Madrid draw that perhaps the manager isn;t as good as we thought he was, and some of the players, well, what are they even doing here ?
During the Atletico game, Rodgers made a susbstition or two that altered the way Celtic were playing, and playing well.
That raised a few eyebrows, especially as Celtic had been performing very well indeed, and a win against the group favourites was looking to be on the cards.
then Rodgers seemed to lose a little bit of faith, and pulled it in a bit, bringing on a defender for a forward.
It’s not hard to see the thinking behind this, he had simply decided that a third loss in three games would have shattered the players confidence, given how well they had played in the campaign so far.
Whilst not a win in the sense of the result, off the pitch he may well have secured an important victory.
Mind you, it was surprising to see him continue with that tactic against Hibernian
A second draw has brought new life into the launderette business, as thousand of fans rush out to clean their wetted pants.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Where we are domestically, still in the running for an invincible league campaign, and in Europe, not out of the running yet, is something we’d all have taken during the honeymoon period of the Second Coming, and there are one or two signs that Rodgers is a better manager and coach than he was the first time around, when a crucifixion probably wouldn’t have been out of place for the man in some people’s eyes.
Yesterday, the manager spoke of his plans for January….
“It is more quality than quantity, for me,”
“I think there will be more out than coming in. I think there will be players who will be here for six months and won’t have played.
Like I’ve said before, it is no fault of them. The squad is obviously a lot bigger than I would want. So, I think there will be more players who will look to go out and get game time.
“And of course, hopefully over the coming windows we can look to improve the quality of the squad.
“Listen, we have enough – what I would say – development players. I think it is clear. And I love that, it is what I have done all my life is work with those players. But you certainly need ones that can come in [and make an immediate impact].
“We already have a number of those development players, so it is genuine quality we hope we can bring in across the coming windows.
“Your squads are 25, which is 22 plus three goalkeepers. It is not ideal. I think there were younger players that were going to come in and see how they develop.
“Then there was the notion, which I know for sure was the case, that there were some guys that were thinking of leaving before I came in. Then obviously a new manager comes in and there can be a change of heart. They don’t leave, they stay and that is how your squad ends up where it is at.
“So, it is that mixture between players coming in to develop and ones that decided to stay and not move on. But I think over the course of the next couple of windows we’ll get the squad down to a workable group.”
He added a little bit after that that maybe gave us a pointer as to who will be going….
Just after the window shut it was a case of speaking then to some of the players that didn’t get out.
“I said, listen let’s see how we go over the course of the next six months. If it doesn’t quite work out with game time then, of course, we’ll look at it in January.
“Some of those players have had game time, and will be happy, and there will be others that feel they will want to play.”
We all have an opinion on who we think won’t make it at Celtic, but since the manager will have formed his after speaking to the players after watching them since the start of the season, I’d argue he is better placed to make that call, and not those of us who scream at someone from the touchline or the sofa…..
If this were to be a sort of mid term report on the manager since he returned, which it isn’t, then I’d have to say so far so good, and the foundations have been laid for a move up to the next level on the park.
There is no reason to suggest that this won’t be the plan come January.
Well, not many.
So let’s just wait and see.
Finally, if i may, I’d like to pass my condolences to the friends and family of James Doleman, a friend and counsel for many years, who passed away after illness earlier this week.
He’ll be missed, and those who knew him will agree that when they made James, they broke the mould.
Rest in Peace.