Another powerful home performance, this time Dundee United being put to the sword, and the gap at the top is now twelve points. Celtic swept the Arabs aside with a 4-0 win, and Gary Hooper got himself a couple more goals so that absolutely nobody can be in any doubt of what he does for a living.
Victor Wanyama also reminded watching clubs that he is still around with a headed goal, and Scott Brown curled one in late on, but no-one wants him.
Manager Neil Lennon was glad to be able to talk about football for a change, when he said ;
“I thought going forward we were breathtaking at times. We should have been a goal down but I am not too sure itwould have changed the mentality of the team tonight. There was a real intensity and ruthlessness about us. I’m not sure what the stats were, but I think we had more than twenty odd attempts on goal”
Twenty odd attempts, ten strange attempts and four downright weird ones.
Of course, he was only allowed by the press to discuss the game after he had been asked about Gary Hooper. And you get the feeling the whole thing is starting to irritate him somewhat. Which is a polite way of putting it.
“We have had an improved offer. If you want to call it an improved offer, from Norwich which has been turned down automatically. It was nowhere near six million. It was completely rejected and even if it was sixc million it would be completely rejected.”
On the stories eminating from the press yesterday, that Hooper had turned down another offer from Celtic;
“Its not the latest offer because we made it two or three months ago. I’m disappointed again that these things have come out in public. I’m not too sure where they are coming from, but its certainly not us. Its as you were. He didn’t like the look of the contract two or three months ago and nothing has changed. We feel its a very good offer. It would put him in the top two or three highest paid players at the club. I’m sure he wants to be the highest paid, but you can’t always get what you want.”
So , the big question? Will he go this month?
“Not as far as I can see it,” said a now thoroughly sick of the whole thing Lennon. We are very solid on that, myself, the backroom staff, Peter and the board.”
In years gone by, under the Kellys and such like, that statement would have been a come and get him shout. but it does seem that the club are determined to hang on to him, and the other players seem to think he wants to stay…
Of course, him getting a new agent next month has nothing to do with any of this.
Chris Hughton seems to be getting an idea of how far apart the clubs valuations are
Between the lines, it looks like Lennon has accepted the player wants to go, and has told him he can. but not yet, and the player seems happy enough with that. no tantrums, no loss of form, and no sources saying he wants out.
Talkshite radio did suggest that Grant Holt of norwich would be keen on a move to Celtic as part of a swap plus cash deal, but further investigation revealed that one of Holts pals said he would be keen to go to Celtic, swap deal or not.
All the guff aside, last nights performance showed a couple of things, firstly that we can play a bit, and secondly the spirit amongst the players. They all seem genuinely delighted when a goal is scored, and nobody moans at anyone else or sulks when a bad pass is made. as we have already seen this season, they will fight for each other.
Juventus drew 1-1 with Lazio in the Copa Italia -last night, i think, and they would have no doubt already spotted that celtic like to attack with pace down the flanks, and cut the ball back. but they should also note the strength of the mentality within the side-whichever players are picked.
Actually, no, lets hope they think they are going to hammer us.
The league is out of the way for a bit now, and the next game is a cup semi final, the first of possibly three this season-I’m not too sure about the Scottish cup- and another ruthless display will make for a happy timland this weekend.
Jim McInally, formerly of Dundee Utd and now manager of Third Division Peterhead has blasted the Sevco Rangers side which stumbled to a 1-0 win on Sunday in the Evening Express, which is a paper, and not a train.
“They certainly didn’t look any fitter than us for a full time team.” he claimed, which on top of his comments about how the Sevco side should have “wiped the floor with them” means he won’t be getting his own column on a national newspaper anytime soon.
Alex Ferguson took in the game last night, though the main reason for his visit to Glasgow was for todays funeral of Sean Fallon. again, thoughts and prayers with the family, and rest in peace, Sean.
Yesterdays question was about Paul McStay, and john Fagan got the correct answer, as the maestro was sent off for the only time in his career, against dundee, in 1994.
Now, one or two pointed out that the questions were bringing back bad memories, and they had a point.
so, read this quote.
“If you stop McStay, you stop Scotland.”
Who said it, what game was he on about, and did they stop him?