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Celtic Diary Monday January 28

Well, thats that then. Another possible domestic treble has gone, and the players and management only have themselves to blame. After Charlie Mulgrew missed a penalty shortly after half time, we all might as well have given up. The players and management certainly did, at 3-1 down the camera cut to Lennon and Mjallby leaning against a wall with their hands in their pockets. Inspiring stuff. All we can hope is the next team we play who wear black and white stripes are made to suffer.

Lennon said, afterwards;

“I am bitterly disappointed with that performance, it was soulless, it lacked intensity,desire and will to win, all the attributes this team has shown over the last six to nine months. That was an impersonation of a team I know. There is not one player, maybe with the exception of  Hooper, that would get pass marks today. There was a lack of discipline in our shape and play. I thought we were defensively awful, the decision making was poor and there was a lack of quality in the final third. some of them behaved like spoiled kids out there. The treble has gone, we have only ourselves to blame. The criticism is going to come our way, and rightly so.”

With the transfer window still open, Lennon added ominously;

“I can take losing to Kilmarnock  in the final and the semi final last year (Ed-that was against Hearts) because our performances were decent, but that was awful today from what I perceive to be top class players.. But maybe I have got it wrong and maybe I have to look at this week and change things. I don’t know.”

If you can’t be bothered reading all that, here is the abridged version;

“We were shite. And I’m going to kick their heads in.”

We could spend all day pulling the performance apart, and pointing out what went wrong. But the abridged version sums it up pretty well. Except, there may be more to it.

Rumours still abound about Gary Hooper going to Tottenham, but it didn’t seem to affect him, whereas the statement from the Kenyan FA president, Sam Myamweya, may go some way to explaining Victor Wanyamas piss poor day at work yesterday;

“Wanyama will soon be joining one of the big two clubs in the world. It is an exciting moment for us, which means Kenya is a powerhouse in world football.”

As far as we are concerned, he is already at one of the biggest clubs in the world, but it seems that the Kenyan chief isn’t aware of that, so it looks like Barcelona or Manchester Utd then. The most recent Etims podcast discussed what Graham Hunter, the Barca based reporter had told us, so there might well be something in this.

With Zaluska doing his best to move out of the way of shots, he must have read Alex Fergusons comments on players being killed by the ball hitting them, and the outfield players totally devoid of imagination and creativity, then perhaps something has to be done this week….

So , thats one less trip to Hampden we have to budget for, and the famous old stadium has not been kind to Lennons Celtic. Something clearly has to be done, and done very soon.

The big picture, of course means that Armageddon, so enthusiastically predicted by Scotlands piss poor sporting press hasn’t happened. If St. Mirren go on to win the League cup, it will mean the last four trophies have been won by four different teams. Which , although it doesn’t feel like it just now, has to be good for the game. Actually, it will be if Hearts win it as well, but I just didn’t want to go down that path.

SPL clubs will meet today to discuss reconstruction, and based on the spread of success within the game, they should just have something to eat, something to drink and decide to leave things just as they are. Crowds are generally on the up, and with a positive spin from the media, the game could easily be reborn without juggling things about just for the sake of it. Neil Doncaster said;

“Everyone is agreed we need change to refresh the game, so we face stark choices on monday”

Er, the biggest change has already happened. The club who cheated their way to titles and cup wins have been found out, and as a result they have gone out of business. The rest of us have moved on, and for now that will do. Any new set up will only lead to confusion and disarray.

As the St. mirren chairman said on SSN this morning, “Its great not to be playing one of the Old Firm in a final.”

With the Old Firm no longer existing, then Stewart Gilmour is right. Theres one team to beat in Scotland, and thats Celtic. beat them, and you might just win a trophy.

And more than anything else, that is the mentality they took into yesterdays game, and its why they won.

Still, when things are bad, and not going your way, its important to laugh at those less fortunate than oneself.

Charles green, who forecast that his Third division Rangers tribute act would not make a profit this year, is actually in breach of stock market regulations with this statement. Oooops!

After the weekends 1-1 draw with mighty Montrose, the Sevco Rangers boss Ally McCoist admitted ;

“I was booing myself”-proof indeed that the clubs mentality is to follow a leader-any leader-and he reckons he was as angry as he’s ever been. On the late equaliser he claimed;

“you could see it coming, you could absolutely see it coming.” He then offered these words of wisdom to his players;

“They had better switch on kind of quick, or they will be completely switched off.”

A cruel, independent observer might say that this result is to be expected when the ref forgets the obligatory sending off to help McCoist side, but when the manager talks like that, no wonder no-one wants him or his players.

David Templeton, who made the career destroying move to Ibrox at the start of the season, was a little apprenhesive ahead of next weeks cup clash with Premier league giants Dundee Utd.

“Dundee Utd are a strong side and we can’t give them any chances near the end of the game because they will punish us.”

Near the end of the game? That game will be done and dusted before half time, but you can’t fault his optimism.

Also, the British military have decided that their staff will not take part in any more circuses like the remembrance day “celebrations” at Ibrox last year. The dignified show has embarrassed the staff officers and won’t be allowed to happen again, despite a spokesman for Sevco saying that their tacky show “was the biggest inScotland.” which shows that they completely missed the point. but we knew that anyway.

Aplogies for spending so much time on the Third division non entities, but with the dual contracts issue about to be discussed by the beaks, its important to keep laughing at them. After all, they are only eleven players short of being a decent side.

Looking ahead to the Champions League, Nicolas Anelka has joined opponents Juventus until the end of the season, prompting suspicions all is not well with the Grand Old Lady, and to be honest, adding anelka to the mix isn’t going to help.

And Celtic? Will Lennon be panicked into making a swoop for a few new faces? Will Hooper and Wanyama still be here at the end of the week?  Will Fraser Forster ever play for Celtic again?  Tune in for the next exciting episode tomorrow.

Joe Kennaway was the Celt who was capped for three different countries, the USA, Canada and Scotland. Dmitri Kharine did play for Russia, the CIS and the USSR, but they aren’t really different countries, and his international career was done by the time he joined Celtic, as indeed was his playing career.

Who, on signing for Celtic, saw the new stadium, and said

“It will be impossible to play badly here?”

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Lost it
11 years ago

Me

Paul Fox
11 years ago

Yeah its alright laughing at sevco but what about yesterday?
I cant get my head around to think that this current crop
of players are good enough to wear the shirt.Yeah wanyama has
been immense from he signed as an unknown product but on yeterdays performance his head seem’s to have been turned by
the lure of richer fields then let him go,as for Hooper let
him go to if the contract is not up to scratch then dont sign it
and move on.Other dead wood that i would have out the door would
be in no particular order would be Zaluska, Stokes,Rogne,Mccourt
because their dire.It’s time the axe was swung by lennon and alsalso to reinstate who the boss not your mate.

Tam
11 years ago

The magician that was Lubo Moravck!

Sean Cahill
11 years ago

I have analysed our performance yesterday in depth and come to the conclusion that we didn’t win because…..we were playing in that god awful black strip!

Ok, my analysis may not be as insightful as the top coaches in the game, but why the heck were we not wearing our beloved Hoops? We always seem to lose when we’re wearing our funeral gear – as an exile my last match was Easter Road on 29th Dec, when we wore black, and we were dreadful. I was also in Moscow and I will discount that black-inspired-blip. But c’mon for gawd’s sake the Hoops aren’t the Hoops, er, without the Hoops.

I know we have to make money by selling crap kits and the black top is ok for stretching over our beer bellies and watching the match, but that’s about it.

Am I alone in my ramblings?

Greenjedi
11 years ago
Reply to  Sean Cahill

Did you happen to notice what St Mirren wore yesterday? Because thats the reason we wore the black strip.

Pensionerbhoy
11 years ago
Reply to  Greenjedi

Greenjedi

Green and White hoops v black and white stripes. No relation in colour nor direction. Black and less black hoops and black and white only a white line between them and for one team anyway, no direction. I think Lenny chose all black just to be prepared for the worst. That was one decision he got right yesterday, then. I think the strips at a neutral game are tossed for. Another beyond stupid FIFA ruling when supporters prefer the regular strip if there is no clash. But then, please do not ask football authorities anywhere for simplicity or common sense, not when big bucks are flying about.

H H

Greenjedi
11 years ago
Reply to  Pensionerbhoy

I agree with you, however the SFA don’t and they made us change

Macclesfield Bhoy
11 years ago
Reply to  Sean Cahill

Totally agree with Sean. When i seen the players wearing the black strip in the tunnel before the match i thought why not the hoops? Also, why is Tony Watt not ahead of Lassad? Give TW a run in the team and let him gain more experience and confidence.

Macc Bhoy

Sconey
11 years ago
Reply to  Sean Cahill

Absolutely right – time to bin the black kit. It always reminds me of the Nazis in Escape To Victory every time I see it! Bring back the Hoops and numbered shorts!

Ralph malph
11 years ago

No

Pensionerbhoy
11 years ago

Ralph

I usually never say this of anyone or anything but myself. However, today’s diary is Perfection on all fronts. It summed up, criticised, informed and opined just as the doctor ordered. Even the subtlety of your humour was sublime. It chased my blues well away. Well, it was chasing them till you mentioned the other Green team , its manager and players. Just when I had actually burned the books. Mind you they made a good bonfire with all the broken furniture in our house after yesterday’s kid-on. For all it will drag you down, I endorse all that you say and add my congratulations to St. Mirren.

I think Lubo may have said it but no matter who, he sure got it wrong. But then, good as he was, he was not the Brahan Seer. Anybody that knows what position he plays, tell Lenny.

H H

Gareth Savage
11 years ago

I am as disappointed as anyone about yesterday but I feel you can over analyse things too much at times. The bottom line for me is it was one of those days. If we don’t hit the bar twice and miss the penalty we;re 4-1 up and everything’s rosy. Losing to us didn’t make Barca a crap side, and us losing to St. Mirren won’t make us one. Lets get the heads up, look at what went wrong and move forward. Can anyone tell me why a pitch that gets used 10 times a season is always so sh*te? I appreciate there was snow last week but hampden’s surface is always muck!

Tony P
11 years ago
Reply to  Gareth Savage

Gareth, how many of ‘those days’ are we going to have? And why are they always at Hampden?

Neil has sent out numerous XIs, and they have lost to Ross County (First Division), Kilmarnock, Hearts and St Mirren (3 goals before the game was even stretched).

Totally unacceptable.

What or who is the common denominator?

Gareth Savage
11 years ago
Reply to  Tony P

Tony,
I don’t know but Jock Stein had 10 or 12 of them in his time!

Tony P
11 years ago

Good solid analysis of what was a horrible day out at Hampden yesterday. I feared the writing was on the wall with their early goal and our two skelpings of the crossbar…but no, we managed to equalise then gain a penalty – just to ensure our inevitable failure was all the more spectacular.

Few questions:

why, at £15 a ticket, did we only have around 20,000 fans there yesterday? i have spent the last few weeks listening to ‘fans’ crying about their inability to attain a ticket for the Juve game at 3 times the cost. were these people in attendance yesterday?

how does Neil lennon’s record at Hampden stand alongside previous managers? he has 4 wins in 9 games over the last 3 years. has any manager lost to 4 sides other than oldco in such a short period? and has any manager seen his side ship 3 goals to a side other than the bosch?

apologies if these questions appear tinged with bitterness – they are! very very disappointed.

jonlittledick
11 years ago

No one could say about Hampden ‘it would be impossible to play badly here’! Since it was renovated it has lacked atmosphere. No excuses for yesterday, only one team turned up, but it must be disconcerting playing in a smaller stadium for such an important game. Hampden is still inspirational for most teams – but not us. Never mind it’s negative effect on Celtic, I think Queens Park should have moved to Lesser Hampden (a good name for the main stadium now?) and they should have built Asda there instead of Toryglen. It’s a nightmare for games AND Gigs. They should have built a brand new stadium beside the motorway, either at Strathclyde Park or the SECC. But, this is Scotland wher tradition matters more than common sense!

San Miguel
11 years ago

Was it Meester Leetel Problem ,part time Swindon Manager & part time fascist Paolo Di Canio ?
Yesterday showed the worst side of this current crop. They lack respect for opponents who are not as good as them and think they are big time Charlie’s. They way Mulgrew took that penalty in an nonchalant style instead of drilling it into a corner at one each told me that they just expected to win.
Evidently the shirt does shrink to fit inferior players.

11 years ago

come on guyz get behind the TEAM ,there is still al ong way to go,i’ll take the league and the scottish cup anytime,with a wee run to the uefa semis

Pensionerbhoy
11 years ago

fd

I do not want to say a bad word about Celtic but there are just times…It is not the result by any means. Lord, I watched loads of bad ‘uns in my time. It is the shear lack of intensity on occasions that actually HURTS. Hampden is a coincidence. We have seen this attitude more than a few times from this team. We are supporters and we are due the respect of at least some effort. Sean Fallon and his colleagues at the time won very little as a player but I doubt any supporter from that era would accuse them of “hanging the pea”. As for the remaining trophies, can you put your faith in it happening when we seem to have big game only performers. Remember Ally’s 15 point lead last season? Not quite the same contest but would you be so bold as to say dropping our 12 is impossible?

H H

andy docherty
11 years ago

yesterday was completely unacceptable – the players turned up expecting to win, the fans (the 20,000) turned up expecting to win – yesterday was the worst backing I’ve witnessed from a Celtic support for many years. It seemed to me that both the team & the fans couldn’t be bothered. I was on the a few Celtic web sites last night asking why the fans didn’t turn up – all those fans that have been greeting about not getting a juventus ticket at £50 – where were they when the tickets were only £15. The fans didn’t turn up because they didn’t see it as a big game and it would seem the players had the same attitude.

I’ve liked a lot of what Lassad does, but yesterday was the end. No heart, no desire – he isn’t made for SPL football. It was obvious early on that he wasn’t up for it – why wasn’t he taken off at half time. Ledley was annonymous, Sammi was back to the Sammi we all got frustrated with, Mulgrew had a nightmare, Wanyama didn’t appear interested, Matthews never got passed the full back once, Wilson was back to the mistake ridden player of last season – what made him think he could hit 40 yard passes?, – Hooper, Izzy, Brown& Stokes when he came on tried – nobody else got pass marks.
But I also think we’re being disrespectful to st mirren – they came with a game plan (the one that didn’t work at CP), stuck to it & took their chances when they were presented to them (the 2 goals in open play were scored by forwards standing on the / next to the penalty spot with no Celtic player within 2 yards of them – why?).
Mulgrew’s penalty was the pivotal point – if he scores, we would likely go on to score a few more as st mirren would have been forced to open up. Why are we so bad at penalties – do they not practice them in training?
A really bad day at the office in a dreadful arena for football which produced one of the worst atmospheres at a match for a long time.
Finally, well done to st mirren – they had a plan and the desire to carry it out – worthy winners yesterday.

chrissybhoy
11 years ago
Reply to  andy docherty

“yesterday was completely unacceptable – the players turned up expecting to win, the fans (the 20,000) turned up expecting to win – yesterday was the worst backing I’ve witnessed from a Celtic support for many years.”

I was at the Killie final last year sitting on my own. I was surrounded by people with their arms folded only making any noise to chastise their own players.

The sense of entitlement from the support can be frustrating and its no secret to Lennon.

chrissybhoy
11 years ago

I am down south at the moment and didn’t get to see the game. Horrified to see the goals in the highlights.

The buddies brought the ball from their own half right up and scored without a single challenge for the ball being made. Nobody wanted to be brave and put their foot in for the ball.

They just allowed teal to cross in for the third.

Is it taking a win for granted? A lack of confidence at Hamden? Is it just freezing on the big stage?

Either way, far too many were ballwatching and passive

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