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Celtic Diary Wednesday February 20

Celtic , after a bright and enterprising start were left in the end hanging on for a 1-1 draw last night in freezing Perth. Only a career ending performance by the near side linesman-near side if you watched on BBC Alba-prevented a sound thrashing , as the Saints came back from a pounding in the first half to put Celts on the ropes for much of the second.

The hoops could easily have been three or four up in a blistering opening spell, but it seemed like forever until Efe Ambrose headed the side in front  just before half time. The rules then changed for the second half, as the afore mentioned linesman decided that all headed goals wouldn’t count any more, as he bravely chalked off two St. Johnstone goals , which were almost identical high balls which the defence got nowhere near, and Forster didn’t want to get anywhere near. Little Jimmy Hasselbaink beat off Ambrose and Rogne to curl in the equaliser, and to be honest, the Saints deserved at least a point from what was actually quite an enjoyable game.

Etims also believes that with Bobby Madden, the ref from the Dundee Utd game, last nights linesman and one other somehow spirited into Turin, we could well overturn the three goal deficit. Well, Samaras in his recent interview said that “anything can happen” and “we need to be more streetwise, sometimes we are too honest” Makes you think…

If that doesn’t work, we should just sign the linesman anyway, he was our best performer last night.

Little bit worried about big Fraser Forster just now. If last nights disallowed goals had counted, and to be fair, although the first one may well have been offside, the second one could only have been chalked off because it knackered the officials coupon, then Forster would have conceded eight goals in his last three outings. Normally the defence would have to take their fair share of the blame, but the big guy doesn’t look confident, and he seems to be less than fit, perhaps maybe worried about his neck, but he’s certainly hesitant and definitely loath to chuck himself about.

Way back when his loan was up for renewal, his return to the team after the season started also had this run of poor results and lack of form. This turned around virtually overnight after his penalty save against Hearts in the last minute at Celtic Park.

So, we either have to be patient, or kick lumps out of any forwards who get into the area so we can make him all better again.

On last nights game, manager Neil Lennon said;

“The first forty five minutes was the best football I have seen under my time here (eh?), on a glue pot of a pitch , the football, the pace , the movement was exceptional and it is a travesty we haven’t won the game because in that forty five minutes alone would have won two games. But for the goalkeeper it should have been six. I thought we looked a quality side in the first forty five minutes. We had chance after chance , we cut them open at will and I knew half time gave them a chance to regroup and make changes. Sometimes it is hard to replicate the tempo of the game and that proved to be the case.

But even our reaction after their goal was very good and I’m sitting here scratching my head as to why we haven’t won the game. We will probably tip our hat off to their keeper Allan Mannus tonight, he had one of those games. (to be fair, so did ours-ed ). but at 1-0 you always give a team encouragement. (Perhaps he should have encouraged his own team)    They are at home, anything can happen. I am not too disappointed. Motherwell lost tonight so we gained a point so it hasn’t been a bad night after all.”

Perhaps its time to let Gary Parker do the interviews, as a lot of that didn’t make a lot of sense.

You could tell the boss wasn’t happy during the latter stages of the game, when cameras showed both him and Mjallby in their all action standing leaning backwards on the wall pose. Thats when you know we’re shite.

Meanwhile, pictures have emerged of the sort of intimidation that the Green Brigade face when they go to games. The pictures, which show a heavy , mean looking police presence, various searches and a guy with a camera on the roof of the stand, raise  the question of the purpose of such a presence from the Force.

The body language and facial expressions on her majesties finest are not those of someone who s there to protect and serve, more of a sort of provoke and stir, and if its not sorted now, then it will lead to much more serious problems.

Celtic and the police must look at evidence such as this, and anything else that is around, and deal with  it. Simple, because the attitude of the law from what I can see in these pictures is can find them on the Huddleboard and other sites and forums, and I will use all my skills in uploading, downloading and linking to get them on here. Which means you will probably have to look elsewhere.

Now, to my eternal shame, I have only just got round to reading Stephen O’Donnells Paradise Road, and apart from being a good story, he has a way of dropping more serious issues into the narrative, and raises a criticism of youth coaching, around the late eighties early nineties, which led to a “generation of Scottish footballers being lost to the game”

With this seasons Premier league being the most competitive probably ever, and young players breaking through, perhaps combined with Gordon Strachan taking over the Scotland job, we can start saving for a major tournament trip again. It just made me think, thats all. Especially after reading about a promising lad in the Celtic Under 13 side in an old programme-Dylan McGeuoch-the only player to be taken to one side by a Celtic coach and asked to change his surname so that people could a) spell it, and b) pronounce it.

The news channels are all full of the tragic story of a sportsman with apparent mental health issues who shot his missus, and I must admit to thinking of Sheryl Gascoigne for a moment.

Jock Brown told Paolo di Canio that he would not sell him at any price, before he traded him for Regi Blinker and completely lost what little credibilty he had with the Celtic support. This remarkable piece of business, which is like trading your dinner money with the school bully for a piece of his used chewing gum, spelled the beginning of the end for Brown, who wen on to write a book about his time at Celtic, which is propping up uneven tables all over the world.

Di Canio, always something of a character hit the headlines for a remarkable piece of sportsmanship, and evoked memories of former keeper Allen McKnight, who did something similar. Whats the story here?



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bognor bhoyle
11 years ago

caught the ball and stopped playing when everton keeper was injured .won fair play award for it.

11 years ago

He caught the ball when all he had to do was tap a header into the net as a player was down injuried when playing for westahhmmmmm

11 years ago

Catching the ball when he was clean through on the basis that an opposition player had been fouled/badly injured and that as a democratic fascist pig he couldn’t allow himself to pull the ball down, and slot it into the net as this would have been akin to to strafing the Warsaw ghetto with botulism laced 50lb anti personnel shells.

In reality if you watch it, the ball was shoulder height and de Canio realising that he was unlikely to be able to control it caught it in a reflex action and then made out that he was doing it from the bottom rung of his sewer like sociopathic heart.

Just my opinion mind you.

Hail Hail

11 years ago

Allan McKnight and Paulo DiCanio…now I know DiCanio once caught a ball and stopped an easy goal but McKnight?….never!

11 years ago

Estadio pmsl I also agree !

San Miguel
11 years ago

Ralph, my therapist is going to go nuts (ironically !). I have spent the last 15 years or so trying to erase that period from my memory I can’t remember a thing about Celtic from Joe Miller’s goal in the Cup final through to the Henrik/Harald double act against St Johnstone.

Some team dominated that period – can’t remember their name . Seemed to have a lot of overpaid players who didn’t achieve much outwith Scotland , I don’t know how that club could have afforded them.

Wait a minute they wore Blue – was it Cowdenbeath ?

11 years ago

Come on guys. I have been blanked again. I know I am full of riches but I simply can not afford to keep throwing a load of my gems into oblivion. If you only knew the brilliance that I have added to the brightness of some far off galaxy, you would appreciate me better and start placating me.

Without the frills – the fascist caught the ball instead of scoring against West Ham because the goalie was injured. McKnight was a Celtic goalie with an injured brain who, having been shocked by the sight of a ball cradled safely in his arms, thought it best to throw it into his own goal. I am not sure against what team, though. It was a feat achieved once before at Airdrie by the just as afflicted Denis Connaghan.

H H (grudgingly!!!!!)

11 years ago
Reply to  Pensionerbhoy

“I have been blanked again.” nearly 800 words, by the way. CRIMINAL!

h h (I have decided you are not worthy of my capitals)

11 years ago
Reply to  Pensionerbhoy


I may have found the secret. If this doesn’t appear then I haven’t, If it does then I have managed to negotiate the Cretan Labyrinth a(as opposed the ‘creti’ maze) and avoided the deathly breath of the Etims minotaur….or load of bull – as it is sometimes called :-). Just in case, I have tied a string to the start and hopefully will be able to find my way back to another groundhog day.

I will keep you informed!



11 years ago
Reply to  Estadio


You were posted but your secret was too well hidden for me to grasp. Or maybe the Etims beasty rubbed it oot. I guess I will just have to chance it tomorrow again. With a bit of luck Ralph and Desi are tucked up in bed by now with that comments minotaur thing and miss this comment.

H H (as a fellow sufferer you DO deserve capitals)

11 years ago

Di Canio v Blinker. On the face of it no contest, but consider that Di Canio left in a strop bleating about ‘my gaffer’ without a winners badge to his name and compare that to Regi who didn’t have anything like the Italians talent but did leave with a league cup badge and a league winners badge.
Then of course there’s the whole facist thing……

Klas of Sweden
11 years ago

Didn’t Forster save a penalty against Dundee Utd allready?

Ralph malph
11 years ago
Reply to  Klas of Sweden

Yes,so we are doomed

Brian F
11 years ago

I thought we were abit outmusled in the second half. Wilson,Matteaws,Ambrose and EmiloI have an abundance od pace and skill but every team meeds aSouness “hamme rthrower” for the difficult days. Brown is combative but no Bertie Auld. Both the big Swedish centres could do it too and one of them is in the dugout.
Entirely unrelated, what is it that Kenny Shiels is after, he mentions Lenny now at nearly every press conference? Is he following the Charlas Green route to attract Rangers support, bad mouth Celtic even though they have nothing to do with the match or situation he is complaining about, fair enough if it was at celtic Park but Inverness, come on

Anyway watch out Ally me thinks he has eyes on that elusive “big” job that has always passed him by.

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