Everyone loves a Cup final. When we were kids it held all the magic associated with the beautiful games. Playing the game until the sun went down, the victorious team never won the league-it was always the Cup.
The instant gratification of seeing your team-whether at Hampden or on the telly-lifting a trophy after a single afternoons efforts was always what it was all about. Sure, winning the league was more important, but winning the cup was more fun.
Watching a Cup final had all the ingredients of a Hollywood blockbuster. Anticipation, tension, euphoria or despair. With added Archie MacPherson.
Down the years, Cup finals have certain memories associated with them, such as Pierre van Hooijdonks winning header in the truly awful win over Airdrie in 95 which ended a trophy drought of what seemed like nearly a hundred years. Or the late show in the centenary season. Or the win over Dunfermline that kickstarted the modern era.
Or Danny McGrains late winner in 1980, when Celtic had all but been written off by “experts ” . Well, they didn’t reckon on Mike Conroy stopping Derek Johnstone. Conroy simply kept winning the ball and big Derek couldn’t get a look in. Anyone else still remember his high pitched squeals of frustration ? Or is that just what he does on the radio ?
Look, I know George McCluskey scored the winner, but I gave the goal to McGrain.
The big Cup Final weekend starts today with a charity tournament at Barrowfield. An Internet Bampots side, feturing a couple of Etims, will attempt to lift the trophy against some legends. It all starts at 10.30, and there will be a host of people associated with Celtic fom yesteryear and today. Get down there and enjoy yourself.
Its Cup fianl weekend. You are allowed to.
Before we go into team news and the like, we’ll break off for a minute whilst a couple of fellow Etims writers give their thoughts on the game;
Bedford Falls stopped for a moment on his round the world jog to send this;
” So, Scottish Cup Final eh? Wow. Used to be the pinnacle of the season for me. I remember watching Hearts implode after Albert Kidd had rocked them the week before, then it was our centenary year escapades, oh and Joe Miller’s sublime finish from The Bear’s stolen shy. Not The Bears as in them, The Bear as in him.
I remember those sunny days – it was always sunny in May back then – watching the games unfold to the inevitable backdrop of a first communion in Croy. They always coincided. It was tradition. Feels like there is a first communion in Croy every weekend these days now.
And here we are heading toward the 2013 vintage. Celtic are shooting for another double and Lennon is looking to add the finishing touches to what has been a strange season. The highs of ECL campaign were offset against some pretty turgid performances in the league earlier this year. Some say that with the team’s resources we should be winning games easily. That would be a fair assessment in my view. As it is, we have a team which seems to go through marked peaks and troughs. Back-to-back 4-0 wins would suggest we are in a peak, perhaps vindicating Lennon’s decision to give a few of the big names a near end of season extra break once the title was sewn up.
Domestically Celtic has scored in every game this year and I would expect that to continue on Sunday. Although, ironically Hibs were the last Scottish team to shut the Hoops out. This will give the Hibs team some confidence that they can perhaps end their much discussed (mainly by Hearts fans) hoodoo. Indeed, when Hibs last won a Scottish cup their forward line was made up of the famous five of Moses, Rameses the Great, Jesus of Nazareth, George Burns and Ryan Giggs.
Celtic will win. I have no doubt. They have shown in the last couple of matches that they have their game face on and Lennon will be determined to put to bed the poor cup record he has had since taking over. Scott Brown will be a key figure and it is no coincidence that his drive, presence and enthusiasm has rubbed off on his team mates. It’s too early to guess the team so instead I will guess the score.
2-0 Celtic. Goals from Hooper and Commons to send us on our holidays happy.
Desi Mond, who runs the site from his carribean island, added this;
The Cup final
Well here we are again.
It’s the Scottish Cup Final. Thankfully Celtic are in it! Remember those days long ago when it used to be “Nae Celtic?..Shall we drive down to Dumfries to watch the FA Cup Final instead”…ah those Hovis tinged days before SKY and the total reduction of the FA Cup final to a sideshow below even the 3rd Division Play offs! Onwards and ever upwards, hooray for Progress say I!
How will it go will all depend on one thing, ATTITUDE.
On Skill levels, theres no comparison. On Strength and stamina, no comparison. Attitude though..well that’s another story altogether. If The right Celtic turn up, a Celtic side hungry for victory and full of pride then the game could be over for half time. If a nonchalant, expectant Celtic turn up at Hampden ( a crime for which we do have previous!) then it could be head in hands as we hand Hibs hope.
Lets be optimistic and pray that this week Lenny and crew can get the players rallied for the last game of the season. I reject the fear of our team being once again lackadaisical and expect a fresh and vibrant Skoosh Brown to lead an eager team out on the Mount Florida turn and then lead a winning team up towards Campbell Ogilvie to collect the cup.
Score Prediction, 3-1 to the Hoops….cue a a Sammi masterclass of running with the ball, backed up with a capable display by the defence and keeper. Commons for first goalscorer will be the wager for me. Mon the hoops…its double time!
Hector Bandido gave us his thoughts;
I’ll do it this afternoon.
So, we all have our memories of Cup finals-my favourite is againt Hibs, at Hampden and six goals. Can that be repeated today?
Well, if the players go and and do what they are capable of, Hibernian players and fans will be having nightmares about Mount Florida for years to come. The record score for a cup final is of course the League Cup final of 1957 against former Glasgow rivals Rangers. 7-1. That could well be broken tomorrow, if the Celts click and end the season with a flourish.
Though it probably will be closer, the omens are there for plenty of goals. Both sides won seven goal thrillers in the semis, and both sides are capable of scoring, Celtic because they are formidable going forward, and Hibs because Efe Ambrose plays for Celtic. Fortunately, Fraser Forster seems to have remembered what he does for a living, which will help the defence.
Hibs will be without captain James McPake, who has hurt his back, and should be replaced by youngster Jordan Forster. Forster has played the last three games for Hibs, and could still keep Tom Clancy on the sidelines, despite the latter recovering from a groin injury.
Celtic will not have Victor Wanyama or Beram Kayal, but will give James Forrest and Charlie Mulgrew every chance to play after their recent knocks.
Predicted team? Well, hoped for team..
Forster; Matthews, Wilson, Mulgrew, Izzaguerre; Commons, Brown, Ledley, Samaras, Hooper, Stokes.
Celtic 6, Hibernian 2
Though that depends on Hibernians secret weapons…
Willie Collum, Bobby Madden-(quick reminder, nobody swear) Steven MacLean et al.
So it might be Celtic 0, Hibernian 3 . All penalties and Celtic finish the game with six men.
Hibernian, of course, haven’t won the cup for 111 years. By tomorrow night it will be 112.
Meanwhile, whats this all about?
A few of you recognised a very young Gary Hooper in yesterdays picture-anyone recognise this guy, in an equally disturbing pose?
Anyway, enjoy the weekend, and I’m off for a drink.
Make that a double.