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Celtic Diary Friday September 6

Roy Hodgson hasn’t picked his team for tonights England game against Moldova ( where ? Near Romania, thats where. ) but he faces a very difficult decision with his regular keeper Joe Hart proving yet again that an English player is seventy per cent hype thirty percent ability , the giant figure of Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster will be in his thoughts.

Forster is at least the equal of Joe Hart in the eyes of Celtic supporters and more than a few England fans, but there is a doubt in Hodgsons mind that Forster can step up from the relatively low standard of the Champions League to international football.

Thats because he’s an idiot.

Actually, in his defence, he will be slaughtered in the English media if he gets it wrong. If the English lose, then whoever he picked would have been the wrong one, as their media is even less constructive about football than their Scottish counterparts.

Celtic fans would like to see Forster play, and do well. Although that feeling could only be replicated by watching four Second Rangers fans nick your new car and then drive it off a cliff.

Scotland are also in action tonight, okay, maybe action is too strong a word, but a win over Belgium and a couple of snookers will put them right back in contention for fifth place in the group. The Belgians are fourteen points in front of Scotland after half a dozen or so games, which is a remarkable statistic, considering Scotland got three points after a shock win in Croatia last time out.

On a serious note, Scotland need to finish this dismal campaign strongly, as it will affect their seedings for the European championship qualifiers, and Scotland need to finish as high as possible to avoid sides they would struggle against, such as Andorra, Liechtenstein and the Vatican City.

As usual, Strachan has had a number of call offs to contend with, but the little man has worked miracles with lesser talented players before, and has delivered. This time , though, there is no  Paul Telfer to fall back on. And Alan Hansen has just retired.

Actually, he’s retired from Match of the Day, the show presented entirely by ex-players with  ability to read an autocue and comb their hair straight. Hansen was arguably the most deficient commentator, I tried to stick up for him once, but was guilty of  ” terrible, terrible defending ” .

As usual, theres a lot of Celts involved internationally this weekend, and as usual Neil Lennon will sit down and make sure all the insurance payments are up to date, and just hope that everyone comes back okay.

ASH Scotland have criticised Celtic for entering into a new partnership with a firm called E-Lites, who manufacture those ridiculous plastic fags you see people puffing on from time to time on the train. The product will be on sale at the ground, and personally I cannot wait to see the disappointment on the more chunky hooded young supporter when he realises that the vendor is not , in fact , selling a sugar free version of their favourite weekend enhancer.

Which is just as well. Its bad enough listening to the Green Brigades drummer without watching those around him out of their tits and waving their arms around and dancing.

Oh, wait.

A spokesman for the company said ;

“Celtic have a proud history with a tremendous global fan base that marks it out as one of the biggest clubs in the world .We are proud to be able to offer Celtic supporters the opportunity to enjoy an alternative to smoking whilst watching the match.

“E-cigs are the ideal solution for partnerships like this – popular venues can give their adult smokers an alternative while non-smokers can rest assured that they are not being subjected to the effects of passive smoking or the smell associated with tobacco.”

What he should have said was;

” Look, if you have ever been in the toilets at half time, you’ll realise why the club have had to do something. The bastards are going to smoke anyway, so we might as well try to make some money out of them. ”

At least that would have been honest.

Anyway, back to anti smoking campaigners ASH Scotland, who wheeled out someone else who has never ventured out from behind her desk into the wide world to comment. She was asked if she agreed with the partnership;

“Personally, no I don’t. ”

Thats not her. Its merely a representation of the passion in her voice. She continued;

“E-Lites are certainly safer than tobacco cigarettes, as they are clean nicotine but this is in the context of already being addicted.

“I do fear that these commercial companies that are driven by profit are moving into the advertising sponsorships of the old tobacco companies – and they were eventually shut down.”

“There are very real dangers that come with smoking where young people are present, be it E-Lites or tobacco cigarettes.

“I have concerns over the next generation and the risks of them becoming addicted.”

“The club itself needs to take the responsible approach if this is the agreement they have entered into. It needs to offer information and support on quitting.”


Thats not her either. Surprisingly.

What she fails to realise is that smoking a cigarette is cool and makes you look dead hard.

Smoking a plastic tube makes you look like you are just asking to have your dinner money, mobile phone and new trainers nicked.

Until that image is discredited , and perhaps a load of seventy year old smokers are hanging about outside the toilets performing synchronised coughing and spluttering, kids will always smoke.

Banning them completely would work, but the revenue from tobacco has to be replaced. So far, its been a gradual fall in cigarette sales, offset by a gradual rise in road tax, speed cameras and fuel duty.

People such as the lass at ASH should , in fact , be defending smokers, who have been honourably accepting illness and premature death to keep taxes low, instead of harping on about the smell, and passive smoking etc.

Passive smokers are the worst. They inhale all your smoke, but never offer you a fag.

A Celtic spokesman said;

“Celtic’s partnership is similar to that which a number of other football clubs have recently announced.” whilst shuffling his feet and looking at the floor.

Dundee Utd have decided not to co-operate with either STV or the BBC after Gavin Gunning was banned for three games after he took a fly kick at Celtics Virgil van Dijk when the referee wasn’t looking.

Note, this is not the actual event, but now and again I like to show the MSM that I can do what they do when it comes to shameless misrepresentation.

Manager Jackie MacNamara adopted a stance which compliments perfectly his baby faced features when he said;

“The whole thing has disappointed me to say the least. It’s selective evidence which will lead to Gavin missing these three games. Nothing had been said until it was shown on the televison via Sportscene on Sunday night. That’s what’s wrong.

“We’ve been penalised for way the footage has been edited on the television. There were other incidents which went unpunished so what we really need is consistency. Joe Ledley stuck out an arm and was spoken to by the referee but nothing has been done about that. It’s not about getting other players into trouble. It’s just about getting consistent decision-making.”

“I’ve no faith in the whole appeal system or how it is run. There wasn’t one ex-player on it, but there was an ex-referee. It doesn’t help in these instances. So what I would say is, watch this space for more cases like this.

“This has opened a real can of worms. You now can’t even flick a leg out or it is going to be deemed violent conduct and highlighted by TV.”

He’s relatively new to the world of management, but the fact is his player kicked van Dijk. Thats why he got punished.

Although he has a point about trial by television which its hard to disagree with, and it doesn’t seem right that the referee and linesmen who missed the incident go uncensured, but the point is he is guilty. And that should be that.

MacNamara is still learning his trade, and will perhaps in later years come to regret his outburst, which is straight from the Ally McCoist book of dealing with the press. Though to be fair, he stopped short of blaming Jim Spence, who this morning woke to find a horses head in his bed.

Dundee Utd may blame the BBC for highlighting the offence, but its Sky who provided the pictures. Can’t think why they aren’t banning them from Tannadice.

Speaking of  McCoist, apparently their latest signing,Bolel Moshni,  said it was McCoists  grasp of French that convinced him to join the Glasgow club. That and his previous manager telling him he was bloody useless.

He’s joined to help McCoist in his search for silverware, and has ordered a brand new metal detector. McCoist has been at the centre of criticism from female supporters after he refused to sign one of their breasts, claiming he’d signed enough tits this summer already.

Yesterdays picture of Nelson Muntz was actually a picture to celebrate the fact that no one guessed Peter Latchford from the picture of the grizzly the previous day. But had it been a question, PR would have got it right, with his answer Peter “the pointer”  Grant.

The player that the picture brings to mind.

Which player , and long time club servant, comes to mind with this picture ?



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10 years ago

Belgium :Population 11M – World Class players = 11 & counting.
Scotland:Population 5.3M- World Class players = uhm, ugh, Zero
Nuff said?

10 years ago

Jimmy Mcgrory

10 years ago

Looks like big Dolph/Johan to me.

jon littledick
10 years ago

Johann Mjallby?

10 years ago

Its a grainy picture, so is it Danny? Famous for scoring the rare goal?

Andy Bhoy
10 years ago

roy aitken

Andy Bhoy
10 years ago

or… if it’s the guy sliding around on his arse, Gerry Creaney.

10 years ago

feed yon bear big roy aitken

10 years ago

is it Peter Latchford? (<joke,cryptic)

Michael Reid
10 years ago

The picture represents Paul McStay?

10 years ago

Murdo McLeod

10 years ago

the picture is of the late departed bob twankie, mr incredible. although obviously he wasn’t actually a long time club servant or player.

Melbourne bhoy
10 years ago

It got to be Tommy Gemmell

10 years ago

It’s big Sammy and that’s Gorgeous George , boy am I getting old

Dave Mooney
10 years ago

Looks like Mickey Galloways strike in a European match against some Belgium team. Seem to vaguely remember they handed out birthday cake to the Celtic support at the game?

10 years ago

Was in the Celtic Park toilets at half time having a slash and trying not to breathe in due to the smoke.
Guy next to says “bet this is how you catch you testicular cancer”
Pished masel.

Picture is Roy Aitken of the Celts

10 years ago

Easy….Frank McAvennie. ….’we’ve scored’? Who else is it going to be?

10 years ago

What’s Jackie Mac on about? BBC Sportscene on Sunday night focussed entirely on Stokesey moving the ball “a couple of yards”!!!
They never mentioned Gunning’s fly kick once.

10 years ago
Reply to  Hoarse Bhoy

Talking of MSM misinterpretation, I had a wee sneaky peek at the Hun today and their photo of “the incident” was actually when Gunning legally cleared the ball which conveniently looked more aggressive than the real kick out at Van Dyke.

10 years ago

At least the club know how to promote the E-Lites. Some cracking lassies in skin tight one peice suits. Might need to take up smoking…

10 years ago

Big Tam Gemmel.

Gareth Savage
10 years ago

Tommy Gemmell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10 years ago

Cryptic rhetorical? – Did Roy ever play for Raith?

10 years ago

ROY of the rovers ( Aitken )

10 years ago

Hot shot hamish……its just gotta be Murdo.

10 years ago

That’s Hot-Shot Hamish, not Roy Race. So in answer to your question, er, Alfie Conn?

10 years ago

tommy gemmel

10 years ago

Firstly let me say, Ralph todays diary was fantastic, my sides are sore laughing and I was crying with laughter, that is up there with your best to date, well done keep it up, both ways if you get the chance.Tommy Gemmel for sure
Happy second b/day I forgot to give best wishes the other day
HH . Keep the faith

10 years ago


“….proving yet again that an English player is seventy per cent hype thirty percent ability”.

Aw man, a could kiss ye for that!

“..there is a doubt in Hodgsons mind that Forster can step up from the relatively low standard of the Champions League to international football.”

Jeez, I’m fallin’ in love!

“….then whoever he picked would have been the wrong one, as their media is even less constructive about football than their Scottish counterparts.”

Oh boy, I’ve just gone orgasmic!

“…Match of the Day, the show presented entirely by ex-players with ability to read an autocue and comb their hair straight”.

Whit? Like Sheep Shearer?

Best wishes to Scotland tonight in its quest for win. If it happens, I believe all the coaches and players have been booked in for therapy sessions in the trauma unit at Hampden, that’s if it’s not full up with the administrators still recovering from Peter Lawwell’s first visit.

After all that I’m dyin’ for a fag. Or maybe it’s because of the fags I’m dyin’. That wee lassie or she could have been a big lassie, it’s hard to tell from her photies, must have been coached by Yorkshire’s famous Charlie ’cause she made a right ‘ash of ‘er outburst. I must say, I am very much in favour of electric fags. It would substantially reduce the burn marks in my shirts. I might have to be careful in the bath, mind.

Jack the Baby Lad is quite a whinger, eh! I know he is teething as well as seething but come on, how long have the SFA been using double agents in the meja to get their victims on camera? Was he under the bed when Scar(d)y Ally said a mouthful to Neil Lennon but only Neil’s response was caught on telly. And what about Lennie’s Lon Chaney face? He is never filmed till he has it on. So Jackie, ye’re blind, fly or thick. Please don’t ask me to choose.

Quiz: I’m of the age when shootin’ from way out was the prerogative of Big Tam. Besides, if you look closely, the Inter strips give it away. If it had been McGrory, he’d have used his heid and Big Roy and Murdo were never that accurate.


10 years ago

Murdo mcleod,that man could hit a baw

10 years ago
Reply to  gerard

Aye, gerard. Right oot the park 🙂 Off for the weekend to my better half’s 60th birthday. I am a baby snatcher!!!!!


10 years ago

Murdo scoring the league winner v old them in 1979 similar place on field and landed in similar spot in the net or else its big Tam Gemmell!!

Charlie Saiz
10 years ago

Murdo unleashing the equaliser in the 4-4 at Ayeboak?
My favourite O/F game.

10 years ago

Has to be that Gael, Murdo MacLeod?

10 years ago

do we need jim spence to tell us the truth about the cheats like ma auld da used to say ===== em

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