As Christmas approaches , its getting kind of difficult to spot any goodwill to any men amongst Celtic fans. Sadly, it seems that the Green Brigades overriding legacy may in fact not be the tifos, the banners and the singing, but the discord, disharmony and rows between their fellow supporters.
Just to clarify, those who broke the seats at Fir Park should be made to pay. Thy alone are to blame for the wreckage.
Just to clarify, the competency of stewarding and policing needs to be questioned, but it is not to blame for the damage.
And thats that. If they wanted attention, they got it.
If they wanted notoriety , they got it.
If they wanted to carry on as a group that is respected and admired by the majority of Celtic fans-well that didn’t happen, and isn’t going to happen any time soon. So, farewell Green Brigade.
And can we get back to the football now ? After all, thats what we are here for.
These are indeed strange times, Guillem Balague, a football journalist who knows his stuff, has been speaking about tonights Barcelona Celtic game-in the Daily Record. So, for the first time in years there is something worth reading in that rag, although it still won’t prompt me into buying it.
Balague is in Glasgow, and will be doing one of his football evenings with Gabriel Marcotta and Albert Ferrer at Walkabout tomorrow. And if he’d sent me a free ticket I would have told you what time.
“It’s quite timely, with Barcelona playing Celtic this week. Celtic could scare them, you know. It’s the perfect time to play them. They are lacking confidence after their first two defeats of the season at Ajax and Athletic Bilbao.
“It could be a night for one of those famous Celtic victories.”
Yep. Three lines in the Record and his heads gone.
Or has it ?
If Neil Lennon is brave enough to go toe to toe with the Catalans and play the passing game that had us on the edge of our seats in our last two games, then it might well be a night to remember. Do you know what ? He should go for it.
Sure, Barcelona are a little better than Hearts and Motherwell, but if we don’t try something, we’ll never know if it works…
The keeper and back four picks itself, then add the diamond midfield of Brown, Mulgrew, Ledley and Bitton, with Commons up front with Stokes. Bring Samaras on if we have to later for Stokes, and lets see what happens. Actaully, we might even be able to make something happen.
Many , many years ago, Alex Fergusons Aberdeen were dismantled by the then dominant Liverpool at Anfield, and the red nosed rascal learned a lot from it, leading his side to a Cup Winners cup and a Super Cup within a couple of years.
Now, that might not happen to Celticwell, the cup Winners Cup bit certainly, but it could show us that there is more to our game than hoofing it up to Samaras and then playing it sidieways in the hope the opposition will lose interest and make mistakes.
And it will make the game more interesting. Celtic have nothing to play for, Barcelona are already through,( though they need a point to be certain of winning the group ) and to be honest, if Coronation Street was on and it was an episode where Michelle Keegan was modelling swimsuits then I might miss a bit of the game.
Thats what is known as a gratuitous picture of a couple of boobies. Heres another.
Lennon spoke about the game yesterday, but didn’t really say anything;
“It is important, not just for the context of this campaign but next year, where we will have qualifiers in July,” he said.
“Three points is not enough. I think we deserve more out of the group but we are going to have to play very well.
“We are going to need great discipline, concentration and athleticism and we have to be brave on the ball and even then it may not be enough.
“But we want to come away with some satisfaction if not the result.
“This is a great occasion and we are very much looking forward to it.”
We need something to smile about-perhaps even more so tonight as by then we will know how much the Wallace /Sands banner has cost the club in fines-UEFA will decide today.
Lets get the rest of the bad news out of the way. The U-19s lost 3-0 to their Barcelona equivalents yesterday, and need Milan to beat ajax today to avoid finishing bottom of their group.
And heres the good news.
Mikael Lustig is about to sign a new deal !
He told the Daily Mail;
‘I’ve felt really strong in the last couple of months and I feel I am playing at the highest level of my career,’
‘We have started to talk about a new contract so we will see. I still have 18 months left so there is no rush but we have spoken a little bit.
‘Am I keen to stay for longer? Yes. My family loves it here and Celtic are a massive club. I really enjoy playing here.
‘It has lived up to all my expectations. When I signed the pre-contract, we were still in second place in the league and 15 points behind. It has been a really big journey from then.
‘To play in the Champions League with Celtic has been an absolutely amazing experience – as has winning the league twice and being in the Cup final.’
After tonight, the big guy will go away and have surgery on that hip thats been giving him problems, and he hopes to be back playing by March.
Ally McCoist, the manager of Second Rangers is doing his best to avoid talking about the upcoming AGM-yeah, like that’ll happen-at his club.
He’s been talking about his charity work, and how he ” is adamant he takes more out of his involvement with the charity than he puts in. ”
Well, that doesn’t surprise me.
Oh, and he hasn’t got round to taking that pay cut yet, either.
Elsewhere in the world of football, English fans are still in shock after they discovered the high temperatures they will face in Brazil next year. Wait until they find out how far away it is.
Barry Robson scored on his debut with his first touch of the ball for Celtic, a free kick against Aberdeen, as many of you remembered.
Why would one of these guys say he did the exact opposite ?