Bookmakers across the land were delighted last night when Kris Commons failed to open the scoring in a 4-0 win over Kilmarnock at Celtic Park. Joe Ledley got the early opener, a dazzling run from James forrest led to an own goal for the second, and after the break Charlie Mulgrew and Amido Balde netted to complete the scoring, scaffing a tired shot past a despairing keeper. To be fair to him though, he had been on the pitch for an astonishing twenty minutes.
After his ninetieth minute goal, Balde was booked when he leapt into the crowd to stop them singing that song about him, but an unsympathetic referee wouldn’t accept what seemed a perfectly good excuse, so his name went into the book.
Celtic played a crisp , entertaining passing game, but found themselves up against a resolute and packed Kilmarnock defence, who rarely ventured across the halfway line, which was surprising, because with a clean sheet record at stake, the referee would have given them a penalty at the first real opportunity, but to be fair, even he looked embarrassed when he had to wave away claims after a spectacular dive in the second half .
Celts bombarded the Killie goal, and really should have scored more, but who’s complaining ? Its another good win, a record equalling clean sheet, and , importantly, there were some very good shifts put in by pretty much all the players.
Fraser Forster made one great save with his legs, Virgil van Dijk was unlucky not to score again, especially in the second half with a Beckanbauer surge to support the attack, Izzaguere continued to rediscover his early Celtic form, and Charlie Mulgrew was outstanding on the left of midfield. ( Thats all one word, unlike when used to describe Samaras, who is usually out standing somewhere on the left of midfield . There was a point last night when it looked like the big Greek was being told to warm up, but it turns out there was a phone call for him inPeters office.. ).
Mulgrew was also unlucky not to score when he placed a shot onto the post in the second half, which rebounded back into the arms of a surprised and grateful Killie keeper. But he made amends with a cool turn and finish that any striker would be proud of just minutes later.
Speaking of strikers, Wolves have decided they want £1m for Leigh Griffiths, but having now sorted out the signing of Leon Clarke, they may yet buckle under pressure and accept a bit less, but in truth, Griffiths is easily worth that, and would certainly add to that value while in the hoops.
Lennon has mentioned that he has other options, including a foreign striker, as he explained;
“We started the ball rolling on him yesterday.
“It is a very delicate situation at the moment, and I need to see where we are on it.”
Foreign striker ? Well, that usually turns out okay.
All we can hope for here is that its someone who has suddenly become available, and not the one below Griffiths on the list, because that is truly frightening.
Please tell me its not the reason Kris Boyd was on the bench last night, and before you say he’s not foreign, I beg to differ, as he is, in fact, from Mordor, the land of darkness.
Anyone else think that we are about to see the traditional transfer window excuses trotted out ?
If so, its not the end of the world if the time left this season is used wisely to nurture the youngsters through, and if they get the chance, one or two could rise to the challenge, bearing in mind what we have seen so far in friendlies has been very encouraging.
And if that doesn’t work there will be no excuse for not spending big early next summer. Very early next summer.
The name of Lee Tomlin has appeared again. The rotund Peterborough man has handed in a transfer request, and there are stories linking him with a move to Celtic again. Which is exciting.
But not for us.
Those of you waiting for the rumour mill can get a wee taster here with this tweet that appeared yesterday..
Yep.Its that time of year again.
Alex Thomson, the channel 4 reporter who compared Celtic fans to Millwall fans the other week, seems to be trying to get back in our good books. He wrote;
” My source insists, vigorously, that Craig Whyte’s claim to own the Rangers assets is alive and well and we should all “expect significant movement in the legal case in the next few weeks”.
The source insists the previous transfer of assets under the then boss Charles Green has no legal basis and will be contested openly in the near future.
Many had rather assumed Mr Whyte’s claim over Rangers, already set out in a lengthy legal document, was dead in the water or lacked the necessary funding. Not so, according to the source who says the claim that Mr Whyte’s ownership of the club “absolutely extends to Ibrox site, the training ground, the players, the entire entity as it stands”.
“There is no question about that, ” he continued. “The ownership of Rangers by the Sevco company of which Craig Whyte is a director is beyond question.”
No doubt many around Ibrox will just laugh this off, and they may or may not be right in so doing. But with the club asking players to take pay cuts, times remain financially critical at the club. So the timing of Mr Whyte is as unwelcome there as it is deliberate.
So, somewhat taken aback by all this, I asked how Mr Whyte would see all this actually working out in the real world.
The scenario unfolded to me would be a legal merger of the disputed camps laying claim to Ibrox under the banner of Craig Whyte’s Sevco and no doubt a new share offer.
I understand, for instance, that Mr Whyte believes the ban would not hold up in court for a second, were it to be so tested. Many may choose to differ with that sentiment.
As ever, it totally depends upon where you stand and like I say, I put this out and it’s for others to judge. Though one thing appears certain, the Craig Whyte Claim has not gone away. ”
Nothing we didn’t know already, but then we got his on twitter;
Turns put from another source that papers indeed exist for the CW merger proposal
Which could explain why Stockbridge-the last of the original spivs-has departed.
But it doesn’t affect the club, you see, all of this concerns the company. The company is skint, and asking players to take a pay cut, while the club is still out there in lalaland trying to sign players, the latest being Gabriel Tamas from Doncaster.
Then theres the recent triumph thay had beating off the interest from Nottingham Forest for international left back-there are no other experienced Scottish left backs- Lee Wallace, which drew a hilarious letter of assistance to the midlands club from Edgar Blamm, which he posted on twitter;
Worryingly, though, but with a hint of devilry, a strange thought did cross my mind..