Celtic Diary Saturday April 4: It Wasn’t Pretty….

Thats a picture for anyone who thought yesterdays picture was offensive. Trust me, I can do offensive.

 

Remember yesterdays Diary ? About how Ronny had a settled and preferred line up ?

It’s a good job no-one takes me seriously.

Celtic won 2-0 in Paisley against what the pres would call a stubborn and resolute St. Mirren side. What actually happened was Ronny picked Anthony Stokes as the central striker, making me a small fortune in 0-0 half time correct score forecasts.

Theres no point in asking why. He must have had his reasons, and at the time they would have seemed perfectly sensible to him.

However, we hear that Lawwell has issued a written warning and told him that he must never, ever, speak to Chris Sutton again. Actually, thats not quite right. He’s been told he can speak to him, but on no account is he to listen to him.

Well, I guess we all know the answer to yesterdays caption competition now.

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“Stokes is a natural finisher, trust me ”

The Irishman cannot be faulted for his effort, thats beyond doubt. But last night I fear we may have seen the end of a Celtic career. He’s a good player, but he will find himself as first reserve at best. Maybe Ronny was just seeing if he could save himself a few quid on a new striker.

Celtic did huff and puff a little last night, but its on occasions such as this that titles are won.

It’s a cliche, but credit has to go to the players for digging in and getting a result, although the state of the pitch hinted that they weren’t the only ones to have been digging there.

But, as they say, alls well that ends well, and the league table looks quite good this morning.

HOME AWAY
TEAM P W D L F A W D L F A GD PTS
1 Celtic 29 11 2 2 34 7 11 1 2 27 7 47 69
2 Aberdeen 29 10 2 2 30 13 9 2 4 20 14 23 61
3 Inverness CT 29 8 4 2 21 14 8 1 6 21 16 12 53
4 Dundee United 28 9 2 3 26 15 5 2 7 23 26 8 46
5 St Johnstone 30 7 2 6 16 15 6 3 6 11 15 -3 44
6 Hamilton Accies 31 6 4 5 25 18 6 2 8 16 28 -5 42
7 Dundee 29 4 7 4 20 20 6 3 5 20 20 0 40
8 Kilmarnock 30 7 1 6 18 18 3 7 6 14 20 -6 38
9 Partick Thistle 30 6 4 6 26 18 3 3 8 13 18 3 34
10 Ross County 30 5 0 10 16 26 2 7 6 17 29 -22 28
11 Motherwell 30 5 3 7 14 19 2 1 12 12 35 -28 25
12 St Mirren 31 1 2 13 8 25 5 1 9 14 26 -29 21

One thing I did take from Bt sports coverage of the game was how they talked up their next lie game, the crucial match between motherwell and St. Mirren.

Whoever does the next negotiation for a television deal should bear this in mind. BT talk our game up. Sky use it as a filler. Surely exclusivity for one channel should be our aim ?

Back to the game, and Ronny Deila was happy with how it turned out in the end;

“It was a tough game, St Mirren were well-organised and sat very deep. They fought really hard so they were hard to break down.

“We needed to be patient and we had some chances in the first-half but didn’t get the goals.

“In the second-half we were still alive and we got bigger spaces and the first goal was like I want goals – opposite movement, angles and a very good goal.

“That opened the game up and they didn’t have any goal chances during 90 minutes. A clean sheet and a 2-0 win is a good performance.” 

Remember years ago when Brian O’Neill was made into a central defender, and Tommy Burns said he’d saved him millions ?

Well, a central defender of sorts, I suppose.

One thing I noticed in last nights game was that when we signed Gary Mackay Steven, we got another top class winger with pace as well.

James Forrest.

Wingers, as the Diary has pointed out before, get a lot more stick than other players, firstly because they are expected to have enough pace and trickery to beat any defender at will, which isn’t going to happen, and secondly because they are closest to the crowd.

Forrest did well last night, and if the three behind a lone striker eventually settles as Forrest , Johansen and Mackay Steven, and they all perform to the best of their abilities, then Celtic will have one of the most fearsome forward lines in Europe.

I’ll remind you I said it first when it happens.

Ronny is pleased with Jamesy.

“We have been very patient with James and we have been talking about him a lot this season

“Now we are seeing what we can get out of that. He was very sharp and had a hard fight against the full-back but he didn’t give up.

“He kept going and in the end he won the game for us so he’s a player who’s very important for us.”  

And I’m looking at a bigger picture here as well.

When Forrest broke into the first team, it was apparent he had talent. He was compared to that other prospect Aiden McGeady, who never quite became the fans favourite he should have. McGeady had his moments, but as was pointed out in earlier Diary replies, it’s difficult to actually recall any great Aiden moments, save a couple of turns and the occasional cross.

Ronny won’t know this, but he is making sure that the same thing doesn’t happen to Forrest, who could yet still go on to attain a legendary status.

Unless he reads this, and falls backwards off his chair in surprise, damaging his spine.

And you know what, if you think thats being a little fanciful, then allow me to escort you into a land that even Tolkien would hesitate to describe, as he would feel no-one would believe him.

Have a look at this from a Nigerian website, discussing players abroad;

SCOTLAND
 
James Forrest’s goal and a penalty from Stefan Johansen saw Celtic move eight points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership, with St Mirren who lost 2-0 staying bottom. Efe Ambrose put in a solid performance in the final 25 minutes of the game as he replaced Adam Matthews.  
There is a need to invest in a couple of quality centre halfs for the champions League.
But what if we have a quality coach who can take a decent centre back and turn him into a quality one ?
Ambrose, like Forrest, gets a lot of stick, but he is a player with an African Nations Cup winner s medal in his pocket.
And they only award them to a dozen or so players every couple of years.
Ambrose and Mulgrew wouldn’t be anyones first choice, and might even lead to placards on the car park, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
 At Celtic, for the first time since a big  ex miner strolled in and decided he wanted to change a few things, Celtic actually have a coach who can coach.
 And I’ d always rather see one of our own do well than just hoping for the best with one of those “swoops ”  .
Theres a rumour mill in the offing this weekend, as the MSM are given a lesson in fair and accurate reportage by our own Hector Bandiido, who incidentally has never been seen in the same room as Keith Jackson, of the Daily Record….
Image result for the same person
Actually, its  down to a restraining order.
 Keep an eye out for it, it’s a cracker.
Something else has been pointed out to me by none other than Desi Mond, who moonlights as a private detective trying to spot anyone on the Etims team who might be writing his stuff on other websites…..
I’m not sure, but perhaps there are similarities in the style.
( Style-what style ? -Ed )
By the way, did you see Nicola Sturgeon on the telly ? How did she not punch any of them ?
I’d have been flung out at half time.
The First Minister, as the article suggests, has put the fear into the Westminster establishment, and the smear campaign started today in the Telegraph, where a leaked memo of a conversation between Sturgeon and a French bloke suggests that Nicola would prefer David Cameron as PM, because Milliband isn’t up tot he job.
 The story has been dismissed as bollocks by all concerned, but it shows she has them rattled.
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Hang on, the Telegraph ?
This Telegraph ? The one in this weeks Private Eye ?
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Politics, football.
All I need to do now is involve religion and I’ll need police protection when I go out.
Oh, hang on, that was yesterday.
Heres a wee teaser.
Still on the papers, who said this, just this week ?
“I’d rather play for a big club like Celtic than downsize to a small club in England and get more money”-
 
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Charlie Saiz
6 years ago

Van Dijk said it.
I believe if we keep him Denayer may well stay put for another Season too.
Which would be good.
I thought Forrest had a very ineffectual first 45 last night myself.
His first touch was poor ,the LB had him well in his pocket and he failed to reach the by line at all unless I missed it whilst going for and Irish third?
He picked it up second half to be fair and took his goal well but I would suggest Matthews and Browns part in the goal was far more critical with an excellent run and pass respectively.
I thought Commons touch was brutal at times and he was selfish on several occasions trying to score from impossible angles whilst a square ball into the 6 yard box seemed the better option.
Stokes is never a Main Striker I have been saying this since Hooper arrived.
He’s adequate out on the left or as a supporting striker supplying the bullets but not what we need up at the pointy end.
We need to invest in a quality finisher a poacher who is is comfortable in the air as on the deck and someone who can lead the line.
Griffiths is developing into that but we need better much better if we want to secure Bil Money Football in the Summer.
The Board need to Invest this time not to do so would be a massive blow to any aspirations Deila might have I think.
It would be a calculated risk too given the upside to qualifying now.
18 million reasons to do so now…at least.
We looked so much sharper with Bitton coming in and Johansen moving up the passing and general tempo visibly lifted as the game wore on.
The most pleasing aspect to last night was there was no panic in our play at 0-0.

dziekanowski's nightclub child
6 years ago

Stefan johanson?

ian
6 years ago

Shameful to see milliband and the red Tories using torygraph lies to attack sturgeon , a day after they said don’t believe torygraph lies. Live in England but wont waste my vote on Milliband.

yestim
6 years ago

I thought that Nicola Sturgeon was superb on the TV debate, non of the negative whataboutery that Milliband was spouting. Labour have sunk to a new low with this arsehole.Whoever told him to use that f###n cheesy look at the camera should be lined up a pelted with eggs. Cringe worthy at its best.

jas
6 years ago

Dziekanowski? Hooper? Burley? erm…….none of the above

Londonbhoy
6 years ago

Big Virgil said that. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him going to a mediocre EPL team.

Ralph malph
6 years ago
Reply to  Londonbhoy

Spot on. Saved for a future diary.

6 years ago
Reply to  Ralph malph

Ralph

Do you mean he is right or have you got a plook coming up?

H H

Sean O'Kane
6 years ago

The suggestion of playing Mulgrew and Ambrose together at centre-half next year? April Fools was on the 1st, wasn’t it?

Monti
6 years ago

The Hun burd in the pic:
I’ve shagged worse than that in my youth, to which my mates take great pleasure in reminding me.
Beer has a lot to answer for like….

6 years ago
Reply to  Monti

Monti

You have just put me off my Esster egg 🙂

H H

Monti
6 years ago
Reply to  pensionerbhoy
salad gueen
6 years ago

Are there different rules for Livingston and Huns?

6 years ago
Reply to  salad gueen

sald queen

Different rules for everyone else.

H H

6 years ago
Reply to  pensionerbhoy

Sorry, Left aleaf out of your sal”A”d 🙂

H H

Devoy45
6 years ago

Shagged WORSE than that!!!Jings, crivvens, help ma boab!

6 years ago

Ralph

I must agree to differ on Forrest. I just do not see it. But then, wood and trees?

I am afraid even BT is a no, no for me having been involved in a major dispute with them regarding broadband. They kept sending me wee thin elastic ones and, in my search to reach the top for a solution, I could never get beyond India. This is “TRUE”.

So, it is Celtic TV and listening to our own commentating bigots. I am sorry , but when you are relying on verbals then the truth is essential to actually imagining the reality. The guys on CTV see, hear and speak with green forked tongue and everything other bodily function. And, as I have mentioned before, they do ramble on and on and on and….and that is during the game! Bobby Petta was the guest last night and I do hope when his English improves he gets beyond the words “I agree” and other people’s opinion. Anyway, the game must have been a bit torrid as even my biased friends were finding it difficult to drum up some enthusiasm never mind thunder. But, as so many have said, it is the winning that counts in these final days not the entertainment – and, yes, I am away to hide from that ex miner you mentioned. In the end, I believe Big Jock felt the same deep down.

I am afraid I did not watch the Westminster XFactor Show. Politics are little more than an outdated establishment cesspit maintained by career egoists and pseudo-intellectual snobs. However, even in this northern territory that I could once claim as my homeland and where the “Yes” voter was heartily condemned (Geordies actually got the referendum. A political first), I hear Nicola Sturgeon hailed as the best. I have just about peeled myself off the floor. So, I take it the wee lassie did good. Unfortunately it does not make my voting any easier – choice of a shit or a shite! But, in conscience (and the good of my health I suppose), I will have to have one or the other. That’s politics for you, messy!

Since I am in a very happy place at the moment – no the wife has not left me – I would like to finish by wishing each and every one near, far or maybe too close, green shoots, white heather or bluegrass, believer, non-believer or just “gie is a break”, whether you love me, hate me or just can’t stand me (that one’s the wife’s favourite), A VERY HAPPY EASTERTIDE. May it bring many blessings into the lives of you and yours and, of course, see us much nearer the league title. Let us also hope for an end to the blues and pray any resurrections remain in The Bible.

Yours always in Celtic

H H

6 years ago
Reply to  pensionerbhoy

Arthur
Im in Newcastle…cant see you anywhere…hotel indigo…usual password

Londonbhoy
6 years ago

A happy Easter to you too pensionerbhoy. I didn’t get to see the game last night, could anyone tell me who dropped back to partner up with broony? Was it Johansen or Armstrong?

Ralph malph
6 years ago

Johansen

Devoy45
6 years ago

Johansen did but I don’t think it worked as well as if Armstrong had partnered him. I always thought of Armstrong as in the Broonie mould and not an out-and-out attacking midfielder. Johansen has become a goal junkie and is definitely not a holding or defensive midfielder.
I’d like Deila to encourage nobody but Commons to have a pop from 30 yards or more. I wonder how many seagulls were killed in Paisley last night?
Hey, our defence has become stonewall or what? only 14 goals conceded. FFS!

Rab Wallace
6 years ago

Excellent diary as always happy Easter fellow tims.
As for the burd in the fotae “she’s smoking hot fer a hun”

highseastim
6 years ago

I feel I must disagree regarding Forrest, if we were to get a great offer for him, I would bite anyone’s hand off, although been ok last couple of games, on the whole he has regressed, but I do agree that Stokes should be offloaded also.

No one should be surprised about the attacks on Sturgeon, it’s desperation from the Westminster warmongers. It happened at the referendum, it has also recently happened to UKIP( although I don’t agree with any of their politics), any time there is a threat to the main parties prowess(LibDems, Labour and the Tories) they get together with their media buddies to try and crush what they see as imposters!!

deadhead67
6 years ago

Did not watch the TV farce,mainly because iv,e heard it all before,and the thought of seeing and listening to three right wing politicans I absolutely hat namely the racist scum Cameron Farage and STURGEON WOULD HAVE MADE ME PUKE,see the tartan tories(snp) are at it again trying to put the legal drinking age up to 21,after they have failed with their 50p a unit farce,I can only wish all tories and those who vote tory and all Scottish nats and those who vote for them to die ASAP

Doc
6 years ago
Reply to  deadhead67

Happy Easter. God bless you, brother.

highseastim
6 years ago

Muppethead67, there’s only one “tartan tories” and it was clear for all to see at the referendum, even one so blind as yourself!!

Charlie Saiz
6 years ago

It is a little known fact in certain cricles that the munter in the photo above and DH67 have never been seen or photographed in the same room together…. 😉

Charlie Saiz
6 years ago
Reply to  Charlie Saiz

for those unaware a cricle is in fact a circle within a ludge..

Devoy45
6 years ago

Wednesday night. We should now just play the players who will stay with us, with Europe in mind for this summer’s qualifiers. So, no Guidetti or Stokes. We may hang on to Van Dijk and Denayer so that’s ok.

Gordon
Matthews/Van Dijk/Denayer/Izzy
Brown/Bitton
Mackay-Steven/Johansen/Armstrong
Griffiths

Commons and Forrest to figure strongly if we need to open up a packed defence. This is our strongest lineup, except for maybe the missing Lustig who I just tip for right back over Matthews. This is the lineup I would pick for Europe unless we get a few new players in.
Aberdeen couldn’t break Partick down so it might be more tricky than we think but
3-0 to the bhoys. I see our goals coming from our attacking front four.
It would still be possible to wrap the league up before the split.

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