Back to Astana, hopefully with fewer mistakes


capture-20160722-115551A few months after that win over Barcelona and being eliminated in the knock-out stages of the Champions League by Juventus, Neil Lennon took his Celtic team to Astana, where Shakhter Karagandy elected to play their home tie in the 2013 qualifiers, while sacrificing a sheep for good fortune on the pitch a day earlier.

We lost 2-0 before performing an heroic rescue a week later to snatch victory in stoppage time, but some of the detail from the defeat in Kazakhstan has been lost.

In the opening stages at the Astana Arena we looked miles ahead before Shakhter scored a 12th minute opener. We continued to dominate possession – 61% overall – but failed to put the ball in the net, before conceding a late second, which must have delighted and surprised the Kazaks in equal measure.

A 2-0 loss away in Europe is a bad result, but the nature of the game gave plenty of room for encouragement. We were clearly a better team, but didn’t have our act together, especially in defence.

This game was the one and only start for that urban legend, Steven Mouyokolo, who partnered Charlie Mulgrew in central defence to give new guy, Virgil van Dijk, his second start, making a very unaccustomed appearance at full back. What did we expect? It wasn’t a surprise that we did enough in the return leg with a more conventional look at the back (Mouyokolo and van Dijk were both dropped).

Astana have several things in their favour. They are fully fit, 21 games into their league season, and 10 points ahead, so they’ve had the luxury of resting players as the qualifiers approached. Shakhter Karagandy have also agreed to postpone their scheduled game on Saturday, so Astana won’t play until they face Celtic next week. By contrast, Brendan Rodgers still needs game-time to work his players up to full fitness.

Last season Astana reached the Champions League group stage, eliminating Maribor (cough), HJK Helsinki and APOEL Nicosia along the way. Their group performances against Atletico, Benfica and Galatasaray were more than credible – two defeats and four draws, achieved by defending in numbers across all six games.

Listen carefully to the confidence the Shakhter manager who faced us three years ago has in his fellow Kazaks. Astana will be buoyed by last season’s achievements and will have watched the debacle in Gibraltar. They think they are the stronger team and, unlike their group stage games last season, will attack Celtic at home.

The last time they attacked at home in Europe was a year ago against HJK Helsinki, who scored three on the counter-attack but conceded four. There will be space to exploit on that bumpy plastic surface in central Asia. Defend, forget faux comforts like 61% possession, and have Leigh, Patrick, James and Callum hit them on the break.

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    Zombies only post at night-are you in a different time zone?



    Well done,bud.

  2. Should we defend from the front backwards or defend from the back forwards or defend from the middle forwards and backwards?



    I await the fountain of all conformity knowledge.




  3. If BR can get his squad to cut out the silly mistakes, eliminate the self inflicted craziness and optimise our goal scoring ratio from chances we will progress.




  4. I think we need to score away preferably twice which should be possible however the lack of pace and dominince in the air at CH is a worry to me.


    I hope the BR and CD bring an organisation focus and determination to defend that was absent from RD’s team.

  5. TONYDONNELLY67 on 22ND JULY 2016 12:08 PM


    James Forrest




    You stuff about Celtic is not depressing, well not to me it isn’t as I’v got a different opinion on it than you, to me it’s just more board bashing negativity from a pal of the Gang of Four, and the Celtic Trust, you all come out of the same box, malcontents, water downed socialists, doing what they do, IMO, as of course you have yours too.

  6. prestonpans bhoys on



    If he can do all that then next stage is world peace and harmony:0)

  7. RobertTressell on 22nd July 2016 12:06 pm



    I read the article before posting therefore I the moral victor of the podium chase.






    philvisreturnas isnae here anymore. :((



    I hope he has another Ginger Ninja occupying His Time, I hope he has a Multitude of kids. He is a Great Dude, Just like yerself.

  8. prestonpans bhoys on 22nd July 2016 12:07 pm



    hail hail fae Turkey!






    Take it easy over their Brother.



    The Hoops are always a sign of Peace.



    Praise the Almighty.

  9. Defeats in Gibraltar, Malta and Luxembourg shows exactly the state of Scottish football – no wonder Brian McClair got out.



    Other nations with a fraction of our resources put us tp shame.



    There is only one agenda in Scotland and that is to return the Ibrox establishment to ‘top dogs, where they and others believe they belong.

  10. James Forrest doing a super Level 5 job in his last article, divide and conquer, separate the board from the coaching staff, outstanding job James?


    Go to university for that did you?


    Celtic Supporter? Hmmmmm

  11. Ball playing wingers on a poor bumpy plastic pitch….not a chance. Quality passes high and low to Dembele with LG off him and solid defending is what is required. Do not concede and try to sneak an away goal.

  12. The Top 40 honest mistakes Season 2009/10 which favoured Rangers and went against Celtic.


    Celtic fans, ex players and some of the media have stated that this season more than any other season has seen a lot of key decisions go against Celtic and for Rangers. For evidence of these decisions a list has been compiled highlighting the Top 40 Honest mistakes by the SFA officials.


    Within this list is quotations from 3 SPL managers (Levein, Gannon & May) making admission to the poor decisions against Celtic. Also quotes from 5 managers (Craig Brown, Gus McPherson, Peter Houston , Billy Reid & Jocky Scott) complaining publicly about decisions that have favoured Rangers. Also included is an apology from a referee admitting he made an error of judgement.


    The 40 Honest Mistakes are categorised as follows:-



    12 STONEWALL PENALTIES DENIED (for Celtic or for Rangers opponents).


    8 GOALS CHOPPED OFF (for Celtic or for Rangers opponents),


    5 SOFT PENALTIES (for Rangers where opposing team complains about decision.)


    4 NO RED CARD (for Rangers player when proper rules being applied should have resulted in red.)


    3 NOT EVEN A BOOKING (for Rangers players when there was a case for a red.)




    2 HARSH RED CARDS (for Celtic players.)


    1 UNUSUAL DECISION (Celtic goalkeeper penalised for handling ball inside the box!)







    The Top 40 honest mistakes Season 2009/10 which favoured Rangers and went against Celtic.


    1.Clear 2nd goal for Motherwell chopped off against Rangers. No need for various views of this one. No marginal decision or checking replays. Forbes was 3 yards onside. Former Rangers captains summarising on ESPN Butcher & Hendry agree goal was clearly onside. Daily Record “Craig Brown last night accused bungling linesman of costing Motherwell a famous victory over Rangers. The furious Fir Park boss had to be dragged away from John Gilmore at full-time as he protested the controversial decision to disallow a second-half Ross Forbes goal for offside. Forbes poked home Stephen Craigan’s knockdown to seemingly put his side 2-0 up and on the brink of a first home win over Gers for seven years. But Gilmour flagged despite TV pictures later clearly showing the goal should have stood. Well boss Brown was in no doubt his side had been robbed and said: “I’ve seen the TV evidence and it indicates the goal was OK.” (GOAL CHOPPED OFF)


    2.Ref apologises for not awarding Celtic a blatant penalty at Ibrox.


    Davie Weir chops Maloney down in box in first Old Firm game of season. Ref waves play on and Rangers go up the park and score. STV website and various media – “Old Firm referee Craig Thomson has admitted he’s ‘disappointed’ at getting his decision wrong when he decided not to award Celtic a penalty in the 12th minute. Hugh Dallas said: ‘Craig and I have had our post match de-brief. Whilst I would compliment Craig for his overall handling of yesterday’s encounter, he is disappointed at his error of judgement when he decided against awarding a penalty to the visiting team in the 12th minute.'” Motherwell manager Jim Gannon later said: “Right now there is a question mark over the standard of our refereeing, and it affects the SPL table. After the last Old Firm game Hugh Dallas had to defend the referee [Craig Thomson]. But the result of that match might have been different had the ref got the big decisions correct.” (STONEWALL PEN DENIED)


    3.Perfectly good Marc Antoine Fortune goal chopped off against Rangers Sky Sports Moment of the Match: “Marc-Antoine Fortune’s wrongly disallowed goal could have changed the game and the title race.” News of the World Richard Gough reflecting on the disallowed goal“”Look at the last game, the one where Celtic have had the Fortune goal disallowed. “I admit that it does look like a goal. The referee (Steve Conroy) has not ruled the goal disallowed because he’s a Protestant or a Catholic. “He’s made an honest call and guys make mistakes.” (GOAL CHOPPED OFF)



    4.Perfectly good Hamilton equaliser is chopped off 10 minutes to go.


    Sunday Mail “ANGRY Accies boss Billy Reid last night blasted the officials for denying his side a deserved draw at Ibrox. Hamilton were trailing to Mo Edu’s first-half opener when James McArthur knocked home Alex Neil’s cross 12 minutes from time. But linesman Steven Craven flagged for offside against sub Joel Thomas – even though McArthur was well onside. And ref Stevie O’Reilly chalked the goal off to hand Rangers a 1-0 victory. Raging Reid said: “I don’t think anyone could deny we deserved a point. “I haven’t seen McArthur’s goal on the monitor but I don’t need to.”I knew Joel was offside when the cross came in but James wasn’t. He came from deep, timed his run well and I’m told he was three yards onside.”I was celebrating the goal so I’m disappointed it wasn’t given. I had a word with the ref but he had a hard decision.”Some they get right, some they get wrong. He called this one wrong. Sunday Herald – “Rangers doing just enough to win, with a dubious officiating call thrown in: this game was like the 2009/10 SPL season in microcosm.”(GOAL CHOPPED OFF)


    5.Dundee United player admits he handled ball in injury time. No penalty. 1-1 in injury time in a game that Celtic also had a valid goal disallowed, Darren Dods arm moves in direction of the ball inside box and Steve Conroy waves play on. Darren Dods later admits he handled it and Levein said he was disappointed Dods did not catch it. Scotland on Sunday “Much later, a couple of minutes into injury time in fact, an Andreas Hinkel cross hit Darren Dodds on the arm and many a spot-kick has been given in such circumstances. Asked about it later, Levein offered a cheeky response: “I’ve spoken to Darren about it and he said he was really disappointed he never held it. Dodds said: “The ball hit my head and then hit my thumb.” That’s that, then. It should have been a penalty.” (STONEWALL PEN DENIED)


    6.Rangers heading out of cup 3-2 down and awarded a very soft penalty.


    The Times “ Rangers also got lucky to a degree — the penalty awarded to them after 61 minutes, when Stuart Elliott was judged to have stopped the ball illegally while lying on the ground, looked harsh.”


    Scotsman – “They needed a touch of good fortune to equalise when referee Charlie Richmond rather harshly penalised Hamilton debutant Stuart Elliott for handball, awarding the spot-kick from which Kenny Miller converted.”


    Hamilton player lying on ground while trying to move his hand away hand ball penalty given. A gift given to Rangers by ref to keep them in the Cup. It’s okay saying Richmond denied Miller a penalty in the replay but if it was not for the ludicrous decision in first game there would have been no replay. (SOFT PEN AWARDED)


    7.Rangers awarded ludicrous 2nd penalty in match after Boyd dives.


    Losing 1-0 in a Scottish Cup quarter final Rangers were awarded 2 very soft penalties. Peter Houston was livid at both awards but especially the second BBC website:- “I am disappointed and I just wonder if the penalties would have been given at the other end. I hope they would have been,” said the Dundee United manager. “Dougie McDonald is an honest referee in normal circumstances, I think he is one of the best in Scotland. But I was disappointed that he got there early to give the penalty kicks.” And the United manager added: “The second one, if we are going to give penalty kicks for that, we’ll get penalty kicks left, right and centre on a regular basis.(SOFT PEN AWARDED)



    8.Last minute penalty awarded to Rangers. Offence took place outside box.


    Drawing 1-1 with Hearts Craig Thomson awards Rangers last minute penalty. The offence took at least a yard outside the box. Daily Mail – “The Tynecastle side thought the penalty was harsh, arguing that the foul by Ismael Bouzid on Steven Naismith was committed outside the penalty box. Telegraph – “and the referee – poured salt into Hearts’ wounds in the final minute of normal time when Mr Thomson judged that Ismael Bouzid had fouled Steven Naismith inside the box, a dubious judgment call at best. (SOFT PEN AWARDED)


    9.Celtic score in injury time winner v Falkirk but wrongly disallowed. Daily Record – “Celtic fans yelped in frustration – and their mood would not have improved when television replays showed assistant Lawrence Kerrigan was wrong to flag for offside when Samaras was played in behind the Bairns defence in injury time.” “His shot may have been blocked by Olejnik but it dropped to McDonald who poked the ball into the net only to see the flag fluttering along his line of vision. To be fair, Celtic players kept their protests to a minimum.” The Sun – “TV pictures showed that linesman Andy Tait was wrong to flag, but Mogga insisted: Note different newspapers quote different linesman so unsure which one raised the flag. (GOAL CHOPPED OFF).



    10.Kyle Lafferty assaults Hinkel with a horrendous tackle. Stays on park!


    Mowbray is seen squirming with his hand in hands after seeing the tackle which could have been career threatening. 99 times out of 100 this tackle is an automatic red. Daily Mail “Then came the Lafferty-Hinkel incident, arriving after the Rangers player had earlier been lucky to escape a booking for three fouls. This time, Lafferty slid in, studs up, in a shocking challenge that fully impacted on Hinkel’s shin, one which had the Celtic fans howling for a red card. And Conroy should have administered it.”. Two months later Herald – “The tackle is not in my head any more,” said Hinkel yesterday. “It’s still on my shin, though. I still have the mark there.” (NO RED CARD)



    11.Samaras header v Dundee United wrongly disallowed for offside.


    Celtic had a Samaras goal incorrectly chopped off for offside. Scotland on Sunday – “Levein left the field quietly at the end and there was probably a reason for that. His side appeared to come out the right side of two highly contentious calls in the second half; a Georgios Samaras “goal” chalked off by linesman (unsure if it was Andy Tait or Lawrence Kerrigan ) and a Celtic penalty claim waved away by referee Steve Conroy. The “goal” was put away by Samaras just before the hour mark.” Daily Record “ The Greek said: “I went square on the defender and knew exactly where he was. I also know the move I made to keep me onside.”TV replays backed his claim. (GOAL CHOPPED OFF)



    12.Dundee United score 3 mins to go 1 nil up on but wrongly disallowed. BBC Website -United were dominant for most of the game and David Goodwillie had the ball in the net, only to be flagged offside (by linesman Brian McGarry.) United were dominant for most of the game and David Goodwillie had the ball in the net, only to be flagged offside. TV showed Goodwillie was onside. (GOAL CHOPPED OFF)


    13.Eddie May admits Celtic should have had a penalty in 1-1 draw.


    Mail on Sunday – ‘Falkirk manager Eddie May said: “Overall, I thought it was a fair result. But I think they should have had a penalty.” Daily Mail – ‘Alan Muir denied the Parkhead club a late penalty claim – when Brian McLean tangled with Fortune – in the 1-1 draw with Falkirk on Saturday. (STONEWALL PEN DENIED)


    14.Artur Boruc penalised for handling the ball 2 yards INSIDE his box. This has to be the most ludicrous free kick given all season 20 yards from goal to Falkirk This was as he was throwing the ball to then kick it out his area. When ever have you seen such a free kick given this season or any season. TV evidence clearly showed Boruc was 2 yards inside his box when he last handled the ball. The free kick was given by linesman Francis Andrews 5 minutes to go when game was 1-1. Daily Mail “Hinkel was also unhappy about Celtic keeper Artur Boruc being penalised for apparently stepping out of his area late on. “It’s not really my thing to say something about referees but, once again, we had some very strange decisions,” said Hinkel. “Not even just the penalty – look at the situation when Artur had a free-kick given against him.” Falkirk very nearly scored a winner from the free kick and if they had this ridiculous decision would have been highlighted much more than it was. (UNUSUAL DECISON!)


    15.Jocky Scott -”The 2nd penalty claim? – a blind man could have seen it!”


    Dundee were drawing 1-1 with Rangers in League Cup quarter final when they were denied not one but TWO stonewall penalties according to Dundee manager Jocky Scott. Jocky Scott “We had two stonewall penalties, how the referee Dougie McDonald didn’t give them I don’t know ? “The second one – a blind man could have seen it!” (STONEWALL PEN DENIED)


    16.McCulloch looks at McGuire then elbows him in face. Stays on park.


    Lee McCulloch glances at Aberdeen’s McGuire then elbows him deliberately directly in face. Best to view the video to illustrate how deliberate this was. Daily Record – “Rangers midfielder Lee McCulloch, however, was fortunate not to pick up a red card from Iain Brines for an elbow on McGuire.” Rangers would have been playing 45 mins with 10 men if Brines had done his job. Next match for Rangers was Old Firm game. McCulloch escapes ban which could have been a 3 match ban for violent conduct.(NO RED CARD)



    17.Maloney brought down by Weir in box. No penalty and Maloney booked.


    Maloney clipped by Davie Weir in box. No penalty. Maloney booked for diving. TV showed penalty should have been given. Daily Mail – “Maloney, in particular, seemed harshly dealt with after being chopped down by David Weir with the score at 1-0 and was accused of simulating another tumble in the box following a challenge from his Scotland team-mate. TV pictures later suggested Craig Thomson got both calls wrong” (STONEWALL PEN DENIED)


    18.McGeady sent off for diving 45 yards from goal.


    Dougie McDonald sends off McGeady for diving 45 yards from goal after riding a few tackles after going on a run. After the match Mowbray said “If we hadn’t had the week we’ve had in the media, I would suggest the referee would never have made it a sending off.” In March 2010 Evening Times refelected on that incident- “Dougie McDonald sent off McGeady at Hibernian this season for diving. McGeady & Mowbray were both outraged at the decision.The alleged offence happened on the halfway line where “simulation” to gain an advantage was perhaps not the likeliest option for McGeady to take. Many believed he was merely trying to avoid being injured as a tackle was coming in. (HARSH RED CARD)


    19.Dundee United denied stonewall penalty as Kyle Lafferty handles TV showed Lafferty’s hand moving towards the ball to block effort at goal but Dougie McDonald denies United the penalty. BBC website “Kyle Lafferty handled in the Rangers box in the first-half but escaped the award of a penalty against his side. However, despite strenuous penalty appeals from the United players, referee Dougie McDonald awarded a corner to the home side and booked Garry Kenneth for dissent towards the assistant referee.(STONEWALL PEN DENIED)


    20.Scott Brown harshly sent off after a clash with Lafferty who got off with it.


    Scott Brown controversially sent off after altercation with Lafferty who did not receive a card. The Scotsman :- Striker Kyle Lafferty has admitted Scott Brown was unlucky to be sent off by referee Dougie McDonald in Sunday’s Old Firm derby. Celtic have appealed against the red card dished out to their captain after a clash with Lafferty. Rangers went on to seal victory thanks an injury-time goal from Maurice Edu and went ten points clear of their rivals.Northern Ireland international Lafferty, now preparing to face Albania in a friendly tonight, said: “To produce a red card was harsh but it is the referee’s decision and is nothing to do with me!”(HARSH RED CARD)


    21.Boyd elbows Zemmama. When is an elbow in face classed as obstruction?


    Any other classification for the booking would have meant Boyd suspended for Old Firm game. If it was an obstruction why no hand up by referee Steve Conroy. The Herald:- “Merouane Zemmama last night claimed Kris Boyd “went for his face” with his elbow and would have been sent off in other countries. The Rangers striker was booked after his arm caught Zemmama. Walter Smith, the Rangers ¬manager, said he believed the caution had pushed his striker though the 18-point disciplinary mark, thus meaning Boyd would be unable to play against Celtic in two weeks. However, Steve Conroy, the match referee, later confirmed that the booking would only amount to two points for obstruction, leaving Boyd one point shy of suspension” (NO RED CARD)


    22.Bougherra booked after 5 mins then has 7 fouls and stays on park. Dougie McDonald booked Bougherra booked early on but failed to send him off despite 7 subsequent fouls on Celtic’s forwards, Bougheera stayed on park and set up Rangers winning goal in injury time. BBC Website “ Former ref Kenny Clark said: “I’ve got to say that I did note a couple of times about Bougherra living dangerously, and I think he was on his very last life, as it were. “He was treading a very thin line. On another day he might well have been red-carded, but he got away with it. “I think he was very fortunate to remain where he was.”(NO RED CARD)


    23.Mcginn chopped in box with 5 mins to go. Dougie McDonald says no pen.


    McGinn chopped in box. Stonewall penalty denied with 5 mins to go. Daily Record – “The Northern Irish international was brought down inside the box by Lee Wallace with five minutes to go of Sunday’s SPL clash at Parkhead, only for referee Dougie McDonald to award a corner to the bemusement of everyone inside the stadium.”(STONEWALL PEN DENIED)


    24.Samaras blatantly chopped in box at Fir Park. No penalty.


    Celtic do get penalty but only after having 3 claims for a penalty, two of which were stonewallers. The first one was a blatant penalty when Samaras was chopped in box. Guardian – “Even if Celtic did have a legitimate claim for a penalty when Samaras was tripped by Reynolds. Another two poor decisions from referee Charlie Richmond denied them penalties after McGeady had equalised.(STONEWALL PEN DENIED)


    25.Lafferty has a shocking kung fu kick into Zhi’s groin. Not booked. Lafferty (again) high feet left in to catch ZZ’s groin, the Daily Record thought this was worth a full page photo with headline ‘Welcome to Glasgow China.’ Craig Thomson did not book Lafferty. (NOT EVEN A BOOKING)


    26.Dundee denied 2 stonewall pens in League Cup v Rangers. Penalty 1 :-


    Dundee were drawing 1-1 with Rangers when Dougie McDonald were denied not one but TWO stonewall penalties according to Dundee manager Jocky Scott. The Scotsman “I don’t care what anyone says. For the first one, Craig Forsyth says the goalkeeper definitely touched him. “There was no reason for him to go down as he would have been in a position to score.Unsurprisingly, Smith did not concur with his close friend’s assessment of the incidents.”I didn’t see the first one, because my view from the directors’ box was obscured by a pole,” said Smith,(STONEWALL PEN DENIED)


    27.Handball by Well defender in box. No penalty. Motherwell player clearly handles the ball in the box. Richmond denies penalty. Guardian – “Even if Celtic did have a legitimate claim for a penalty when Samaras was tripped by Reynolds. Another two poor decisions from referee Charlie Richmond denied them penalties after McGeady had equalised. (STONEWALL PEN DENIED)


    28.Weir recklessly follows through on Scott mcdonald. No booking


    Weir follows through putting studs into McDonalds leg and adds a follow up knee to the back right in front of the referee Craig Thompson who had a clear view, free kick awarded but no booking.(NOT EVEN A BOOKING)


    29.Celtic goal disallowed against Hibs. Unclear as to why it was disallowed.


    The Scotsman”Celtic toiled to get back into their stride, although they did seem harshly dealt with on the stroke of half-time when Darren O’Dea stabbed the ball into the net, only for the goal to be disallowed for a foul on Smith which was not easy to identify.” The Herald “They thought they had regained the lead just before half-time when Marc Crosas’s free-kick into the box was jabbed into the net by O’Dea but referee Iain Brines saw something – either offside or a shove – and disallowed the “goal”. That stoked the atmosphere around Parkhead,” Celtic lost the game 2-1.(GOAL CHOPPED OFF)


    30.Keane continously flagged offside when onside. 2 yards onside v Falkirk


    The Times “A Celtic source made allegations of refereeing incompetence around Keane, the source added: “It seems that officials are struggling to keep up with his pace. Several key offside decisions have gone against him purely because of his speed.” This statement was made on 25 Feb a few weeks after fans claim Keane was flagged wrongly offside against Hearts on FIVE occasions. A fortnight later Celtic played Falkirk, Robbie Keane is running a good two yards behind play when Georgeos Samaras releases the ball into his path. The assistant referee James Bee , also behind play, so he has the benefit of a clear perspective on the action, is a pace behind Keane and several yards behind the ball. The assistant ref raised his flag, intimating that Keane is ahead of the ball.Pictures show Keane to be clearly onside.(LACK OF SHARPNESS/PACE OF ASSISTANT REFEREES)


    31.Samaras goal chopped off v Morton in Scottish Cup.


    The Sun says chopped off for offside. Daily Record says chopped off for handball. On TV highlights it did not look like it had hit his hand. Daily Record – “The big striker thought he’d scored in 75 minutes when he bundled the ball into the net. Referee Craig Thomson refused to award the goal, insisting Samaras had used an arm. The Sun “Celts thought they’d sealed it when Samaras bundled home at the far post from Crosas’ 77th-minute corner. They should have coasted home with Lee Naylor denied by the woodwork and Georgios Samaras having a strike ruled out for offside”.(GOAL CHOPPED OFF)


    32.Fortune handles ball and booked. Kenny Miler handles ball No booking. After 7 minutes Fortune handles ball. A free kick is awarded to Rangers and Fortune is booked. 19 minutes later Kenny Miler handles ball. Dougie McDonald blows for a free kick to Celtic. Miller is not booked. The Sun “Fortune was next in the book for handball with the whistler wanting to show his authority from the start. Gers had the ball in Boruc’s net after 26 minutes when Edu cracked home a loose ball from the edge of the box. But McDonald had already blown for handball by Miller. (SAME OFFENCE – CELTIC PLAYER BOOKED OPPONENT OR RANGERS PLAYER NOT BOOKED.)


    33.4 players kick ball away. Only the Celtic players are booked for it.


    Iain Brines books McGeady and O’Dea for kicking ball away against Aberdeen. In same match Stephen McLean kicks ball away and is not given a 2nd yellow card for it. 4 days later the same Mr Brines is refereeing a match at Ibrox against St Mirren, Lafferty kicks the ball away and is given a lecture from Brines and no yellow card. (SAME OFFENCE – CELTIC PLAYER BOOKED OPPONENT OR RANGERS PLAYER NOT BOOKED.)


    34.Ian Murray handles ball twice in box. Richmond denies penalty.


    The Evening Times “Charlie Richmond’s performance was inconsistent and, at one point, left Lennon leaping like a truculent teenager in his technical area. Had Richmond focused more on getting decisions right – like Ian Murray’s double handball in the box when pressurised by Keane after just 16 minutes – and less on posturing dramatically when blowing his whistle, it would have made for a much more efficient performance. As it was, Celtic managed to overcome his shortcomings and their own sluggish start to grind out a win. Daily Record “On Ian Murray – Lucky not to concede a penalty in the first half but showed plenty of effort. On Charlie Richmond – Got too many things wrong. Missed Murray’s handball in the box although he got the actual spot-kick right. (STONEWALL PEN DENIED)


    35.Falkirk player handles ball in box. Referee does not give penalty.


    Hand ball by Falkirk defender in the box. Alan Muir denies Celtic the penalty when TV evidence on the BBC highlights showed it was a clear handball. (STONEWALL PEN DENIED)


    36.Kenny Miller dives and gets soft penalty v Hibs to go 2 nil up. Kenny Miller goes down easily in box. Steve Conroy points to spot. Daily Record “Zemmama, who also claimed Kenny Miller went down “far too easily” for the penalty which Boyd converted in the second half.” (SOFT PEN AWARDED)


    37.Peter Houston complains about penalty awarded to Rangers.


    Losing 1-0 in a Scottish Cup quarter final Rangers were awarded 2 very soft penalties. Peter Houston was livid at both awards. The Scotsman “ Houston said: “I was disappointed to lose what I thought were two soft penalties. The goalkeeper got his foot to the ball for the first one. BBC website:- “I am disappointed and I just wonder if the penalties would have been given at the other end. I hope they would have been,” said the Dundee United manager. “Dougie McDonald is an honest referee in normal circumstances, I think he is one of the best in Scotland. But I was disappointed that he got there early to give the penalty kicks.”(SOFT PEN AWARDED)


    38.3 players leave field of play to celebrate goal. Only Celtic player booked.


    Rasmussen correcly booked for leaving field of play to celebrate with fans. Two weeks later McLean scores against Celtic, takes off his shirt, jumps the hordings along with half the Aberdeen team and celebrates with the fans at the Dick Donald. No second yellow card issued by Brines. The following day Whittaker scores a cracking goal for Rangers and runs to the fans at the east enclosure. No booking issued by Conroy.. 10 minutes later, with the score at 1-0, Whittaker puts in a challenge that is deemed a bookable offence so gets yellow carded but although he should be off the pitch for 2 bookable offences he isn’t. (SAME OFFENCE – CELTIC PLAYER BOOKED OPPONENT OR RANGERS PLAYER NOT BOOKED.)


    39.Ki fouled in injury time. No free kick. Hibs score from breakaway.


    Celtic players were unhappy that an apparent foul on Ki was not awarded by Iain Brines in the 92nd minute when Hibs broke forward. Miller and Stokes combined to set teenage Danny Galbraith, who has yet to start a game, free to score his first goal in senior football and collect the points for Hibs. (I WILL GIVE REF BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT IN THIS ONE BUT I HAVE SEEN THEM GIVEN.)


    40.Gus McPherson – “A different set of rules applies when coming to Ibrox.”


    From BBC Website – St Mirren boss Gus MacPherson was angry Rangers’ David Weir was not punished by referee Charlie Richmond for a foul early in the Buddies’ loss at Ibrox. “I’m not wanting players booked or red-carded but there are laws to the game,” MacPherson told BBC Scotland after Saints’ 3-1 defeat. “David Weir impeded Michael Higdon in the process of shooting, he affected how he was shooting. “There’s a decision to get made there. No decision was made.” MacPherson feels guidelines set down at the start of the season are not being adhered to. “It’s compulsory that we must go to a meeting at the start of the season, it’s not optional, and we’re set down guidelines,” he said.”And during the course of the season, these guidelines change. I’m not just talking about St Mirren games, I’m talking throughout the game as we see it. “We watch games, we go to games and we see clips on the BBC and we see a different set of rules getting applied. None more so than when we’re coming here (to Ibrox).”(NOT EVEN A BOOKING)


    List of the SFA officials who featured on the Top 40 Honest Mistakes Season 2009/10:-


    Dougie McDonald 10


    Steve Conroy 7


    Craig Thomson 6


    Charlie Richmond 5


    Iain Brines 5


    Alan Muir 2


    Linesman – 2 Lawrence Kerrigan OR Andy Tait 2 goals chopped off in 2 games but unsure which one of them raised flag. (games v Dundee United & Falkirk both times Samaras flagged offside.)


    Linesman – 1 John Gilmore chopped off Motherwell goal.


    Linesman – 1 Francis Andrews penalised Boruc for handling ball inside his own box.


    Linesman – 1 James Bee flagged Keane as offside when he was 2 yards behind the ball.


    Linesman – 1 Bran McGarry disallowed a Dundee United goal v Rangers.


    Linesman – 1 Steven Craven disallowed a Hamilton goal v Rangers.


    Celtic fans are ridiculed in the media as being paranoid and are told they have no facts to back up their claims. I hope these decisions in the one season 2009/10 (so far with 5 weeks of the season to go) provide some evidence to at least make sure there is no future seasons with so many “Honest Mistakes.” Video evidence in place would have overturned the majority of these decisions with most only requiring one view to see the decision was wrong.


    It would be great if someone could put this on a video with a countdown with the quotes and the pictures, with the song “An Honest Mistake” by the Bravery in the background. Not sure how easy that is but think it would be great if it was on the one video. If you know a whizzkid give us a shout.





  13. MATS NILLOC on 22ND JULY 2016 12:18 PM


    Defeats in Gibraltar, Malta and Luxembourg shows exactly the state of Scottish football – no wonder Brian McClair got out.




    Choccy was binned.




  14. !!Bada Bing!! on

    So who partners Erik on Wednesday? I wouldn’t risk Sviachenko tomorrow by the way….




    Great post, that’s the kinda stuff I’d like to see James Forrest posting, instead of playing John James or James John who ever the feck he is, but I suppose he has to keep his Image with the malcontents rather than end up like a no mark like me eh?

  16. Sure it would be great to get players in for the Astana game but surely better to wait on the right guys. Worth remembering that in 2013 this line up beat the then Kazakhstan champions Shakhter Karagandy 3-0 at Celtic Park. Celtic: Forster, Matthews, Ambrose, Mulgrew, Lustig, Brown, Commons, Ledley, Forrest, Samaras, Stokes.

  17. !!BADA BING!! on 22ND JULY 2016 12:31 PM



    Same back three as Wednesday, with more ‘defensive’ minded wing backs, Izzy & either Janko or Fisher. Same midfield three and I would play Roberts off Dembele up front.


    In saying that, Johansen will probably start ahead of Armstrong or McGregor if fit.

  18. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    In the absence of WITS



    interlocuter Chantilly 2.15




  19. We’re already repeating the main mistake we made in 2013 when we last visited Astana. We are going there with a cobbled together, unproven, dodgy defence. At least NL had the problem of trying to integrate new defenders into his team at short notice, BR doesn’t have that luxury, he’s trying to work out what defenders he has (other than Sviatchenko) to fit into the formation he wants to play.

  20. An Teach Solais on

    KITALBA @12.24h



    A magnificent post, sir. Perhaps us CQNers could consider crowd funding printing it as a pamphlet, initially one copy per seat at CP and thereafter a copy to each visiting supporter.


    Well worthy of wider circulation.


    Hat doffed. HH

  21. Gary67 on 22nd July 2016 12:39 pm



    Same back three as Wednesday, with more ‘defensive’ minded wing backs, Izzy & either Janko or Fisher. Same midfield three and I would play Roberts off Dembele up front.



    In saying that, Johansen will probably start ahead of Armstrong or McGregor if fit.




    Yep, if you are short of central defenders or they are a bit ropey then it’s coaching 101, you go with 3 and bring in wing backs.



    5 at the back is what we should be playing in all our away Euro games.

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