Brace yourself


Brace yourself.  It was a simple step, but when referee Nick Walsh warned the Livingston keeper for timewasting early in the game last night, at a stroke he stopped one of the drags afflicting Celtic games.  Hopefully other referees will hear of this ground-breaking move and act accordingly in future.

If a referee could only bring himself to notice the other Great Tactic when facing Celtic: put your body between ball and man, then flop to the ground when the Celtic player is in contact, our sport would be transformed.  Until then, Celtic will doubtlessly continue their untroubled march to the title.

Greg Taylor is having the season of his life and was rewarded with the opening goal last night.  Setup perfectly by his first touch, he shot through a busy penalty area into the corner of the net.  It was just rewards for a man who has made himself invaluable to our play.

For the second time in a month, Daizen Maeda’s desire to press inside the opponents box brought the ultimate prize when an attempted clearance ricocheted off him into the net.  If you don’t buy a ticket….. you don’t earn a league winner’s medal.

I am sure Livingston are better than they looked last night.  As halftime approached, they appeared punch drunk and when a poor attempt to intercept failed, Kyogo was left one-on-one with the last defender.  No one backed the defender.  I expect even David Martindale looked away as his approaching team-talk turned into a ‘keep it respectable’ exercise.  Still, he has the PPP Table to console himself with.  If only Opta carried a points-per-pound stat he might get the Man City gig when Pep moves on.

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  1. It’s pointless warning players about time wasting, unless you book them,no matter how long has been played.

  2. The VAR delay for our goals, is because they rewind back to the team coming out the tunnel,to see if they can see the most minor of infringements

  3. Not sure why Martindale is in the firing line. I continue to amazed how they survive and also unearth solid players who must be paid a pittance. Must be some decent sponsorship as they average only 3500 fans

  4. I’m surprised that more is not being made about the VAR ‘Possible foul’ quickly changed to ‘Possible offside’ nonsense.



    What’s next ‘Possible Japanese fenian’?

  5. CONEYBHOY – Agreed. Martindale, contrary to the narrative, has paid a lot of respect to Celtic and Ange, more so than most. His comments about the huge gulf in budget and points per pound wasn’t a complaint or a cry for pity. To me he was praising his team for punching above their weight when, on paper, they have no right to be there. They have rarely been an easy team for us to beat.



    Anyway, my favourite moment last night was seeing Kyogo through 1-on-1 and scoring. Earlier in the season those moments were not going for him.

  6. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    In addition to a pittance, Livi offer players all the macaroni they can eat.


    Cue Morelos… ‘free me from my Ibrox hell’…

  7. Which would you rather have – a forward who scores ” Lucky” goals or a league full of opponents who don’t turn up to play against you? Now that’s lucky.

  8. Martindale was extremely complimentary about Ange and Celtic last night post match. Praised our team to the highest level.

  9. Paul 67,



    They are trying and our 3rd goal amplified that, however we are still the only unbeaten team since domestic VAR ( Vigorous Admonishment of Reprobates


    ) was introduced.






    PS : What with the yellow vest manoeuvres last night. A mega amount of mobilisation that put even French protesters to shame.

  10. I am increasingly changing my mind about Wink Martindale. He does, indeed, say many good things about our team.

  11. Also, I thought the ref had a decent game last night. Very good refereeing to have a strong word with their `keeper for time-wasting so early in the game.

  12. Livi manager was extremely complimentary and honest about Ange and Celtic last night post match on the radio as we where returning home last night after the game .

  13. Weebobbycollins on

    Amuses me that posters still celebrate a podium after all these years…(I know it’s just a bit of fun and I’m a grumpy old sod)


    Also glad to see a few complimentary remarks towards David Martindale. He’s done well at Livingston…

  14. They’re lining up to praise Ange’s Celtic at the moment. In the past you would have thought it was a way of motivating the players but it seems like they’ve just accepted we’re too good and see games against us as a guaranteed loss. Livingston certainly didnt look up for it last night, Martindale seemed to be relying on the tail off in performance that used to happen after half-time, but thats long gone now and we’ve been taking our chances better recently so even going in level at half time has been too much.




    Fabrizio Romano with a bit of background to Jura’s transfer. He doesnt know everything but he does seem to have some inside information on a lot of transfers



    He’s saying that Jura was lined up by Man United in November and December to be back up for Dalot at right back until Wan Bissaka started finding some form. He was top of their list but they decided to stick with what they had and so Jura went to Union Berlin

  16. No doubt this sort of thing happens all the time but we never hear about it . Also known as dithering, penny pinching, bonus grabbing and biscuit tinnery

  17. MOD1888



    Taken from videocelts



    How does this square with the person telling you that Celtic were committing deliberate fouls deep in opponents half



    With Livingston having the ball 19% of the time that comes in at 10 minutes, Walsh awarded David Martindale’s side a free kick every 55 seconds that they were in possession.



    In contrast Celtic had possession for 42 minutes and 30 seconds, with just five fouls committed the visitors were guilty of foul play every eight and a half minutes. Livingston were awarded a free kick nine times as frequently as Celtic while in possession.




    Last night was Celtic’s 12th home match in the SPFL Premiership, Walsh has refereed one third of them.



    CLICK HERE for BBC Scotland statistics

  18. CELTIC40ME – Amazing how last season, and even in the CL games this season, we looked dead on our feet after 70 mins. Various opinions/reasons were voiced such as the training was too hard and the players could not play at the desired intensity for 90 minutes and the subs coming off the bench were not of the same standard. Think back to how intense we started against Madrid and Shaktar, it was astonishing, and so, so nearly caught them cold. And that night below the floodlights against the huns when the game was over after the huddle.



    Whatever the fitness issues, they have been addressed. Though I am wondering if we have also become a bit more savvy and not going quite as hard/fast in the opening 20-30 mins in every game?



    We also seem to be “luckier” this season when it comes to injuries. We have not lost a few key players at any one time meaning the bench is probably the strongest in my living memory.




    We engage the opposition in areas where its much easier for the ref to give unimportant free kicks and we do it more often than a team that sits back keeps in formation and defends crosses and through balls.



    Intense high press teams like ours always give away more free kicks than those that dont. As Paul67 says, though, the amount of free kicks that defenders win against us by falling over isn’t normal.



    As Ange says tactics change as teams work out how to play against new systems – we have to adapt to even deeper defences, opposition teams try to work out ways of negating our tactics. At the moment it seems to simply involve falling over whenever any of our players is anywhere near them pressing. I’d hope players like Maeda, who concedes too many free kicks for me are learning, or Ange is having a word.

  20. Big Julien was up against Mbappe and Messi last night, quite a difference from facing Livingston :)


    Mbappe missed two penalties before being subbed after 21 minutes with a knock. PSG won 3-1.


    No idea how Julien played but he lasted the full game, losing 3-1.

  21. WEEBOBBYCOLLINS re: celebrating podiums is rank



    It’s just a bit of fun mate. 7am my time when the new post goes up. I look forward to the leader with my morning coffee.

  22. the long wait is over on

    “Brace yourself”



    When I read that line I expected the article to be at least partly about a backlash from Thems following their game last night with two goals chalked off and a penalty overturned resulting in Kent being booked for diving.



    That sort of stuff, although a rarity, usually causes fury over by and some ref getting sine die’d at their behest…

  23. Japanese football expert on the radio, mainly talking about the success of Mitoma at Brighton and what a bargain he looks to be.



    Talking about how agents are very powerful there and insist on year-long contracts so they can move abroad easier. It also means transfer fees are lower than if they were on longer contracts, so there are real bargains to be had. Cheap and easy moves with players either on short term deals or coming up to be out of contract as we’ve seen with all our signings



    Japan are now in the top 20 Fifa ranking which means obtaining work permits will be easier for England, and with the success of Mitoma and the players signed by Ange and the bargains to be had he was anticipating more Japanese players making their way into the EPL.



    It was good while it lasted…

  24. Weebobbycollins on

    AIPPLE on 2ND FEBRUARY 2023 1:46 PM


    WEEBOBBYCOLLINS re: celebrating podiums is rank



    Apple…I didn’t say anything negative, only that it amuses me. Carry on podiumising…

  25. DENIABHOY on 2ND FEBRUARY 2023 1:27 PM



    We did have the second highest running stats in the Champions League this season so we weretn doing it all wrong but I agree, something has changed. Fitter, more used to the system, better subs, pacing ourselves better, better use of a bigger squad? Probably all of them but it hasnt happened by accident. Hatate looked like he’d have the same issues that Rogic had but he hardly ever looks like he’s struggling these days.



    The same with injuries, the difference is remarkable. If you compare their and our injuries this season it has to be down to smart thinking and preparation.

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