Just catching up on the post-Ibrox analysis after a busy weekend. A few observations:
Celtic opened very well but our passing out of defence fell apart after 10 minutes and didn’t get back on track until Scott Sinclair decided he was taking control at halftime. If I wanted to make an excuse, I’d say we were rusty due to the formation only just returning to normal for the first time this season, but this may be over-generous.
Scott demonstrated why he was Player of the Year last season. He has what it takes to swing big games. The game can be divided into two parts: times when Sinclair had the ball inside the Newco box, and all other times. You could sense the terror in blue at the former.
On the Newco penalty claim: I’m not sure. Jozo pulled out of the challenge, which I suspect is why the referee didn’t give it, but I would have claimed if it was the other way around.
It was clear to everyone in the Broomloan Stand that Leigh Griffith was claiming for a penalty in the first half, although none of us knew why. Young Beckenbauer in the Newco defence extended his arms and made his body big as the ball dropped onto his hand.
The rules are clear on this one, allow your arms to leave the confines of your body and you’ve transgressed if the ball strikes a hand or arm. Sky Television viewers were then transported to an alternate universe, where they were told, “Leigh Griffiths is claiming for a corner kick”. There is an intellectual pain experienced when you are part of a group treated to ‘expert’ analysis like this. I was embarrassed as a viewer.
While Scott Sinclair was the custard in your doughnut, the second goal was a product of crisp passing down the right. Callum McGregor was worthy of an honourable mention here. He has the craft to compliment Patrick Roberts’ level of astonishing-ness.
There will be quite a number of people who are walking around Lennoxtown today full of the joys because of the save Craig Gordon made with the score at 0-1. This was not a normal reaction save, it was the result of a planned and practiced manner in which to close-down an opponent who is about to head the ball. Look again at how Craig moves his body.
It was a big moment and speaks of the technical preparation of the goalkeepers.
Scott Brown remains is in the form of his life. He waltzed around Ibrox like he owned the place. Although with the alleged condition of the structure, that honour may be an onerous one.
The knives are out for Brother Pedro, who spent millions but has not noticeably improved his team. This is a little unfair. Newco’s problems run deeper than Pedro, and let’s face it, they would be in a far worse situation if he had not banned green boots.
This guy knows what he’s doing, no way is he an hopeless imposter, no way at all. And, if they ever score an important goal, Pedro’s instructions to congregate to celebration will also prove invaluable.
Let’s not get too carried away with ourselves. Ibrox was the aperitif, as they say in Europe. The main course is in Brussels on Wednesday, and that will prove to be a far greater challenge.
Enjoy the new podcast…
The CQN Podcast: A Celtic State of Mind (EP13) The Quality Street Gang Part 1
This week, ‘A Celtic State of Mind’ pays tribute to The Quality Street Gang.
In the first of a two-part series, Paul John Dykes interviews Billy Murdoch, Bobby Wraith, HughMcKellar and Lou Macari to discuss one of the finest crops of youngsters ever to emerge from Celtic Park.