Capital Punishment from Celtic


Rarely in the last 40 years have Celtic been so comfortable at a game in the captial.  The champions went ahead within three minutes courtesy of a sublime Matt O’Riley volley, from a forward-pitched cross by Luis Palma.  It has been an education watching Matt (still only 22) develop as a player.

Matt’s talent was evident when he first arrived in January last year, a £1.5m snip from MK Dons.  His midfield role was less effective last season, but Brendan Rodgers has tweaked his game incredibly.  We are fortunate to have seen many great Celtic goals in recent seasons, yesterday’s opener from Matt is up there with the best of them.

I regularly read opposing  views on Daizen Maeda.  With space to close down, as he had when we were down to 10 men at Livingston, he is a class apart.  Then there is his distribution.  Yesterday he drove into the box midway through the first half to convert Reo Hatate’s cross and effectively tie up the points for Celtic.  He made the game more interesting midway through the second half with a pass in front of his own 18 yard line that found Lawrence Shankland, who thumped the ball in off the post.

You would think Kyogo would be permanently marked when inside the opposition box.  Most of the time, this holds, but Kyogo looks for space while his supporting cast from the Celtic midfield arrive in the area hunting the ball.  Defenders the world over are drawn to the ball and to movement.  This scene played out early in the first half.  Kyogo, all alone with the ball and facing a startled Zander Clark, made no mistake.

Last week, discussing Callum McGregor, “one of the world’s busiest players”, I wrote:

“Brendan Rodgers has many challenges: pressure to win every game domestically, then having to make the huge step up for Europe, with few genuine advantages.  One, though, is the luxury of winning many games early, another is having central mid options.  He should make the most of them.”

Brendan immediately hooked Callum on Tomoki Iwata restoring our three-goal lead.  Wise management of the player will extend Callum’s career, it will also allow the development of Iwata, Bernardo and Holm.

Like you, I don’t have a dog in the fight over what happens at Hearts, but their Steven Naismith experiment is so obviously doomed.  Vacant seats were visible at the start of the game, while the home sections of the stadium were practically empty before fulltime.  Running a football club is easy, as I am sure Ann Budge will tell you – as long as you stick to talking about Celtic fans.

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  1. Looked almost as if Emerson Royale blanked Ange there when Ange went to congratulate him at the end. Silly, silly man if so. I don’t think he’ll get much game time in the future if that was the case.

  2. Hello again all you young rebels.



    Still feel bitter about the treatment Celtic and wee Jinky


    in particular had to endure against that Athletico mob


    in that infamous game.


    Don’t think I’m able to forgive them and I’m normally a


    amiable type of person, I think lol.


    Fingers crossed the bhoys do them this time, with beautiful


    controlled football of course.




    Lovely reading that wee bit of correspondence between you


    two fine bhoys there, that’s what this blog is all about 👍


    H H. Mick






    Good evening, friends.


    I’m sure you’re all as worried as I am that Sevco, with their latest world class manager, managed to slash the gap at the top by winning 4 nil whilst we only won by 3. At that rate in 6 games time, they might even be level with us. On goal difference, that is.


    The 2 week international break certainly didn’t upset our own performance levels with yet another fine display on the road. The early goal – and WHAT a goal it was – by joint top scorer Matt O’Riley settled any early nerves and we continued to create chances during the opening quarter, deservedly doubling our lead when Maeda slotted home after fine work by his fellow countryman Hatate. And although he missed a penalty early in the 2nd half, Hatate was instrumental in the build up to our 3rd goal, battered home by our joint top scorer Kyogo. A really instinctive early strike by future Scotland forward (surely?) Shankland cut the deficit to two and for a short period Hearts continued to press even though most of their fans weren’t there to encourage them. Late on, Iwata scored his first goal for Celtic to complete the day’s Japanese Hat Trick and cap off a very good team performance at another tough away venue.


    We have now played 12 games, winning 8, drawing 1 and losing 3 with 24 goals scored and 11 conceded.


    Whist 2 of our players caught most folks’ eye, it was a decent team performance which is reflected in all of our starting 11 getting approval from someone!


    A huge thank you to the 79 who voted this week. The total votes cast for each player are as follows, with my own nominations asterisked.



    Hart: 1


    Johnston: 2


    Carter-Vickers*: 46


    Scales: 33


    Taylor: 6


    McGregor: 17


    Hatate*: 16


    O’Riley*: 76


    Maeda: 12


    Kyogo: 5


    Palma: 22


    Forrest: 0


    Iwata: 1


    Oh: 0


    Yang: 0


    Bernardo: 0



    And so, the players receiving POINTS for the game against Hearts are –


    O’Riley – 5 points


    Carter-Vickers – 4 points


    Scales – 3 points


    Palma – 2 points


    McGregor – 1 point



    The overall positions after 12 games played are –


    38 points – O’Riley


    26 points – Scales


    19 points – Kyogo


    14 points – McGregor


    13 points – Maeda


    11 points – Johnston


    9 points – Nawrocki


    7 points – Hart and Yang


    6 points – Carter-Vickers, Lagerbielke and Taylor


    5 points – Hatate and Palma


    4 points – Bain and Turnbull


    2 points – Ralston


    0 points – Abada, Bernabei, Bernardo, Forrest, Haksabanovic, Holm, Iwata, Oh, Phillips, Starfelt and Welsh



    Our next game is pretty crucial to our remaining hopes for European football after Christmas – a home Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, kick off 8.00pm.


    Hail Hail!

  4. LEFTCLICKTIC on 23RD OCTOBER 2023 9:31 PM


    The blogger



    Sorry £41 million, 22 and 19. But the 22 is a sevco figure so you can’t be sure.



    *well they may have laughed all the way tae the bank but deals like this may make clubs out there a bit more cautious when dealin with that shifty mob.

  5. The returnof weeron on

    Atletico. Here’s my wee story….



    In 2015, my wife and I visited Madrid. She was keen to see art galleries and museums and such stuff. I was bored, so i did the tour at the Bernabeu. It was a bit over the top. European cups everywhere, Ronaldo’s shiny white teeth on posters…even big cardboard Ronaldos that you could get your picture with. And they expected you to pay…..



    It was shiny and shallow.



    So, the next day, I walked across the city to visit the other half. This was when Atletico were still in their old stadium. Tour was ok. Stadium quite run down. Staff quite friendly. They were hopeful of getting a new stadium built, but had some doubts that Madrid City Council would actually let it happen. That and a road going through one of the stands…well, it felt somewhat familiar.



    So, towards the end, I asked a few staffers what they thought of the 74 semi final. They shrugged. ‘We won. But we lost the final, in a replay’.



    I mentioned how Celtic supporters felt about that semi. They didn’t seem to understand. They bore no hard feelings, they said. What about guilt, I asked. Again, they couldn’t imagine what they would be guilty of.



    At the end, they said that it was no big thing for them – although they did have some unhappiness at the refereeing of the final, which ended up in a draw. Then they got pumped in the replay.



    So, no negative memories for them. They hadn’t given that tie with us a single thought over the decades.



    And yet, here we are, almost 50 years later, working ourselves into a lather…..



    We need to focus on the here and now….




  6. The 74 game.No matter how disgraceful the Atletico behavior was,we matched it with our performance.We were rank for the whole 90 minutes.

  7. Ok WEE RON



    I’ll shave the lather off my chin and move on 🤣


    Hope you’re all good over there.


    H H. Mick

  8. THE RETURNOF WEERON re: “Here’s my wee story….”



    I hear you but isn’t that what rivalries with the creme de la creme of Europe means to us?



    Aren’t these the memories and occasions we want to inspire with?

  9. TURKEYBHOY on 24TH OCTOBER 2023 12:15 AM



    The 74 game.No matter how disgraceful the Atletico behavior was,we matched it with our performance.We were rank for the whole 90 minutes.



    * whit, I was in the jungle tah night wtf we wurnae allowed tae play fitba, kicked up and doon tat park all night by a bunch of savages and more than a few didnae play in the 2nd leg and NOT because they were suspended they only played that night tae stop us.

  10. The returnof weeron on

    All comments re Atletico in 74 are valid.



    I just choose to look forward and not get distracted by something that happened all these years ago. Especially when our ‘rivals’ don’t really know or care about it.



    Merbourne Mick, all good here. Well, mostly all good. Just got Covid. Bollix it is. But there is considerable medicine in my Islay Scotch cabinet….



    Hope you are doing well.



    Tontine Tim……my overriding sentiment that night was….we couldn’t get a goal past an 8 man team. I think that we all knew that the greatest Celtic era was coming to an end.






  11. THE RETURNOF WEERON re: my overriding sentiment that night was….we couldn’t get a goal past an 8 man team.



    Thanks for that perspective.

  12. Melbourne Mick on




    My everlasting memory of that infamous night was one of


    those thugs taking a run at one of our players, from behind


    mind you, ready to have a fly kick, during the melee at the


    end, and a big polis smashed him right on the chin lol.


    Must have been the first time the cops were on our side.


    H H. Mick

  13. There is a video on Tok Tok called GLASGOW GANG’S 1960’s.


    They interview a young man called Joe Devlin .


    I think that he is from The Hamrock gang.



    I’m presuming that young Joe and his gang members were IMs.



    This subject intrigues me greatly .



    Does anyone known what became of young Joe Devlin ?



  14. Good all morning from a groundhog day, dark, damp and cold in tge Garngad.



    I want to go back to the Canaries



    AT – Well done big mhan.



    Tinytim – I think you refer to Joe Devlin grom the Garngad (Shamrock gang), joe is still going but in a mobility scooter.


    Aparently he was a bit of a Rogue when younger.



    D :)

  15. Fred Colon’s brother (Good Morning,J) who lives in Madrid put me right about Atletico and Real during the 50th anniversary in Lisbon. In Glasgow terms Real are the huns and Atletic are us. Back in the day though, they hired an Argentinian coach and employed plenty of Argentinian thugs to stop the royalty team from lording it over the rest. It worked. Atletic became champions and progressed to meet us. No big deal as far as they were concerned. End justifies the means stuff.


    Their latest Argentinian coach has been very popular playing no nonsense football, although his shine is on the wane. Nothing like the thuggery that went on in ‘74. I was near the bottom of the Celtic end that night and couldn’t believe what I was seeing…… and I’m sure I missed a lot of the worst. Still can’t watch replays.

  16. I was in the Jungle that night in 1974 and what has always struck me was the discipline of the crowd. There was a naive confidence that uefa would sort out the thugs. In the end, they were fined £14,000 – a trivial sum, even then.


    Watching the highlights, I have some sympathy for the ref. Tackling was a lot wilder back then but perhaps a straight red for Diaz, the left back, in the first half might have given them a message and allowed Jimmy some freedom to do his stuff.


    I had also forgotten how poor we were that night. Cross after cross into the box, which were easily dealt with by their keeper Reina, with little variation in approach.


    With the benefit of hindsight, we looked like a team on our last legs and at the end of what had been a wonderful period in our history…

  17. BSR @ 1:57 PM,



    Apologies for the delay getting back.



    It is certainly a circuitous debate and as we are seeing progress then surly that’s the main point.



    That of course doesn’t make our player transfer policy right of course.



    Our annual report suggests what we knew, Celtic are a wealthy club.



    I’m confident that we qualify for the UCL next season and really hope we start planning for it in January, it makes financial sense as well as football sense.






    Good to see you posting…



    As someone who always supported the teams that the “brilliant Frank Connor” was involved in, it was certainly odd looking at the teleprinter on a Saturday afternoon hoping for a Hearts victory.



    Lucky after that stint Frank went back to his spiritual home.



    Hail Hail

  18. Transfer Policy:



    Given the change in managers at the end of the season it’s easy to see why the policy didn’t change.



    Mark Lawwell would have had in place months and months of planning, perhaps years, for the targets that were to be aimed for this season. A new manager or a change of transfer policy because of the new manager’s wishes, could not have been implemented at the drop of a hat, analysis over a great number of months is now the game of player trading.



    I think it may be this winter or perhaps even summer transfer window before we see a marked difference in the type of players targetted. I hope so.



    There will, however, always be projects involved as well, it has and probably always will be a big part of the overall strategy.



    Just my opinion, I think BR had an awakening as regards his last stint, that he would have required that change as stated, prior to taking the job, por cierto

  19. Greetings from Powfoot near Annan.



    Here with Mrs B for a short break at our holiday van in Queensberry Bay Park.

  20. Wee Ron, I did the Bernabeu tour in 2015 also, it sure what you were expecting from a club that has just done the Decima.



    My thoughts were that it was a level of glamour that we could only dream of but probably wouldn’t want, my other half isn’t into football but came out a Madrid fan.



    Best parts for me were meeting Butragueno who was showing Liam Brady round the stadium and the view of San Augustin college at the exit, one for those from Milton

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