Cameron Carter-Vickers knew we had Newco in the Scottish Cup semi-final for six weeks before the game. For much of that time he also knew he needed a knee operation that would see him convalesce for months. As Ange Postecoglou said, he was keen to press ahead early, certainly after the Newco visit to Celtic Park in early April, but the player had unfinished business.
With Celtic a goal up against the same opposition in last year’s Cup semi-final, Cameron had a chance to put the tie to bed but from 6 yards struck the crossbar. Newco equalised and won it in extra-time. That denied Celtic a treble and stuck with the central defender. If there’s a reason he won Man of the Match for Sunday’s game, beyond sheer ability, it is that he was prepared to do whatever necessary to ensure we reached this season’s final.
It is a measure of the man that he put himself through pain and risk, not for the glory of lifting a cup, which he will not do, but to see us over a line that we didn’t cross a year earlier. Great sporting champions, who win year after year, are often said to have an appetite for success that marks them out. This may be true, but I suspect more of them deal really badly with losing. They don’t brush it off lightly and have a need to bury that feeling by coming back and winning again.
Cameron is one of a few very good influences we have in the dressing room. When games are so tight, as was the case on Sunday, players with fortitude go home winners.
Congratulations to both Celtic and Newco youth sides for a fabulous Scottish Youth Cup Final at Hampden last night. Decades from now, we’ll be talking about this 6-5 win. My biggest takeaway was how our youths played out from the back. It was not always successful, but like the wording in Blackpool rock, it runs right through the core of the club.
Viaplay have some brand management work to do. Leaving aside the SFA for a moment, who either signed a contract without sufficient controls, or agreed to an inappropriate change of kick-off time, it was the broadcaster who wanted the Scottish Cup Final to kick-off in the evening, after the FA Cup Final ends.
For what? There will be no fresh subscribers, who would not subscribe to see Celtic anyway. To sell advertising to viewers sitting through a second game of the day? The upside for Viaplay are marginal to non-existent. The downside for them, for clubs and supporters and reputationally for the SFA, is significant.
Zero brand affinity here, Viaplay. Learn quickly and act accordingly.