Casino football, G.o.D.


When Ibrox legend Walter Smith issued a statement in June 2012 saying, “We wish the new Rangers Football Club every good fortune”, he no doubt hoped that one day the club would win a major trophy.  That happened yesterday, when Celtic lost only their second domestic trophy since 2016 and their first league in a decade.

Credit where it’s due, “new Rangers Football Club” have yet to lose a league game this season and are worthy winners.  Like old Rangers, they chose to play Casino Football, accumulating £86m in operational losses in their 8-year of financial history, while, as ever, Celtic live within their means.  There is not a hope in hell they would have won the league this season otherwise.

Notwithstanding this, Celtic can reflect on a season of unmitigated failure, and the feeling that they never asked a question of a team who famously bottled every opportunity to win a prize against full time opposition.  Had we got our act together, even as late as January, the outcome may have been different.

Today, the consequences of failure are ours.  We will explore the reasons at the end of the season, none is insurmountable.  The consequences of playing Casio Football are structural and also for a later date.  We got many things wrong this season but trying to live without our means is not one of them.

In January 2005, When Martin O’Neill’s Celtic were sliding below the water line before our eyes, I told you we were 5 years into a Generation of Domination (I was mocked and abused thoroughly for my trouble).  How spectacularly correct that turned out.  It was not a gambler’s hunch; it was the inevitable outcome of how Celtic and Oldco were corporately managed.

I know it’s difficult to step back and look beyond today’s pain, but this is not Self-Flagellation Quick News, I’ll leave that to others.  What was overwhelmingly evident in January 2005 remains so today.  21 years in, we are now in our second successive Generation of Domination (cue 2005’s blind reaction).  All that has changed is the weather, not the climate, so forgive me a lack of panic.


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  1. RPMCELTICFAN on 8TH MARCH 2021 10:35 PM



    Exactly. Hair drying and dropping hasn’t worked for Keane in his managerial career so far and see no reason why it would work now.



    What does seem to work is good coaching, tactics, man-management and fitness.



    Also worth remembering that Keane hasn’t managed for nearly a decade.

  2. By dropping so many non performing players might lose us the league but, we lost the league anyway by playing them

  3. 31003 on 8TH MARCH 2021 10:41 PM



    There are lots of managers that wouldn’t play non-triers and most of them are better managers than Roy Keane. There’s a reason nobody’s given him a full-management job for nearly ten years.

  4. MARTIM1980 on 8TH MARCH 2021 10:00 PM



    John Collins was Director of football at Livi. Also managed at two clubs and assistant at us. Having standards in terms if fitness, isn’t a bad thing imho.



    *Absolutely, we have phunters on here complaining about how unfit our team is, JC would make sure they wurnae. He also led the Hibbees tae their first trophy win in 15 year.



    Plenty of our supporters pay homage tae the maestro during a turbulent time in our club’s history, John was also instrumental on putting smiles on our faces, who can ever forget his free kick in the no Tims at eyeboak game or his equaliser in Frank Connor’s led 2-1 win at the same venue.



    As for Roy Keane, cast your mind back when he had a go at Patrick Vieira in the Highbury tunnel, so called big mhan defecated himself.



    Do you think he would stand for that kent gubbin Broonie or the moreon slapping our players around.



    I would have both in a heartbeat, one for his toughness complimented by one of the silkiest players tae ever don the hoops.

  5. To be clear im not advocating Keane as manager , most of the players getting stick are serial winners , there are no such thing as non triers imo just disillusioned lacking confidence and match sharpness , they are the same guys who under the Rodgers management did so well for us , Larsson would look lost in our current setup imo..

  6. quadrophenian on

    Blogger Phil wrote the huns were about to financially implode.


    His nemesis JJ told us Stevie Gee and crew were football rubes with no chance.


    PL was assured Neil was the man to deliver 10, and Neilly himself believed it.


    On both sides of the football divide, some decry the NEDS besieging and vandalising different locations.


    Meanwhile on here, everybody’s personally convinced that what’s in their head is right and worth reading.


    Only P67 got it right when he vaguely predicted things were about to get a whole lot worse!



    So for me, William Goldman still sums it up best:



    “Nobody knows anything… Not one person in the field knows for a certainty what’s going to work. Every time out it’s a guess and, if you’re lucky, an educated one.”



    Stay safe all. HH

  7. RP



    That’s the difference



    Lenny, and so far JK have allowed unfit/ non triers game time. Keane wouldn’t. Neither did Rodgers

  8. I hope our board doesn’t read these pages as the support for Roy Keane is concerning. His record as a manager is abysmal – regardless of what he did as a player or how tough he talks on TV.



    By that logic, why not give Vinnie Jones the job then – with Stuart Pearce as an assistant and Ross Kemp as director of football?



    If straight-talking and man-management are the keys, Mick McCarthy does that but unlike Keane, wins football matches too. A case could also be made for Neil Warnock.



    I’m not advocating McCarthy or Warnock for one moment but if “no-nonsense” is the only criteria for the job, these two would still be well ahead of Roy Keane.

  9. I’m sure Roy Keane took Sunderland from the nether regions of the Championship to the Premier

  10. What part of a professional athletes dna would make them a non trier ? Its nonsense imo , players want to win for themselves for their family and for their teammates , its why they’ve made it to pro level .

  11. QUADROPHENIAN on 8TH MARCH 2021 10:51 PM



    What I do know is to usually expect the opposite to what Phil writes (Lennon was on a “yellow-card” before the new year with two English-based managers approached).



    His work on Oldco’s finances at the time was excellent and some of the best journalism seen in Scottish football. However, he’s been dining out on that since Rangers died.

  12. RP



    We’re never going to agree but, if you think Edouard, Ajeti and particularly Griffiths are giving their all then our impression of the standards expected from a Celtic player obviously differ

  13. 31003 on 8TH MARCH 2021 10:58 PM



    I’m sure Roy Keane took Sunderland from the nether regions of the Championship to the Premier




    He did but he also stood down when they were on the brink of returning to the Championship on the back of some thumpings and lost the dressing room. Sunderland players infamously celebrating his departure. He later went on to manage Ipswich – badly.



    What part of that CV inspires you?

  14. The Manager…………that’s the foundation that is paramount.



    I don’t really understand the D o F role……….



    Fitness coach, behi8nd the scenes, professionalism, high performance – JC or RK – yeah, ok……….



    Neither officer material, imo.

  15. Geebee



    With all due respect I think we’ve kicked the arse out of the Keane debate. It’s boring now. Let’s leave it there

  16. 31003 on 8TH MARCH 2021 11:05 PM



    Couple of tweets saying we’ve definitely approached the Man City under 23 coach





    Now we’re talking. Not saying he’s the “perfect” appointment but thinking outside the box with young, progressive options.

  17. 31003



    Not sure if you follow Bhoys Analytics on Twitter but well-recommended and does an excellent piece on Maresca.



    It’s a long, detailed read but if you get time, it’s worth a look.

  18. I’ve said it before , Inspirational motivational intimidating and tactical that’s the ingredients needed for a management team , I suggested Larsson Mjallby and Maloney , Roy Keane could replace big Mjallby in that setup , its just a suggestion so feel free to shoot it down :)

  19. It’s worth remembering that our next manager doesn’t have to be a former player or supposed boy-hood fan. It’s a big old world out there :)

  20. geebee1978 , True and I think it would be better if they had no connection to the club but who has the authority and respect that we need and would come without a association or affection for us ?

  21. Go tell the Spartim on




    Read the Maresca stuff earlier one part stood out, he coaches his defenders to defend cross balls, so that rules our defenders out.



    It’s imaginative indeed, played assistant at a few clubs, difficult to gauge as he prob has a great crop of youngsters at his disposal

  22. RPM………..



    I don’t know, honestly…… a cautious type……personally I’d go with an old head to lead a transition into a new way of working………..I’m still thinking Mon tbh….( it wont happen)…all your suggestions are good – but on the basis of meeting Henke twice….. :) ……………I’d ‘umbly suggest he ain’t the Leadership type needed for such a role………Shootin’ coach yep – Good Bhoy..yep.



    I think it needs a proven old head that sorts the basics……we can’t compete, we’re too wee, no’ fit enough and don’t seem to have a tactical sense……………..Basics.

  23. ……….and we can’t score…….. ( I knew I’d left out something important! )

  24. bankiebhoy1 Jeez-o yer no helping my depression mate im tryin to dream of better things to come ,,,, :)

  25. GO TELL THE SPARTIM on 8TH MARCH 2021 11:35 PM



    Yes, that is true about the cross-balls but I’m assuming that our defence will have a bit of a rebuild anyway. It’s true that he probably has some good youngsters there but it’s worth remembering that he will also have a budget far beyond most of our rivals so should be able to implement his style.



    As I said before, I’m not necessarily saying he’s the man but it’s encouraging to see some imaginative, progressive names linked and hopefully put an end to the Roy Keane and/or Martin O’Neill theories.

  26. RPM…………



    Now’s the time for reality.



    Handle this right and we’ll regain what it is to be CELTIC………… ( if we beat the huns in the process I’m happier, buy basic strengths are needing restored)


    Currently most of that is lost.