Cluj, give Jullien a run, Ian Holloway


They may have ejected Celtic from the Champions League, but Cluj did not have the look of genuine contenders for the group stage.  They lost 0-1 at home to Slavia Prague last night, with Masopust (no relation) getting the goal.  The Romanians will almost certainly drop to the Europa League.

AIK arrive in Glasgow today smarting from their home defeat on Sunday.  Scouts from both Celtic and AIK will have taken in each other’s games at the weekend, but it is unlikely much of consequence was learned, or at least, I hope AIK learned little about Celtic.

Whatever reasons lay behind Neil Lennon’s team selections at home to Cluj, Boli Bolingoli and Christopher Jullien both have an additional 90 minutes under their belts, so are more likely to make the line-up, especially if concerns remain about Kristofer Ajer’s shoulder injury.  I know this is not a universal feeling, but I want Jullien to be given a run in the team.  We have scouted this player, there is more to come than we have seen.

Ian Holloway’s comments, where he blamed the EU for football’s new handball rule is a perfect metaphor for our time and the entire Brexit debate.  The world is full of clowns who believe simple answers exist to complex problems.  No weight of logic will shift them, and they are not limited to the Brexit loons, football problems are easy to solve, just ask anyone with no experience.

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  1. Hunderbirds are Gone on



    Apparently the Cleaner who was relieved of his duties was quite handy at left back. Another mistake by our Bored 😃



  2. From @celticunderground





    Posted by Harry Brady | Aug 21, 2019 | Articles, Season 2019-2020 | 0 |


    Unconscious Bias


    We live in peculiar times.





    If you have a smart phone with access to mobile data, or even just the ability to walk to a library, you can get hold of a machine which will give you access to all knowledge ever known to man.





    We have therefore never therefore been better informed





    Ironically, as we have had greater access to knowledge public discourse is becoming ever more aggressive with opinions becoming ever more entrenched.





    I become particularly frustrated when the journalism industry has gone down this route. Shock Jock columnists and opinion makers who spout out unsubstantiated opinions, but use their position as perceived intelligentsia to reinforce ignorance.





    These opinion formers whose only job is to write and broadcast their position have more time than you and I to do the independent research, to sit in front of that machine that gives them unfettered access to all human knowledge and find the experts who’ve done the proper research and subsequently arrive at a position that informs and educates, not reinforces prejudice, but they fail to do this. And they reinforce their position and discourage their readers and listeners from obtaining their own opinions by belittling education. Even the most elite leaders on the planet are creating the concept that facts are flexible and research has no merit.





    There is nothing better for lifting people out of poverty than education. Consequently it is disconcerting when the educated are dismissed by those who’ve had the most expensive schooling money can buy. “We’ve had enough of experts.”





    So, what has this got to do with Scottish football you may ask? It may seem trivial to move from a debate on the on-goings of world leaders to the debate on the biases of Scottish football referees, but it is part of the same culture of people who should, could and can know better, spouting ignorance, and ignorance that just a five minute review of the internet would disavow.





    We’ve had a lot of debate about the comments of Tom Boyd and I’m not getting into the specifics of those, however, I WILL get into the specifics of the dialogue that follows from the media that our referees are just as bad as continental Europe, or just as good as continental Europe, and to claim that they are biassed is tin foil hat conspiracy theory stuff.





    I have rehearsed the arguments many times on here about the deficiencies of our referees and the concept of sympathy refereeing, and the fact that I believe they’re just not very good, but you don’t need to take my word for it; just look at how many of them appear at World Cup European Championships and officiate in the last eight level of European competition. But it is the bias and the ignorance of bias that frustrates me.





    John Beaton is a Rangers fan. John Beaton refereed a Celtic Rangers game and then went and drank in a “Rangers Pub” after the game where he’d had numerous dubious calls. That alone illustrated the culture that diminishes our game. Can you imagine a Liverpool fan being able to referee a Liverpool v Manchester United game, then having a number of calls in that fixture that adversely affected Man United and benefited Liverpool, and then going to a pub that was a known Liverpool pub, and then happily allowing himself to be photographed, and then being in the papers, and then continuing to referee an English top flight, never mind referee Liverpool and Manchester United games? He’d be pilloried in the press and at least demoted by the English FA. Instead, this guy continues regardless.





    This is a guy who’s been a referee probably from the age of 15, 16, and has gone through the ranks, and in his own head will be trying to referee to the best of his abilities. I have no doubt that in his own mind John Beaton referees fairly. But that is the issue at hand. The issue of unconscious biases.





    And this is what frustrates me about Scottish newspaper coverage of the recent comments from Tom Boyd about our referees in general. There is a complete ignorance of the concept of unconscious bias. Indeed, they go against what would be normal human being behaviour in claiming that these referees have no biases at all, are conscious of every potential bias they may have, and referee 100% fairly. There is not a human on the planet who does not make decisions in life based upon their upbringing, their lifestyle, their surroundings, and therefore has biases of some form. There is a whole field of academic research into unconscious biases which, by their very nature, are unconscious and can not be helped, yet our press have not even taken five minutes time to do the review and the research into it.





    It can be frustrating to do a Google search and have to get to pages five, six and seven, or more, before you find the proper information that you’re looking for, however, they don’t even need to spend this amount of time trawling the net. There are excellent podcasts out there where people have done the research for us. I’m not a basketball fan but I now know about the research into 15 years of refereeing decisions in major league basketball and the findings in relation to unconscious bias. I’ll not go into the detail here but they found that all referees; black and white, had unconscious bias in their decision making against players of the other colour. They also confirmed the concept of sympathy refereeing in the way that decisions were made for the team that was already getting a thumping. I didn’t have to look far to find this information and neither should they.





    We can all be guilty of creating an echo chamber on social media that reaffirms our prejudices rather than challenges them. We can all be guilty of wanting to read the research that supports our already entrenched positions. But every day should be a school day. I love being educated on stuff I don’t know. I love finding research that counters my understanding of the world, and so there is nothing better than challenging the pompous with facts because these people see themselves as superior and end up reverting to insults.





    Do Scottish referees have biases? Does Sooty have furry balls?





    (Interested readers should listen to the Michael Lewis podcast or read the research of Justin Wolfers. Also read https://time.com/3635839/implicit-bias-nba-referees/ and https://www.forbes.com/sites/bendowsett/2019/05/01/the-nbas-referee-problem-will-last-as-long-as-we-want-it-to/#53c47c4d74b7 )

  3. Just read that NL Savior’s we have no scouting system …uncredible…and that pulls came good.. great we wait half a dozen years for new players to come good.. his announcements are now crazy.

  4. HeknowsWHOknows on




    Banner at top of the screen has you advertising tonights zombie match! Thought you were good at I. T. :-)



    “Now this headline made me laugh out loud: How Rangers star Alfredo Moreorless has ‘matured’ following his red card moments of madness”



    Now whilst Peter and his apprentice gnore the support in their masses let’s be blunt, headline is up there with the best yet.



    Cheered me up.



    Cmon Celtic. Time to stand and be counted.



    Hail Hail

  5. Henrik



    An interesting read and you were doing so well until the bit “Im


    sure in his own head John Beaton thinks he is refereeing fairly”.



    Nope, dont agree, I think he knows exactly what he is doing when he referees our games and those of the Stickies. Nothing unconscious there methinks.

  6. Henrik 67 at 7.52am


    Very good post, well researched…!


    Seriously, it is not as if this is unknown, but bears repeating anyway.





    I agree re Beatons conscious bias but it’s his and everyone else’s unconscious bias, which is a provable fact, that is the point that’s not addressed by the historically corrupt and consciously biased football authorities in Scotland.


    Root and branch reform required



  8. That photograph of Beaton, McLean, Dallas & Madden is from the zombie vs hibs cup final.



    McLean was the referee, Madden the 4th official, Dallas & Beaton were additional assistants.



    McGeachie and McWilliam were the referee’s assistants – I am unsure of which team either of them support.



    The four confirmed zombies looked incredibly disappointed. I cannot recall any controversial refereeing decisions during said game, that Hibs actually won.



    Remarkable though that those four were involved in a Sevco cup final.



    Strange the rabid zombie tory assistant wasn’t there as well – probably trying to make it seem balanced.

  9. HeknowsWHOknows on

    Always liked Big Fra.



    Get him and a other announced before the game.



    Hail Hail

  10. traditionalist88 on

    Great signing. We know what hes capable of. Look where Craig Gordon was when we picked him up.




  11. Emerald bee


    I agree.its conscious bias,inculcated conscious bias.


    I find Harrys essay interesting,unconscious bias on Twitter/modern meeja or the generation after generation of confirmed knuckledom from so called reporters who would take a telling at their brithermeeting on a Friday night.


    Right thro everything to do with the cheating knight was not reported or investigated by them and then to top it off our state broadcaster deems the toileted oldklub same as that now ran by the convicted criminal.eh naw.lol


    Hope your good C



  12. Can’t believe we are signing FF. This just confirms that we have no scouting system whatsoever.


    It’s really turning into a farce

  13. Hunderbirds from earlier this morning:



    I very much agree with your main point but don`t share your views on these two bits:



    “We do have a group of players that currently seem to be suffering from a bit of a crisis of confidence.”



    I believe that can only be levelled at some of the support.



    ” If tonight doesn’t go well, I will join everyone and help dig them up again tomorrow, but let’s support our team today. 🇮🇪🍀🇮🇪🍀🇮🇪🍀🇮🇪🍀🇮🇪🍀”



    If we play well but don`t gain a decent victory,I will accept that . I won`t like it but I will accept it.



    For me, we were about the same as Cluj in the first half and the better side in the second half but we lost (bad mistakes) a very important game so the general (?) conclusionwe must have been terrible.



  14. FF – where did his form go? England no.1 to Southampton no.3. Not likely to be the keeper that we remember keeping Barca at bay all those years ago.

  15. ST TAMS on 22ND AUGUST 2019 9:02 AM


    Can’t believe we are signing FF. This just confirms that we have no scouting system whatsoever.



    It’s really turning into a farce




  16. Fraser Forster having a medical.



    If any proof was needed that our transfer policy is decided by listening to the more excitable posters on CQN.



    It seems to be true, so best wishes big man. But it beggars belief.




  17. Our recruitment database appears to be Neil Lennon’s Whatsapp group…



    Amateur hour continues.



    Forster is done. Has been for years.

  18. Reading between the lines on Lennon’s comments I predict tonight’s team is



    Gordon, Ajer, Julien, Simunovic, Boli, Forrest, Brown, McGregor, Johnston, Christie, Edouard



    Bench: Hazard, Ntcham, Griffiths, Bitton, Bayo, Morgan, Shved

  19. BIG WAVY on 22ND AUGUST 2019 9:08 AM


    Our recruitment database appears to be Neil Lennon’s Whatsapp group…



    Amateur hour continues.



    Forster is done. Has been for years.






    Forster is 31. Not particularly old for a keeper.



    He was great for us in the past. Immediately doubting new signings is a bad look.



    Why did we pay money for Elhamed then when we could have signed Adam Matthews for free?



    We’ve signed guys from Israel, Austria & France but as soon as we sign an old face you winge.

  20. HeknowsWHOknows on

    Bring back Barry Robson :-)



    Big Fra welcome back. You’ll be fine shun.



    Hail Hail

  21. onenightinlisbon on

    If it’s true we have signed big Fraser it’s clear we have no functioning transfer policy, same as the offer of the job to Lennon in the shower. This is becoming ridiculous.

  22. Henrik67 @ 7:52



    Thanks for that.Very relevant and one of the best articles I have read re refereeing in Scotland.




  23. HeknowsWHOknows on

    Timing of the leak on Forster… Support not informed yesterday.



    Turnbull was in the building!



    PR department could do with a left back.

  24. Looking at it objectively signing Forster is a good idea – he’s a good player



    Still need a left back, right back, centre mid, and another striker tho…

  25. Timaloy29



    He’s a third choice keeper at Southampton – he’s dropped from being an England cap and club no 1 to a series of howlers and sadly beset by injurty and mental health issues.



    He’s on a downward trajectory and a huge risk. Reflect on that profile instead of images of FF from years ago.



    It’s clear, if we believe a keeper is needed, that we have no recruitment infrastructure to scour the world for a hungry, uninjured, affordable keeper to acquire.



    The confirmation that Neil is going back to his old pals to do a job only adds fuel to anyone worried about the amateur state of our club currently.

  26. I can’t believe people on here are talking about signing Adam Matthews. A guy who couldn’t get a game for Sunderland last season.


    It seems that it’s not just NL thats lost the plot

  27. The blogging trolls and cyber “tourists” will do their rounds………..desperate for a bite or response or click………….addicts for their own attention and other distractions from reality.


    There’s a fair few strange…strangers involved, doubtless gloatin’ and sharing with their real buddies………there’ll be a few Tims caught up in it as well. Such is life.



    This Dear Green Place takes a poundin’………….but keeps on keepin’ on.



    Keep The Faith CSC.

  28. ST TAMS on 22ND AUGUST 2019 9:08 AM


    Has anyone actually watched FF since he went South. The guy is an absolute nightmare






    Completely wrong.



    In his first season, he kept 14 clean sheets and conceded only 21 goals. That was the best return from any goalkeeper in the EPL in both goals conceded and clean sheets.



    The next season he kept half as many clean sheets but played half as many games.



    The season after he was back to keeping 14 clean sheets a season but did concede a lot more.



    Overall his first season and a half were incredible. His stats declined as Southampton did and the defensive unit became poorer.



    The guy set records at Celtic for minutes without conceding goals. He performed for us on the big stage. In my opinion, he’s a massive upgrade.