Cup powerhouses face each other, spotting patterns to develop


Scotland’s cup duopolists, Celtic and St Johnstone, face each other in the League Cup semi-final.  They are the two most successful Scottish clubs over the last decade, having won the previous 10 domestic cups between them.  St Johnstone have won on their last four visits to Hampden, whereas Celtic have incredibly won their last sixteen successive visits to the national stadium.  Something has got to give but the winner of this tie will surely fancy their chances for the trophy.

Hibs, who are the last team to win a cup apart from Celtic and St Johnstone, face Newco in the other semi.  The latter hoping to reach their third major final having lost the previous two.  Hibs last won the League Cup 15 years ago.

Celtic comfortably got the job done against Raith Rovers last night without ever hitting the heights they reached in the previous round, when Hearts were battered before leaving with a flattering 3-2 deficit.  We await a return of that blistering football.

Goals change games and win trophies and it is vital that those occupying the supporting forward roles contribute.  Jota got his first goal for the club as he controlled a pass from James McCarthy before beating the keeper at his near post.  The Portuguese then turned creator for the second.  Raith keeper Jamie MacDonald only parried his shot into the path of Liel Abada, who headed into the net.

Abada has an incredible knack for finding space inside the box and arriving to occupy it at exactly the right moment.  20 years ago, I remember a Rangers fan complain to me that his team continually fail to mark Henrik Larsson inside the box.  All he saw was Larsson, in acres of space, despatching the ball into the net.

An innate understanding of space and time, and being able to anticipate what others will do, makes the attackers’ job look easy.  It is easy, if you are gifted enough to find the right place at the right time.  I know better than to burden Liel with unattainable comparisons, but this ability to find space inside the box has been so rare for Celtic recently, you wonder if he could follow the path others have walked from wing to centre.

If Celtic are to fulfil their potential, they need to be able to spot patterns like this and know what to do about them.

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  1. Soon we wont have to worry about the Ambulance waiting times…….as there wont be enough Fuel to drive any Ambulances from A to B.


    ALL thanks to Boris and his fellow Brexiteers and UK Government.


    What happened to the £350 MILLION a WEEK….that the UK would get from leaving the EU ?


    Some of that money must have bought Boris some amount of Wallpaper.

  2. Hopefully CalMac back for the weekend. If we can get to the international break with 6 points attained in the league and a point against Leverkusen then it would have been a good week’s work. We’re some way off our early season form so it’s vital we win ugly if needs be.

  3. The Battered Bunnet on

    Gestalt theory suggests that humans are pattern-identifying machines. Less well appreciated is the need to distinguish between observed patterns that are true, regular repetitions, and those that are simply the result of randomness.



    Beware confusing one for the other.

  4. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Agree about Abada’s ability to find space, Paul, but I’m not sure about moving into the middle. I think his strength is arriving late when the attack has developed down the opposite side, taking advantage of the ball-watching defenders. Quick switches of play is what we need to keep developing – get packed defences pulled apart and open up gaps.

  5. A lorry drivers perspective:



    So, you are running out of food on the shelves, fuel in the garages, you can’t buy things you need, because the shops can’t get their supplies.


    Why is that?


    A shortage of goods? No


    A shortage of money? No


    A shortage of drivers to deliver the goods? Well, sort of.


    There isn’t actually a shortage of drivers, what we have, is a shortage of people who can drive, that are willing to drive any more. You might wonder why that is. I can’t answer for all drivers, but I can give you the reason I no longer drive. Driving was something I always yearned to do as a young boy, and as soon as I could, I managed to get my driving licence, I even joined the army to get my HGV licence faster, I held my licence at the age of 17. It was all I ever wanted to do, drive trucks, I had that vision of being a knight of the roads, bringing the goods to everyone, providing a service everyone needed. What I didn’t take into account was the absolute abuse my profession would get over the years.


    I have seen a massive decline in the respect this trade has, first, it was the erosion of truck parking and transport café’s, then it was the massive increase in restricting where I could stop, timed weight limits in just about every city and town, but not all the time, you can get there to do your delivery, but you can’t stay there, nobody wants an empty truck, nobody wants you there once they have what they did want.


    Compare France to the UK. I can park in nearly every town or village, they have marked truck parking bays, and somewhere nearby, will be a small routier, where I can get a meal and a shower, the locals respect me, and have no problems with me or my truck being there for the night.


    Go out onto the motorway services, and I can park for no cost, go into the service area, and get a shower for a minimal cost, and have freshly cooked food, I even get to jump the queues, because others know that my time is limited, and respect I am there because it is my job. Add to that, I even get a 20% discount of all I purchase. Compare that to the UK £25-£40 just to park overnight, dirty showers, and expensive, dried (under heat lamps) food that is overpriced, and I have no choice but to park there, because you don’t want me in your towns and cities.


    Ask yourself how you would feel, if doing your job actually cost you money at the end of the day, just so you could rest.


    But that isn’t the half of it. Not only have we been rejected from our towns and cities, but we have also suffered massive pay cuts, because of the influx of foreign drivers willing to work for a wage that is high where they come from, companies eagerly recruited from the eastern bloc, who can blame them, why pay good money when you can get cheap labour, and a never ending supply of it as well. Never mind that their own countries would suffer from a shortage themselves, that was never our problem, they could always get people from further afield if they needed drivers.


    We were once seen as knights of the road, now we are seen as the lepers of society. Why would anyone want to go back to that?


    If you are worried about not getting supplies on your supermarket shelves, ask your local council just how well they cater for trucks in your district.


    I know Canterbury has the grand total of zero truck parking facilities, but does have a lot of restrictions, making it difficult for trucks to stop anywhere.


    Do you want me to go back to driving trucks? Give me a good reason to do so. Give anyone a good reason to take it up as a profession.


    Perhaps once you work out why you can’t, you will understand why your shelves are not as full as they could be.


    I tried it for over 30 years, but will never go back, you just couldn’t pay me enough.

  6. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Thought last night was fine for 68 minutes.



    4 subs came on and the game petered out significantly despite our man advantage.



    Intelligent reminder of the Hearts outcome Pablo.



    We murdered them 3-2.



    Big plus for me recently is we’ve had two distinctly average home performances …. and won them both 3-0.



    Wouldn’t have happened last year.



    Good point made earlier about getting through the next set of 3 games.



    It is simply too early in the Ange process for the system to withstand the loss of key players (Calum, Kyogo, James, Giorgios) without a significant performance drop off.



    Frustrating but hey ho.






    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith



    We’re Not Half of Anything






    We share a city AND NOTHING ELSE

  7. glendalystonsils on

    If only our one fit striker had 10% of Henrik’s movement and space-finding ability . Hurry back Kyogo .

  8. Ernie,



    One thing is for sure, with the anti vehicle Greens in the Scottish government, its going to take an almighty amount of bikes to keep our shelves full.


    Never mind our ambulances without drivers have just had a nice coat of Gaelic signage applied.

  9. Greenpinata – A good post, solidarnosc to the drivers.



    Unfortunately this is the UK in 2021 where it pays not to work in monetary terms. Where minimum wage does not put food on the table after Bill’s are paid for so many poor souls. So many jobs that allows our system and politicians to use and abuse immigrant labour.



    A benefit system abused by some (the lazy and workshy).



    D :)

  10. I felt for Ajeti last night. He has shown recently that with the right service into the box he’ll score. He was guilty of delaying one shot in the 2nd half and I suspect had half an eye on a penalty, he should have got a penalty off Berra in the first half but ultimately the service to him was crap from full backs and wingers.



    He’s not Kyogo and therefore won’t go hunting for space but I liked his contribution to the 3rd goal and ultimately with better service he’ll get goals in the box. I’m not saying he’s our long term answer but


    given the sh*tshow of our squad we need to use him properly and hope we do so at the weekend.




  11. I thought that last night overall was a disappointing performance.



    Jota played well when he was on the wing. Ajeti not so good. Abada mixed. I thought McCarthy was poor and Rogic and Turnball average. Ralston and Montgomery were good and CCV and Starfelt solid. Hart had little to do.



    Of the subs Scales showed up well.



    We need better for our Home ties.



    Need to freshen things up Sunday



    Play Welsh Scales and Juranovic




    Soro and Montgomery



    No other options for the front 3 if Jota fit



    We need forwards with Kyogo Giakoumakis, Forrest, Dembele, Johnston and Jota Injured we only have Ajeti and Abada fit. We should bring Joey Dawson into the squad. He is only 18 but needs must. Moffat on the wing might do.



    I think Ange wants the team to play the same way so the plan shouldn’t change even if the personnel change

  12. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    We can’t afford guys getting injured in the warm up. The squad’s paper thin and 8 players now out injured, most of them first picks – Forrest, McGregor, Jullien. Dembele, Kyogo, Giokoumakis, Johnston, Taylor.



    Good to hear Scales started well. Could be a versatile option for Ange.

  13. I still don’t understand why the greek boy wasn’t fit weeks ago. The dutch league started week go and he should have been training through the negations with various clubs. Did he have an injury or covid?



    A professional footballer knows when the season starts – its like griff all over again!



    Also, for the all critical fans – Celtic injury run is severe bad luck and would have significant impact on a well established team. For this to happen to Celtic during a massive transition is horrible luck and needs patience and understanding.



    Don’t listen to the media sensationalists

  14. BIG WAVY



    Ajeti, no exceptional pace, hasn’t got a shot, poor first touch, not that strong on the ball. doesn’t appear to have a trick, dreadful positional play in the box, cant jump…and yet constantly told there is a player in there.



    Maybe there isn’t?

  15. Stebhoy,



    Sometimes unfashionable questions must be asked.


    If Gio had stayed in Dutch football do you think it would be acceptable to be unfit for the start of the league campaign ?



    Continual bad luck alludes to something else. That is why our sports science appointment was imperative.




  16. Greenpinata


    Wow It never occurred to me it was that bad. I never wanted to drive a truck but often thought that driving all day beats the office. Then I had to drive a lot to various meetings and it nearly killed me! And that is not with added pressure of being away from home so much and dealing with all that drivers have to put up with! I’m afraid in the west by and large we really don’t treat anyone who provides essential services very well; be it pay, job security, sensible work/life balance etc. Only people who count are those who make loads of money by being a ‘celebrity’ more often or not famous for being famous not for any skill or talent or those who make money for those who already have ridiculous amounts of money. While the chickens might be coming home to roost, they’re certainly not being delivered unless there is a radical overhaul of how working people are treated, I’m not holding my breath….

  17. Notthebus,



    I don;t think he’s as bad as that personally but my point being that with service so poor and laboured we could have made Henrik look mediocre last night from the flanks and through the middle.




  18. Ajeti is generally on his own in the box ,easy to mark,we are to slow getting there and mostly out to the wings.



    The exception was our first goal a great play through the middle.

  19. Greenpinata.



    Good post..



    Edinburgh is a joke.



    Deliveries are virtually impossible due to parking restrictions.


    Have heard people are having to shop outside Edinburgh. east lothian west Lothian etc..




  20. McPhail Bhoy,



    This stems back to Tony Blairs education reform. Making a target of at least 50% of school leavers going on to university was always going to impact and devalue vocational skill.



    Totally agree, let’s hope a revaluation of working people takes place ( I’m also not holding my breath) especially as we now know just who are key workers.




  21. GREENPINATA on 24TH SEPTEMBER 2021 1:16 PM









    One thing is for sure, with the anti vehicle Greens in the Scottish government, its going to take an almighty amount of bikes to keep our shelves full.





    Never mind our ambulances without drivers have just had a nice coat of Gaelic signage applied.






    I can’t help thinking that having a reliable ferry service to the Western Isles would do far more good for the Gaelic language than having bi lingual signage in the Central Belt.



    It’s actually my brothers seat, I’ll be there on Sunday again.


    I normally sit in area 144

  23. The Comfortable Collective on

    Can I ask, are all season ticket holders still getting the link via the pass to paradise? Don’t want to ask too loudly in case I shouldn’t and someone switches it off, but thought I’d ask.



    I’m in the main stand, but in my own seat, not in that red zone bit.

  24. ” Breaker-Breaker! Paradise Bhoy on the line – come-back?



    I’m in a Kenworth hauling (chocolate) logs……………


    Smokey’s at your back door!







    Kojak with a Kodak

  25. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Caught some TV news images earlier of COP26 protestors in George Square.



    Couple of thoughts sprung to mind.



    1. When the convention starts for real, the protestors should all wear Sevco tops. That way they’ll get an escort instead of being settled and walloped.



    2. Any truth the Orange Order’s new marketing strategy to appeal to the ‘yoof’ includes a focus on ecological concerns and, as a result, they are going to rebrand as the Green Order?