Echoes of greatness in Imperious Celtic


There are good ways and bad ways to win the League Cup; yesterday was perfect. The atmosphere reminded me of the 1997 final at Ibrox, where a similar result was achieved against Dundee United. That was our first League Cup in 15 years, but there was a more substantial reason to be optimistic then. At that moment, we began to believe that this could be the start of something significant.

Contrast that with the sentiment two seasons later, as we left Hampden having beaten Aberdeen in the same final. We’d won a trophy but celebrations were muted. We were miles behind in the league and that season had splurged significant resources on players who failed to deliver.

Celtic’s performance yesterday was imperious. It was controlled, oozed competence throughout the team and subjugated the second best team in the land with little fuss. Dare we start to believe we are at the start of something significant?

We dare.

The “start” of something significant is an unusual phrase to describe five-in-a-row champions, but having plateaued as merely champions in recent seasons, the Celtic Movement is on the march again.

These are exciting time – enjoy them.

What did you like most about the win yesterday? I’m really pleased at how effective and important our central defenders are becoming. They helped deliver a trophy without the loss of a goal in any round, but, more importantly, Jozo Simunovic and Erik Sviatchenko regularly morph into deep-lying playmakers.

At the opening goal, Simunovic wasn’t so deep-lying. Having carried the ball into the opposition half, he won a tackle 30 yards from goal before feeding Tom Rogic. Can you imagine how disruptive it is for opponents to have to deal with a central defender that high up the field? Who picks him up and what are the subsequent consequences?

Those of you old enough to swoon at the great No. 14 will remember when the world first discovered Total Football. As I watched Scott Brown drop behind his own defensive line to create space for others to move into it all came flooding back. The concept which ‘did for us’ a couple of times in the 70s echoes in what you’re now watching. This is Total Celtic. It’s difficult to get right but if you achieve it, it’s very difficult to play against.

This is why we’ve won a cup without conceding. This is why we plucked a guy from Fulham who appears to have geometrically appreciated in value. This is why a guy who didn’t get a lot of football at Aston Villa last season was given special treatment by Barcelona and Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League. This is why Stuart Armstrong and James Forrest are looking like new, better, players. They’re not, they are just working in a vastly better system.



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  1. Been critical of James Forrest on here a few times, he was outstanding yesterday.He done a lot of back tracking, and supported Lustig for 90 minutes, always a threat, keep it up…

  2. mike in toronto on

    If I didn’t know it before, I know it now…I’m a grumpy old man.



    Watched Celtic Soul on the weekend …. nice idea, but not really well executed.



    And I ended up thinking ‘I dont mind a bit of swearing … actually, quite enjoy it sometimes. But, why cant these kids finish just one sentence without it? And how many jokes about ejaculation does one film really need?’



    I think I have turned into my father!




  3. Big Wavy



    that is the worry. Therefor we need to keep Leigh’s heid in the game. Yesterdays last couple of minutes curtailed to 2 mins injury time was not good man management when sitting pretty at 3-0 up in a final! I don’t expect BR to be perfect in any way but do we really want to lose a 40 goal a season striker and be left just Moussa?




  4. ..






    Yea Moussa and Scott are being Marked a Lot more and will be the Same for the Rest of the Season..



    At the End of the Day of Brendan is keeping Us Fans Guessing Who Starts up Front he is Keeping the Opposition Manager guessing .. I’d say every Man and His Dug thought Griff would Start..



    But as I said Rodgers Started with a Team Not to Lose and He is trying to Create a Winning Mentality ..



    Anyone that says it’s only the league Cup has Never Played Football..



    When Managers like Ferguson started to play Reservers in League Cups and FA Cup I think it was a Negative thing for a Lot of Highly Paid Football Players.. Teach them to Win and to Keep Winning.. don’t teach them only to try in the Champions League because before You know it they don’t try against smaller teams ..



    Winning Mentality.. Wins over Player Ability in My Book always has Always will..



    Summa of WinnersCSC

  5. Griffiths is frustrated because, he knows he is better than Moussa and because he knows Moussa isn’t quite at it. Keep the head wee man you’ll get back in soon.

  6. Hot Smoked on 28th November 2016 2:48 pm






    I like that.



    Dessy bhoy



    Did you get a reply to your EBT McLeish question?








    John Hartson, Looking resplendent in a Bunnet that Fergus wore, emphasised that Celtic are Fantastic and so far ahead of Everyone else, especially the 2nd best team in Scotland, Aberdeen.



    John was cheated out of a few medals by the cheat next to him.



    It was Magic TV.

  7. The Wolfe Tones singing Flight of the Earls on the Round Britain Quiz on Radio 4 – my week just keeps getting better and better… :-))

  8. Gerryfaethebrig on

    The Griff will be back….



    I think when he trudged off in Dingwall our manager wasn’t best pleased with his attitude but the wee mhan will be back scoring goals in the green & white soon enough

  9. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Tontine Tim,



    I join you on 68, although my first Celtic game was the 1950 Glasgow/Charity Cup Final, which we won.



    As it was my first game, I am claiming an unofficial 69! : > )

  10. Petec


    Thanks. I had a wee giggle when Chris Sutton claimed he saw John Hartson barge McLeish out of the way for a half time pie, not a good day for EBT McLeish




    I don’t know if anything will ever duplicate my feeling after the 65 Final but yesterday felt the same for me: we could be on the verge of greatness again. We won at the proverbial canter against the 2nd best team in Scotland and that without possibly 2 of our best players this season: Kieran Tierney and Scott Sinclair.



    Our captain is in a class of his own. The others are simply getting better and better, as they grow in confidence in themselves and one another.



    I hate the arrogance of saying the likes of “we’ll go through the season undefeated” but after yesterday I wouldn’t be surprised if we do do so. (That will probably mean we will get beat on Saturday.)

  12. Number of trophies in my lifetime? I have 30 (one for each year) and as we all know, just like in golf, the lower your score the better you are…




  13. Moonbeams,



    I don’t completely disagree but wee leigh only just made the bench yesterday after 3 weeks out injured.



    I think the other way to look at it is why risk him unnecessarily in a game that was over?










    Good article




    Better players under Brendan Rodgers or better players because of a better system.




    Emilio Izaguirre is the latest in the squad to have ‘suddenly’ become a better player playing for BR, whilst before he was isolated like Forrest , and Armstrong .





    The most striking thing to me this season is that the players seem certain of their role.


    The spacing now resembles a deliberate and compact unit.


    I posted often last year that the much maligned defense was the victim of no protection in front of them due to a poorly implemented system.


    We now are developing into a complete unit rather than a collection of fragmented parts.


    We have coaches that have the ability to implement a system properly that allows players to play to their full potential.

  15. !!BADA BING!! on 28TH NOVEMBER 2016 2:57 PM


    Been critical of James Forrest on here a few times, he was outstanding yesterday.He done a lot of back tracking, and supported Lustig for 90 minutes, always a threat, keep it up…




    I have also been critical, however the areas causing the criticism,tracking back,putting in a tackle etc appear to be much improved, therefore I would suggest now seeing a bit of effort would effectively mean that our initial concerns/criticisms were accurate.


    Lets hope he keeps it up as I prefer to applaud rather than criticise.



    Great result……delighted

  16. Has someone been coaching Izzy on the art of crossing?


    On Wednesday he hit a peach on to the head of Moussa from which we should have scored.


    Normally when he bombs down the wing the punters in the upper tiers of the opposite stands prepare to duck.


    Since he came back into the side he seems to have cut down on his tendency to smell the ball out on the opposite side of the field.

  17. I can’t believe some posters are even contemplating feeling sorry for McCoist, even remotely in the slightest, he is a sleekit turd and like the rest of them knuckledraging scumbags, see them two red lights disappearing in the distance, that’s us, never to be seen again hun scum, so suck it up.



    Well said.


    I love it when they turn on their own.


    A sleekit fat apology for a human being abused by an equally horrible horde.

  19. Starry plough-still reading back as usual,happy birthday to Julia,good day all round yesterday then mhate:-)))

  20. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    Just reading back….





    I think Johnny Haynes was footballs first £100 per week player.





    Estadio Nacional is also known locally in Lisbon as Estadio Honra

  21. Gerryfaethebrig on




    Stop reminding all us old guys who young you are, when I was 30 I had more important things than typing on the net to strangers :-)



    Really enjoying everyone’s view on the game yesterday, we live in good Celtic times

  22. THE EXILED TIM on 28TH NOVEMBER 2016 3:37 PM



    I can’t believe some posters are even contemplating feeling sorry for McCoist, even remotely in the slightest, he is a sleekit turd and like the rest of them knuckledraging scumbags, see them two red lights disappearing in the distance, that’s us, never to be seen again hun scum, so suck it up.




    LOL! That’s the spirit mate – let it all out!!




  23. Saint Stivs says SACK THE BOARD on

    i watched griff at the end of the game. he was told to warm up around the 75 minute, then when back in dugout he started to get ready to go on.


    taking off any of the forward players at 3-0 up would have been an easy choice. moussa even came over to the touchline as if ready to come off.



    but it took till 3 minutes to go to bring him out. the ball went out, and the boy with the board messed about , so aberdeen took a quick thrown in, and then celtic kept the ball , and he didnt get on till injury time. I dont know he even got a touch of the ball.



    brendan shrugged as if to say “what can i do”.



    griff did shake an aberdeen players hand as the whislt blew, and he did look frustrated.



    he wandered around, 3 or so celtic players including broonie tried to hug him, but he wasnt having it, even breaking away from broony. he then walked off the park. brendan gave him a hug.



    i thought, thats it he has done a petulant stan.



    so i was happy to see him come back out for the celebrations, and doing his elf parody, and the wee waves, well done leigh.



    now, sitting behind me 3 guys were saying “from a good source”, leigh is not happy, and wants more game time. and if not getting picked he will ask away.



    one man management thing, you cant keep everyone happy, but see when your winning well, you can spread the feel-good factors. was that why gms was included yesterday.



    I would have had griff on after the 3rd goal. He needs games. Dembers is special. But so is our leigh.

  24. I definitely want Griff to stay and get more game time. He’s part of my pre season 6 fold accumulator to be SPL top scorer ;-)




    Cheers Bud, how’s Vegas treating ye??



    A mate of mine is there as well, so if ye see a beardy Leeds Utd fan wi’ a French lassie in tow that’s him:))



    Enjoy yer holiday



    Smalltown CSC

  26. I can’t see Paddy Robert’s at Celtic,next season,yesterday he couldn’t backtrack,bit slow in trying to close down the opposing player,to be honest I don’t think he is worth the money Man City would want for him,so I will probably get shouldn’t down for saying this,Gary McKay Stevens,should be introduced into the first team ,look if Brendan and his staff ,have tweaked a bit here and there with Stuart Armstrong,and look how he has come on,why not try the same with G M S,if not put Griffith’s on the right or left wing.

  27. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    I thought sally passed over his voting rights to East Kilbride Loyal RSC




  28. HEBCELT on 28TH NOVEMBER 2016 3:35 PM


    I have no evidence but bI think socially we are a more together team, any thoughts? H H Hebcelt




    It certainly looks that way. I really, really hope we can find a way of accommodating the Griffalo.






    PS: I noticed that you were at the game yesterday I hope and trust that things are looking better.

  29. GFTB & NATNOW,


    Now I understand GFTB, little miss GFTB is the guvnor ? Lol. Bless.


    Great news about your wee dug NATNOW, I hate it when animals suffer ( except the animals called Sevco) !


    Hun media very upset with a certain Gardener, don’t you just love it ?


    Many years ago SuperSally was being called a cheekie chappie, and that was the image that he and their scum support wanted,but Ivaguely a midweek game against the animals at Celtic Park, and he was a sub.


    When warming up at one point, he apparently called some young Celtic weans ” Fenian so and so” ?


    A few Celtic fans apparently tried to report it to the Polis at the time ?


    I’ve always hated him, and felt that he was a creep above all else.



  30. Starry plough-its some place so it is, but it’s flipping cold,I haven’t seen one other football top since I got here,by the way what a hotel the bellagio is,stunning




    Exactly, Just a kid as well, Don’t let his price tag fool you. For me keep him for one more season on loan and see if he kicks on to justify a deal with City.





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