Football’s ability to destroy the finest spreadsheets


I watched Liverpool lose their fifth consecutive home game in the EPL last night.  One of the best teams in Europe over the last four years, which famously benefits from fan motivation, sit seventh in the table and out of a European spot for next season.

Even on current form, Liverpool would destroy Celtic, but the parallels in the two clubs decline are clear.  Virgil van Dijk’s injury enforced absence at Anfield had as big an impact on Liverpool as Fraser Forster’s loss to Celtic.  Both sides lost significant numbers through injury and, if anything, Celtic fans have a greater reputation for encouraging their team than Liverpool’s.

Jurgen Klopp, the urbane football intellectual, looks lost.  We see unflattering bouts of temper as he struggles to understand where his Midas Touch went.  Jurgen is among the game’s very best; Neil Lennon should take comfort that what happened to him can happen to anyone.

You and I have often said that a team operating at 90% is unrecognisable from the same players at full tilt.  When one or two things go wrong at the margins, an entire edifice can crumble.  Watching Liverpool also suffer does not sweeten the pill, but it is a lesson that football can destroy even the finest spreadsheets.

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  1. Imagine 9 year of this!



    Oh, most of us don’t have to.



    I hope they win it soon. The damper the squib of their celebrations the better.



    Half decent team in the EL to put them out. Maybe beat them in the league twice and the Scottish cup too. Anything to rain on their parade.



    Mostly I will be ignoring them. Why would I let them have any influence on my mood? It us only ever the actions of celtic that can do that. I’m annoyed enough with that without letting Cheats FC and their brainless support base concern me.

  2. The new Huns have reached the last 16 in the EL twice in the last 2 seasons.


    Something we haven’t done sl once since 2003.



    In that time the old club also reached a final.



    Their recent European record puts us to shame.



    We have vastly underachieved at a European level.



    With less funds available Gerrard has put us in our box .



    Utterly shameful.




  3. I dont remember Celtic getting put out of europe by 2nd Rangers , when did that happen ?

  4. Majestic – I may be lying slightly. I love them getting beat. I do let them influence my mood if it is likely to release endorphins!!


    When I was younger them winning got to me much more than it does now. But I always think if I won’t let them get to me face to face I ain’t gonna get annoyed when I’m stuck in the house surrounded by a family of Tims! No siree, Guinness poured, tunes on, re runs of orc skelpings and generally reminding myself that I had the luck to be a Celtic supporter! Defiance is one of the life lessons being a Tim taught me.



    F%%€ the Sevco.

  5. Tinytim – I posted sonething on slippy and his European run recently. None of thevtesks they have had success against are doing anything in their domestic leagues this season. He has been incredibly lucky. First competent side they face will pump them.




    To be fair, I think that’s quite churlish. Antwerp didn’t look much cop but they are second in a far stronger league than ours. They had to beat Galatasaray to qualify who currently lead the Turkish league.



    I hope we can be as “lucky” in Europe again someday soon…

  7. doesn’t make it any easier but this is all our own making , we sh** the nest this season of all seasons and why couldn’t have been next season and not this one.

  8. lets all do the huddle on

    We have vastly underachieved at a European level.




    i dont agree



    i havent expected anything more when we build a team around scottish wee boys



    look at the make up of our teams back in the days when we did do well



    its not hard to see the differences

  9. While watching the BBC news at 6 on Thursday, at the end there was a big piece on how the hunbigots could win the league this year at the weekend , ie, if they win and we don’t. Struck me as funny, but there again they ARE the establishment after all, silly me

  10. pitymevin @ 2:10 pm



    I don’t believe BR ever did go to China, but let’s suppose that this conversation did happen.



    No need to suppose or imagine. The man’s words may be untrustworthy but he told you this himself in September 2018



    “Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has claimed he turned down a job offer in the Chinese league over the summer.



    Rodgers has gone from success to success since taking over at Celtic Park, leading the ‘Bhoys’ to three successive domestic trebles.



    However, this season has not got off to the best of starts and Rodgers has now said he could have left over the summer had he accepted a big-money offer from the Chinese league.



    Speaking to ‘BBC Scotland’, Rodgers confirmed “there was an offer” but “my concentrations were with Celtic”.



    “At the end of the season, what was important was to get away, recover from a really tough season and prepare for the next season,” he added.”



    “Nothing [in the offer] made me think otherwise.”





    Another site said :-



    “The former Liverpool manager was offered a ridiculous amount of money to take over at Beijing Guoan, before they appointed Alberto Zaccheroni, according to The Mirror.



    Rodgers is, however, reportedly still wanted by a number of teams in the Chinese Super League.



    The Northern Irishman, who was sacked as Liverpool manager last October, claimed he has since turned down the chance to return as Swansea head coach, and rejected a number of job offers from continental clubs. There are incredible riches on offer in Chinese football, with a number of high profile players and managers joining the league, but it appears Rodgers’ is holding out for a Premier League job.





    The Evening Times reported :-


    Dermot Desmond has revealed Celtic were preparing for a Brendan Rodgers departure over a year before he left – when he was offered a ‘transformational’ deal in China.



    The Northern Irishman sparked outrage when he left Parkhead for Leicester City mid-season. And Hoops fans have still not forgiven their former boss for his decision.



    Desmond, though, understood the situation and claims he and the other board members were prepared for Rodgers leaving. The supremo explained how Rodgers had been approached by a club in China with a life-changing offer the previous summer. It was then he knew the Glasgow giants would not be able to hold onto their then-manager for too long.



    “What the fans saw was a Celtic man coming to Parkhead,” he told The Athletic. “Brendan brought in his team, a system of playing and the players responded to him. As an ex-Liverpool manager he had gravitas, status. He also had the detail – ‘This is how we want to play’ – which the players took on board. He did a fantastic job and was highly professional in his approach to everything.



    “He was approached the previous summer with an unbelievable offer from China. I mean, financially transformational for him. He told me about it. We talked it through and it didn’t come to pass for various reasons. But I knew then that it was always likely he was going to go, because he was undoubtedly going to be offered a more lucrative contract in the future.



    “It should be stated that no Celtic player or manager ever earned as much as Brendan Rodgers. He was a quality individual who did a quality job.



    “So we had prepared ourselves. We knew it was only a matter of time before clubs would make an offer because he is the commodity every club needs — a first-class manager.”



    Celtic fans were not too enamoured when Neil Lennon was handed the reins on a permament basis after Rodgers’ departure. But Desmond explained his thought process behind bringing the former boss back for a second spell.



    “Lenny was always on our radar,” he added. “Lenny has been a work in progress for us. He’s been that person we have kind-of tutored and he’s learned along the way. The advice we gave him he’s now realised was good advice, and he’s matured and everybody’s allowed to make mistakes. None of them were fatal.



    “So we took him back in even though some of the fans thought it was a retrograde step. But you learn more from mistakes, it can change your personality, your modus operandi. We saw that with Lenny and he has repaid our belief in him.”













    I dont belittle the 9, but do you honestly believe we would have won the 9 if the huns didn’t go tits up and do you not think that 15 in a row should have been our target with all the financial advantages we have.



    That looks awful like belittling to me. The implication, in asking for an HONEST answer, is we would not have done it if they had been there. I for one, am quite happy to predict that we would have done so because we did- they took themselves out of the league. We did not place them elsewhere. It is exactly mirroring their narrative that our 9iar is tainted cos they wurnae there. I’ll never accept that and won’t give it the house room or head room that you are providing for it.



    As for 15 iar, we would have done exactly that if the tainted titles they won in the noughties and in 2010 and 2011 had not been gained by genuinely corrupt practices.



    The truth is they did go tits up. They twisted themselves into a tits up position and went bust pursuing our achievements. They did so pursuing expenditure practices designed to get them more traction and trophies. What they achieved in the run to Manchester was tainted with that corruption, so don’t credit them with that achievement. The leagues they won in the MON and WGS era as well as NFL (first time around) were all won with tainted money and corruption, not by our failures to be as financially corrupt as them,





    I will leave with this.



    We laughed at the huns, because they didn’t question their board.



    We on the other hand are not allowed to question our board, even when we have irrefutable evidence of wrong doing.



    Who, on God’s green earth is not “allowing” you, or anyone, to criticise the board? Whoever they are, they are doing a poor job of it.



    You are not being censored. You are not being cancelled. You are merely having your poits debated and questioned. It is the exact privilege that you are demanding for yourself, that is being used to debate with you. It is the right to dissent and it cuts both ways.

  11. Our aim should be to have a team that can compete at a decent level in Europe. Do that and the home front will take care of itself. Unfortunately, scurrying around with makeshift defence every summer is not conducive to said aim. The huns were always going to win a league at some point. It shouldn’t have been this year but our steady, then cataclysmic decline (aided by a freak season) has helped cause this.

  12. If I were to give ONE reason why I diskiked Rangers then/Sevco now so much it would be this:



    They receive preferential treatment in Scotland to a ridiculous degree.

  13. prestonpans bhoys on

    Watching the English game, bad tackle on the Southampton player and the rest of the team go tonto. Now why do our players not react similarly, just this passive pish😕 from them

  14. McPhail Bhoy on

    I hear/see the BBC are going fill throttle on the continuity myth, first league championship in 10 years!- ever surely. I don’t blame the London/Manchester based BBC Sports Departments as they will be talking their cue from Hun infested Glasgow BBC Sports Department. I’d imagine that people in England might be rightly pee’d off to discover that the continuity myth and championship celebrations will all been done on tax payers being shafted. But then again when your go to guy on the ‘the journey back’ is none other than Roddy Forsyth quite ironic really when he knows the truth, well he must do as he has worthless shares on an ex football club and also lost his debenture seat. Amazing how he/they will swallow anything mostly lies, what you’d expect from Huns but from a ‘journalist’?!

  15. garygillespieshamstring on

    That’s it.


    Switch on the game just before kick off tomorrow.


    Watch with sound down.


    Avoid TV, newspapers and wireless for the next six weeks.

  16. MAJESTIC HARTSON on 6TH MARCH 2021 3:27 PM


    Us stopping the 10 was one of the greatest days of my life. Absolutely brilliant!






    Remember that feeling.


    Amazing. The relief, the joy, the GIRFUY swagger towards them.



    Well, that’s precisely how they feel right now.



    And it so didn’t need to be this way.



    HH jg

  17. Weebobbycollins on

    Hot Smoked @ 4.43…that’s what makes me angry. Everyone has pulled every trick in the book to deny us the 10…

  18. lets all do the huddle on

    if you have just seen those pictures from ibrox on SSN



    utterly ridiculous



    they open a gate behind the corner of the stands so the players can all go up and jump about with the fans obviously standing outside it though out of view



    and a steward standing there clapping




    Covid affected Celtic more than most from the moment Boli Bolingoli jumped on a plane. Try telling Odsonne Edouard El Hamed Nir Bitton and David Turnbull who all tested positive that Covid had no influence, not to mention a virtual team that had to self isolate after Dubacle.



    How did other teams fair? , some better than others but there’s no question Celtic were hammered by Covid, and yes it was a contributory factor in the loss of at least a title race, which was over before we lost at Ibrokes IMO.



    *Fully concur with this. We are right now in the midst of a pandemic, if we had been told a year ago it would last a year we would have went radio rental.



    Now even with vaccines out there we find it could be at least another year, mibbees more as the current vaccines have not been fully tested and there is no guarantee they will work with the new variants that keep appearing.



    Now let’s step back a bit, during WWI the league continued but the Scottish Cup & Scotland international matches were halted for the duration of the war, although charity matches and local cup tournaments remained.



    We won 4 out of 5 titles played between 1914 and 1919; the odd year out we finished 2nd 1 point and 2 goals behind deidco.



    When WWII erupted the League and Cup were suspended in 1939, with unofficial regional competitions replacing them.



    These were dominated by deidco who won the 1939–40 Scottish War Emergency League and all of the six Southern League tournaments played, plus four of six Southern League Cups, the one-off Scottish War Emergency Cup in 1940, one of five Summer Cups and the one-off Victory Cup in 1946.



    Now we all know why they won all those tournaments, the shipyard loyal comes tae mind. Now they like to jump up and down about war hero willie thornton but it should be remembered he was only 18 when WWII started and although he had made his first team debut 2 years before the bulk of his success came after the war.



    At the time of Chamberlain capitulating to the 3rd Reich they had a far better goalscorer who is their 3rd highest ever while thornton is only their 8th, as such the latter was unprotected at the outset of hostilities.



    So you may be asking what has this to do with present day. Well after WWI which lasted only 4 years with no idea how long WWII would last the authorities put the game on a furlough as did our neighbours to the south of us and most of Europe with the exception of Switzerland.



    One year ago tomorrow, to the date, we played our last League game of that season, a 5-0 victory over the Buddies, 5 days later sevco were allowed to take part in a home European game where they lost 1-3 and then very conveniently the season was suspended with immediate effect due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



    The season was curtailed on May 18 with us declared Scottish Premiership champions. Of course we had the SC farce resuming on November 1 and December 20 respectively.



    Now like the authorities had learned after WWI then why not after last season did they not limit the game north of the border to regional conferences that way saving travelling for the smaller and less wealthy sides.



    Now I know that we would be the first to jump up and down claiming it was all a ruse tae stop our ten, so what, lives were and still are at stake.



    Oh finally when some of our support are jumping up and down about PL and Lenny in the hunden showers, don’t forget that DD has a previous for doing this.



    On Tommy Burns Thursday several weeks after the Strachan Strachan GTF chant rang out around Parkheid the Kaiser dispatched PL tae the Tannadice pitch tae convince WGS tae stay another year, no matter the cost, at the same time the furniture van was already in his driveway picking up the remainder of his goods as he set out tae return back down south.



    Apart fae winning the LC we all know how that didnae work out.

  20. In 2018/2019 season, looking at the SPFL websit, the champions received an average of 1.29 yellow cards over 38 games. In this season, the champions elect received an average of 0.78 yellow cards over 32 games. (apologies if I have miscounted – there’s probably a very minor counting error in there somewhere).



    In 2018/2019 season, the champions received 3 red cards over 38 games. Thjis season the champions elect have received no red cards over 32 games.



    I could do it but It doesn’t need to be done. It’s obvious the 1.29 average does not belong to the same group of numbers as the 0.78 average and that there is a bias in the numbers.



    I’m now going to look at numbers of yellows and reds given to teams the champions payed against in both seasons.



    Pi££ off down south gerrard and do all that without a bias in the cards awarded.

  21. garygillespieshamstring on

    That’s the fireworks started already.


    Going to be a long night.

  22. I think what AT was looking for (and I’m happy for him to correct me if I am wrong) was to see if it was do-able. The £30m may be have been used as it’s what Lennon spent in his two years, so there may also be a bit of comparing too



    hi Spidey from memory the 3m was fig from your prior post on that night.which was bout a sturdy,experienced player so that was my thinkin of 10 similar pros ,great job btw🖒



    i dint mean to imply/infer anyryhin on Neil Lennon



    .we go on Spideybhoy its annoying as :-)




  23. Not having the mock indignation, if this was the 10 we would be the same regardless of pandemic

  24. Dermot Desmond and do the right thing and sell all his shares,but who could afford to buy them ,make this a debate on here,no more about the Huns ,just remember they back in the day got a doze of their on medicine when we stopped them getting 10 in a row ,I’m still bloody angry at Desmond ,Lawwell ,Lennon for the shambles we were this season,they will not be forgotten.

  25. lets all do the huddle on

    Not having the mock indignation, if this was the 10 we would be the same regardless of pandemic




    but we would have the police, government, SPFL and media down on us like a ton of bricks