Game intelligence to succeed in 30 successive cup games


I could make a case that the Hibs dressing room has a feeling of empowerment that belies their lowly position.  Whatever happened when Leeann Dempster and Neil Lennon agreed the latter would leave his position as Hibs manager, the dressing room was almost certainly an active component in the process.  The same players now have Paul Heckingbottom to contend with, and you do not need prophesising skills to know that Paul will soon leave in a similar manner to Neil Lennon.

When players have an influence on the manager’s position, they also decide when they want to put a shift in.  A home game against Livingston might not get the juices flowing, until embarrassment kicks in, but a Hampden semi-final will.  Hibs players are choosing their battles.

Tomorrow is a big test for Celtic, the 30th domestic cup game since our last elimination.  Sure, we are better than the rest, but still, the uneven distribution of chances, goals, red cards, freak events and honest mistakes, means that such runs are statistically very unlikely.

I would rather be cautious than flamboyant tomorrow.  Get through the game without tackles that risk a Christie-Livingston-type red card, or that denies Hibs space inside our box that can result in an Inverness or Ross County-type semi-final penalty.

We have won 12 games at Hampden on the bounce, without the need for extra-time or penalties.  It is our home-from-home, we have the game intelligence succeed, so let’s get to the final.

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  1. Did anyone see a resemblance between Greg Taylor and Tosh McInlay. Style of running and a couple of sliding tackles looked uncanny.

  2. Paul67



    Frimpong, El Hamed, or Bauer?



    Fascinating choices for Neil, who’ll have an embarrassment of riches on the bench. Big wide open pitch for El Youanoussi and co, to continue the sparkling form.



    Hibs will make it tough but won’t play in banks of five like St Mirren, fancy a humping and revenge for the points pinched at Easter Rd.



    Would prefer Sinclair in the squad to Morgan.

  3. South Of Tunis on

    Oh Happy Day –



    Cluj fan courier man has delivered my long awaited – Michael Kiwanuka – Kiwanuka LP . An absolute gem -as were the previous three –






    Cluj man looking forward to Lazio v Cluj at the end of this month – ” Unlike most of them ,I’ve got experience of living under fascism ”



    A holiday -way down south — Tutti Santi . All Saints . It’s raining !!!

  4. Melbourne Mick on

    Hello again all you young rebels.






    Melbourne…Wellbourne…personally wellworn suits better lol.


    O.K Paddy had another bad night last night but his heart scan was clear so


    more tests to follow.




    Looking forward to seeing you again, bring plenty of sun lotion 34 degs today


    in spring, climate change eh?




    Now that you mention it, yes, just hope he doesn’t stick the nut on fast Eddie




    H.H . Mick

  5. Good to see the Griffmeister back in full training.



    What Morgan does to get a jersey before Sinclair baffles me, he does not look like he will ever be a Celtic player, Shved as well before him.



    I thought he looked similar to Jackie Mac.I know what you mean by Tosh.Anyway,a smashing wee player.

  7. Hampden actually suits the team. It is big and open and is a good surface now that Queens don’t play there.



    I know its not as good as Celtic park for spectators and the staff are badly trained in the stewarding and in Catering departments



    The team have built a great record in recent years and I think we will continue.



    Hibs are not a good team, as their League position shows, but they raise their game when they play us.



    I expect the tic to get to the Final

  8. Melbourne Mick on




    How are you mhate? ” a smashing wee player ” and maybe with Frimpong


    the other side two smashing wee players?


    It’s probably just me but personally a big Tam Gemmill or 6ft Jim Craig for


    the dark deeds that lie ahead would suit me better.


    Just putting it out there for discussion. 8-))


    H.H . Mick

  9. Wonder if Hughie Mc Phee,will get a reaction from the Jambos.He has to face up to Scums new £25 million man,Ryan Jack,yep, £25 million,but he is not for sale.Nope,never,ever,ever.


    I see the speedy Hibs winger,can’t remember name ,is fit.Sometimes,whatever mood he is in,can be a handful.If Boli plays and gets caught out of position,he won’t catch him.Sure Lenny knows.Griff fit again,too early for tomorrow,maybe bench.Real shame about Arzani,I would keep him until summer.You never know,more of a playmaker I think.Sometimes we could use a player like that.You see the impact Frimpong has made.


    Not saying we SHOULD,buy him,but looking at Shanklands goal scoring record,it should be looked at.60 goals in 2 seasons,and 17 already this season.Sometimes,you are just a natural.He is going,probably marrying,my mates daughter.Red hot Tim’s,so my mate would be delighted.



  10. MM,


    Great mate.Yep size could be a problem.In saying that,Liverpool,don’t have the tallest backs,not a great problem for them.Andy and Milner regularly,when the guy with the 3 Barre led name,too many playing now for my memory,is out He is not a giant either.Anyway,we have never been so well of for full backs,and CHas.


    Enjoy the game tomorrow.HH.

  11. Tosh Mckinlay to his credit, could really wip a baw in.



    Big Pierre must of profited a lot from Tosh’s deliveries. Certainly from memory.



    Not yet seen that from Greg Taylor. But what I do like about Greg, he kept his passing simple, and he was tenacious in the tackle. And if he can continue to do the basics well, then he won’t go far wrong as a full-back.

  12. Melbourne Mick on




    And after i made that post about wee full backs i had a reality


    check, the best full back in the world according to most soccer


    scribes and managers at the time, the magnificent Danny McGrain


    at 5ft 8 and i was lucky enough to watch him weekly.


    Surely an opening for Delaneys Dunky to make an entrance?


    H.H . Mick

  13. eddieinkirkmichael on

    Melbourne Mick, hope Paddy gets better soon, he might actually buy you a drink. There is a thirst for everything 😂.

  14. The Elhamed or Frimpong debate, to my mind, is cliched… very much horses for courses.



    I suspect Elhamed’s experience, athleticism, and overall strength will give him the nod particularly vs Sevco, in big cup games, and in the Europa.



    There will be plenty of scope to play Frimpong in the Scottish Premiership, against the run of the mill sides. At 18, I am sure Lenny will simply manage the situation, and drip feed the lad in to a long term role at right back.

  15. Tosh McKinlay made goals for Henrik, It mostly was the same goal. Tosh would head up the left wing crossing the half way line and then hit an early cross into the box curling back and Henrik would go down the inside right and the ball would arrive as expected for a touch or on the volley.



    Henrik and Tosh weren’t the best of pals originally but after the “Glasgow Kiss episode then they played well together and got on

  16. Cup games are different.


    I’ll be behind the couch till our fourth goes in…(hopefully in the first 45 mins).

  17. Melbourne Mick on




    Not heard from you in a while, if Paddy wins this bout i’ll


    happily buy him drink till the coos cum hame.


    Your lovely daughter and our capo Emma keeping us all on


    our toes,, get up there and dance Pat and Mick! c’mon it’s


    the rebs.


    H.H . Mick

  18. Turkebhoy



    I didn`t quite understand to whom you were referring here:



    ` .He is going,probably marrying,my mates daughter.Red hot Tim’s,so my mate would be delighted.`



    I was under the impression that Shankland was a Sevcoite.

  19. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    Does anyone know the score with Scott Sinclair? Is it another Bobo Baldie type situation whereby we save money by not playing him? Why would we want to save money that way? What about Neil – could it be down to Neil simply not liking his style of play? Or, is he being told he cant play him? That one would worry me as it would suggest basically that Neil is a PL lackie. Anyone got the real lowdown or is it all of it just speculation?

  20. RUGGYGMAN -“But what I do like about Greg, he kept his passing simple . . .”



    That is something that makes me nervous when watchingBoli. He plays a lot of quick, short, intricate passes that look clever when they come off. I’ve doffed my cap a few times to him for his quickness of thought and vision. However, if the receiving player isn’t on the same wavelength, we needlessly lose possession,

  21. Whenever we are due to visit Hampden you can be sure that there will be reference on here and, indeed elsewhere, that Celtic will benefit from the ‘big pitch’, the ‘wide spaces’ etc. But having done a wee bit of digging (and of course accepting everything on the internet as factual!) then it seems this might just be an urban myth.


    Our own park is apparently 105m long and 68m wide. And although Hampden’s is bigger (115 x 75) it’s not any wider than a number of other grounds – and 3m narrower than Ibrox??


    Something doesn’t compute here! here’s the link –

  22. Melbourne Mick on

    Feckin hell JOBO


    we’re all running about looking for our tape measures now lol.


    Can’t imagine the stickies would like a lot of space for Celtic to


    pummel them, specially it was a well known fact that Sourness


    narrowed the debtdome park in his tenure.




    H.H . Mick

  23. ROCK TREE BHOY on 1ST NOVEMBER 2019 2:44 PM




    Neil has never really fancied him.


    Bizarre we gave him another year. Anyway, it’s a crowded field with Micky Johnston, Lewis Morgan, Johnny Hayes, Elyounoussi, Daniel Arzani & Marian Shved



    I believe Neil thinks of Elyounoussi & MJ as his top two options on the left. Shved & Morgan primarily play on the right so presumably cover Forrest.



    Hayes is a tryer and useful utility player.


    I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the back of Arzani in January & see no more of Sinclair unless some sort of injury crisis happens.

  24. Jobo



    Some park’s dimensions are in yard, some in metres. Need a convertor for a full comparison.

  25. ROCK TREE BHOY- In my opinion, the most likely scenario is that Celtic persuaded SS to sign a contract extension in order to sell him for a fee during the summer. Brendan left and the move didn’t happen, and I guess neither party is happy.


    He was clearly one of BR’s favoured and most trusted players.


    A lot of fans saying they can’t understand why Lenny is not giving him a chance but, let’s be honest, a lot of fans couldn’t understand why Rogers kept selecting him either.

  26. Jobo



    Hampden 115 x 75 yards


    Celtic 115 x 74.3 yards


    Ibrox 115 x 78 yards



    ergo, no real difference playing at hampden but there is more width at Ibrox.



    I think the lower TV position at Ibrox makes it look smaller.

  27. Celtic park’s playing surface is indeed 105 x 68 (meters) which oddly enough equates to 115 x 75 (yards) give or take a bawhair. The exact conversion gives ….114.8294 x 74.3657 ….HOWEVER I’m not sure if this is to the inside or outside edge of the whiten lines.



    Hail Hail




  28. https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11787/11851171/celtic-boss-neil-lennon-scott-brown-struggling-for-scottish-league-cup-semi-final



    If captain fantastico doesn’t make it, are we looking at :






    Elhamed Jullien Ajer Holy Boli



    ————-Christie McGregor———————–



    Forrest Rogic Elyounoussi







    Or do we reckon Ntcham in for Brown, to play beside McGregor, and Christie remains in No.10 role ?

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