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. The additional width at Ibrox is needed for team photos and is to cater for the size of Morelos’ erse. (allegedly)



    Hail Hail




  2. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    TIMALOY29 on 1ST NOVEMBER 2019 3:05 PM



    DENIABHOY on 1ST NOVEMBER 2019 3:46 PM



    Thanks for your thoughts guys, he was a sensation in season 1 but down hill since then unfortunately.

  3. BIGBHOY on 1ST NOVEMBER 2019 1:42 PM


    It is an appalling stadium from a spectator’s point of view. And what’s a stadium for if not a spectator’s point of view? Several times I’ve had tickets up to a dozen rows from the front and seen nothing but ankles.


    Fergus McCann told Donald Dewar (excellent man in other respects) it wouldn’t fly and they didn’t have the right people to make it work. It has turned out to be a total waste of money, public and otherwise. A disgrace.

  4. If Broonie is out, then it has to be Rogic, Christie and Calmac. Our best form last season came about when those three were put together.

  5. Hampden is wider because of its mad running track and space behind the goals. £30 to stand for two hours


    in the Celtic end, whilst lining the coffers of the deeply corrupt SFA.



    Its a heavy price we pay supporting Celtic in these unique times.

  6. I remember going to Ibrox when it was new and been stunned by how modern it was. If you were used to standing in the Celtic End at CP, it was a revelation to be so close to the park and the players. It was easily one of the best stadiums in the UK for football.


    We mock it now, but ours was prehistoric in comparison before Fergus came along.


    Will time have the same impact on Paradise? The main stand badly needs to be rebuilt/modernised if we are to remain a top international stadium. When you look at the cost of the new stadiums being built down South, especially for the London teams, one can only thank God that Fergus had a vision way beyond anyone else in the game at that time.

  7. My view tomorrow will be just perfect – 10 feet from the TV. And with sober October behind me it’ll be a morning ParkRun followed by a window of 7½ hours during which, at some point, the first beer will be poured. But will it be one of those good windows where we have prepared well and so the business happens early? Or a traditional Celtic window with beer delayed until 4.55….

  8. As someone said earlier, how Lewis Morgan can get anywhere near the team before SS ,really baffles me.


    Definitely looks like another Bobo Balde situation.

  9. Don’t like the fact that we’re counting goals before we’ve scored them as in the St Mirren game, but that’s where we are in the league thanks to the freakish Livingston game, and some mibbery at Easter Rd.



    Not to worried about Scott Brown’s potential absence as he plays too many games as it is, and it will soon be time to try something completely different, so tomorrow I’d play Ntcham as its time he stepped up and showed what he has to offer.



    Christie to start with Rogic as back up from the bench, no idea as others have opined why Lewis Morgan gets in before bulked up Sinclair.

  10. turkeybhoy



    It must be the first time, and hopefully not the last, that Hughie McPhee has been mentioned in this dear green space. For younger viewers wee Hughie was the not so much at the Crossroads, but in Crossroads back in the days of 1960’s and 70’s, whose glory days coincided with those of the Lisbon Lions. The eponymous (oh aye) Motel Chef of yesteryear (the word Stevie Wonder was striving for) who sweated more in that kitchen than he had done in Stalag Luft III of his earlier war years. Thing about Hughie is that he starred for the first few years, and yet was never shown, (in or out of the kitchen) for over a decade. He was still mentioned, still part of the team, but never seen…bit like Scott Sinclair when you think about it.

  11. In the near future, all stadia will have to be mobile.



    Built on rocket boosters they will be free to travel the world at the speed of sound, park over far-flung cities, countries or even oceans and give fans the real experience of world travellers.



    Instead of flying to grounds across the globe, fans will enter their stadium as normal, and will then as the countdown “10..9…8…….” reaches its crescendo of a unified 1, ground, pitch, ref, ballboys, stands, players, fans and competitively priced curry sauce and chips super deals will soar to the skies, to be transported in flights of fanciful reality to iconic sites across the world, passing on route other well known venues like Nou Camp, Highbury, Glebe park, Cliftonhill and Shawfield Dogs all zooming to their own sporting destination extraordinaire.



    And then when they arrive….wow…., away/local fans will arise on similarly powered escalators to their seats and afterwards rivals will retire for an evening of bonhomie in shady woodlands, eerie forests, roasting deserts, scantily clad beach communities and stunning mind-expanding cultures.



    The once iconic ‘You’ll never walk alone’ will be replaced by ‘We’ve got a ticket to ride’, ‘fly me to the moon’ and of course that unforgettable chant from the Green Brigade in tribute to Bowie’s Space Odyssey and salute to Our own Wizard of Oz……‘Ground control to major Tom’.



    So ….that’s it…I would go on, but my potatoes are boiling over……Time to BOLDLY GO…..to the scullery!



    Hail Hail




  12. Celtic Mac



    Wee Shug better known as Ives in his stalag days, was based on a real prisoner-of-war, who scaled the fence in plain sight, apparently knowing it was certain death.




  13. bournesouprecipe



    Maybe not quite portrayed as heroic in the movie…


    As an actor though, got to work with Steve McQueen, Jim Garner et al


    And later television work…

  14. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    DENIABHOY on 1ST NOVEMBER 2019 4:19 PM


    I remember visiting Iborcs for a St. Midden v Celtic game in, I think, 1979. Love Street was unavailable for some reason. The Copeland Road stand was under construction at the time and we entered at the Broomloan Road end, en-route to what is now the Sandy Jardine Stand, called the Centenary Stand then I think. Standing at the top of the Old Celtic end, the new stand framework was, I have to say, impressive. It was just the steelwork, but the size of it, with the older parts of the ground still intact was breathtaking. A wee boy in front of me walking around the top, had his mouth agape as he said to his Da, “look at the size of it”


    A few years later I attended an Old Firm game (‘member them?) at Iborcs, and was struck by how different (to other Scottish Stadia at the time) the internal concourses were, with neat brickwork, and glass. It struck me that it was like going to a swimming baths. My comment to the Orc attendant as I handed my ticket over “two swims and a sauna” didn’t seem funny to him 🤔. Me and my mates were hissing ourselves… reading that back, it could be that alcohol was involved 😃



  15. Scott Sinclair ?



    Neil wants his wingers to get by the full backs and get crosses in



    Scott if considered a winger very rarely gets to bye line and crosses the ball



    Scott if considered a winger scores hunners of goals that normal wingers don’t …



    Think it’s a total football decision by Neil in the way he wants his team to play



    I’d have Scott Sinclair in the starting 11 all the time and way ahead of some others but pretty sure Neil knows more than us :-)




    Too right he was a hero, and who could forget him in 633 Squadron as Flying Officer “Hoppy” Hopkinson.



    Not me anyway



    Legends CSC




  17. Great news James Forrest opting for a long term contract with the Hoops.


    For a homegrown talent of real class to remain a Celt is great news and a wise move not to be seduced by a mid to lower table EPL club where you will never win a trophy or play in Europe against some of the biggest clubs on the continent. Probably earning good money in your home town is always a plus. James has proved he can also shine in Europe.

  18. GFTB………. The Scott Sinclair saga is a real mystery. An excellent footballer and goalscorer. Perhaps the powers-that-be want him off the payroll we hear he is on quite a fat salary.

  19. bournesouprecipe



    Not you is about right Bourne!


    Not many might be stretching credulity…

  20. hankwray et al



    Perhaps one of our shareholders could table a couple of questions at the upcoming AGM



    “Mr Lennon, has the CEO of Celtic FC instructed you not to play Scott Sinclair, and if not why does he rarely or ever feature?”



    “Mr Lawell, what were your instructions to Neil Lennon vis a vis Scott Sinclair,


    and were they similar or identical to those given to Gordon Strachan re playing Bobo Balde?”



    I think we should be told!

  21. Re the pitch dimensions at Celtic Park and Ibrox both pitches are exactly the same ie 105m x 68m.

  22. Bhoylo83 5.34pm



    Sometimes it’s that simple and just a football decision, am glad he is in and about the squad and hopefully has a big part to play the rest of the season



    Hankray 5.49pm



    I am a bit naive, but canny see Lenny letting the board decide who he picks considering if he picks the wrong team too many times the same board will show him the door

  23. it’s simple to me. We have a big squad of 31 plus some reserves who need a chance.



    Sinclair has dropped down the pecking order with


    1. Elyounassi


    2. Johnston


    3. Hayes



    all in front of him. Hayes because of his flexibity

  24. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    DAVID66 on 1ST NOVEMBER 2019 5:39 PM


    It was weird being there, without the filth, wasn’t it?



  25. HJ @ 6:19


    Very good , Jim.


    I remember seeing that before on CQN and wondered then, as I do now, if we could do something similar at Celtic Park. I know it would no longer be original but few things are and I`m sure a great many fans would not have seen your clip anyway .

  26. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Huge losses last year.



    Turnover up by £20 MILLION !!!



    Operating costs up by £20m (ssshhh)



    Result? Huge losses this year.



    Tick tock.



    Goal difference? Really?



    Hail hail

  27. How the fk can they buy players for £7m? Any other country, they would be hauled up



    Trading insolvent….

  28. Huns losses over last 5 years …


    2018/19 – £11.3m


    2017/18 – £14.3m


    2016/17 – £6.7m


    2015/16 – £3.3m


    2014/15 – £7.7m


    … so down £43.3 m in last 5 years then – how sad, what a shame, never mind

  29. When you factor in the 7mill for Kent and the ‘many millions’ owed to SDI, as well as Close Bros you can see why the Morelos story came out in the press earlier



    Sell him at all costs

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