Hampden glory a consequence of century of struggle, denial and sacrifice


Congratulations to all at Celtic on securing our fourth consecutive trophy. Those of us who lived through the 90s (and those who also lived through the 50s) know how precious these times are.

Collecting that trophy yesterday is not the act of a vastly better resourced club picking up what is their divine right. It is the consequence of over a century of struggle, denial and sacrifice. The current success of Celtic is as remarkable as it looked to be unlikely for much of its existence.

The reflective glory that shines on all of us is the gift of downtrodden ancestors who wanted to escape hardship. When the trophies arrive, celebrate a deliverance.

Throughout the first half yesterday Celtic were well below their normal incisiveness. You and I have seen so many League Cups slip away over the years against weaker opponents. At halftime I thought, “All it will take is a half-chance for Motherwell and it’s the same old story.” Instead, James Forrest found the breakthrough and Craig Gordon (and the post) were up to the job when called upon.

Motherwell manager Steve Robinson has done very well but he set himself up for a fall after beating Newco in the semi-final. Pedro Caixinha was correct predicted Motherwell would not finished the final with 11 men on the field.

The get-into-their-face/leg/body approach was Motherwell’s best strategy for taking on Celtic (and Newco), but there’s no point crying about the consequences afterwards, when you lose.

There has been more heat than light shed on the penalty incident, a consequence of seasonal pantomime analysis. Ask any referee the question he is trained to ask himself in this scenario:

What is Kirpe’s arm doing across Scott Sinclair?

His arm is there to inhibit his opponent. No one will be able to give you an alternative scenario.

The incident would have been a foul and a yellow card anywhere else on the field. That is the statutory punishment for putting an arm round opponent in possession, unless it is a goal-scoring opportunity, in which case the card should be red.

It is unacceptable for a player to fall to the ground when he was not fouled, but not only is it acceptable to fall when you have been fouled, it is expected, unless you want the referee to play advantage.

I do feel sorry for Kipre, who by that stage of the game must have assumed his could foul and hack with impunity, but as well as pumping him up to play this brand of robust football, his manager should educate him on the consequences of putting an arm around and in front of an opponent inside the box.

There is a lesson here for Celtic too. When we lose a cup (or a game), it is likely to be when we concede a penalty and a red card.

Chris Sutton and Neil Lennon: love your work, but your performances on TV yesterday is why good analysts learn the guidelines given to referees. Stick to baiting Newco fans and finishing second in the league respectively.

Moussa, love your work too, but I don’t like penalties that go right down the middle of the goal. Note that every keeper in the land watched yesterday’s game and many will gamble on your repeating the exercise next time you face them from the spot. This is a tactic you must use sparingly.





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  1. HOT SMOKED on 27TH NOVEMBER 2017 4:39 PM





    I ask again. Do you think Sinclair tried to con the ref or `dived` to highlight the perceived foul?






    I don’t think his though process would have been as forensic or deliberate as your question suggests. I think he thought if he went down he would get a penalty. He felt a brushing of his arm and thought he’d chance it (his arm).



    Disappointing that there’s so many on here taking the Andy Walker approach.

  2. JIMTIM @ 4.25



    Completely agree. Sutton keeps his job this way see Andy Walker’s pension plan at SKY.



    If Sutton wasn’t following BT direction he’d have referenced his first half calls for Kipre’s red?




    Did you see the photo, hardly a brushing of an arm as maiden passes you on the stairs of Hampden, mair he’s goat his erm right acroas him…



    Give it up mate:))

  4. Just been on to FF for the first time. The posts I read were perfectly reasonable for a team in their situation. Here are two which made me smile ( and see t=Them as human ):


    ” A Wed night in fecking winter and you can win a super dooper prize if you are spotted wearing a home top! Who’s fecking idea was that? Some tims sitting in his house pissing himself at us all freezing to pin a £5 voucher for the food kiosk or something! ”




    ” If the club wanted to do something like this, it should have been at the start of the season when everyone was up for it, although after the Progres game that would have been hard to be honest. ”




  5. ernie


    ” I don’t think his though process would have been as forensic or deliberate as your question suggests. I think he thought if he went down he would get a penalty. ”



    That sounds quite` deliberate` to me.





    I am undecided as to whether or not a penalty should have been given.




  6. Well, here’s a first….(at least, that I’m prepared to openly admit to… :-))


    I agree with Ernie.


    Scott Sinclair chose to go to ground as a result of the challenge from Kipre. Does the fact that he chose to exaggerate the consequences of the challenge make him a cheat, or is he just being a modern professional ?


    Rightly or wrongly, it’s now part of the game. Every week, there are penalties given for similar, and even identical contact in the penalty box. We even see penalties regularly given when the attacker initiates the contact with the opponent ( strangely referred to as “leaving his leg in”….this to me is cheating ).


    Scott played the game yesterday……. after being “honest” in the Hibs game some weeks ago, and getting nothing. Who can blame him for that ?

  7. We will need to be extra careful on Wednesday night if indeed Collum is the referee. Would expect them to be claiming for everything and anything. We have dropped points in both games Willie has refereed this season so our boys should beware. I reckon Brendan might box clever at his presser tomorrow and put a wee marker down for Willie.



    As for the game itself, its hard to see how Murderwell can keep a high enough tempo for 90 minutes to unsettle us. They will go again with pretty much the same team where as i expect 4 or 5 changes on our side. It may well be blood and thunder but if they loss the head and their discipline they will lose heavily.

  8. John James site is today reporting ……here’s a cut and paste….



    “In their desperation to land McInnes before the AGM, I can exclusively reveal that the rogue board have reverted to the Aberdeen manager’s agent with twice the quantum that they initially offered. As their first offer was comparable with McInnes’ current long-term contract, the in-demand coach could double his money”



    With the AGM due this week that would sound about right.

  9. GreeninbingleyinOslo on

    Weird… been looking on YouTube at the various highlight clips of yesterday’s cup win, and the assault on Dembele doesn’t make the cut on any of them, not the SPFL clip, not the BetFred-badged clip, none of them.



    They all go from the – very touching – Phil O’Donnell tribute in the 10th minute to the 17th minute, where a Well player is left rubbing his head after challenging for an aerial ball with Simo.



    Perhaps we all imagined it.



    The penalty “debate” is a whipped-up tsunami of wind and pish. The “tackle” on Moussa Dembele could have ended his career.



    I have nothing against Cedric Kipre but I am sick hearing this doe-eyed bilge about how he is “a young man making his way in football – he’s only 20”.



    Moussa is “only” 21, and is also “a young man making his way in football”, and that way could have ended yesterday thanks to a truly horrific tackle.



    Maybe a call to the Compliance Officer regarding Kipre’s assault would help put things in a non-Stalinist perspective.



    Scottish sports media – you never disappoint, do you.

  10. Chris Sutton is very wearing at times every incident is hyped up. As for Neil Lennon, in the semi final in spite of all the evidence that Boyata did not foul the Hibs player they got a penalty. Sinclair by staying on his feet in the league game cost us a penalty.Surprise surprise Neil agreed with the referee on both occasions.

  11. embramike says ” Yer team’s deid…Beat it!” on

    Interesting debate about the Laws of the Game in regard to yesterday’s penalty / red card decision. When I was taking the Referees Exam, we were told that the 6 most important words in the Laws were … “… in the opinion of the referee …”.


    If referees stuck to the letter of the laws, then as Law 12 states …


    A player, substitute or substituted player is sent off if he commits any of the following offences:


    6 – using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures


    … then we could be playing several players short in the second half of most games.


    Applying the laws fairly is not as ‘black and white’ as it may seem (thus calls of ‘inconsistency’) where it’s actually down to an individual referee’s positioning, experience, viewpoint and, of course, opinion.

  12. GreeninbingleyinOslo on

    BATEEN BHOY on 27TH NOVEMBER 2017 4:58 PM



    I agree.



    If you’re Scott Sinclair, playing against Hibs, and you get impeded but you strive to stay on your feet to try to get a shot off, and get no decision despite a clear offence being committed, and the ref (Collum) explains this to your team-mate (Jonny Hayes) thus: “If he’d gone down it would have been a pen”…



    …what are you going to do next time?

  13. Robinson, who revealed that Kipre had been reduced to tears by the decision, but refused to accuse Sinclair of diving. “The kid’s crying,” he said. “He’s 20 years of age. He hasn’t touched him. He hasn’t had a finger on him.


    So wrong on many counts,kid at 20? pictures blatantly show his arm on Sinclair.


    The 20 year old “kid” could have done serious damage to Moussa.I am sure Thomson saw the incident but chickened out of making a decision.I just wish Brendan would call this clown out on this.

  14. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    ERNIE LYNCH on 27TH NOVEMBER 2017 4:35 PM


    VFR800 IS NOW A MONSTER 821 on 27TH NOVEMBER 2017 3:12 PM



    There’s two separate offences involving impeding an opponent:



    1. involves impeding the progress of an opponent without any contact being made. That’s the one you’re referring to. The sanction is an indirect free kick.



    2. involves impeding an opponent with contact. The sanction is a direct free kick.





    Ernie, at the risk of feeding the tool, can you point me in the direction of the part of FIFA’s Laws of The Game that validates your second point above?



    If you can I will be astonished as nothing I have seen in their Laws of The Game or the direction to the referee?




  15. Bloody penalty is done to death at this stage.


    My thoughts are on game next Wed.


    They will wire into us on their own patch, it won’t be for the faint hearted.


    Maybe a night to start Kouassi & Ntcham and maybe give Armstrong & Sincy a night off.

  16. James Forrest is now obviously hitting his peak years as a footballer and seems capable of producing some brilliant form not only in the SPFL but also against the top sides in Europe. Another great strike from Jamsie yesterday and some wonderful entertainment provided by himself and Paddy when they turned it on in the second half. I don’t think there was any stopping Celts yeaterday once the first goal went in despite the penalty disputed peno decision by Motherwell.



    The leg-breaking tackle last March on Seamus Coleman in the ROI game against the Welsh was very similar to the one in yesterday’s match on young Dembele and he is a lucky man not to have suffered a serious injury.



    Congrats to Brendan and the squad for guiding the team to it’s fourth successive trophy and a second qualification to the Champions League group stage in less than two years. Brendan, you’re the man.

  17. CORKCELT on 27TH NOVEMBER 2017 5:32 PM




    I get the feeling it might be the kind of night Jonny Hayes will enjoy.

  18. Kipre was reduced to tears by his piss poor performance in a Cup Final, a bang average player who couldn’t hack it when it counted, Louis Moult after having been released from Dedryck’s pocket starts also whining about a penalty, fact is Louis you never kicked a ball and your mate the hardman he was posted missing from minute one:))



    Get a feckin’ life Motherwell

  19. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Hard or Soft? Are we talking about Brexit borders?


    No, we’re talking about penalties. It was either a penalty or not. Neither hard nor soft.


    Just is it a penalty or not? YES, IT WAS A PENALTY.

  20. “CORKCELT on 27TH NOVEMBER 2017 5:32 PM


    Bloody penalty is done to death at this stage.”



    Just what I was thinking myself…..even after I had just posted on the matter !!


    No more from me on that specific topic.



    Related , though, is my view that when teams meet in successive games, there is a greater chance of `trouble`. The hullabaloo over this` little matter`, the foul on Moussa and the words of Moult and Robinson all suggest humdinger on Wednesday night. As for Saturday against the same opponents, there might not be enough players left to allow the game to go ahead :-))


    It will be nice to return to the peace of the Champions League next Tuesday !









  21. When I think about all the penalties we have been denied over the years by the masonic cabal of referees who answer only to their masonic chiefs I do not feel guilty in the slightest about yesterdays soft penalty award. If its all supposed to balance itself out over time then we are due a barrowload more, yesterdays penalty doesn’t even make a dent in the mountain of dodgy honest mistake type decision that have gone on against us. Sounds to me like some of you guys have just started supporting Celtic this season.

  22. GreeninbingleyinOslo on




    That’s exactly the point. Kipre’s manager would be doing him a favour if he pulled him aside and told him that over-the-ball leg-breaker tackles are not tolerated at the “family” club, and that impeding an attacking player in the box is a penalty and red card.



    Instead he goes all Disney.



    This is happening more and more as we continue to win in Scotland. KT could have been put out of the game after vicious tackles in different games, James Forrest is targeted regularly, as is Paddy. Tom Rogic gets hammered, as does Broonie.



    It’s one set of rules for us, and another for whoever we’re playing.



    Anyone would think it’s the SFA’s take on ‘evening things out’.



    The ‘Offensive Behaviour Because You’re Tims And You’re Good At Football’ Act.

  23. mike in toronto on

    Tend to agree with Bateen bhoy’s comments (sorry, Bateen !) …



    was SS touched? yes.



    could it have put him off balance? yes.



    do I think that is what caused him to fall? no.



    do I think he was doing what footballers do? yes



    would I have been raging had that been given at the other end? absolutely.



    did I like SS’s comments after the game? No. but I think I get what he was trying to say, but it didn’t come across well …




    also, agree with CorkCelt (again, sorry, Cork) …. Murderwell will play the victim and feel justified in kicking whatever moves in green and white on Wednesday … and the refs will be pressured into not ‘favouring’ Celtic, whiich will mean letting Motherwell kick and foul with impugnity.



    I have to say …. I was shocked!!!! at the tackle on MD … he is genuinely lucky that he did not suffer a broken leg …. should the club not highlight this? forget the ‘he should not have been on the park in the first place’ justificiation of the penalty …. but, if only to let the refs know that we, too, will be watching them closely , to try to reduce the chance of injury to our players in the future ….



    do we not have some obligation to take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of our players on the pitch?

  24. This tweet tickled me…




    ByTheMinute Aberdeen


    ByTheMinute Aberdeen




    2012-16: Rangers in administration/The Rangers out of the top flight – 9 different winners of the two domestic cups through 10 competitions.



    The Rangers in the top flight – one winner of ####+++ everything.



    Thanks for “saving the game” lads.

  25. I notice tonight that Gattuso has been appointed AC Milan boss. There goes another one from the shortlist. Shrewd think by AC as they obviously knew that he was about to be appointed. I believe he took some persuading. ‘Some’, however is a qualitative word.

  26. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    ……an’ another thing.


    If a player goes to ground without any contact, then it is a dive.



    If there is contact, especially with an opponents outstretched arm, then a player has the option of ensuring the refs is aware of the foul or merely hopes that the ref has spotted it.



    He is not cheating by going down.


    There is no legal reason why a player should put his hand on an opponent.



    There is nothing to be gained from taking a perverse view for the sake of it.

  27. mike in toronto on

    bognorbhoy @ 6:01 … interesting…..



    surely, the fact that Celtic win everything once Sevco get into the top flight is proof of the great fenian/papal conspiracy …. clearly, PL is calling the shots, supported by his minions at the SPFL and Sevco Board, who are conspiring with PL and/or doing his bidding ….



    wouldn’t suprise me to find that the tunnel from Celtic Park to the Vatican has been extended to Govan now …



    wonder how long til we read some of this on Zombiemedia and/or FF

  28. Evening all



    Was a bit grumpy this morning- some alcohol may have been consumed yesterday which may have affected the mood. I still don’t think we should have got a penalty – though having seen it again I can certainly why Thomson gave it . This was nothing like as big a stinker as the penalty this same buffoon gave us at McDiarmid Park in February far less an ICT class howler in the semi final of 31 months ago. As for Kipre his involvement in the game should have ended one hour before. No sympathy for him. I cheered when Moussa scored all right.



    On a more positive note I have to record how happy I was during the second half and again when the team and Brendan came up to near where my friend and I were standing and the lovely shiny cup seemed close enough to touch. I first saw Celtic win a cup in 1969 and remain as transfixed by the sight of silverware in the hands of our team as I was all those years ago. A friend at work – a Tim – asked me if I had enjoyed it and all I could reply to her was :



    Aye…No such a great game but I still loved it.



    Here’s to more happy occasions








    Unless it is to avoid injury, if a player makes a conscious decision and effort to go down then it’s cheating.




    There is no way that the contact on Scott Sinclair caused him to go down. It was a dive. And watching it back it wasn’t a particularly convincing dive.



    Neil Lennon called it right.

  30. Bournesouprecipe…………In fairness to Chris Sutton he did come down heavily on Kipre and he highlighted the incident with Dembele several times during the programme as a straight red card.



    Perhaps Leigh Griffiths may take young Dembele’s place on Wednesday night. Leigh is a tough streetwise son-of-gun and could be the right man for this game.

  31. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Bi confused where people are getting ‘dived’ from, he fell back in the direction he was pulled from, there was no forward motion, so as a pedant I can happily say, those blethering about a dive are talking shite :)