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  1. you can just feel the hatred in Keiths poorly written article.



    onwards to a treble.





























    Celtic are the team that Ange built but none of it would have happened if not for Peter Lawwell


    – Keith Jackson



    Sunday’s Premier Sports Cup Final win over Hibs provided the former chief-executive’s legacy with a silver-plated lining.



    They wouldn’t have trusted him to go to the shop for the Christmas carry out this time last year.



    The fact of the matter is, last December, the most noisy and entitled element of Celtic’s support were congregating in the car park, armed with everything from banners to metal sharks demanding that Peter Lawwell be oxtered out of the building.



    Eventually, the former chief executive gave the mob what they wanted. But not before gifting them with one final parting present.



    And, like it or not, yesterday at Hampden Ange Postecoglou provided Lawwell’s legacy with a silver plated lining.



    When the Australian first appeared on the scene as Lawwell’s plan B it did feel as if the man in charge of safeguarding Celtic’s future had just taken one almighty risk in his last days in office.



    But, after being taken for a long ride by Eddie Howe’s humming and hawing, Lawwell was quickly convinced that Postecoglou had the courage of his convictions as well as the coaching credentials required to overhaul a squad which had completely broken down.


    And now that the first trophy of the season has been tied up in green and white ribbons, it must be said, Lawwell appears to have got his final big decision spot on.



    He sensed from his first conversation with Postecoglou that he was dealing with a man who would not be scared by the sheer scale of the task which seemed to put such obvious frighteners on Howe.



    And, as he set off on a lap of honour around Hampden last night with the Premier Sports Cup in his grasp, Postecoglou looked perfectly comfortable with his own life choices.



    Asked if this first triumph had taken a bit of pressure off his shoulders, Postecoglou shook his head and, with a trademark grimace, he replied: “No mate, it’s not pressure. It’s what I want. It’s why you accept this position. You don’t accept this position to shy away from creating special things.



    “We’re still at the beginning. But we just want to keep going.”



    It’s been hard not to warm to Postecoglou’s gruff, deadpan approach to carrying out his media duties as Celtic’s manager.



    For a man who clearly doesn’t like to make a fuss, he hasn’t half put a lot of detail into this rebuild.



    In fact, his signature is all over this Celtic side which has been coached to within an inch of its life over his first few months in charge. Postecoglou’s first job was to create a very specific style of play for his team.




    But yesterday was all about delivering the substance which came in the shape of the first trophy of the season.



    He also showed that there is no room for sentiment when it comes to the sharp end of attempting to secure silverware.



    Having taken so much time and effort to polish Tony Ralston into a Celtic stalwart and Scotland international, the big Aussie didn’t so much as blink before deciding to leave the rejuvenated right back sitting on his bench for the first showpiece of the campaign.



    This decision to leave Ralston sitting it out didn’t just come as a surprise to the unfortunate player. It raised eyebrows all over Hampden’s famous slopes long before the first ball was kicked and not least because it meant a starting place at left-back for Greg Taylor.



    Given that Taylor has become something of a whipping boy for the hardest to satisfy elements of Celtic’s support, this was quite a bold move by a manager who has a habit of not pandering to the public.



    That said, there was the people pleasing inclusion of Kyogo Furuhashi as the perfect distraction.



    And there’s another legacy issue where the decision to appoint Postecoglou in the first place is concerned.



    Had it not been for the manager’s own arrival from the Far East then it seems highly unlikely that Kyogo’s name would ever have made it onto Celtic’s shopping list.




    Yesterday the smiling assassin not only declared himself fit enough to start the final against Hibs having been sidelined with a hamstring injury – but he went on to steal the show with the two second half goals which turned this final on its head.



    The first half was, all told, a fairly curious affair.



    Hibs looked scared of their own shadows for most of it, starting in the opening seconds when Ryan Porteous shanked one out for a throw-in without any good reason.



    But then this is a club which has been self harming for a while now and which arrived in Glasgow without a manager in sight.



    But even Celtic had all the momentum and almost as much of the ball they struggled to do much with it and it did seem as if Kyogo might have rushed himself back into action a little too soon.




    There was also a baffling cameo from Carl Starfelt who looked like a nervous wreck for no apparent reason, given that Hibs had hardly made it over the halfway line.



    It was the accident prone Swede who gave away a needless corner at the start of the second half and then lost his man as Paul Hanlon rose to power Hibs into the lead with their first attempt of the match.



    And just at that moment it did feel as if stand-in boss Sir David Gray might be on the verge of earning himself another knighthood.



    But the immaculate Callum McGregor unlocked Hanlon’s defence just 14 seconds later with a ball over the top which brought Kyogo’s final to life.



    And when the little man then raced through again, this time onto a Tom Rogic probe, the finish was never in any doubt.






    Yes, Hibs will still be smarting over these concessions and not least the second one which came about after ref John Beaton had given Celtic a cheap free-kick. But they only had themselves to blame for switching off and allowing Kyogo to run riot all over their defensive lapses.



    That Hibs made a proper game of it in the second half is in no doubt. But even though they might still be wondering why Beaton didn’t award them with a late penalty after another Starfelt howler, ultimately they were beaten by the better side.



    It’s the side which Ange built. But none of it would have happened had it not been for the man who hired him on Celtic’s behalf.

  2. If there’s a lockdown then so be it. I fear coming out of any lockdown where we have a phased opening up and we’re playing the huns with only 5K supporters allowed in the stadium.

  3. Callum McGregor: How Celtic captain has gone from Notts County survival to Brown’s ‘natural successor’


    By Nick McPheat


    BBC Scotland


    Last updated on19 December 202119 December 2021.


    From the sectionCeltic


    Callum McGregor, centre, claimed his first trophy as Celtic captain when winning the League Cup against Hibs on Sunday


    Callum McGregor, centre, claimed his first trophy as Celtic captain when winning the League Cup against Hibs on Sunday


    At just 28, Callum McGregor has amassed in excess of 350 appearances for Celtic. That’s more than Henrik Larsson. More than Kenny Dalglish.



    The Scotland midfielder also has 15 major honours to his name after captaining Ange Postecoglou’s side to victory over Hibernian in the Scottish League Cup final.



    McGregor’s journey has been eight years in the making, from the Celtic academy, via orchestrating Notts County’s League One survival alongside a teenage Jack Grealish, to becoming predecessor Scott Brown’s “natural successor”.



    “Seeing where Callum is now, it all makes sense,” Shaun Derry, McGregor’s manager at Notts County, tells BBC Scotland. “I knew how much Celtic meant to him. I knew how much he meant to Celtic.



    “Now he’s the leader at that incredible, almighty football club. Brown was unbelievable for Celtic, but even though Callum is a different type of player and person, he will also go down with legendary status.”



    Kyogo leads Celtic to League Cup triumph


    Celtic win League Cup – reaction & as it happened


    Podcast: ‘Kyogo is a magician. He’s unbelievable’


    ‘Without Callum, we would’ve gone down’


    Before McGregor made the first of his many appearances for Celtic’s first team, he was shipped out on loan to Notts County for an initial six-month stint at the age of 20.



    He got off to a fine start in England’s League One, scoring six goals from midfield in his first 13 games, but that form was not mirrored by his team. Manager Chris Kiwomya was sacked in November – three months into the 2013-14 season – and replaced by Derry.



    The new boss was immediately made aware of two particular players who had “a different level of technique”. One was McGregor, the other was Manchester City’s £100m summer signing Grealish, who was on loan from Aston Villa.



    “I can remember the first training session really clearly,” recalls Derry, who is now first-team coach at Crystal Palace. “What stood out with Callum was his drive. He was always the one that would stay behind and do extra.



    “Even at that young age, away from his usual surroundings, he showed a great maturity to handle the situation in Nottingham and he showed that in the way he trained and conducted himself.”



    Callum McGregor celebrates with Notts County players


    McGregor (right) played a crucial part in Notts County’s League One survival


    Celtic gave the green light for McGregor to stay for the second half of the campaign, where he went on to finish as top scorer with 14 goals in all competitions and help the club win six of their last nine games to stay in the third tier.



    “If Callum wasn’t at the club that season, we wouldn’t be talking about the great escape,” Derry says. “It took him out his comfort zone. But at such a young age, he took responsibility for his career. We were lucky to have him.



    “Coming south and fighting in a team who were trying to stay in the league is completely different to the scenarios he’s been involved in since he went back to Celtic. It made him realise what struggle looked like.



    “But I had absolutely no doubt in my mind he was going to go back and play for Celtic, it was a foregone conclusion. He’s stood the test of time up there and taken his levels on to play in Europe and win trophies.”



    Rodgers influence & Brown’s ‘natural successor’


    McGregor’s season-long spell at County – “the perfect loan,” says Derry – ended in May 2014. Two months later, a goalscoring debut for Celtic followed against KR Reykjavik in Champions League qualifying.



    A further 29 first-team appearances followed as Celtic strolled to a fourth consecutive league title under Ronny Delia, then another 34 the next term as the league flag was retained.



    Then came Brendan Rodgers. He elevated McGregor’s game – as he did with many others – with the midfielder appearing in a mammoth 101 games across back-to-back treble-winning seasons, contributing to 38 goals.



    When Brown decided to call time on his Celtic career last summer, current Leicester City manager Rodgers believed there was only one candidate capable of filling the void.



    “It was always going to be difficult to replace Scott,” Rodgers said. “Callum has different qualities and strengths, but he loves the club and knows what it takes to play and be successful for Celtic. He’s the guy to naturally take over.”



    ‘Choked up’ at Wembley & Scotland rise


    Flourishing club form brought international recognition in November 2017, when McGregor made his national team debut in a friendly against the Netherlands under caretaker manager Malky Mackay.



    A further 40 Scotland caps have followed, with 10 of those earned under Alex McLeish and assistant James McFadden.



    “Callum was always willing to take on instructions,” says Sportscene pundit McFadden. “He never had to be told twice. He’s such an intelligent player and he understands the game brilliantly.



    “Even then, you saw his leadership qualities. He wanted to know the roles of those around him so he could make sure they were performing them. He was just such a top professional.”



    Callum McGregor


    Since current Scotland head coach Steve Clarke’s appointment in May 2019, McGregor has featured in all but one of 31 games, with his midfield relationship with Billy Gilmour and John McGinn crucial in the ongoing six-game winning run.



    The trio first started together in the Euro 2020 meeting with England. And, while summer rain doused the Wembley pitch, Derry was hit with a wave of emotion in the stands as McGregor and Grealish shared the pitch in a major finals.



    “I’ve got to be honest, I was choked up,” Derry says. “For me, their ex-manager, watching on, it was just an unbelievably proud moment. I’m very proud to have even played just 0.5% of their development.”



    “Callum’s technique is underrated,” ex-Scotland forward McFadden adds. “In fact, he’s underrated in general. He’s absorbed the Celtic captaincy and is continually growing into it.



    “He’s only getting better as a player as well. Maybe he’s now finally getting the recognition he deserves in a Scotland top. He’s made himself a vital part of Clarke’s team.”

  4. Ah…Can’t stop watching Kyogo’s 2 goals…



    Too much work to do this week…..



    Ah well, one more time……




  5. NORRIEM on 20TH DECEMBER 2021 11:41 AM


    Wondering how










    Is this morning 🤣🤣🤣







    funny how my mind works, but after the game yesterday, i came upto the rutherglen cross (is that correct phrase ?) and listening to ange interview, and i immediately thought of his “we go again” and “we never stop” vidoes and that made me wonder, will they actually have a day off today, would there have been any celebrations last night, or will it be back into training today, with a view that you will have a break in january.



    hard work and all that.



    as a ps, does anyone know the sybology of kyogos hand on his head celebration ?



    is it peace in this house ? is it happy i am here ? is it something else in japan, anyone ?

  6. SAINT STIVS on 20TH DECEMBER 2021 11:54 AM



    My daughter who lives in Japan says it means ‘OK’