If God didn’t want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep


Graeme Murty twice took Newco teams to Celtic Park, competed throughout and left with a point on both occasions.  It was not until a home 2-3 defeat in March, that his team fell apart.  We were promised this season’s Newco were clearly better than last’s, but there was no evidence of that yesterday.  Newco defended like Hamilton Accies did a week earlier and were no more effective.

I’m usually annoyed when a goal-scorer is awarded Man of the Match, as the goal often masks a superior performance from a team-mate, but Olivier Ntcham pulled the strings all game.  A year ago he was still finding his feet in Glasgow, you will remember a player nervous on the ball.  Two weeks ago I thought he should be rested, as his passing was neither crisp nor accurate, but he controlled this game throughout.

The goal was a masterpiece.  Tom Rogic won the ball on the edge of the Celtic penalty area, on one of the rare occasions Newco were up field.  The break was on.  So often players run into dead-ends when presented with half the field to run, but Tom twice made subtle changes to his direction, keeping the path ahead open.

The passes to Eduard, then onto James Forrest, were perfect, but Forrest’s awareness to pick out Ntcham between retreating defenders, instead of shooting, decided the contest.  It showed great intelligence.

While Newco defended manfully for most of the afternoon, it took one slip of concentration to decide the game.  Ovie Ejaria tracked Tom Rogic until the edge of the penalty area, but switched off while team-mates changed who they were marking.  Rogic was picked up by another defender, Ejaria stopped running, leaving Ntcham free.

When you hit the woodwork three times before you score, then again, with the score at 1-0, you would be forgiven for thinking that this was going to be ‘one of those games’, but this never looked likely.  Newco were so poor.  They came to defend deep, offering Celtic free possession out from the back.  In recent weeks Celtic have struggled to unlock teams who defend in this manner.  AEK, Suduva and Hamilton Accies each did well for long periods; I suspect Gerrard based his game plan on doing the same, but a little better.

Craig Gordon had little to do: a Morelos shot from a tight angle which flew straight at him, being the sum total.  That was in no small way thanks to the Belgian.  Dedryck Boyata was imperious, clearing everything in the air with ease and comfort.  I am glad to have him.

There was not a weakness, never mind a failure, in the team.  There is a long hard season ahead, and we will face greater challenges, but there is already a familiar feel to the season.  Newco are seventh in the league but now face a series of fixtures which should enable them to climb the table.  Both teams will compete domestically and in Europe until December, with Celtic players also having international duties during this period.  We have been here before and have the squad to get the job done.

Newco are light in experience and personnel.  They will not compete for the title and have yet to produce evidence of their credentials as runners up (imagine they hyperbole if they had Hearts’ start to the season!).  Why they continually loop into this fantasy about “the gap narrowing” is beyond me.  All they have done is spent more money for a result which their youth coach bettered.  Twice.  They present themselves ready for shearing each time.

“If God didn’t want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep”, Eli Wallach, from that other Magnificent 7.

A Match for Cancer, Petrov v Milner

We gather on Saturday to fund three organisations with their work on cancer: your Celtic FC Foundation, the Stiliyan Petrov Foundation and the James Milner Foundation.  The game will see the return of our own Magnificent 7, Henrik Larsson, as well as Lubo Moravcik, Artur Boruc, Paddy McCourt, John Hartson, Joos Valgaeren, Johan Mjallby, Robbie Keane, Owen Hargreaves, Dirk Kuyt and Peter Crouch.

It will also be an opportunity to see the magnificent Hristo Stoichkov, Luis Garcia and Gaizka Mendieta play for Petrov’s Celtic team. You can buy tickets here, only £14 adult, £6 for concessions. Or call the Ticket Office, 0871 226 1888.  Stoichkov, Mendieta, Larsson, Moravcik and McCourt, all doing their thing at Celtic Park, while Artur gets a chance to relive some antics from the past!  Treat yourself.


Click Here for Comments >

About Author


  1. Sandman on 3rd September 2018 12:30 pm



    Apologies if you read these.



    Wrote them out on phone in the pub yesterday during a long day of beer and hunske[ing.



    Couldn’t tell you if I posted successfully last night, heid to fuzzy to read back :))





    You did – and they’re even funnier now I’m sober!




  2. Alasdair MacLean on

    Couple of questions bhoys….



    What IS the exact procedure for televised acts of violence missed by the referee?



    What did the hun supporters actually do at the end of the game when Celtic players went to their fans?



    Just curious!

  3. As long as we have saint Brendan and the board back him then we’ll be hard to beat.



    God bless Brendan and his merry men.

  4. prestonpans bhoys on

    I was under the north stand at 11:20 and even then thought there was a hell of a lot of bhoys there, something went badly wrong with crowd planning.

  5. BSR,from 12.55,



    I demand to know who negotiated that deal with Man City for Ntcham.Could it be someone who gets slaughtered on here regularly,because his son works for them.Could it be the same father and son team that got us Paddy for two years,and who now have given us one of the highest rated kids on the planet for two years.


    Names man,names.

  6. They had one shot,, when Coke head shoved Byata in the vback with both hands. Boyatea complained to ref who then motioned the 2 handed shove…as if to say that’s all he did its ok!!!

  7. Have McGregor been cited yet? Or lafferty for his dive and feigning injury fro SB booking?



    Or merelos for umpteen off the ball instances and more diving! Oh and lafferty for stamping on Lustiig

  8. Scuds beat – tick


    Fuds beat – tick


    Buds – bring them on after a wee break






    D. :)

  9. mullet and co 2 on

    I take pleasure in reading the aftermath of these games but we are better than them so it shouldn’t really take days for the afterglow to subside.



    So having said that, yesterday outlined… yet again that we are still superior to them. We benchmark ourselves on the gap they measure using various measuring tapes, lengths of rope and straw until they find a dodgy one that tells them what they wanted. We watch over our shoulder at them floundering around picking up this manager or that manager trying a different strategy or different way to spin.



    What we need to do is stop looking over our shoulder and pick up the momentum that parts of our strategy have delivered by design or by luck.



    Rather than flagellate too long ( I sense yesterday has folk scrambling away from it anyway) on the transfer window we need to agree the way forward. To me there is only one way- stop seeing Rangers as a benchmark and start thinking big. Increase the turnover. Try to win the group in the Europa league.



    Ultimately we should be trying to increase the turnover on a year to year basis or at worst to maintain it. If we do that we meet the demands of those who rubber neck Rangers and those like me that see growth and results in Europe as our lifeline for decades to come.



    Our main and central issue is not the challenge from Rangers, Aberdeen or any other lamb we will fully put to the slaughter. Our main issue is qualification for the Champions League and managing a transfer window at the same time.



    4 games against inferior opposition on an annual basis over 2 months. We come to each of those challenges in a poor state of health to try and earn £50m and double the clubs turnover.



    We contrive to sell players in advance of those ties with no replacements. We allow players to go on holiday for a month and then play practice games in foreign countries in preparation. We allow players to get into situations were they don’t know if they will be playing for the club the next day. Yet during the season all goes swimmingly against Hamilton and Rangers.



    It’s unprofessional. It’s colloquial and without appetite for challenge. No ambition and no plan and no zeal or strength .. no leadership to take no for an answer. Oh well that’s a pity isn’t the response to dropping half your turnover when you had it in your hands to do something about it.



    So what do we do?



    At this point in time Brown is 33. Ntcham will attract offers in Jamuary or June. Tierney will also attract offers and James Forrest has not yet signed a new deal. Callum McGregor and Rogic continue to dazzle and I would be very surprised if there was not interest in them.



    Lustig gets older but was good yesterday and those wee good blips and his general demeanour as an all round good guy leave us thinking why we needed a right back. But that sentimental approach,the same we saw with Gamboa for a fleeting moment is wrong. If they are not good enough we know it and need replaced for the all round good of the team.



    We should be going into January with £50m in the bank and a record turnover. I expect wages to be down for this coming year v the June 17 to June 18 year. A list of transfer targets needs to be agreed and pursued now with a view to signing them in January. I don’t buy this January is difficult crap. August was difficult enough with the EPL window shutting and us having nowhere to hawk Dembele price up.



    If we shell out then fail then use Ntcham as your balance against the risk. That way you keep the turnover up and can then maintain wages.



    We need to be really really good at buying replacements though- No room for egos or penny pinching. No room for mistakes in identifying targets. No ach well he was £2k a week too much what about that guy on loan.

  10. Silver City 1888 on

    As regards our share price, I’ve only seen suggestions that it is the consequence of activity England. We are just getting a lift from the rising tide there.







    I’ve actually seen posted on here that Celtic’s link with Manchester City was just another ‘negative’ and used as as a stick to beat the Lawwell’s with.



    But never in the aftermath of a Man City Celtic partnership inspired humping though



    Hmmm CSC

  12. mullet and co 2 on




    you are calling Peter Lawwell and his son a team! They work for different companies.



    Have you no concern about conflict of interest? I am sure their employers do and will have a recorded risk on this basis.

  13. From John James



    In Brendan We Trust



    The soothing balm of a win against Rangers 2012 has eased the pain of a transfer window in which two ‘dissidents’ threatened to undermine Celtic’s morale and squad cohesion. Boyata has returned to the fold. Dembele stabbed Rodgers in the back and had to go.



    Yesterday both Edouard and Griffiths failed to impress. Regular readers will note that I have never been impressed with the latter. Edouard on the other hand, should he emulate his performances of last season, will be the star performer Celtic will need in the Europa League. If Edouard had been more clinical he would have put Celtic ahead with an unchallenged header in the first half.



    ’Rangers’ front two were as counterfeit as the shares issue on Friday. Gerrard gave Morelos a new contract on the eve of this game. If he rates this player then his judgement is inordinately flawed. Brown, who to my mind was the best player on the park, laughed at Morelos’ attempts to have him sent off. The Myth of Morelos is a James Traynor production. The lie about Chinese bids was exposed by a cub BBC reporter. Traynor figured correctly that the tabloid hacks would not be allowed to call the Chinese clubs of his imagination. When called out on a blatant lie, Traynor threw his weight around and demanded an apology and a retraction. The invertebrates at BBC Scotland capitualated.



    Morelos who should have been sent off for a series of pushes on Brown managed to escape an early bath. He should have joined McGregor who felled Ajer with a blatant kick. The cheating by both went unpunished by Collum, who had a poor game. McGregor should be up before the deputy procurator fiscal ‘beak’ that is Clare Whyte. Compliance officers are an endangered species at Hampden. Can she find three former referees who don’t support Rangers and would prefer not to look the other way? Can she find those not prepared to subvert the game like John Beaton, who has previous, who tried to influence Collum and curry favour with Gerrard yesterday? Jack was not in possesion of the ball. Rogic robbed him, ran forty yards, passed to Forrest who then found Ntcham who calmly netted to win the game. It was counter attacking football at its best. Gerrard had evidently urged his team to be more expansive in the second half. Celtic picked them off. One had seen ‘Rangers’ players drop to the floor when robbed at Fir Park. If Beaton had been in charge Gerrard might have left Celtic Park with an undeserved point.



    Celtic cruised through this game and on another day would have scored five. Gerrard’s team reminded one of Walter Smith’s anti football of 2008 vintage when he improbably guided the former club to a UEFA Cup final. Lite were under siege in the first half. The green balloons that floated on to the park posed more of a threat to Celtic’s goal than Morelos and Lafferty.



    Ntcham and Brown gave Gerrard’s pretenders of Jack and Arfield a masterclass in midfield play. Brown was so dominant and sharp in his defensive role that he could have taken time out to give Morelos a shave having lathered up a balloon in a trial run. The concatenation of Morelos and balloon was purely intentional.



    Ntcham showed Jack how a box-to-box midfielder should play. Ntcham’s appetite, strength and engine were unmatched in Gerrard’s team.



    In the bigger picture Hearts, with their four successive wins and four goals scored against St. Mirren, go into the International break at the top of the league. Will they be this season’s most potent threat to the Celtic juggernaut? Will Naismith play with the same vigour against ‘Rangers’ as he does when attempting to maim Brown? As he will indubitably join Gerrard’s team on a free transfer next season there will be no stamps on prostrate Lite players. One can but hope that Ms. Whyte keeps a close eye on the most blatant cheat in Scottish football.



    Aberdeen reduced to ten men after a controversial decision by Craig Thomson were unsurprisingly no match for Kilmarnock. The most surprising result of the weekend was a home win by Livingston who came from behind to beat Hibs.



    I digress. Gerrard is of the view that his team will improve and should Dorrans and loan signing Coulibaly return to full fitness the next Glasgow derby at Ibrox will be a closer run affair. I demur adding one caveat viz John Beaton.



    I get the distinct impression that Aberdeen have not improved. Ryan Christie in the conspicuous absence of Dembele might be given more game time at Celtic. Hibs are not the irresistible force of last season when McGinn was dominant and Scott Allan was on loan. Hearts for all their early promise will have to maintain their winning ways at Celtic Park and Ibrox.



    Rangers 2012 gave the 800 or so who turned up to support them yesterday a familiar sinking feeling. Some of their number’s sartorial leanings favoured bread packaging during the Warburton ‘revolution.’ The stand-up comedy of barking Caixinha and his caravan did not solicit any feathers in their caps. Is Gerrard the real deal?



    Napoleon Bonaparte was renowned as an articulate man of letters. One quote attributed to him springs to mind:



    I know he’s a good general but is he lucky?



    Gerrard is learning his trade. No-one could describe him as a general but few would argue that he is lucky. He was lucky not to have received a five goal drubbing yesterday. He was lucky to have held out with nine men against FK Ufa on Thursday. He was lucky that McGregor was not sent off with a penalty awarded to Celtic. Was the ‘alert’ fourth official unsighted?



    Brendan Rodgers is a good general who was unlucky in the close season. Having to deal with Judas Dembele and thirty pieces of silver forged in Lyon would have thrown lesser men off balance. Some of the Celtic support might rue the loss of a player who in his first season was sensational. They might rue the loss of one of the Invincibles.



    However to my mind they should celebrate the fact that Brendan Rodgers continues to be their manager. In Brendan they should trust.

  14. PHILBHOY on 3RD SEPTEMBER 2018 12:55 PM


    Celtic share price up 5% today to 168p.




    Does anyone know anything I don’t?




    Remarkable share movement in the last fortnight, I bought 500 in 2005 @ 30p a share, now trading at £1.68…?

  15. We shouldbhave scouts from now until January watching Memesevic.I believe he will be in the last 6 months of his contractat Gronigen.They have 2 CHs there who maybe could do a good job for us,so would be worthwhile

  16. mullet and co 2 on

    I think it is right and justifiable to have concerns re the Man City and Celtic relationship.



    I don’t think it’s right to make assumptions that it is untoward or that anyone within that relationship is making personal gain above that of their employer and I am sure given the stature of both clubs and the duty to shareholders that transactions are explainable and are open to scrutiny upon request.



    It’s not as though we have a steel magnate a bank and several construction firms operating football clubs funding and sponsoring them. Or referees and officials who are employees or sub contractors …Collusion and conflict of interest are hopefully a thing of the past and this sort of thing doesn’t happen eh anymore.

  17. From DanPonsonby



    #RefWatch on @SkySportsNews with Dermot Gallagher and Danny Mills.


    1. Jack jumps into the back of Rogic so initiates the first foul, meaning Celtic would get the advantage.


    2. McGregor sent off AND a penalty given.


    Outside of the Scottish biased media clearly a different view.

  18. State of that mob of Scum supporting the scum yesterday.Not a strip that wasnnot bought from Mehmets Turkish store.A rag bag bunch of morons in an assortment of tat,mixed with the odd,Hare Krishna anorak.


    RA PEEPUL,right enough.

  19. In my opinion the crush had to do with the fact Rangers are only giving us 800 tickets for Ibrox. This ensured that we retaliated and only allocated them 800 instead of £7500.



    However, Police Scotland decided that the segregation arrangements were unchanged and the Rangers fans were given roughly 25% of the area around the ground. The addition 6700 celtic fans were forced into the area at North east corner where there was congestion.



    In addition, the early kick off and the recent parking restrictions resulted in Travel difficulties and people arriving later at the ground than normal.



    Police Scotland poor relationship with Celtic fans seems to also be a problem with several fans reporting that individual officers were rude aggressive and hostile to fans asking that something be done to avoid serious injuries.



    We have time till the next Sevco game to sort out this issue and prevent any more crushing. However, another issue will be the next game at Ibrox. What are the arrangements for the Celtic fans accessing the Broomloan Corner?

  20. Nursing a major hangover from the result yesterday, three options;



    a) round of golf


    b) coupla pints in quiet pub


    c) get blootered again, mental pub wae karaoke ?

  21. From tjg_tommy



    Warburton got 8 points out his first 4 SPFL games (sacked before the end of the season)


    Pedro got 7 points out his first 4 SPFL games (sacked before the end of the season)


    Stevie G has got 5 points out his first 4 SPFL games (apparently he has turned Rangers into a force again)

  22. The best thing about it only being a 1 goal margin yesterday, is that many of them still believe they are on track to overturn us with minimal effort.

  23. The SFA have announced that having viewed the video from yesterday, the Compliance Officer has offered a two game ban to




    And further that should Celtic protest the ban an additional game will be added and that a two game touchline ban will be issued to



  24. BIGBHOY, i think its more the perennial squad balance than size issue


    Technically theres 4 keepers (didnt thing de vries was actually still in the squad) but only Gordon and Bain get near the team – not too much wrong there




    Theres only 2 senior strikers at the club (and id say edouard is more a forward than a striker – with scotty able to act as backyp and mickey as a work in progress at spl level, onyl thing really missing is a reasonably tall strong forward able to lead line and bully people sitting deep, I think we’ll have to unlock a lot of teams packed into 20 yards of pitch in the next 6+ months


    On paper the defence is ok – dont ask about compper – that leaves 8 players who might get a regular game for the defence with ralston as backup – big question in next 6 months will be gamboa


    Midfield – as usual this is where the squad is biggest but again not too bad at moment


    You got Brown/mulumbu for one spot , then arzani / hayes / forrest / sinclair on the wings – with morgan for the future – i’d say rogic / callum and ntcham will be the other 2 more often than not – with christie and allan as backup – if you discount kouassi and benyu as actual first teamers that jsut leaves biton…..so its not really 33……