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.


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  1. glendalystonsils on 3rd September 2018 1:43 pm



    NATKNOW on 3RD SEPTEMBER 2018 1:05 PM



    Just did my back in bowing.





    Didn’t mean to cause you injury mate!



    However – it was a very well-observed point. After all the hun hype and talk of gap closing etc. it’s good to read something that contains a smidgeon of perspective.




  2. Stevie Gerrard said that he “heard” John Beaton say “Foul, foul, foul”. Here is the role of the 4th official.



    “The fourth official, positioned on the touchline between the two opposing benches has three primary functions. First, he keeps track of all the stoppages during the game. And, at the end of each half, he informs the players how much time will be added on to make up for them by flashing a number on a board.



    The fourth official is also in charge of verifying substitutions. He checks a substitute’s equipment before recording the change and posting the numbers of the players involved on the board.



    Finally, the fourth official is also the managers’ primary liaison to the referee. All too often, they bear the brunt of a manager’s dissatisfaction with the referee’s decisions”.



    Doesn’t he know that Beaton was only acting in his capacity of “supporter”!

  3. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    @ AULDHEID on 3RD SEPTEMBER 2018 1:13 PM



    An interesting suggestion regarding taking a cut of a player’s future wage, but it would likely result in multiple legal issues.



    Firstly, it would probably have to be created pursuant to an ancillary agreement and not within the contract of employment itself (otherwise the player would have two contracts of employment subsisting when he moved to the new club). We all know how that is interpreted under the law (except by LNS).



    Secondly, even if there was ancillary agreement to bind the player, you would have a situation where one club is essentially subsiding another through a 3rd party. I’m not sure if this could also be construed as infringing upon ownership of the player to some degree- I guess it requires further consideration.



    Also, commercially speaking, it wouldn’t be market, so I very much doubt any agent would be willing to bind his client to such an agreement.



    In my opinion, we just have to make do with the money made from the transfer fee and re-invest that in the team. Wages may rise as a result (as we are buying better quality players), however this is not an issue provided the value of the asset increases; this was the issue with the MON approach: Sutton, Hartson and Lennon- great players but when bought they were assets that would only depreciate in terms of market value and, laterally, performance on the field.

  4. the long wait is over on

    Our goal yesterday will have given SG a real dilemma.



    Sit back and try to absorb the onslaught which would , inevitably, have lead to a goal ( if not more than one –


    McGregor and the bar and are unlikely to stop us that often again) or try and push up?



    One of the few times they got up the pitch we tore them apart on the break and scored.



    Same thing happened at Ibrox last year when Edouard scored that peach on the breakaway for 3-2.



    Still at least SG has many years of hard nose managerial experience to fall back on.



    Oh, wait…

  5. 67 European Cup Winners on

    21-5-79 on 3RD SEPTEMBER 2018 1:58 PM


    Show some ambition man – you have time for all 3




  6. AULDHEID – This would be a good week to release news of a new, improved 3 year contract for Ntcham with a watertight clause regarding his release from it e.g. 30 million to buy him out (assuming he wants to go).


    He will be subject to the same speculation in January and next summer so let’s get it sorted now. Stop the whispering campaign. Make it simple and transparent. You want to talk to him? You have 30 million? OK. We won’t stand in his way.


    The same goes for KT.


    I think that is probably pushing the current limit to what any club will play for a player from Scotland. And that’s how it should be.


    I like your idea of a percentage of salary too,

  7. It was difficult to really dislike Brother Pedro, Tumbling Murty or even the Breadman to a certain extent.



    That sneering bagatelle Gerrard is a vile character though,and is destined to finish up the same way as the above mentioned.



    HH. ?



    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.






    January needs to be a big month for us on the transfer front. Boyata has been excellent the past three games but the liklyhood is he’ll go in January or the summer. The Croatian boy is only here short term and might even return as early as january. Our transfer targets are clear, still a centre half (maybe 2) and a right back. A 3rd striker also required now of course. Meantime we need to juggle the defence to integrate the new boy, while preparing for the possible departure of Boyaya and continuing the development of Ajer. This football manager job is dead easy. Oh, also, Ntcham will surely be another £20M transfer next year, so another midfielder required.



    Briliant yesterday. Apart from the stand-outs, I thought the defensive part of James Forrest’s play was excellent.

  9. 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.






    By a bizarre twist of fate I found myself in middle England in one of those training centres corporates send you to be corrected. We shared it with the English FA refs on the night we beat Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield.



    In a packed room only Dermot Gallagher and I cheered the hoops, singing long into the night about our love for the Celtic. He’s one of our own….

  10. With Andy Robertson being made captain of Scotland, good luck to the lad he’ll need it, looks like Kieran will be at right back permanently.

  11. Who thinks our alternative 11 would have beaten der hun yesterday






    Gamboa Jozo Benkovic Izzy



    Arzani Eboue Mulumbu Morgan







  12. The Hands



    Thanks for the reply.



    Yup it would be a personal contract with player and whilst there will legalities to negotiate the contract might be with a separate Player Development company.



    I’m think on student loan lines as in we will pay the cost of your education when benefit from it you repay that cost or some of it.



    Let’s assume Dembele is on £50k a week with Lyon for 4 years.


    There is a 10% clause in the contract so we get £5k a week.


    Still enough for Dembele to leave but £250k a year for four years coming back.


    However it only works where the club has a great to excellent record of increasing a players wage value and it turns Celtic’s wage disadvantage to an advantage.


    Just something to think about.



    Put some of the responsibility on players rather than clubs covering the cost of a players development.

  13. Would a footballer with potential really sign a contract that means they would give away part of their future earnings? If this was something only Celtic (and no other club) tried to insist on then it seems like a major disincentive.



    Or am I missing the point (likely)?

  14. RE Future earnings – 1 its tantamount to posh indeptitude (sic) – kinda like the old I sold my soul to the company story / you cant really own a person forever – pretty sure they outlawed that –


    2 – pretty sure after the whole tevez (and mascheriano (sic) i think ) west ham / eligibility thing – that 3rd party ownership is a no no – though in italy they do seem fond of 50% ownerships – so it must be legit….

  15. When we play at the shithole in December, not only do I fear for the ‘800’, I honestly fear for the players and staff as well.



    Any player that plays will have to be made of strong stuff!.



    I genuinely fear for the safety.



    Broonie el capitano I salute ye!!.

  16. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    McCoist to McCall to Warburton to Murty to Pedro to Murty to Stevie G…



    Its seems obvious the reason Sevco are always just “coming” is that they keep changing their hands.

  17. What is the Stars on

    Big Wavy



    Myself and She who must be obeyed met Dermot Gallagher in Dublin after the Ireland Scotland game a couple of years back


    Ended up having right good drink with him.He was born in Dublin and emigrated at 9 years old.


    Very proud of his Irishness and his catholicism .Absolutely no doubt where his allegiances lie.


    Nice guy too.

  18. Tim Malone Will Tell on




    I like the general principle – but it would have to be a model sanctioned by football bodies and not just something applied arbitrarily by one club.


    I would strongly suspect that Celtic unilaterally trying to apply a “wages tax” or “player VAT” in transfer dealings would severely disadvantage us in attracting talent.


    But your suggestion might also help the community clubs like Hamilton, St Mirren etc. get a fairer deal out of player development if it was universally adopted by governing bodies.

  19. Tim Malone, aye and as some have shown in the past there are other ways to “pay” wages…..

  20. For me the worst decision yesterday was the failure to red card Lafferty for stamping on Mikey Lustig. The second worst one was the yellow card for Odsonne – what was that all about? But we shouldn’t complain about McGregor not getting a red – he’s allowed to do that kind of thing. A Celtic player wouldn’t be punished for that either, would he?

  21. Paul67 et al



    If, decisions were made re Crowd control at Parkhead yesterday, unannounced, which led to serious risks to the lives and livelihoods of football supporters attending Celtic Park then those responsible should either be disciplined or prosecuted, or both. It is not enough for CFC or Police Scotland to apologise and say they will look into the chaos if they are the decision making organisations. The Match Commander should be brought to book and any employee or Board member of Celtic Football Club involved should peremptorily be sacked. The scenes outside the ground were reminiscent of times past, as does the attitudes behind the decision making process which led to them.

  22. Guys , the Janefield tunnel episode was a bad enough experiance .



    After the game we were denied access to the Emirates bus park because of the segragation and where litterly sent round the houses ( in and out of the athletes village basically ) to avoid coming into contact with the away fans .



    It so long that we ended up with a stampede of Policeman realising they had let the away fans meet up with Celtic fans …i dont know how they managed to save it being a riot .



    One and a half hours to get out of the bus park …..just as well we humped them , party time on the bus ……



    Need to go


    Catchyeez ??⚽️???

  23. WITS



    Yep, he did mention his proud Dublin roots but I thought after the All-Ireland yesterday I’d respect the day of public mourning going on in 31 counties back home :)

  24. Whilst we have criticised ourselves for thumbing through the Man City end of season player store, it appears that the Huns version is the Norn Irn book of Staunchness for big gangly over the hill bigots…



    Soitis old and soitis beautiful……

  25. anybody having trouble with ads download adblock plus, bliddy fantastic as bobby would say, cqn looks great again.hh.

  26. shoonsky on 3rd September 2018 2:17 pm



    Stevie Gerrard said that he “heard” John Beaton say “Foul, foul, foul”. Here is the role of the 4th official.



    “The fourth official, positioned on the touchline between the two opposing benches has three primary functions. First, he keeps track of all the stoppages during the game. And, at the end of each half, he informs the players how much time will be added on to make up for them by flashing a number on a board.



    The fourth official is also in charge of verifying substitutions. He checks a substitute’s equipment before recording the change and posting the numbers of the players involved on the board.



    Finally, the fourth official is also the managers’ primary liaison to the referee. All too often, they bear the brunt of a manager’s dissatisfaction with the referee’s decisions”.



    Doesn’t he know that Beaton was only acting in his capacity of “supporter”!





    A couple of seasons ago during the 5-1 game at Ibrox John Beaton had to rely on fourth official Bobby Madden (I know) to tell him it was a penalty when Beerman chopped down Roberts. Maybe Scottish referees need all the help they can get.

  27. Gerrard is such a disappointment. When he came at first I thought, given his background, he might bring some sanity to Ibrox and Scottish football. But he has been bought and paid for – a willing partner in the whole shabby project .



    Mind you, he has one singular achievement to his name. The fact that Scottish football no longer observes the same rules as the rest of the world is very much down to him. Stevie’s scripted, ‘The world is against us.’ outburst has done him no end of good. The net result is that violent conduct is no longer a punishable offence. Of course this exemption applies only to Sevco.

  28. Is it my imagination but it seems quiet on here today, maybe because there’s not much to moan about after yesterdays pummelling of the Hun. we are still on page 3 at 16.30

  29. The ref was spot on in his assessment of Jack jumping into Rogic.


    It was clear as day to everyone bar the coach of the 7th placed club and cheetin Beaton.


    Funny how Beaton did not spot the penalties we should have been awarded when Ajer was clearly wrestled to the ground in clear sight of uncle Tom and the kick by keeper on Ajer.Or did the whiner not hear him at those incidents?


    If the breakaway goal had been called back on thee say so of a 4th official going way beyond his remit it would have been dougie dougie part 2.


    The mssm showing their myopic view of events is all to predictable in the best wee country.



    As an aside 20million for Nt’cham is nowhere near enough.


    Our scouting has generally been crap but kudos to whoever found this guy who will be a genuine world superstar.

  30. Yesterday’s result was a real confidence booster, big time. We have been under the cosh from the usual sources for months now, and dare I say it , some on here have been taken in by all the negativity. I’ve said for weeks now, all we lacked was confidence, that was all. Was it any wonder the players were nervous and error prone when all they heard or saw was negativity.


    So, now, forward , and take the league by storm, and believe.


    An aside, we must keep hold of young Mr Christie, the bhow is a player, honest


    I’m off to see what delights QueenLubo has made for my birthday dinner.


    Be good everyone, and remember, stay positive




  31. Fan-a-tic



    Agree about N’tcham, he has real quality.



    I think you will find out this was Brendan’s scouting as according to the wisdom, Brendan signs good players and the dross is signed by Lawwell as recommended by Lawwell Junior.