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. Fool Time Whistle on

    Paul, Always nice to read your article the day after one of those days. Great win for all the good guys.



    It did not seem to this observer that the other mob had confidence in their tactics or in individual players.


    Cautious, stay goalside, mark tightly, tackle hard, win your battles etc etc


    Looked like Morelos & Lafferty were told to get in amongst our football playing backline & force errors – and quite how both remained on the field will remain a mystery to all except the officials.


    On the other hand, the collusion between HMFC & Sevco that allowed Lafferty to play against us (& score the only goal) on 11th August then transfer to Sevco so that he could also face us yesterday to continue his rampaging against any Celtic player – is no mystery at all.



    Lafferty & Naismith were indulged & enabled by John Beaton & Lafferty & Morelos were given carte blanche by Wee Willie. Now that disturbs me – repeated brutality & violence was ignored by 2 referees & their assistants – and in both cases Celtic players were the targets and Lafferty was one of the assailants.


    I really hope that Celtic are making their case in whatever secret dark room the SFA permit.



    Personally & taking nothing away from it – I thought Jamesie’s ball for the goal was aimed at Edouard who had continued his run after laying the ball off to him. Eddie was elbowed and tripped by Arfield or else he would have been onto it, but Ollie finished it off anyway. Jamesie’s was a bit like the old cross-shot conundrum – it can be whatever you want it to be. When the ball went to Jamesie I expected a shot, but he could see that Goldson was going to block his shot, so he squared it back across goal where Eddie was heading.



    As it happens though – anyone believe that Mr Gollum(sic) would have given the PK on Eddie if Ollie hadn’t been there to score? No me neither.



    Also looks to me that someone’s had a word with Craig Gordon about his distribution – which has often made me feel nervous (those high, slow floating balls to KT standing on the touchline as an opponent is charging in). Yesterday, the quick roll/throw of the ball at pace to the player most in space changed things.



    How things change though – Dedryck goes from being the object of critical banners and some abuse to being a contender for man of the match in consecutive weekends.



    As for alleged fouls that were denied yesterday, Dedryck was fouled by Morelos late on near the touchline, which allowed Chunk* to get his only shot in on Gordon. How circumspect would Gerrad have been if he had scored from that?


    * He reminds me of Chuck from the Goonies.



    Hope the game on Saturday is a huge success & all 3 Foundations get loads of money.

  2. Anybody feeling sorry for the poor wee sevcoites?



    Nope. The narrative, as always, moves to the next game and the new named enforcer for Brown (somebody called Cooly Booly who is the new Kante rolled into Hazard), their home klan will turn if for them ‘naturally’ and cos They are the Peepil.



    Absolute bellends. Do they ever get tired of groundhog day ?

  3. Is Scott Allan still a Celtic player? I feel sorry for this guy, who doesn’t seem to have been given a chance.

  4. 16 ROADS. on 3RD SEPTEMBER 2018 2:46 PM






    Agree on that mate , he is a scumbag of the highest order . But by god he will get taken by the hand . One minor thing that disappoints me a wee bit , is since he came ,the former English players who had a liking for the celts ,have now changed there tune . Ferdinand and redknapp being the main culprits . Carragher yesterday was the same . Minor thing I know .

  5. i'vehadtochangemymind on

    WITs – they forgot the 38 year old Gareth McAuley



    Edward Ursus – you lurk anymore?



    Any thoughts on Gerard ?

  6. Collum was an embarassment yesterday. Tom Boyd told it as it was on Celtic TV.



    Why Brown and Eduard were booked, while McGregor, Lafferty and, possibly, Morelos weren’t ordered off is simply baffling.

  7. Good result and well deserved. 1 is as good as 10,although it could have been a cricket score.



    After the international break we have 7 fixtures in 23 days before another break and more of the same until Christmas. The european games will take a big toll on RFC although their domestic round of fixtures are easier.



    I expect us to be involved in European Foootball after Christmas whilst RFC campaign will be over after the first 3 group games. For a long season incl meaningless internationals we dont have the strength in depth.



    We need to fix the team and prepare for 2019/20 CL playoffs now.



    Brendan will play his part and we need a counterpart that he can work with that can deliver the deals. That way we may be able to convince Brendan to stay for the 10.

  8. Good evening CQN from a glorious and champion Garngad



    Every one of our Bhoys played well yesterday, special praise for Ajer for handling More or less and Boyatta for winning every header and handling more or less. To big Mik the Hunskelper, I thought he handled the thug Laffatme excellently. Those 3 have been getting stick of late so praise were its due.



    D. :)

  9. By the way, I hope I did not upset anyone last night.


    Logged on and posted when under the influence, DD sorry for the ramblings last night.




    D. :)

  10. DAVID66 hope ye enjoyed yer fry up cloudy here in deepest Cheshire, just about to take the dugs oot got 3 westies now because of poor annettes situation, sometimes I think can I handle 3 at my age, then I think of what Annette Is going through and say to myself, thank my lucky stars.hh.

  11. BP1 yer a good man



    As my old mum used to say, there is always someone worse off than yourself



    Keep up the good work pal



    D. :)

  12. BP1 by the way my sis in law seen me and the Bhoy going into get fry ups…


    She stuck me into my wife, I’m meant to be on a diet??



    D. :)

  13. i'vehadtochangemymind on

    So happy.



    It’s great that SG blames everybody else – he’ll trundle that nonsense out for as long as he can : that’s the mark of the man. And the loons will believe it. They were so bad they are entering into a collective delusion.They were worse than last year. I couldn’t believe they sat off us and then couldn’t believe the only alternative to that was lump it to lungeatme – even lungeatme must be saying now : what the hell did I do – we are shi*e . Nobody cares if we lose at hearts. And ML destroyed him all afternoon. It was a thing of beauty. I’m glad to see LG back – he’ll be chomping at the bit to knock the goals in against livi and dund and motherwell. Thanks for having a hissy fit Moosa.



    Yesterday was beautiful And ….. a big thanks to the fans for sticking with the team and not getting at them – they had 11 back for a lot of then game and as soon as they came BANG ; ON caresses it in.

  14. STV up to their usual pro- Hun agenda , quote “ only the Ntcham goal separated the two sides yesterday “ , what a bunch of hurtin Huns they really are !

  15. Sairheedrammy



    You’re right Celtic will get all the blame. Despite



    1. Huns cutting our allocation to 800 resulting in our retaliation



    2. Police Scotland ensuring same segregation arrangements for the 800 as were for the 7500



    3. Police directed people into the tunnel



    4. Closed the gates



    5. Introduced Horses into the area of congestion



    6.Acted aggressively and rude to Celtic fans raising the issue



    Police Scotland will sweep their role under the carpet

  16. prestonpans bhoys on

    Surprising the DR running a story with a ex EPL ref saying, that ‘foul’ before our goal if it was a foul then it should have been awarded to us !!



    That’s them banned and on the naughty step now.

  17. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    Lee McCulloch is thick as mince.



    Do BBC Scotland have any standards or are they set aside as long as you have an association with Rangers?

  18. Good article Paul67, very funny, laughed all the way through.



    Hopefully a bit of harmony will now ensue in the whole Club.



    Well done Celtic.




  19. DAVID66, a few verses you fill in the blanks were all off to Dublin in the green — with the helmets glistening in the sun, where the baynets slash the orange fuck sake forgotten the rest.hh.

  20. Paul67 et al



    Noticed a note on the Celtic FC website, by the Supporters Liason Officer, placed Sept. 1st that due to new arrangements, access to the Lisbon Lions Stand would be impacted. Seems to me that the worst impact was to the North Stand/Janefield Street access, the two no doubt directly related. That shows Celtic FC involvement, pre-knowledge of situation something I suspect most fans were not aware of. Now, I personally would not trust PoliceScotland to run a Zebra Crossing, and if this is directly related to the Board sanctioning 800 tickets to the visitors, then the solution is simple, no more tickets for the horde!

  21. i'vehadtochangemymind on

    Anybody with any experience of watching footie would have queried getting a youth coach in – but no , not thems. Believe the hype. They could well come second this season though their disciplinary record and concession of late goals points to am inexperienced, incohesive team.