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. FTW


    Christie now in last year of contract


    Suggest he has until Jan to earn new deal


    I like the Bhoy, at Inverness as a Bhoy, he outshone our midfield on a couple occasions, similar to what McGinn done at both St M and Hibs


    He just needs a decent chance to prove his ability, in my opinion


    I need to repeat, he is not a centre forward though, and should not be considered to fill the current gap left by Dembele



    Hail Hail & FtSFA

  2. The signing of Mulumba will enable us to give Christie more time.


    Brown and Mulumba pairing with Nt’cham slightly further forward would give us more flexibility in the forward zone.


    And skill guys like Christie and McGregor could express themselves with a little less fear due to more protection behind them in the event of a turnover.

  3. Fool Time Whistle on

    As for the Crush in Janefield Street, the Safety Team would have discussed this issue and decided that this was the best way to manage the fans of both teams for this match.



    It seems that the reduced number of their fans AND that they were located close to the South Stand persuaded someone (Police representative?) that this was the solution.


    That is the only thing that has changed regarding this fixture.



    Question is though, did anyone plan for the increased fans in Janefield Street? It’s unbelievable that there was no changes to the existing plan for Janefield Street.


    Did they just assume that this would sort itself out & they had no plan?


    Did they have a plan that was not implemented?


    Was their plan implemented but just flawed?



    They would know that 75% Celtic fans coming to Celtic Park go to their seats within the last 15 minutes, so this congestion should have been no surprise to anyone.



    Those who were there will know how bad it was & how much worse it could have become.



    A very serious incident could have been a tragedy & Glasgow City Council’s Safety Team Chairman needs to sort out who, what, why & how.



    Huge own goal by the Safety Team that this happened – whoever dropped the ball.



    Hope all who were caught up in it are in good shape.

  4. Stupid I know


    How difficult would it be for Police Scotland to pick up Sevco fans at the Hovel


    Escort them in buses to parking on Springfield road, then walk them – their used to that, straight into stadium at say 11.45 ?


    Leaving all other access routes open to Celtic fans ?


    We are used to that small section being controlled, and in past the road from Springfield vaults down to that entry area being controlled ?


    Too difficult to deal with 800, instead put several thousand out



  5. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Later this year (October) an Ariane 5 rocket will be launched from French Guyana carrying two satellites for the BepiColumbo space mission.



    These satellites are destined for Mercury but, just in case they are intercepted by alien life, they will be programmed to transmit (on repeat) a simple but powerful message …






    “Andrew Robertson was once rejected by Celtic”

  6. Fool Time Whistle on

    Loved the goal, but wanted to pay tribute to Tom Rogic’s tackle to win the ball, his great run from box to box & his cute wee pass to Edouard.



    Top stuff sir.

  7. I noticed that Ryan Christie has “bulked up” a bit and looks to have more energy than a Duracell Bunny on speed lettuce.



    Could be another Calum McGregor in slow burn terms rather than style which has still to fully emerge.

  8. glendalystonsils on




    I think Ryan Christie has at least as much potential as Calmac had at similar stage.


    By ‘similar stage’ I mean when Calum returned from his loan at (Notts County?) and before getting a run in the team ,with the accompanying coaching

  9. FTW- The crush wasn’t helped by fans being forced to walk behind the north stand as plod wouldn’t allow us to access the main stand or Celtic end,when travelling from Springfield Rd…to accommodate 800 Huns

  10. Yesterday, I watched pro ably the most o e sided game Ive watched against those clubs.



    Today, I’ve listened to the ghouls and realised how close they actually are to us.



    Deluded doesn’t cover it.

  11. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on




    Perhaps precipitated in part by the Police? Incompetent or hoping to stir bother / arrests to justify their ‘football unit’ fees?



    Paranoid? Recent years have proven we are not nearly paranoid enough – those who go to away games since the introduction of the O##F Act will have suffered or witnessed the harrassment of Celtic fans who are doing nothing other than going to the football – that harrassment hasn’t abated with the repeal of the act.



    Same cameras, same specialist units, same random searches, same targetting of fans to drum up convitions.



    I was present the night of the original ‘battle’ of Janefield Street – no heroics from me, I jumped a wall into one of the front gardens to get away from Strathclyde’s finest as the mounted division roared back down the street for a second time, knocking fans over with no regard for their safety.



    Although not violent, Sunday gave me a shiver remembering the true circumstances on that night versus the pish that was spun in the press the next day – same with Notts Forest, same with Hillsborough, same ‘we did everything we could to assist the fans efficiently and effectively’.



    Saw people coming out of the crush at the corner between North and Jock Stein stands to then be met with a uniformed cordon who appeared to be checking season tickets and trying to stop anyone who wanted through to escape the unfolding chaos but didn’t have a ticket for the Jock Stein or Main Stand – I haven’t seen anyone commenting on this (I expect it was more stupid and incompetent rather than malevolent).



    Anyway – watch out for the whitewash – it has already started – “Celtic have made a statement… / …Celtic have apologised… / … The Police and Stewards acted quickly as soon as the problem became apparent at 11:50…”, etc. All complete bollocks of course, as those who were present have already testified.



    Police are already asking for witnesses to help then with their review of the incident – an independant review is crucial – not by the Police or Celtic.



    Some will want to be out with the big brush to make sure this debacle is buried under the carpet…






  12. MSSM in Scotland are worlds best at telling us what actually happened rather than what our eyes witnessed .


    McCulloch in papers saying McGregor has no malicious tendencies though a Hearts,Motherwell and Celtic player have all been assaulted by him.


    A guy notorious for coming out studs first to opponent.


    The Rogic incident when Jack jumps into him then flapped about like a wounded fanny has the mssm all claiming flapping fanny was fouled and have brought out fine upstanding citizens like Ally and McCulloch despite a former top class EPL referee pointing out the truth.


    Wonder if the mssm wax nostalgically about the days of radio and newspapers when they could completely control their dishonest narrative?

  13. Fool Time Whistle on




    Hope RC gets a chance to earn a new contract.






    Yep, I thought he looked bigger – but then we’re back to jerseys that don’t shrink.






    Will Celtic/Glasgow City Council share the findings of the real inquiry into the Janefield St mayhem from Sunday?



    Depends on who’s been found responsible I suppose.

  14. Fool Time Whistle on

    Bada Bing



    Sorry just seen your comment – been distracted.



    If the police were directing you/other fans to the Janefield St route, then that was the Masteplan from the Safety Team.



    The changes were actively implemented therefore it was no accident or police cockup, although I usually prefer cock up theory to conspiracy theory.



    As we see repeatedly (and BGFC lays some of it out) commanding football matches for the Police is often a steppng stone and not a career move. HIllsborough especially proved that. Idiots are routinely given responsibilities far beyond their capabilities so the dreaded human factor will depend on the calibre of the human in a police commander’s uniform.



    Also these Safety Teams are oddities – the council chair them & are responsible for issuing the certificate, but with a completed stadium it’s the Police that hold most sway. The relationship between the club and the Police is a delicate dance at times. This incident proves that the Safety Team or the club/Police screwed up big time. From the accouts I’ve read on here, serious injury or death could easily have resulted. That is a wretched indictment of those whose official job it was to plan & implement procedures to improve the safety of spectators at a certifiably “safe football stadium”.



    It seems likely to me that the fans were redirected on instructions/advice from the minutes from the last Safety Team meeting. In other words the fans were just left to get on with it themselves.


    Any other option suggest that both the club and the police both had associated roles in Janefield Street but both just forgot about them at the same time. That’s just too coincidental even for a cock up theory to fly.



    Needs to be a transparnet investigation of the results laid out – warts & all.



    For my sins I used to be the Chair of one of these Safety Teams – but that was another lifetime ago.

  15. Ryan Jack…….you couldn’t make this up, really!



    Scotsman article today with Jack stating Gollum should no longer be allowed to referee top games as he makes too many mistakes.


    He insists he was clearly fouled and Willie ignored the “foul, foul, foul” advice from the fourth official John Beaton.



    So far so Hunnish……..



    Mr Jack goes on to question the competence of referees by discussing the serious injury he picked up last season in a match with Motherwell which put him out for 6 months damaging his career and the referee didn’t even think it was a foul….



    The referee in question? A certain Mr John Beaton!



    I knew most of them were thick, just not that thick.











    Comments like that would see Neil Lennon and a fair few others up before the beaks. No doubt he’ll be praised for his forthright honesty.

  17. Good morning CQN from a beautiful foggy dew drenched Garngad



    It was a foul on Rogic, feck the sevcoites and laptop puppies.







    D. :)

  18. I hope the next time we play them that they have something for dodgey Dave the criminal and Jabba the twat to squirrel on about… The daft zombie zoomers are forgetting nae brainwashed into forgetting we pummelled them, and that it was 1 going on 4 at least






    D. :)

  19. Sooo looking forward to work today after my day off yesterday


    Not many huns in my place, but the ones that are there, were bumping their gums all week about how they are back and Sleekit G is the man. ???????



    Utter fuds



    D. :)

  20. `After losing energy, I needed Indian vegetable`


    The answer is `Bhindi` but I don`t get the `After losing energy` bit. Anyone?



    BTW It was in the DR Crossword from yesterday. I read the rag to see how it would turn our victory into a good thing for Sevco…they didn`t but Wee Barry said it will be different next time. At least, I think he said that .I could only stomach a small part of his `article`. The general commentary throughout the sports` pages , although accurate enough re the actual game, was pithy drivel.




  21. Did Big Tom commit a match-winning foul in each of our previous TWELVE encounters with Sevco?