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

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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. “You have to get on with it. You can’t sit and mump and moan that you don’t get decisions”

     

     

    Ryan Jack ©️ Daily Record 2018

     

     

    ????????????????????????????????

  2. As if Ryan Jack’s irony bypass wasn’t enough, I see Charlie Nicholas is also spouting 100% A-grade sh1te on the DR website.

  3. AULDHEID on 4TH SEPTEMBER 2018 10:48 AM

     

    Erskine Tim

     

     

     

    Yes we did win on Sunday 1-0 but currently it’s 1-1 with that mob winning 2-1 by tomorrow.

     

     

    If it lasts til the weekend we got humped 5-1.

     

     

     

    That is how stupid matters have become and why not?

     

     

     

    If you can deny you are not the same club and the media back you, why not be winners by the weekend?

     

     

     

    I don’t know why anyone would purchase a Scottish red top to have their intelligence insulted.

     

     

    ————————————-

     

    AULDHEID

     

    I agree. Red tops are a no-no!

     

     

    I do though listen to Radio Scotland, Michael Stewart aside, it’s the pits of Rangers* “feelgoodism”.

     

    Last night we had 15 minutes debating about the free kick, another 10 on MacGregor (#notviolent #nored).

     

    Then pretty much agreed the gap is closing.

     

     

    You know what, maybe the gap is closing (mebbees aye mebbees naw)……..but it didn’t exactly look like it on Sunday.

     

     

    The again we know a 1-0 pumping is somehow a moral victory!!

     

     

    Erskinetim

  4. TIMALOY29 on 4TH SEPTEMBER 2018 10:43 AM

     

     

    I genuinely think it’s almost guaranteed that Boyata will leave in January and Ntcham next summer. I think we could get 4m for Boyata and 15m+ for Ntcham.

     

     

    The key thing for us is identify the next Ntcham, Dembele, right back, centre back etc. and get them signed up. There are really good young players available in the 4-8m bracket. We could sign three of these players with the Dembele money and another 2 – 3 with an Ntcham sale. We do need 70-80% of them to be successful though. Ideally in 3 or 4 years time we could be sitting with an Ajax level squad, money in the bank and after completing 10 in a row!!

  5. ©️ Daily Record…

     

     

    Eh.. Ryan, did you just not mump and moan about Wille Collum?

     

     

    RJ.. That wisnae me!

     

     

    Eh.. Did you not just mump and moan about an alleged foul when Tom Rogic brushed past you?

     

     

    RJ.. That wisnae me!

     

     

    Eh.. I think your talking pish Ryan!

     

     

    RJ.. This isnae fair, am gonnae appeal against this!

  6. Melbourne Mick, I have arrived in Mount Eliza visiting my brother. If you are viewing, would be great to meet up with you and the rest of the bhoys for the St Mirren game on Saturday 14th September if you could let me know the venue. Many thanks and HH

  7. From tomtheleedstim

     

     

    Morelos – no further action.

     

    Naismith – no further action.

     

    McGregor – no further action.

     

    All three seen unequivocally kicking an opponent.

     

     

    I wonder who the former referees are who are on this panel?

  8. niallo83 on 4th September 2018 12:07 pm

     

    TIMALOY29 on 4TH SEPTEMBER 2018 10:43 AM

     

     

    I genuinely think it’s almost guaranteed that Boyata will leave in January and Ntcham next summer. I think we could get 4m for Boyata and 15m+ for Ntcham.

     

     

    The key thing for us is identify the next Ntcham, Dembele, right back, centre back etc. and get them signed up. There are really good young players available in the 4-8m bracket. We could sign three of these players with the Dembele money and another 2 – 3 with an Ntcham sale. We do need 70-80% of them to be successful though. Ideally in 3 or 4 years time we could be sitting with an Ajax level squad, money in the bank and after completing 10 in a row!!

     

     

    —–

     

     

    Niallo

     

     

    I agree that is the best way forward. We need to see what happens in January. If Benkovic shows his class before then and we get the nod from Leicester to keep him for the season it’d make sense to let Boyata go.

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