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McGregor’s 50th game, Sky’s cabal of bitter losers

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Last night’s game at Motherwell was Callum McGregor’s 50th appearance for Celtic and Scotland this season.  At this stage of an unrelenting career, I am continually looking for signs of fatigue.  Instead, Callum marked his half century with a display of industry, speed, insight and a spectacular goal.  On any other occasion, he would be Man of the Match.

But that award had to go to the incomparable Odsonne Edouard.  Odsonne terrifies defenders.  He seems to be able to attract groups of them, before weaving a way though.  The free kick goal, his second in successive games, will rightly make the highlights, but he is now so much more than just a goal scorer for Celtic.

In possession at the edge of the Motherwell box in the second half, when others would shoot, he had the coolness to roll the ball in front of the advancing Olivier Ntcham.  That vision is the sweet spot in football, a rare gift to cherish.  Most would be overcome with tunnel vision.  The finish was disappointing, but the build-up play is more evidence of what a special talent Odsonne is.

We kept a clean sheet thanks to Fraser Forster, but Motherwell were repeatedly gifted space and possession in dangerous areas in the first half.  I like the shape we deployed last night and think it is crucial to the play and results we have seen since the break.  More work is required if we are to avoid a potentially costly error.

Sky held their hands up and issued an apology to Celtic fans for broadcasting an accusation of racism on subtitles, where no such comments were made.  The climb-down happened shortly before kick-off, meaning it had significantly less shelf-life as a news story than their unashamedly predatory video against Celtic fans.

They did not even suggest they would take any meaningful remedial action, it looks like we have been invited to ‘get over it’.  After Kris Boyd going for Leigh Griffiths’ “mental strength”, they have a pattern of predatory behaviour that falls well short of necessary editorial standards.

From the outside, it looks like Sky’s Scottish football coverage is controlled by little more than a cabal of bitter losers.  Only their actions can change this perception.

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  1. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    DENIABHOY on 7TH FEBRUARY 2020 11:02 AM

     

     

    Tell me about it.

     

     

    Lifted the paragraph from Celtic Star btw

     

     

    HH

  2. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    THE BATTERED BUNNET on 7TH FEBRUARY 2020 11:13 AM

     

     

    Yeah, probably more worried about the conditions for fans travelling to Broadwood and security of infrastructure etc if conditions are to be as bad as predicted,

     

     

    HH

  3. If weather is inclement on Sunday-

     

     

    From @Celticfcslo

     

     

    Fixture Info: If Sunday’s match was to be postponed the rescheduled date is Wednesday, Feb 12

     

     

    HH

  4. When is the storm supposed to hit? Are Saturday’s games at risk? Newco’s got a tricky game at Hamilton. They won’t win that easily if Hamilton play like they did against us.

  5. Worst of weather SUNDAY but BBC has 50mph at Hamilton kick off time tomorrow

     

     

    Hopefully two big Accies center forwards sharpening their elbows as we talk

     

     

    Imagine 50mph winds open end would make game a lottery

  6. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    AN TEARMANN on 7TH FEBRUARY 2020 11:36 AM

     

     

    Please do, don’t forget yer hat and gloves ;)

     

     

    HH

  7. This is all about book sales for sure but there’s some bold statements in there that will rattle a few cages…

     

     

    The below is from an article in The S*n…

     

     

    Here is a selection of some of the book’s most incredible quotes:

     

     

    On Rangers’ use of EBTs:

     

    “Rangers cheated for years under David Murray. There should be a level playing field in sport and Rangers did not adhere to that by using the EBT scheme to sign players they otherwise would not have been able to bring to the club. That was unfair on the other teams.”

     

    On the SFA, who fined him £200,000 and banned him from being involved in football for life:

     

    “They struck me as being completely clueless. They were complete clowns. They had a lot to say about me at the time, but did they say anything about the EBT case?

     

    On Rangers manager Ally McCoist:

     

    “Ally McCoist was untested as a manager, but I had no choice but to keep him as it would have cost the club £1 million to break his contract.

     

    “My hands had been tied by the old board.”

     

    On Rangers losing to Malmo in a Champions League qualifier in 2011:

     

    “It was probably the moment when the inexperience of our young manager was most exposed.

     

    “Had Walter Smith still been in charge and been able to guide us into the Champions League I firmly believe I would still be the owner of Rangers today.”

     

    On the Rangers directors:

     

    “I thought the board were a bunch of pompous buffoons and meeting them served no purpose.

     

    “I decided they were all going to have to go sooner rather than later.”

     

    On receiving death threats:

     

    “I was the subject of several death threats, mostly online, people saying they’d happily take a life sentence to do me in. Another threatened to fire bomb the castle.”

     

     

     

    On failing to broker a deal with HMRC over the “big tax case”:

     

    “From the moment I took over I was confident that we’d either win the case or be able to do a deal with HMRC.

     

    “At the time of the takeover I didn’t believe there was a single problem facing the club that was insurmountable. In my experience, when it came to dealing with HMRC, there was always a deal to be done. They always wanted to get paid. It didn’t make sense to me.”

     

    On the likelihood of Rangers going into administration after his takeover:

     

    “Administration seemed almost inevitable. We looked at the possibility of of putting the club into administration pre-acquisition, or at the time of the takeover.

     

    “But the outcome of the EBT tax case was within the first month of the takeover. If we put the club into administration and then found we’d won the case that wouldn’t look great.”

     

    On selling Rangers’ shares in Arsenal:

     

    “The media said I’d sold shares the club held in Arsenal and kept the proceeds – that was completely untrue.”

     

     

     

    On being frozen out after Rangers went into administration:

     

    “I thought I was in control of the situation. I genuinely believed we could emerge a debt-free club, that I’d still be at the helm and we could move on.

     

    “The moment I thought I was in command was precisely the time it all fell apart. Duff and Phelps (the administrators) were acting with HMRC. Suddenly I was an outcast. Duff and Phelps were in charge and they swiftly instructed everybody not to deal with me.”

     

    On his involvement with Rangers:

     

    “I’ve never known a deal like it. It seemed that everyone I came into contact with tried to shaft me. Many of them succeeded.”

     

    On the Rangers players:

     

    “In the main footballers struck me as mercenaries. They were there for the money, not because they loved the club.

     

    “They got in at 10.30am, had a run around the pitch, got their free breakfast, their free lunch and then they disappeared. What a life. I used to hear all sorts of things about the players.

     

    “The club doctor told me a player had picked up a sexually transmitted disease and his performances had seemed to dip as a result.”

     

     

     

     

    On Rangers and their supporters:

     

    “I don’t care what happens to Rangers now – but I have a lot of sympathy for the Rangers supporters.

     

    “Those fans have suffered more than anyone, and through no fault of their own.”

     

    On being disqualified as a director in the United Kingdom for seven years:

     

    “I didn’t see the judgement as a big deal. Banning problem directors doesn’t curb their activities.

     

     

    On moving to tax haven Costa Rica:

     

    “My view on tax is that transactions between people should be voluntary, and that goes for the government as well.

     

    “Tax havens are completely moral as they stop governments from stealing your money. Governments are basically shakedown operations, like the mafia, but with better manners. They are parasites with no morals whatsoever.”

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