More cunning than Tiger Woods at a cocktail bar


I’ve been meaning to speak to you about this for a while; thought I would wait until the new season, see if anything changed, maybe we could avoid having the chat.

There are different ways of watching football games.  There’s the way we watch World Cup games, as unpartisan observers, which is completely different to the way we watch Celtic games.  If I’m watching a game in the English lower leagues with a one-time Celtic target, I’ll watch him closely, usually paying scant regard to anyone else.  The same is true if I’m watching the likes of Wigan with Sean Maloney.

When I watch a game before writing a match report I often get a different perspective.  The game flows in the normal manner but I then have to look at my notes and compose a report.  It’s the notes that are often unexpected, they tell a story of incidents, not of what is essentially a pursuit which flows for 90 minutes.  For Celtic, the incidents overwhelmingly, often as much as 80% of the time, involve one player.

He’s not the quickest, the most industrious, or the strongest, but Kris Commons makes things happen at a level no one else at Celtic comes close to.  The evidence screams out at me every time I check my notes.

I’m sure Celtic will recognise this with a new contract but there’s reason to worry about this now.  What if he’s injured, what if opponents figure out they better stop supply to him, what if his form shades, as it did two years ago?

I like the look of the squad.  Lustig, Matthews, Izaguirre, Ambrose, Brown, Mulgrew, Johansen, Forrest, Biton, Stokes, Griffiths, Forster and van Dijk offer consistent standards of performance, most look comfortable in Champions League football, but the dependence on one creative talent feels like an unnecessary vulnerability.

As I said, football is not an incident-dependent sport, like golf, it is a flowing pursuit which requires industry, concentration and strategy, without which, the creatives would end up playing lower league football.  But to win games, you need someone to invoke six of seven incidents more cunning than Tiger Woods at a cocktail bar*.

*Kris Commons behaviour at cocktail bars is impeccable, he is capable of on-field cunning only.

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    Sorry to read of your sad loss. May God bless and keep your mum.

  2. Bolton took Modou Barrow on trial but had £600,000 offer rejected


    Barrow’s side Osterlunds value pacy Gambian striker at £1.5million


    Hull, QPR, Everton and Swansea are said to be monitoring the player


    Celtic are also keen with Osterlunds impressed by their scouting record




    PUBLISHED: 22:57 GMT, 16 July 2014 | UPDATED: 22:57 GMT, 16 July 2014



    Celtic are weighing up a move for £1.5million-rated Gambian strike prospect Modou Barrow.


    A 21-year-old striker with Ostersunds FK in Sweden, Barrow was the subject of a rejected £600,000 bid from Bolton Wanderers after spending last week on trial with the English Championship club.


    And Ostersunds president Daniel Kindberg claimed the Scottish champions are also interested in the pacy forward, following a glowing recommendation from former Hamilton boss Billy Reid — now the Swedish club’s assistant manager.


    Keen to conclude a deal in the next fortnight, Kindberg claims Hull City, QPR and Everton will watch Barrow against Sundsvall tomorrow night after Bolton’s opening offer was kicked out.


    ‘We have rejected a £600,000 bid,’ Kindberg told Sportsmail. ‘We put Modou in the price range of £1.5m but it depends on the structure and sell-on clause. We also want to look after the player.


    ‘He has just arrived back from Bolton because we have an important game on Friday when we start the autumn part of the season.


    ‘We had a very encouraging report from (Bolton boss) Dougie Freedman about the player. We also have interest from Celtic, Middlesbrough and Swansea.


    ‘We have an English manager in Graham Potter and a Scots assistant in Billy Reid, who has been speaking to people at Celtic about the player.


    ‘Celtic’s youth coach David Moss has been here with his team and Celtic have an exceptional scouting record. They know the Scandinavian market well. We are taking their interest very seriously.


    ‘Billy is an expert in getting talented players to the top level from his years in Scotland and has done a great job with Modou. We think he will take some big steps in the game.’


    Reid, who oversaw the development of the likes of James McCarthy and James McArthur at Hamilton, was full of praise for the striker, saying: ‘Modou is sensationally quick and technically good. If anyone was going to be worth big money in the future, it is this guy. He’s got great potential.’


    A prolific scorer as a teenager in the Swedish lower leagues, Barrow quit IFK Norrkoping for personal reasons, but scored six goals in nine games in the first half of the Swedish season, attracting interest from British clubs.

  3. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma on




    Just read back and sorry to hear about your loss.



    As you may know my dad passed away in March this year and while I really do miss his voice I feel his spirit closer than ever.



    God bless your mum and you and yours.

  4. brth



    Thanks for that. A parent loss is so hard to take, I lost my dad 21 years ago and still think of him every day. They were an inseparable couple, so heaven has a new pair to deal with. Mum was a very exuberant person and I wish I was a fly on the wall when my dad greets her up there. The mind boggles. :-) Hope to meet again this season at the you know where. :-))



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.

  5. jamesgang



    Someone I met years ago said in relation to practice and luck…..



    Practice makes permanent



    As opposed to practice makes perfect.



    If you practice the wrong stuff or even the right stuff wrongly you only reinforce that stuff.




  6. the no13 shorts



    Post some of your own stuff to redress any balance on here that you don’t like.



    I don’t always agree with some opinions or stances. I rarely argue about them because that is often a fatuous exercise, but I will post some of my own stuff as a counterbalance.



    Room for all really.




  7. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma





    23:13 on



    16 July, 2014



    Well worth the time to read and most definitely of relevance at all levels of justice from the highest down to the Nimmoest. (which kept crossing my mind as I read although not of anything like approaching the same importance)

  8. Margaret McGill on

    I’ve been meaning to speak to you about this for a while; thought I would wait until the new season, see if anything changed, unfortunately not.


    I think Celtic should forget about any long term European vision and know our place. Our place is EPL fodder till Sky or whomever go broke.


    In saying that I think the board have the right idea to sell any inkling of talent to the highest bidder. In the meantime maintain the shite that we are, until hunnery shite reaches our level of shite hopefully next year and then it’s back slapping all round historic traditional shite with shite. Then we can all say ” awe diddums we tried our best but we have to know where we stand in the corporate world and the sooner we accept that we are shite the better. Executive bonuses not included”

  9. the no 13 shorts



    If understand you correctly why ever not?



    Negative stereotypes can be confronted positive ones based om on experience or anecdote.



    Have I missed something




  10. thebhoywithmcgraininhisside on

    Please tell me what you think of the following. (Amazing what you can think about when the prescribed drugs won’t let you sleep, doh…)



    I can’t shake the feeling that Jorge Luis Pinto is THE star of the World Cup.



    The Costa Rica coach took one of the least fancied sides to the quarter finals and but for the vagaries of penalties it would have been the semis.



    I know nothing about Jorge’s previous career, he may have been a completely hopeless coach at countless clubs along the way, however the fact remains that his side bested Italy, Uruguay and Greece, albeit on penalties, and also drew with their group’s whipping boy.



    According to the commentators, Jorge’s side were merely a circus act. Some sort of well-oiled, novelty, off-side performance for alan hansen, amongst others, to coo over on his final english call up.



    But then England finished 4th in the group.



    To my mind, the games against Italy and the Netherlands were the most significant. Pinto played 541 in both games but importantly deployed his defence on the half way line against Italy, whilst playing them 20 yards from goal against the dutch. Why?



    As far as I’m aware, Costa Rica don’t have a Makélélé in their squad, a specialist defensive midfielder. Gordon Strachan has always said that you fit your system to suit your players and here Pinto excelled. In the absense of such a dm, he drilled 2 flat banks that garnered offsides seemingly at will.



    However, in order to stop nippy forwards getting between the lines and dictating play, this type of system means that your defence and midfield have to play 10 to 15 yards apart.



    Italy played with a double playmaker system, (so Glen Hoddle simply marking Pirlo out of the game would not have worked, get over it) and so their main threat came from their supremely talented, Juventus dominated, midfield. To counter this Costa Rica pushed their defence high up the pitch, crowded the midfield and gambled that Balotelli’s finishing, with or without the Queen’s blessing, would prove ineffectual. It did and Italy lost.



    Against the Dutch, Pinto recognised that Robben, Van Persie were the great threats and so set his defensive line about 20 yards closer to their goal. A through ball to Robben is tougher to play when he’s 20 yards from goal as opposed to 40. However, it didn’t seem to matter much as the offside count was pretty much as high as in the Italy game. Looking back it’s incredible that two defensive stalwarts of the calibre of Cahill and Jagielka didn’t at least match the performance of the Costa Ricans. But ho hum.



    Essentially the Costa Ricans were supremely fit, had a system, stuck to it, whilst beating much more fancied opposition along the way, but eventually had to make way for some orange march or other… Lessons to be learned.



    Hail hail.

  11. Good morning friends from East Kilbride where all things are bright and beautiful with hardly a cloud in the sky.



    Good luck to the 3 Scottish teams playing their Europa League qualifying ties tonight.

  12. Morning all… a few hours in the city today… anyone visiting the watering holes??



    Will check back later as just about to depart.




  13. BRTH @ 23.13








    I thought I’d sample a small chunk of your excellent piece before work this morning and this jumped out at me…..



    The Prevention of Terrorism Act ( temporary provisions ) were introduced by Home Secretary Roy Jenkins on 28th November 1974 and became law by passing through the entire Parliamentary process in less than 24 hours. The act spent less than 10 minutes being considered by the Lords, and created unprecedented powers in peacetime. Jenkins himself described the measures introduced by the act as Draconian.




    The DATA RETENTION AND INVESTIGATORY POWERS BILL that was rushed through parliament in 2 days this week under the guise of national security resonates loudly with the above bill.



    Some dissenting parliamentary voices….



    The former Tory shadow home secretary David Davis told ministers that the rush to push through the Drip bill undermined parliament’s role.


    “My understanding is there was an argument inside government between the two halves of the coalition and that argument has gone on for three months, so what the coalition cannot decide in three months this house has to decide in one day,” said Davis.


    “This seems to me entirely improper because the role of parliament, we have three roles. One is to scrutinise legislation, one is to prevent unintended consequences and one is to defend the freedom and liberty of our constituents. This undermines all three and we should oppose this motion.”


    The Labour MP, Tom Watson, also criticised the rush to legislate. “Parliament has been insulted,” he said. “[This is] democratic banditry resonant of a rogue state.”



    It would seem some lessons are never learned.



    I look forward to reading the rest when i get a few moments later.

  14. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on



    05:02 on


    17 July, 2014



    Interesting analysis.


    `Fraid a bit too technical for a guy whose coaching manual was dominated by “Get stuck right in there ” or “Rummel`em up.”


    On the terracing the oft heard plaintive cry of “Give us a body.”


    Somehow ,that seemed much more fun.


    Costa Rica did very well and Mexico wiz robbed.





    Sleep? Good exercise during the day,if poss.

  15. Live update from The Open –



    -1 C Wood (1)



    E D Duval (2)


    E R Karlsson (2)


    E D Van Der Walt (1)


    E C Tringale (1)


    E M Kobayashi (1)


    E M Jones (1)



    +1 D Howell (2)



    +2 D Weisberger (1)



    if we could all take turns at the hourly updates please? ;-)

  16. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on



    06:44 on


    17 July, 2014



    They may perhaps have the returning ISIS fighters in mind.


    Oz authorities have been claiming that ” tens” of them have already returned to Oz.


    The valid concern is that they may put their new found skills into practice here.

  17. Jobo



    A day in dunblane that would please even the most demanding weather commentator’s eyes!



    Enjoy your own wee kickabout later….






    HH jamesgang

  18. Another day closer to our wee visit to Murrayfield :-)



    Oh good morning Timland



    Hail Hail

  19. Right, we should now get past the Icelanders and qualify for the next round.



    The ties for the next round will be played 29/30th July and 5/6th August. Does anyone know if we’re supposed to be home or away first?

  20. Marrakesh Express on

    Shortbread news reporter just pronounced Groningen ‘girogen’. Happens all the time.

  21. A number of years ago I played golf with a guy who’s son was a very promising young player, worked hard at his game but above all was extremely courteous and friendly and always seemed more interested in helping my shambolic game than his own.



    This morning he fulfils a lifetime ambition by teeing it up at Hoylake, the very best of luck to Paul McKechnie, a fine player but above all a very fine young man.

  22. Morning all. Dull so far down here. Promising better, possibly, weather-wise.



    Looks like Celtic are promising better football-wise, while the undead can’t even find a proper pitch to play on.

  23. lymmbhoy



    Thanks for that but sadly I can’t find anything to answer my query.



    I’m missing Tuesday’s game as I leave on holiday on Tuesday and it only dawned on me last night that, supposing we qualify, I’ll be away for the first leg of the next round.



    I’ll be booking the holidays in future :-)

  24. Thunder Road…



    Not clear from the article but i assume the Argies are donating 110k each and not as a total from the $20mill ..

  25. Leaderboard for Jobo


    1 Howell Eng -2 6


    1 E Molinari Ita -2 2


    3 Van Der Walt SA -1 5


    3 Leishman Aus -1 4


    3 Chesters Eng -1 2


    3 Jacobson Swe -1 2


    7 Karlsson Swe E 6


    7 Wood Eng E 4


    7 Aphibarnrat Tha E 3


    7 Lahiri Ind E 3


    7 Grace SA E 1


    7 Lawrie Sco E 1


    7 Leonard US E 1


    14 Duval US 1 6


    14 Kim Kor 1 4


    14 Koepka US 1 2


    14 Curtis US 1 1


    18 Tringale US 2 5


    18 Compton US 2 3


    18 Martin US 2 3


    18 Oda Jpn 2 3


    22 Kobayashi Jpn 3 5


    22 Wiesberger Aut 3 4


    24 Jones Aus 4 5





  26. HT



    I read the other day, that we will play next round 1st leg away from home as well,


    Due to Celtic park being out of use and availability of Murrayfield for next game



    Not seen confirmed anywhere though



    Hail Hail

  27. Wee question for anyone with technical awareness. I have just discovered that I have a GPS antenna. I don’t even know which device it came with. Can anyone enlighten me on how I am supposed to use it?

  28. My approach was holiday bookings was to let mrs JG choose whatever she wanted and thought the kids would like.



    My job was to supply the 3 digit security no from the credit card.






    HH jamesgang

  29. Cowiebhoy



    I’d heard that too but can’t find anything to confirm it.






    Very true I’ll maybe just politely ask if we can go earlier in future :-)



    Right, gym time.

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