Neilson, Skovdahl, Starfelt, Rogic, Celtic deliver


Like you, for the most part, the football I have watched is mundane.  It is a necessary process towards an objective.  Last night was so different, I loved the game.

If you sit anywhere near me, there is a mantra you will hear whenever Celtic are well on top but not in the lead, “We need to score when are this dominant.”  You have seen the movie, good play is not always rewarded, and right now, we cannot afford to be on the end of a hard luck story.

By the time of Kyogo’s 33 minute goal, Celtic could have been well out of sight, but Hearts clung on.  Craig Gordon, the post and a multitude of faces and bodies got in the way of shots from dangerous positions.  Despite being behind, Hearts wasted time until 70 minutes, we mocked them, imagine wasting time when you are losing!

Credit to Robbie Neilson.  He knew his team could not cope with Celtic for any sustained period so sent them out to slow the game down, irrespective of the score, and wait to see if events would conspire to help them.  They did.

Tom Rogic and Carl Starfelt made their first appearance for over a month and James Forrest made his first league start in as long.  Rogic and Forrest were scheduled to be hooked when they tired.  Then events, dear bhoy, happened.  First Anthony Ralston limped off a few minutes after creating the goal.  Stephen Welsh put his leg in to block and took a blow with 20 minutes remaining, he left soon thereafter, but not before Jota pulled up with a hamstring injury.

Celtic’s subs were all used, Rogic, Forrest and Starfelt needed to find the energy to finish the game.  At this, Hearts stopped wasting time and started to look like a football team.  They dominated play until the closing minutes of the game.  In that time, they created good chances that could have seen them leave with a point, throwing our title campaign into more turmoil, but the defence held firm, Joe Hart was not called on to make a save worthy of the name.

Neilson could contemplate the words of the late Ebbe Skovdahl, who after a visit to Celtic Park with Aberdeen, with enormous clarity, quoted from a 40s Western, “The operation was a success but the patient died.”  Neilson did as well as he could, despite the loss.

Starfelt was a star.  A diving header 8 yards from goal, at an angle it was easy to get wrong and truly test Hart, was illustrative of his imperious performance.  That night at Tynecastle seems a long time ago.  Stephen Welsh continues to grow into the role of first team regular.  Anthony Ralston did what Anthony Ralston does – sends in crosses the like of which we have not seen from full backs in years.

Josip Juranovic got to play almost an hour at his natural right back position.  He is a player who will continue to flourish.

Although Carl won Man of the Match, my vote went to Tom Rogic.  Celtic have been particularly left sided in recent weeks.  Play went through Jota, by some margin our most creative force.  This is problematic, as opponents plan for this.  With Tom on the field, we could pivot away from our Portuguese, causing disarray in the Hearts defence.

All of that is a moot point for the games ahead, let’s hope Jota’s hamstring is better for the Cup Final.

I’m not one for writing about referees, as you know, but will touch on this tomorrow.


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  1. Free Shots next Season!!!!



    I’m gonnae Njoi my last Season watching the Amazing Ange’s Celtic team at Celtic Park,



    I’ve told Aidan I will buy his tickets but I ain’t going anymore, where I have to lie that I am exempt to watch Celtic.



    I see a lot changing and a Total Police State coming in. Yer fine if you have started Vaccinating.



    Theres a Camp? Camp David?




  2. Freedoms,



    The best Ever mix IMO, dance stylee.





    I dinnae blame the Ref but the MC Conrad. He totally makes this mix.



    Aidan, when I was taking him hame to his Mum and collecting him I let him hear this. I’m confident he knows every lyric MC Conrad dropped at Any point in the mix.




  3. Aidan was very disappointed in Mikeys performance as he left Adam exposed too many times.



    Jota & Kyogo work their absolute nuts off for Celtic, Defensively first and foremost.



    It’s all about learning,

  4. Melbourne Mick on

    Hello again all you young rebels



    From a hoopy and very happy Melbourne


    Three very precious points gained the other night against the


    second most bigoted club in Bunny Scudland.


    A beautiful exhibition of the the worlds biggest game on the


    first half was followed second half with a nervy and mistake


    laden performance usually ending in more dropped points.


    It was probably due to the disruption caused by the numerous


    injuries and the usual masterclass in the dark arts from Madhun.


    but this team have proved, to me anyway, that they will fight all


    the way to the end.


    Some great performances throughout the team, young Welsh


    and Montgomery when he came on, and Carl Starfelt became a


    Starcelt and convinced me he will make that position his own,


    even if big Christoph decides he wants to play again.


    But for me the M.O.M was big handsome Tom, what a show of


    power, poise, and precision passing, no wonder his Celtic top


    is the biggest seller, according to the manager of Rebel Sports


    here in Melbourne.


    Now we need the board to Man up and give big Ange the funds


    to buy at least four players, in my opinion the league will be decided


    in the head to head with the bilious bigots, failure to do so will prove


    to an already board scunnered support that they need to get rid.


    Haven’t read back yet so hope all you fine bhoys and ghirls are


    happy and well.


    H H Mick

  5. Good morning all from a dark,wet and cold Garngad.



    Kyogo’s goal is all about angles and agendas by the smsm.



    It’s a goal move on Scotland ffs.



    The goal is clearly on side so Scotland move on. Ah but there is an agenda by those in the spotlight to say “see Celtic benefit from Referees honest mistakes” bullcrap it’s on side.



    It’s the same as the agenda to say Hearts deserved something from the game….WTF they were pish for 70 mins, well we were all over them for 70 mins and should have been 4 or 5 up.



    All agendas by dangerous bigoted feckwits.



    This is Scotland in 2021



    COYBIG manana



    D :)

  6. Mick how are you and the whole Celtic family down under?



    Hows the football team getting on?



    Regarding young Monty I am a bit nervous when he is on the ball as he doesn’t look comfortable but he is young and needs more minutes at this level, so I have to be patient. I give 16 year olds jobs and we need patience with them so I have to practice that with our beloved Hoops as well.






    D :)

  7. Melbourne Mick on

    All good David, CSC back in full flow and PADDYMACOZ planning


    a huge meeting of all the Vic Celtic clubs, it will be mega.


    You’re correct about the young yins, but I love young Monty’s


    attitude .


    Our young loons the u17’s going into a u20’s league next year


    that will make men of them lol.


    H H. Mick

  8. Mick – Sounds great.



    I am going to watch my 9 year old grandson play this morning and tomorrow and I love going to watch him.



    I’ve got the bug again, I so admire the guys that take these kids and all youth teams with no financial reward, just the great satisfaction that they are helping to try and shape a young kids life through sport. Might look to get involved myself next year.



    So credit to you sir.



    D :)

  9. On Radio 4 this morning, Michael Holding (sp?), a great West Indian cricketer, was interviewed about the racism engulfing English cricket at the present. He said that, like football, it wasn’t the sports’ problem, it is a societal problem. Transpose that to Scotland and replace, as the SMSM are wont to doing, racism with sectarianism and we will begin to get to grips with what we have been up against for many a long year.

  10. Melbourne Mick on

    Just remember David, it goes from coaching and picking a


    team on a weekend to washing strips, bibs, putting up nets


    painting lines, picking kids up for games, and numerous


    other tasks that always need doing.


    But it keeps an aul hoopy active and most of it self inflicted.


    H H. Mick

  11. Melbourne Mick on

    And David you get to educate them about the first ever


    British team to win the big one.


    H H. Mick

  12. Melbourne Mick on

    Bada Bing



    Reading back now and seen the post about Mohammed Salem


    I keep a printed version of his Wiki page in my wallet and show it


    to any new Indian kids we get here through immigration.


    That was the first thing I showed young Jacinta now a Celtic lady


    star when she trained with our u15’s


    The look on their faces when standing with their parents is priceless


    H H. Mick

  13. Tom McLaughlin on

    Good morning from the Village.



    Awoke this morning to a text advising me I have a ticket for Tannadice. Happy days.



    A few weeks ago I visited Dens Park for the first time in 35 years. I haven’t been to Tannadice since I watched my son play there for Scotland under-15s v Wales in 1997.



    This season is turning out to be a bit of a renaissance for me visiting away grounds.



    I have a wee suspicion that Dundee FC will snatch a draw at Ibrox today. Just a hopeful hunch based on not a lot.



    Hail Hail.

  14. Melbourne Mick on

    Sorry ghuys think that post about Mohammed Salem should


    have been to BSR.


    H H. Mick

  15. If Sevco play before us and win, extra pressure on us to restore the gap; if Sevco play before us and drop points, extra pressure to cut the gap.


    I think Sevco play before us in three of the next four games . On the 26th of December, things even themselves out as we get to play before they do.




    NB And remember, they have already had that `advantage` in the last two games .Hmm..



    PS And I am NOT looking for excuses before the event, simply pointing out something that seems rather `strange`.IF we take our chance, I am confident we will win every game comfortably.

  16. Melbourne Mick


    ” second half with a nervy and mistake


    laden performance usually ending in more dropped points.


    It was probably due to the disruption caused by the numerous


    injuries and the usual masterclass in the dark arts from Madhun.”



    Apart from those points, Mick, do you think the anxious nature of the crowd plays its part?


    If so, yet another disadvantage of playing after Sevco have secured three points.

  17. DAVID66 on 4TH DECEMBER 2021 8:00 AM




    I am in wholehearted agreement. 25 shots to 2 in an even contest ? Aye, that wull be right !

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