Of course, it happened in our ’67 anniversary season. Celtic were drawn away to Albion Rovers in the Scottish Cup, as the Rovers dumped Queen of the South out of the competition last night. The tiny Lanarkshire club (arguably the smallest in Scotland) don’t have an illustrious history, but Jock Stein played more games for them than any other team. In Coatbridge, that counts.
I’m sure it makes sense for Kieran Tierney to have a shoulder operation while he’s out with an ankle injury but it’s very unwelcome news that the player needed the work. Despite upbeat reports I’m sceptical the op will not further delay his return. For a start, any notions of getting upper body work done are no longer valid.
Uniquely in European football, Celtic’s season is skewed to the start, not to when the prizes are given out at the end, which have become a meritocratic formality. With no European football after Christmas this season, the remainder of the campaign will be about getting ready for July and August, when the really important stuff takes place.
Kieran will miss three Champions League group stage games in total, last Sunday’s cup final and some atmospheric games to come; this will be the source of some regret to the teenager. In compensation he can look forward to picking up a league winner’s medal at the end of the season, and hopefully being in top condition for the qualifiers.
To be fair to Robbie Neilson, even when he was a success at Hearts he wasn’t overwhelmingly appreciated. This season it looks like the party’s over, so I understand why he would take a job at MK Dons which, on the face of it, looks like a dangerous step.
Dons are two points above relegation (to the fourth tier), without a league win in two months. The club has serious structural issues which any new manager would find difficult to compensate for with little more than a few fresh tactical notions. But at least Neilson can’t be blamed for relegation, should it happen.
He’s next year’s Jackie McNamara.