The decision to play both League Cup semi-finals on the same day lies with Police Scotland. The SPFL’s contract to use Hampden stipulates these games must take place there, unless the police object. The broadcasting contract with BT Sport also stipulates the games must be scheduled to take place that specific weekend, so delaying one game is not an option, as it would clash with other fixtures.
The police initially declined to authorise to Celtic’s Champions League qualification game with Arsenal, as U2 were at Hampden on the same evening. The “What kind of outfit cannot police two events in the same city on the same day” line won the day on that occasion, as pressure was brought to bear. I suspect the police anticipated the same reaction if they objected to the semi-final times.
No one really wants this, but it was always on the cards.
Aberdeen were pretty shocking against Hibs on Tuesday night, not that this is any consolation. They withheld 120 minutes of pressure without conceding – perfect practice for tomorrow’s visit to Celtic Park. If we are off our game, we will struggle.
I wish I knew what took place in the dressing room at halftime on Wednesday. From second half kick-off Celtic were a transformed team, chances flowed and the goal eventually came. If it was a tactical change I didn’t detect it. Was it really as simple as a change of attitude?
Whatever it was, it needs to be replicated, not just when the tea cups are flying. Ahead of Newco’s visit to Celtic Park we were in considerable trauma on and off the field, but there was a correct belief that this game was ideal, as it would focus minds on what they were best at.
It has been left to Aberdeen to deliver a title challenge for the last four years. They are our most accomplished opponent, so we can hope for a performance matching the one against Newco.
At the Great Scottish Run on Sunday one group of us will do the 10k and another the Half Marathon. We will on the streets of Glasgow with the Celtic FC Foundation logo on our chest, to support the work of the Foundation as it prepares for the winter. It is a great thing to be a part of, but the hard work of the Foundation starts when the fundraising ends on Sunday.