Self-knowledge, ever feel you’re being setup?


Let’s get this one out of the way first: put notions of Newco out of your mind for tomorrow. Those of you who will be at Ibrox, and who are old enough to remember our last visit there, will have a familiar experience.

From what we gather, the stadium hasn’t changed, the home team play in the same colours, there will be some new fans, but many will have been there the last time we visited.

I’ve been going to Ibrox for over 30 years, we’ve faced some pretty awful teams in that time, but it’s never been easy. We were 2-0 down at halftime in the 2-4 game in ’83 (when Rangers were really awful). We were under the cosh for 60 minutes before things clicked in the 0-3 game in 2001. We’ve won plenty there, but we’ve had to battle for everything we’ve had.  It will be no different tomorrow.

The 5-1 game in September happened because Newco were caught in the headlights. Perhaps believing their own preseason publicity, they matched up to Celtic. It was an embarrassing mistake, one they didn’t repeat in the League Cup semi-final, when they defended deeply, hoping for good fortune on the break.

Their big players were unprepared and looked unfit. Signs of the subsequent internecine squabbles were evident on the field.


Know your limits, who you are, what you can and cannot achieve, is a primary lesson in goal setting. As far as you and me are concerned, Newco will surely repeat their Hampden tactics, double-up in the fullback positions, protect central defence, and hope Auld Kenny can pounce on something on the break.

These are more-or-less the tactics we face every SPFL game, but I’m not sure what will happen tomorrow. This is a club who not only proclaim, but protest, with their every breath, that they are Rangers. Can ‘Rangers’ really line-up at Ibrox as scared of Celtic as everyone else in the league?

Maybe, but I’m not sure. There are signs that group-think has taken hold at Murray Park. They want to be the Rangers, with a century’s worth of ‘heritage’. If they want to live that out, they will need to take the game to us.

There’s a good chance that whatever they do, Celtic will win tomorrow. In the grand scheme of things, this matters little to the home team, who have beaten Aberdeen and Hearts this month, and look capable of snatching one of the Europa League qualifier spots. They were never really “going for 55”.

But if you bring the punters in on that promise, there will be pressure from the stands to live up to that sentiment. What to do, go for it and lose 0-4, or crawl into your shell, lose 0-1, and betray your season’s aspiration? I hope they go for it.

Brendan Rodgers has two problems; whether to play Moussa Dembele or Leigh Griffiths, and whether to give James Forrest or Patrick Roberts the nod? We have two highly-achieving strikers, only one of which will start, and two fit and ready wingers competing for the slot on the right side.

My hunch is that Moussa will get the nod. I know what you’re going to say: Leigh’s on fire, but Moussa has scored more goals in his two games against Newco than the striker they are all singing about this season has in his 17 appearances. Dembele terrifies then, with good reason. They have no answer to him, they cannot shove him off the ball, cannot keep pace with him and cannot seem to find him in the box.

I expect James to start with Patrick coming on late to pick at the bones.

Tom Rogic would have started if fit, but there’s an untold story of our recent form: Rogic, Stuart Armstrong and Callum McGregor have been our form players this month. Only two will start any game. McGregor and Armstrong will not be significantly weaker than any combination with Tom.

We also have Scott Sinclair back and approaching full fitness. He’s going to love Ibrox, he’s made for this game. I expect big things from him.

What are our biggest risks? Red cards. Newco’s best chance of getting something from the game is for Celtic to have a man sent off. I’m not going to mark your card on the referee, but we’ve seen too many Celtic players ordered off there over the years not to acknowledge the possibility.

The target for the team is clear: go into the winter break 19 clear with a game in hand. There’s a confidence in and about this Celtic team which makes anything seem possible, so don’t ask for my score prediction, as I might get carried away.

The target for our 7000 supporters is to have 7000 torches illuminating the 67th minute.  If there’s one guy not participating I’ll want to know why.  If you’re going, get this planned well in advance.

Juxtapose our targets with comments from Mark Warburton yesterday, who doesn’t want to be judged on results against Celtic.

I bet you don’t, buddy.  I bet you don’t.

Ever feel you are being setup?

Following vandalism in the away section of Celtic Park earlier in the season a reciprocal agreement has been made with the offending club.  In the very unlikely event Celtic supporters vandalise property tomorrow, the club will pick up the repair tab.

Without getting into detail, there is concern that some facilities will be ‘headline ready’ before Celtic fans enter the stadium.  If you are at Ibrox when the gates open, go straight to the toilets, be the first there, photograph any damage (and how empty the stadium is at the time) and publish immediately on social media, to time-stamp what you observe.

There will be a minute’s silence before kick-off.  For reasons which are difficult to fathom, Newco have not publicly announced this silence, it will be sprung on many fans.  This will lead to some arriving at the ground unaware of the commemoration, making its observation less effective.  Alert as many as you can that this is taking place.

Tomorrow will be a celebration of Celtic.  7000 light will shine at the 67th minute, the players will shine brighter-still on the park, but be ready, the same old faces are plotting the same old distractions.  Be aware of their tactics.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author


  1. TINYTIM on 30TH DECEMBER 2016 11:39 PM



    No, the 5-1 pumping we handed them was the only show in town that day.



    Stop worrying :)

  2. will Superintendent Campbell Campbell come in at half-time to advise against any further goals?




  3. thomthethim for Oscar OK on







    Yeah , OK 60 th anniversary of 7-1 .




    Payback…………Felix is a cat.



    Feliz is happy.












    Nope. No payback.



    Felix is a wee private joke between TET and I. : > )

  4. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    I believe you.





    Here`s to a feliz day manana to ourselves alone………


    Or , if you prefer , Sinn Fein .



  5. Macjay and Starry Plough thanks for that. It as recorded at the Barrowlands all these years ago, I know I was there with Mrs Hebcelt, now a victory of any description tomorrow and it’s the end of a perfect year for me. Hail Hail Hebcelt

  6. thomthethim for Oscar OK on







    I believe you.







    Here`s to a feliz day manana to ourselves alone………



    Or , if you prefer , Sinn Fein .








    Where’s my star witness when I need him!



    Have a good one yourself.



    Hope to watch the game with Árd Macha tomorrow, so I won’t need any cash with me.

  7. TTT



    I do think it’s important that the support/shareholders know how frequently the PLC are handling over the details of Celtic supporters to the polis.



    Personally, I find that completely unacceptable for the alleged ‘crimes’.

  8. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    Great song.



    The County of Ard Marcha






    Hope to watch the game with Árd Macha tomorrow, so I won’t need any cash with me.






    Exactly how my kids feel .


    Hopefully my dochter will be joining us.

  9. I read a link somewhere over the last couple of days ( I’m hoping that it was on here) about the GB being allowed access into Ayebrokes to set up the TIFO .


    Can anyone post a link to it?




  10. Tricoloured Ribbon on

    Will be astonished if McLean doesn’t have a part to play in tomorrow’s proceedings.


    I’ll be even more astonished if,as some predict,a thrashing is on the cards.


    A bit disappointed if Griffiths will be dropped too as it seems.


    However the choice is Brendan’s and we will see what happens.


    Main thing is our supporters remain safe.


    God bless ye all.

  11. Mark Wilson will be on standby for a quote tomorrow if there are any indiscretions by the Celtic support. Soup taker.

  12. Tricoloured Ribbon on



    Did Celtic allow the Huns into Celtic Park to set up a display prior to the 5-1 game and can you say if the Huns have been billed for the smashing up of our toilets during that game?


    Happy New Year to Helen and yourself and all the family circles when it arrives.

  13. itscalledthemalvinas on

    Its very early in the morning to say it might be a dreary New Years Eve but it’s never to say thank you to Sean South. The first rebel I knew of but sparked the fire against the Brits.



    Hopefully someone amongst the brave 7500 bhoys at Snake mountain will remember and let the monkeys know we haven’t forgotten.

  14. Tri



    Thank you D God Bless to you and the family.



    Yes, we allowed them access. Regarding the destruction of the toilets, I’m not sure. I’ve been told different things from within Celtic.

  15. To me…it’s just another geme tomorrow….albeit a Glasgow derby at the unsafest? home of the brandest newest, most successful 4 year old club, in world football…..whose minions have stoked (not choked, unfortunately) this up for their own Agenda… you know what…..we’re smarter than that (except for our own idiots unfortunately)…..ffs if we can’t as honest decent human beings keep silent for 60 seconds to honour the loss of 66 lifes…..who went to a football match…..and never went home…..then I despair….







  16. Celtic Squad App v The Rangers (2012)


    3 Games 2 Shut Outs Craig Gordon


    1 Games 0 Shut Outs Dorus De Vries


    4 Games 0 Goals Scott Brown


    4 Games 0 Goals Mikael Lustig


    4 Games 0 Goals Nir Bitton


    3 Games 1 Goals Leigh Griffiths


    3 Games 1 Goals Tom Rogic


    3 Games 1 Goals Erik Sviatchenko


    3 Games 0 Goals James Forrest


    3 Games 0 Goals Kieran Tierney


    2 Games 4 Goals Moussa Dembele


    2 Games 1 Goals Stuart Armstrong


    2 Games 1 Goals Scott Sinclair


    2 Games 0 Goals Callum McGregor


    2 Games 0 Goals Patrick Roberts


    1 Games 1 Goals Kris Commons


    1 Games 0 Goals Dedryck Boyata


    1 Games 0 Goals Cristian Gamboa


    1 Games 0 Goals Emilio Izaguirre


    1 Games 0 Goals Gary MacKay Steven


    1 Games 0 Goals Jozo Simunovic


    1 Games 0 Goals Kolo Toure


    Sun 29th April 2012


    Celtic Squad App v Rangers (1872-2012)


    10 Games 5 Shut Outs Fraser Forster


    03 Games 2 Shut Outs Lukasz Zaluska


    23 Games 3 Goals Georgios Samaras


    19 Games 2 Goals Scott Brown


    18 Games 1 Goals Mark Wilson


    10 Games 5 Goals Gary Hooper


    10 Games 1 Goals Charlie Mulgrew


    10 Games 0 Goals Ki Sung Yueng


    09 Games 2 Goals Joe Ledley


    09 Games 0 Goals Emilio Izaguirre


    08 Games 1 Goals Darren o Dea


    08 Games 0 Goals Beram Kayal


    08 Games 0 Goals Glenn Loovens


    07 Games 3 Goals Kris Commons


    07 Games 0 Goals Anthony Stokes


    06 Games 0 Goals Daniel Majstorovic


    05 Games 1 Goals Thomas Rogne


    05 Games 0 Goals Pat McCourt


    04 Games 0 Goals James Forrest


    03 Games 0 Goals Adam Matthews


    03 Games 0 Goals Victor Wanyama


    01 Games 0 Goals Mohamed Bangura


    01 Games 0 Goals Cha Du Ri


    01 Games 0 Goals Efrain Juarez


    01 Games 0 Goals Niall McGinn


    01 Games 0 Goals Josh Thompson


    01 Games 0 Goals Tony Watt


    01 Games 0 Goals Kelvin Wilson







    Enjoy the game tomorrow. Be careful.




    Did you ever get any feedback from Mrs McG?






    I’ve resent an email I originally sent to you back in November, from a different email address in case there was a problem with the first one. Mts McG remembers you and your family well. I took her up to Midnight Mass last week and she was still on about you – your Halloween performance obviously made an impression!!




  18. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    First to beat the vikings too, Brian Boru, don’t take too kindly to folks who want to subjugate us round these parts, and its only people from round these parts have been used for millennia.


    Its only outrageous when they are victime,


    Why don’t you go home, – what a laugh, cracker


    big jock knew – oh stop me what a laugh


    its my attic, i,ll fry if i want to – pure quality


    do you want a fish supper bobby sands, doubled up, its great banter eh


    up tae wur knees in fenian blood – culture



    To CQN



    are you people serious ? lets nice up ? ffs



    Tomorrow a 4 year old enterprise will try to officially claim to be the reincarnate of a four year old cadaver currently in the HMRC autopsy lab, and the Celtic support just paid £400,000 to support the effort, while labelling anyone who objects to be morons. Come a long way eh ?

  19. Frankmarker,



    My memory may be faulty….but is it not max 3 games v The Rankers(2012)…..Scottish Cup Travesty, League Cup penalty nightmare, the 5-1 trouncing of them…..nope yer rite…..a 1-0 win….disregard my previous opening pash….it’ll b 3-1 tomoz with us finishing with 10 men….;-))







  20. St Stivs,



    aye, I seen 1….he wiz at Greyskull wearing a Celtic top…..was told by his Rankers supporting grampa…. it wiz for the best ;-))






    Greyskull ghuid, Snake Mountain baaah baaaad




  21. I’ve been listening to the voices in my head and they are all of one accord.


    The Pessimist in me says we will win by a single goal after dominating the game.


    The Optimist dismisses any chance that they will be within sight at half time.


    The Realist agrees with the Optimist and the Dreamer says it will be a complete and utter




    The Introverts are reluctant to voice an opinion.