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.

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  1. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    ‘GG on 31ST DECEMBER 2016 4:55 AM


    iPhone alarm set for 6:45. Check.



    K.O. 12.15 U.K.


    Just checking.




  2. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on





    Hi, Boab.


    Enjoyed your virtual company this past year .


    May the sun shine bright on our Celtic and all Celts in the year to come.


    Loins being girded for the task ahead , as we speak.


    Not a pretty sight .



    Say hello to the corner boy for me.



  3. The No.13 Shorts on

    Here’s the thing; you turn on the telly at 12:29 and not before. You don’t polute your brain with the avalanche of embittered gobshitery pouring from arseholes in the studio and try to ignore the same in the stands. You watch the game, you turn it over, you don’t polute your mind with anything eminating from the Scottish media. Ever. Why would you?

  4. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    A mate of mine is haudin` a barbie on Coogee Beach tonight.


    Invitation by Tim top only.

  5. no13 shorts….is it because there’s a glasgow derby playing…to be won 1-3









  6. No 13 shorts think you’ll it would be better to turn the telly on by 12:15 otherwise you’ll miss the first 15 mins. H H Hebcelt

  7. bmcwp, call if u can b arsed,



    07498 343 235



    I lost yours…to my shame ;-))




  8. ....PFayr ..SACK THE BOARD on




    A confirmed Sevco fan refereeing them at home against their bitter rivals



    An unimaginable proposition in most UEFA member leagues



    This is their game of the season ….all we ask is parity



    Fat chance of that



    Make your own luck CFC … We’ve just the bhoys to do it



    If we never played Sevco again I’d be delighted




  9. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    PF, we’ll pump these huns rotten today, nothing is surer.



    Stand down big fella. Its a gimme.

  10. PFAYR:



    We pummel them tonight mate and Motherwell knock them out of the cup and it is adios to the Sveco hordes.



    ACGR (and every other TIM in the world)



    A happy new year when it comes.



    Remember… you gotta ‘ave faith.

  11. ACGR,



    Like a boxin match….it’s a mibbe….nah 1:3 going on 6…..i’ve got a feeling ;-))










  12. kitalba,



    apols, forgot….you’re working outa time ffs tell us the score….nah happy new year my sensitive soul ;-))







  13. ....PFayr ..SACK THE BOARD on

    Hope you’re correct bhoys



    I hate injustice ……its rife in Scottish football



    I find the whole thing depressing ….the behaviour of the Sevco heirarchy in the run up to this game has been disgraceful and dangerous



    They’ve been appealing to their worst element and stoking them up



    To think some in our ranks wanted them ” back” ….






    Erik first goal and 3-0






    how’s the wean enjoying work ??

  14. eddieinkirkmichael on

    in work early today to get things sorted then an early finish, should be home just before kick off.


    Going for Sinclaire first goal and 4-0 to the Celtic.

  15. ACGR,



    Lets pump thum raw… them they don’t deserve to be in out sphere ;-))







  16. PFAYR:



    Mate if you remember back, I never wanted the old huns to die, one of the most prominent reasons for stating that, is because I was always wary of what would rise from the ashes. Now, I honestly believe that what we have now is worse than what was liquidated, in every sense.






    A very sensitive happy new year to you, but I think you’re in the pooh! again….

  17. Kit


    “I was always wary of what would rise from the ashes”


    Yes, your wariness was well founded Kit.


    Today’s minute silence is a thinly disguised attempt to show our support in a bad light. Shift focus.


    It ranks up there alongside their glorifying in the paedophile stuff.


    Any indiscretions by our support will be the headlines tomorrow, and it’ll be any little thing whether that be mumbling during the minute silence or missing the urinal when going for a pee.


    It’s so transparent.


    I truly hope that we take care of the football side of things.


    Cmon Brendan. End the year with a convincing win. Good luck today bhoys wherever you are watching and a healthy 2017 to you and your loved ones.

  18. Good morning CQN from a cold, dank and foggy East Devon, let’s pump this mob today.


    Hail! Hail!

  19. Morning all, up early as usual. The good wife is working today and tomorrow on long shifts so I will be designated driver.


    Not bothered about missing the bevy, the whole New Year party thing passes me by. More of a Christmas man for sure , no real challenge in cooking a good steak pie.


    Have a good day everyone and stay safe.


    Hail! Hail!

  20. i'vehadtochangemyname on

    morning all from a dark and dank n yorks.



    do us proud if you’re going to the game



    (anybody seen ‘Tickled’ – great documentary but bloomin weird’?)

  21. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    Morning Celts



    Suitably attired in Celtic pajamas and dressing gown/smoking jacket


    I now await the mighty Celtic tormenting the creatures from the blue lagoon with extreme severity.


    Wee Sinky….This is your day son….They will find out today how good you are:)


    Wee Jamesy….Go on son….mad mental run and sublime finish.


    Moussa….They will be very frightened….scare them.


    I want to see our bhoys rip right into that mob of bigots.


    Come on.




  22. Re the silence and Celtic fans being set up……



    I might be wrong, but oldco Rangers would hold a minutes silence at every home fixture around Jan 1st. Rightly so. To hold a minutes silence today is not an unusual step. If the newco board are playing games with this, let them. Celtic have released a statement about the minutes silence I believe, so we are aware of it.



    As a support, if we don’t observe this silence, we will be criticised for it, rightly so.



    Regardless of the circumstances, I hope everyone attending will respect the silence. If we played Liverpool and were asked to commemorate the terrible events in Sheffield, there would be no debate. Just shut up for a minute, then get on with it.



    My hope for the game is we give them no space, press their central defence till their heads spin and take our chances when they come. If we play at all, we should win, but the game of football rarely run smoothly. Looking forward with seeing our team rise to another challenge.

  23. Thought for today






    Happy New Year to all tims across the globe wherever you are and whatever time zone you are in.




  24. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Having attended the game in question and seen the deep concern shown by big Jock and others of the Celtic management in dealing with the victims on the day , I would hope for respect to be accorded to the memory of those who died.



    Having said that , I can`t quite understand why we would care about the views of the contemptible Scottish media in relation to anything.






    Did they highlight the obnoxious insults directed at the memory of big Jock ?


    Treat them with the contempt they deserve.

  25. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    Happy New Year , Kit , to you , to your family and to all your loved ones.



    Orrabest , pal.

  26. Good morning CQN – Thoughts and prayers with those who have lost a loved one in recent days, Doc, Philbhoy and any others I may have missed.


    Thoughts on todays game -Firstly – that all Celtic supporters going to the Bigotdome or are out and about watching the game return home safely. Secondly – I hope that we absolutely hammer them, 1 nil will do!!




  27. ACGR, thanks for the kind words, even though I didn’t get to read them:-)


    Ya dafty.



    C’mon Celtic, get tore in aboot thum.

  28. The new Huns are 10/1 to score a penalty today (bet 365). Celtic are 11/2, almost half the odds.



    So the good people at Bet 365 think Celtic are twice as likely to be awarded and score a penalty than Seven McLean’s Rangers.



    Ah, the innocence of the English based bookie!

  29. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    Queuing at the butchers in Duke St reading back. Then Tesco then back to get ready for the game.



    Still short of 1 ticket so if anyone knows of a spare by about 10:15 please let me know.





    3-0 to the good ghuys.





  30. My friends in Celtic,



    Before I go out and don my empty head , I’d better post my last thoughts of 2016 ( GMT )






    May I wish all associated with CQN a happy, healthy and peaceful 2017.