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. the 71 disaster then. 45 years. Why is that a ‘significant’ anniversary or are we to be treated to this faux act every year now?

  2. 50 shades of green on

    Do they have a minutes silence every Halloween? Or as its also known Liquidation day.



    Just curious.

  3. Can Paul or anyone else enlighten me?


    There is an awful lot of chat about the getting a place in next season’s Europa League.


    Is there not a qualification requirement of three season’s signed off audited account?

  4. 50 shades of green on







    Do you realise that it will be daylight when the 67th minute arrives tomorrow due to the early kick off time. Our light show might not be as effective as usual.






    The permanent dark clouds overhead should help us mate no worries.

  5. onenightinlisbon



    Must have been completely out my nut or late then all the times I’ve missed it? If it was every year then perhaps we would be ‘expecting’ it without warning?




  6. I hope the Justice Secretary is at this game tomorrow, and, he can see and hear for himself what passes as a well behaved majority looks and sounds like,instead of receiving 3rd hand information from vested interests.


    Anyone know if he will be present?

  7. prestonpans bhoys on




    The only reason for this silence and no official statement from them on it , is to try and embarrass the club. I suspect the reason we didn’t hold one for Jock Steins anniversary is because they wouldn’t honour it.

  8. GOVAN X BHOY on 30TH DECEMBER 2016 1:13 PM


    40k of them turning up tomorrow to stare at the away end hoping to be offended.



    They should look at the role of the dead club in the tragedy of the 66, before and after,








    This being Scotland, the fact that the Club was found to be responsible for the Ibrox disaster, and had fought tooth and nail to avoid paying damages to the widows and orphans of those who died, is ignored.

  9. I have one second hand searchlight circa 1940 taken from the roof of Celtic Park (honest) converted to solar power if that helps anyone?




  10. onenightinlisbon on




    No idea if it’s every year but seem to recall something in the back of my mind about it before. It will 100% not be respected according to them and the press.

  11. Truth_Beauty_and_Freedom on

    If you are lucky enough to have a ticket for the match tomorrow, and are wondering what to do with those remaining green see-through cellophane sweetie wrappers:



    1) Take the GREEN cellophane sweetie wrapper off a Christmas chocolate sweet.


    2) Cut the GREEN wrapper to size such that it fits over the flashlight on your smartphone.


    3) Stick the GREEN wrapper with sellotape or similar so that it will stay in place.


    4) At the 67th minute of the game switch on your new GREEN FLASHLIGHT.


    (Alternatively, use an App to display a bright green screen, or just display the Celtic Crest on a green background.)



    7,000 Lights shining at the 67th minute will be Fantastic, but





    You heard it here first! ☺



    Now spread the word…



    Yours in Celtic,




  12. Onenightinlisbon



    I have no problem with the sentiment but have serious reservations about the motivation…




  13. mike in toronto on

    Pedro Delgado



    Wasn’t it JC (the big yin, not John Collins) who said, “love your enemy… it confuses the hell out of them”?

  14. Paul67



    This is from the CSA, it’s very similar in tone and content to your article.








    I urge the Celtic Support not to fall into the Trap.


    Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:52 pm



    I and President John Andrews have attended two meeting with the Police in recent weeks, there were a couple of things on the agenda, but as you can imagine tomorrow’s game was high on the agenda. Below are the main points that concern our support. These are the areas Police Scotland will be looking at, as pointed out to the Celtic Officials in the pre-match brief.





    • Coach Parking will be on Helen St


    • Car Parking is on street but is advised not park anywhere close to the Stadium and approach from the West


    • Flags on sticks will be permitted but only by individuals and will not be allowed in batches


    • Regulation building site hard hats will not be permitted as they could cause injury if thrown


    • Drums will not be permitted


    • Bags will be searched


    • Banners will be subject to inspection prior to entry


    • Surfing banners will not be permitted


    • We understand there will be 1 minute silence pre-match and ask all fans in the Stadium at that time to observe. The Club also asks that no banners or messages are displayed during the period


    • Any damage to the Stadium will be met by Celtic, we will inspect Stadium post-match.



    Most of the above is standard, equally Police Scotland will be out in force and have advised they will take a zero tolerance approach to all forms of offensive behaviour.



    From the Club’s perspective the match is a perfect opportunity to have a celebration, underline that we are the dominant force in Scottish Football, as always we are asking all fans for positive support for the team in song and in colour with flags, scarves and banners which positively promote Celtic.



    One thing I think is blatantly obvious is that the club called Sevco are trying to set a Trap for our supporters to walk into, there are a few things that have happened in the last few days that prove that, some of them I’m sure you will hear about later on.



    Once again we will have a minutes silence, I have no problem with people paying their respect to those who needlessly lost their lives in the Ibrox Disaster, but I am suspicious of the motive behind it, why hasn’t Sevco officially announced the Minutes Silence? Are they hoping to catch the Celtic Support out? There was once a club in Scotland who refused to take part in a Minutes Silence for Pope John Paul 11, that particular club died four and half years ago,



    A Sevco Director was on their own TV channel and apparently finished his piece by saying “We Are the People, Bring on the Celtic” Could you imaging the reaction from this shower if Peter Lawwell made comments of a similar nature? Is the idiot trying to wind up his own supporters because they have failed to back their manager financially? And because they fear we batter them at football.



    We are being set-up here, I urge the Celtic Support not to fall into the trap. If you look at the statement put out by Club 1872, who were formed in 2016, strange that. They are urging the Police to take action against the Celtic Support, did they urge the Police to take action against the Bigots who wrecked the toilets at Celtic Park? I believe we are still awaiting payment for the extensive damage done.



    They are also moaning about the banners displayed by the Celtic Supporters, of course their offensive banners were fine, “Hypocritical” just doesn’t do it justice. I have never seen toilets being damaged at the Bigot Dome, let’s keep it that way, you will note that Celtic officials will be able to inspect the stadium post-match, why are they not inspecting the stadium pre-match? Are they being denied the opportunity?



    The Celtic Support have a brilliant extensive song repertoire, let us sing our hearts out tomorrow with the songs that cannot be questioned, the other crowd only have songs of a sectarian bigoted nature, let them get on with it.



    A note to buses with regards to alcohol, the Police say they will act on intelligence with regard to searching buses for contraband. Be aware that they have the power and authority to search your bus even when only the bus driver is present.



    I never look forward to going to Ibrox, mostly because of the behaviour of their supporters. Tomorrow is no different, I just hope that we play the way we are capable of playing. I also hope, though I am not confident, that the official’s let us finish the match with eleven players on the park, and that there are no controversial incidents, because they always seem to go against us.



    I just want the Celtic Supporters to go and have a Party, singing and dancing all afternoon, let us win the competition off the pitch, and for Brendan and the Bhoys to win the competition on the pitch. Glasgow is Green and White. 129 years of Proud Unbroken History.

  15. If the minute`s silence is un-publicised and unofficial, how do we `know` about it?



    The idea of treating the toilets to a pleasant, fragrant makeover and leaving little flowery things and nice toilet rolls was told to me at the match on Wednesday as something being planned already.








    The Big Yin was as good as The Godfather for having a tale for every eventuality!



    Close run thing too,which I’d prefer to watch.

  17. HOT SMOKED on 30TH DECEMBER 2016 2:04 PM


    If the minute`s silence is un-publicised and unofficial, how do we `know` about it?




    The idea of treating the toilets to a pleasant, fragrant makeover and leaving little flowery things and nice toilet rolls was told to me at the match on Wednesday as something being planned already.










    There’s no pot pourri allowed in Ibrox! :-)

  18. 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.



    Why sevco have not publicly stated that they’r having a minute silence, and for what reason, is a very very strange act, are they trying to cause it before the game starts? Understanding what it’s for is the point of having one, not being told what it’s for, seems like a level 5 P R stunt, and a very stupid way of grabbing moral high ground, a thing that Level 5 excel at, unfortunately.





    Faffin’ brilliant!!!



    Of course,easily surpassed should anyone,or even everyone,take some along.



    Let’s see them ban that on safety grounds.

  20. Just get in and out tomorrow Bhoys without any bother, Let our compromised board deal with their cheating board, we are just there to support our team in green and white.



    Just another game, don’t be fooled. 3 points and home.



    The dark arts will be at play just be clever.



    a minutes silence to trip us up and rigged toilets, Be clever as Paul says.



    Take care.




    Hail Hail





  21. From Celtic, well said.




    ALTHOUGH not announced publicly as yet, Celtic has been informed that a minute’s silence will be held prior to tomorrow’s match in memory of the victims of the Ibrox Disaster of 1971.


    Beforehand, directors of both clubs will also lay wreaths outside Ibrox at the statue of John Greig as a tribute to the 66 supporters who died in the terrible tragedy 46 years ago, on January 2, 1971.


    The disaster, which occurred towards the end of a game between Celtic and Rangers at Ibrox, remains the saddest day in Scottish football history and one which united a country in grief.


    As supporters made their way out of Ibrox Stadium, the steel barriers on Stairway 13 gave way, resulting in the deaths of 66 Rangers supporters, with many hundreds more injured in the crush. It is terrible for any supporter to lose their life at a game of football, but the scale of the tragedy at Ibrox was almost too much to comprehend.


    In the dark days that followed, supporters from both sides of the Glasgow divide united in the grief and disbelief at what had happened and many ecumenical services were held throughout the country.


    This Saturday, ahead of the league game between the sides at Ibrox, a minute’s silence will be held when supporters of both clubs will be asked to take a moment of quiet reflection and remember the 66 men, women and children who had gone to watch a game of football on January 2, 1971 but who, sadly, did not return home


    Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers added: “The tragedy at Ibrox was one which affected Rangers Football Club and so many other people across Scotland. It transcended football and was an event which also involved Celtic so closely.


    “As we have done many times before we will pay our respects on Saturday and remember sincerely those who lost their lives and all those others affected in the most tragic circumstances of 1971.


    “As ever we are looking forward to another match, the last of a very hectic period. Myself and the players will be doing all we can to deliver the result we want and sign off for the winter break on a positive note.


    “We have not had an easy match yet and we are sure Saturday will be no different. The players have given everything since the start of the season and once again we want to create a positive occasion for everyone associated with the Club.


    “We will need our fans right behind us and we want each and every one of our supporters to give the team and the Club the positive support which Celtic fans over so many years have become renowned for showing. Thank you for your support.”





    Yep. 100% correct.



    But we sure as hell know about it now. So no reason for misbehaviour or letting the rest of us down.



    They want a minute’s silence,unannounced? We should then enforce on them 90 minutes of silence by taking them to the cleaners.

  23. Paul 67 et al,



    There is only one problem with having 7k shining lights at the 67th minute. Not all our supporters have smart phones. Ive been banging a well worn drum for ages now that part of the Celtic supporters pre requisites at a match is now a smart phone.



    I did mention the other night though that mine ” burnt out ” at the RC game. Disaster, with a very small d.



    While we anticipate a competent and winning performance at a “game” that is possibly unwise to play at this time , we should remember what is really important. Family and friends. My thoughts and prayers to all on CQN who are dealing with personal loss and adversity.



    Hail, Hail to all with special mention to those who are going or watching tomorrow.Stay safe.





    First-class from the club.



    An added wee barb,seems they have only themselves found out about it. And aren’t happy about that.



    I presume that the phone-call involved was from us. Not them. And it seems also to have taken Police Scotland by surprise.

  25. What does Paul67 mean when he says they have not publicised the minute silence? How did he and quite a few other posters know about it in that case? And how does a club go about publicising a silence, other than by deciding to have it and informing the SPFL?



    Why would we expect it to be announced in the Celtic website?



    I fear we are in danger of dragging ourselves down to their level with this nonsense. There are enough potential problems surrounding this fixture without inventing more.



    Paul67 should know better.

  26. mike in toronto on




    Charlton Heston (seemingly in every bible movie) vs al Pacino … no contest!



    And The Godfather featured arguably the greatest/most underrated actor ever. Not Robert Duvall.. although, he was a great consigliere. But John Cazale who played Fredo. He was involved with Meryl Streep, and before he died in 1978 of lung cancers (only 42) … he did five films in the preceding 6 years … everyone of which was nominated for the oscar for best picture … Godfather, the conversation, godfather 2, dog day afternoon, and deer hunter!



    Arguably the most underrated actor ever!



  27. Auld Tam


    Now that you have read Celtic`s statement, do you still feel we are ` dragging ourselves down to their level with this nonsense. ` ?




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