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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    Agreement, He was immense and Deer Hunter and Godfather, I never knew he died so young. Sad.





  2. MiT


    Just for a wee break from all the ` Old Firm ` talk ( 0:-) ), I would say that Kevin Spacey is a contender for that underrated` title as well.




  3. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    By playing them and helping to devise the 5 way agreement we are playing their nonsense all the f*****g time

  4. VFR800 IS NOW A MONSTER 821 on 30TH DECEMBER 2016 2:28 PM



    Sorry, it seems despite everything, tickets are in short supply.



    I am aware you have been posting this for days, but if HT cannot help, I fear the worst.



    In the past I have tried for a ticket to Grayskull, sometimes lucky, sometimes not. I have spent the game in a boozer at the back of the Celtic end, but that is no longer there.


    That would make me think twice about travelling over there if I was you.



    Personally I have absolutely no desire to attend another game there.




  5. CultsBhoy - Believes in Brendan on

    Other than the safety of our supporters I’m according very little priority to off field risks tomorrow. Citizen journalism via smartphones usually endures the truth emerges…



    My real interest is in the game.



    I can’t imagine Hunco fans attending ( the more rabid and delusional cohort) will settle for anything less than their team having a right go at Celtic. That should be like candy to a baby for our Bhoys.



    What could be better than open game at Ibrokes when we have better players in every positions?



    Should as I expect we go on to give them a football lesson…and they sell without buying in the transfer window… I think you’ll see the beginning of a serious revolt from the Natives. If that happens its doomsday scenario.. As match day and a kings are all that is keeping the tribute act on the road.





    The silence has always been a contentious issue. Because it is rarely absolute.



    People are still entering the ground,milling around at the pie-stall,whatever. It happens,it is normally ignored in the bigger picture.



    In this particular game,where the sound of a muffled cough or two-real or not-in midwinter led to a career-ending article by Bill Leckie,notice is widespread.



    Forewarned is forearmed,and we are right to be suspicious of motive.



    HH to you and yours,and my very best to all.

  7. ....PFayr ..SACK THE BOARD on

    Sevco were bad in the first league game and , imo , worse in the cup game



    In the cup game they had one attempt at goal in the 80th minute …despite playing with a full compliment for the duration of the game



    They defended deeply notwithstanding this attempt at stifling our game they conceded chance after chance to us with a combination of effective goalkeeping and moderate finishing keeping the score to single figures ….sviatchenko scored a perfectly good goal too



    Any suggestion that Sevco improved between both games is baseless



    My only concern is a Sevco supporting referee refereeing them at home against their bitter rivals …. An outrageous proposition in any football league

  8. Just read a very poignant post on the previous thread from BRTH. God I wish I could write like that.BRTH, sounds like your old man was a good guy, I am sure he will be proud of you.



    Hail Hail



  9. It’s times like this i realise how good the last 4 years were without them





  10. Margaret McGill on

    I hear that Dumfries is likely to win Scotlands renewable energy prize again this year as the dynamo around brother walfrid’s grave is about to spin at its peak.


    Enough money to sell s few souls

  11. MIT – how’s about a wee roll and sausage tomorrow pal???? We will be viewing via the Sky platform;)





  12. A final word on the matter.


    We live in a completely over the top society.


    That requires a minutes silence in memory of a flea being gassed when some careless numpty farted down the wrong leg of his or her underwear.

  13. HOT SMOKED on 30TH DECEMBER 2016 2:16 PM



    Ha ha! I just knew Lenny’s would be in there; 1000% nailed on!!

  14. According to the csa, Celtic officials will be allowed to inspect the Victorian toilet post match. Not before, with Celtic copping the bill for any damage.


    Think we’re being set up here. Can just see the “statement” now……




    “Those roofs were in perfect condition before we let the sectarian Celtic supporters in. It was all their fault and we will defo make sure they pay every penny to make them fixed. WATP FTP PTO etc. “END OF STATEMENT”


    Paul 67.



    Seriously ?



    This farce, charade, vile bile, has gone on long enough.



    Call them out, everyone knows what is being done, it’s like a horrid pantomime, creating the news and why, how, who at Police Scotland allowed the force to be used in such perverse, transparent way ?



    The history of this stuff by cretins goes back to the “success ” they had after the 5-1 game. I watched it develop on one of their blogs. Scrabbling around for a salve for their toilet escapades and 5-1 hammering two things were highlighted. The blow up dolls and our singing on the 66th minute to coincide with the numbers who perished in 71.



    Now the singing was a clutch at straws too far even for this collection of gullible bigots.



    The dolls, with the aid of Vass’ zoom lenses, reproduced in the media and therefore visible was the vehicle chosen.



    Call them what you like but they learn and this time they are going to be pro active.



    Are Celtic going to sit back and allow the club to be hurt by targeting our supporters.


    Don’t appease them Paul 67. It never works with bigots and bullies.






    Those cretins

  16. onenightinlisbon on

    The minutes silence is to be respected IMHO no matter what reason is behind it. We respect those who died, I would expect nothing more from our supporters. We are on a hiding to nothing though and will 100% be painted as the bad guys in this one. The Sevco PR “Gurus” know this and it allows them to focus on an issue not connected with the real world and how bad their team is.

  17. Will be watching but I do fear there are ” bear” traps out there.


    Be careful bhoys and ghirls



  18. BMCW



    I guess they’r having a wreath ceremony and that’s it, and as I read it both clubs will be represented at it, so why the big secret?


    The minutes silence will be respected of that Iv no doubt, and I may ad it should be, but to let the story out 20hrs. Before the KO ? Seems strange, very strange, to me it seems that CFC have only been told this afternoon as well?


    It’s got Level 5s paw marks all over it, where as things like this are normal at other venues in other sports, and are done in harmony and sincerity as it should be.


    Maybe it’s me, it just doesent sit right.

  19. BMCUW



    Indeed, very strange that even less than 24 hours until kick off there’s still nothing from the monkeys regarding it.





    I’m not a huge film/TV buff,which amazed my Twin Cities lass a long time ago.



    She insisted that I must at least know five films I’d watch again.



    I gave in,you do,doncha?



    “But I thought you didn’t have a favourite actor. De Niro’s in four of them!



    Actually,Pacino is in three…”



    “So I’m off the hook,then?”



    A quietish five minutes later,she suddenly said-“Cazalle! He was in three too!”



    Fascinating story. Years of quiet obscurity and burned bright so briefly. Ms Streep met her match with John Cazale,for sure.

  21. Re: the Snakepit toilets – if you’re there first, paint them green. Can you imagine that outrage? A nice paint job…



    Re: the Game itself:



    Orcs scream, Huns surge forward, Sinky, Jamesy and Moussa eat up the space on the counter. 1-0.



    Orcs howl, Huns grimly push at us again, Sinky, Jamesy and Moussa exploit the gaps. 2-0



    Orcs demented, Huns gnash teeth and try to dominate in our half, Sinky, Jamesy and Moussa run riot. 3-0



    McLean manages to find a red card through his veil of bitter orange tears and we are reduced to 10 men.



    Orcs full of ‘battle fever’ demand pressure, Huns roll forward against the ten men, Sinkly, Jamesy and Griff – on for Moussa – finish their hopes on the counter. 4-0.



    Orcs leave in droves. Huns trip over their own petted lips. McLean tries to slash his own wrists in the centre circle as some futile sacrifice to Hiram Abif, linesmen attempting to talk him down miss Broony scoring a blatantly offside cake-topper. 5-0.



    Remaining Orcs start throwing coins at the roofs in a vain attempt to incur abandonment due to disaster; one Orc gets a jaggy bunnet from a falling, dislodged deflated football – a remnant of the Sebo/Van Vossen era – but Police Scotland refuse to stop play as they expect to make record arrests in the Celtic end by lifting retro bumble-bee top-sporting Tims on charges of wearing loud shirts in a built-up area.



    McLean utters three final wails and the game ends. Reverberations from a mass huddle in the Broomloan bring down the empty Govan and Copeland Road stands. Calls go out on social media for all Huns who got lego for Christmas to turn up and help repair the Big Hoose.







    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.




    No they would not.Be assured though that the great man will be getting a mention from the scum tomorrow.

  23. “”The-back-of-the-bus-Brendan’s.””


    When yeez were rolling aboot scoffing mountain after mountain of jelly n ice cream whilst, the died huns were allowed in the back door to div 3 as, Cellic PLC looked the other way @ye….


    ….the morra’s wee cheap tricks are what yeez paid for with….


    1. Yer hunlike behavior with the Jelly n ice cream…..not very cute at all.


    2. Yer easily gulled handing over of yer season ticket money to a PLC who’ll look the other way to ‘all’ hun stuff.


    Oh and,……


    3. Why yeez have still to cotton-on to the fACT that, Brendan was the 1st squirrel oot the traps to plead with the SFA to, appoint Malky McKay to replace Brian McLair……why???? Hmmmm????


    Is it a case of, the SFA and, the deceitful-Cellic-PLC striking a deal along the lines of……


    SFA – “PLC….look the other way from Res:12 and, we’ll bring in Malky McKay and let him build up a portfolio back into the game for when, Brendan leaves.”……


    Some might think that the above is crazy stuff but,……all it needs is some hun to wear a John-Wilson-mask and, go to wish Brendan a Happy New Year the morra…..and, he’ll get away with it like the butchers-apron-planters in MO’N’s garden whilst only Mrs O’Neill was at home.


    Ye see, where it all goes wrong for the Cellic support of today – yeez urny paranoid enough.


    Awe yeez need is to belt out a couple of long winded verses of ‘GRACE’ and, the world will be all grand again.


    HO-HO-HO Fae the cliqueless Jingle Bells Jungle


    Guid luck – off oot.







    It’s a shambles altogether. Sure,silences are arranged at short-notice for obvious reasons,but this looks pre-meditated.



    So which masonic bassa let slip the secret?



    And more importantly,how did WE find out about it(!)

  25. The reciprocal agreement on damage to each others stadia means that the club whose supporters cause the damage pay for it. This arrangement was in place for years with the dead club and is now in place with the new club. However don’t let the truth get in the way of a good anti board conspiracy theory.



    Celtic supporters will, I am sure, behave in our usual impeccable manner. This of course will not stop the scum press and Huns manufacturing a “story”. We can only hope to so humiliate them on the park that their lies are buried in the coverage of how bad they actually are.



    To all who are going stay safe and remember the good name of Celtic.

  26. I’ve asked this question earlier, have Sevco paid for the damage to Celtic Park by their fans in September ?

  27. Sigh. Our board collude with corruption and welcome the return of racism. They are fine with these capers from the Hun and will be the very first to attack the Celtic support should anyone fall into the traps the Huns are creating.



    If there is a suggestion that the Huns will “pre damage” any toilets then why not publicly insist that Celtic officials are allowed to inspect the, before the match. How could the Huns possibly refuse?



    This is just a pantomime (and not a very good one). The Celtic board are perfectly willing to play their part in that pantomime. It seems to me that a lot of Celtic supporters are too.

  28. My friends in Celtic,



    Generally the Celtic supports have class, passion and decency. Forget all the rights, wrongs , point scoring, timings etc. The silence will remember ordinary men, women and children who went to a football game and never came back. Broken families who are still suffering. No more , no less.



    Tomorrow I hope to watch the game in McChulls then wander along to a brill wee pub I found when Christmas shopping. I walked in the door of Rocky O,Sullivan’s to the sound of Grace.


    Certainly worth another visit.




  29. Whether one agrees with it or not there will be a minute silence tomorrow to commemorate the 66 football fans who went to a game of football and sadly didn’t return. I was at that game in 71.


    Some on here as usual see it as an opportunity to vilify our board.



    Things in perspective please – lives were needlessly lost.

  30. td67


    man cold kiiking in big time, blame my daughter and grandkids over christmas.


    any way had the wrong guy, was thinking of carla in cheers her real life hubby made a few appearences.


    i think

  31. prestonpans bhoys on

    Had a wander around the Hun website, not a thing about a minute silence, now off for a wash……..

  32. NEGANON2 on 30TH DECEMBER 2016 3:20 PM


    Sigh. Our board collude with corruption and welcome the return of racism. They are fine with these capers from the Hun and will be the very first to attack the Celtic support should anyone fall into the traps the Huns are creating.




    If there is a suggestion that the Huns will “pre damage” any toilets then why not publicly insist that Celtic officials are allowed to inspect the, before the match. How could the Huns possibly refuse?




    This is just a pantomime (and not a very good one). The Celtic board are perfectly willing to play their part in that pantomime. It seems to me that a lot of Celtic supporters are too.




    Nurse Ratchet, Nurse Ratchet! Ffs, a thought you said you where keeping up his meds and he was doing much better, and that we would see a new man in the new year, he’s worse ffs, this must be a set back for the other crackpots, better get them all on lockdown, him as well ffs, I was looking for better things from him in the new year, and was thinking of sponsoring him for next year, but he’s totally away wi the goalie noo, sad indeed, ez ferkin nuts.

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