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. onenightinlisbon on

    As far as I can see they know that they can “win” on some front tomorrow by setting us up re the minutes silence. They will take their usual moral high ground and be backed by the media to the hilt on it. We have to ensure that all our supporters are aware of this, I have no doubts that will observe the silence but worried that the usual noise from people entering the stadium will be taken as a deliberate attempt to disrespect the silence. Sevco are well aware of this and assume we will “disgrace” ourselves. The secrecy of this minutes silence is without doubt designed to make matters worse. How low can these people go?

  2. Wonder what time the wreath laying is at given the locus of the said statue… Assuming a club rep will need to be there for breakfast…

  3. onenightinlisbon on

    Not one of us would have an issue with the minutes silence I’m sure but it’s the underhand way this has been done.

  4. DUMBHOY on 30TH DECEMBER 2016 5:18 PM


    Wonder what time the wreath laying is at given the locus of the said statue… Assuming a club rep will need to be there for breakfast…





    Bankier he’ll fit in wi the other masons !!!!!

  5. A minutes silence before kick off! They are either stark raving bonkers or much more likely setting us up for a headline grabbing fall to detract from any gubbing they get during the match – which should be the headlines. There is no chance all of our supporters at the game tomorrow will observe a minutes silence – none at all.

  6. thomthethim for Oscar OK on



    Facing the pitch would be powerful message.


    Electronic Tims‏ @ETimsNet


    During minutes silence.. a 7000 strong silent Huddle will pay our respects to the dead while letting living know we know their true antics

  7. My friends in Celtic,



    I implore our fans to behave impeccable during the minutes silence. No gimmicks, just silence and respect for what happened on stairway 13 all those years ago.



    What I would like to know at a later date is :- Have Rangers / Sevco held a minutes silence at every home game closest to the 2nd January since 1971.




  8. onenightinlisbon on






    During minutes silence.. a 7000 strong silent Huddle will pay our respects to the dead while letting living know we know their true antics



    This will also be seen as disrespectful as well, have no doubts about that…

  9. Good evening friends, it’s holiday time again! 4 evenings where there’s no work the next day can only mean more carnage….. ;-) Off for a scroll back….

  10. Maybe a minor point but it wasn’t police Scotland who decided on the hard hats



    A Police Scoland spokeswoman said: “It’s at the club’s discretion what’s allowed into the stadium. “If somebody is carrying something that we, or the stewards, think could be thrown and cause injury, then that may be looked upon differently and won’t be allowed into the stadium.”



    Read more at:

  11. Remember this.



    “Indeed it goes further than this because certain of their actions can only be interpreted as a deliberate and apparently successful attempt to deceive others that they were doing something, when in fact they were doing nothing.”



    — Sheriff Irvine Smith about the rangers board attitude to the safety of that fatal stairway!



    minute’s silence please then lots of discussion with your hun friends about the above.

  12. thomthethim for Oscar OK on




    Bear in mind that it was the Board of the deceased club who were culpable for the ’71 disaster.



    Despicable then, ……..

  13. More interested in what’s happening on the park than fiddling aboot with a torch on a bloody mobile phone

  14. sixtaeseven - 65 trophies in my lifetime on

    Wan’t it great for four years when we didn’t get dragged into situations like this?



    Hoping for a win and 3 more points tomorrow, as I would against any team.



    Hoping even more for a quite night for the brave souls that man the A&E wards in Glasgow and elsewhere.

  15. Just when you thought Sevco couldn’t get any more distasteful, they lower the bar, in disrespect. ungraciously at the expense of the 66 poor souls that losts their lives at a football game all those years ago,



    The continual attempted association with of Sevco and Rangers is tedious ungracious,could you be to 66 poor souls that losts their lives at a football game all those years ago, than using their deaths, to deflect from your own paucity.



    There have been many good posts today on the Blog today and elsewhere, and I have mixed emotions about the Celtic fans that decided to pay into the Sevco myth, whilst supporting Celtic on the road.



    I hope we all get in and out alive but lets not kid ourselves, impeccably observed silences were misrepresented before and they will be again.



    This is now ‘club grievance’ but the biggest hooligans are just like Rangers before them, and firmly in office in the boardroom.



    There will come a time when Celtic will have no option to break our silence, and call it like it really is.

  16. MICKBHOY1888 on 30TH DECEMBER 2016 6:00 PM


    More interested in what’s happening on the park than fiddling aboot with a torch on a bloody mobile phone



    Technology is a b1 tch



  17. We can pontificate on here all night; what will be will be.


    Three months ago we spanked them 5-1 and some half witted attempts at “humour” amongst our own support was the big story.


    That will happen again, this is the reverse of the oft held belief that the winners write the history, however that is the case.


    I agree with Cults Bhoy there are some right zoomers amongst our support who I cannot fathom. This type of dumbed down aresehole is visible in any gathering of half drunk , wholely brain dead bunch of guys at any football match.


    We have in our support a massive majority of good people who have respect for human life and human suffering, I am hopeful they will be the ones the media comment on.


    Anyway, time for a glass of vino.

  18. I think the mobile phone display is excellent, but reckon it distracts from the game and did to our detriment in the Dundee game, when they scored.



    Now if we could score on 67?





    100% in agreement. The football world up here was a better place without them. I truly hoped we would never play them again.


    In the grand scheme of things there are more important concerns, I just avoid this fixture now. It’s a blight on our country.

  20. I expect Celtic to win tomorrow in the same way I expect them to win at every away ground in Scotland.



    We don’t always beat averse at pittodrie or Ross County in Dingwall, but more often than not we do. And thus is now what a trip to Rustville has become. The only difference is the big crowd. Which makes a victory for us more likely as players will be in the right frame of mind.



    But it really is no more than racking up points, getting nearer to the league title and keeping momentum going.



    The circus surrounding it, the gutter mentality of the underclass actually wanting people to denigrate the memory of the dead so they can claim some warped moral high ground or drag us in to their swamp is galling.



    I think most Celtic people really do want the sectarian stuff to end. It seems rangers* minded people just want people to see us in the same light as they are viewed. It’s a mentality I don’t get but there you go.

  21. £45m investment on its way to sevco in new year.



    £15m Billy Walker


    £15m David Murray


    £15m – still tracking

  22. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    The demonising, victim mentality at Ibrox is the same tactic used by Farage and Trump in their corruption of public opinion in the UK and USA.



    They are the victims and we are the cause of all of their ills.

  23. mild mannered Pedro delgado on




    Ernie lynch and his ascerbic wit



    I’ve suffered from that in the past



    Ascerbic means it’s from the balkans. Right? :)))

  24. Yes, this is a set up but, sadly, some Celtic followers don’t need to be set up. I fear a PR disaster tomorrow.

  25. i like many others could see tomorrow’s fixture far enough, but as far as the pre match trap, we are Glasgow Celtic, stand tall and proud of our Bhoys and pay respect in silence, we are better than that to lower ourselves to their level.

  26. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    I agree, the old firm fans that have paid £50 to fill the ibrox clubs coffers are exactly the ones I’d expect to sing the ibrox disaster song.


    Knocked back three tickets so far, no interested in helping fill their coffers.


    Going to watch my club, I’m told, how many other away league games would you pay £50 to watch ?

  27. RobertT



    Hail Hail



    Like the last game even though CQN’s finest ‘The Battered Bunnet’ put me right in supporting Celtic at any cost, or all cause, – I still despise this fixture and more so when its in Govan against any club.



    My brother was ahead of the internet he wasn’t an accountant or an administrator, but he confidently predicted a downfall like the one Paul67 first wrote of, in 2008 , sadly he didn’t live to see the expose.



    If you’re as old as Setting Free The Bears – you’ll have reason to dislike this game, but for us young pups, old fogies alike, and Harry Faversham tomorrow will be for you .

  28. About to try a wee social media experiment by posting the following on Twitter



    “Anyone else hearing that @Joey7Barton has a ticket for the upper Broomloan tomorrow?”



    Not that I have, you understand ;-)

  29. BSR- The Board will have to pull the trigger one day soon, suffering in silence is not an answer to the many questions.HH We are being set up again tomorrow, a cracking Mr Sheen pic doing the rounds re cleaning the bogs..

  30. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    5.30 am


    Warm Sydney morn.


    Wake up like a wee boy on Christmas morn.


    Full of hope , anticipation and yes expectation.


    What will our Celtic Santa have in his sack for us Tims today ?


    Well ,we`ll have Brendan tomorrow irrespective of the score.


    Brendan , the gift that keeps on giving.


    I then read Paul`s marvellous call to arms.


    Have a laugh at the various observations …………particularly the old guy with the torch cause he doesn`t have a mobile phone for the 67th minute.


    Now there`s dedication for you.


    Can`t wait till 11.30 pm tonight.



    Hail Hail to our globally assembled multitudes.

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