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. ITALIABHOY on 30TH DECEMBER 2016 9:11 PM



    I suggest you maybe want to find out more about what happened.

  2. ....PFayr ..SACK THE BOARD on

    Watching Jamos v Sheep …moderate



    Willis Collum is an officious irritating we prat …..some of his decisions this evening have been appalling



    Elite level referee …Jesus wept !

  3. Not been on for a while, things been going on.


    Anyways,, thoughts with those who have lost family and friends, never a good time but harder at this time of the year for some reason.


    As for the min silence, the very fact it’s a set up makes me want to tell them to stick it, but the 66 who died didn’t deserve it, so it should be respected whatever the motive, we are on a loser come what may, the msm are just itching to get the tarnish Celtic news out there, and they will, so I can see a few not giving a feck knowing what the outcome will be.


    As for the game itself, all I ask for is our support to stay safe before, during and after, that will do for me, Oh and the emergency services have a quiet shift.


    I noticed Pedro was quoted earlier, saying and I paraphrase that nobody knows, bloggers etc what is going down at the club, yip, more like the masons every day, we the shareholders should know what is happening, imo that is.

  4. I pray to god our bhoys observe the silence .


    But would it not be an idea if the office bearers from the association . The affiliation , and the aicsc . Were to be on hand approaching our turnstiles , to remind the fans to be aware of whats expected from them . The lads who run our club have already contacted all members to make them aware of the silence .

  5. ....PFayr ..SACK THE BOARD on

    Having read Irvine Smith QC’s biography



    The idea of Sevco using the Ibrox disaster as a PR tool is the epitome of hypocracy

  6. TGM



    Neither my view or that article was in any shape or form a defence of mainstream media.



    The biggest defender of the continuity myth is the Scottish mainstream media- there is no way I believe them on that issue. That does not lead me to disbelieve all that they tel me though.



    Some media even actively fake the news- resulting in wars starting e.g. Hearst in the Spanish-American war.



    As I said- it was not a defence of vested interests or the mainstream anything: it was about actively resting out your beliefs against the evidence. I would love Lamarkian genetics to be true- the problem is there is no evidence for it and what little there was, was most likely faked.







    I was already aware the song existed. I did not need to hear it sung to believe it existed. I did need to trust my sources that verified its existence.



    And I was sceptical of the point advanced by the poster who brought it onto this forum. That scepticism was based on their previous submissions.

  7. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on




    I dont disagree with you.


    I was shooting the breeze.


    If you know about San Juan Hill….you know what im saying.




  8. Surely if what Paul is alluding to is true we are not goin to be so gullible as to accept whatever the post match review of the Broomloan digs up. JPT should be all over this as well as Ronnie Hawthorn and conduct a full pre match recce of all areas our fans will be in. They’ll be billing us for the new connector bolts if we don’t sort this out from the word go.

  9. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on




    Certainly not…..thats common in all wars.


    The man you spoke about…Hearst, was instrumental in the Spanish-American War….’Manifest Destiny’


    But anyway…you know all this:)




  10. Timjim


    Why should it be supporters association/ affiliation etc


    It should be Celtic PLC informing their own fans and shareholders



    TET, very hoooopy birthday, hope you’ve had a great day



    Philboy, may your Brother in law – Maurice rest in Peace



    Hail Hail

  11. Kelvinbhoy


    Same response to your good self


    Why is Paul 67 asking Celtic supporters to gather evidence


    Up to our Board to perform their corporate duties in looking after their fans/ shareholders, by ensuring all is appropriate prior to them entering that stadium


    No buck passing

  12. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    There is a lot of debate about the minutes silence; the old club and the new club have held a mintutes silence at the closest home fixture each year so this year is nothing new.



    The silence is, IMHO, appropriate – remembering 66 souls lost at a football match.



    What their board or fans group want to achieve with it, I don’t give a flying fduck. For me it is about respect for the dead. I remember that day and the worry of whether or not my dad and brothers would come home safe – we didn’t know what end it had happened at. For my family, it was relief. For many others it was tragedy.



    If you can’t see past the baggage to concentrate on that fact, please try again!





  13. ERNIE LYNCH on 30TH DECEMBER 2016 9:04 PM


    ITALIABHOY on 30TH DECEMBER 2016 7:47 PM



    ‘That disaster could have happened at Celtic Park, or any other ground in the UK.’






    I don’t agree. The disaster wasn’t an Act of God. It was foreseeable and preventable. It happened due to the fault and negligence of the Club.



    *Fully concur Ernie, they were well aware of the problem and looked the other way.



    I don’t recall any minutes silence for the disaster of 1902, on the 50 th or 60th and by the time the 70th anniversary came well it had been replaced by one the year before.



    Likewise in 1961 either and there were several other incidents between that one and 1971.



    As for any other ground in the country, only hampden at the Celtic end comes to mind and I often left there without my feet touching the ground.



    After the 71 disaster it was said that Celtic Park was one of the safest in the country due to the way the crowd was funnelled out like a fan toward the exit and not inward.

  14. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on




    The silence is indeed appropriate.


    A bit of respect and humanity wont be a problem for Celtic supporters.




  15. Kelvinbhoy – I’m sure youre sorted with arrangements for tomorrow but youre always welcome to pop round the corner. Pre match rolls n sausage dont you know!

  16. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Moonbeams 9.15pm irony my perception



    VFR 9.18pm – exactly



    My father-in-law who I met around 2006 was at that game in the home end, and never attended another game of football



    Far more important things in life than point scoring

  17. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    Doc, although I’ve never (knowingly) met you, you will be in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow morning as you bury your dad.



    It’s coming up 30 years since we buried my dad and I still think of him and miss him.



    Memories are forever; cherish them.





  18. Cowiebhoy 9.31



    Can you see any of that lot mixing with the fans , or standing outside the turnstiles . And the bhoys from those registered associations .would command more respect .

  19. SFTB


    I thought there was some evidence to support Lamarckian genetic theory. The one I read involved mice ( well it would, wouldn`t it!). Are you saying that you believe all the ` evidence` was faked?


    If you reply, I will read it tomorrow. Must go now,



  20. ERNIE LYNCH on 30TH DECEMBER 2016 9:14 PM


    OK. Social survey time. Again.



    1. No nae never



    2. Only on here in recent years, thought it was a sheep song BTW.



    3. Parkheid



    4. Chapel at hame but Mass since I came here



    5. Naw just pepper

  21. Jobo – thanks for the offer but heading down to my mates in Burnside. I’ll call round and collect my roll on sausage before I go though :-) Enjoy and all the best to you, Mrs Jobo and the family. Hail Hail.

  22. Hello again all you young rebels.



    Ready to pack the car to head into Melbourne city for the


    fireworks it’s the 9 o’clock kids bash and then a dash home


    to watch the big fireworks on CTV at bigotdome.


    Everybody is in the hoops and two other Celtic families will


    meet up and after we’ve done our mini huddle other tims


    will join us from all over the huge park outside the MCG.


    I expect a win for us, but the traps are being set and I’ve seen


    too many strange decisions there to take it for granted.


    Everybody getting home safely is my main concern, so those


    who are attending the game don’t leave yourself isolated.


    H.H Mick

  23. Kelvinbhoy – enjoy. If youre at a loose end after the bells text me and I’ll tell you which neighbours house I’m in! Seriously….

  24. Doc, don’t think we’ve met but I’ve only heard good things (mostly :-) about you.



    Your father would have been proud of you and you are obviously so proud of him.



    Strength to you and the family tomorrow. My thoughts will be with you all.




  25. Isn’t it weird but my abiding concern tonight is that the minute silence is observed. Looking at it positivhely, it is because I believe that there is a goodness in Celtic fans that is in touch with human grief. But I believe that even if, which it won’t be, it is perfectly observed, the other crowd will boo to create a bad atomosphere anyway.



    Lose, lose, sadly.

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