Can someone check on Robbie Neilson? The Hearts manager has been posted missing since footage of John Souttar’s off the ball attack on Kyogo was publicised. Neilson was highly animated at Celtic’s goal, the merits of which cannot be confirmed by video evidence. There is no such dubiety over Souttar’s bodily interference with Kyogo. With the ball out of play, the Hearts defender grabbed hold of Kyogo in the lower torso region, causing a visible abrasion.
Neilson, by any moral code, should refer his player to the video review panel, they both should apologise to the Celtic player. If John Souttar wants this kind of intimate relationship with a man he must go about it differently. We live in rainbow times, but the 25-year-old needs to learn there are boundaries to respect.
In all the CQN years, I have discussed refereeing performances in less than a handful of cases. Whenever I read people moaning about them, I think back to Jock Stein’s words to his players in that Celtic film from 1967, roughly abbreviated to ‘Deal with it’.
This is Scotland, referees are local, oversight is local, all the review and analytical process are local (as I am, BTW). This is the place where the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service brought the might of the land against a football club’s administrators who were not prepared to do the bidding of hostile agents. Save me your ‘Best wee country’ nonsense, with its implied superiority complex.
I was not surprised by a late penalty at Easter Road on Wednesday, it was not even noteworthy. Compare and contrast to the hysterical analysis at Celtic Park from one character on Sky Sports on Thursday. When the host calmly informing him that the TV analysis on the merits of Celtic’s goal was inconclusive, the facts could not penetrate, the matter was settled in his closed mind.
Based on stills when Anthony Ralston delivered his excellent cross, for my money, the goal was good. But I’m biased, so don’t listen to me on the goal any more than Kris Boyd. Celtic will win or lose the league with the referees we have, with pundits trying to convince whoever listens that inconclusive evidence is enough for them. It will work, too, Celtic will face the consequences of Thursday’s decision. This is Scotland, after all.