Sympathy for the captain, forget Schalk, worry about next weekend’s penalty


There’s been a lot of talk about the Lisbon Lions recently; you may have noticed. Go ask you dad about them, he’ll tell you they could take care of themselves. For all the pretty football, they still had to win the battles.

Consider also the team during Seville season. Thompson, Lennon, Sutton, Hartson, Mjallby and Valgaeren never failed to meet an opponent square on. They were all hard men. Don’t even ask about Bobo, he terrified opponents by the scale of his shadow, no opponent dared take him on.

All of those duties now fall to Scott Brown, he’s our hard man. It’s an important role and he doesn’t have much in the way of support.

You get the feeling there’s a notion that the rest of the guys can concentrate on being wonderful, in the knowledge that Scott will sort out the troublemakers. He was, of course, wrong yesterday, not for the first time, although red cards are not a regular occurrence.

Sky TV could not have hand-picked a better analyst of this situation than Barry Robson. Barry arrived at Celtic in January 2008, picked up the mantle of Sorter Outer in Chief, and stamped his authority on the league title. We all knew that, unlike a then often-rash Scott Brown, Barry could work within the lines and still get the job done.

But even the such a master of subtle intimidation can get it spectacularly wrong. Last year he lamped former Celtic team-mate, Scott McDonald, a minute after coming on as a substitute. If you want a hard man in your team, don’t go yelling about him when he acts like a hard man moments after being assaulted from behind.

The only surprise about the late penalty for Ross County’s Schalk’s outrageous dive and subsequent penalty was that it happened this weekend, not next. Set your watch for it, people, if you think the treble will be decided purely on meritocratic terms, you’ve not watched as much football as me.

Brendan’s about to find out the limits of his apparent powers in Scottish football.


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  1. Hrvatski Jim



    A brave and selfless man, your Grandfather. Must have been so hard on your mother, too.



    Still, inheriting a hero’s genes must have helped.

  2. Hrvatski Jim – a remarkable wee story. Thanks for sharing. Funnily enough, just applied to volunteer with Scottish Canals and hope to look after a lock near me. Loch 27 would be perfect :-)

  3. Hrvatski


    Great wee read.


    HH to your Grandfather.




    If you take the stabilisers and basket off the front the bike will go faster.






    No hero me but I nearly suffered the same fated on 15th January 2011. It was at the end of several weeks of ice which had lasted from mid November until New Year 2012.



    Once the thaw set in I was itching to take the dog a good walk and went up to Carron Valley behind Kilsyth where there is a reservoir. I kept the dog in the lead when we passed the still frozen water but let him off when we got into the forest. About a mile later i called him back as i knew that we were approaching a stream which runs off the hills into the reservoir.



    He did not come back and as i ran up to the bridge I saw him being swept away by a raging torrent of melting ice in a stream which is normally only about 2 feet deep.



    I went down the bank and shouted at him to get over to me which he did. As I leaned over to try to pull him out I was pulled in to the stream. I am a very poor swimmer but no-one could have swum against the force of the water. As I was swept down, my feet hitting boulders and being pulled under the water at times.



    After a couple of failed attempts to grab onto the bank I managed to grab a tree and got the dog out. He is a black lab and thought he was in the doggy equivalent of a water park at Disneyland.



    I was so weighed down by my sodden clothes and fleece lined leather boots that it took me several attempts to get myself out.



    There is no mobile phone reception up there and the mobile was destroyed anyway so I just had to slowly make my way back to the car and get in for a heat and drive home.



    So, a better ending for me but nor heroism and I don’t go to Carron Valley any more.

  5. Delaneys Dunky on




    Last time I was in 5 years ago, it was more like Ludge 27 wi the clientelle.

  6. G98: the stabilisers and basket aren’t the problem. It’s people driving on the wrong side of the road.




  7. Hrvatski Jim



    Your family was overdue a bit of luck, and it sounds like you got it (and yer dug!).

  8. A personally think a sustained boycott campaign would do the trick. Most clubs make between 80 and 100 grand every time Celtic visit I’d imagine. 10 games and u could b looking at a million pound less money in Scottish football. Other clubs would then put pressure on the sfa. Not easy to notsupport the club but constantly bending over ain’t working either.

  9. DD- yep been a while for me too. Howevah once i re-paint the locks green, white & gold I’m sure the crowd will be more cosmopolitan.



    GFS2 been published yet?

  10. R Celtic allowed to beam the games back to parkhead. Fans could go there and the club make more. Only in Scotland can u get away with a decision like that.

  11. It now seems we are getting about two shocking decisions every game. Just remembered the hearts game – two good goals disallowed- one an own goal!

  12. Hrvatski Jim



    Thanks for sharing your grandfathers story . As for the second story ….jeez oh.


    So glad you and the lab survived that turn of events . Is your dog called lucky ? ;-))

  13. Celtic should hire a private investigator to look into the affairs of every Grade 1 referee. Where necessary it could be used as leverage against the SFA. For what’s it’s worth I don’t think there will be a blatant and obvious decision or non decision against us this weekend. The stakes for Fleming and the cabal are too high. Any mistake that costs us the Treble will result in all manner of hell breaking loose. Celtic would be forced to act as the supporters and Brendan would demand it.

  14. Guissepp67 11.22


    I get your point . Who would organise such a boycott ? Remember that CQN is only a small percentage of the Celtic support . Following the hoops both home and away is a way of life for many . Persuading them to change that way of life , even temporally would be very difficult . HH

  15. Ron67



    Seeing as you asked, like many others in here who disagree with comments made by former players in the media, you attempt to dress it up as being anti Celtic when they give their considered opinions

  16. Delaneys Dunky on




    I remember in the days of Jim Sinclair running Lock27 it was full of ex Saint Tams bhoys like him.


    Something changed. Hope you reclaim it. :)

  17. Fan a tic



    I’ll add to your list,like McCoist he was pall bearer at one of the greatest ever Celts funeral

  18. As one of nature’s gentlemen once reflected to me; ‘Son , we have to be better than good’…



    The team has been leaving themselves open to ‘honest mistakes’ by not taking advantage of their superior possession and play.



    The ‘fix’ is undoubtedly in. But we can eradicate that by being clinical against the tribute act next week.



    I have no doubt it will happen by being ‘better than good’…

  19. Angel Gabriel. The Celtic supporters club association could maybe get the ball rolling. Totally understand it’s a way of life but it’s that attitude that weakens our hand.

  20. TTR.11.35


    A previous Celtic CEO went partially down that road .He was slaughtered by the SMSM. Times and opinions have changed since , many see the SMSM as an extension of the problem , but I still think it’s not the best option.


    Highlighting the process of selection , the limited criteria of candidates ,and the obvious point of impartiality , concerning what allegiance to a particular team referees in Scotland have would be better . The whole process is flawed .


    Off to my 4poster. I’ll catch any reply tomorrow . HH

  21. Brendan calling it out.



    Blatant Cheating.






    I think we have a Genius running oor Teams – the unders are the most important IMO..



    I hope to be in the standing section NEXT SEASON. Not quite the Jungle but its where I belong.

  22. I need to see more of that Acrobat.



    Efe still has a part to play @ Celtic?……….. probably not but Brendan can’t be 2nd guessed.



    He wants players with incredible Desire.




  23. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Unless you can resurrect Luke Kelly, Raglan Road should not be touched by another mortal….and certainly not by any tone deaf football crowd.

  24. STARRY PLOUGH on 17TH APRIL 2017 8:50 PM


    John Terry do me a favour Guv’ he’s almost as old as Clint over the Hill…




    Yes ,and 10 times the player.A fantastic athlete,who,although I dont think he will,would do a fantastic job for us in Europe.Best reader of a game I have seen in a long time.