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The Hooper-Scepovic lesson

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Gary Hooper has scored once in his last 23 appearances for Norwich City, an ultimately meaningless goal as his team lost that day.  Prior to that, he scored five in eight in games in which Norwich collected 10 points, while he opened his account for them with a brace in the League Cup against Watford.  The latter stages of that 23 game desolate run has been marred by an injury he collected preseason, returning to league duty this month.

This is not the player you or I will recognise.  Gary was more than capable of going through a dry patch, but he was an undisputed penalty box finisher, who seemed to perform better, the better the competition.  Now he has to sit alongside Jos Hooiveld on the Norwich bench, as his in-form club, with in-form players, occupy a play-off place.  Think of that for a moment, Hooper and Hooiveld, largely indistinguishable on form for Norwich.

It’s no surprise that Neil Lennon wanted him at Bolton, he knows Gary is a better player than probably anyone in Norwich realise.  Norwich rejected the bid, as they were reluctant to weaken their squad, but already this season is looking unlikely to add much to the end of career Gary Hooper Highlights DVD.

Celtic are already on the case to sign John Guidetti on a permanent deal, he’s looked the part since he first touched the ball in a Celtic shirt, but by contrast, Stefan Scepovic has looked awkward.  The early goals didn’t come, he looked short of a game plan and when a header missed the target on Thursday night, one guy behind me bellowed the kind of comment you hope a player looking for confidence doesn’t hear.

I don’t know any more about Stefan than you, but I absolutely know we’ve not seen the best of him, just as Norwich haven’t seen the best of Gary.  This guy has the background we want in a new recruit, scoring well in the Spanish second tier and wanted by top tier club.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a Celtic player as happy to score as Stefan was against Astra.  The finish against Kilmarnock will have built on whatever confidence boost he received.  The project is back on course.  He needs to continue to find the net, and we need to remember how to support a player as he settles into a new life.

We’ve had a great run of momentum with the help of Magners in recent weeks. The club sponsor have offered a couple of premium match tickets, on the back of which we’ve asked for donations from £1 to Mary’s Meals.

It’s been great to see this in action.  We get lots of £1 and £2 donations, but plenty of people chip in with a lot more.  It’s been a great way of ensuring prizes are open to everyone.

Today we formally launch the bid to build a fourth school kitchen in Malawi for Mary’s Meals.  During 2014 you funded the construction of three kitchens, which feed close to 2000 of the world’s poorest children each day.  All of them live below the UN measure of absolute poverty.

Over the last 20 years the number of people living below $1.25 per day has halved.  Organisations like Mary’s Meals are making enormous inroads.  Those kids aren’t just getting a meal, more of them are able to attend school (up 30%) as they don’t need to work for food.  This improves their academic achievements and gives them skills which will be with them throughout their lives, increasing personal, regional and national productivity.

93% of the money raised by Mary’s Meals reaches those on the ground.  It costs around $12 to feed a child for an entire year.  It’s almost incalculable what your money does.

Magners have kindly offered two debenture hospitality seats for The Celtic Suite, including buffet lunch, for the Inverness game on Saturday, which are available for auction here on ebay.  The journey we had last year in building those three kitchens was remarkable, I know we’ll enjoy the new project.

Current bid is £1 to get in quick!

Big thanks to Magners, b.t.w.  This help goes a long, long, way.

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  1. dena29

     

    12:35 on

     

    28 October, 2014

     

    jamesgang

     

    12:32 on

     

    28 October, 2014

     

    Pinky???

     

     

    Whit???

     

     

    exactly what I was thinking when I was reading and trying to think what it could be

     

    Purely never crossed my mind

     

     

    when your purchasing your thin fingers can you get me thin waist I’ll square you up at the cqn corner Saturday :-)))))))

     

     

    HH

  2. tonydonnelly67

     

     

    12:38 on 28 October, 2014

     

    Livibhoy

     

    Just a thought, these teams with the mostly home grown boys just don’t seem to cut it when it comes to advancing in Europe at the play offs level, i do get your point, it has no backing when you look at the stats? IMO

  3. livibhoy

     

     

    10:33 on 28 October, 2014

     

     

     

     

    Your thinking what you would do mate.. Not what the average footballer would do.

     

     

    Guidetti seems like he is enjoying himself but still dont know if thats enough for him to turn down a double the money offer elsewhere.

     

     

    Brown and commons looking for one last contract… We may push out for brown but i suspect commons is looking at a poor offer .. Partly due to the lawell stragety and also i think ronnie would prefer the wages spent on someone else… Really not sure if kris fits into his plans.

  4. ernie, When Hamilton Tim posted re it being anniversary of Terence McSwiney’s death after a 74 day hunger strike, your response was “That’s nothing” and went on with an infantile “joke” about Salmond. That is bloody offensive to me, no matter what way you dress it up. There was a time when I rated you as a poster and liked some of your stuff. You are now misusing this Blog to incessantly push your narrow agenda, The trivialisation of McSwiney’s hunger strike & death was the last straw for me. It pains me that you are probably a Celtic Supporter, I would normally do anything I could to help a fellow Supporter but in your case I wouldn’t piss on you, if you were on fire.

  5. Dont know why people were on scepovic back so quickly.. I dont know the stats but i dont think he played more than 3/4 full 90mins in a row before last couple of weeks.

     

     

    Apart from getting to know his teammates their does seem to be a problem with what ronnie is asking the players to do and with what they are doing… Different wavelengths alot of the time.

  6. Ernie

     

     

    I’m not hard of thinking.

     

    Perhaps you’re hard of heart/neck/ humility.

     

     

    Select as many as you like!

     

     

    Laters

     

     

    HH jamesgang

  7. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon ....The angels are with Wee Oscar in Heaven.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    Has he put them into administration yet, or is he waiting for Sally to run out of pies first … :)

  8. John Guidetti is a young man who knows very much how illness and injury can blight a promising career.

     

     

    He won’t stay with us for the love of it. He’ll stay because it’s financially the best option to protect his future.

     

     

    If we want him, we will have to pay big.

  9. Well done Paul on your support for Mary’s Meals.

     

    It gives wee exiles like myself a chance to easily contribute.

  10. Stefan has 2 goals in 8 appearances.

     

     

    Bbj scored 0 in 10.

     

     

    I’ll hawd my tongue and give the bhoy a chance.

  11. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    PAUL67

     

     

    I think that may have been the shocking miss which led to my AW,FFS!!! comment at the time. So I canny criticise your neighbour.

     

     

    It was a free header. It landed nearer the corner flag.

     

     

    Hopefully his recent goals will stoke his confidence.

     

     

    As for Hooper,I said at the time that he was making a huge mistake. His offer was to stay at Celtic and bang the goals in for £25k a week.

     

     

    He chose £40k a week at Norwich. If they got relegated-as they did-and he scores plenty to get them back up,he will be recognised as a player who can ‘only score in diddy leagues’

     

     

    And he isn’t even achieving that.

     

     

    Result-his next contract will be around £10k.

     

     

    His fault. He blew it.

  12. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    BOGNORBHOY

     

     

    Well done once more,bud. You heading Swindon way at the weekend to see yer family and partake of cheap Guinness?

  13. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    CORKCELT

     

     

    Yer better than that,bud.

     

     

    I thought it was a poor jibe. Hammer him for it by all means but stay cool.

     

     

    You fancy a trip north on Feb 14?

  14. Dubaibhoy-Ur they still deid? on

    Paul,

     

     

    Scepovic has appeared for 11 different clubs in 6 years and is still aged only 24. Of those 11 clubs, 6 have been his contracted club, while he has been on loan to 5.

     

     

    With average stays of circa 6 months per club I would be astounded of forehead at a manager/coach/CEO who was intent on planning for the long term with Scepo.

     

     

    Even if you only consider his contracted clubs, he has only averaged 1 year per club. I can only assume that he is from the Tony Watt school of lifestyle and cultural development.

  15. Just to re-iterate my positive predictions that are still on track:

     

     

    – We will go on a run through November to Christmas

     

    – We will qualify from the Europa group stage

     

    – Scepovic will come good and will become a viable option up front behind Guidetti

     

    – We will be well clear at the top at Christmas

     

    – We will win two trophies

     

     

    My other prediction:

     

     

    – Sutton will keep putting his name to anti-Celtic articles in the rags because he is still skint (Just like Big John)

  16. I was encouraged by Scepovic:

     

    1. getting in positions to score.

     

    2. His attempted lob at the end which showed innovation and skill I hadn’t seen previously.

  17. @Dubaibhoy

     

     

    Awful cynical view of the big man. His career appears to be on an upward trajectory. I imagine that he has moved around a lot because he is ambitious. I doubt he will be a loyal player but who is?

     

     

    If he did have a history of bad behavior the hun rags will have sniffed it out by now.

  18. Norwich are not an in form club…somthing like no wins in their last 5 games and i think 3 in their last ten…..lazy what?

  19. BMCUW, You are probably correct, I won’t respond to him again. Feb 14th is a long way down the road, so I’m not sure what’s happening. I’d certainly love to attend. We have a brilliant ballad group affiliated to our CSC. We have friends in the Ardoyne and we have gone up and had some mighty sessions with them. If I could pull a week-end together and get the Bhoys to travel and get in both events, I’d certainly be up for it.

  20. Hotsmokedsalmon on

    ernie said:

     

    “I’m sorry the point went over your head.”

     

     

    When dealing with a wide `audience`, it will aid the writer`s objective of communicating his point if he uses a style that does not go over the head of his readers.

     

    From the amount of criticism you are receiving this morning, I would say that your style rather than your content needs to be addressed if you want your point to be listened to.

     

     

    JJ

  21. Personally I think it’s a midfielder who can see the pass through to the guys up front we need urgently, the two up front on Sunday made the run a few times, but no one saw the pass, Griffiths made at least four when he came on, that’s the one they should be working on, imho, I suppose it will come, other than that I’m happy ;)

  22. Where do people get these wages on offer down south?.I hear now Norwich are paying £40,000 per week !!!!!!.How is this known?.

     

    The guy who was convicted of rape was by all accounts one of his teams star players.His salary was £5,000 per week.I know they are not one of the elite teams,but a well followed team nonetheless.The amounts that get floated around on here and elsewhere,have no basis in fact.They are made up numbers,as are Celtic players wages.

  23. .

     

     

    Paul67..

     

     

    I Do Not think l have Ever Disagreed more with a Article you have Wrote..

     

     

    Hooper has been Found out for what he is..A Very Average Striker..

     

     

    The Reason he has been Found out is the Same one as The Moaning (One Season Wonder) Marsupial was found out when he left Celtic..

     

     

    Hooper is Now playing against Average and above Average defenders..Hooper got Lucky at Celtis..Also see Scot MacDonald (TMM)..

     

     

    Also if you look at Hoopers Goals at Celtic his Tally in Europe and Crucial games ie Rangers..Semi Finals..Finals..Hard Away ties was Sparse to Say the least..

     

     

    5 Goals against Hearts when the League was One springs to Mind..How many did he score up at Inverness on a Winters day..Hmmm..

     

     

    He made his Bench when he left Celtic FC..Now he can Sit on it..

     

     

    When You have Players who would walk over Hot coals (Sammi and say Guidetti) to sign and Stay at Celtic..Sorry Hooper doesn’t come close..

     

     

    Think l stated he would not hit double figures down south..

     

     

    Summa

  24. I was in my usual front row seat on Sunday, near the Celtic dugout.

     

     

    There is a man sits a couple of rows behind us who, despite the large number of women and children in that vicinity, is constantly screaming foul-mouthed abuse at Celtic players, opposition players and match officials.

     

     

    On Saturday, right in front of us, the ballboy came to the wall to retrieve the ball. It was a Celtic throw and Mikael Lustig was waiting to take it. The ball was very wet and the ballboy let it slip from his grasp and had to pick it up again as Lustig waited. Big mouth behind us started abusing the ballboy.

     

     

    “Gae um the %&*#$@* baw you!”

     

     

    My son and several others berated the man for that, but as soon as the ballboy had finally thrown the ball to Lustig, he turned and flicked the finger at the man before sitting down on the track in his usual place.

     

     

    Everyone was in hysterics and to be fair, the loud mouth took it well and saw the funny side.

     

     

    Kept him quiet for a while anyway.

  25. Hotsmokedsalmon on

    TD

     

    Do you think Biton could be the boy to see the pass? I rate him but I also rate Johansen and would always play Broonie so I am not sure what my midfield would be when Forrest is fit. Maybe a 4 3 1 2 ie

     

    Lustig Denayer van Djik Izaguirre

     

    Forrest , Brown Johansen

     

    Biton

     

    Guidetti and Scepovic.

     

    Trouble with that, is that it could leave the middle a bit empty. I don`t think I am cut out for theis Managing Malarkey !

     

     

    JJ

  26. Eyes Wide Open on

    THE EXILED TIM

     

    11:37 on 28 October, 2014

     

     

    Apologies for the late response buddy, server went down in work.

     

     

    I kind of agree with you and I kind of dont.

     

     

    It could possibly be a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’

     

     

    I agree with the sentiment of what you are saying, however I couldnt sit down and watch a 90 minute game of football from Spain, Italy or Portugal.

     

     

    I find theatrics, diving and simulation all abhorrent to the extent it puts me off soccer entirely.

     

     

    In reality I dont think you can have it one way without the other.

     

     

    Scouting for reality instead of an aspiration is the more logical choice, Scepovic could prove me wrong, I’d love him to, from what I can see, his personal and physical characteristics is likely to hinder him which will affect his capability of producing consistently good form.

  27. hotsmokedsalmon

     

    Personally I’ve never seen Biton playing a bad game yet for us, I would like to see him getting ninty minutes for a few games, does he have the pass? He may have, as far as I’m concerned the rest of his game is good.

  28. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Tom

     

    could be the same guy who used to shout abuse at NL fir most of the game, think lenny ended up having an argument during one game..

  29. Twenty’s

     

    thanks for the kind words

     

    apologising to me about spelling .haha.

     

    Bmcuwp will huv spilt hof eez beer wae that wan lol;)

  30. Tom McLaughlin

     

     

     

    13:07 on 28 October, 2014

     

     

     

    I was in my usual front row seat on Sunday, near the Celtic dugout.

     

     

    There is a man sits a couple of rows behind us who, despite the large number of women and children in that vicinity, is constantly screaming foul-mouthed abuse at Celtic players, opposition players and match officials.

     

     

    On Saturday, right in front of us, the ballboy came to the wall to retrieve the ball. It was a Celtic throw and Mikael Lustig was waiting to take it. The ball was very wet and the ballboy let it slip from his grasp and had to pick it up again as Lustig waited. Big mouth behind us started abusing the ballboy.

     

     

    “Gae um the %&*#$@* baw you!”

     

     

    My son and several others berated the man for that, but as soon as the ballboy had finally thrown the ball to Lustig, he turned and flicked the finger at the man before sitting down on the track in his usual place.

     

     

    Everyone was in hysterics and to be fair, the loud mouth took it well and saw the funny side.

     

     

    Kept him quiet for a while anyway

     

    ===============================================================

     

     

    Funniest thing I have seen at a game in years.

     

     

    The front and rear of the main stand were in stitches. The ballboy should have got the MOM for the entertainment value

     

     

    Priceless

  31. Tosb

     

     

    kids are remarkable in most situations where adults struggle

     

    as i alluded to earlier nowhere is safe on my body from this ailment ( toilet functions are horrendous ) gladly through time you just accept and get on with your lot , im not glad you have the same but glad you know what i go through the , heat , swelling an unquenchable need to scratch till you bleed , oh and the pain !!!!!!

     

    keep up the good fight against it .

     

     

    sorry for being off topic ;))

  32. With the SFA getting boxed into a corner over its governance policy re the cheats.

     

    I wonder if in their obvious financial distress a BOND will be requested to ensure the season is finnished?

     

     

    It should happen but it wont

     

    :-)

     

    HH

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