We discussed on Friday how vulnerable our domestic unbeaten run was against Hibs, and so it proved. Footballers are not automatons, no matter how belligerent fans’ encouragement becomes. Their performance levels will inevitably peak and trough. After climbing so many mountains since beating Rosenborg away, we were vulnerable to a professional Hibs performance, designed by Neil Lennon, who knows how to squeeze results in challenging situations.
Brendan Rodgers is not short of options for central mid, but is anyone performing better than Callum McGregor? On Saturday, he was the difference between defeat and a draw.
We should have been awarded a late penalty when Efe Ambrose pulled Scott Sinclair, but Scott, dutifully, stayed on his feet.
There is a paradox for footballers. You are not going to fall is someone holds you around the torso, all that’s going to happen is you will not progress in the intended manner. But if you don’t fall, you are less likely to be awarded a penalty. The unwritten rule referees adhere to, is that if you want a penalty, you’d better hit the deck, no matter whether the foul is capable of knocking you off your feet or not.
That’s all fine and well, if a little dysfunctional, as long as everyone knows the rule, but when a team-mate was earlier booked for alleged simulation, there is a strong disincentive for a player to dive to the ground to indicate his choice, that the foul perpetrated upon him, should be awarded.
Unwritten rules in football refereeing are pretty unhelpful. We should stick to the written ones.
Thank you to all who supported the Celtic FC Foundation through the Great Scottish Run yesterday. I’m sure the participant numbers must have reached a new high as the Foundation tshirts seemed to be everywhere.
NEW CQN PODCAST FROM CELTIC PARK ON SATURDAY
Kevin Graham is back with a new CQN Podcast from Saturday. He talks to supporters on the bus on the way to Parkhead, interviews John Paul Taylor outside the ground and captures the atmosphere and action inside the ground before getting some more supporters’ views on the bus home after an eventful afternoon at Celtic Park.
Apologies for a few sweary words in this podcast near the end.