The SFA are trolling Celtic


We won the game, so this is not sour grapes, and the goal which gave St Johnstone the lead was a lesson in defensive failures: Matt O’Riley should have cleared the ball, Joe Hart should have commanded his six yard box, both carry a lot of responsibility for the goal.

However, Matt had to break free from a shirt hold to even get to the ball and the St Johnstone player who won the ball one yard in front of goal did so with his arm, which was fully extended from his body.  There is no need to fire off into a ‘They’re all against us’ rant, this may well be true, but it does not matter.  What is without doubt is that our refereeing and video assisted refereeing is not good enough.

There is so much shirt pulling in the game that referees and VARs could effectively decide the outcome of any game they choose.  Sometimes it is punished, on other occasions it is not.  Matt O’Riley was ‘unlucky’ in this respect yesterday.

The handball rule is clearer.  Play the ball with your hand or arm when it is extended from your body inside the box, and you can expect VAR to get involved.  It is inexplicable that such an event led to the opening goal yesterday.

VAR has not made our game worse, it is not the thing that has enabled one team to benefit, what it has done is turn the spotlight onto something which has been going on for a century.  We need VAR because we need its spotlight in order to drive improvement.  There was no way referee Don Robertson could be accused of turning a blind eye to yesterday’s handball.  He was unsighted and it happened too quick.

The VAR on the other hand?  It is just not good enough.  The SFA are trolling us if they pretend otherwise.  And for the record, I don’t believe the apparent randomness of outcomes is random.

It is a great benefit to know what your opponent will do.  Celtic absolutely know what our next several opponents will do at corner kicks.  They will put a wide-bodied player on Joe Hart.  Unless things change, Greg Taylor will attempt to out-muscle that player and prevent him from inhibiting Joe.  Joe will be unable to command his six-yard box.  What happens next is anyone’s guess, but the likelihood of a goal being scored is far higher than the paltry 3% industry standard.

Armed with this knowledge, we should never be fragile from a similar situation again.

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  1. AT



    my love of Celtic comes from my dad’s side. Originally from Letterkenny area of Donegal they moved to Belfast then Clydebank for shipbuilding employment and brought their Celtic supporting credentials with them.

  2. Just who are all these” projects” I keep reading about.Our two CHs one a regular for his Polish team,the other named as Best Defender in Sweden last season,and a Swedish international.


    Bernardo,34 games for Benfica,last season had an 80 million buy out clause at one time,loads of under 21 and 23 caps.


    Holm.Voted best midfielder in Norway last season.


    Yang voted best winger in Korea last year.


    Palma,anyone still want to call him a ” Project”


    We bought one Korean midfielder,who is what you would call a project,but in my opinion,thats it.The rest of these guys are what we should be bringing in.We will add more experience,but not at ridiculous money,we cant afford it.People that go on about 70 million as if in football,that is big money,are clueless.


    BR comments about a keeper not being to of his thinking,worrying,as is his comments on out 2 CHs.


    He has no great track record in the past in these positions. with Leicester.

  3. bournesouprecipe on

    Don’t worry Paul67 …….Celtic are “ on it “ – Michael Nicholson.



    VAR is a failed experiment for which supporters throughout the world are still paying . Add in “the Hampden element”, and it’s an unmitigated disaster.



    Brendan Rodgers has to communicate with the supporters but at the same time he mustn’t “throw his players under the bus”. The ‘quality need speak ’ in press conferences calls into question his ‘ final say’ stance which he’s been happy to use up to now.



    He’s shuffling the pack like crazy and finished the game yesterday with no summer signing cards.



    Enough of the jam tomorrow Brendan.



    MushroomsRus CSC

  4. The exact same tactic was applied by Motherwell for their equaliser, where Taylor was between Hart and the scorer and was outmuscled, easily, then as well.


    As one of the smallest players we have, why on earth he’s been allowed to take up that position is mindbogglong. If he hadn’t been there and Hart had come for the ball, the likelyhood is that Hart would have been fouled & awarded a free kick instead of the farce that ocurred. Hart should be told to control his area & left to do so.


    Unfortunatey, whilst Taylor has been excellent going forward in attack it has to be said that his defending is woeful in general and the left back position needs filled with a proper defender.

  5. In the rush to criticise the defending yesterday its easy to forget we did only conceded the one goal. Our set-piece defending might be giving us the jitters but we arent conceding from open play.



    I know stats dont tell the whole picture but our defensive unit has been excellent so far domestically – at this stage of the season only 3 Celtic teams have had better records in the SPL in the last 23 years. We’ve been to Ibrox in that time as well. Better than the invincibles



    Pretty good considering CCV has missed 6 of the 14 games and we were down to our third and fifth choice CB for many games.



    It could be that as the seasons go by teams have less and less ambition against us, more 80/20 possession splits and narrow low blocks mean we dont give up as many chances as we used to. But our pots so far according to Jobo’s poll is Scales which says something. I’d like to think GT and JH had something to do with that as well

  6. Who is the goalkeeper coach ?


    Why doesn’t Hart come of his line and control his area ?


    The two should be replaced HH







  7. TURKEYBHOY on 4TH DECEMBER 2023 3:40 PM



    Unless we find something special in January Joe will be our keeper until next Summer.

  8. I didn’t hear anything from BR that sounded like throwing his players under a bus, what was said sounded to me like he knows these players are capable of better than they showed in the 1st half. The 2nd half performance showed him to be correct.


    As for the defending at corner kicks, surely JH is big enough and brave enough to command his 6 yard box, Punching or catching the ball should be meat and drink for a 6 ft + keeper. Get Taylor on the post instead of getting in the way of his own keeper. As for all other defenders they should be concentrating on getting their head to the ball before any attacker. It seems to me the Celtic defence worry too much about the opposition rather than concentrating on being 1st to the ball when the cross comes in.


    Scottish football is refereed to suit “The Rangers” always has been, VAR just gives them two chances to cheat. The decisions regarding “The Rangers Mark 2” on hand balls and shirt pulling since VAR came in proves this beyond doubt.

  9. CELTIC MAC on 4TH DECEMBER 2023 1:38 PM



    Agreed, Brendan just needs to get on with it , not really sure who gains with a lot of chat about quality



    Given that CCV is a starter then we really the other centre half to step into midfield and play an early ball.



    Appreciate Liam gives us balance and does okay and plays some nice balls through but in the grand scheme of things Liam should be a back up option , lack of pace against better opposition means we need to ‘hang back’ which usually results in our forwards getting isolated




  10. Average Joes like us know what we need. GK, Left back being top of the shopping list.



    Bernabie now looking like waste of cash, Sigrest nowhere to be seem…



    BR needs at least 2 windows to shape his team, i am sure h knows better than us our weakest links . Look back at the start of each , is this Ange’s team?



    Here is AP first ever Celtic starting 11



    Barkas; Ralston, Welsh, Murray, Montgomery, Soro, Shaw, McInroy, Moffat, Henderson, Ajeti.

  11. Big Jimmy and others of course


    Wednesday’s game against Hibs is on PPV on Celtic Tv, discount to subscribers at £9.99

  12. bournesouprecipe on




    Onana at Man Utd for £48M, illustrates the difficulty Celtic face.



    We must choose very carefully and next summer is more likely, where we actually need two keepers IMO.

  13. An Dún on 4th December 2023 1:14 pm



    A big part of our set piece problem stems from the absence of Starfelt imo. His biggest strength was aerial clearances and his reading of the game to get into position to allow him to header clear. Liam for all his good work is very much a downgrade at CB for me.



    Itwas quite a while before Starfelt settled into the central defensive position and was the victim of much criticism before eventually he got things right and I for one was sorry to see him leave the club. Liam has hit the ground running after his fine debut in the derby match and is a skillful footbballer.

  14. So now Brendan is lying when he says he is in charge of Transfers.



    Brendan has repeated several times that he alone decides on transfers. Why would he lie.



    He explained that he states what players that he would like to the Scouting team. The Scouts then look for players which Brendan has asked for. They recommend a a shortlist then the Coaching team get involved and watch the players. The Coaches and Scouts then go back to Brendan who says Yes or No. Recruitment then asks for permission and enter discussions with the Target. If they think that there is a deal possible Brendan who controls the Budget decides Yes or No. If its yes then contract team get involved.



    This is not very different from other Clubs, which is what Brendan says.



    Once they sign its up to the coaches and sports science to work on the players and if Brendan likes them then they get a game. Brendan and his Coaches pick the team and set the Tactics. They also make changes to games including Subs. Watch Brendan during the games. He is in charge and makes the calls. He may consult with John Kennedy but its his call.



    Now this summer there likely were players identified for Anges specification and maybe were well along the line but as he left before the window opened then these players were identified but Brendan had the call. In January onwards there will be only players requested agreed and acccepted by Brendan who will be signed



    Peter lawwell as PLC Chairman will have no involvement in the process. Nicolson and the Board will set the Budget. Mark Lawwell and Recruitment and Scouting Team will be involved but Brendan makes the calls.



    Maybe the thought that in previous years all the successful signings were the managers and the flops were the lawwells can be finally disregarded

  15. Notthebus



    whoo that was Anges first team.!!!



    Here is AP first ever Celtic starting 11



    Barkas; Ralston, Welsh, Murray, Montgomery, Soro, Shaw, McInroy, Moffat, Henderson, Ajeti.




    Ralston Welsh only remaining at the club and Montgomery.

  16. BIGBHOY on 4TH DECEMBER 2023 5:40 PM,



    Brendan has repeated several times that he alone decides on transfers. Why would he lie.



    Brendan has never said that.



    Of course, if I’m wrong, you’ll be able to supply the quote – verbatim.



    Hail Hail

  17. Paul has mentioned it so that confirms that it wasn’t imagination on my part that the ball played of the arm of one of the Saints players before being bundled into the Celtic net. Obstruction, third man tackles are illegal in most sports but not where the Celtic goalkeeper is concerned?


    Brilliant save by Joe at the death though.



    Mikey Johnston has lit up the Aviva stadium on every occasion since declaring for the ROI and Duffer was a big fan when he was at Celtic. Mikey was on fire again yesterday when he took the field and we pray this time he can stay healthy and avoid injury. James Forrest played his best football under Brendan and let’s hope he can have the same result with Mikey



    Oh also helped raise the tempo in the second half when introduced with some great play and fancy flicks. Good to see Calmac leading the charge after a poor opening half with a terrific equaliser setting the tone for another Mat cracker and the finish with Jamsie’s beauty after some great combination play on the break.

  18. bournesouprecipe on

    “ One thing I’ll start by saying the recruitment team – Michael [Nicholson, CEO] took me through the structure.



    Since I was here I can see the clear change in the infrastructure and the team behind the football team.



    Mark (Lawwell) has done a brilliant job with the recruitment – you can see the market the club is operating in. He’s done a great job bringing in the players which fit the profile of Celtic. “



    Brendan Rodgers

  19. Celtic40me



    Great stats re our defence domestically. Despite prior years of dominance.



    Even more incredible given the issues with both right back and CCV at the start of season plus injuries to our 2 new CB signings.



    Totally astonishing given what a dud Taylor is supposed to be according to anyone looking for someone to blame for anything…..nb I do think he had a poor game on Sunday btw.



    Completely illogical given our goalie is also apparently rubbish also.



    Huge credit due to the defence for domestic strength.



    Sadly it has not transferred into Europe although in 2 of our 5 games we were a man or two down which did not help.




    Oblak topped the stats in Europe last season, this season hes been the worst in La liga



    Aaron Ramsdale can’t get in at Arsenal be aide of mistakes while Raya who took over looks like he can’t cope with playing for a big team.



    Donnarumma is getting “destroyed” at the moment after some poor performances.



    Keepers suffer more than anyone from the expert online insight.



    It’s not a position we should be looking to be clever in. Joes experience and winning mentality have been crucial to the team over the last couple of seasons

  21. HANKRAY on 4TH DECEMBER 2023 6:11 PM



    Mikey’s been a used of lacking end product but his pass for Jamesie’s goal was a beauty and wasn’t easy



    Hopefully Harry Kewel can work his magic on him

  22. While we may be “fragile” in Europe……………I’m not sure how we can be vulnerable and /or fragile domestically……


    If Euro qualification is key a way thru the the hammer-throwers needs to be put in place. At the same time when is enough in terms of the VAR anomalies..?



    Scoddland will say nowt.




    Who is the goalkeeper coach ? Why doesn’t Hart come of his line and control his area ? The two should be replaced HH



    *the same one that saved a mufti million pound Scottish international’s career.

  24. BIGBHOY on 4TH DECEMBER 2023 5:51 PM









    whoo that was Anges first team.!!!







    Here is AP first ever Celtic starting 11



    Barkas; Ralston, Welsh, Murray, Montgomery, Soro, Shaw, McInroy, Moffat, Henderson, Ajeti.




    Ralston Welsh only remaining at the club and Montgomery.




    Liam Shaw is still our player, on loan to Wigan (never to be seen again). Dane Murray is also still with us and has been out for long periods with injury. Looked a decent prospect at one point but injuries have greatly stalled his progress.


    Apart from defending at corners, will there ever come a day when we look to score from any of our many corners. Our set pieces are woeful, corners, free kicks, penalties and throw-ins. We should be far better at all of these, even without buying better quality in January.

  25. CELTIC40ME on 4TH DECEMBER 2023 4:20 PM






    Unless we find something special in January Joe will be our keeper until next Summer.




    *since back in Ronnie’s day Celtic goalies have always stated how difficult their job is because there were times when they really had sfa tae do, it was common tae watch then jog up and down around the box just tae keep agile and warm, nae different now.

  26. ZIGGYDOC1 on 4TH DECEMBER 2023 6:49 PM


    BIGBHOY on 4TH DECEMBER 2023 5:51 PM





    Apart from defending at corners, will there ever come a day when we look to score from any of our many corners. Our set pieces are woeful, corners, free kicks, penalties and throw-ins.



    *I remember my da who is 30 year broon breid lamentin about our corners and when I mentioned the Charlies, Tully’s 2 at Brockville and Gallaghers at hunden and Parkheid respectively which were placed on big Billys heid, his response was we only remember them as they were possibly the only decent ones we ever took, he then went on tae say and don’t ever mention shies, I suppose that was before I mentioned the one that big Roy stole and the huns are still talking about it.

  27. Celtic40Me…………Agreed. I’ve seen Mikey at International level take some great corner kicks.

  28. EPL new tv deal announced – £6.7bn over 4 years, 4% increase on the last deal



    No sign of any bubble bursting.

  29. JH is happy to have anyone between him and a bruiser of a opposition player as it means he doesn’t have to come and attack the ball and possibly get injured at this time in his career , happy to do star jumps on his line and not get involved.

  30. Penalty areas are too crowded nowadays for keepers to come wandering off their line too far …. keep an eye out for all the other keepers running about and taking crosses on or about the 6 yard line




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