Tom, Nir, James. Identity in the dressing room


Tom Rogic (29) leaves us tomorrow, 8 months shy of a decade at Celtic.  After a couple of loan spells back in Australia he became a mainstay of the Celtic side in Ronny Delia’s second term.  Tom will be remembered as an artisan, a throwback to an earlier era, when grace was more common.

His goals stick in the mind more vividly than most.  The league winner at Kilmarnock, the last-minute winner at Motherwell, he was the scourge of Newco, scoring against them at three different venues.  He leaves Scottish football as one of four nominees by his fellow professionals as Player of the Year.  This season, outstanding performances against Hibs, Dundee United, Motherwell and Ross County all come to mind.  He harvested votes across the season.

Nir Bitton (30) also wears a Celtic shirt in battle for the final time tomorrow.  He arrived seven months after Tom and leaves on a high, bookending his career here with a controlled cameo at Ibrox that saw Celtic comfortably over the line.

Their contemporary, James Forrest (30), signed a new deal yesterday that will keep him at the club until 2025.  All three have more to offer the game.  None were likely to be first choice at Celtic next season, but, when fit, James has the ability, pace, experience and goalscoring threat that the manager values.

Having watched Scott Brown interact with the rest of the squad, I also believe there is an important role in maintaining an identity about the club, one that is best secured from within the dressing room.

You will have lots of memories to deal with tomorrow, none more than the incredible Hampden moment in May 2017, when Tom ran from 30 yards out, evaded two challenges and slipped the ball into the net to secure the invincible treble!  Some heroes are destined to inspire long after they leave.

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  1. Shocking refereeing decision to send off ICT player.



    Referee: Wullie Collum

  2. I saw Charlie and the bhoys at the prado de San Sebastian prior to our final in Seville,what an atmosphere ,frankfurt have it as a fan zone.Looks like the stadium we played in has be renamed and they are using it for sevco.

  3. I thank Tom and Nir for their contribution to our club.


    I would also thank them for the timing and the decisive nature of their departure.


    Ange has plenty of time to replace them.


    They leave with my best wishes.

  4. Tom McLaughlin on




    I have always contended that Billy McNeill was nicknamed Caesar rather than Cesar following the European Cup final. That footage of Billy lifting the cup was described by a journalist as reminiscent of Julius Caesar greeting his subjects from high up in the amphitheatre.



    I’m sticking with that one.




    Cried all through that!



    Big Billy was not only the greatest Celtic player ever, he was “Mr Celtic”!



    RIP Billy!

  6. Tom McLaughlin on

    Michael Stewart defending the ICT coach who was red carded by claiming the 4th officials cause more trouble than they’re worth “just by being there”. In other words, if you swear at a 4th official, it’s the 4th official’s fault for being there.



    I must remember that defence the next time I’m up in court for swearing at a cop in the street.

  7. IniquitousIV on

    What are the odds of a Kent dive, then Tav ( pen ) deciding the Europa League? I wouldn’t bet against it.

  8. IniquitousIV on

    Former Scots internationalists Robert Snodgrass and Jordan Rhodes featuring for Luton and Huddersfield respectively after being on the subs bench. 1-1 so far.

  9. Hrvatski Jim on

    Which Scottish football club played a Scottish Cup tie, lost, complained that the pitch was too small, got a replay and won it?


    The answer won’t surprise you.

  10. Hrvatski Jim on

    Arbroath FC was formed in 1878 and played at Woodville Park and Hospitalfield before acquiring a former rubbish tip on the seafront to build Gayfield. The new ground was opened in 1880, with the first match being a Scottish Cup tie against Rob Roy. The original site was very cramped, with no room for spectators on the Dundee Road side; when Rangers lost to Arbroath in the Scottish Cup they protested that the pitch was too small, saying they had been “beaten on a back green”, and won the replayed tie.



    No more words needed.

  11. Tom McLaughlin on

    Would that be the same Rangers who narrowed their pitch for a big Champions League game?

  12. !!Bada Bing!! on

    This clown is the Scottish Cup Final referee….talk about rewarding failure……scandalous

  13. Tom McLaughlin on




    You’re right. A joke of a referee.



    No sympathy for ICT though.