What does Celtic metronome mean for Scottish football


I was a teenager when I looked back at the record books and saw Celtic won five consecutive League Cups in Jock Stein’s first five seasons as manager.  This extraordinary achievement was less prominent that it otherwise would have been, due to the nine-in-a-row league title wins and that business in Lisbon.

Those five seasons, from 1965-66 to 1969-70 stood out from the tail-end of Stein’s then record breaking winning run of league titles.  The European finals and two semi-finals, five leagues, five League Cups and two Scottish Cups; the rest of Scottish football had to scrap their joy from three Scottish Cups, as Celtic ended their long drought in spectacular fashion.

The current Celtic team are bidding for eight-in-a-row league titles, but this era also splits between the first six and the last two and a half years, where the trophy acquisition rate has become metronomic: cup, league, cup, cup, league, cup, cup…

Celtic players looked tired at times during yesterday’s Hampden final.  Aberdeen looked far better than a team beaten 3-0 by Motherwell a week earlier, but the result was never in doubt.  No amount of rest and recuperation while Celtic toured Europe midweek prepared Aberdeen for a cup final against the champions.

Ryan Christie will remember this League Cup competition for the rest of his life.  Whatever he achieves in the game from this point forward can be traced to his halftime substitute appearance in the semi-final against Hearts at Murayfield five weeks ago.  His goals settled both games and his performances marked him out as a pivotal player at the business end of the field.  He also has an appropriate amount of aggression in him, which will take him places in the game meeker men will not see.

For much of the final play was squashed into a 30 yard area in the middle of the field.  Aberdeen held a high line, compressing space, inhibiting Celtic from exploiting their traditional passing style.  The compromise from this approach from Aberdeen was to leaving space behind the defensive line for the right ball over the top.

The goal came when Odsonne Eduard dropped to open a gap at the top of the field for Dedryck Boyata to ping a pass which the sprinting Christie controlled with his first touch.  It was one run too many for Aberdeen to cover.  After the initial shot rebounded off Lewis, Christie found the net with the rebound.  Once ahead, Celtic were never going to be denied.

The award of a ludicrous penalty kick should have settled the matter early in the second half, but justice was served when Aberdeen keeper Joe Lewis rushed off his line before Sinclair’s kick was taken to make the save functionary.  We left Hampden thinking ‘Scottish referees can do better’, then watched television pictures from elsewhere to remember they can also do worse.

Gary Mackay-Steven’s head clash with Dedryck Boyata knocked the Aberdeen player unconscious before he hit the pitch.  Players seemed untutored on how to react.  Mackay-Steven was flipped onto his back with his neck unsupported, an act which would have had potentially fatal consequences if the injury was different.  Then, realising the seriousness of the situation, Aberdeen captain, Graeme Shinnie, berated medical staff for not having a stretcher on the field sooner, despite the fact that the player was already receiving treatment and not yet ready to be moved.  Some simple head injury training is needed before another player is flipped while motionless.

What does this this trophy mean for Celtic?

For you and me, we have celebrated the seventh consecutive trophy – an achievement no Celtic fan has experienced before and a joint Scottish record.  I’m not going to tell you this one was up there with the 1997 League Cup win over Dundee United, but it easily eclipsed the 2000 win over Aberdeen, when we got to enjoy a trophy, but endured a hollow season.  This one means so much because it is a measure of how good a Celtic team this is.

What does it mean for the rest of Scottish football?

Sport thrives on great champions.  It slumps with mediocrity.  Right now, every trophy, every cup game, in Scottish football has enormous importance.  When (or if) Celtic lose a cup game, every club remaining in the competition will think, ‘Maybe this year!’  Similarly, every other aspirational club knows that with Celtic just so imperious, they have to make every chance at a cup count.


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  1. `Where would we be without teachers`…. and where would teachers be without pupils !!


    Supporters, Players, Manager and Board. We are all necessary.




  2. Jobo,


    Working a treat and a page podium to celebrate.


    Thanks again. Top man ( Apart from supporting the Scotland football team :-)) )



  3. Hot Smoked –


    The real thanks go to Emerald Bee. I just passed on his advice.


    Decent draw for Scotland for Euro 2020 actually ;-)

  4. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Jobo 3.16pm



    Hope Belgium beat everybody then it’s a shoot out with “us” and Russia .. for me it’s a different sport & love but will be cheering on Scotland the matter who is in charge, although I would prefer them all to just pay their taxes like the rest of us :-)

  5. Jobo


    Well maybe someone else told Emerald Bee !


    You told me so the thanks remain yours :-)


    Is it a decent draw? I thought it looked quite difficult. Is it top two to qualify?



    On another matter, just listened to Ronnie O`Sullivan being interviewed after a 6-0 victory. The talk soon moved on to his comments reported in the Media re a `Breakaway Snooker League. I don`t know the ins and outs but how refreshing to hear a guy being so honest and Steve Davis ( in particular) and Ken Doherty arguing their side as well. So much more revealing than all the anodyne nonsense we get from our TV pundits/presenters with the one or two obvious exceptions.




  6. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Hot Smoked 3.29pm



    Just watched that as well… Ronny O’Sullivan has never been my cup of tea whereas I loved Steve Davis player and commentators ,.. but as you posted pretty refreshing hearing professionals speaking their mind … thought the London wide boy was a bit dismissive of John Higgins but that’s just my take on it

  7. GFTB


    I thought he was sticking up for John Higgins. ie Higgins is a great player but making him play so many tournaments lessens his performance in the Big Ones. I have heard Ronnie being VERY complimentary about John in the past, saying that he thought Hendry and Higgins were better than himself.




  8. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Hot Smoked 3.51pm



    Differing opinions :-)



    Why not mention himself instead of pointing out John Higgins… let John Higgins be annoyed if he thinks he has to play so many tournaments … again without too much knowledge (which has never stopped me before) I thought O’Sullivan was complaining about the players who get rewarded for attending every tournament whether they are the best or not … a wee bit like punters who don’t attend the fitba should maybe have a lesser opinion than some that might attend every game … that’s a wee laugh at maself by the way :-)

  9. Jeezo!



    It looks like the mastering of the remnants, isn’t catching fire, in these, ahem, wonderful time’s!



    Flinging the, Resolution 12 Requisitioner Rebels, under the bus, and then, acting as if it didny happen, is surely, the definition of the, green-hun ?


    Or, maybe ah wizny at school yon day.



    Anywye,….. Hail Hail, and good luck. √




  10. 🏍 on 3RD DECEMBER 2018 2:47 PM


    What I did notice yesterday when Brown came on was that he was much quicker with his passing and didn’t slow the game down as he has in the past; still more sideways than I’d like but I got the feeling he had been “advised” on how CalMac’s sharp passing meant he wasn’t getting automatically moved for Brown.









    Thought that too mhate

  11. just watched it again, Aberdeen did not play that bad ,they made a game of it, did not sit back but think we were deserved winners, glad gary is out of hospital.hh.

  12. BP- I hope Aberdeen are as physical on Wednesday v Sevco, if they are,i expect a red card.

  13. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Kev 4.23pm



    Enjoy the blog



    It probably has a bigger audience than the record hotline where at least you changed the record “now n again” although shoite is still shoite whatever way it comes across



    Hope you are well health wise

  14. Anyone got any idea what Kev talks about???



    Nah me neither. 😂



    We won a cup ffs 🏆



    D. :)

  15. GFTB, he always adds a calming presence whilst managing to wind up the opposition; an oxymoron in many ways!



    Jamesgang, it’s been so obvious that the team needs a quick-fire quarterback and CalMac has provided that for us; Brown isn’t stupid (although he’s daft as a brush – see above) so he must see it as well as Brendan Rodgers. Having Brown, CalMac and Ntcham able to play that role will certainly aid us going forward.



    You up for Coias on Saturday?





  16. Brendan’s domestic cup record –


    League Cup – Played 12, Won 12, Clean sheets 10, Scored 34, Conceded 3


    Scottish Cup – Played 10, Won 10, Clean sheets 7, Scored 34, Conceded 4


    Combined – Played 22, Won 22, Clean sheets 17, Scored 68, Conceded 7

  17. DAVID66 on 3RD DECEMBER 2018 5:12 PM


    Anyone got any idea what Kev talks about???






    Not even his therapist!





  18. In domestic cup games Brendan’s Bhoys have faced Motherwell 4 times without conceding (5-0, 2-0, 3-0, 2-0) and Sevco 3 times, also without conceding (1-0, 2-0 and 4-0)

  19. Rock Tree Bhoy on




    Hail hail fellow Celtic supporter! I was on the blog yesterday after the cup final and saw some of your ‘heated exchange debate’ with another poster,



    Here is a wee piece of advice for you which of course you are welcome to ignore – never ever respond to or get into an argument with an idiot. Read there post by all means but if you consider and then conclude that the person who posted that must be an idiot, then you will save yourself a lot of grief by just blanking them – completely ignore. In my experience you will never ever win an argument with an idiot.




  20. While we are picking up silverware, I take hope from the fact that there is a lot more to come from this side.


    Much of our recent success this last 4 – 5 weeks has been bourne out of the solid core of the team : Benckovic, Boyata, McGregor, and Christie. Plus Forrest



    While the 5 above have been playing exceptionally well of late, I think there still quite a few players struggling for form. Sinclair, Edouard, and Rogic to an extent have yet to find their groove.

  21. 🏍



    I agree ref Broonie’s daftness andcwisdon, and love them both.



    Sadly I’ll be in englandshire rather than paradise on this occasion.



    HH jg

  22. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Rock Tree Bhoy 5.39pm



    Honestly not sure why I attract unwelcome attention (poor me :-) but cheers for the wise words but the dafty in me has to respond, also out of politeness as I would not ignore somebody that mentions me



    I love CQN and really can’t understand (especially) after a trophy success why any Celtic fan would focus on anything else



    But again cheers I will try and remember that but I have the brain & memory of a newt :-)



    Watched some of the afternatch stuff .. we have a few good bhoys wearing the hoops these days



    Away to do the dishes and listen to SSB for my sins :-)

  23. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Gerry , sorry I never replied sooner .



    Its good your line came up yesterday only for the good lady to spend it in one of the few places in Coatrbridge whose corporate colours are blue , white and orange.



    Our sev for the weekend colleague’s coupon must have come up yesterday also.







    Remarkable achievement SFTB.



    Seen this squad on twitter singing the Celtic Symphony,Gaoth Dobhair after their victory I presume:



    Check out @TeachMhici’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/TeachMhici/status/1069368350470488064?s=09



    Well done.



    HH. 🍀 🙂



    Would not include Edouard with Sinclair and Rogic.


    While both Rogic and Sinclair look off the pace i think Edouard has been good with his link up play.


    If he had someone to play off in the forward zone we would reap the benefit.


    Since the international break we have lacked the fluidity and movement of previous weeks Christie being the exception.


    We have resorted to our old bad habit of side to side and backwards.


    In our excellent period after Brown’s injury forced changes JF was frequently cutting in diagonally and attacking the box.Compare that to the last 3 games where he has barely moved in a forward direction.Thursday he did it to great effect in setting up Sinclairs goal but it was really the only time.


    Sinclair should be using Edouard’s ability to come inside from the left side by attacking space in box but all to often he stands still waiting for ball so he can pass back to KT.


    Ed will be a revelation with a smart forward to play off and at this moment we do not have that.

  26. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Dallas 6.09pm



    Ma good lady could spend money anywhere :-)



    Our “Sev” for the weekend has already had a bit of grief from me today … hope it doesn’t effect my “end of year”

  27. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Whooft … 39 passes before Ryan scored (as per Shug Keevins) I just thought Boyata lumped it up the park … so I take that Brendan character knows what he is doing with backward and sideway passing :-)



    But the goal was the result of a forward diagonal pass!!!!


    Noone objects to sideways and backwards passing to retain possession but when its at the expense of potency it needs adjusted.


    For all our possession we struggle at times to score goals.


    Thursday and yesterday we had far more possession than our opponents but two narrow 1-0 victories suggest we need to be more positive and clinical at times.

  29. SFTB.


    One of friends is a Celtic tour guide.


    Recently there was an old bhoy on it and Robert asked him if he had attended the 7.1 game, he said yes and that as an 8 year old he had attend The Empire Exhibition final in 1938.


    I wonder if it’s the same bhoy.


    Hail Hail

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