What does Celtic metronome mean for Scottish football

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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. David 17,

     

    Pop into St Bride’s (practically next door) and pray for divine intervention!

     

    HH

  2. hi Gerry, you might be too young to remember but hurls brickworks was full of Orangemen, but hey they would not stop me moving back up.hh.

  3. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Big Packy

     

     

    Don’t know the place … Alexander Overalls was the only place I knew over Coatbridg/Glenboag… ma Da and ma brothers all learnt their trade at Motherwell Bridge … ma brothers were plant fitters and I just sat a desk

     

     

    Easy option CSC

  4. DELANEYS DUNKY on 3RD DECEMBER 2018 9:21 PM

     

     

    We play once a fortnight on the east coast during the winter, it wont be a bother, we’ve seen it all. 5 degrees with a fresh 15 mph looks good 😁

  5. Delaneys Dunky on

    D17

     

    I lived on and off for 5 years near Fife Links courses. Could never handle that North Sea wind.

     

    West Is The Best.

     

    The Doors CSC

  6. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Big Packy

     

     

    Alexander Overalls closed a good few years back… was a big employer in ML5, ma sister in law and a few “girls” I knew growing up worked there …

  7. Delaneys Dunky on

    GFTB

     

    Not politically correct but my son’s nickname for Morelos is Missing Link. 😊

     

    YNWA

  8. Gerryfaethebrig on

    DD

     

     

    I hit the bar tonight £1 Yankee score and win West Bromwich (1-0 just now) Napoli 2-1 up, Fleetwood 2-1 up (so far) and Leverkusen who were the worst price 1–1….. had £3 on the crazy 2-1 accie … silly money

     

     

    Reading between the lines I drink cheap cider and gamble the weans dinner money :-)

  9. Gerryfaethebrig on

    DD 9.44pm

     

     

    We all used to play the game what “Hun” would you have in your team, mines was always Stefan Klos because he was a magic goalie and not a real Hun …. the rest I wouldn’t touch with a barge pole … in fact Klos now annoys me as well why should I pay the correct income tax when he didn’t :-)

  10. Delaneys Dunky on

    Gerry

     

    Nae luck pal.

     

    I go to the majority of Celtic matches home and away. You don’t. I am auld free and single. I love going to Celtic matches and do not have family commitments anymore that you have. We are equal Tims in every way.

     

    Don’t get paranoid Gerry.

     

    Some of us urnae oot tae get you. 😂🤣

  11. weet weet weet on

    .

     

    GLOVE STORY

     

    A young man wanted to buy a present for his girlfriend’s birthday and as they hadny been winching long he decided after careful consideration, that a pair of gloves would be nice, thoughtful but not too personal.

     

    Accompanied by his girlfriend’s sister he went to Debenhams and bought a dainty pair of white gloves.

     

    The sister purchased a pair of pants for her self at the same time. During the wrapping, the shop assistant mixed up the items, the sister got the gloves and the young man got the panties.

     

    Without checking the contents the man sent the parcel to his girlfriend with the following note….

     

    Dear Hazel,

     

    I chose these because I noticed that you were not in the habit of wearing any when you go out in the evenings.

     

    If it had not been for your sister I would have chosen the long ones with the buttons, but she wears the short ones that are easier to remove.

     

    These are a delicate shade, the shop assistant that I bought them from showed me the pair she had been wearing for the last three weeks and they were hardly soiled at all.

     

    I had her try yours on for me, and although they were a little tight they looked really smart.

     

    She told me that the material helps keep her ring clean and shiny, in fact she hasn’t had to wash it since she began wearing them.

     

    I wish I could put them on for you as, no doubt many other hands will touch them before I have the chance to see you again. Just think how many times my lips will kiss them in the coming year. I hope you will wear them for me on Friday night.

     

    When you take them off, remember to blow into them before putting them away

     

    as they will naturally be a little damp from wearing.

     

    All my love Harry.

     

    P.S The latest style is to wear them folded down with a little fur showing

  12. Gerryfaethebrig on

    DD 9.56pm

     

     

    Trust me it’s all cool … I actually enjoy Canalamars posts and I hope we both correspond on these pages … but if we don’t that is also cool ….

     

     

    CQN is a place I hopefully correspond about Celtic and the day I make things personal then more fool me

     

     

    Far too many good people on these pages Garry … and if I can annoy myself am sure I can annoy others :-) sometimes am a dog with a bone and if I think somebody is having a dig (which they are obviously entitled too) well me being me will just try and stand ma corner …

     

     

    As for attending games still can’t believe me, you & Dallas were all

     

    In Ekeren circa 1991 :-) its a small world … ohh Mikey Mikey Mikey … Mikey Mikey Galloway :-)

  13. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Weet Weet Weet 9.56pm

     

     

    Magic

     

     

    Our Emma’s Craig and big Brian were both asking after you yesterday

     

     

    As soon as I see your moniker it makes me smile

     

     

    Hail Hail J

  14. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Right fellow Celts

     

     

    Apologies for posting too much .. cya all Friday(ish)

     

     

    Good night n god bless

  15. GFTB

     

    Sorry to disappoint 😊

     

    I wisnae in Ekeren.

     

    One of the few Euro away games from that era I missed.

     

    I have met you a few times now G.

     

    You are a good yin pal.

     

    You post fae the heart. Magic

     

    YNWA

  16. SFTB,

     

    Wonderful victory for Gweedore watched it. Great to here them singing the Celtic Symphony.

     

    My uncle was on the team tbat won the Donegal championship in 1941.

     

    CATHACH KTF

  17. Hot Smoked, I agree with you that Clancy always appears to be favouring the opposition when he referees our games. It may be true that he does not wish to show us any favours. However, this is not because he might be a Celtic fan. I knew his late uncle very well. A number of years ago he informed me that Clancy was a Partick Thistle supporter. But this does not really explain his manner of behaving, frequently in a very arrogant manner, in our games.

  18. Connaire

     

    You confirm what my Jags supporting mate told me. Kevin Clancy and his family are Jags fans.

     

    YNWA

  19. One of Clancy’s uncles (on his mother’s side) is playwright Chris Hannan. Those AMDG among you may know him from school. Very clever man. Oxford at 17.

     

     

    His father is Kevin Clancy (also O.A.) who was an Assistant Head teacher then self styled Guidance guru. Any secondary teachers or retired secondary teachers will know him.

     

     

    I doubt any of them had any interest in football.

     

     

    If any of the Clancys support Partick Thistle it is because being ‘neutral’ would be in their own self interest.

     

     

    It is certainly working for him.

     

     

    He is an absolutely hopeless referee who will do nothing which would interfere with his SFA career plan.

     

     

    We have all witnessed the result of that.

  20. This Season of dishonest mistakes has only just started IMO.

     

     

    The games involving Sevco are embarrassingly corrupt and I can’t think of any Official who isnae as bent as an Arabic dagger – although Collum seems to have stopped doing what he is told by other Officials.

     

     

    Leveins comments yesterday were disgraceful but typical.

     

     

    Just keep winning Celtic.

  21. cathach @ 10:36 pm

     

     

    “SFTB,

     

    Wonderful victory for Gweedore watched it. Great to here them singing the Celtic Symphony.

     

    My uncle was on the team tbat won the Donegal championship in 1941.

     

    CATHACH KTF”

     

     

    When I used to go every summer to my granda’s house, the next door neighbour used to be out on the fields every day and we just knew him as Maurice, a farming man.

     

     

    I found out many years later, after his death, that he had been a footballer in that era and may have played on that team in that era. He never ever talked about it to us and we never heard anyone else referencing it. He had just been that man once but now he had a family to raise and a farm to run. Very humble man but, looking back, I can see a streak of hardness and determination in him that would have worked for him on hte field.

     

     

    As for the present team, it is a great achievement. I reckon the semi-final against Corofin will be a harder game than the final, if they can get there.

     

     

    P.S. I see Jim McGuiness is now with Galway United after his spell in China. He hasn’t worked the magic there yet.

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