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. Kev on 3rd December 2018 4:23 pm






    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.



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










    Res12 is the bitter potion by which Scottish football could heal it’s sick self but one they fear to sip. The organisation at Ibrox is a criminal enterprise.

  2. Thoroughly enjoyed my weekend in Glasgow and my trip to see the Bhoys at Hampden courtesy of Eurochamps67. Top, top mhan. Will make a donation to Mary’s Meals on your behalf.



    Talking of the 39 passes leading up to Ryan’s goal. Most of them were either backwards or square passes. One guy next to me was moaning about it just before Boyata played the superb, defense splitting ball to Ryan. BR has said many times that they do play this way to stretch the opposition and pull them out of shape. This was a perfect example of it at work. They were just waiting for the moment to play it forward. Brilliant run by Ryan also when he saw the space open up and also being the first to react when it came back off the keeper with 3 defenders in the vicinity. An all round super goal.

  3. The debate and merits of backwards and sideways passing to open up defenses has merit.


    Our problem is not the passing but lack of variation in the pace of such.


    We play at one tempo which is quite slow and this allows teams to set defensively.


    The better exponents of possession football all have the ability to go from slow to quick tempo in an instant.


    PSG gave a good example of this in the first half against Liverpool last week.


    One of our priorities should be a pacy and powerful forward in next transfer window.


    SS and JF have pace in abundance but their habit of facing backwards to receive a pass negates their speed.


    Just varying their body position would give us more options.

  4. Brendan in his first Season @ Celtic was absolutely ruthless when it came to performances. He hooked a player if he made 2 mistakes in a game.



    Brendan is defo looking Long term for Celtic. It would have been easy for him to play Broonie or Ollie in the Final.



    Ollie will really have to get right Bach on it. And ON it All the Time to get a Start in this Team because wan thing is Certain. Ryan wullnae gie up that shirt so easily.



    Broonie knows he is being phased oot – in the best possible way. The Guy Loved lifting that Cup. Again.



    He has literally ran through brick walls for Celtic.



    First name on the teamsheet @ Mordor howevaaaaaah.

  5. fan-a-tic,



    Likewise the game @ Celtic Park, Aiberdeen made Celtic work very very hard to get anything.



    They are a hard team to play against making space difficult.



    I thought our defence were excellent on Sunday.



    If we didnae have a rather important game on Thursday we might have had a more fun day oot in the rain.



    Despite their bleating Aiberdeen did do the very best they could against us. Celtic prevailed.






    “Jings, I started wondering if happiness is really attainable or are we all just chasing an illusion we’ve been made to believe is really out there?


    I came to the considered conclusion that happiness is just an illusion caused by the temporary absence of reality. Whit they celebratin’ fur, fit like!?”








    “I am a beautiful unicorn, floating above utopia on a bed of cotton cloud. I am stoned, immaculate, born of gilded she-wolf. I have absolutely no fucking idea what day it is…”








    “We welcome the chase.”



    Bradley Walsh.









    BAIN: 8/10



    Batman’s nemesis let none pass at Hampden. Lightning fast off his line to make a terrific ‘non-save’ – called offside but he wasn’t to know. With every game he looks like he’s got the mentality necessary to be a Celtic keeper. Will fit in as an able deputy to Big Gordon until he gets the golden gloves to himself in a season or so.


    Must learn to communicate properly with his defenders through that facemask, however – his unintelligible ranting had big Jozo thinking he was centre-forward.





    KT – 8/10



    Does he ever stop? Young Superhooped Superhero turned in another relentless performance of guts and class before taking up his full-time position as Green Brigade choirmaster.


    He needs a rest but he’s too excited about Christmas.




    LUSTIG – 8/10



    Captain and Superintendent in one, expertly commanded his officers in the apprehension of onfield roaming sheep and delivered him back to his flock, after a kicking or two.


    Played like you expect – solid, tough as nails, unintimidatable (not even a word!), perfect defender for the big occasion.




    BENKOVIC – 8/10



    Handled the whole day like an excursion in the park. Unfazed by the Sheep’s hulking bersekers thrown up for every set-piece, great timing in the tackle, positionally perfect. Enjoying it much? Sign here…





    RAB. C BOYATA – 9/10



    After sacrificing a few dreads for the cause when GMS produced his ‘mid-air planking’ party-piece, Dedryck recovered from the collision thinking he was Pirlo and pinged a beautiful ball over the top into space vacated by Eddy for young Christie to score the winner. All-round he was excellent in blocking and tackling and distribution.


    Problems may occur in future as Broon now advocates skelping Boyata over the heid with a spade prior to kick-off.





    CALMAC – 8/10



    Hurried, harassed and sexually molested by swarming sheep, he maintained cool and strength to thwart the opposition’s attempts to throw him off his game. Denied time to pick a telling pass he resorted to short snappy build up and played around their press well. A real mature performance.





    ROGIC – 7/10



    Knackered. Big Aussie blimped out second half through sheer beer-lag. Having almost cut them open, cracked a post, he found the sheep tactics stifling to his game. Had he not been worn from Thursday we might have killed them off sooner by his guileful hand but ultimately fatigue played a big part in his ineffective second half.





    FORREST – 7/10



    Cock-waving wunderkind buzzed with his persistent intensity but hit b(p)rick wall after b(p)rick wall as he was identified as the major threat and triple-teamed at times.


    Looked frustrated as time wore on, but still gave it up for the cause.





    CHRISTIE – 8.5/10



    Corpus Christie -the new religion. Energy we’ve missed since Armstrong’s heyday, and the runs from deep that made his goal and cannot be defended.


    His Da still looks younger than him and may be a good replacement if the kid gets injured. But to paraphrase the words of trouser-titted Simon Cowell,


    Christie’s made the League Cup his own; turned the semi-final, won the final. Stuck on 20lb in the summer and manages to carry that beer-belly


    so brilliantly you’d hardly notice; aggression levels right up too due to copious alcohol consumption. The bhoys a winner and pub champion.




    SINCY – 7/10



    Sincy specialises in edging (ladies…). So nearly devastating, so always frustrating. Should be swanning about Hampden with a cigar and roasted sheep in his wake, instead we have to worry about a confidence-crisis after his penalty was brilliantly saved. We just need someone close to him to tell him how brilliant he really can be and let him loose at the Hate Factory to wreak havoc.





    FRENCH EDDY – 7/10



    He’s learning to work for the team. Cannot recall seeing him drop so deep so many times – and drag defenders with him – hence we get the goal as Christie runs into Eddy’s vacated space.


    Still looks keen despite the way he’s being asked to play. All the better when we can give him the correct service and let him do his mercurial stuff.








    BROON – 8/10



    On he came, up they shut. Calmed everything down in the midfield frenzy and took control. Managed in his cameo to stiff a few pretenders and noise up a few greetin’-faced no-marks.


    His presence and influence will be essential on the 29th. Let no fool call it otherwise. First name on the teamsheet.




    JOZO – 7/10



    Won the crossbar challenge. The Huns owe him a million quid.







    Just spent five muthafuckin’ minutes strollin’ around like a muthafucka then swaggered on up to get his muthafuckin medal, muthafuckas.


    Another who will be vital at Mordor. Muthafuckin’ vital.





    BR – 8/10



    Gambled on the same line-up from Trondheim, won a prize. Made good subs at the right time – Broon – to stiffen our spine, and obviously managed to get the


    entire team mindset spot-on after the Euro haul. great management, brilliant man-management. 7 trophies in a row, his legend grows.





    OVERALL 9/10



    Euro chances salvaged days prior, first leg of the TRIPLE REBEL TREBLE secured with minimum fuss against a Sheep outfit who provided the template for combating


    our strengths with their dogged harassment in every area of the pitch.



    We coped with it really well, stood up to the physicality and mental challenge. Thing is, Aberdeen are the best team in Scotland at executing such a gameplan; well-drilled and professional about it.


    The Huns are not. If they try that, we’ll exploit the space behind them and destroy their fragile delusions of being a force to be reckoned with.

  7. Melbourne Mick arrived in Sydney from Singapore this morning, leaving on Sunday driving to Melbourne via the coast road. Will be in Mornington next week, staying at the Royal Hotel ending up in Melbourne for the last three days staying at the Marriott going back to Singapore on the 21st/22nd. Hopefully we can meet up during my short visit. Keep in touch through CQN Hail Hail Hebcelt

  8. Good Morning… cold and frosty morning, here in the the Chilterns…



    Well done Brendan and the bhoys…



    Very good article by Paul67, it’s interesting how we are winning Trophies. It seems to me McInnes has tried every which way. His tactics on Sunday were interesting and gave us a challenge yet at no time did I think we were loosing that game.



    Really pleased for Christie, not doubt about it, he’s a footballer with a great attitude, talent and attitude have always been crucial for athletes, but now-a-days more important than ever.



    As is generally the case these days the whole team played it’s part and nice to see Bain getting his chance and Brown coming on to see us safely through…



    We after all our exertions we need a huge push before the winter break. If we can get a result in every match we will be top of the League and in Europe after Christmas.






    We can see from Craig Levin’ s after match comments on Sunday that Scottish Football is full of cowards. They don’t have strength of character to stomach any bitter medicine or go through any healing process.



    Celtic Football team remain the only light in Scottish Football… if they don’t want to step out of the shadows they will remain in the darkness…



    Motherwell will be a good test but I predict a good win.



    Hail Hail

  9. Good morning CQN from a freezing Garngad



    Sandman – brilliant summary as usual… Samuel Jackson (Ollie ) absoloutley hilarious but precise.



    I will say it again, you are very talented.






    D. :)

  10. Well off to work we go, I hope I see the token hun today.


    Doubt it though.






    D. :)

  11. Just reading that James McClean, has booked 6 homeless people who were living on the street in Derry into the Maldron Hotel for a few days on a full board basis.


    This Christmas treat is a typical gesture from a very caring generous man but he still won’t wear a Poppy.


    Papist Hooligan.

  12. Good win on Sunday. Especially after an away game 3 days earlier . Aberdeen,s game plan was to get stuck into us and they managed it ,thanks to a poor referee who turned a blind eye to most of there rough stuff .


    But more of that type of refereeing is on the cards now that they have there noses in front , due to dropped points against st mirren and livi ,dear God we shouldn’t be dropping points to there ilk , like it or not we have allowed the honest mistake brigade into the equation , and they will make the most of it , we have a challenge on our hands , add to that going to there place ,with what I hope will be none of our guys in attendance ( for safety reasons ) will make it even more daunting. That occasion will call for our bhoys to be strong ,to stand up and get the job done ,under severe intimidation and hatred . Are they up for it


    God I hope so .

  13. Sandman



    Just read your player ratings. Absolutely superb. Really laughed out loud. Ran C. Boyata, the Huns owe Jozo 1m quid for the crossbar challenge. Sheer brilliance. Look forward to the next big game ratings.

  14. Laws of probability can be a bit of a bitch.



    We have to lose a Cup Final sometime.



    Statistically also, teams in general tend to struggle domestically on their first domestic game after a European away game.



    I was worried about Sunday’s game. Even big Jock suffered major shocks in League Cup finals. I remember greetin my eyes out listening to the radio against Thistle in ’71 as we were walloped 4-1 and I was at the ’73 Final when big Tam Gemmell’s Dundee team beat us 1-0. The Hibs defeat in between in ’72 was less of a shock ( a brilliant Hibs team) but after hammering them 6-1 a few months earlier in the SCF it was still sore to take.



    So it speaks wonders for Brendan Rodgers, his backroom staff and all the players that despite not playing overly well, their preparation & mental strength won the day.



    We have a team of Winners and long may it continue.

  15. What is the Stars on

    CORKCELT on 4TH DECEMBER 2018 9:24 AM


    Just reading that James McClean, has booked 6 homeless people who were living on the street in Derry into the Maldron Hotel for a few days on a full board basis.


    This Christmas treat is a typical gesture from a very caring generous man but he still won’t wear a Poppy.


    Papist Hooligan.





    You are missing the point Corkie,


    Does the Papist hooligan not realise that those in whose memory the Poppy is worn are the men who ensured that the streets of Derry ( and all other UK cities) would be free from the jackboot tyranny of a foreign army.


    eaten bread is soon forgotten,we take our hard won freedoms too lightly and if the ungrateful young McClean had grown up in a city occupied by a foreign army,abusing and murdering at will then he might have changed his tune about the Poppy.

  16. Good to hear the Celtic support’s full throated retort on Sunday to Bankier and Lawwell’s ‘You’re dragging the Club into the gutter’ remarks at the AGM.

  17. ERNIE LYNCH on 4TH DECEMBER 2018 11:52 AM


    Good to hear the Celtic support’s full throated retort on Sunday to Bankier and Lawwell’s ‘You’re dragging the Club into the gutter’ remarks at the AGM.



    What was that Ernie I didn’t hear what the supporters chanted?

  18. Hello again all you young rebels.






    Just read your post now, hope your trip of a lifetime is going well.


    It’s a beautiful drive down the coast road from Sydney to the rebel




    You know our big Celtic Christmas bbq is on the Sun.9th and the


    Royal Hotel is facing the beach park we hold our celebration in, so


    if you are down in time you will see the hoops and flags from your


    bedroom window.


    Hope you make it as our United Irish team could do with strengthening


    for our mini world cup lol.


    H.H Mick

  19. MCPHAIL BHOY on 4TH DECEMBER 2018 12:03 PM



    It wasn’t a chant.



    It was the serenading of McInnes when he went to collect his medal.



    Apparently it’s a bad song that drags the Club into the gutter and makes the baby Jesus cry.




    1. O clock start down at the beach end you can’t miss us.


    no entry fee only raffles to help buy the pressies for the


    sick kids and nurses.


    Free burgers,sausages and other giveaways on the day and


    the biggest laugh ever watching PADDYMAC dancing 8-))


    H.H Mick

  21. You’ve done me again P67.




    I’ve answered you on previous page.


    H.H Mick

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