When exceptional becomes the norm


As this clean sheet run has continued, every time Fraser Forster has made a good save, I’ve found myself suggesting that the defence is not playing as tightly as it used to.  We quickly regard exceptional performance as the norm.

Fraser has, of course, been exceptional, again, this season.  Efe Ambrose and Virgil van Dijk are fast and commanding.  Virgil has a presence about him, like Wanyama, but bigger.  On the flanks, despite the lack of competition, Emilio Izaguirre is performing at his best, while Adam Matthews, Mikael Lustig and Darnell Fisher have shuffled through the right back position as availability dictates.

I have a notion that Scott Brown is also worth credit for the defensive performance.  He seems to have grown this season, perhaps as a consequence of fitness.  This is his best season yet.

Ultimately the game is all about tactics.  Any team can keep a clean sheet but 10-in-a-row (get used to reading that) is a consequence of team plan, which is where Neil Lennon comes in.

Tomorrow is the final day to confirm tickets for our CQteN St Patrick’s Day Dinner on 14 March at the Kerrydale Suite.  The dinner will raise funds to build a kitchen at Kholoni Primary School in Mchinji, Malawi, where 1200 kids currently attend without food facilities.  If you have lost your invoice email me, celticquicknews@gmail.com

See you there.
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  1. Interesting and intellectual debate raging over on FF





    Celtic introduced sectarianism into Scottish football


    Time we got this out in the open. Hibs and Dundee Utd did the same in Edinburgh and Dundee though not to the same exten





    Correct. And a motion was put forward at one of their agm’s in the 1880’s that they should do the same. Their board only rejected it due to what it would mean to their chances of a winning team.




    Celtic were formed as a charity to aid immigrant Irish Catholics in the west of Scotland. If that’s not discriminative or sectarian from day one of their existence, I don’t know what is.




    The most ungrateful group of immigrants ever to wash up anywhere on earth




    Communities naturally merge and blend. Celtic FC with their partners in crime, their church and irish nationalism, have worked together to ensure that the cultures dont blend. That is an undeniable fact




    Re: Celtic introduced sectarianism into Scottish football


    That scumball club was formed in the sole purpose of keeping Catholics away from Protestants in their places of leisure, with this type of division and lack of integration into society, while being force fed bigotry since birth, its hardly surprising that the west of Scotland has the problems it has




    17 years am sure it was they had this policy. (catholics only)




    We need to set out a fund that is used to hire a PR professional / lobbyist to address our concerns before it’s too late.

  2. the Brown Ledley combination looked flexible as usual last night. Working together or alone in a defensive capacity then similarly moved forward in the same way to form part of the forward play. Look back and notice they are around to break up play while the team is under pressure and then how many passes go through them as we start going forward.

  3. traditionalist88 @ 13.05 hrs.



    While I appreciate your view my personal opinion is that a standing area is a backward step and un-necessary .I believe an all seated stadium is safer, and we have shown on numerous occasions that the atmosphere can be the equivalent.



    Additionally, Can you imagine the levels of surveillance in this area. The scrutiny in section 111 would pale into insignificance.



    IMO the comparison with Germany is incompatible. Resources and pricing are the main criteria not standing areas.



    But as always it is all about opinions and I most certainly appreciate yours.



    Thanks and HH.

  4. Paul,



    So glad to see your reference to Izzy. IMO he has been sooooooooo consistent this season; quiet, unassuming, improved definsively and in covering, verging on brilliant in attack, but way under the radar of the main ‘performers’. I know there is no chance of him getting any extra plaudits in terms of POTY awards but we owe him big-time this season (and he heas contributed to the 10-in-a-row – yes, I like that!)

  5. leftclick Together we will get justice for the Dam 5 on



    I sometimes question myself going over there to read their deluded ramblings but I’m hooked R (deluded)Media is sure to brighten your day and make you grateful & thankful for what I have:))

  6. notthebus- Ha ha! They were quite funny, they didn’t explain how leaving one part of the United Kingdom and settling in another part is immigration!

  7. leftclick Together we will get justice for the Dam 5 on



    10secs to find this under the headind funding the club :))




    “Personally wouldn’t give a penny unless I was getting something for it like ST or merchandise.



    If the club is mismanaged again it will disappear into someones pocket never to be seen again”.

  8. traditionalist88 on




    The German model can at least be analysed for safety data, if nothing else.



    Celtic would not be considering this if it was not cost effective. We have already seen St.Mirren come out and say it wouldnt be for them, but if it is for us, we should be all for giving people the choice to sit or stand.



    It would be great to see a club north of the border leading the way with something for a change and this would certainly raise admiring glances from many in England.



    It would certainly add to the atmosphere at the bread and butter league games.




  9. Looking at the SPL table as it stands, should Aberdeen and Motherwell continue at a similar level of success over the remainder of the season as they have to date (i.e. same % of wins, draws & defeats), then 74 points should be enough for Celtic to wrap up the title. So four more wins would do it.



    With three of the next four league games at home, and the other away to the bottom club, it could effectively be done and dusted by tea-time on March 1st.



    Hoopy days!

  10. Steinreignedsupreme, 13:19


    Where are they now – the young dashing Billionaire pictured and the wordsmith who penned that fine piece?

  11. Green Lantern (((((0))))) on

    Catman. You sure that wisnae just somebody sneezin’.



    It was bloody cauld last night. :)

  12. tootingtim supports wee oscar



    Great photos…..ah kin see H and S officers everywhere getting palpitations!




  13. Interesting quote No.1 from today’s RIFC Shares Discussion board.



    An investor-bear with some common sense?



    “The price has a way to drop yet. Why? Because we still, as a Club, have to pay the price for the flotation which was used to repay the initial investors and line the pockets of their placements. This price will, I am afraid, not only amount to a financial cost. We are still in a perilous position financially, and the reality is that the current business model will not improve that position. Very very few serious clubs can achieve success without capital injection from a wealthy benefactor – and forget the Italian and Spanish models which are perhaps supporter owned, but debt laden beyond their means – the days of the Banks funding Scottish Clubs are long gone. I would hold existing shares simply because they have lost so much and are worth so little.”

  14. Steinreignedsupreme on

    O.G.Rafferty 13:38 on 30 January, 2014



    “Where are they now – the young dashing Billionaire pictured and the wordsmith who penned that fine piece?”



    I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of that young dashing ‘billionaire’. As for the other fullah…



    How’s things? Heard any gossip?

  15. Quote No.2 from the RIFC Shares Discussion Board.



    An investor bear asking questions!?



    “After reading quite a lot of the RIFC blog on this LSE site, i wonder just how much risk is still attached to any shareholding. Forgive me for recounting the numerous issues that impact or may impact on the future stability of our investment, but wouldn’t it be reassuring if the following could be resolved: 1) C Whytes claim on the assets. 2) How much operating capital is left. 3) If the operating capital is not enough, the board to come clean with either the sale and lease back or a new share issue proposal. 4) Whether the board will instruct the playing staff to downsize their operations, i have read that RIFC have more professionals on their books than the other big team from across the city. 5) Whether the board and the non playing staff will take a pay cut and how this helps in the overall scheme of things. 6) A laypersons overview as to where all the money has gone. This will allow the fans full visibility, which is important as we are approaching season ticket money. 7) The boartds view on alternative investements, such as Dave Kings. I think if we had calrity, no matter how bad the answers may taste, then after an initial dip, i think the share price might improve.”

  16. Emeraldbee



    Banks funding Scottish Clubs are long gone.



    I take it that’s a typo and it should read ” a bank funding a Scottish club are long gone”

  17. Bigchips,



    Remember one of them home games is the cup v Dons.




    I can’t believe those attendance figures for last night.

  18. Steinreignedsupreme, 13:48


    Always hearing gossip but it’s usually just that though.


    There does seem to be a general sense that the next few weeks could be interesting only time will tell

  19. Tooting Tim



    Ah L’Equipe (C’est Chic).



    Just shows you that ideas are key. Funny thing is I can see Saturday nights being the Uefa day of choice in the not too distant future. I can also see cities like New York becoming a great footballing city, but only if teams based there are playing teams from Europe. Or in other words my version of Paull 67’s Atlantic League!

  20. Well done to Lenny and the bhoys…



    And a huge well done to Fraser Foster 10-in-a-row indeed Paul.



    “As this clean sheet run has continued, every time Fraser Forster has made a good save, I’ve found myself suggesting that the defence is not playing as tightly as it used to. We quickly regard exceptional performance as the norm”






    We have quality throughout the park and “world class” can become over used and cliched term but I believe if you take age, performance and consistency into account VvD & FF fit that bill.



    Someone mentioned the Clyde game t’uther day and a thought to meself, that came during another Good League run.



    So I checked…



    2005-06 we were unbeaten in 19 matches.



    WGS’s in charge, the FAPL rejection had led to the OF austerity years ensuring we cut our cloth according to our means.



    Rangers couldn’t stop our run it ended @ Hearts at the end of April.



    Now Hearts were up for it, they needed those points to come 2nd in the League:-)



    Of course being unable to stop our run and finishing 3rd in the League didn’t bode well for the aul’ Rangers austerity, in fact they didn’t beat us at all in 2006.



    Que the Dream Team – in comes Walter & Ally – opened up the cheque book and the rest as they say is History.



    Hail Hail

  21. Steinreignedsupreme on

    O.G.Rafferty 13:55 on 30 January, 2014



    Aye. The place is awash with gossip right enough.



    I heard a great story a couple of months ago, which is apparently due to surface in February or March depending on the outcome of certain enquiries.



    It’s nothing to do with our hero, but given all that’s happened at Ibrox in the past few years I would not rule anything out.

  22. paolosboots FC before PLC on

    Voguepunter, the Sevco directors will love another fighting fund to be used for the “benefit” of the club just like the charity game funds :-)

  23. EmeraldBee @ 13:49



    Thanks for posting the RIFC blog comments.



    Do you think that poster seems far too lucid to be a currant bun?



    Particularly as he refers to “the other big team from across the city” without resorting to the standard abuse.



    Perhaps a Tim on the wind up?

  24. hun skelper


    12:30 on 30 January, 2014



    Looks that way. An exciting signing would add to the crowds and lift the apathy surely?


    It was however our own manager who raised the expectation that this would happen to be fair.

  25. I’m a massive fan of Michael Schumacher, massive. A truly great guy and a real decent fellow. I understand that doctors who are treating him are attempting to reduce his medication to allow him out of his coma.Hope and pray he will be all right.





  26. Bigchips the ICT fixture on the 1st March will be changed assuming we get past Aberdeen in the cup. That’s done as a cup weekend. Hail Hail Hebcelt done=down

  27. an excellent blog










    For The Good of Our Game




    I was asked by Scottish Fans for Change, as someone who has written previously on matters of the loss of trust in SFA governance, to contribute to their cause with a blog around which a force for change might gather momentum. There are other forums with this aim, notably Scottish Football Monitor, which succeeded the Rangers Tax Case blog, but what is interesting about the arrival of Scottish Fans for Change on the scene is a growing awareness amongst supporters of all clubs that Scottish football has suffered from the now discredited two club business model and the commercial thinking driving it, that never foresaw the inevitable outcome when football forgets it is first a sport then a business.



    Hopefully, as RIFC lurch from one crisis to another, this perception of being asked to support a failed model will occur to their supporters too, because as losers in the two club commercial race, they have suffered the consequences of failure as much as, if not more than, most.



    In sport, particularly football, you can lose but continue to participate because sport depends on having competition and supporters stay faithful, win lose or draw. In business if you fail another business takes your customers away and the business closes.



    Those in charge of our game and those reporting on it, who advocate the two club commercial model have replaced the natural state of sporting affairs, where you lose but carry on taking the sporting consequences, with a commercial conundrum in which football is whatever those in charge wish it to be to suit their particular purpose.



    The problem with this attitude is that sport, whilst interdependent by nature, is totally rules dependent i.e. narrow rules govern how a game is played and are there to see that a game is played fairly, ideally without fear or favour, not to fit the wider circumstances of the time.



    However the Scottish Football Association as governors of Scottish Football have played fast and loose with own their rules to an almost bizarre degree and have failed miserably in a number of areas not just since it was announced that Rangers were entering administration in February 2012, but in allowing that once proud club to deteriorate ever since it embarked on seeking to use financial advantage to provide sporting advantage. They did so with the help of a friendly national bank and a dubious tax efficiency policy that began in 1999 at Campbell Ogilvie’s hand with the irregular Discount Option Scheme ebts that produced the Wee Tax Case bill and morphed into the yet to be decided in regularity and amount terms, Big Tax Case ebts that has still to leave the stage on which Rangers history is being performed.



    Examples of playing fast and loose with the rules for commercial purposes can be found in the 5 way agreement where the concept of the transfer of a clubs SFA share was used rather than the normal process of a new club joining the SFL applying for and being granted an Associate Membership of the SFA.



    Why the contortion? Why use a rule intended to prohibit the transfer of a share (Article 14.1 of SFA Handbook 2001/12) rather than the rules actually designed to allow membership at that time?



    Then there is the bizarre “Bryson ruling” from the SFA in evidence to Lord Nimmo Smith on player eligibility, where a player is still eligible to play where a club has failed to disclose all financial details at registration. Quite how the SFA and SPFL meet the challenge of changing or even removing the very rules designed to stop clubs making under the counter payments without upsetting FIFA will be interesting to observe (if they do anything of course).



    These are just two of the reasons why the SFA no longer enjoys the trust, such as it ever was, of the Scottish footballing public. There are more if further evidence is required, but there is enough to justify asking what can be done to restore trust in those charged with governing Scottish football.



    In Feb 2012 the issue of lost trust was addressed in this article at http://celticunderground.net/in-whom-do-we-trust/ ironically just 9 days before Rangers entered administration.



    There are a number of trust restoring measures advocated there that two years later are perhaps worth having another look at given the passage of time.



    Measure One is the first and most important. It is reproduced here as a key step that needs to be undertaken as a matter of some urgency and something that Scottish Fans for Change might want to consider pursuing as their prime goal.



    Measure One: A thorough independent enquiry into how under the SFA’s governance one club managed to severely damage themselves and our game in the pursuit of European “glory” and the tempting financial rewards participation attracts. Over and above the “skew” effect of the latter, where winner takes all, the following three areas need urgent investigation.



    • Club Licensing


    • Fit and proper ownership.


    • The referee service



    Ideas for tackling these three areas have been proposed previously at






    They are not the only solutions but these areas and the problems caused to Scottish football by the distribution of UEFA CL money need to be explored in a Lessons Learned Enquiry.


    The terms of reference need to contain input from supporters’ representatives (Trusts and or Associations) in order to direct it and further input to determine what will work and what will not. The required changes would be implemented by the SFA Professional Game board who would be responsible for dealing with the findings/recommendations.



    Measure Two. The SFA have insisted (rightly) that the UEFA license in 2011 was correctly granted at 31st March 2011, but following Resolution 12 being tabled at Celtic’s 2013 AGM, have been more evasive on their monitoring responsibilities thereafter, stating on BBC Sportsound that monitoring was UEFA’s responsibility. This evasiveness represents a lost opportunity to restore trust, but one the SFA might wish to remedy as shareholders continue to seek answers.



    Measure Three. What follows is almost as true now as it was two years ago although social media has given supporters a voice but not an official platform from which to speak. Accordingly it is repeated here with minor changes:



    “In all the talk about what is good for Scottish football the debate is being led by the media who have a commercial interest in perpetuating the status quo, as do the SP(F)L and SFA. Nowhere is the voice of the paying customer, the football supporters who hands over good money to watch football being fairly played, being heard.”



    Hopefully, as Rangers future becomes clearer the voice of supporters of all clubs will be heard via their trusts/associations on what is and is not acceptable in the governance of our game.



    In that sense Recommendation 13 of the Henry McLeish Review of Scottish Football (Part Two Page 71) that states:



    National organisations representing fans and supporters require greater respect and acknowledgement from within the game and this should be reflected in the work of football organisations including the SFA Council.



    Opens the way for supporter groups to become more involved as stakeholders in the future of our game. The chosen vehicle for involvement appears to be Supporters Direct . This is a welcome start, but stakeholder involvement has to be done in a way that is not just paying lip service to the McLeish recommendation, but engages meaningfully with all supporter trusts/associations on matters that really matter.



    Movements like Scottish Fans for Change and Scottish Football Monitor exist because for them restoring trust in Scottish football matters above all else.



    Consequently an SFA statement recognizing that trust has been lost and providing an update on progress on establishing the necessary mechanisms to enable this particular McLeish recommendation to be implemented in a way that meets THE major concern of trust facing our game


    would form part of trust and integrity restoring measure for all supporters.



    Finally: Whenever a supporter of any club voices their concerns about the game’s integrity and how poor governance undermines it, because the catalyst for those concerns was Rangers failing, they are met with the charge of vindictiveness and this charge is used by those who would rather not see any change to prevent such change.



    Some supporters may very well hold that view, but the majority who form Scottish Fans for Change simply want fair play, a concept that rampant commercialism still pays lip service to.



    One response to this charge of vindictiveness is if you were bitten by a neighbor’s dog that was a danger to all, and chose to have him muzzled and so controlled rather than put down, would you be acting vindictively or showing generosity to your neighbor whilst protecting yourself and him from possible future harm?



    It is in this spirit of keeping the game alive and well that this is written.

  28. eddieinkirkmichael on

    Richie #TeamOscar


    14:09 on



    Great song and an even better singer. Karine has a great voice, once you’ve heard her live you never the sound. I was at a weekend event a few months ago at Newbattle College, there were only about 40 of us there and on the sat night Karine gave performed some of her songs for us, it was brilliant. The bar shut early and we had no drink but me being someone who never takes any chances had brought along a 3ltr box of red wine. I spent a couple of hours chatting away to Karine into the wee small hours as we got pissed on the wine. A really lovely girl who it was a pleasure to spend time with.

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