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When exceptional becomes the norm

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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. I notice McGrory 1888 has not said where that attendance figure (26k + ) came from.

     

    This one: Att: 44,271 came from the BBC site. My own perception? 35,000 – 40,000.

     

     

    An observation from last night.

     

    The absence of the GB is beginning to be resolved, I feel. ACGR was saying there was a group behind him in GBish form and I noticed a GB type group very near where the Real GB used to sit/stand. Also, when we were all ” Standing up for the Champions.” a very real atmosphere was generated. I am thinking that that number who have stopped going to the games contain a high percentage of the Neganon/Kev Jungle/Sydney Tim types.

     

    I have always enjoyed going to Celtic Park and, invariably, I have left having enjoyed the spectacle. I believe the number who experience similar feelings now constitutes a greater percentage of the crowd.

     

    I am, unsurprisingly, looking forward to Sunday and remembering the St Mirren Chairman`s (?) cosy relationship with Charlie Green.

     

    JJ

     

     

    JJ

  2. Catman supports Wee Oscar on

    Forget Turkey now looking down Reading way… Adam Le Fondre high on the radar

  3. eddieinkirkmichael

     

     

    Wee Karine was on Radio Shortbread today from 1.30-2.00 shooting the breeze.

  4. Bigchips

     

     

    “hebcelt (14:21), you’re getting a wee bit ahead of yourself mate… Let’s wait and see if we beat Aberdeen first!”

     

     

     

    Irony;)

     

     

     

    I might be wrong (usually am) but what makes this clean sheet run all the more remarkable is the fact that up till the start of the run Celtic couldn’t manage 2 domestic clean sheets on the bounce.

  5. LiviBhoy – God bless wee Oscar

     

     

    12:35 on 30 January, 2014

     

     

    yorkbhoy

     

     

    Records are nice but fans want to be entertained. I would prefer to see us score 8 than score 1 and keep a clean sheet.

     

     

    LB

     

    ————-

     

    You’d need to go back to 1st Jan for the last time we got a boring 1-0. We’ve scored 15 since then, without conceding. Some fans difficult to please.

  6. JJ,

     

     

    Mcgrory says he works in the control room.

     

     

    My guestimate was 35000ish but admittedly I’m rrrrubbish at guessing.

     

     

    I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that you are in and around my seat.

  7. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon, supporting WEE OSCAR..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    doc

     

     

    14:34 on 30 January, 2014

     

     

    Too right they do…..!!!!

  8. Geordie

     

    I hope I am not IN your seat 0:-)

     

    I am 106, Row J Seat 7

     

     

    !! Bada Bing !!

     

    Yes. My more precise guesstimate was 37,000 0:-)

     

    Agreed. Passing in the first half was Barca-esque. As, indeed, was the possession. 76% according to the half-time screens.

     

     

    JJ

  9. Sheik Yerbouti @ 14:21,

     

     

    an excellent blog…..

     

     

    Good post and good to see a site that it tackling the problems in Scottish Football.

     

     

    TSFM doesn’t do it for me, being anti-Rangers is not really a raison d’etre for a blog in my book.

     

     

    RTC was a single agenda site and did it’s job brilliantly – then went, but TSFM took over and it has lost it’s way.

     

     

    Scottish Football issues need to deal with the broader problems yet focus on the specific issues.

     

     

    If that is the quality of the content we can expect it should be a great addition to Scottish Football sites and maybe we will see some results – we live in hope.

     

     

    Hail Hail

  10. Bigchips, fe? Iron(y) very good :)

     

     

     

    JJ,

     

     

    Nah I’m 108. I must be mistook.

     

     

    Ffs you’ll have a pile of autograph hunters after you now. Lol

  11. Celtic open new facilities for disabled supporters

     

     

    By: Newsroom Staff on 30 Jan, 2014 12:15

     

     

    IN recent seasons, Celtic has worked closely with the Celtic Disabled Supporters´ Association to ensure that we provide the best service possible for our supporters with disabilities.

     

     

    Following this close co-operation, the Club is making a series of improvements to facilities to ensure the best possible matchday experience for our fans.

     

     

    Celtic Football Club is delighted now to announce that some of its new facilities for disabled supporters will be officially opened before kick-off against St Mirren this Sunday, February 2.

     

     

    The Club has created a new elevated platform in the North West quadrant to accommodate supporters, leading to 29 new wheelchair spaces for supporters and provision for 29 companion places.

     

     

    The new facility will provide these disabled supporters with greatly improved sight lines. As part of the North West redevelopment, a comfortable new social/lounge has also been created for their exclusive use.

     

     

    As a Club which welcomes all, Celtic is fully committed to ensuring a positive matchday experience for everyone and the Club works closely with many charities in the areas of disability.

     

     

    The Club is also delighted for a number of years to have achieved the Positive About Disability accreditation, a Government-backed initiative aimed at promoting the employment of disabled people.

     

     

    Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell said: “We are delighted to be opening these new improvements to the stadium for our disabled supporters.

     

     

    “We have enjoyed a very close working relationship with the CDSA and we are delighted to respond to the needs of our disabled supporters and introduce these changes.

     

     

    “Celtic is fully committed to providing a positive matchday experience for all our supporters and we hope these new improvements will be warmly welcomed.”

     

     

    Peter Joyce, Chairman of the Celtic Disabled Supporters´ Association, said: “We are absolutely delighted with this new elevated viewing area for Celtic’s disabled supporters.

     

     

    “We have enjoyed a very positive relationship with the Club and we look forward to ensuring that we continue to work together.

     

     

    “These improvements will keep Celtic Park as the best in Scotland and one of the best stadia in the UK when comes to accessibility and meeting the requirements of a wide range of supporters with varying disabilities.

     

     

    “As a consequence of these additional places we will now welcome 29 new disabled supporters to Celtic Park as season ticket holders.”

     

     

    The Club has been delighted to introduce a number of new features to our matchday experience in recent months, such as the opening of the hugely popular Kerrydale Bar, the extensive refurbishment of hospitality areas such as Café 1888, the establishment of our new family stand and now the opening of our new disabled facilities.

     

     

    In addition, Celtic became the first UK club to successfully install an all stadium WiFi network with an accompanying matchday app, a feature that will develop over the coming months to bring more match-enhancing content.

     

     

    Of course, we also look ahead to the major redevelopment of the main entrance and approach to Celtic Park with work currently progressing very well.

     

     

    All these initiatives have been received extremely well by our fans and with so many exciting developments around the Club in 2014, the Club is very keen to maintain this momentum and ensure that we continue to provide our supporters with a great Celtic experience.

     

     

    The Club is also continuing to investigate a number of proposals for safe standing at Celtic Park. This is something which Celtic has taken the lead on. We have been liaising with the City Council on this matter and we hope to be able to update supporters on this issue in the very near future.

  12. Geordie

     

     

    “Ffs you’ll have a pile of autograph hunters after you now.”

     

     

    Now????

     

     

    JJ

  13. A new TV deal has been agreed with Sky Sports

     

     

     

     

     

    The agreement allows Sky Sports live rights to the William Hill Scottish Cup, exclusive live rights to Scotland home international challenge matches and rights to cover the Youth Cup until the end of the 2017/18 season in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

     

     

    The broadcaster has already agreed deals to show all of Scotland’s UEFA Euro 2016 and 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification matches, as well as 30 matches a season from the Scottish Professional Football League.

     

     

    SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said: “We are delighted to extend our excellent relationship with Sky Sports and look forward to at least another four years of world-class broadcasting of Scottish football’s biggest events.”

     

     

    Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis added: “This new deal with the Scottish FA means we’ve got the best choice of international, league and cup football for our viewers for the next four years.

     

     

    “Our commitment to Scottish football began on our first day in April 1991, and we’re delighted to continue to be able to tell the best stories from Scotland’s domestic and international football calendar.”

  14. Carlisle welcomes Celtic invasion

     

     

    Date: 30th January 2014 at 8:52 am

     

    Written by: Joe McHugh | Comments (6)

     

     

     

    Willie McStay Celtic news

     

     

    Upto 700 Celtic fans are heading to Carlisle on Saturday for the Northern League clash between Celtic Nation and Shildon.

     

     

    Celtic Nation have been attracting a regular flow of Celtic fans throughout the season with buses travelling from Glasgow, Newcastle and Liverpool for Saturday’s match.

     

     

    The bumper crowd will benefit a local charity with entrance by donation at the turnstile.

     

     

    A home win is vital with Shildon two points ahead of the Carlisle hoops with two games in hand over Willie McStay’s side.

     

     

    The former Celtic coach took over as manager earlier in the season and enjoying the challenge of realising club owner Frank Lynch’s dream of taking up a club through the various levels of the English pyramid structure.

     

     

    “Saturday is a big game for the club and it’s great that we’ll be boosted by lot of Celtic fans making a day of it,” McStay said.

     

     

    “We’ve had a few buses come down for our games this season, they’ve all enjoyed themselves and been impressed by what the club is trying to do.

     

     

    “It’s an exciting venture, I’m pleased to be part of it, the club is making great strides but everything boils down to results.

     

     

    “We were on a great winning run until we lost 3-1 at Newcastle Benfield then drew at home with Durham City.

     

     

    “Last week’s match against Billingham Synthonia was postponed so we’ve had a bit of extra time to prepare for the game with Shildon.

     

     

    “There’s still a lot of games to go but it would be great to get the win, get in front of Shildon and try and build up some momentum.”

     

     

    Among the players that McStay has recruited to Celtic Nation is former Celtic, Sheffield United and Swindon midfielder Jon-Paul McGovern, Willie Gibson who played for Kilmarnock and former Dundee and Livingston striker Colin McMenamin.

  15. Doc @ 14:34,

     

     

    “Does Sevco have a licensing issue?

     

     

    Well that depends what you mean.

     

     

    My take…

     

     

    Sevco don’t have a license but the again unless they play in Europe or get higher up the League structure they don’t need it.

     

     

    When they do need it, it will be fixed.

     

     

    Hail Hail

  16. Cough! Cough! Cough!, HEY! stop laughing at the back there.

     

    ——————————————————-

     

     

    The time to judge Ally McCoist will be when he’s had an opportunity to do his job unhindered. It will be when he’s had the opportunity to build a team out of something other than free transfers and young lads. Despite that fact that none of these norms have been afforded to him during his time as manager, he’s continued to do his best in trying circumstances and has comfortably achieved the required promotion from two divisions. I fully expect him to achieve the same next season. Perhaps Graham Wallace will show himself to finally be the CEO who will provide Super Ally with the basic tools to do his job and be judged in fairer circumstances. For all our sakes let’s hope so. In the meantime, debate away but how about we show our manager, a club legend, some respect and don’t lap up the vitriol from elements of the press and dark corners of the internet?

  17. Bigchips I’m taking nothing for granted,just pointing out we may not have a home game that weekend for anyone making travel plans. Saying that I’m quietly optimistic. Hail Hail Hebcelt

  18. LiviBhoy - God bless wee Oscar on

    Fassreifen

     

     

    Not at all. Happy for us to win by any scoreline. We were talking hypothetically. 8-1 or 1-0.

     

    Pretty childish to be honest but it’s been a slow day.

     

     

    LB

  19. Home / Celtic Diary Thursday January 30

     

     

    January 30, 2014 · by Ralph Malph · in Diary, Latest

     

     

     

    Bookmakers across the land were delighted last night when Kris Commons failed to open the scoring in a 4-0 win over Kilmarnock at Celtic Park. Joe Ledley got the early opener, a dazzling run from James forrest led to an own goal for the second, and after the break Charlie Mulgrew and Amido Balde netted to complete the scoring, scaffing a tired shot past a despairing keeper. To be fair to him though, he had been on the pitch for an astonishing twenty minutes.

     

     

     

     

    After his ninetieth minute goal, Balde was booked when he leapt into the crowd to stop them singing that song about him, but an unsympathetic referee wouldn’t accept what seemed a perfectly good excuse, so his name went into the book.

     

     

    Celtic played a crisp , entertaining passing game, but found themselves up against a resolute and packed Kilmarnock defence, who rarely ventured across the halfway line, which was surprising, because with a clean sheet record at stake, the referee would have given them a penalty at the first real opportunity, but to be fair, even he looked embarrassed when he had to wave away claims after a spectacular dive in the second half .

     

     

    Celts bombarded the Killie goal, and really should have scored more, but who’s complaining ? Its another good win, a record equalling clean sheet, and , importantly, there were some very good shifts put in by pretty much all the players.

     

     

    Fraser Forster made one great save with his legs, Virgil van Dijk was unlucky not to score again, especially in the second half with a Beckanbauer surge to support the attack, Izzaguere continued to rediscover his early Celtic form, and Charlie Mulgrew was outstanding on the left of midfield. ( Thats all one word, unlike when used to describe Samaras, who is usually out standing somewhere on the left of midfield . There was a point last night when it looked like the big Greek was being told to warm up, but it turns out there was a phone call for him inPeters office.. ).

     

     

    Mulgrew was also unlucky not to score when he placed a shot onto the post in the second half, which rebounded back into the arms of a surprised and grateful Killie keeper. But he made amends with a cool turn and finish that any striker would be proud of just minutes later.

     

     

    Speaking of strikers, Wolves have decided they want £1m for Leigh Griffiths, but having now sorted out the signing of Leon Clarke, they may yet buckle under pressure and accept a bit less, but in truth, Griffiths is easily worth that, and would certainly add to that value while in the hoops.

     

     

    Lennon has mentioned that he has other options, including a foreign striker, as he explained;

     

     

    “We started the ball rolling on him yesterday.

     

     

     

    “It is a very delicate situation at the moment, and I need to see where we are on it.”

     

     

    Foreign striker ? Well, that usually turns out okay.

     

     

    All we can hope for here is that its someone who has suddenly become available, and not the one below Griffiths on the list, because that is truly frightening.

     

     

    Please tell me its not the reason Kris Boyd was on the bench last night, and before you say he’s not foreign, I beg to differ, as he is, in fact, from Mordor, the land of darkness.

     

     

     

    Anyone else think that we are about to see the traditional transfer window excuses trotted out ?

     

     

    If so, its not the end of the world if the time left this season is used wisely to nurture the youngsters through, and if they get the chance, one or two could rise to the challenge, bearing in mind what we have seen so far in friendlies has been very encouraging.

     

     

    And if that doesn’t work there will be no excuse for not spending big early next summer. Very early next summer.

     

     

    The name of Lee Tomlin has appeared again. The rotund Peterborough man has handed in a transfer request, and there are stories linking him with a move to Celtic again. Which is exciting.

     

     

    But not for us.

     

     

    Those of you waiting for the rumour mill can get a wee taster here with this tweet that appeared yesterday..

     

     

    (Sorry, couldn’t copy and paste the tweet but It was a tweet from “STV Tom” saying we had bid for Lasley). tnt

     

     

    Yep.Its that time of year again.

     

     

     

     

    Alex Thomson, the channel 4 reporter who compared Celtic fans to Millwall fans the other week, seems to be trying to get back in our good books. He wrote;

     

     

    ” My source insists, vigorously, that Craig Whyte’s claim to own the Rangers assets is alive and well and we should all “expect significant movement in the legal case in the next few weeks”.

     

     

    The source insists the previous transfer of assets under the then boss Charles Green has no legal basis and will be contested openly in the near future.

     

     

    Many had rather assumed Mr Whyte’s claim over Rangers, already set out in a lengthy legal document, was dead in the water or lacked the necessary funding. Not so, according to the source who says the claim that Mr Whyte’s ownership of the club “absolutely extends to Ibrox site, the training ground, the players, the entire entity as it stands”.

     

     

    “There is no question about that, ” he continued. “The ownership of Rangers by the Sevco company of which Craig Whyte is a director is beyond question.”

     

     

    No doubt many around Ibrox will just laugh this off, and they may or may not be right in so doing. But with the club asking players to take pay cuts, times remain financially critical at the club. So the timing of Mr Whyte is as unwelcome there as it is deliberate.

     

     

    So, somewhat taken aback by all this, I asked how Mr Whyte would see all this actually working out in the real world.

     

     

    The scenario unfolded to me would be a legal merger of the disputed camps laying claim to Ibrox under the banner of Craig Whyte’s Sevco and no doubt a new share offer.

     

     

    I understand, for instance, that Mr Whyte believes the ban would not hold up in court for a second, were it to be so tested. Many may choose to differ with that sentiment.

     

     

    As ever, it totally depends upon where you stand and like I say, I put this out and it’s for others to judge. Though one thing appears certain, the Craig Whyte Claim has not gone away. ”

     

     

    Nothing we didn’t know already, but then we got his on twitter;

     

     

    alex thomson ‏@alextomo17h

     

     

    Turns put from another source that papers indeed exist for the CW merger proposal

     

     

    Which could explain why Stockbridge-the last of the original spivs-has departed.

     

     

    But it doesn’t affect the club, you see, all of this concerns the company. The company is skint, and asking players to take a pay cut, while the club is still out there in lalaland trying to sign players, the latest being Gabriel Tamas from Doncaster.

     

     

    Then theres the recent triumph thay had beating off the interest from Nottingham Forest for international left back-there are no other experienced Scottish left backs- Lee Wallace, which drew a hilarious letter of assistance to the midlands club from Edgar Blamm, which he posted on twitter;

     

     

    Posted Image

     

     

     

    Still, kit man Jimmy Bell should be okay, as there are jobs going at a food packing company in Govan, and his experience of packing vegetables when he was the team bus driver should help him get a position there.

     

     

     

    Worryingly, though, but with a hint of devilry, a strange thought did cross my mind..

     

     

     

    Leigh Griffiths, Lee Tomlin, Lee Wallace. Theres a pattern emerging here, especially as we can reveal the foreign striker we’ve been looking at-and the price is exactly what Lennon has been saying he’ll spend…

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Yesterday, in between ducking the responses to the poor taste of yesterdays crack about michael Schumacher , there will be no more jokes in that vein. In fact, from now on I’ll stick to watching Coronation Street, and after hearing about the Bill Roache trial, I’m going to see if its true that no-one on the show ever goes to the toilet.

     

     

     

    It was John Dowie in the picture yesterday, the man signed to replace Kenny Daklglish as the pointman pointed out.

     

     

     

    Stein rated him very highly, and no-one has any idea why.

     

     

     

    By the way, a lot of you thought it was John Gorman, who had a hit with Lily the Pink back in the sixties, but I can’t see the resemblance.

  20. Livibhoy, sure, but if there’s a debate over whether we should go for the record or allow ourselves to concede a goal or two, my view is that we’ve an amazing opportunity to match and exceed a remarkable pre-war feat. If we were doing it by playing boring football, then yes, it might not be worth it. But we’ve done it so far by playing attacking football and scoring lots of goals, which to me makes it even more worthwhile.

     

     

    PositiveSumGameCSC

  21. The figure I gave you of 26,234 is the actual number of people inside the ground and does not include st holders who were not there. The figure is absolutely correct.

     

     

    Hx2

  22. I haven’t noticed anyone mentioning the swing and a miss from Dirk Bogart (or weft his name is) in the dyeing seconds of the game, dearie meeeeeeeee, hard to describe.

  23. mcgrory1888

     

     

    15:16 on 30 January, 2014

     

    The figure I gave you of 26,234 is the actual number of people inside the ground and does not include st holders who were not there. The figure is absolutely correct.

     

     

    Hx2

     

    —————————————-

     

    Let’s just say I beg to differ my friend.

  24. 10:09

     

    Football

     

    League One Wolves announce the signing of Coventry striker Leon Clarke for a fee thought to be in the region of £750,000. The 28-year-old started his career at Molineux, scoring 13 goals in 74 appearances between 2003-07. Clarke joins on an 18-month contract with Wolves having the option for a further year.

     

     

    Does this mean Griffiths will be on his way??

  25. Afternoon all

     

     

    McGrory1888- I thought 34k or so but hey and indeed ho.

     

     

    Somebody – Notthebus I think – posted some choice quotes from Follow Follow. Please don’t – depresses me that there are people who are so filled with ignorance, fear and hatred. Or if I were being polite ar***oles.

     

     

    Have a good afternoon Bhoys and Ghirls.

     

     

    Jimbo67 supporting Oscar Knox

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