Why Brown started, World Record bookended


Under any normal circumstances, a run of consecutive trophy wins would end with defeat, but at this time, with seasons overlapping, Celtic’s four consecutive trebles was bookended by a dramatic Scottish Cup win against Hearts.  It was fitting to be able to celebrate a world record, instead of lamenting a defeat.  Our run came to an end on a joyous occasion.

As predicted, Neil Lennon returned Scott Brown to the starting line-up ahead of Ismaila Soro and Ryan Christie replaced Jeremie Frimpong at right mid, but Conor Hazard kept his place in goal for his third consecutive (and in total) start for the club.

The captain has his critics but football managers have a habit of choosing their trusted old guard and the reasons why were laid bare on the Hampden turf.  Football is not all about your ability to play; it is also about your ability to cope, your fortitude against intimidation, pain and rules being bent against you.

With the score still 0-0, Steven Naismith stamped on the prostrate Scott Brown.  Referee John Beaton should have red carded the Hearts striker, instead, he awarded a foul, which led to a moment of Instant Karma, as Ryan Christie curled an inch perfect strike from outside the box into Craig Gordon’s top corner.

Naismith was later booked for striking Scott Brown off the ball as Hearts prepared to take a corner kick.  Brown would not allow him near Conor Hazard, as Hearts second goal happened as Naismith elbowed Hazard in the ribs at a corner kick, disabling the ‘keeper’s attempt to make what would have been an easy catch.

The naive among you might expect players and the referee to just go out and do their thing, but as you saw yesterday, refs sometimes take a lax view on Celtic players being stamped on, and despite the ref and a fifth official on the goal line, apparently referees do not always watch out for fouls on the goalkeeper.

What you get from Scott Brown is someone who did not shrink or hide when stamped on and made sure his keeper was protected, despite the blind spots of the attending referees.  That at 5’ 8”, he won the header in the first period of extra time that led to Celtic’s third goal, is incidental to his contribution on the day.  If you watch the highlights over, do not miss his goal celebration in the direction of Naismith.

John Beaton booked six Hearts players, who were happy to kick their way through the game, and awarded Celtic a penalty, but Steven Naismith was the real referee on the day, he decided what was and was not permissible.  For days like these, you need an experienced leader.  This is why Scott played.

Cup finals are for winning and when it mattered, Leigh Griffiths, Callum McGregor, Mikey Johnston, Conor Hazard and Kristofer Ajer had what it takes to bring the trophy home.  What took place in the preceding 120 minutes of action was as dramatic as seen in the previous 134 finals.

Christie’s opener was as good a Cup Final goal you could hope to see.  It was from the classic Christie-low-percentage-shot distance, we have watched so many go high and wide, but this one found the sweet spot.  Odsonne Eduard’s penalty dink after Berra’s volleyball block sent us on our way, or so we thought.

Celtic’s utter domination by halftime was replaced by lethargy at the break, Hearts worked the ball into a dangerous crossing position, no defender was able to block the cross or meet the ball as it dropped in front of goal.  Liam Boyce did the necessary.

It could easily have been 2-2 before Hearts made it level, courtesy of Naismith’s foul, the Celtic defence was in disarray.  Confidence is a fragile commodity at the moment.   After the leveller, Callum McGregor pushed higher up field and Celtic regained some control of the game.  They created several good chances, all of which fell to Odsonne Edouard.  Whatever ails the striker, it has not passed.  Hearts had a chance to win the game near the end of 90 minutes but, on that occasion, Ginnelly panicked.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man.  You know that we are in trouble when Leigh Griffiths gets the call.  Post-match, Neil Lennon called him a “footballing genius”.  Yet again, he was the sugar in our tea.  He got a foot on Scott Brown’s header from a corner but Craig Gordon blocked.  No one in the game is faster onto a rebound inside the six-yard box than Griffiths, surely now Celtic would hold on?

Conor Hazard came for and missed the cross that brought Hearts level in the second period of extra-time.  These mistakes can damage a career but the day was not finished for the young Irishman.

Leigh Griffiths and Callum McGregor convince me they know what to do with a penalty kick.  Ryan Christie is better from >20 yards than 12.  I would also allow Odsonne Eduard to retire from penalty duty, as his non-Panenka record is poor and keepers will now anticipate the chip.

Mikey Johnston has the temperament and technique to cope with these scenarios, while Kristofer Ajer’s decisive kick would have taken Craig Gordon into the net with it, had the keeper got in the way.

With each team down to two penalties left, Hearts were ahead.  Conor Hazard twice threw himself across the goal to save.  Celtic’s performance was error strewn and anything but pretty, but there was unrelenting joy at another world record for this magnificent football club.

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  1. Shortly expect BOURNESOUPRECIPE to be on, stating:


    CQN – the only site where you will see the word ‘sagacious’. 😊

  2. Pingback: Why Brown started, World Record bookended , Celtic Quick News - Celtic FC News Aggregation

  3. The fitness levels of the team, have dropped dramatically over the last 18 months ,that’s one of the reasons why we’re struggling just now

  4. Right



    Yesterday was magic and dire.



    It was exhilerating and nauseating.



    It had highs and lows.



    It was sport in the raw.




    Winning a Quadruple treble is historic. We will be talking about this game for a long time. No image will last longer than our Captain’s angled dive for the header at Griff’s goal. Big Kris channelling Tommy Gemmell for the winning pen will remain with me as much as Eddy’s Panenka. The enjoyment of the result and the achievement is not ever going to be dulled by what I say next.



    Yesterday was a continuation of the malaise the team is in this season. We have bombed, yet again, in Europe and we have fallen seriously behind in the league and are out of the LC (a lesser offence, but still a poor sign).



    We had 45 minutes of highly competent fotball where we could have been more than 2 goals down. We could also have already conceded when Conor rushed out with poor judgement but, thankfully, Naismith messed up his chance.



    After half time we lost one of those typical goals that seem only to hapen to us- an uncontested header from a badly contested cross. It should have been brshed off. It should not have dented the confidence we had earned from our opening 45 minutes.



    But it did.



    For the remaining 105 minutes, we were nervous, scared and disjointed. There was a foul on our keeper at the 2nd but the ball still went past 4 Celts to reach an isolated Hearts player at the back post who scored from an acute angle because our goal line defender had stumbled well behind the line. There is no way this can be blamed on defensive organisation- we had many players in position to deal with it- but the players failed to do so. Though this was not a coach organisation issue. and neither was their first goal, it still falls under the cach;s duty.



    Neild did not want the Halliday cross to be uncontested but our two players failed to contest it adequately. He did not place Duffy in a position to miss Halliday’s cross and leave Boyce free; that was down to Duffy and a few other Celts. Neil did not make Christie mistake the goal line or ask him to position himself behind it; that was down to Ryan’s failings.



    And yet, the job of putting that right falls to the coach and no-one else. Whatever the cause, tactical, technical or psychological only the coach can fix it by increasing confidence, developing a more safety first approach to defence, or dropping serial offenders.



    I had hope the two good recent performances at Killie and Lille had started that repair.



    Yesterday showed, it has a long way to go. I saw no absence of faith in the coach fro the players or a serious disconnect between coach and any individual player. I saw togetherness and respect and guts. But I did not see a coherent and confident team.



    Lenny made the right decision to play Scott Brown- arguably it won us the game. Nobody was going stronger and more determined than he hwas when Hearts were in the ascendancy. Not everything he did came off- but there was no retreat into any shell and there was no sign of legs gone till he injured them himself late on and was subbed.



    Soro has played two good games for us and was, in no way, guaranteed to have had any better a game yesterday than did his fellow 3rd time appearnace man, Conor Hazard, who fluffed his big chance and then redeemed it.



    I am no longer sure where things or what things exactly have gone wrong for Celtic but gone wrong they have.



    It was a great struggling gutsy performance but it was also a faltering and scared performance.



    I am not a volatile character and I don’t recommend drastic change easily; I prefer settled and consistent sides but, from here on in, while we are still in the vicinity of ast Chance Salloon. my conclusions are :-



    We must still experiment, unfortunately with keepers- if we stick with Hazard- one more nervy performance could damage him- so let’s try to work with Barkas and Bain- giving Conor more of a game leater.



    Ajer has the right back slot sown down now so that means we have to go with the two big stiffs, Jullien and Duffy (Bitton is not good enough to replace them at SPFL level)/



    Sorry, but to me, Laxalt is far superior to Taylor even if he is not a good defender (neither of them are),



    We need two DM’s- Soro and either Brown or Bitton as our full backs get caught upfield too often.



    Let Christie and Frimpong fight for RM till James gets back. Let MJ and Elyounoussi fight out LM and Callum gets the AM role with Turnbull, Rogic and Ntcham as the back ups until we hit January, when we can get rid of either the Aussie or the Fenchman or both.



    Eddie is our most talented forward and is not as far off form as is suggested but we may find a way to start solid and then move to two up front, once we have started well. I’d have griff as no.2 choice with Kimala and Ajeti fighting for 3rd spot.



    So something like






    Ajer Jullien Duffy Laxalt



    Soro Brown (Bitton)



    Christie (Frimpong) McGregor (Turnbull) MJ (Elyounoussi)



    Edouard (Griff).



    We can then look to the January window to bring in new defenders; we already have enough attacking talent.



    P.S.- one further rant about yesterday- the Hampden DJ is a Heavy Metal Gimp Freak who annoys the tits af mewhen I’m at the games and still managed to play some awful sh*** through my TV too.

  5. Celtic Curio




    · 17h


    Neil EBT McCann says Edouards pinenka penalty was disrespectful. While we the common men and women where paying Income Tax, contributing to our Emergency Services and NHS, this rat bag was bagging a Tax free wage contributing nothing. Thats disrespect!!!!

  6. Great video of the goals yesterday and the celebrations. I know many have commented on Naismith fouling Hazard at their 2nd goal but another thing I noticed rewatching the game is at Griffiths’ goal he is being held round the waist by a Hearts player does anyone think that if Lee had missed the chance we’d have got a penalty?


    What, no one, none of you?

  7. Mikey Johnston must’ve been a wee bit haunted by his miss in the LCF 19.


    He’ll be able to forget about it now.


    Great bottle to take the penalty and great composure to bury it.



    We need a good experienced goalkeeper and an experienced right winger signed on January. 1st.

  8. 67 EUROPEAN CUP WINNERS @ Pages ago



    Why wait till tomorrow,



    The ‘full backs’ don’t stop crosses, and whether we play them too far up the park or not it comes to the same thing. The centre halves, don’t deal effectively with anything that gets in, and the last line of defence any one of three goalkeepers isn’t making a simple catch, or dig out a reasonable save.



    We’ve sacrificed Chris Ajer maybe gained a full back, but lost a centre back and have the return of Duffy who simply can’t find the right boots to fit Celtic. Overnight the long lost left back has morphed into Greg Taylor again, and we’re back to the start of the season. Hearts, or any side can put a ball into the box and it’s mayhem especially when we give away so many cheap free kicks.



    Scott Brown does most of his best defensive duty on audio probably more noticeable in BCD games, the running battle with Naismith was comical. He just about won it, and his still merited selection causes criticism, and illustrates how our midfield is outdated.



    El Younoussi does the disappearing you get with loans, no such thing as a free lunch. Christie wonder goal aside, had a bad day at the office with tired legs. Eddy caused Zombie consternation with his 1976 chip, but still misses too much in open play this season, will the real Eddy hurry up and step forward on Wednesday?



    We’re one window away from having sold Kieran Tierney two years, and yet we don’t have a fit full back at the club. That’s a full back than can defend and or overlap, zero none, with the money spent its a major factor in the return of the sieve and a lack of goals scored.



    Team for Wednesday,






    Ajer Jullien Duffy Laxalt



    …….Soro McGregor…….








  9. Winning games is nice. I celebrated yesterday without a care.



    Now back to reality.



    I don’t think the combination of Brown and McGregor is able to control games sufficiently. Ntcham seems out of favor completely. Soro has been promising but its a small sample size.



    We need to reconfigure this area of the field in January. Scott Brown’s minutes need to be reduced. Ntcham either reformed or punted. Soro further developed.



    I’ve said it before, Jackson Irvine is an excellent option available as a free agent.



    Regardless change is required here.



    If we could offload Ntcham, Duffy and Barkas that would be for the best. Replace them and move on. I worry that isn’t possible and we have the more difficult job of reforming them.



    We also need to sign a RB now Elhamed is off.

  10. Barkas needs to start on Wednesday and get an extended run .


    Didn’t think Taylor deserved to be taken off , he was having a good game.

  11. Like all, I was mighty relieved to have won that trophy, it marks the potential end of a glorious era. Ten is still there, but we need to improve drastically and immediately to achieve it and if guys like Robbie Nielson can mastermind our almost downfall- after a 2 goal start- then all does not bode well.



    We need to realise teams will set up 5-3-2 against us and know they will get a few chances to score regardless of how good we are playing. The only way to mitigate it , is to adopt the same formation and get the ball forward to our front two as earliest opportunity to turn defences.



    Our manager spoke previously of the need to be braver on the ball, he now needs to be braver in his selection, tactic and formations.



    Otherwise, failure not seen since 2011, is coming and his legacy will not be a Quadruple Treble…

  12. I don’t really know what respect has to do with scoring a penalty. Eddie had one job, to put the ball in the net. Gordon had another job, to stop the ball going in the net. One succeeding and the other failing is the story of penalties throughout history.

  13. Given its significance, that was a game where only the result mattered. For about 90 minutes there was hope for all those who don’t like Celtic and, in the end, hope left such a bitter taste.



    One observation: why wasn’t Naismith sent off? Beaton saw it. Anywhere else and against anyone else, he is dismissed. Straight red! No question. It’s noticeable too how our press has sung dumb about this.

  14. Bada,


    Think we were saying that last year as well.Not long to wait,12 days and we will know if the quest is reachable.

  15. Garngad to Croy on

    Hazzard, Mikey, Griff ,Calum


    Came to blow away Wee Huns


    But every man must get behind


    The men behind Chris Ajer

  16. Weebobbycollins on

    Barkas must return to the team. He is the best of the three keepers. Young Hazard will learn from yesterday’s game and perhaps will be our future number one.


    Ntcham seems to have lost his glitter and Ajeti doesn’t appear to be trusted now.


    Are the coaches keeping tabs on Jack Hendry’s progress in Belgium?

  17. Weebobbycollins on

    BSR…”John Beaton needs to spend more time in the gym.”


    It’s all those free pints he’s getting in that hun pub in Bellshill.

  18. I think there’s a mountain of difference playing away from the limelight in Belgium and playing in front of the SMSM with their chip chip chipping away, negatively, at everything Celtic! por cierto.



    If Carlsberg did Billboards






    that is magic, have they no suffered enough.