Celtic beat new-boys Dundee 2-0 in a game in which the score-line masks the truth. Hooper and Wanyama both scored goals of genuine quality but it was the manner in which Celtic despatched their northern opponents which pleased me.
Scott Brown had a penalty saved by ex-Parkhead net custodian Rab Douglas and to be fair, the big man had an inspired return debut in dark blue. He repelled several goal bound efforts and was inspirational in keeping the score-line down.
Lassad Nouioui convinced me that my earlier prediction of him coming good in the hoops was also inspired. The front-man was infectious in his enthusiasm and after “3-4 months out of the game,” he looks a safe bet for glory in Paradise. Only ring-rustiness and superb goalkeeping prevented a brilliant start for the Tunisian striker.
The goal Gary Hooper scored was indicative
of the manner of what Neil Lennon had demanded from his charges after a less than convincing start to this historic campaign, historic due to the absence of the cheats from Ibrox with their stolen titles, cups etc, etc.
Wanyama’s magnificent strike out of the blue only served to highlight how prudent Celtic were to throw a green ring of confidence around him when the big guns came calling for his services from down south. He would look at home in a Man Utd/Arsenal squad because of his maturity and composure on the ball and his displays in a Celtic shirt are becoming more and more remarkable. I’m delighted to have him!
Should Celtic win their game in hand, a top spot in the SPL beckons. Wanyama is said to be happy to extend his contract at Parkhead and the Champions League song is ringing in our ears. All in all a fine time to be a Celt…but!
Manchester United played perhaps their worst game in recent memory at Anfield but STILL beat their bitter rivals to take themselves to within a point of Chelsea at the EPL summit. Coming back from a Steve Gerrard opener is a tough task at any time but in a game of this magnitude, with Hillsborough and all that, it’s quite a feat.
It does have to be said, however that the CORRECT sending off of Shelvey for the Anfield reds made the task just a little easier for Fergie’s Furies. Rafael and a Van Persie penalty attended to the points in hand and MY English derby ended in victory…but!
With Barcelona striding five points clear of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga, life as a football tragic is sweet, or at least it should be. Why the reticence and angst then, I hear you mumble. Well, it’s not the football itself I’m bemoaning but the sad manner in which outside forces tarnish our beloved sport.
Let’s start with Celtic. All in all, we have it all. A team which is becoming potent and young boys maturing into men at Celtic Park. Top of the league should we win our game in hand. Handily placed to win all domestic trophies AND WE SHOULD!
Our top players (Hooper, Forster, Wanyama, Forrest, Izzaguirre) denying top sides from England and abroad their wares because they choose to play for Celtic instead. European Champions League football against Benfica, Spartak Moscow and BARCELONA; Messi, Xavi, Iniesta et al. A 60,000 seater stadium and the most passionate fans in the business.
So what’s the problem then? The problem is that we seem to live in a society where folk are not content to get on with the game and support their team without bringing their personal baggage to the table.
Sevco are constantly defying the rules and laws of the game and natural justice is not being served. They have conned, cheated, stalled and defiantly dug their heels in when they should have been dead and buried long ago. The fact they are being called “Zombie Rangers” is not just a dig at the old regime being re-invented but the fact they keep biting, scratching and destroying everything in their path is testimony to the fact that an ex-Rangers director is in charge of the organisation who are ULTIMATELY responsible for their corpse being dragged around the fourth tier of Scottish Football, The SFA.
This should have been a done deal. Old Rangers are dead, New Rangers (Sevco) have been instilled at the lowest point in the Scottish game and the screwing of the tax man, not to mention the tax paying public, should have been investigated, scrutinised and criminalised yonks ago. It was not and this is a damned disgrace.
In countries like Colombia, this may be the norm. This is SCOTLAND however and with the reputation “The greatest little country in the world” has for law enforcement and justice, this is completely unacceptable.
Charles Green is a joke figure among reasonably educated minds and his rantings, ravings and denials are SO typical of the club he now spearheads. Every statement is erroneous and misleading. Every sentence leaves the head looking down at the floor in embarrassment for him and his deluded supporters. His tenure at Sevco is the best possible advert for…Celtic!
During the pre-season game against Norwich, the Green Brigade displayed a banner which was clever, extremely funny and….flawed. Flawed because it ended with a gunman with as rifle shooting the “Zombie Rangers” figure emerging from the grave. It’s not the shooting of the Zombie which concerns, rather the sight of a gunman on a banner at Celtic Park in full view of children and pacifist adults (like me!)
I grew up in a hostile atmosphere in Glasgow during the ‘60s and ‘70s where bottles flew, heads were kicked in and regardless of age, you were targeted by vicious thugs with a sectarian agenda. Despite this, I never once threw a punch or aimed a kick, because although revenge was tempting and optional, I felt I owed something to my club.
Along with my father and his band of travelling Celts, I went along peacefully but noisily. Noise never killed anyone to the best of my knowledge but beatings did and I can proudly announce that I never violently struck anyone in the name of Celtic.
The shooter in the banner is against everything I believe in and I know that I speak for the vast majority of Celtic fans who simply wish to support their team. There is no room at Celtic Park for violence or hatred and this banner (or bammer) depicts both. The whole evolution thing is typical of the sharp minds at work among the Green Brigade, BUT, and it is a major BUT, the gunman gave the anti-Celtic authorities their own target. Us!
Where we should be sitting back and enjoying the boys in blue implode spectacularly and with much, much more to come, we are shooting ourselves metaphorically in the foot. I hope you see the irony in that last sentence.
Leave Sevco to bury Rangers and let’s get on with the business of winning all before us and entertaining the footballing public with the brand of humour which we are globally renowned for. Keep it sweet, keep the humour because no-one does it better but for God’s sake, keep the gunmen away from Celtic Park. Ask Neil Lennon how he feels after his ordeals and what he sees when he sees a shooter on the Parkhead terraces.
My EPL team Man Utd went off to Anfield with confidence and faith in their ability to blight the “big day” of the Liverpool fans. The stage was set when complaints were made against some United fans the previous week in regard to a song allegedly about the Hillsborough tragedy. United countered that it was not the dead who were being targeted but the Liverpool mentality about always being the victims and never the cause.
In light of previous events, (the police corruption allegations and admittance of guilt) this was grossly unwise and just a little disturbing. Again, I am a life-long (almost) fan of this great club and I sadly remember the days (‘70s) when the hooligan element of the Old Trafford faithful prevailed in the sports page musings rather than the large and vociferous innocents who swelled grounds all around England and beyond.
For me, the goading or slating of the dead is abhorrent and should be outed by decent supporters. I challenge ANYONE to give me one small truthful answer why that crime is lesser than the previous violent attacks mentioned. Bodies heal-I don’t need to tell you the rest.
I feel, and have been saying this for a long time now, it’s time for football fans to wake up to themselves. We are supposed to be an evolved nation (despite the depiction on the banner) but I don’t see that evidenced in the actions and words of some at the games and indeed, outside of it.
Too much hatred. Too much intolerance and bitterness. Too many voices demanding violent jihad on their rivals. We are supposed to be a first world country. Where’s the evidence? Seriously! This is a country which is reputed for it’s humour but the humour is being diluted by sectarian bitterness and a desire for illicit retribution.
Time to wake up folks because Rangers are gone. It’s only we who are left to be scrutinised and we better be on our bhest behaviour. The eyes of the world are upon us to see how we will react. Will we be as white as we depict when talking/singing about the misdeeds of the now defunct? Or will we be shown up (in light of the banner) as “just as bad” as they would like us to be? The answer my friends…is YOU and ME.
Don’t tolerate intolerance from those around you. I read a lot of Celtic posts and the quality of most of the commentators are of a very high standard, generally. Use that banter and humour to embarrass those who embarrass the Hoops. The Green Brigade are legendary and I love them. I feel they miss the mark on the odd occasion though and the majority should remind them that they are representing Celtic. We want to be proud-not shamed. Keep it real Bhrothers.
By EDDIE MURRAY