Tuesday, 31 May 2005

Gordon Strachan arrives at Celtic Park

Gordon Strachan held his first press conference at Celtic Park today. I was impressed. He talked a lot of sense. He reminds me a little of MON - straight talking, enthusiastic -- and smart. I particularly like his emphasis on fitness. BBJ must be crapping himself. And contrary to some media reports, most Celtic fans are behind him.

My favourite Strachan quote:

He saw John Terry's goal and said he was impressed that Terry goes up expecting to score. He contrasted this to Claus Lundekvam the Saints central defender who goes up for every dead ball and never ever looks remotely like scoring. He said if there was a dead body lying in the penalty area the ball would hit it on the head several times a season which he said is more than Lundekvam can manage. He said referees should book Lundekvam for timewasting every time he goes up for a corner. [Sky Sports]

Sunday, 29 May 2005

New name for the blog

We discussed the possibility of changing the name of the blog (again) last night. The new name was to be "thelastpost" to match the name of the pub where we meet after Cup Finals. But thelastpost.blogspot.com is taken - as is lastpost.blogspot.com. Pity. It was a good name.

Cup Final 2005

It was good to see everyone last night. Yesterday's Cup Final was no classic but at least we won - although it was hard to get too excited after last weekend's disappointment.

I deliberately didn't drink much last night. I drank a lot last weekend (at a wedding) and felt crap the next day. So I was determined not to repeat that - and I feel fine this morning.

It was MON's last (competitive) game in charge. I'm sorry to see him go. I appreciate that we have been watching a truly dire Celtic team but I believe that he could have rebuilt the team and taken us to new successes.

Thursday, 26 May 2005

Martin O'Neill

It's been a bad week for Celtic supporters. Wednesday's news was worse than Sunday's result. I knew that he was leaving but hoped that he would take a sabbatical rather than actually leave the Club.

A few week's ago, MON declared that he was looking for new players and was looking forward to spending a £15M budget. Then, last week, he stated that there was a 50/50 chance of him being here next season. Then, two days ago, he's off. It doesn't make sense. I sincerely hope that the Board did not play a part in this odd sequence of events.

MON has brought us five happy years. The highlight was Seville (maybe the semi against Boavista - what a night I had!) but there were lots of great results along the way. He almost created a genuinely great team.

So Gordon Strachan has a hard act to follow. I have mixed feelings about GS. At the same time that MON had Leicester City sitting fourth in the Premiership, GS was relegating Coventry. But, on the other hand, he did a decent job at Southampton, appears to be as passionate about the game as MON - and The Forces of Darkness are worried by his appointment (just as they were by MON's). Time will tell. I don't feel as optimistic as I did when MON was appointed but I'll give Strachan a chance.

Still, every cloud has a silver lining.

Monday, 23 May 2005

Losing the league

I had hoped that we could stagger over the finish line. I could see that the team was way past its sell-by date. I knew that me and you could put a couple of goals past our creaking defence. But yesterday was still hard to take. And today at work was painful. I've never seen Celtic fans so down.

We were three minutes short of winning the league. But, in truth, we are six players short of a decent team. I don't buy the "if only we had scored a second goal" argument. We were watching a team implode - a team capable of losing any sort of lead.

Even the mediocre bunch that wear the Hoops these days should have taken care of Motherwell - but many of the players didn't even have the will to win this single game. The second half was surreal. 45 minutes from winning the league and seasoned pros like Sutton and Lennon do a disappearing act. Only Petrov looked like he gave a shit. The rest looked like their mantlepiece didn't have any spare room for another medal.

O'Neill isn't blameless. He's made mistakes this season. But the players must shoulder most of the blame. They're among the most highly paid footballers in Europe - and they're beaten by a mob whose entire first team is paid less than Neil Lennon.

It's a pity that the same players who gave us so much pleasure two years ago should finish by letting down the fans and their manager.

Tuesday, 17 May 2005

George Galloway

I've just watched George Galloway give it to the Senate Committee. I don't think they knew what had hit them. It's a shame he couldn't question them and was restricted to answering their questions.

He should have suggested Coleman repeats the accusations outside the senate so he could sue him.

Tuesday, 10 May 2005

BBC - BBC Four - Listings

BBC - BBC Four - Listings I know it is too late to advertise this but they may be repeated. Two really good programmes on the Time Shift series. Red Robbo and Grunwick strike. Posed the unacceptable face of union power and the real need for unionisation. Both cases ending in defeat one with Red Robbo losing his job. My view was that this guy took it way too far. The vast majority of the workers wanted to work and he felt he had the right to put their families into hardship for political ends. And the other with the workers being sold out by top level TUC leadership. Scargill still wasn't sure who decided to stop supporting Grunwick. Both programmes ended with scenes of Thatcher coming to power. Still it looks like we are getting a bit of the last laugh on the smiling tyrant with her gun running son up shit creek and her party up there with him.

Monday, 9 May 2005

Inside the World of the 'Dasen Girls'

Normally, the media loves stories about corruption and sex. But this story is getting little coverage in the major news channels. Strange, since it is about sex and drugs. So it's just as well that a local newspaper is covering it. Maybe it's because the guy was working for Christian Financial Counseling.

Sunday, 8 May 2005

Last Post 2005

Who's up for a few pints in the Last Post after this year's cup final (28th May)?

Saturday, 7 May 2005

2005 election

Thursday's election results went pretty much as expected. I watched it until 2.30am on Friday morning. The highlight was George Galloway's victory in London. His acceptance speech was worth staying up for - and he took Jeremy Paxman to task shortly afterwards.

He supports "Celtic and Dundee United" so who will he support at the Scottish Cup Final? But we know who the linesman will support.

Wednesday, 4 May 2005

Another good reason to vote Lib Dem

Today's editorial in the Sun tells readers not to vote Lib Dem. It warns that drugs could kill your children if you do. The irony that the second half of the editorial is about the death of someone's son in Iraq (which the Sun supports) is obviously lost on them.

Sunday, 1 May 2005

Football and the election

What a performance yesterday. It was worse than the Hearts game. I pretty much agree with this analysis. The current team appears to be a mix of decent experienced players who have lost their hunger (Neil Lennon sauntered around yesterday like it was a pre-season friendly) and young players who are simply not good enough. Major surgery is needed this summer. Let's hope that we can limp over the finish line. We will still be two points ahead of Rangers this evening.

I'm hearing some serious calls for MON's head for the first time. I'm not one of them. Although he is very blinkered at times and makes some strange tactical decisions, he has brought us fantastic success during the last five years. Maybe we should manage the team?

I still don't know how to vote on Thursday. It's fairly academic in my seat so it will be little more than a protest vote. But it won't be Labour. So it's either no-vote or Lib Dem.