Saturday, 27 February 2010

Tomorrow's game

It's hard to call tomorrow's game. Our away form is awful, having one of the worst goals-against records in the SPL (it's in St Mirren and Hamilton territory). So we can expect to lose a couple of goals tomorrow. If we win, it will be 3-2 or something. Or we might just lose 2-0.

There are other bad signs. Mowbray has a bad "big game" record, having won only one (the game in Moscow) since he arrived. This contrasts badly with MON and wee Gordon's records in these sorts of games. There is a mentality about winning big games that Tony might not have. It's also his first Ibrox match since he arrived so be prepared for a defeat and him talking about "a learning process" after the game.

There are positive signs too. The Club took Billy's advice and complained about the standard of referreeing. Keane is the best player in Scotland by a mile. Celtic are the best team in Scotland.

Having said all that, I predict 0-0. ;-)

12 comments:

  1. Once again the referee changes the game. How he could see the Brown incident when there were 4 players in front of him is beyond me. He must know Lafferty has a history of getting players sent off.

    The cheating is now so blatant, Bougherra is allowed to foul any player that moves but is never given a 2nd yellow card. Every debatable decision is given to Rangers in areas of the field where they can direct free kicks into our box (e.g. Hinkel being penalised for getting the ball when he tackled Miller). N'Guemo was clearly elbowed in the head but gets nothing, though all the media wants to talk about is Kamara kicking the ball out for a throw in at the drop ball.

    I do not know where to go from here and I am very pessimistic about the future. I do not believe Mowbray is the man for the job but I couldn't tell you who I would replace him with.

    Now got to face the huns in work and their gloating. They are laughing at us, knowing that they can cheat with impunity.

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  2. I was nearly right (0-0 prediction). :-) But we didn't deserve to take anything from this game. Rangers laid seige to the Celtic goal in the second half, with ping-pong in our box on several occasions.

    The sending off didn't help but we didn't kick a ball in the entire second half. In fact, Brown's dismissal didn't really change the pattern of play. For a team that "had to win", we didn't play that way. Rangers looked much more up for it.

    Rangers second half tactics were spot on. Get in about Celtic. The referee could have given Celtic more protection but we don't have the sense to cope with this the way a Europeam team would (go down, get free kicks, get them booked, etc.).

    Once again Mowbray fails to answer the important questions.

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  3. I thought Celtic were pretty poor. I think though that with the complete lack of a contribution from McGeady they were practically playing with 10 men. How did he play so badly - was he unfit or was there a reason Strachan never played him at Ibrox.

    I just don't see Celtic as a unit and I'm beginning to think that even more with the new people. What we've really needed is a leader on the pitch. Would anyone have picked Brown for that role?

    Some promising signs though. Rogne, Ki, Hooivelt, McGinn and Thomson. I couldn't believe how often the ball was passed to Thomson to start Celtic playing from the back. But he took on the responsibility and I thought he passed well. I don't think the press have been saying how good a prospect he is. I think he'll be immense if he keeps improving. Also nice to see Lafferty completely outclassed by Hinkel and the best strike force in Scotland shown to be the complete duds they are, even against an 18 and a 19 year old.

    Boruc was very good again and N'Guemo looks good enough to stay. I also think Rasmussen might prove to be a good buy. The question is can Mowbray make a team out of them? And although he has had cruel luck it looks like he probably can't.

    As for the referee. Was it Neil McCann who said bringing these things out can have an adverse reaction. So that's that then, Celtic are to blame for the biased refereeing against them as they pointed it out. If only our gay official had not come out of the closet. Have Rangers no shame? Are they showing Lafferty videos of Lovenkrands?

    Could we get Mark Hughes? If we have a chance we should move now before any other vacancies come up.

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  4. Billy, I agree that the referee didn't give Celtic the protection he should have. But the players are too stupid/timid/inexperienced to seek protection. Any team that sets about Celtic will take something from us.

    Gerry, I admire your glass-half-full analysis. Only Hinkel and Boruc would get pass marks from me. I thought N'Guemo was pish. Thomson consistently put the ball up in the air and failed to clear his lines. Don't start me on Brown.

    I really struggle to find positives. To lose the league in February is incompetence in John Barnes proportion. The job appears to be too big for Mowbray, who seems better suited to the quiet life.

    There is one positive. Celtic were never going to win the league. A victory at Ibrox would only have made our eventual capitulation harder to take. Better to get it over with now.

    I am coming to the conclusion that no-one (especially Mowbray) could make anything of the squad of players that he has assembled. He has replaced a bunch of has-beens with a bunch of never-beens.

    I hope I'm wrong. End the defeats now. Win every home game. Show some consistency. Win the Scottish Cup. Sell Brown. That would be a start. Anything less and I would sack him in April.

    I'll finish with a prediction. Celtic will get a string of soft decisions by referees and decisions will go against Rangers. Well, the league's over, isn't it?

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  5. I agree that we will get decisions now and after the disappointment I also had that relief that we don't have to hold on to the faintest hope that we would win the league. May be the team will play with the pressure off. Main thing is to win the cup and also beat Rangers at home. That should be possible if we get, as you say, the consistency. I still think we have the players to do that and the ones I think are promising are for next year and beyond.

    On a different subject my wife came in tonight and told me that in the library she had been told that some people were coming in from the college to do some filming but not of members of the public. So later this bloke comes in with a video camera and says "I've been told I can come in here and film as long as I don't film the public."

    "Are you from the college" asks Jo. "No I'm Richard Jobson!" Note he didn't say where he was from as everyone is meant to recognise the name. This was a bit unfortunate as she had bought tickets to see him with Ian Rankin tomorrow night as part of a local (Dunfermline) heroes series. Better not get the front row.

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  6. Gerry, I wish I was as confident as you in terms of the team staring to string some results together.

    Even if Rangers were to lose 5 games and drop 15 points, I cannot see Celtic under any circumstances being able to take advantage of the situation.

    I believe TM has managed 3 wins in a row on only one occasion so I cannot see why we should start to win now.

    We have a team that cannot defend and converts about 1 out of 4 goal scoring opportunities.

    We are left with the Scottish Cup to try and stop them winning the Treble. If TM cannot do that I think he should ask himself if he is the man for the job.

    Hope I am wrong.

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  7. Gerry, I am sceptical if this team feels the pressure in the way that your post implies. I don't think that the poor performances are caused by nerves at all. So, if performances improve, it will be for other reasons (most likely, other teams realising the league is over -- I think Mowbray has created a smashing team for friendlies and meaningless games).

    So, the focus is now the Scottish Cup. But who really expects this team (and manager) to deliver that?

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  8. Brown's out for three games, that's helped before. No only joking surely Brown has something did he play OK for Levein? Surely those players must start winning some games.

    Anyway on another note I have always had a bit of a dislike for Richard Jobson and I hate chat shows. But Jobson's talk with Ian Rankin was really great and I came away with a great deal of respect for him. They showed some clips from his films including a short about sex trafficking that was truly horrific. He said violence was a big part of his films but I think I would like to see one of his feature films. You two are film buffs have you seen any?

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  9. I bought the DVD "16 Years of Alcohol" which I thought was good in parts and showed promise.

    Its a bit episodic but is worth watching.

    I've always liked Jobson as he came from a real working class background but embraced the Arts and Culture in general as his right, not making excuses that this stuff was not for him.

    This sometimes could come across as pretentious but I admired his self confidence and passion.

    Speaking of cinema, if you have not seen them check out

    "Distance Voices, Still Lives"

    "The Lives of Others"

    "Let the Right One In"

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  10. Have you noticed that Mowbray has the opposite of the Midas touch? That whenever he has the chance to talk to players, they get worse? Celtic played OK at Ibrox until half time when Tony's pep talk worked its magic again -- and they didn't kick a ball in the entire second half.

    He should be given an ultimatum: deliver the Scottish Cup or walk.

    I hope he's got them up for the Battle of the Giants on Sunday.

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  11. If Mowbray was producing a film he'd have Keane as director and Jobson as a substitute.

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